AOL’s digital prophet claims the ‘four Ps of marketing’ are ‘absolute rubbish’

David Shing also suggested the era of celebrity influencers was coming to an end.

Photo by Jarle Naustvik

The ‘four Ps’ are a widely-adopted framework among marketers, with the likes of Tesco CEO Dave Lewis publically supporting their integration within big business.

And in a February Marketing Week poll, which generated nearly 800 votes, a resounding 77% of marketers answered yes when asked if the 4Ps of marketing were relevant to their job today. However, it’s fair to say Oath and AOL’s digital prophet (FYI – that’s a self-awarded title) David Shing isn’t much of a fan.

Speaking at the ProcureCon Marketing conference yesterday (15 June), Shing delivered an energetic, if rambling, presentation, where he seemed to dive through a different subject every 30 seconds while rapping unverified stat-after-stat to back up his many claims.

While making a point that the “wearable web” will be the next major trend for marketers, Shing claimed: “The 4 Ps of marketing are absolute rubbish.

“It’s true that 37% of kids are now better at swiping on iPads than their parents. If you give them analogue they think it is broken. So what’s the use of applying the four Ps that were invented in 1948 and are now so completely of out touch?”

READ MORE: The big debate: Are the ‘4Ps of marketing’ still relevant?

Shing was also critical of celebrity influencers and brand advocates. He believes consumers are now more influenced by their peers than a celebrity influencer network. The latter, he says, is “starting to backfire” because it’s too superficial.

However, just a few minutes earlier he had praised influencers, advising the audience: “If you can find a videographer, a DJ or an influencer you can make them part of your brand. You need to give them the tools to create stuff. The life of your content must start, not die, when it’s published and they can help with that.”

Even if Shing’s presentation was routinely contradictory, it injected flair into a conference grounded in the straight-laced world of procurement. At times, as Shing danced around the stage in glam rock sandals, the audience audibly gasped, unsure of what they were witnessing.

Shing’s final parting shot: “Ads suck, mobile ads are terrible. Messenger is the big problem as we need automation to be a lot smarter – 70% of people would rather read about a brand than be advertised to. So let’s evolve.”