- Say Hello To Marketing’s Newest Arrivals -

In college, my fellow marketing majors and I spent many wee-morning hours in the library, sporting oversized t-shirts & leggings, aggressively sucking down Red Bulls. We often found ourselves fretting, overanalyzing, and trying to master the 4 P’s of the marketing mix--product, price, place and promotion. Yep, it was a glamorous time.

Well, hold onto your Nikes; word on the street is that there are some new kids on the block. Rumor has it that there’s talk of adding a fifth, sixth and even a seventh "P" to the mix! Who are these mysterious and fresh faces making their way on the scene? Let’s meet the newbies: packaging, positioning & people.

Packaging: I reluctantly admit, I see their point. In the age of Amazon Prime and with over 191 million online shoppers worldwide, a little packaging pizzazz goes a long way.

<--Take these macaroons for example. They could very possibly taste like cardboard, but they look delicious in that cute little box! I’m sold.

When a highly anticipated delivery arrives, what is the first thing we all do? Jab our keys into the plastic tape and rip it open (with utter and blatant disregard for anything else)! It is there, in that initial moment of contact that we make a snap decision on whether or not we spent our money wisely.

Even if that faux fur vest we ordered from China looked more like a gorilla costume than a fashion statement, it came in the “right” packaging & swayed our perception in a positive direction. Suddenly it’s not atrocious, it’s avant-garde!

Positioning: I’m not sold on this one, as it comes off as a tad redundant. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that what marketing is? Positioning?

Do the existing marketing P's not already call attention to a brand in a way that carves out a niche and appeals to their target consumer? I feel like the person who came up with this P was reaching a little, providing us with a conclusion that can be drawn from many other places in the marketing formula.

People: First of all, how vague. The thought here is that every marketing objective has to be executed by someone, somewhere within an organizational structure.

Having people that are best fit for the job makes sense, but this seems like something that should be applied to Human Resources. Am I wrong? Perhaps what we can conclude here is that HR (as team members of any business) should be people who understand what kind of individuals will be the most successful in that company’s culture. This would allow them to make hiring decisions based on more than just a skill set on a resume. Maybe I’m wrong, but this P seems to leave itself open to interpretation.

Tell us what you think about the seemingly endless P’s of Marketing.