Blog The BusinessOnline B2B MarketING Blog
April 05, 2016

The 5th ‘P’ of Marketing

by Rachel Ready
Categories: B2B Marketing

The concept of the “four Ps” of marketing was coined by E. Jerome McCarthy back in 1960 – and it has since been used by marketers throughout the world.  His 4 ‘Ps’ have provided the blueprint for marketing through the lens of:

Product, Price, Promotion and Place.

As the world has seen significant change since 1960, so has advertising and marketing.  The mediums through which we have advertised could not have been imagined in 1960 – and yet our marketing mix remains the same.  As modern marketers, it is time to adopt the 5th P that audiences have come to expect:


In a world driven by personalized shopping engines like Amazon and personalized content engines like Netflix, it’s no surprise that the digital world not only wants but also expects their experiences to be personalized.  So why would B2B be any different?

On average, people receive 304 business emails per week, attend 62 meetings per month, and deal with 56 interruptions to their work each day (1)– so it is more important than ever to deliver a tailored and personalized experience to your targets if you expect to break through with your message.

The vital elements of personalization strategies are:

Know Your Customer:

Understanding who your customers are (both primary and secondary customers) and what their pain points are is paramount to creating a personalized experience.  Valuable sources of information for truly understanding your customer include:  web data, market research, competitive analysis, buying trends, sales team feedback and customer surveys.

Treat Customers Like Customers:

Now that you know who your customers are and what they need, we must ensure that we align the message with where your customers are.  At a restaurant, if a customer ordered a hamburger, then you surely wouldn’t bring them a piece of cake.  Similarly, if your customer prefers mobile, why would you focus on desktop advertising and expect positive results?

For many B2B marketers, Account-Based Marketing is an effective strategy to understanding and engaging key accounts and moving them through the company buying journey.  Utilizing a Target Account List to personalize messaging and assets can increase results and engage multiple stakeholders within accounts.

Additional elements of personalization include:  website personalization, email messaging, segmentation and content creation, and sales team integration/training.

Understand a B2B Marketer’s Job Doesn’t End at the Lead:

B2B Marketing is too often focused on the lead – which is an important metric to track but not the end goal.  The end goal should be a life-long customer – a customer of multiple products and solutions who evangelizes and refers others customers on your behalf.  In order to achieve that goal, you must understand the full Company Buying Journey and align your activities to the full cycle.  Nurturing a lead to MQL, SAL, Sale, and beyond can have ROI that is far higher value than just a single lead submission.

Analyze and Optimize

Marketing is an ongoing effort – it should continually be tested and evaluated in order to evolve.  Looking at full-funnel metrics  is important in understanding how these personalization efforts are truly impacting sales – not just surface metrics like sessions and goals.  With look-back analysis and A/B testing results, future efforts can be refined and new personalization can be even more impactful.

Overall, B2B marketers have the ever-growing problem of getting through to a user base that is being inundated with more and more messages.  The way to break through is by using data to truly understand who your customers are and how to achieve that 5th ‘P’ of marketing: to speak to a customer in a personalized way –working toward a world where we can achieve 1:1 personalization at scale.