Most marketing textbooks teach the 4 P’s of marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion). Although the promotion aspect of marketing gets the most attention the other 3 P’s are equally important in a successful business. If there’s no product worth buying, no amount of promotion will make it successful. Likewise, if the price is above what the market will allow, no units will move. Also, if you have everything else right (the price, product, and promotion are all ideal for the market) if the consumer can’t find how to obtain the product, it doesn’t do anybody any good.

However, I argue there is one more P that is the most important—people. We often use the term consumer so much we forget that everything we do as marketers and businesspeople is supposed to satisfy the needs and desires of people…real people. Today’s most successful companies are aware of this, and they incorporate people and their feedback into every component of marketing, from product design to communication. Smart companies know that people keep the bills paid. Smart companies know that people talk. Smart companies are coming up with solutions that people need and want often before people know they need and want them. Take Apple’s iPad for example.

Employees and customers must be treated with the utmost respect, as though they’re the ones making and buying the products. Oh wait, they are. Remember that.