The 7 P’s in a Digital Marketplace

I recently saw a quote from Jeff Bezos about Amazon, everyone’s favorite digital success story.  “We’ve had three ideas at Amazon that have stuck for eighteen years.  Put the customer first. Invent. Be patient.”

Sounds simple to me, but like most things in a headline-worthy soundbite, they are hard to accomplish.  In the book Digitize or Die by Nicolas Windpassinger, the author identified seven P’s of the new digital marketplace.  This is an expansion of the old marketing Four P’s – Price, Place, Promotion, and Product.  Let’s discuss how the 7 P’s fit in a digital marketplace.


1.  Product- Digitization of portfolios with connectivity built-in.

Think about products like a Ring doorbell (owned by Amazon) or a Nest thermostat (Google).  Items we never thought twice about can be digitally connected.  The increased connectivity adds value to the customer.  What products are in your company’s arsenal that can be digitized?

2.  Place- E-commerce and on-line ordering.

We don’t set aside time to aimlessly peruse the mall anymore.  Your company’s products- even B2B products- need to be available to other companies in an e-commerce setting.  Buyers search online first when looking for solutions.  Make sure your products are in the right marketplaces.

3.  Price- Online quotation.

To support selling products in an e-commerce environment, you must provide quotes online.  This drives the opportunity for scaling your revenue while eliminating a point of friction between you and your customer.  Depending upon your industry, you may provide ways to configure your product online.

4.  Promotion- Digital marketing through social media, and SEO.

Small entities can take advantage of SEO and social media to target customers, shouldn’t your larger organization?  Many of the social media opportunities are underpriced compared to their ROI.  Think about it, Linked In, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tik Tok are FREE.  Be where your customers are.

5.  People- Human interactions are becoming more digital through video and chat features.

As native technology users are more common in the workplace, they are accustomed to and many prefer digital interactions.  This is quicker than traveling throughout the US or the World to conduct business.  Your company will increase sales and the speed of business through digital interactions.

6.  Processes- Ordering processes are becoming digital.

To support the move to e-commerce and online price quotation, ordering processes need to be digital.  Who wants to configure a product online then pick up a phone to complete an order?  No one.  Make sure customers can complete a transaction while visiting your site.

7.  Physical Evidence- Virtual Reality and Blockchain will provide virtual evidence.

Supply chains will use private blockchain technology to capture inputs into the entire value chain.  Everyone within the value chain will update their information for everyone to see.  Using blockchain means a transaction can’t be altered unless a new transaction is entered in the blockchain.

Virtual Reality can send evidence of receipt of goods, inspection data/criteria, and machine performance.  VR provides video proof regarding business activities throughout the value chain.

These 7P’s are a fantastic framework to consider when looking at the big picture of your products and customers.  It is important to understand the customer journey as they enter your ecosystem.  You should test how well you perform against these customer expectations:

  1. Do we understand customer pain points and the benefits they expect?
  1. Do we understand our current value propositions and how we meet those pain points?
  1. Have we identified gaps between the current customer experience and what it should be?  Have we developed the “Future State” and are we making improvements to move toward the future state?
  1. Are we moving from customer service to a broader “customer experience” mindset?  What is missing from a technology and support perspective that will delight our customers and turn them into brand advocates?

Using our Smart Value Stream Mapping® tool we can help you test your performance against these customer expectations within a few days!  This will help you perform in a digital marketplace.

You can listen to the podcast episode at American Lean Weekday.

You can listen to it on YouTube here!