Love and Relationships: The 4Ps

So, one of my girl-friends is one of those fabulous, educated chicks who lovessssssssss men! (don’t we all… well…..). And, in addition to coordinating her wardrobe, being the chief adviser on hair, make-up, and boyfriend issues, I have pledged to help her study for her exams.

During one of our study sessions, she was rambling on and on about some sort of marketing mix or whatever, and something about 4-Ps. But during her rambling (and me trying to figure it out) she was making an analogy about a product of some sort and how to use this ‘marketing mix’ to get the product sold. So, being the fabulously attentive guy that I am, I asked her to explain to me what the hell this marketing mix is! Well, she said, (quiet eloquently too… You go girl!!!) ‘’the marketing mix refers to the PRODUCT, PRICE, PLACE, and PROMOTION a company uses to sell off a good/service.’’ And then she went on and on about how the PRODUCT is what is being offered to the customer, the PRICE is what the customer is willing to pay for the product, the PLACE is where you get that product, and the PROMOTION is what the company does to get the customers’ attention.

So, after chit-chatting with her and studying, it got me thinking of the 4Ps! – If a company has a product that it wants to sell to a customer in order to satisfy a need, and that company can mix the right cocktail of ‘’Ps’’ in order to attract and retain a customer, why can’t we do this? Huh? Why not? After all, Christmas is right around the corner and a good ‘’purchase’’ would be a Christmas gift I know you could use. So I thought, what are my 4Ps? Do I have a ‘P’, more so four? Do you? Does everyone? Then I wondered, if someone is really serious about dating and finding that right guy, wouldn’t we have to address our ‘Ps’. Wouldn’t we need to identify what exactly our ‘’product’’ is? Wouldn’t we need to price our ‘’product’’ and state what will it take for a ‘’customer’’ to acquire this precious merchandise?  Wouldn’t we need to apply a pricing strategy? – whether premium pricing, psychological pricing, competitive pricing, or penetration pricing (I just like the sound of this one…lololol). But think about it! Wouldn’t we need to determine where is the best location for potential ‘’customers’’ to find the ‘’products’’ and maybe take some time to learn about the various qualities and attributes that the ‘’product’’ has? Wouldn’t we need to devise strategies to draw the attention of “customers”? – Whether by personal selling, direct mail or public relations. Well, I think so! I think this is the answer we have been searching for! The 4Ps!

Needing more clarity on this ‘’Ps’’ issue, I called back my fag-hag-turned-star-student to ask her to explain in more details what these ‘Ps’ are about. So, according to her [I hope you trust her as much as I do], the ‘’product’’ would certainly be us. The ‘’product’’ would represent what we have to offer to a potential ‘’customer’’ (boyfriend/ girlfriend/ partner): that is, our personalities, our hearts, our individualisms, our commitment to love and our ability to be loved, our beautiful minds, our fabulous bodies (well, at least yours… mine is a train-wreck), our killer ass and abs (well, I have the ass.. as for the abs.. nope), our passionate kisses and award winning oral skills, among others (if you know what I mean J). And we all know that with any good product, the package is important! Presentation! Presentation! Presentation!

Having a fabulous product is one thing. Now we need to determine the market value of that ‘product’. So, she said that the ‘’price’’ tells the ‘’customers’’ how much they will need to spend in order to acquire the ‘’product’. Then, according her [again, do you trust her?] the ‘price’ is what your ‘’customer’’ has to lay on the table to ‘’win the bid of purchase’’. That is, his heart; his respect for you; his commitment to loving you unconditionally; his ‘sex-buddy’ or whatever (he has to give this up); and of course his luscious lips, charming smile, ripping abs and eyes that just captivate you and win you over.

So with a ‘’product’’ on the market and a ‘’price’’ attached to it, the next ‘P’ to worry about is the ‘’promotion’’ (how the hell are you going to get the attention of your ‘customers’?). What can you do to attract that fabulous dashing guy you have had your eye on all this time? What chic outfit can you whip up to maximize your assets and minimized your flaws? What signs/messages can you send to the target ‘customer’ to say, ‘‘Hey boo. I like you. I dig you. I am available. Come over here and poke around a little?’’ So, maybe a direct approach is needed in some cases. Drive or die, BITCH!! Approach the ‘customer’ directly, either by mail or face-to-face. With this approach you know if the ‘customer’ is interested within minutes of the first contact. This is a risky move, but with great risks come great rewards! If you are not so brave to pull off a face-to-face encourage, there is always the ‘’PR Department’’ (close friends, mutual friends, your ‘side kick’) to work on that ‘customer’. A good ‘’PR Department’ is a close friend, fag-hag or mutual friend who goes in for ‘the kill’ for you and promote the ‘product’ by selling the good points of the ‘products’ and try to spark the ‘customer’s’ interests in the ‘product’. An effective ‘’PR Department’ tries to arrange a one on one ‘sampling’ of the ‘product’ via a lunch date, a movie, a lyme, a BBQ invite, cocktails after work, or whatever.

‘’Place’’…..What do you think this means? No..no.. It’s not sleazy motel where you are going to ‘’do it’’ with the guy! (Well, it can be if you want it to be… lolol)… So, I asked my little star-student what does ‘place’ mean and after she franticly flipped through her notes she came out with, ‘’where ever the customer has to go to acquire the ’product’.’’  So, this could be anything from a sleazy bar on some back street to dating online. The ‘’places’’ greatly depend on what city you are in. It could be at a library; a nice chic bar which serves excellent cocktail on coasters; the movies; a trendy gay club in Doyama-cho (Osaka); a chic restaurant in Shinsaibashi (Osaka): a certain Latin club in Himeji; an art gallery; riding the train and starting to chit chat with a cute guy who is sitting beside you; while shopping for that winter sweater to pair with your dynamite-of-a-pant. But where ever the ‘place’ might be, it’s important that the ‘customer’ interfaces/interacts with the ‘product’ and get a good idea of exactly what the ‘product’ has to offer and if that ‘product’ is exactly he (the ‘customer’) needs.

When a ‘customer’ goes shopping, he goes with the intention of finding a ‘product’ to satisfy all his specific needs. With the right marketing mix, that precious merchandise could land in the shopping bag of an ideal ‘customer’. All it takes is the correct combination of the 4Ps! Do you know your ‘Ps’? What are they? Ensure that the next time you place your ‘product’ on the market for a ‘Purchase with no refund option’ you pour all your ‘Ps’ in a cocktail mixer and mix the helllllllllllllllllll out of your Ps until you get the correct combination and pour yourself a cocktail of winning ‘Ps’.  The 4Ps: my marketing mix(er). A Christmas gift from me (Dwayne) to you. [PS: By the time this gets published, I should lying on a beach on the Red Sea enjoying the products of my COCKtail.] MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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