The 4Ps of New Age Business

Philip Kotler established the immortal 4Ps of marketing; a simple theory that is still relevant in this ever-altering business landscape.


Gone are the days where the sole focus of the business was to create profit. Today, businesses are becoming more human with People, Purpose, Promise, and Perpetuity as the front runners. Here is my piece on what can make the magic happen. 

Change headlined 2019 and high-speed Adaption is a caption for 2020. In 2019, large monoliths started to understand the need for change, and ‘digital transformation’ was heard frequently in boardrooms across the world. Start-ups questioning the status quo were enabling this change. Lastly, consumers drove transformation with their ever-changing behavior at the center. With all these revisions and in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will lead to convergence. This will not be limited to only technology and innovation, but also, the way we do business in the coming decade.

Philip Kotler established the immortal 4Ps of marketing; a simple theory that is still relevant in this ever-altering business landscape. As consumers get smarter, have more info/data access than ever before, and the focus of business evolves from profit to people, planet, and purpose, 2020 will spark a new era of doing business. Here are 4 Ps that I think will matter in this new age of business: 


Today, business and start-ups are increasingly looking at outcome-based performance from every asset they employ, not restricted to only people. Performance is an integral attribute of success, but it does not define it completely. A recent article on the Indian Premier League player auction showcased the players as cost per wicket/run, and these sensational numbers just didn’t make sense for the output expected vis-à-vis the money the teams paid. It takes significant effort to choose the right team, put together various data points to define the bid rate for each player, and many sleepless nights leading to the auction. To boil these efforts into an article pointing towards overpaid players in the auction would be unfair.

Just like a sports team, start-ups and business teams need to be handpicked, focused on performance, aligned to specific roles, AND identified with the intangibles they bring to the team to add credence to their right to win. The way businesses choose and treat their people will rate higher for businesses that win 2020, and the ones that die an early decade death. 


2019 saw a shift of successful, consumer-oriented business towards purpose, and 2020 will further explore this theme expanding to responsibility, trust, and sustainability. As cases of fraud, mismanagement and unethical behavior outnumbered successful companies' stories in 2019, consumers are becoming more and more pessimistic about businesses. The trust in brands and companies is harder to gain today than any other generation before us. 

Companies need to make elements such as sustainability, ethics, and values core elements of their businesses. They need to be seamlessly woven into how a business positioning and identity is defined. A company’s moral compass and its ability to stay true north will enable success in 2020 and beyond. 


‘Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis.’ Lee Iacocca famously penned this statement in his book Where Have All The Leaders Gone? The title of this book is a perfect question to ask today because corporate leaders who show resilience and hold up to their responsibilities are scarce even today. 

Leaders set the vision of a company, and it is a promise they make to each team member. It is a promise that they will put the interests of the company ahead of their own and be a role model for achieving the vision they have set. The leaders of tomorrow will not be the most qualified or even the smartest in the room, but they will be the most empathetic and the ones that live up their promise. These are the companies that will see sustained success, attract great teams and will be built to last. 


Businesses are built for perpetual succession. This means a company’s journey should outpace the contribution of its founders and live longer than the teams running them today. Many investors rush into deals based on current opportunity and management/leadership teams, but tomorrow’s investors will choose the basis of the ability of the business to survive and last into future generations. 

Though investment decisions made on new - and sometimes hyped - technology, founder capabilities, and current market opportunities are huge risks, some of them may still pay off. The investments of the new age will not only depend on ideas, but also on the company’s ability to survive and thrive. 

People, purpose, promise, and perpetuity will be the foundations on which great companies of the future will be built on, and as we inculcate immortal marketing theories such as the 4Ps, we need to look at the new 4Ps of business as well. Businesses are becoming more human, just like technology is. So when we expect our technologies to be more empathetic, deliver a memorable experience and become an extension of our lives, why would we expect anything less from the businesses of the future?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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