The world of business is an ever changing landscape of proven methods and philosophies that shape how anybody can do business effectively around the world.
One of the oldest tenants of business frameworks is the 4P’s marketing method, the focus on Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.
However with the changing landscape of business comes new rules, and as consumer behavior begins to trend into unseen waters, the environment of the world playing a larger part in a business’s success, and revolutionary business models taking root.
The core principles of 4P are beginning to grow at odds with the reality of today’s market.
It’s this reality that brought Harvard Business Review to write an article titled The 4P’s of Marketing, which aimed to reevaluate the structure of the 4P’s method, and shape it into a more modern framework that businesses’ can apply today.
What is S.A.V.E? – The New Marketing Mix
S.A.V.E stands for Solution, Access, Value, and Education. Unlike the 4P’s framework, S.A.V.E marketing instead promotes a more mixed approach to business in the modern market.
It allows for businesses to better adapt to consumer needs, gives room for more present-day considerations, and is structured around the virtue of a customer-centric approach.
This structure opens the door to the proven prospect of converting consumers into long-term customers of your brand, through providing targeted value and sharable content that aligns with a customer’s behavior.
S.A.V.E is a cornerstone shift in the way anybody does business today. Acknowledging that consumers are far more informed, less brand loyal, and employs far more creative solutions to your marketing strategy.
Achieved through creating high-value interactions and prosperous relationships through social media, created content, and through how you address consumer desires.
On top of this, S.A.V.E does away with many of the parts of the 4P’s framework that no longer apply to today’s market standards.
With the inception of the internet, and its effect on global markets, many of the strategies of the 4P’s simply do not hold their weight against how many businesses succeed today.
Exploring the S.A.V.E Framework – How does it affect the 4P’s?
Each area of the S.A.V.E framework offers a different contrast to how the 4P’s was applied in the past.
By exploring how each tenant of S.A.V.E is structured, and how it relates to its predecessor, we can begin to see how this cornerstone shift in business strategy aligns with today’s market realities.
SOLUTION – Over Product
Product based models were a strong suit of the early industrial era. If you offered a strong, reliable product, then you could expect your success to hinge on that product alone.
Your business success was tied intrinsically to the quality of products you produced, and it made sense to focus on producing the best product possible.
This is not the case in the modern market. Today, consumers care far more concerned with solving their problems.
This is why a solution-based approach to your business is far more effective at increasing your worth than a product focused one.
If a business focuses too hard on the features and function of their product, they are mostly focused on their competitors and what they are offering.
This is the product-based approach, and it disconnects your business from your consumer.
Instead, a solution-based approach looks directly at the problems your targeted consumers are facing, and pushes you to find more innovative solutions to those problems.
A great example of this is the inception of the iPod, which offered a compact creative solution to music on the go.
ACCESS – Over Place
Before the internet was as big, and all-encompassing to business as it is today, your place (or location) meant everything.
If you were the shoe shop placed directly in the shopping mall where people were, you could expect far better exposure and customer engagement as a result.
Today, this is not completely a wrong approach in some specific cases. However, what is far more important for the majority of businesses is the accessibility of your service.
Consumers are much more concerned about your product or service being accessible anywhere, anytime, and on any device.
The more barriers you can remove between you and your customers, the better.
You can see this success in businesses such as Amazon, or social media, which provide a service to almost everyone in the world with nothing more than a web browser.
VALUE – Over Price
It used to be a simple model. Offer the best product you can, at the best price you can. This was a price-based approach to building your brand that worked wonders for companies in the industrial era.
Consumers today, however, are much more skeptical of a cheap product. Instead, they are more focused on the perception of value that a product offers.
This beats out even the price of the product, and it points to the incredibly important role that value plays in how consumers value a brand.
Value-based pricing works better when you have established a strong brand image, or the product has highly valuable features, or a service that cannot be found in this form from competitors on the market.
EDUCATION – Over Promotion
Promotion was the core tenant of advertising back in the day. Businesses would buy space to advertise themselves, and their brand awareness would go up.
However, in today’s media landscape, consumers can easily tune-in and tune-out these kinds of messages.
With the rise of on-demand media, it’s much harder to build effective brand awareness through direct promotion.
Instead, an educational approach is far more effective.
If you position yourself as an expert, or even thought-leader in the industry, and offer valuable content that educates the consumer, you will build a relationship of trust and respect.
The idea is to produce informative high-quality content that legitimately offers value to the consumer, and has them engaging with your message completely willingly.
It’s this fickle alchemy of building customer loyalty that pushes away from the idea that you are selling to the consumer, and instead reinforces a feeling of dependence and familiarity with your brand.