Marketing’s “5th P”

While successful marketing and business development strategies involve research and goal-setting and are comprised of situation analyses, action plans, tactical outlines, and managerial focus, there is still one more critical ingredient that will, ultimately, separate your approach from those of your competitors.

Marketing has been described as the selection and development of the right products or services, determining the right price, developing efficient placement or distribution channels, and all aspects of generating or enhancing demand for those products, such as advertising and promotion.

As you may know, these basic principles are commonly referred to as the four “P’s” of marketing:
• Product
• Price
• Placement
• Promotion

Over the years, many have also identified what they’ve referenced as the “fifth P” of marketing.

For example, several organizations, including the International News Media Association (INMA) and Gallup have suggested the “fifth P” is people. “When the importance of employees to brand marketing is ignored, the cost is huge,” Gallup said in a 2001 article. A valid point for certain!

Then, in a 2005 CRM Magazine piece, the “fifth P” was identified as process. “Process, powered by online data, enables companies to quickly optimize the return on their marketing investments,” they said.

However, Cory Treffiletti, VP of Marketing & Partner Solutions at Oracle, may have said it best when he identified a “fifth P” that he called an integral part of nearly every successful marketing strategy. The “fifth P,” Treffiletti suggests, is what unites a community and motivates individuals; the “fifth P” inspires desire and instills loyalty; it encourages word-of-mouth.

Passion – the 5th “P”

The “fifth P,” Treffiletti says, is passion!

“In today’s world, passion is truly one of the most under-appreciated and most important elements of a relationship or a marketing campaign.” —Author, Cory Treffiletti

The suggestion that passion is a key element of a marketing plan is consistent with several accepted marketing concepts, such as the importance of communicating in terms of benefits, and the observations of economist Elliot Ettenberg – profit comes not from satisfying people’s needs, but from satisfying people’s wants!

The significance of positioning is also relevant. Defined by Barron’s Business Guide as the “portion of a market strategy that attempts to control the perception of a product or service relative to competitive products or services,” a well-crafted positioning statement is filled with what each marketer believes to be the unique and outstanding attributes of his or her product or service offering – it is filled with each marketer’s passion!

Distinguishing your approach
The critical element of this point is, very simply, that passion is contagious. It attracts; it sells! Passion is persuasive!

In his essay, “The Greatest Principle of Human Persuasion,” author and marketing expert G. Harold McLeod contends that today’s buyers are not persuaded by mere facts or logic, but rather by the seller’s or marketer’s enthusiasm (passion!) and conviction.

“Your conviction, your enthusiasm, your belief in what you are doing is what sells. Your feelings, your emotions, your honest interest in your product and your prospect are what persuade,” McLeod said.

When your customers and prospects evaluate your message, they will, hopefully, recognize and relate to your uniqueness and your passion; and, at the very least, take notice.

“The greatest risk of all is the risk of going unnoticed.”
— Advertising executive William Bernbach (1911-1982)

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