The 5 P's of Marketing

Don’s Diary

Dislike of a decision is over shadowed by the frustrated thought – “How the hell did they come up with it this time?” It reflects a growing concern about the people and the process, a concern that will invariably result in the loss of Political Capital, a matter about which I wrote last month. There are valid decision making models suitable to grow the business.

Major marketing management decisions can be classified into the following five categories, or the 5 P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place (distribution), Promotion and People. These variables are known as “the marketing mix”. Is the concept applicable to Freemasonry? Can the variables be controlled in order to best satisfy our current and prospective members and produce an optimal outcome? If this model is not used, what is the alternative? It is something that our Masters and Committees of General Purposes should contemplate.

The “Product” Freemasonry seems to be our principal raison d'être or function: brotherly love, relief and truth, the way we appear and present ourselves, and how we regulate our affairs. “Promotion” is the communication strategies within our fraternity and the community at large and the potential for success in different sectors needs to be determined before this costly activity is undertaken. “People” is the way management wants its officers and staff to be, in terms of appearance and attitude and so on, in dealings with its internal customers that is current freemasons, and to the community at large, especially prospective freemasons.

“Place” conventionally relates to the channels of product distribution and includes market coverage and level of service. In Freemasonry it seems that it principally relates to the nature (including provision for the South), presentation of our masonic centres and their convenient, promotional location. In all the recent decisions that have been made on masonic centres I do not recall any explanation based on a marketing mix rationale.

Finally “Price”. A marketer will know a business must remain financially viable. However he would be unlikely to divide the total costs by the total membership and set the fees on that basis but a book keeper might try and do so. A marketer will be likely to set the entry costs as low as possible to as they are not a deterrent to organisational growth so that members feel that they are getting good value for money. Members will want their financial contributions directed to the furtherance of the great principles and not management follies. Marketers will know that if prices are increased significantly the membership profile will membership profile will be detrimentally altered whereas a sliding scale revenue levy on granting GL rank would not be likely to alter the membership profile or adversely impact on recruiting or retention. A levy, could be, say Grand Tyler $5k and increase for each higher rank upwards, together with an ongoing annual licence fee, again on an upwards sliding scale.

If business decisions are not based on this “marketing mix” model, what other rational model is used?

Yours fraternally ,

Don Paterson