As of 2020, there were over 30 million businesses in the United States alone. With so many businesses on the rise, it’s crucial to think about the best marketing strategies to come out on top.
One way to triumph over your competitors is to use a marketing model that focuses on the customer, which is what the Four Cs of the marketing mix is all about.
The Four Cs is short for consumer, cost, convenience, and communication – a customer-guided marketing strategy to gain insight into customers’ wants and needs. Based on the assessment, businesses can fully understand the demands and provide the right solutions.
By implementing this model, you’ll know how to best position your product in the competitive market and make more sales.
Without further ado, let’s check out what each aspect of the Four Cs means, why they’re important, and how you can implement them to benefit your business.
Consumer in the 4C Marketing Mix model refers to the consumers’ wants and needs.
Identifying what customers are looking for in a product is essential because it provides you with information on how to improve it. Not only will this help you compete with other companies in the market, but it will also increase your product’s value and help you make more sales.
Essentially, make sure to provide quality that is valued and sell products that meet consumers’ demands.
But before you can do that, you must first understand who your target audience is. This refers to the specific group of people who are interested in the type of products you sell.
The target audience can be separated by age, gender, income, location, and other factors such as education level or hobbies.
For example, if your business sells subscriptions to a sports e-magazine, then the ideal target audience would be those interested in the niche.
Meanwhile, for businesses that sell kitchenware, their target audience might be people of a specific age range or housewives.
From there, you can identify what motivates them to make a purchase, the pain points they face, and how your product can provide a solution to their problems.
To help identify your target audience, consider following these tips:
- Understand your product. Identify the benefits your product offers to the user by listing its features and advantages. Additionally, find your unique selling point and decide on your core brand values.
- Identify current customers. Use data to gain insight and improve your business. Try using tools such as CRM software, social media insights, and Google Analytics.
- Conduct competitor analysis. This is a great way to assess your product’s strengths and weaknesses in contrast to competitors’.
- Create user personas. This is a semi-fictional character of your ideal customer based on your research. This visualization will help businesses plan better campaigns, content, and products.
The cost aspect refers to the number of money consumers are willing to pay for the value of your product. This includes not only the price but other considerations such as the cost of shipping and time of arrival, for example.
The cost is essential when deciding your selling price. Making sure your products are fairly priced is important, so you don’t lose consumers to your competitors.
The first step to achieving that is to evaluate your expenses. Calculate how much it costs to produce your product. This covers materials, labor, and overhead prices.
Material is the raw components of the production. An example would be thread, buttons, and cloth for producing a clothing item. Or buckets and other cleaning supplies for a cleaning service business.
Labor refers to all physical and mental human resources to create the product. This can be workers in the factory and other employees with other roles to support the production.
The time and energy invested in production are also under the labor category. You can use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to compare labor prices by industry and region.
Finally, overhead expenses. This refers to all expenses that aren’t covered under materials or labor.
With more and more businesses going online, overhead costs become an integral part of deciding your selling price. For instance, this includes monthly payments for keeping your website online, such as hosting and domain name subscription.
Luckily, you can cut down on these expenses by choosing affordable providers. A great example of this is buying a domain name from Hostinger. Not only does it offer a well-priced domain name, but it also comes with support and security measures to help your business succeed.
Once you have clear data of your basic expenses, it’s time to determine your desired profit and research competitors’ prices. This way, you’re sure to have the most reasonable price for your products.
As the name suggests, this aspect is about providing customers with the convenience to buy your products. This covers points such as transaction methods, location, access to information, and operating hours.
This point is crucial in digital marketing because the number of online shoppers has reached 2.14 billion in 2021 and 43% of users shop online primarily due to convenience.
That said, the first step to providing customers with a convenient experience is to create an online store. With it, the audience can reach you from anywhere in the world, at any time.
Additionally, make sure your eCommerce site implements the following practices:
- Easy navigation. Allows users to explore content easily, so they can find what they are looking for and make purchases without any trouble.
- Optimized user experience (UX). This practice eliminates blockages in site design that may prevent visitors from exploring your content and becoming customers. Some standard methods to optimize UX include making the CTA button stand out, adding a search bar, and using a responsive design.
