Forget what you learned in school, here are the real 5Ps of marketing

In business school you learn the 5Ps of marketing: product, price, promotion, place and people. I remember studying them in an undergrad business course.

In theory, that sounds great, but if you come from the school of real-world hard-knocks, like me, then you know full well that those 5Ps are a load of sh**. My 20 plus years of being an entrepreneur, launching innovation and being a student of life have taught me that those 5Ps aren’t what make or break an entrepreneur’s success. Not even close.

Here are the REAL 5 Ps of Success.From Pursuit to Profit ™

Listen up entrepreneurs, this is especially true for you.

And remember, these are based on lessons from the street, not the classroom.

#1 Pursuit

Pursuit starts with passion. Not just what you love, but what is that knowledge and experience that you dream about, think about and live every day. Passion can be the cause you are super passionate about, the years of expertise you’ve amassed that gets you totally excited when someone asks you a question about it, or the thing that you love to do so much you can’t live with out it.

The cause, the expertise, the excitement….passion.

But, having passion isn’t enough. We are all passionate about something. You’ve got to take your passion to the next level.

What’s that one thing that you are so passionate about that you would be willing to bravely and vigorously pursue it for the rest of your life? That thing that is so important that the idea of being in a lifelong pursuit of it (and entrepreneurship is a quest you are on forever) would fill your heart and soul (and hopefully bank account, but we’ll get to that later). It’s so important you would be willing to navigate the ups and downs. That’s why the first P is Pursuit, not passion. We all have passions but are you willing to go in Pursuit of that passion?


Blake Mycoskie of Tom’s Shoes had a passion for putting shoes on kids in 3rd world countries so that they could attend school and get an education. He had so much passion that he decided to go into Pursuit of a solution.

I have a deep love for being disruptive and not just making a dent in the world, but giving other entrepreneurs the opportunity to make even more dents. And I’ve got 20 years of innovation under my leather belt. So, I went in Pursuit of building a platform that could make that happen.

#2 Product

You need to turn that passion that is so worthy of Pursuit into something people can actually buy. A product, a service, a class, a digital product, a store, etc. If you are a yoga instructor and love nutrition, turn that into a online course, a studio or “health in a box” people can buy. If you have years of marketing experience and love creating experiential marketing that goes beyond the billboard, turn that into a consulting service or program clients can buy. You get the picture. You’ve got to turn that pursuit into buy-able products and services. The key word here being, buy-able.

Tom’s Shoes. Kind of obvious, canvas shoes.

Example: – We give inventors and innovators a platform to test their inventions, gain feedback, and innovate to create the best new products. We just so happen to be the testing ground for the worlds coolest new ideas.

#3 Personality

Want to rise above the clutter and above SameCity? The next time you go to the grocery store I want you to take a meander down the cereal aisle. There are hundreds of options, and guess what, they all look the same. Maybe it says “extra fiber” on one box or “serving of fruit” on another but the truth is, they all look exactly the same – welcome to SameCity. To make an impact and not look exactly like everyone else out there you need to be unique. You need Personality.

If you are entering the organic/whole foods category where everyone is serious and oh-natural in their marketing, how about coming in with a little humor or irreverence. Think that would stand out on the shelf? Yea, it would. As an entrepreneur that Personality often comes from you and the good news about that is that there is no one else out there like you. You automatically make your idea unique. So layer on the Personality. It’s how you avoid SameCity. And you know what happens to entrepreneurial ideas that arrive in SameCity? Nothing, they just blend in with all the noise. Let’s avoid that!

Tom’s Shoes is down to earth, carefree, global and passionate. No other shoe company brings that to the table. It’s based on the founder Blake, and what they wanted to bring to the world.

#4 Path

This is the how. How are you going to get your idea out there. You’ll probably build a website but the whole “if you build it, they will come” is not true. If you believe in that you’ll hear nothing but crickets. What is true is that you need to go out and find your customers. First you need to discover where your customers cluster online and in the real world. Then figure out a Path to reach them.

