Marketing techniques have evolved; it is no more a one-way street, but a two-way communication channel. As such, we may have to dump the four Ps of marketing we’ve always known in favor of the four Cs. I learned this when I was trying to get clients for my business.

These four Ps include product, price, place, and promotion. This is the very traditional model of marketing. But right now, the four Cs are more customer oriented. Truth is if you want to do your best marketing, you have to start thinking like your clients.

According to Robert .F. Lauterborn who is the co-author of “the marketing paradigm: Integrated marketing communications”, the four Cs help us view our businesses from the client’s perspective. They are more centered on the client and represent a fundamental shift in the marketing paradigm, which is a direct response to the dramatic changes in the way people now make their buying decisions.

There has been a drastic substitution and almost elimination of the four Ps and they are replaced with four Cs which better resonates with clients. If you still work with the Ps, then you will not get the best results from your marketing. The business forward service business owners have jumped on the cart and moved with the trend.

For product, there is customer value; for place, there is convenience; for price, there is cost and for promotion, there is communication. While the former is void of the emotions which the customers need to connect to your business, the latter has all of that.

The four Ps basically talk about how to make more profit only and increase revenue, but the four Cs encompass both ROI and genuine care and willingness to connect to clients.

In this post, we will talk about the concepts of the four Cs and why they are fundamental to your marketing plan.

1. Customer Value

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What customer value connotes is the satisfaction a customer experiences or expects to experience as a result of action taken, relative to the cost of that action. This action could be a sign up, or purchases, while the cost of that action can be money, time or data used to purchase or support the action.

This can be measured thus: customer value = perceived benefits / cost

The real fact is that customer is king. Long gone are the days when you can churn out just about any product or service and expect customers to patronize. It is unfortunate, but you can no longer sell just anything you feel like selling.

A lot of clients now know what they want and demand more. Hence, you can only sell something that your market needs. And with the advent of the internet, customers can make research and get all your business information and what it can offer them in seconds.

That’s a reason why it is very important to understand your client’s needs and wants. You can do this through a survey and feedback, so that you can provide huge and consistent value to clients.

This is what brings about client retention, because experience matter. According to a research conducted by Statista, the probability of converting an existing customer into a lifetime client is 60%-70%. This is greatly influenced by the customer value you offer. The rate of retaining the client would be much higher if your business consistently gives high and massive customer value.

2. Convenience

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In an age as this, convenience is the most compelling and appealing thing to experience on a customer conversion journey. When you have your products or services at the right place and at the right time, everybody wins.

This is the digital age and competition has become stiffer, so does the availability of similar services. Hence, to stay ahead in business, one key marketing strategy is convenience. Make it more convenient for clients to get access to you, especially when they are in critical need.

Give clients the easy route to acquire your products and services. The internet is powerful and you can wield this tool for your business breakthrough. All websites are automated to run for 24 hours every day. This enables clients come up anytime to do their businesses and leave without having to wait.

Your business can be anywhere your client is at any time. Clients demand and expect convenience when they do business. If you are not on hand to deliver such, someone else will.

You don’t have all day to deliver relevant and lasting experience to clients, only about some milliseconds. It is a case of time on adrenaline. You stall; clients move, ditch you and focus on another. All it takes is a click to do and undo.

This begins with your message format; it has to first be compelling and convenient in order for the client to receive it in a way that will resonate. After receiving, the client takes action by trying to activate, purchase or opt in. If it falls short of these attributes and the client cannot activate with ease, they’re off and that’s your loss.

3. Cost

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Markets differ in cost sensitivity, as some are more sensitive than the others. Price point is influenced by different factors such as competition, demand, quality, service and uniqueness. This can impact customer behavior in no small way.

As a rule, understand the clients’ costs, so that you can satisfy their wants and needs. Set your price at a level where your clients will be willing to buy. Do some market testing to ascertain how much your clients will willingly pay for your products or services.

The following are ways to research your customer purchase behaviors.

