The Four P’s and the Four C’s of the marketing mix are important to a business’ success. By utilizing these tools, we are able to make certain that we are giving the customer what they want or need. The four P’s are Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. The Four C’s are Customer Solution, Cost to the User, Convenience and Communication. The purpose of the marketing mix is to ensure that there is a balanced mix of marketing activities within your marketing plan. The Four P’s are considered by many to be outdated, and so the Four C’s were introduced to adapt from a seller’s market into a buyer’s market. In previous years, the economic climate has been such that the seller controls what he/she sells. Now, however, the consumer demand sets the rules. Sellers now find themselves needing to adapt to meet consumer needs.
The first two categories I will discuss are Product and Consumer Solution. As displayed in the above graphic, Product provides Customer Solution. When creating a product, or creating the marketing plan for an existing product, it is important to recognize the ways in which this product fills consumer needs. If the product does not fill a market gap or need, it is considered to be frivolous or extraneous. In order to solidify your place in the market, it is necessary to identify and fill this need.
The next two categories are Price and Cost to the User. Before, pricing was about turning a profit and getting a high return on your investments. Now, pricing is geared towards customer satisfaction, and making sure that the price you have set will be both reasonable and attractive to consumers. Many people are driving prices down in order to be popular among consumers. When creating a product or a marketing plan, you must understand the cost to the consumers as compared with the perceived value of the product.
Third, I will talk about Place and Convenience. Place provides Convenience, because it gives the consumer a site at which to find and purchase these goods. Convenience is a huge factor of the decision making process. When a consumer is on their way home from a long day of work, the last thing they want to do is go out of their way. If, for example, a product is available in major grocery stores, it is more likely that the individual will be able to find it at a store located conveniently on the way home. However, if the only place the product is carried is at a specialty grocery across town, the consumer will not go out of their way to purchase it. It is important to make sure that your product is conveniently available in order to ensure that you will have steady sales.
Finally, we will discuss how Promotion enables two-way Communication. Tradition promotion includes advertisements, commercials, billboards, etc. These are all great ways to get your brand name out there and to let the market know about a new product or adaptation. However, the new model of promotion includes communication with the consumers. This can be achieved through viral marketing, phone calls, online surveys, social media, etc. Any way that a marketer can reach a consumer and allow them to submit feedback is considered two-way communication. By allowing communication, you open yourself up to learning more about the consumers themselves, while finding issues with the products and learning what the customers need.
The Four P’s, which have adapted into the Four C’s, of the marketing mix are vastly important to your company’s success. If you do not have the consumer in mind when creating or marketing your product, it will crash and burn. You have to bring the product to the consumer, rather than just opening your doors and hoping for the best.