The 4Ps of marketing are no new thing.
These have been around since their inception in the 1960s.
They are preached everywhere: in marketing classes, seminars, webinars, etc.
They are the cup of tea of marketing aficionados.
There’s no denying that this marketing mix has dominated the marketing arena for ages.
But here’s what you may not know…
That these could be swallowed alive by the very competent 4Cs.
You see, technology is evolving by the minute, helping rewrite the history of marketing.
Which explains why, in today’s time and age, the 4Ps of marketing have become less effective, giving room to the other side of the coin – the 4Cs of marketing.
Agree or not, the 4Cs are becoming “king” in today’s customer-centric world.
If you haven’t already realized, the modern consumer is in control of almost everything, including influencing the seller’s decision making process.
Today’s customer can buy anytime and anywhere.
With the rise of Amazon and eBay, the contemporary end-user is no longer limited to some offline store, or even their country, when it comes to making a purchase.
See why you should incorporate the 4Cs of marketing into your marketing activities – if you’re looking to even make a sale?
That’s right; things have changed!
Today, marketing is mostly digital with fully automated systems set in place.
It’s either you embrace the change or lag behind helplessly.
Louise Pegg, head of marketing at Landbay, is spot on about it.
She says, “Marketing is no longer about what businesses want to tell their customers, it is about businesses listening to their customers and responding in a way that offers a meaningful solution to them.”
Therefore, without further ado…
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What Are the 4Ps of Marketing?
Just in case you had no idea, the 4Ps of marketing are the pillars that help describe the marketing basics.
They are rules meant to guide marketers through their marketing journey.
They act like cornerstones that marketers need to cling on so they can best position their product to “the masses.”
And, while it’s true the 4Ps of marketing have helped businesses thrive in the past, they are now, inevitably, paving the way for the 4Cs.
The 4Ps of marketing include the following:
As a product developer, ensure your product is attractive to your target market; otherwise, it won’t attract sales.
Your product’s features should be obvious.
These should be clear to the end-user when they first see your product.
They should be spotted with ease.
How about the quality of your product?
Is it high, low, or average?
Not just that, but is it, actually, agreeable to your target market?
Conducting a thorough research might help bring some answers to the table.
Another thing you should look at is packaging.
How are you going to package your product?
Is the packaging material durable enough?
Is it readily available, for the long term?
In addition, you ought to think about things like after-sales services.
Is your product going to need an after-sales service?
If so, what measures have you put in place?
Note that branding counts, too.
Is your logo and tagline reasonable enough?
Are they unique?
The thing is, you need to position your product in such a way that it stands out from the competition.
Whether you’re looking to offer a new product or just want to offer an existing product with some modifications, you should do whatever it takes to ensure the thing is rocking it!
How are you going to determine your product’s price?
Are you looking to set the price high, low, or average?
Whatever you should settle on, ensure your price is not too high or too low.
You may leave money on the table if you settle for an incredibly low price.
Flipping the same coin, you could scare to death budget-conscious customers if you set an extremely high price.
If you really are unsure of how to determine your price, it’s prudent to do things like distributing questionnaires so people can give a helping hand.
Creating polls can come in handy as well.
And, how about the mode of payment?
How are you going to agree on it?
This is when you need to think along the lines of cash payments, credit payments, etc.
Discounting might also be ideal.
In addition, incorporating taxes in your pricing is crucial.
You need to make known your product’s value to your target market.
It’s the only way your customers will get wind that “something” is even available out there.
Therefore, you should educate your customers about the significance of your product.
Your product’s benefits need to be obvious to the end-user.
If there’s that “little extra something” you’ve incorporated in your product, let it stand out.
Even so, promotion can be done using various means.
You can advertise via TV, radio, etc.
You can carry out personal selling – provided it’s suitable for your business.
You can also promote your product via sales promotion and direct marketing
Whatever promotional strategy you embark on, ensure it’s viable enough – make sure it can motivate the buyer to buy.
This involves making your product available to your target market.
For instance, what plans do you have in place for the customer to access your product.
If you’re going to use distribution channels, are these effective enough?
If it’s a service you’re offering, will you have customers come to you or you’d rather go them?
The thing is, you need to position your product so it’s accessible to your target market hassle-free.
Ensure your placement is suitable for the customer to have a clear view of the product prior to making a purchase.
Ina nut shell, according to the proponents of the 4Ps-model, these are some of the factors you need to consider with regards to making your product available to your customers.
What Are the 4Cs of Marketing?
The 4Cs of marketing are simply the other side of the coin with regards to the 4Ps of marketing.
The 4Cs are customer-centered while the 4Ps are seller-oriented.
The 4Cs-model does put the customer in control of everything, contrary to the 4Ps-model where the seller is in control of everything.
Which, in fact, explains why the 4Cs are rewriting the marketing history.
Today’s customer is pretty different from the ancient customer.
As a result, if you’re looking to woo them to buy your product, you need to put the right measures in place – the 4Cs.
And, so to speak, the 4Cs of marketing are poised to be a winner with regards to that; they boast tactics that are agreeable with the contemporary end-user.
Just like you are about to see!
Below are the 4Cs of marketing:
This revolves about your end-users and their habits.
How well do you understand your target market?
Have you done enough research to determine their needs?
If so, have you tried to address their problems, by creating a product that best solves their problems?
Note that the customer is “king” here – they help influence your decision making process to a great extent.
Which is why you need to identify your target market first before you can even think of coming up with a product.
