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7 December 2013

The 20 Ps of Marketing

Tag(s): Marketing
This week my book The 20 Ps of Marketing; the complete guide to marketing strategy was published by Kogan Page. I set out to write the book for those who know that it’s a fast changing world and the traditional lessons they learnt about marketing in business school are not up to the job. Everyone is familiar with The Four Ps of Marketing, first developed in the 1960s by McCarthy in Marketing while Kotler states that there are always four elements in the Marketing mix, and for ease of recollection each began with a P. My book builds on the traditional 4 Ps and adds 16 more. In developing the idea of “The 20 Ps of Marketing” I have not simply raided Roget’s Thesaurus. I have drawn as much as possible on my own experience and the unique insights that working for, and with, some of the greatest brand owners in the world have given me.
The first group of Ps I call the core. They are the original four to which I have added Packaging. In some versions this is included in Product and it also can be confused with Promotion. They are distinctive exercises. Group Two covers the actions taken by the Product manager: Planning, Persuasion, Publicity, Push-Pull, Positioning. Group Three covers the measurements of success: Profit, Productivity, Partnership, Power, Perception. The final Group covers the behaviours of those involved: People, Positiveness, Professionalism, Passion, and Personality.
I think the book will give the reader a wider and deeper understanding of marketing supported by the extensive experience of the author. Von Clausewitz was able to write superior studies on military strategy because of his own extensive experience fighting in the Napoleonic wars. And so the reader will be better equipped to perform his job. They can then get a good night’s sleep with confidence based on real life experience rather than academic observation.
Sir John Hegarty, iconic founder of the Advertising agency Bartle Bogle and Hegarty said:
'Make sure you read this book. It could be the difference between success and failure.'

To try a sample chapter go to:

For the table of contents go to:
The idea is novel though others have added the occasional P to the original 4. Noone to my knowledge has gone as far as I have. Why did I think I could write such a book? Well, at first I didn’t know I could and set out as an experiment to see. But then I reflected that I have unique experience in marketing and general management with great brand owners, Procter & Gamble, Mars, Pillsbury, Sony and Pentland. I am the only person who has received all of the following honours: Fellow of the Marketing Society; Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts; Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing; Election to the Marketing Hall of Fame; Member of the Marketing Group of Great Britain; and now a Warden of the Worshipful Company of Marketors.
It is a few years since I was directly in the front line of marketing although I continue to advise companies on their strategy.  Marketing is always topical but the challenges have seldom been so acute. The model of ever growing consumerism may not be sustainable in a world of finite resources without new business models. Marketing needs to lead these.
In writing the book I had encouragement from three academics to whom I  showed some of the work: Professor Hugh Davidson, a distinguished writer of books on marketing, Professor Paul Burns, then Dean of the University of Bedfordshire Business School and author, and Professor Malcolm McDonald, Visiting Professor at several universities and author of 45 published books. All went on to give the book their endorsements which I include later in this blog.
I have written the book with the experience of 40 years in business and therefore have written it with an eye to long term truths. The fundamentals are universal and perennial. Techniques change as for example with social media. But there is always constant pressure on budgets, a constant need for innovation, and now an increasing if belated recognition of the importance of sustainability. In addition, I don’t know if there has ever been a time in my career when ethical issues were raised so frequently. I deal with all of these issues as well as perennial issues of how to succeed in Marketing.
As long as I can remember I have always been interested in brands. Later when I became a brand manager I attended a training course run by the Chartered Institute of Marketing and first became aware of the famous Four Ps of Marketing. For me as someone whose experience of business was practical before it was theoretical I was always uneasy about this message. Surely there was more to it than that. And there was. And there is.
As I climbed the tree and found myself on boards - I was 32 when I was first made a Marketing Director and sat on a Board - I became aware of a general malaise in the profession that there weren’t enough of us.  But if I was on a Board where someone had the role of Marketing Director and tried to claim responsibility for these four Ps but not others I would be seriously concerned about the direction of the business
I have been running businesses for over 30 years. I have managed everything from start-ups to cash cows. I have worked in privately held businesses as well as publicly quoted companies. I have worked in fast moving consumer goods, in durables and in business to business. I have worked for British, American, Japanese, Jewish and Iranian run companies. I have run my own business. I have transacted business in over 50 territories all over the world. And I have always done that with a deep rooted foundation in marketing.
And now for some of those endorsements:
“David Pearson is one of the most experienced and talented marketing professionals I have ever met. I read and enjoyed every word of this book, which is an absorbing and exciting exposé of marketing best practice. The mini case histories are brilliant and the lessons David Pearson spells out will be of enormous value to practising marketing executives. Students of marketing would also learn a lot about the application of marketing theory.
It was great to read such an unusual, interesting and useful book.”
Professor Malcolm McDonald MA(Oxon) MSc PhD DLitt DSc
Emeritus Professor of Marketing, Cranfield University School of Management
"This original yet highly practical book will not only help Marketers do a better job next Monday morning, but also, properly applied, enable them to advance their capabilities over the next five years.

