The “Fifth P” of Marketing
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
– William A. Foster
Merriam-Webster offers this definition of Process, “a series of actions or operations conducing to an end.” Ah yes, an end! Ideally, that means a goal. To meet a goal, we must understand our target, our messaging, and our Process to guide a consumer to brand acceptance (which leads to brand loyalty).
Marketing can do a diligent job of introducing a consumer to a brand, but what happens after the intro is critical. Are expectations met? What if a customer likes the look of the food in the ad, but is turned off when she sees it in person? What if the friendly personality in the ad is grumpy in person? What if the words on the banner ad have nothing to do with the language on the landing page? What if he clicked to purchase online but never received his order? In these and many other instances, the marketing Process didn’t provide the end.
Good marketers not only consider front-end flow of Attention-Interest-Desire-Action to draw customers in, but also challenge brands to consider back-end fulfillment to keep them coming back. Offering a comfortable CRM (customer relationship management) solution or specific personnel training will pull through marketing messages as potential customers act, providing a happy end for both sides.
More attention paid to the “Fifth P” in campaign planning will help brands realize faithful customers. And brand managers will more likely view Marketing as a critical investment rather than a nagging cost.