Your target market can range from a single niche to several different niches.
Just understand that each slot has different needs, and that you need to attend to each one of those differently.
You need to develop different products for each of your target markets.
Don’t just create a single product and assume everyone is going to be interested in it, as is the case with the 4Ps-model.
I need to make it clear that “cost” is not the same thing as “price”.
These are two different things altogether.
Price is the amount of money your customer pays in exchange for the product you’re giving them.
Cost, on the other hand, includes price itself plus other things that affect the consumer in their quest to obtain your product.
Consequently, when thinking about cost, you need to think of things such as the time it could take the customer to access your products.
Reflect about the distance they are going to travel in order to access your product.
Contemplate over any negative consequences your product might have on the consumer.
For example, if you are selling junk food, think of how it’s going to cost the customer’s health.
If you are based online, have you thought of the shipping costs your customers are going to part with?
And, how about the shipping time?
How long should it take before the customer receives the product once they have ordered it?
In the same vein, it’s likely that the product could be mishandled during shipping.
Have you taken note of that?
Defective products are another cost you need to consider.
So, please get prepared to incorporate these costs into your marketing agenda, keeping in mind that the customer is “king.”
Communication is primary in any form of marketing.
Do whatever it takes to interact with the buyer.
And no, I am not talking about the ancient “promotion” – which tends to be manipulative.
I am talking about digital promotion, which involves a one-on-one communication process with your target market.
I am talking about nurturing a close relationship with your end-users, which can be achieved via social media.
Only when you do it is when you can understand your customers’ concerns
Yes, it’s likely your customer wants you to modify your product to their liking – even if it’s just to a small extent.
You’re not going to ignore that, right?
Communication ensures your product is friendly to the buyer.
Communication ensures your product not only meets your target market’s needs but also exceeds their expectations.
This is the reason consumers will be happy to buy from you, helping catapult your sales notches higher.
Which is many a tycoon’s desire.
How convenient is your product to the customer?
I am assuming you already have a place that the consumer can access your products.
But, the thing is, is the place convenient enough?
Is it a spot the customer prefers to buy from?
If you’re running an online store, does your target market prefer to buy online in the first place?
If it’s an offline store, does it boast enough parking spaces?
If you’re selling over the phone, is it working for the customer?
These, and many more, are what you need to put in place so the customer can find it convenient enough buying from you.
Why the 4Ps of Marketing Are Paving the Way for the 4Cs
Now, I know you are dying to find out why the 4Ps of marketing are losing to the 4Cs.
Rest assured the answer is right here!
I’m going to compare the components of both marketing models (the 4Ps and 4Cs) so you can see for yourself!
So, stay aboard with me.
1) “Consumer” As Opposed To “Product”
In this time and age, you can’t just come up with any product and start marketing it to “the masses,” assuming everyone is going to like it – as is the case with “product” component in the 4Ps of marketing.
You need to first identify your target market before thinking of a product to offer them, as the “consumer” element in the 4Cs put it.
Here’s what you need to do in simple words:
Look for a target market.
Go ahead and find out what their needs are.
Then, develop a product in an effort to help address their needs.
That way, the customer is likely to buy your product.
Why is that?
It’s because you’re helping solve their problems by offering a handy solution – your product.
2) “Cost” As Opposed To “Price”
The “price” in the 4Ps of marketing is geared toward the buying price alone, ignoring other costs that the customer should bear in their effort to buy your product.
The “cost” in the 4Cs, on the other hand, encompasses the buying price and related costs that could affect the end-user.
In other words, you need to help reduce the costs your customer should encounter – including things like the distance the customer will cover to buy your product.
Note that a customer is likely to buy a product when they are pretty sure they won’t incur additional costs, in addition to the buying price.
This is what you should be after.
3) “Communication” As Opposed To “Promotion”
“Promotion”, as seen with the 4Ps-model, is often scheming.
It seeks only to woo the customer to buy the product, ignoring such things like developing a close relationship with the buyer.
Which explains why the 4Cs’ “communication” component comes in handy here.
It looks to interact with the buyer as opposed to just duping them to buy the product.
It is aimed at developing a lasting relationship with your target market.
Also, it is geared toward listening to the customer and what they have to say in relation to your product.
It’s focused on getting the customers’ feedback while using it to improve your product.
In other words, “communication” is all about getting the customer to be loyal to your product, which is key when it comes to helping skyrocket your sales.
4) “Convenience” As Opposed To “Place”
Contrary to the 4Ps of marketing, where the seller only needs to establish a “place” for the buyer to buy the product, the 4Cs are inclined toward “convenience.”
The “place” is not just enough, but it needs to be convenient to the buyer.
The “place” needs to be a spot the consumer likes to buy from.
It needs to be customer-friendly.
If it’s not, the customer is likely to look elsewhere – remember the modern consumer can buy anywhere, including the manufactures and online stores.
By now, I am sure we are on the same page.
You see, gone are the days when marketers relied on the 4Ps of marketing to make sales.
Gone are the ages when the seller controlled everything.
The 4Cs are fast rewriting the history of marketing, putting the customer in charge of everything.
So, it’s either you learn to value your customer or your business is at risk of losing sales.
What am I saying?
As a marketer or product developer, you need to embrace the 4Cs of marketing in order to thrive in this time and age.
You need to view the customer as an important asset.
You need to put the end-user first as you come second.
Therefore, if you are yet to embrace the 4Cs of marketing, keep in mind that time is running out – and you’re missing on sales.