I’ve forgotten the Ps
The 4 'P's that make up the marketing mix are over 40 years old.
They were originated by Richard Clewett in the 60s, but made famous by Philip Kotler in Marketing Management: Analysis, Planning and Control which was published in 1967 (which was pretty much the same time that the pocket calculator was invented – and hasn't computing technology moved on since then?)
The trouble is, marketing channels have changed a little over the years as well and the 4 'P's have pretty much outlived their usefulness.
As a result, Product, Price, Place and Promotion has been extended by Ian Bruce by a further 4 'P's. He's added People, Physical evidence, Process and Philosophy.
But it seems to me that there is one P missing from this – Purchaser. Or in our case, it's not a P at all, It's a D – Donor.
The 4 (or 8) 'P's have concentrated our thinking too much on the charity rather than the donor. Or as some of my commercial friends might say, "your thinking is a little supply-side heavy on that point."
My thoughts are nothing new and there is a veritable alphabet soup of letters which have been created by different academic marketeers to try to shift the focus on to the main factor that matters – the people who give us the money for our work.
My preferred version is the one that most neatly works with the Bluefrog donor needs approach to fundraising. It was created by Chekitan Dev and Don Shultz and is known as SIVA.
Solution Information Value Access
Solution: There is a subtle but important change of emphasis here. Rather than looking at what you do, the focus moves to creating a solution that meets the donors' needs.
Information: How the donor gets the background and inside story they need to direct them to the appropriate solution (this is not just the material your organisation publishes itself. It's also the stuff you don't control). As well as hard facts, this also covers off the emotional elements.
Value: Price, in terms of how much you suggest people give, is not really valid any longer (if it ever has been). It's more important to an organisation that the connection a donor has with a charity motivates them to give more, not less. Discount pricing models (£2 and £3 a month) only work if lapse rates are low and people enjoy the relationship so much they are happy to upgrade.
Access: Donors now want what they want, when, where and how they want it. The days of appeals sent at 3 times a year, a quarterly newsletter and a selection of other materials sent out when a charity sees fit are over. We know that the desire to give is often a tiny window. People must be able to give when and how they want and be able to see what they have achieved. Keeping your charity within arm's reach is not a bad goal to go for.