Many people may have already read about the 4 P’s of Marketing. This would be the Product, Price, Promotion and Place or Distribution. This marketing mix outlines the process of proper marketing strategy and the distribution of the product.
However, in the recent years, that marketing mix has evolved into what is now known as Lauterborn’s Four C’s Marketing Mix.
The Four C’s of Marketing are: Consumer, Cost, Convenience and Communication. Instead of starting with the product, the mix focuses on the consumer and his or her needs. The product that is developed is made in such a way that it suits the consumer’s needs and wants.
Instead of making the product and then trying to make it fit to the customer, a company makes the product based on the customer’s needs.
The second C, the Cost, replaces the Price. The cost is an important factor of using the product. It only does not mean how much it will sell in the market, it also talks about the inconveniences of the customer in the process of switching to the new product being marketed.
Such costs can be the probable loss of income of a company switching from one IT software to another, or their own ethics, such as choosing an organic product from a GMO.
The third C would stand for convenience. This is the process of how to make the company’s product accessible or convenient to the consumer. This means that this is the part of the marketing plan where the company must plan where to place their product in such a way that it would be convenient for the customer or the consumer to buy it.
And the final C, and arguably the most important one, would the Communication. This is the process by which the company reaches out to their audience not only through one-way promotion but also listens to feedback and tips how to improve the product more. Here’s why it is important:
First, Communication is a two way process. Instead of the usual marketing mix that involves only promotion, it involves having to listen to the demands and needs of the client, and coming up with a message to send to them on how the product fulfils their need.
Instead of how promotions simply send out taglines or campaigns and not really caring how their messages are received by the audience, communication involves trying listen to how the initial message is received by the audience.
This would entail feedbacks, surveys or even personal interviews. This is done such that a company can get a deeper look into how their product is being received by the audience and how do they compare to their competitors.
Another fundamental reason why it is important is that it makes promoting or marketing the product a growing, pragmatic and ever-changing process.
With having to take into consideration how a product is received, one can properly form and change the message every time, such that the message, the brand and the reputation of the product transforms into a message that is well-received and eventually a trustworthy product in the eyes of the people. Also, because it is pragmatic, people will not be bored, and brand recall will be more effective.
Third, it promotes improvement in the product itself. Taking the case of a detergent powder for example, through surveys and feedbacks, the company may receive information of how their product is effective in whitening clothes but actually smell bad.
This informs them of the need to improve it by maybe adding fabric conditioner to the mix, or making their detergent powder scented. This means that not only does the brand and reputation evolve, but also the product itself.
A fourth advantage would be that it opens an avenue to discovering other needs related to what the product is offering. Taking again the example of the detergent product, through surveys and feedbacks, the company may discover that although their product is tough on stains and perfect for white clothes, it might not be completely useful for clothes with color.
This opens up a new market for them, allowing them to develop a new product to sell in the market that would fit perfectly for colored clothes and will give them additional revenue.
Marketing is something that is ever changing and always dynamic. And the best way to tackle marketing is not only to force one’s product one way towards its customer, but to make it a two way process.
Communication is an effective tool for this. It opens the door not only for a company to listen and see how their product is doing, but also to see how their products can improve.