Are 4 E’s the new marketing mix?

4 E's, the new marketing mix title graphic.

Are 4 e’s the new marketing mix?

The other day I was guest speaker at an Enterprise Nation event and in my talk, I briefly touched on a new approach to the fundamentals of value, the pillars of building a customer relationship. Something called the 4 E’s. We do like a group of considerations, a model or a framework in the marketing world!

Whether you’re a business owner or a marketing practitioner, you’ll undoubtedly have heard of the 4 (and 7) P’s that form the marketing mix, created by McCarthy in the sixties. This is an extremely established framework that is still relevant but was of course, pre-smartphone, pre social-media and pre-ecommerce. So are the chosen words in that model now too narrow, too limited? Do they show an understanding of people buying in a new way, and buying experiences and emotions, not necessarily a defined product every time? It’s not just digital that has changed the way we behave as a customer (whether B2B or B2C) it’s the pace of life, the speed of logistics, having internet available on-the-go, increasing awareness and concern of sustainability, and of course, most recently, Covid.

A few years ago, the head of Universal Music Group, Oliver Robert-Murphy, is reported to have said that “the 4 P’s are over”. He said that 4 E’s were replacing them and those were engagement, experience, exclusivity and emotion. He went on to say “If marketers can adapt to this technique they will create an intimate relationship with the consumer”.

The terms are certainly more in keeping with modern times, but I can’t agree that they can be completely replaced, I don’t think that exchange truly covers ‘price’ for example. But overall, it’s talking about changing your “what should I sell?” and “where should I sell?” into “why should I sell this?” and “why should I sell it there?”. In fact it all sits nicely with purpose, looking at WHY you do what you do. And incorporating emotional branding is what makes a business stand out. Which leads me on to another set of E’s.

Recently, I found out that these 4 E’s weren’t the only 4 E’s in marketing that exist and that Brian Fetherstonhaugh, CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, a renowned advertising agency, had coined a different set many years before Robert-Murphy.

Are 4 E’s the new marketing mix? A graphic.

Product -> EXPERIENCE. Consideration and understanding of the customer experience from pre-purchase through to post-purchase. And then, continually improving it.

Place -> EVERYPLACE. Expanding the channels and media your brand uses, trying new things and reaching people via multiple places, multiple times.

Price -> EXCHANGE. This is where value should be considered, not just the cost of something. What is a customer’s engagement worth to your company?

Promotion -> EVANGELISM. Look for the emotion in your brand, let your passion shine through so that both customers and the internal team experience it and are inspired by it.

He introduces them in this video (apologies, the quality is not so great) and in this article he explains in more detail.

The 4 E’s not only acknowledge the changed retail environment and behaviour of shoppers, but also recognise what brands need to do to survive.  We all buy from people. Will you start to incorporate the alleged new marketing mix in your marketing?


Rachael Dines, Director of Shake It Up Creative

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