  • Find out their current and anticipated demand for the type of product or service you are offering.
  • Find out what they pay to purchase similar services.
  • Determine the quantity they will likely purchase.
  • Establish if there are additional features which go together with your products or services that clients value.

4. Communication

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Rather than going about doing promotions, adopt communication instead. The era of mass marketing has passed and it no longer works. Clients now want to connect and personalize their experience with your business. Hence the two-way conversation method is paramount.

When you run a service based business, communication with your client is everything. This is what keeps your business thriving. If there is no proper client communication, you’d lose many opportunities; make fewer sales, which will set you back by thousands of dollars.

This will in turn create an overall downward trend for revenue and profits. Apply a relationship-based process for your marketing. This will help you understand your client needs and wants through consistent survey and feedback. This will guide you on how best to provide value to your clients.

At every point in business, you need to assume the place of your client and stand in their shoes. This will help you see things for their perspective. This will also make you stay relevant, because at every time, you know what your clients need and will always create a solution even before they ask. You anticipate their problems and come through for them and this is only possible through communication.

Your effective method of communication will keep your business in the minds and faces of your clients. Ensure that your communication is filled with valuable information based solely on your business.

When communicating with clients, have some consideration for their comfort. People have diverse communication method preferences. While some may be tech savvy and will do well with mails, video conferences and social media, others may prefer a simple phone call.

In the course of communication, make your message personal to the client. This is the fastest way to build a long lasting working relationship. Become more thoughtful towards each client and handle them uniquely. This is because each client is different and personalization attracts and retains them.

To Take Action towards Better and Effective Marketing, Review Your Strategy using The 4 Cs By:

  • Consistently take a survey of the needs and wants of your clients. Do this through social media, email questionnaires and maybe phone calls. Make them feel that you understand their plight. Give them a safe space to get comfortable around you, so that they can tell you how they feel. Listen to their feedbacks and make effective changes where necessary. Some business owners do not listen and this is the bane of every business. They get engrossed in their tunnel vision, saying so much rather than listening. When you learn to receive more messages than you give out, or listen more than you talk, you will be able to figure out how to give your clients the most customer value in your business.
  • Making you products and services convenient to clients through easy accessibility and reduction of friction through automation. Reducing friction can be in form of easy navigation and one-click purchases like you see on Amazon. This helps the client see the end from the beginning of a purchase journey. Automation is about leveraging on the wonders of technology to make yourself available to your clients at every time. Be very deliberate in the delivery of your products or services. Create available, potent ways to make delivery easy and seamless for clients. In the cases of subscriptions and online services, automaton will save the day. Balance all these with human contact, because you have to evoke an emotion in clients, and only human contact can do that.
  • Getting clients to respond to your costs, through giving hints and gentle reminders to clients, so that they can have an early expectation of your price. Give small incentives to clients who come through, that is if you work with products. But for those who offer services, compensate them at your own discretion. It may be an exclusive offer, discount or even an additional feature for free. It is always rewarding to establish a personal connection with your clients. Like I said earlier, for clients to make a purchase, you would first have to evoke an emotion. This will make them pay your fee, as long as your services are value driven and goal oriented.
  • Learning the different methods of communication that helps you reach out to the clients while respecting the client’s time. An email is a perfect example as the client can go to it at their own convenience. It is the best for reaching multiple people at the same time. It grabs the client’s attention and that is a scarce commodity at the moment. Make your emails short with informative content. You may also use newsletters, depending on your industry. You can also communicate via phone, but you have to respect the person’s time by scheduling an appointment in advance. So far, phone is the best medium of communication. You may use emails to keep sensitive information between you and a client, but do your follow ups via phone. A few tech savvy clients would not mind a Skype call or video conference. Whatever works best for your business.

Improve your marketing style to experience massive business growth…

Marketing is a dynamic and continuous word and so should its methods. There are four components of marketing today, which May likely change tomorrow. But for now, this is what works. It comprises of customer value, convenience, cost and communication. We discussed them all in details, as each of these four components make a powerful combination to give business success.

You need to apply this in your business if you want to scale up fast and stay thriving.

If you need support for this, schedule a call with one of our professional business strategists here.