The four Ps are the classic approach to thinking about marketing: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. And as I wrote in my article about engaging customers on social networks and Twitter, marketing is not just about promotion, rather marketing is a business strategy that enables a company to determine what product, price and place are the best mix for their customers.
Cranium is the classic example of a company that found an alternative distribution channel from traditional toy retailers. With new copies of their game in the warehouse, Cranium was not able to secure the space with toy retailers they needed to distribute their new game.Based in Seattle, and pondering their distribution problem in a Starbucks store, Cranium founders asked the question, "Where are Cranium customers? And can we go there too?" Looking around the founders realized their customers were all around them in Starbucks and they decided to pitch Starbucks as a retail distribution channel. The result, Cranium became Starbuck's first selling game, and in consequence Cranium became an award winning nationally known game. There's an example of where Place was important to the success of a business.
Are there similar marketing stories in social media?
Yes, and continuing the coffee theme, there's the example of the Houston, Texas based cafe CoffeeGroundz. The company jumped onto Twitter and received an order from a customer on route to the Cafe for pick-up. The store filled the order, and in the process doubled their business, taking orders online, generating good word of mouth, and hosting tweet-ups for the local community.
Twitter and social media transformed CoffeeGroundz by changing Place for the company. Instead of ordering in person, customers were able to order remotely using social media. When considering social how to use media for business, don't only think of social media for promotion, the tools can also help with place and the other four Ps, and as a result of improving other business functions a company can get indirect promotional benefits.
Do you have any examples of companies that use social media for Product or the other two Ps? Price or Place? I'd love to hear about them.