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  • Navjyot Gill

Modern-Day Marketing Strategy

Overview

Right from the time that marketers started devising strategies to engage with customers, two main principal techniques emerged: the Four P’s and the Four 4 C’s.

In a nutshell, the four P’s strategy involves focusing its attention on the Product, Price, Place and Promotion. The four C’s strategy was first mooted in 1990 by Bob Lauterborn in his article in the Advrtsiising Age and stressed the significance of engaging with the Consumer, Cost, Communication and Convenience segments for maximum mileage.

Essentially, they are two sides of the same coin, however, some modern-day marketers believe that the C’s are more consumer-oriented for niche marketing. Here, we closely examine them to obtain a deeper insight to justify these claims.


1. The Customer Comes First.

The customer must always be at the core of every product/service design. All other related factors must revolve around this core. There are two schools of analysis methodologies involved:

  • A primary analysis of the customer’s requirements must be identified and then addressed appropriately. A secondary analysis will establish if the customer is getting exactly what was needed?

  • A sector-specific market survey must be undertaken to find a unique product or service that may appeal to prospective customers and is relatively new or in short supply. Once this was established, a product service design would follow that caters to fill this void in this untapped segment and must address the precise needs of the customer as well.

All the subsequent processes that were required to sustain it, must be developed around it.


Suggested questions:

i] What are the competitive advantages?

ii] What are the customer's needs and wants?

iii] How does the product/service matter to a customer?


2. Establishimg the Cost


An elaborate exercise must be undertaken to ascertain the cost of the product or service that is to be introduced. This will include the cost of production [Land,/Shop, Plant and machinery/equipment, operational costs, packing, advertising and marketing, among other subsidiary factors] It is only after these processes are evaluated that a Cost emerges.

This is sometimes wrongly termed as Price The price is what the customer pays for. or is asked to pay for. The cost determines the price.


Suggested questions:

i] Is there adequate research to arrive at the cost?

ii] Will the cost to the customer be worthwhile?

iii] How profitable will it be to the company?


3. Promotion and Communication

Traditional communication involves only the presentation of the benefits of the product/service with its important features and how they can be useful.

With the increase of the knowledgeable customer base, The customer must be communicated with suitably. It is essential to create a more meaningful collaboration with the customer.

To establish this relationship the followings steps may prove beneficial:


A] Creating a database of a customer’s online behaviour with regards to taste, preferences and relations with similar brands, etc and compiling it efficiently that will facilitate strategize methods to target them.


B] An understanding of the target audience [Age group, sex educational background etc] is crucial for effective communication.


C] Track record of the customer's behaviour pattern [is the customer likely to unsubscribe from your promotional content[emails, etc] This will determine the periodicity of targeting this individual.


D] An analysis of customers' online presence, bounce rate, etc. can establish if communicating through questionnaires, surveys and so on will be possible.


Suggested Questions:

i] Does the communication involve answering all the customer queries?

ii] Is Social Media planned as a part of Communication?

iii] Is there a plan for communicating with every target audience?


4. Convenience


Making the product/service conveniently provided will be a huge plus in its success.

Prospective customers can find all the offerings in one place, maybe a catalogue, brochure or a website.

This is probably the most important of the C’s. Despite your best efforts with the integration of the other steps, if your product/service is not available readily, your project may crash before it takes off. Customers hate looking high and low when other similar products/services are freely available.

The product service must be made available in most stores, various online sources direct mailing services and other convenient methods. Also, importantly, a variety of buying options must be possible, for instance, Online Banking, Credit/Debit Card modes and all these with the advantage of offering mobile device platforms as well for viewing and buying.


Suggested Questions:

i] What are the difficulties a customer may face to obtain your product/service?

ii] How will you overcome these hurdles?

iii] Is your website optimized for mobile devices?


Final Words

For most business owners, effectively engaging with the 4 C’s model can be a rewarding experience. This can be very beneficial to smaller enterprises in a big way, as it can establish a level playing field and enable them to compete with the bigger and more established players in every business domain.

While putting these strategies on paper may not be so difficult, it is the actual optimising and integrating them as seamlessly as possible that will require to use a seasoned professional in this domain. Choose roles for all the members of your marketing team carefully and if need be, on board a seasoned consulting team in order to market your brand effectively.






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