 David Pearson's successful experience at a senior management level in consumer goods, hi tech, and business to business, for first rate American, European, and Japanese companies, give him a unique perspective.

 Those who wonder why Marketers often lack a strong voice in the Boardroom, how they can radically raise their productivity in this digital age, and whether they are following the right priorities, will find the answers in this book. This is a "Must Read" for all Marketers, in companies big and small, especially for ambitious people who wish to move up into senior management. It re-positions and expands the key principles of Marketing in a readable and actionable way". 

 Hugh Davidson, co-founder of Oxford Strategic Marketing, author of "Even More Offensive Marketing" and "The Committed Enterprise". __________________________________________________________________________

“A rare man is David: possessed of a remarkable intellect, an insatiable curiosity about customers and a gift for seeing what really matters commercially. I've known David for many years as colleague at Mars, Inc., and through the Marketing Society where I was Chairman. Here he has helped us all by grasping the central truths of marketing - never accept that marketing is all about 'gut feel' - and vividly demonstrated how this understanding turns into success. His light touch and powerful examples make this the perfect book for practitioner and student alike. Everyone needs to know a marketing guru like David - now you can.”
Stephen Robertson Former Marketing Director Mattel, B&Q, Woolworth and WH Smith and Director General of the British Retail Consortium.

“A brilliant read from a great marketing practitioner. David tells it as it is. A crystal clear exposé of marketing practice rather than just the theory. A wealth of knowledge and experience distilled into simple rules for application. From the blue chip marketeer to the entrepreneur there is sound advice for everyone “

Alan McWalter former Marketing Director of Comet and Marks and Spencer __________________________________________________________________________________
“This finer gradation of the 4Ps expertly shows superb insights to marketing strategy.  Readers are treated to the significant senior experience of the author who masterly uses practice to bring theory to life. A particularly helpful book for marketers charged with developing more effective marketing strategies.”

Leslie de Chernatony BSc PhD FCIM FMRS
Professor of Brand Marketing

 “The 20 Ps of Marketing” is a very enjoyable read; relaxed, yet practical with plenty of good advice, but not a textbook. 
Whilst it is full of real life examples and case studies, these are delivered in a flowing, conversational style.  Some of these cases may be familiar to the experienced marketing executive, but the book works as a good advisor and reminder to salesmen, customers and aspiring marketors alike:  a good read.”

Tony Cowling, Life President Taylor Nelson Sofres plc _________________________________________________________________________________

“Emerson said build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. Well David Pearson has written a significantly better book on marketing and any marketer, indeed any business person, should beat a path to reading it soonest. David Pearson has combined his considerable breadth of business experience and his wide range of international working to produce an original and powerful insight into how the marketing function can work when managed well. Avoiding the traps of excessive business jargon and obscure theories on consumer behaviour, Pearson’s book points a practical, realistic way forward for marketing, and general management, in the 21st century.”

Peter Mitchell, former Strategic Affairs Director, Guinness PLC; former President, World Federation of Advertisers _________________________________________________________________________________

“At last a guide – from a doyen of marketing – with no pat case histories, but, instead, real war stories from the front line”

Sir Chris Powell,  Chairman of NESTA and former Chairman & CEO, BMP DDB __________________________________________________________________________________

“This is a highly enjoyable read for marketers at all stages of their career. The more mature will smile and nod with recognition, and the less experienced marketers will find the insights invaluable”.  

Hugh Burkitt, Chief Executive, The Marketing Society __________________________________________________________________________________
“Excellent - very well written, entertaining & insightful and very readable.”
Professor Paul Burns
Fellow and a former President of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE).
To buy the book go to

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