If you have a bike store you might want to do Facebook ads to people that like REI because you know they are into biking and outdoor activities. Or have a kiosk on busy bike paths where bikers can stop and grab some coffee from you ( and check out your new bike). If you have a consulting service you can identify the top association and trade shows that will get you in front of your customers. Build the paths to your customers because they won’t find you on their own. A quick hint on this one, think about how you can be where your customers are, but your competition isn’t. I give some examples in this INC Article I was recently featured in.

Tom’s Shoes has online Facebook ads to people that care about buying from businesses with a social cause and they are in Nordstrom’s where people are buying shoes and not as price sensitive.

The Shuuk recently sponsored a Blue Ocean Entrepreneur Challenge put on by Colorado State University and Blue Ocean Foundation (started by the founders of Otterbox) because there are clusters of entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs there. We also do Facebook ads to people that like Kickstarter and Fast Company because we know that those people will want to know about a marketplace where they can work with entrepreneurs to make innovation a reality.

#5 Profit

I think this quote that someone once said to me sums this up perfectly, “it takes profit to make change.”

Any entrepreneur that comes to me and says, “I’m not in it for the money” or “I just want to provide value in the world, don’t care about the money” is basically telling me they have no business sense and are doomed to fail. You put as much value out into the world as you can, but if you can’t figure out a way to monetize it, or customers don’t seem to be willing to pay for it, then you can’t keep going. I want you to think about how you are going to actually make money and build a business so you can make as many dents as possible in the world.

In order to do that, you need to build a sustainable business. So, think about how you are going to make money. What are your driving revenue streams, your up-sells, your down-sells. It feels so good to provide someone extreme value and get rewarded for your efforts. Profit matters.

Tom’ Shoes – sells shoes that have a  margin large enough to make money. They donate a shoe to a child in need as well.

The Shuuk makes money by putting new inventions out into the world and into the hands of those that want to be in on the ground floor with entrepreneurs. We offer sponsorships to those that want to support and promote their businesses (if they fit our Personality and are of value to our customers) on our podcasts and marketing channels.

Walk through the REAL 5 Ps for your business. Whether you are just starting out or have an established business, start with the first P and work your way through. I’ll have more to come in the 21 Day Quest – The Real 5 Ps where we’ll actually do exercises to bring creativity and clarity to each P for you. But, it’s not ready for public viewing yet. For now, explore each P. You’ll learn a lot about your biz.

And make sure to comment below. How do you use one or all of the Real 5Ps in your biz to get ahead? There is a lot of magic in sharing with each other so don’t be selfish. Comment and let someone learn from you!

Here’s to making big, bold dents in the world – Tamara

 The Real 5Ps of Marketing, keys to success, entrepreneur, inventor website, tamara kleinberg, the shuuk

7 Responses to “Forget what you learned in school, here are the real 5Ps of marketing”

  1. Melissa says:

    Tamara! I absolutely love this..words for every entrepreneur to live by. I wish I had read this before I had started Klara Kelly but I guess it has been fun learning from my own experience! Thank you for this!!

  2. Braxton L. says:

    This is exactly what I needed today. Thank you. And you are so right, SameCity sucks. I’ve been there.

  3. Jessica says:

    Game changing! I’m going to schedule 3 hours and go through this. I find that I tend to not infuse enough of number #3 in my work. Not sure why, maybe afraid it will be to bold. This is a great path for entrepreneurs to take. Thanks!

  4. Leslie says:

    Thanks Tamara for turning to reality for inspiration! #5 Price has been a challenge that I’m working on, but I hadn’t thought about #3 Personality beyond the standard vision/mission kinds of things.

  5. Tamara @ The Shuuk says:

    Leslie – Personality matters so much. Without it you become a commodity. And we don’t want that do we?! :)))

  6. Laurie Y. says:

    Nailed it Tamara! I didn’t realize how much I missed #4. Yes, build the paths!

  7. Gregg H says:

    When I started out, I thought a lot about the 5 Ps. They weren’t articulated this way but in reflection I definitely went through this process.