In 1981, the original four Ps of marketing were updated to the seven Ps, allowing for an increasingly service-based economy.


Where were we?


So far in this series, we have covered the original four Ps, but today we introduce the fifth one.

Have you followed the story over the last few blog posts? If you don’t know the context or why I chose the classic tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to illustrate the marketing mix in a light-hearted way, click through to the first episode here.

It’s time to introduce our next character.


Episode 5 – People


In our story thus far, Snow White has been discovered sleeping in the little home of the Seven Dwarfs, having cleaned and swept and cooked. It was a big surprise and not all the dwarfs welcomed her.

It was Bashful who greeted her with a blushing smile.

I chose Bashful the dwarf in Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs to represent People in the seven Ps of marketing.


Image source: Walt Disney


People form the backbone of good service. It is people who make good marketing. The element of ‘People’ in the seven Ps refers to everyone related to the marketing effort.

Bashful is known to be kind-hearted, endearing. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and Snow White immediately recognises him when she sees him blushing. He makes a connection.

School marketing is all about relationships, and authenticity is key.


What can you do to apply the learning about People?


Here is a  useful exercise:

  1. Map out every person in your organisation who interacts with the customer and how they affect the marketing effort. Buy-in of these people is essential to marketing. The receptionist or security guard can make or break the first impression of your school.
  2. Build buy-in through engaging, empowering, training. Workshops can be very useful to break down silos and remove any misunderstanding regarding marketing’s role in the school.
  3. Today, we are in the age of authentic marketing. Through the element of People, share stories on living your values. Invite staff and students to contribute stories, videos, images (especially based on strategic themes) or suggest they invite you to join the lesson to cover it for them.This authenticity in content builds customer trust and retention.

I think Bashful was secretly in love with Snow White.

To succeed in marketing, we need to love People.

Because People buy from People!

If you are looking for consulting services in school marketing strategy, please contact me. My book, ‘A Guide to Effective School Marketing’ published by ISASA covers the Marketing Mix as applied to school marketing and is available for order on the ISASA website here.




I'm Keryn House

I enjoy creating marketing anecdotes and visuals related to my horse as there is a lot to be learned from animals, and this provides a unique context to my writing. My horse Slick (aka Sports Express) has been with me for many years and is a source of inspiration and relaxation for my strategic mind. He lives on a friend’s farm in KZN and I see him twice a week.

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