By Diana Palau, on 4 October 2021
If you have ever studied marketing strategy, you have surely heard of the famous "4Ps of marketing" or price, product, promotion, and placement. But as our understanding of marketing evolves, new theoretical models are emerging. The time has come for the 4Cs of marketing.
From the 4Ps to the 4Cs of Marketing
The classic 4Ps of marketing model explains four key factors that influence the marketing and sales of the product. While they can be very useful from a sales point of view, they do not reflect the reality of everything that happens in marketing, as they focus on the company that produces the products.
The 4Cs are a paradigm shift because they put the consumer at the center. This fits much better in today's marketing ecosystem, where customer needs are paramount and consumers have a great deal of decision-making power.
What Are the 4Cs of Marketing?
The first and most important is the consumer, the person who will actually be using the company's products or services.
Instead of focusing its efforts on the product itself, a company must identify what the consumer's needs and desires are and design solutions for them.
The first step in moving towards this understanding of the consumer is to develop a buyer persona, that is, a semi-fictional representation of the brand's ideal customer focused on his or her needs and pain points.
In the 4Ps model, "promotion" of products and services is a key point, but this approach is too limiting in today's marketing environment, since digital media facilitate continuous interaction with the customer and this should not be exclusively promotional.
Therefore, the 4Cs of marketing focus on communication, which includes all interactions between consumers and brands. The focus is no longer on convincing the public about the virtues of a product, but on providing value to potential customers.
Where the 4Ps model focused on price, the 4Cs of marketing model extends this concept to talk about cost.
The price the customer pays for a product is only a small part of the real cost. We need to think about what it takes for the customer to get the product, for example, the time it takes to get to the location where it is sold (if that is a factor).
We also need to consider what the benefits of the product are for the customer and whether or not these are able to offset the total costs.
The last of the 4Cs of marketing focuses on the consumer's shopping experience. It seeks to make it as easy as possible for people to purchase products and services.
Thus, we not only have to think about the locations where products or services will be distributed, but also about things like online shopping or ease of installation. The goal is to reduce friction and make the whole experience as convenient as possible.