The new 4Ps of Marketing to connect with Millennials and Gen Z

So, in our MBA marketing classes, we were taught about the 5Ps of marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, Place and People. They’ve been around forever; everyone knows them and they work. This format was introduced by Philip Kotler – Marketing demigod – and has been adopted by Marketers for over 50 years.

But is it outdated? Is it still relevant? Just like a 4:3 video format, mini DV tapes, CDs and muscle cars, this formula of thought bucketing is not relevant with millennials and Gen Z. See

The new present of the 4 Ps of marketing

Here are the refreshed Ps – originally suggested Sean Macdonald – Global Chief Digital officer McCann Worldgroup.


These are higher consciousness aspects of your brand and if you want to make a connection with them, you need to reflect and project your brand values. If it resonates with them, they will consider your products endorsed with inner validation.

We all resonated with Sonu Sood helping migrants during the lockdown. If individuals can touch hearts, marketing activities too.

A noteworthy campaign is ‘UnitedByVote’ by United Colors of Benetton. As India kicked off multi-phase National Elections, United Colors of Benetton came up with a strong and massive social media campaign titled #UnitedByVote – an initiative towards celebrating democracy and shows the power that every citizen holds by having voting rights. The campaign brought together big Indian celebrities like Saif Ali Khan, Bhumi Pednakar and many more. LINK


The mindset & thought process of millennials is experience-oriented and what this means is that you need to proclaim and live the culture and provide experiences. Positioning cannot be a hollow proclamation; it has to be visible.

Imagine if the Kala Ghoda festival was an idea curated by a corporate - for example - Indigo Airlines. Or FastTrac had patterns printed by local artists and upcoming illustrators and used their marketing muscle to make it a limited edition.

Over the last few years, Indian fashion brands and magazines are increasingly working with illustrators to create a new design vocabulary.

Adidas Originals’, for instance, launched their Holi collection in collaboration with Pharrell Williams in 2018. A host of young Indian independent illustrators were invited to create a set of different illustrations. Pratap Chalke made a vivid portrait of the American singer with shoelaces emerging from his Adidas jacket (), Mira Malhotra showed him surrounded by water guns, and Jasjyot Singh Hans sketched the hitmaker in his trademark hat.


This is probably the most powerful P you can adopt. It is THE context through which you should rehash your marketing spend.

Everyone loves the 'personal touch' or communication personalized to them. Personalization has gone beyond cake shops and greeting cards, and evolved over time. And now, every marketer is trying to strike the balance between scale and cost. The word personalization has oozed out of the gifting domain, by engraving on devices, personalized videos, garments, statements, recommendations. Gen Z and Millennials love this experience!


In early 2000s, Armed Force personnel were loved by corporates because they brought in discipline and crush the competition mind set. Today, it is no longer a zero-sum-game. Alliances, joint activities & cross branding are the new corporate flavour. Unfortunately, not many in India are lapping this up except a quality few.

Imagine this!
Make my Trip partnering with OYO for creating a VR festival of all state tourism boards. Or Nike tying up with Bata for encouraging users to recycle old shoes.
Exciting, right?

The most relevant case study to consider is the recent PepsiCo- Airtel campaign during the pandemic that turned the internet upside down. PepsiCo India partnered with Airtel to offer upto 2 GB of data with the purchase of LAY’S, Kurkure, Uncle Chips and Doritos packs. If you observe, this co-branding pact is backed by two key consumer insights – increased consumption of data and people spending more time at home, leading to increased in-home consumption of food and beverages.

Hello Marketers – maybe it’s time to tweak the P formulae.

Gen Z and Millennials are elusive, hard to bucket and decipher but to get a hold over their thinking process, forget the old 5Ps and reinvent your framework with the new 4Ps – Purpose, Positioning, Personalized and Partnerships.