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July 31, 2015

The Four Ps of Online Marketing Success: (AKA) How to Slay the Hydras of Advertising

Every business strives for to make a profit. It is the end result of selling a useful product or service that the marketplace ultimately deems worthy. If you are a business owner, managing the sales of your products or services produce these profits. They are the ultimate measure of your financial success. Today, you have to become the master of not one, but two dragons of marketing. Old school media monster and the internet beast. To make matters worse, these two dragons are hydra’s – many headed beasts that evolve and splinter as you master and cut each head off.  Luckily, both have overlapping marketing elements that allow us to create a formula for success. In this article, I will teach the principles you need to tame these beasts. We will cover the four P’s of marketing success along with the nine content elements these two dragons crave. So strap on your sword and come with me as we prepare to slay the hydras of marketing.


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I first became exposed to marketing in the 1980s. I quickly learned that to be successful as a business owner or manager I had to understand marketing. This was important because I had to learn how to tame the marketing beast which I now had to contend with. Back then the marketing beast I had to slay was what we now call old school advertising media. It consisted of TV, Radio, Newspaper, Yellow Pages, Billboard, Direct mail and Cold Call Marketing. Believe it or not, marketing your product or services was a much simpler affair 20 years ago. The Internet did not exist. There was only one hydra to contend with back then.

The world has changed dramatically since then. The Internet is the center of the marketing universe. All of the old school mediums have been forced to embrace the Internet.  Watch the news and you’ll hear statements like “you can read more by clicking on the link on our website” or “find more on this and other stories on XYZ”  “Follow us on Facebook.” Most talk shows, special events and even the Super Bowl all redirect traffic to some specific web property or other. Yet few companies today reach real marketing success unless they are big players with lots of resources. Even then, large companies often fail at the elusive goal of deriving profit from the Web. That’s due to the fact that the Internet is always evolving, changing and splintering into a multitude of marketing arenas. Trying to master all of these venues is like trying to juggle the hydra as you cut off its heads. You only seem to end up with more and more issues to deal with.

At our company, we concentrate on feeding the beast only the most important food it craves. We look at the primary heads of this beast as consisting of Organic Search, Pay Per Click, Social Media, Websites, Blogging, Videos, Podcasting, Press Releases and Email marketing. Each of these heads can also be subdivided into many sub creatures all with their own elements, audiences and marketing agendas. For example, the audience for Facebook and Twitter vary greatly. The same is true for search and direct e-mail.


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Focusing on the essential content elements the beast craves, means you can please 80 percent of the beast’s needs. Anytime you can reach an 80 percent of a marketing goal, you increase your chances of success many times over.  You will achieve the Pareto-Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule. Feeding this marketing beast its primary food sources will always produce positive effects that can be measured and tweaked to achieve success.

On to the four P’s — In our book, the four Ps consist of: Persistence, Preparation, Production, and Performance. These elements together produce Profits. Each of these elements is also imbued and created by making sure each step of the process is saturated with quality, consistency, relevancy, timeliness and when possible, a WOW factor. Each of the four P’s are diminished if one of them is missing. Now let’s look at each of these factors.


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Persistence — This is a critical factor for producing a strong following or audience. If your message isn’t provided on a regular basis, it will be forgotten, lack market penetration, and will not produce any branding synergy. It will also fail to produce the trust factor necessary for growing your audience. Any content creation, media channel, (including TV, Radio, Newspaper, and its internet brethren, like Blogging, YouTube, and Internet Radio) will only produce an audience if you fulfill the promise of providing quality useful content on a regular basis. Not only are articles, videos, post and podcast content, so are advertisements. Consistency is a key element of audience building. Other factors that are important in every phase of the four P’s are — Quality, Consistency, Relevancy and Timeliness.

Preparation — This trait is not any less important. You have to prepare for any endeavor to achieve success. Luck aside, preparation allows you to contend for the twists, turns and unexpected events you will encounter. The more you are prepared, the less these unexpected events will have an impact on your profits. More importantly, preparation (i.e. research) allows you to hone in on the best keywords, subjects, titles, messages, web property names or advertisement content.  Not doing your research has the added consequence of throwing your money down the drain.


