By Diana Palau, on 8 May 2023
If you have ever studied marketing strategy, you have surely heard of the famous "4 Ps 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 4 Cs of marketing.
From the 4 Ps to the 4 Cs of Marketing
The classic "4 Ps 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 4 Cs 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 4 Cs of Marketing?
First and foremost is the consumer, the person who will actually be using the company's products or services.
Instead of focusing its efforts on the just on the product, a company must identify what the consumer's needs and desires are and design solutions for them.
The first step in understanding the consumer is developing a buyer persona. This is a semi-fictional representation of your brand's ideal customer focused on his or her needs and pain points.
In the 4 Ps model, the promotion of products and services is a key point, but this approach is too limited in today's marketing environment since digital media facilitate continuous interaction with the customer and this should not be exclusively promotional.
Therefore, the 4 Cs 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 or service, but on providing value to potential customers. Make sure you inform customers about what your brand offers and that you are available to answer questions or address concerns. This can be done quite easily and cheaply via social networks. In turn, this can increasing your engagement levels on social media.
Where the 4 Ps model focused on price, the 4 Cs 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. Think about what it takes for the customer to get the product. For example, the time it takes them to get to the location where it is sold (if that is a factor).
Also consider what the benefits of the product are for the customer and whether or not these are able to offset the total costs. If they don't, think about how you can adjust your sales process to make it more customer friendly.
The last of the 4 Cs 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 the ease of use or installation. The goal is to reduce friction and make the whole experience as convenient as possible.