Adding PEOPLE as the Fifth P in Your Marketing Mix

The classic “Marketing Mix” created in 1953 by Neil Borden and taught in business schools around the world needs to be officially updated.  Originally consisting of Product, Placement, Promotion, and Price, it outlined the fundamental issues a company should consider when developing a marketing strategy.

PEOPLE - The 5th P in the Marketing Mix

PEOPLE – The 5th P in the Marketing Mix

The social web is now so critical for companies that it’s time to update marketing textbooks, strategies, and approaches.  PEOPLE, and the way the share opinions, recommendations, and personal stories are critical to a company’s success.

The importance of PEOPLE is obvious to most readers of this blog…so why the post?  By looking at how companies treat the other 4 Ps, we can make recommendations on how to treat PEOPLE as the 5th P.

Businesses take action with the other 4 Ps by staffing an organization, investing money, & partnering with other companies.


Product, promotion, pricing, and placement all have large roles in an organization. Entire org charts are filled with PRODUCT Managers, PRICING Analysts,  PLACEMENT Specialists, and PROMOTION experts.  Now it’s time to add Social Media to the organization chart.

Hiring staff focused on the PEOPLE aspect of your marketing plan signals does the following:


Companies spend millions of dollars on PRODUCT development through R&D. Additionally, major capital investments in distribution (PLACEMENT) technology help get the product where consumers can actually buy it.  Oh and then there’s PROMOTION…you see how much a Super Bowl ad costs nowadays?

Making an investment on the PEOPLE aspect of your marketing plan does the following:


Advertising agencies, distribution experts, retail agreements, and product development firms are all multi-billion dollar partnerships for a reason.  They provide incredible external value to an company looking to specialize in what they do best.

Forming partnerships with agencies, bloggers, social networking sites, and technology consultancies is critical for the following reasons:

It’s time to place PEOPLE at the same level of importance as Product, Placement, Promotion, and Price.  What other areas of business can we apply to PEOPLE to drive organizational change?

Photo Credit --> Jim Kuhn via flickr / CC BY 2.0
Posted on February 19, 2010 at 2:43 pm by Ben Foster · Permalink
In: Leadership and Management, Strategy

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Facebook User Growth Chart – 2004-2010 - by Ben Foster
    on January 20, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    […] Adding PEOPLE as the 5th P in your Marketing Mix […]

  2. Written by Shane Tims
    on March 23, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Wow ! You certainly have completed an excellent effort placing these inputs about marketing in position. These information are certain of fantastic assist. Marketing Automation Software

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