This blog was originally written in May 2013
Earlier, we discussed the four P’s of Marketing. This week, we thought we’d discuss the Four C’s of Marketing. Created in 1993 by Robert Lauterborn, the Four C’s is an updated classification system of the Four P’s. His model shifts the focus from the producer to the consumer and is a better blueprint to follow for smaller businesses that are marketing to a niche audience.
Consumer replaces Product:
Rather than pre-defining the customer into a product, the consumer model puts the impetus on satisfying the customer’s needs. The Consumer model should be seen as a conversation between the customer and the business, which come together to create a custom product that satisfies a customers needs. With tools like social media and email marketing, businesses have new ways to communicate with their audiences.
Cost replaces Price:
The price is only one factor in acquiring customers. Cost reflects the cost of using the product, which can include inconveniences (changing from one computer software to another) and customer ethics (such as choosing between organic and non-organic eggs).
Convenience replaces Place:
Convenience (whether geographical or through search engines) influences the perceived value of a product. The ease in which a consumer can purchase a product is crucial in deciding what business acquires customers.
Communication replaces Promotion:
Communication views the promotional process as lateral, involving conversation between the customer and business. This is in contrast to the traditional mode of promotions, which is vertical and involves one-way communication. Communication is as much about listening as it is about talking! We recommend setting up a Google Alert for your business and your industry and monitoring relevant hashtags on Twitter to tune in.
The Four C’s model is better tuned to the needs of smaller businesses that don’t yet have a strong brand-name equity. As such, it is crucial that these businesses develop a two-way relationship with their target audience!