There was a time when growth was realized through traditional Marketing activities and adherence to the "Four P's". That will surely ring a bell with some of the "old school" folks reading this article. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Four P's, we're talking about Product, Place, Price and Promotion. There have been variations on this theme through the years, but this was the traditional standard for planning and evaluating the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
Business is much too dynamic today for marketing to be assessed through separate, static components. Instead, it makes much more sense to view marketing as a more dynamic discipline, one charged with Energizing Growth! This active standard also relies upon "Four P's". This modern-day standard is based upon a commitment to:
> Perform. First and foremost, a business must keep the promises it makes. Our body of work becomes our résumé and future success depends on it. In this day of the internet and instant communications, it doesn't take long for positive recommendations or criticism to spread. It's a matter of listening to the Voice of the Customer and taking great care of the customers that we're already fortunate to serve. This lies at the heart of what it means to Plan for Success, something that must be wired into the DNA of an organization (Plan for Success - January 2013). When customers are engaged, there is no more powerful fuel for Energizing Growth than that.
> Promote. It's essential to be able to tell our story clearly and in a compelling manner. "Why" does our business exist? "How" do we serve our customers? "What" makes us different? To Promote has always been an essential element of the Four P's, but this aspect must now be fine-tuned in order to be heard in the loud static of information that customers are bombarded with every day. We must transmit crystal clear, static free content on a channel to which our customers will happily tune in and listen.
> Propel. To build momentum requires more than just to Perform and Promote. It depends upon the focused energy of everyone in our business. We must pay attention to the smallest details, ask better questions, listen more intently, adapt more creatively and deliver more consistently than the competition. We must use the resources we have available to push the limits of what's possible.
> Produce! Unless all of that energy is harnessed, it quickly dissipates and is wasted. When connected together, however, these fuel sources combine for Energizing Growth! A healthy business will be propelled forward and grow profitably when the fuel sources are in balance. That's great for customers and employees alike; talented employees may join a company for a job, but they will stay for opportunity. Growth creates opportunity and, in turn, more valuable options for customers.
2014 holds great promise for organizations that Perform, Promote, Propel and Produce the results required for Energizing Growth. Enjoy the Journey!