- Product (or Service) – what the customer wants and why
- Place – where do customers look for the product or service
- Price – what is the product or services’ value to the buyer
- Promotion – how to reach target markets with messaging about the product or service
In the past, marketing owned a professional services firm’s positioning strategy and was responsible for all four Ps. Marketing would conduct a detailed market and competition analysis, then hand off a packaged offering to the sales team to sell. Sales would often complain that pricing was too high or that the features of a specific package did not synch up the customer’s true needs. Often, sales focused on lower priced solutions or cut deals to win new business when selling professional services, so marketing complained that their sales siblings didn’t look to the future enough.
What happened? The marketing-sales divide deepened. This signaled a need for professional services business development to change. Thinking had to evolve to better address the unique needs of marketing for professional services firms.
In with the New: The Seven Ps
Over time, smart professional services business development experts started to see that the old model Four Ps didn’t quite make sense when selling professional services. A new extended marketing mix, called the Seven Ps started to take root with three additional Ps aligned with marketing professional services firms:
- People – a key element in the customers experience, since services are inseparable from the people providing it
- Process – the delivery process, which should be consistent across each and every customer experience
- Physical Evidence – since services are intangible, customers need some tangible elements for enhanced customer experience