- Consistent site-wide design. This practice ensures the look and feel of all web pages are harmonious. Create a consistent design by repeating the same elements throughout your web pages, such as the color scheme, typography, and imagery.
- Attractive and informative homepage. The home page should communicate what your business can do for the audience and persuade them to make a purchase. Consider displaying your unique selling point while keeping the information concise.
- High-converting product pages. Provide useful and relevant information such as product descriptions, sizing and fit details, FAQ section, ratings and reviews, and relevant recommendations to encourage more purchases.
- Fast and easy shopping cart and checkout flow. The average cart abandonment rate is 69%. So include elements such as trust seals, a progress bar, and a mini cart to reduce cart abandonment.
Lastly, speed up your site and prioritize a mobile-first design.
Your online store should load within two seconds to get the best conversion rates. Or else, visitors might leave to a competitor’s site. Other than that, Google also takes loading time as a ranking factor.
In addition, Google also prioritizes mobile-friendly websites on their results pages since mobile browsers are dominating internet traffic. Thus, it’s essential your eCommerce website can adapt to small screens with ease.
Communication refers to customer engagement. Thus, marketers and businesses should offer channels and platforms where customers get answers to their questions and are able to give feedback in real-time.
Engaging with customers will build trust and customer confidence to make a purchase. And sometimes, the subject of interaction may not even be about sales but to educate potential customers about the goods or services and other conversations related to the industry.
Essentially, the communication should be a dialogue with the customer depending on their needs and desires.
A great way to engage with customers is through social media, as more and more people rely on online channels for support and expect a response within 24 hours.
Other than that, having a social media presence comes with additional benefits for your business, such as:
- Boosting brand awareness. Social media platforms allow businesses to reach out to the right target audience and send targeted ads based on user’s preferences or other criteria such as age, gender, and location.
- Increasing traffic and leads. Since you’re reaching out to a targeted audience, it’s more likely to see a boost in traffic from qualified leads.
- Improving brand recall. A memorable social media marketing campaign can create a lasting impression for the audience and make your brand pop to mind when thinking about a specific niche or industry.
- Gaining more engagement. Consider hosting contests, live videos, giveaways, creating polls to keep the audience entertained. You’ll be more likely to get likes, shares, and comments if your post strikes a chord with them.
- Gaining customer insight. One of the most significant advantages of having a social media presence is access to customer insights. Based on that, you can create more relevant content and marketing strategy to increase the conversion rates.
That being said, here are the steps to creating a social media presence to help your business thrive:
- Find your ideal platform. Be present on the social platforms that your audience is using. For instance, if you target Gen Z, consider marketing on TikTok. Conversely, you can use Facebook and Instagram to target Millennials.
- Provide valuable content. Balance promotion with valuable content, such as relevant and informative posts. Additionally, stay active and be consistent. You can use publishing tools such as Sprout Social or CoSchedule to help post regularly.
- Engage with followers. Reply to comments, answer customers’ questions, and offer feedback in a timely manner. Moreover, thank and acknowledge customers if they tag or mention your brand.
- Collaborate with other brands. Partnering with other brands helps grow your connection and increase awareness. To do this, choose a non-competitor brand that has a similar audience as you.
- Optimize your social media. Listen to your audience and adjust as needed. To do this, use social monitoring and listening tools such as HubSpot or Buffer to gain insight.
The 4Cs Marketing Mix is a customer-centric marketing model. It starts with understanding who your target market is and identifying their wants and needs. From there, you can respond with the right product or service.
When done right, it can help market your product more effectively, especially in this digital age where competition is high.
Essentially, the four aspects refer to:
- Consumer. Focuses on creating a product or service that customers want and need.
- Cost. Ensures the price reflects the value of the product.
- Convenience. Allows customers to make purchases conveniently and hassle-free.
- Communication. Provides customers with necessary and relevant information, as well as a platform to connect with the marketer for further connection.
By understanding and implementing each approach to your marketing strategy, your business is sure to become the market leader in this competitive scene. Good luck.