4 C’s of Marketing refers to the 4 key factors that can help in designing, developing, analyzing, and optimizing a Marketing Strategy. These 4 cs are- customers, cost, convenience, and communication.
Being a customer-oriented marketing model, 4cs marketing complements the marketing mix or the 4 Ps of marketing. They are dedicated to the optimization of marketing and selling of products and services, plus they also pay heed to the communication with the target audience from the initial stages of a marketing model to optimizing customer experience and loyalty.
What are the 4 C’s of Marketing?
4c’s of marketing is an instrument that empowers a marketing strategy by focussing on the customer/consumer wants and needs along with cost convenience and communication aspects of the marketing mix.
Robert F. Lauterborn developed the 4Cs marketing model in 1990 which is actually a modification of the 4Ps model.
All the other marketing tools work quite well in tandem with these 4c’s of marketing. The 4c’s stand for Customers, Costs, Convenience, and Communications.
Let us go through them here and now-
Understanding 4 Cs
In any competitive market in the world, Customer or Consumers are always kings. The product fails to garner demand if the consumers are unwilling to pay the money to use the product.
So, understanding the needs of the consumers is the priority of the companies. So, the product can be made as per the consumers’ demands to satisfy the demands, needs, and wants of the consumers.
Understanding the consumer wants and needs helps in designing the right product, and hence this first c of marketing is essential for the first p of marketing mix i.e. product.
The final price of the product is only a singular factor in the total cost of a product. The most crucial element of the marketing mix is the Cost and cost affecting the consumers’ decision.
So, there is an urgent need for marketers to emphasize the cost of the product. Paying heed to the wants and needs cost helps in deciding the right product price.
When it comes to the sales arena of the marketing mix, convenience is a powerful tool. The convenience at which the products are available to the customers for purchase plays a role in the satisfaction levels.
For instance, while selling heavier products like an air conditioner and a refrigerator. The installation and shipping of these heavy products is a primary concern for the seller. A consumer might choose the seller that provides the most convenience to him.
The target audience always craves more convenience and a marketing strategy that ensures convenient customer service and experience always penetrates more target market.
A marketer needs to emphasize good communication of a product rather than great promotion for the same. In the eyes of the consumer’s promotion is manipulative and be portrayed negatively.
This is not the case with good communication regarding the product as honest opinions and reviews do good. Communication is a two-way process rather than being one way from the seller to the consumers.
There are different channels of communication in marketing ranging from print, radio, and social media to company website to content and email marketing that marketers can use for channelizing communications with the target audience.
The 4 P’s relation to 4C’s of the marketing mix can be described as follows-
How are the Four P’s and Four C’s related?
The 4C’s are the stepping stones of the 4P’s in the context of the marketing mix.
If the 4C’s falter due to some reasons, then the 4P’s of the marketing mix is bound to fail. So, looking at the relationship between the 4Ps and the 4C’s of marketing, the following key points deserve your attention-
1. Product & Customer Value
Whenever a company thinks of introducing a new product in the market. They need to be aware of what new solutions they are offering to the consumers with the new product.
2. Price & Cost
The price of the product must be based on the cost that the customer is willing to pay. If the customers can’t afford the product, then there is no point in manufacturing the product.
3. Place & Convenience
After introducing the product to the customers, the convenience of the consumers is to be taken into consideration. The higher the convenience, the better it is for a customer.
4. Promotion & Communication
The company’s promotion strategy for a product dictates the type of communication the consumer prefers in the product. This also determines the channels of distribution that the consumers will be more receptive towards.
Why is the 4C’s of Marketing important?
The success of every business in the world depends on the satisfaction levels of their consumers. This is irrespective of the size of the company. For smaller companies, it is the mantra that will push them forward in their future endeavours.
The larger companies need to keep this in mind as well, otherwise, they might risk themselves getting stuck in a downward spiral. Other marketing tools put more focus on the company, competitors, and the market. But, these 4C’s of marketing puts all the focus on the customers. Hence, the 4C’s of marketing is essential for all companies.
So, while the traditional 4P marketing mix revolves around the business perspective, the 4cs marketing focuses more on Customer Experience. 4cs are dedicated to the perceptions, needs, and satisfaction of the customers.
What is the right time to use 4 C’s Marketing?
The 4C’s of marketing must be used as often as possible, but some situations make the use mandatory. Such two instances are as follows:
- When a company is not dealing with technical products that sell because of its specifications, these products can be entertainment and decorative.
- The company’s primary offering is a service; hence, consumer experience becomes the most vital aspect for the company.
STEAM & their 4 Cs Example
One of the most popular service platform providers, Steam has successfully implemented 4C’s marketing to gain popularity. Steam is a video game platform wherein millions of games can be downloaded for consumers to enjoy.
The Consumer of Steam has made a platform wherein they study the gamers.
The second C is Cost, wherein they offer special discounts and offers based on preferences.
The third C is Convenience wherein the games are more accessible to play than a physical CD.
In Communication, they have “YouTube communities” for instant feedback on their service.
4 Cs Wrap Up!
On the concluding note, it is obvious that these 4cs are integral to understanding customer inclinations to finalize the best product design, right cost, customer service, communications channels, etc.
Marketers who understand these 4 cs can use them for optimizing their business or brand by penetrating target markets in a more result-driven manner and hence can get more favorable outcomes.
How important do you consider these 4cs of marketing that Robert F. Lauterborn suggested? Let us know in the comment section below.
Pinky is an MBA in Marketing from the University of Mumbai. She loves helping people out in learning Marketing and sharing latest ideas and tactics for growing businesses.