Is Social Media the 5th P

Posted in Uncategorized by Abhinaya Chandrasekhar on October 25, 2009

Recently, I was involved in a deep discussion about Social Media being the most important tool in marketing. It is a whole new revolution that opens up many locked doors to reach marketing effectiveness. My colleague was convinced that social media is the 5th P as participation in the marketing mix model.

I found this extremely interesting and debated the possibility of a change in one of the most powerful marketing model ever devised.

The 4Ps Marketing Mix

Marketing mix is a depiction of all marketing activities that have to be carried out. Product, place, price and promotions, a.k.a 4Ps, have been marked as the base for designing any marketing strategy. All 4Ps will have to be mapped out which will finally lead to a holistic strategy for the company.


5P Marketing Mix

There’s a new move. A move to include social media as another P – Participation. Here are my thoughts on why social media does not really find place among the 4Ps.

The 4P model forms the basis for developing marketing strategies. This is valid for all products. Including social media as a 5th P will not work for all products. It sure helps while launching a new phone or even FMCG. But, what about a heavy product purchase like a truck?

Yet, social media is getting too big to ignore. It sure is powerful enough to be included in the marketing mix. But not among the 4Ps. Translating social media into a 5thP will limit its power. To tap into entire social media landscape and gain real-time insight, here’s what I think can be done:

  • Add social media along with market research in the 4Ps model.
  • Social media application must form an important component of Promotions.

Social Media + Market Research

Today, the power of SM extends beyond marketing. Many new product development decisions are based on research conducted via social media. Here is an opportunity to find out exactly what people have got to say. Do they like it or not. What can be done to make the product more useful. Decisions that was once based on the judgment of a marketing head/product developer is now rooted on first-hand information from the users. This is where all social media consultants come into the picture. Social business strategy is in.

Social media application

Under the 4thP – Promotions, social applications play a major role. Mind mapping of the target audience will lead to the applications to be used.


What do you think? Is social media a 5th P or not.

Tagged with: ,

Blackberry – the most preferred business phone

Posted in Uncategorized by Abhinaya Chandrasekhar on September 26, 2009

What makes blackberry the most preferred business phone?

I was reading a book – Killer Differentiators, that talked about category leadership and first movers’ advantage as one of the strategies to grow a brand. Blackberry was cited as an example for one of the first smart phones developed. This was way back in 1999. It is 2009. Why is it still preferred?

Guaranteed – Its got many useful features that are completely business oriented, but what about other phones that offer equally better features and entertainment too?

They have built their brand around a very strong vision. Perception in the minds of the consumers is built so strong. A Blackberry owner is a true businessman/woman, elegant, sophisticated, rich and busy!


Apparently the sales is not so good this quarter. Profits have gone down, but they have managed to sell 40% more handsets than last year. The competition is building up. The new 3GS iPhone is growing strong and the Google android phones from HTC, Motorola releasing soon are sure to fight. Apple vs Blackberry war has been going on for a while now. This one is my favourite:

Blackberry taking a shot at Apple

Apple’s retaliation

Consumer’s views:

Four years work experience

In my situation, I would simply go for a pda as its a sign of professionalism, seriousness, stature and being associated with those who are claiming responsible positions in the firm, even though I may not have the absolute necessity of having to regularly check my mails.

I have seen many people who own an htc cribbing about it. They have not synchronised outlook to their hand held device as it beeps every now and then and is disturbing.

One year work experience

I would love to own a Blackberry! It gives me an “I am important” feeling. An iPhone makes me look cool. Thats not what I want.

Twenty – two years experience

I have no choice but to use a Blackberry. I simply need it. I dont care much about music / games. I have no time for entertainment. The battery is not good. On my last trip abroad, my Blackberry heated up and exploded. I got it replaced though.

Thirty years experience

I work in a high stress environment with tight deadlines. But, I must admit, I dont know how to use all the features yet. My Blackberry gives me a status symbol. I am a page 3 celebrity and its important that I am in vogue. Sure, it helps me reply to mails the moment I receive them.

Blackberry has become an aspirational brand for the newbies to business, status symbol for the ones in it already. It has created a very high top-of-mind-awareness for itself which is going to be tough to break for any other brand. I phone is still looked at as a coolness device. Blackberry users identify themselves as a layer above. They express no desire outside to look cool. They would rather be the only-business type. It will be fun to watch other players try to break this perception.