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The name, keywords, subject matter and content of our Weekly BlogTalkRadio show, for instance, is the result of research and much preparation. The name of the show was selected because of the number of quality searches performed on those keywords at the time. It also matched the message and direction we wanted to take. To produce our weekly BlogTalkRadio show, we do lots of research on the show topic, write a 1200 to 2500 word article on the subject, read two dozen or more articles on the subject and gather related articles and other documents that support the topic of that show. Then we also create show notes to use during the show and get mentally prepared for doing it live. A successful ad, marketing campaign or show all require effort that starts with preparation.

Production — This has all the qualities of the other four Ps. However, we also strive to add a little WOW factor and stickiness if at all possible. Don’t get me wrong. Consistency, Quality, Timeliness, and Relevance are important here as well, but by adding a little WOW factor – i.e. adding items like: catchy phrases, pictures, videos, props, comedy, eye candy, etc.… and Stickiness factors like sensational headlines, catchy phrases, jingles, intro teasers and call to action, will make your final product stand out. You increase the usefulness and entertainment value of your message. This is true for any kind of content production (i.e. whether it’s a show, movie, article, advertisement, or even music). They are all types of content.

Performance — This is the final phase of the four Ps. This is where you deliver the goods. Make sure that the final quality of your ad, blog or show is the highest quality you can afford to produce. If you’re doing a live or recorded show, the audio and video performances must be upbeat, compelling, honest and real. Too much rehearsal can make the performance seem canned. We have found that the audience wants to connect with real people. This persona can only be created by giving it your best, most sincere effort. Providing a quality, consistent, timely and relevant performance, also helps. Emphasizing your unique style can add to the stickiness factor of your message as well. This is also true of your writing style or ad copy. Other factors of your message can include items that provide wow factors. Things like eye candy, additive elements like teasers at the beginning and end of your content. Elements like humor, drama and surprise can all add to the value of your content as well. All of these elements create content and accentuate your message towards one that is worth remembering or taking action upon.


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The old style of marketing in the pre-Internet era made it much harder to measure and accurately quantify your success. Today, most old school media will also include some form of internet tracking as part of its methodology.  For example, most TV, radio and newspaper ads all direct traffic to a website or social media page. The Internet offers the best advertisement tracking available today. Any page that is viewed, any link that is clicked or any page mention can be tracked. Search and pay per click allows you to track and measure keywords, clicks, page views, messages and media performance. Social media allows you to track any keyword or phrase mentioned.  The internet also affords you the ability to target very specific demographic and psychographics so that you can hone in on your ideal customer profile. This ability to track actionable events makes digital media powerful. Trackability and migrating market share are two of the many reasons why all old school media is embracing the Internet as well.

Implementing the four Ps actually makes it easier to be found on the Internet. These elements all produce ranking factors. That is, they produce “Popularity Votes” making your content “Notable and Trustworthy.” Remember the four P’s are there to create an audience for your content, regardless of what type of content you’re producing. The total size, quality, market share and engagement of your audience determines your ranking. All of these elements also produce quality backlinks (i.e. Social post, blogs, podcast, YouTube videos, press releases, etc.…). Online, the web property with the biggest following wins. On the internet, this translates to who has the most backlinks producing the biggest buzz. Obviously this is a very dynamic process that is ever changing and requires constant new input (i.e. new content) to maintain position.

When you are next tasked with fighting the marketing dragon (i.e. creating an advertisement or marketing campaign) remember the four Ps of marketing success and their sub elements (quality, consistency, relevance, timeliness, wow factors and stickiness). These elements along with the others mention in this article will allow you to tame, (if not master) these two marketing dragons and successfully profit from your efforts.


Hector Cisneros is the president and COO for W Squared Media Group LLC. A digital Marketing Agency in the N.E. Florida Area. He is also the co-host of the BlogTalkRadio Show Working The Web To Win. W Squared Media also does Business as Working The Web To Win online and in Florida.