Baking up the seven P’s for modern marketers

Aaron BeckhouseBakehouse Ferguson Plarre is revolutionising the traditional marketing mix one baked good at a time says Aaron Beckhouse, who explains the importance of keeping the marketing industry fresh and inspiring, in seven simple steps in a piece that first appeared in Encore.

1. Politics

We all need to be responding to the world around us and be conscious of real issues. Whether it’s the morning papers or a Twitter feed, we need to ensure we’re identifying opportunities and reacting to the latest news and events. At Ferguson Plarre we want to have a bit of fun and approach this creatively. For example, politics need not be boring when you have the ‘Free Sauce Party’, campaigning for the permanent presence of free sauce for meat pies.

What I’m saying is that companies need to be relevant and connected to the political landscape.

7 marketing Ps2. Pop culture

Businesses must keep up with the times, and trends are always on our radar. It could be food trends, street food, social media, video on Instagram or the endless tagged #food-porn blogs, we are constantly on the lookout for the latest trend (both culinary and culturally) and pounce to our advantage.

3. Personality

The greatest brands in the world are more than the products they sell, they own an emotion. For Red Bull it’s adrenalin, and for Coke it’s fun. We’ve really taken to the idea of ‘goodness’ and all that it entails. Be good. It filters through everything we do, in the bakehouse, in the office or online. Sourcing ingredients, production processes, staff training, customer service; we live and die by our brand values.

4. Participation

Brands and businesses need to make themselves accessible to customers and communities. Online, at the footy club, or even on the other side of the world, we make an effort to be involved in what our supporters are doing. With Ferguson Plarre being a franchise business, we really focus on our employees and community partners, ensuring that we have assets available to encourage team attributes. We have a buddy system that means that every new staff member, be it an apprentice baker or marketing manager, gets partnered with another employee ensuring they feel like part of the family. Brands must be prepared to engage with their communities both internally and externally.

5. Passion points

Beyond products and services, companies are increasingly expected to understand, tap into and respond to the bigger social challenges. The importance of thinking about the social return on investment is our passion point. Ferguson Plarre is one of the first bakeries to build a commercial kitchen geared towards tackling climate change by being more sustainable and energy efficient. Brands need to be transparent, show they stand for something aspirational and show customers that they care.

6. People

Your employees, customers and the wider community all have the potential to be brand ambassadors whether engaging with parenting bloggers about birthday cakes, or staff offering information on the nutritional value of products, it’s important to connect with people around your brand, and build relationships. Innocent Drinks in the UK do it really well and so does Yeo Valley yogurt. It’s about connecting to a cultural ideology and not talking to people, but talking with them.

7. Pies

You’re only as good as your last pie. Consumers are fickle and brand loyalty is diminishing, so we only get one bite of an opportunity to deliver on our brand promise – goodness. For us, it’s wholesome food that you can rely on, made by a family who cares. Nothing beats being really good at what you do.


Aaron Beckhouse is the marketing manager of Ferguson Plarre.

Encore Issue 24

This story first appeared in the weekly edition of Encore available for iPad and Android tablets. Visit for a preview of the app or click below to download.


  1. Pointless
    29 Jul 13
    9:49 am

  2. Noone can even agree what the first 4 p’s are. There is no way someone will remember this list of 7. We need a new metaphor.

  3. Mike
    29 Jul 13
    12:55 pm

  4. Wtf does “goodness” actually mean?

    FMCG marketers seem to love the word…

  5. Angela
    29 Jul 13
    1:47 pm

  6. Delightful reading. Point #3 and #6 are more important than ever, as people like to identify with things more than ever before. There are businesses or stores I feel ‘at home’ when I visit them, whether it’s because of their product, their service, or just the fact that the image/values they present appeal to me. This kind of thing then makes them one of my first choices when I am considering spending my money on something, and I will start by seeing if they have what I want before considering other options.