Would you say that the 4Ps are still important today? What was the impact of digital on the effectiveness of marketing and sales funnels? The 4Ps model relies of four pillars - product, price, place and promotion - to build a viable marketing strategy. This model worked very well for almost one century, since marketers didn't have too many ways to get meaningful feedback from their target audiences. Television, print media and radio were effective, but they didn't offer too much room for direct communication. Potential buyers got their knowledge of products and services from mainstream media channels. The Rise of Customer-Centricity Back in 1990 Advertising Age published an article by Bob Lauterton stating that the 4Ps were outdated and ineffective, hence the need for marketers to find new ways to reach out to their target audiences. Bob's words were true: Due to the increasing competitiveness of developed markets, consumers were becoming extremely picky and less likely to believe everything they were reading or seeing. Big brands started to understand that the long-term viability of their marketing strategies needed to rely on bringing the customers closer and making them part of the dialogue. Agencies like marketing companies Basingstoke helped lead the change here. The 4Ps model was replaced by the 4Cs model, which offered a better representation of new marketing strategy trends. This model places the customer in the centre of marketing communications. Everything focuses on the needs, the buying habits and the problems of the actual customer, as well as on the outcome these people are seeking. Digital Makes the Old Funnel Models Obsolete A marketing funnel is a depiction of the purchasing process and of taking individuals through the steps that turn them into buyers. Potential customers begin their journey as "suspects" (knowing nothing about the brand and its benefits). They become "prospects" (acknowledging your products and their benefits), and then they turn into sales leads and eventually paying customers. The Modern Purchasing Process The changes to the customer journey over the last decade are still not clear or appreciated by brands and customers alike. Just think about the way holidaymakers, gamblers and gamers of the past used to make purchases: Researching, short-listing, comparing, and eventually buying required them to see their local travel agent at least once. Buying the latest video games required discussing with a specialist in a computer games store. Gambling has also evolved into an extremely competitive online battle among the biggest brands in the industry seeking to attract gamblers through special promotions and apparently valuable perks. All these customer journeys, as well as perhaps 99% of all others have been influenced by the internet. Travel seekers now have more control over the research phase of the purchasing process. Brands and travel agents need to adjust their communication and their marketing strategies to cater to this new way of doing research. Although most brands and suppliers are aware of this new way of buying, very few of them have fully adjusted their sales and marketing funnels to reflect this new type of customer journey. Marketing vs. Sales It's not uncommon that marketing people avoid having to be responsible for closing a sale. Having to keep tabs on your ROI at all times may have a negative impact on the effort to create valuable and rewarding experiences for potential customers. The truth is somewhere in the middle. There's great value in human creativity, but digital has brought Marketing and Sales closer than ever before. We can't even imagine one without the other, even though no longer than 15 years ago this would have been impossible to imagine. Marketers Are Also Generators of Sales Leads Digital offers the customer a greater decision power. This led to the ongoing convergence of marketing and sales. Most e-commerce businesses set revenue as their main objective. Effective lead generation and satisfactory conversion rates aren't possible without the careful optimisation of all marketing and lead generation activities. More often than not such activities are not that easy to measure, so marketers must unleash their creativity to devise and implement new methods of keeping tabs on their ROI at any given time. Modern marketing and sales are tightly intertwined.