FreshBooks Redefines the Four P’s of Marketing: Parachutes, Pedicures, Pancakes, and Parking

by Andrea Wahbe

According to Toronto-based cloud accounting software provider FreshBooks, Jerome McCarthy’s theory of the four P’s of Marketing (Price, Product, Place and Promotion) “have gone unchallenged and unchanged while the world of business has transformed itself in nearly every conceivable way.”

On September 1, the company is launching a fresh and funny campaign that establishes a new set of four P’s: Pancakes, Parking, Pedicure, and Parachute. They're designed to encourage the use of FreshBook's new iPhone app for mobile invoicing.

A FreshBooks spokesperson says that the revised four P’s were “deliberately identified to represent a new crop of entrepreneurship that hinges on mobility and convenience.”

The four P’s were allegedly redefined by an esteemed panel of business scholars and experts who conducted an extensive thee-year study that is “being heralded as the new paradigm in business education, with business schools scrambling to update their curriculums.”

“This is like the Twilight of the business world,” says Professor John Frescalibros of Middleton University, New Hampshire, “it happens once in a lifetime, there are four of them to swoon over, and it makes me squeal like a teenage girl.”

Below is a summary excerpt from the tongue-in-cheek FreshBooks study defining the new four P’s.


A major commonality among subjects of the study was a thrill-seeking mentality marked by the desire to work for oneself in light of the risks usually faced by entrepreneurs. Often described “like jumping out of an airplane and not knowing if the parachute will open,” participants tended to be more independent and strong-willed than their 9-to-5 counterparts.


Independent business owners have both the time and the disposable income to indulge in domestic luxuries, most popular of which are massages, facials, and pedicures. Small business owners are 2.5x more likely to have a standing appointment at their local spa than those who do not work for themselves.


The 21st century entrepreneur is defined by his/her mobility between home office, client office, and all points in between. There has been a significant trend towards ‘uninhibited inspiration,’ where business owners do their work when and where they want, oftentimes at home during breakfast (also observed to be most productive when eating pancakes.)


Coupled with high mobility are high transportation-related costs. Dubbed the “2:10 Phenomenon,” entrepreneurs consistently outrun their parking meters by 10 minutes when on business travel, resulting in an average increase of 26% in transportation costs (due to parking tickets) over the typical full-time employee.

To support these, ahem, findings, FreshBooks will cover the bill for anyone who purchases any of the new four P’s when invoiced using the FreshBooks iPhone app from September 1 to September 21, 2012.  That means that the first 40 invoices for each New P (160 total) sent to FreshBooks via the Mobile app will be paid by them for one of the following treats that entrepreneurs so well deserve.

Parachuting: Enjoy a thrilling skydiving session on FreshBooks. The company will reimburse you up to $100 for your experience.

Pedicure: Need an hour of bliss? FreshBooks will gladly offer up to $40 for a pampering pedicure.

Pancakes: Deeelicious! FreshBooks is forking over up to $40 for a pancake breakfast—so be sure to share the treat with your friends or team.

Parking: The company will pay up to $40 to park anywhere you please.

The promotion is limited to one redemption per account (so choose wisely) and in Canada and the US.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In 2003, Mike McDerment, co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, accidently saved over an invoice, snapped and decided to create a better way to manage his books and bill clients. Since then, FreshBooks has emerged as the #1 cloud accounting specialist for small business owners by helping more than 5 million people track time, organize expenses and invoice clients in the cloud. Known for... more

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Andrea Wahbe

Andrea Wahbe

Andrea Wahbe is a freelance B2B marketing strategist and corporate storyteller who has contributed to the growth of online media businesses in Canada, such as AOL and Google. By day, Andrea writes about digital media and marketing trends and tips for Canadian startups and SMEs. By night, she’s an analog book reader, master swimmer and experimental chef.  more

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