Marketing may be defined as placing the proper product in the right place, at the proper price and at the right time frame. This is the 4Ps of Marketing Mix, a foundation model in marketing that has been the dominant framework for marketing management decision making for the past half century after first being published in 1960.Yet today, Joe Ghantous asserts that the 4Ps can be expanded and enhanced through a new concept he coined the '4Ts of Marketing Mix.' In this interview, Ghantous outlines the variables that comprises the 4Ts of Marketing, as he explains all the benefits of this new marketing model created to help determine a clear and effective strategy for SME companies, the world over.
What’s the story behind the “4Ts of digital marketing operations” concept?
It all started in the 1960 when Jerome McCarthy had come up with the “4Ps of Marketing – The Marketing Mix” concept that sets up controllable variables (Product, Place, Price and Promotion) to help brands influence their buyers’ response. Seven years later, Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, had popularized this concept in his book ‘Marketing Management’, often referred to as the bible of marketing.
After 50 years, the time has come to create a new marketing concept that meets the digital age and allows brands to simply manage and implement any digital marketing activity. Therefore, on January 9, 2017 after 18 years of experience in digital marketing, studying the market requirements, and analyzing the active digital marketing campaigns, I have come up with “The 4T’s of Digital Marketing Operations”, a new marketing concept that combines and derives benefits from its four factors of success (Tactics, Tools, Training & Tracking) to cost-effectively accomplish the operations’ desired goals and objectives.
Is the 4Ts model a substitute to the 4Ps?
This new innovative notion wasn’t initiated to replace the 4Ps but to carry on its legacy and rather build upon what McCarthy offered.
The 4Ps - Marketing Mix was initiated in a time where the market’s competition was limited and this concept only focused on clients’ satisfaction by fulfilling their basic needs whereas The 4Ts works on delighting clients through building strong and deep relationships with them.
Moreover, the 4Ps ingredients are product oriented focusing shallowly on the promotion process while the 4Ts is generated on the promotion process whilst taking into consideration the technological tools to advertise these services & products in a way to cope with the new digital marketing era and assure the success of any digital marketing operation.
These two concepts intertwine together to support brands all the way from the early production phase until the promotion and selling phases. Thus the secret sauce for successful marketing is working based on these two concepts sequentially.
“The 4Ts marketing concept came as a solution for small and medium companies to assist them in overcoming the reasons of failure and fulfilling their business objectives and goals.”
Can you elaborate further about this marketing concept?
A study conducted in 2019 by Arab Development Portal showed that 90% of the companies in the Arab world are of small and medium size. Another finding revealed that 20% of SME businesses in the region fail in their first year, 30% fail in their second year, 50% fail after five years and 70% of them fail in their 10th year.
The main reasons behind this failure is their lack for a clear strategy implementation, a mis-selection of digital marketing tools for their campaigns with no understanding of the basic know-how of such tools and finally failing to effectively track their performance along the way until reaching their strategic goals.
The 4Ts marketing concept came as a solution for these small and medium companies to assist them in overcoming the reasons of failure and fulfilling their business objectives and goals while using digital marketing fortified with its four pillars of success:
- TACTICS that help companies build an effective digital marketing strategy.
- TOOLS that help companies choose the right digital marketing tools and advertise online.
- TRAINING that helps companies learn the effective use of the selected digital tools.
- TRACKING that helps companies track their online campaigns.
For the importance and effectiveness of these pillars, we, at Right Service, as a digital marketing agency, had re-shaped our solutions based on them, by offering our clients in the Middle East a success formula that doesn’t require us to sell it.
To whom this concept is tailored?
The 4T’s marketing concept is the success equation for small and medium sized companies along with being a formula to evaluate the effectiveness of running digital marketing operations in big companies and agencies by considering the outcomes of each pillar (Tactics, Tools, Training & Tracking) as a key performance indicator (KPI), to grade the performance for each T and diagnose the flaws.
“After 50 years, the time has come to create a new marketing concept that meets the digital age and allows brands to simply manage and implement any digital marketing activity.”
How well is this marketing concept working in reality, inside companies and universities?
Since January 2017, the 4Ts marketing concept was successfully implemented on hundreds of brands in Lebanon and the world including but not limited to Omniyat Al Mustaqbal – KSA, Sibline Cement Factory – Lebanon, Domaine Wardy – Lebanon, GMCS – MENA, Hobeika RFS – Lebanon, ArabAd Magazine – Middle East, and many others
As for universities, the journey had just started through regular visits to Lebanese universities in order to introduce their marketing students to the 4Ts marketing concept and other related topics under “Fill the Gap” project. This project is an educational initiative by Right Service and the Middle East Social Media Festival made to bridge the gap between university curriculums and digital marketing continuous updates, in order to empower Lebanese university students to be ready for the working field with all the needed knowledge and skills.
These visits included but are not limited to the Lebanese American University (LAU), Saint Joseph University (USJ), Beirut Arab University (BAU), Lebanese Canadian University (LCU), and many others.
Where do you see the 4Ts few years ahead?
The 4Ts marketing concept is still in its first stages and the best is yet to come. Keep calm and wait!
We are working on backing this concept with supportive tools, similar to a digital marketing strategy platform that helps companies successfully implement their strategies, in addition to publishing a marketing book that covers in depth the 4Ts concept and its ingredients to be taught in universities across the world.
What’s the final word you wish to share?
At the end, I would like to share great news for advertising agencies.
Right Service as the owner of this concept is now franchising the 4Ts of Digital Marketing Operations to other agencies, allowing them to implement this Lebanese formula of success to their clients worldwide.
Joe Ghantous is a Lebanese young entrepreneur and digital marketing expert. He is best known as the founder of Beirut-based digital agency Right Service, the Middle East Social Media Festival and Award (MESMF & MESMA) and founder of the Social Media Influencers Association. Ghantous is also the author of “Employee Advocacy on Social Media” book and the person behind the “4t’s of Digital Marketing Operations” concept.
Ghantous graduated in Law and Business Administration with first class honors. He has over 10 years of experience in social media speaking and consulting services to B2C and B2B businesses; he holds a digital marketing certificate from ESA - Business Schools and has been certified, in the Middle East, as a digital marketing expert and keynote speaker from Hootsuite University, Facebook and Google.