In marketing, there is a strategical mix called the four C’s, which stand for Consumer, Cost, Communication, and Convenience. The four C’s focus on the consumer and are best suited for niche marketing.
A quick primer of the four C’s
- Consumer means the main focus is the person availing of the product or service.
- Cost is equivalent to price, but has additional factors to consider. Cost takes into account the reality of the total cost of ownership, meaning other things aside from the actual price of the item, such as the cost of going to the store to get it, or even something as simple as the cost of shipping to the customer’s preferred location.
- Communication is a more cooperative term for the interaction between the seller and buyer, which includes promotions, plus advertising, public relations, personal selling, and viral advertising.
- Lastly, Convenience is similar to place, but has expanded from the usual brick-and-mortar store. It also puts importance on the ease of purchasing the item, finding information, and even installing the product if there is such a need.
The importance of convenience in the marketing mix
In today’s fast-paced, busy lifestyle, it is important to factor in how consumers are able to find out and get ahold of your product at their convenience. With the success of e-commerce and how it allows consumers make a purchase with just a click of a computer mouse, it is not enough that a product can be found in an actual brick-and-mortar store.
In addition, the Internet has given the consumer a plethora of options available around the globe. Nowadays, a bottle of shampoo is not the garden-variety product that one can just grab at the drugstore or grocery and pay. There are so many shampoos available around the world, classified according to hair type, ingredients, scent, specialty, etc. This does not even include the brand name. Convenience has allowed a buyer from the United States, for instance, to get ahold of a bottle of shampoo from Morocco that has higher amounts of argan oil (a type of plant oil derived from the kernels of the argan tree, found mostly in Morocco, and known for its moisturizing properties) than other shampoos normally found at your neighborhood store. This is possible, thanks to a page shared by a friend on Facebook, linking the person to an online store, and then, with the right communications and promotions, a successful transaction has been made.
The key thing in the Convenience aspect of the four C’s is to make it easy for the customer to get your product. Here are few things to ponder on when thinking about making it convenient for anyone to buy your product.
The first thing you should do is to make a list of the barriers that could prevent your customers from finding out about your product or service and from actually buying it. For each obstacle, try to find a solution for it. You can see whether setting up a website and an online store can help increase your presence and even sales or if availability in physical stores is adequate to resolve this issue.
Next, ask yourself: In connection to availability online and/or in stores, would increasing distributors or outlets nationwide be feasible to reach those areas that do not have Internet or those potential markets that have yet to find out about your product?
It would also be good to have a quick response system for any product inquiries and provide customer service, depending on the item. Experts cite the example of Amazon.com as the model for convenience, because this website has prioritized convenience for the customer above all others. Examples of this include offers of “free two-day shipping,” “one-click purchase,” and the “no questions asked return policy.” This way, there is complete customer satisfaction.
Convenience covers all aspects of a sale — from before, during, to after a sale is made. Consider using the four Cs when drafting your marketing plan. This definitely covers most, if not all of, the bases to guarantee success in your business.