The 6th P

The 6th P is Permission.

In a client meeting the other day where I was discussing what we meant by Participation Marketing with one of our clients and he said… there is of course a 6th P and that is Permission.

The classic 4 P’s of marketing, emerged in the 1960s. These were Product, Pricing, Placement and Promotion. Get these things right and a brand would have a sure fire recipe for success on its hands.

As this terminology came about in the traditional analogue advertising landscape, participation was never really an option.

In the past ten years we have started to experience tremors, which have been getting larger and larger, that tell us quite clearly that the traditional advertising landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, driven primarily by the Internet. We have yet to experience the full earthquake, but give that another 5 years or so when the whole model of TV advertising follows the way of the Internet. Then it really will be a case of fasten your seat belt Dorothy because Kansas is about to go bye bye.

We have previously used descriptors such as digital, interaction and so on, but these merely describe what is happening. Interaction for its own sake is of no great use to a brand or business. We believe Participation is a word that better articulates the point of all this digital technology. You couldn’t do it before, but now you can.

Which brings us on to Permission. The terminology Permission Marketing has of course been around for a while, but I would argue that is only now that the full potential of permission based marketing can be unlocked.

For instance .Net technology on Windows Vista can completely do away with the need for web pages all together. Brands can now come directly to the customer in a form of a brand widget, be it on your computer, TV, mobile device or interactive poster as you walk down the street – provided of course the brand or business has got permission from the customer to be there. Now this really will shift the whole paradigm of advertising as there will be far less need for generic campaign executions when the customer has already opted in and only needs ongoing messages and reasons to stay in the relationship with the brand.

Then think about Product, Pricing, Placement and Promotion directly on the desktop or mobile device and it really starts to get interesting.

Ultimately we need creative ideas and innovations that generate Participation and that gain the right to be there in the first place through the 6th P, Permission.

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