CNN has a show on Saturday mornings called "The Turnaround" where a small business owner feeling stuck gets paired with a mentor who is a successful business person at a much bigger company in a related field. Last weekend featured Walnut Creek Baking Company and owner Denise Vickers was paired with mentor Gary Rogers, CEO of Dreyers Grand Ice Cream.
Gary Rogers brought several members of his team to help Denise Vickers with helping transition her business to profitability. Denise offered a wide range of baked goods from smaller, takeout items to elaborate wedding cakes. To help Denise determine who her most profitable consumer was so that she could focus her offerings, one of Dreyers' brand managers used, among other tools, a simple sheet with a boxes containing the 4Ps in each corner and a circle in the center with "consumer" written inside. Using this fundamental marketing framework, Denise was able to realize that her wedding cake consumers were her most profitable and creating gorgeous, delicious wedding cakes should be her focus. This insight was a crucial ingredient to Denise's ability to bake up a successful turnaround. (sorry I couldn't resist)
Brand Autopsy has a wonderful ongoing series titled "According to Marketing Bloggers" where marketing bloggers are given the opportunity to engage in a virtual conversation with legendary marketing professor Phillip Kotler and to build upon some of the topics covered in Kotler's book According to Kotler. The first post asks, Are the 4Ps still a useful framework for marketing decision making? There is a lively discussion and several worthwhile alternate frameworks are proposed. However, as "The Turnaround" at Walnut Creek Baking Company shows, there's still room in the business and marketing worlds for the classic 4Ps framework.