In today’s world, the consumer has more power than ever. Your marketing efforts will be more successful if you take a customer-oriented approach such as the 4 C’s strategy. This concept focuses on Customer, Cost, Communication, and Convenience.
The 4 C’s strategy was created in 1990 by Bob Lauterborn, who felt previous strategies used to help companies build marketing campaigns, such as the 7 P’s of Marketing, encouraged companies to focus on marketing products rather than building a relationship with customers. He developed this new set of guidelines to fit better in today’s marketing ecosystem where customers have a great deal of decision-making power. In addition to building long-lasting relationships with customers, the 4 C’s of marketing can help maximize success by ensuring businesses are targeting customers interested in what they have to offer. Read on to learn how to use the 4 C’s to best position your product in a competitive market.
The 4 C’s of marketing starts with customers at the center, as they are the people who will be using or purchasing the company’s products or services. You must clearly identify who your target customer is and what their wants and needs are in order to position your product or service for maximum profitability. This entails conducting research, developing a buyer persona, seeking feedback, and monitoring the social media engagement related to your brand. Having knowledge about your target customer makes it easier to create a product that delivers exactly what they want by fulfilling a need in the market. Keep in mind that your product’s market position is determined by the value your customers perceive it to have. When following the 4 C’s strategy, the customer drives your decision-making.
After gathering information about your customers, you need to put yourself in their minds to establish the cost considerations. There’s more to cost than just its purchase price! Consider affordability, satisfaction, and value from a buyer’s perspective.
As you evaluate cost, ask yourself the following:
- What price will you ask your customers to pay for the product or service and is that figure reasonable and affordable for them?
- What will the consumer’s total cost be for obtaining your product or service? Will the cost of taxes, shipping, or transportation costs significantly add to their expense?
- Are the benefits of your product able to offset the total costs? Is your product or service still profitable at the price your customer is able or willing to pay?
Remember that the price point of a product alone isn’t what necessarily convinces customers to purchase, so setting a low price point won’t always drive sales. In the end, it’s the benefit of your product that will help support its cost.
If you have been properly following the marketing strategy thus far, you can use the information you have gathered about your customers to improve your communication with them. Communication in the 4 C’s refers to how you present your product or service to customers and receive feedback from them. Customers often feel a stronger connection with companies that commit to an engaged two-way dialogue with them. This strengthens your understanding of your customer and helps them build trust in your brand.
In addition to promoting your products or services on social media, you can create polls, track engagement analytics, and ask your customers for their insights. Having feedback from customers is basically free market research that you should take advantage of. It may also be helpful to record commonly asked questions to know what you need to address. Remember that you must adapt your communication approach to each of your targets. The content, platform, and delivery of your message should be unique to each audience group. By responding directly and listening to customers’ suggestions, your customers will feel valued and more likely to continue to buy and recommend your products and services. Meaningful communication builds customer confidence that drives sales!
The last of the 4 C’s is convenience, or how easy it is for customers to purchase your product. In today’s fast-paced world, convenience has more influence than ever on a customer’s decision to buy.
Make it easy for your customers through these considerations:
- What barriers might the customer face when trying to locate or purchase your product or service? What will you do to reduce or remove these challenges?
- Operating a business that offers online sales puts your product or service in the hands of customers virtually 24/7, but you must make it easy to navigate. Ask yourself if the customer can find what they are looking for with just a few clicks and if the product descriptions are detailed enough for the customer to make a purchasing decision.
- Are store hours and essential information about your business easily accessible? What kind of customer support do you offer if a customer has a question during the purchasing process? Providing quality customer support is an important facet of improving convenience. The goal is to reduce friction and make the whole experience as convenient as possible for the customer.
How We Can Help
Using the customer-oriented 4 C’s marketing strategy can give you an advantage over your competitors. Here at Auburn Advertising, a public service of Inner Spark Creative, we want to be your full-service marketing partner. We are here to help with all your marketing needs and drive sales for your products and services. For more information on effective marketing strategies, contact us today.