What is the 4C Marketing model?

The 4C of Marketing is a Tool that highlights 4 important Factors to focus on, when designing, developing or analyzing a Marketing Strategy.

  • These 4 Factors are based on the Customer’s perspective.

 

This method can be used together with other Marketing Tools (in fact, it is highly recommended).

  • In this way, it is possible to analyze both the Company’s and the Client’s points of view.

 

What are those 4 factors?

The 4Cs of Marketing

1. Consumer: What Customers perceive.

  • Are Clients satisfied?

 

2. CostWhat implies for the Clients to buy the product.

  • Price is common to everybody but the Cost to the Client depends on each Client.

 

3. Convenience: The process of purchasing the product.

  • Is it presented in the best possible way?

 

4. Communication: How is the communication with Customers.

  • Do Clients feel heard?

The 4Cs of Marketing.

 

Now, you may be wondering:

  • But … Wasn’t there already a method called “4P Marketing Mix?

 

Yes, of course.

 

The 4C Method was created inspired by the 4P Marketing mix.

  • By Robert F.Lauterborn.

 

What is the difference between them?

Difference between 4P and 4C Marketing Mix

Difference between 4C and 4P Marketing Mix.

 

As you can see, the traditional 4P Marketing Mix uses the Business perspective, while the 4Cs are more focused on the Customer Experience.

  • The Needs, Perceptions and Customer Satisfaction.

 

These 2 tools complement each other perfectly.

  • So, it is highly recommended to use them together.

But … why should we focus so much on customers?

 

Why is it so important?

Why are the 4Cs of Marketing important?

No matter if you are a small Business or a Large Company:

  • Your success depends on how “satisfied” your Clients are. Always.

 

If you are a Small company, you will only survive if you keep it in mind.

If you are a Large Company, you better don’t forget it. Otherwise, you are doomed.

  • Big companies often forget how they got so big and successful.

 

This is why 4Cs are so important.

 

Because, while other Marketing tools focus on the Market, the Competitors, the Company… The simple but effective 4Cs remind you what you should never forget about: your Customers.

We know… There are dozens of Marketing Tools and they all seem to be important.

  • And it would be almost impossible to use them all, at all times.

 

Then… When should you use the 4Cs?

When should you use the 4C Framework?

As we often say, you should use the 4C as often as you can.

 

However, there are 2 situations where you should use this Tool almost mandatorily:

  • When you don’t sell technical products.
    • Products that are not defined by their technical specifications.
      • Decorative products.
      • Entertainment products.
      • etc.
  • When you offer a service.
    • Without any physical product involved.
      • In this case, Customer Experience is your number one priority.

 

Why these 2 situations?

  • Have you ever seen an Exxon Mobil commercial?
  • Or a Steering wheel commercial?

We have not seen them either.

 

Technical products are purchased only for their technical specifications. Nothing else.

  • If you sell a 100% technical product, you should focus on its technical specifications.

 

But the less technical your product is, the more you need to focus on the customer experience.

  • And that’s when you should use the 4Cs.

 

Let’s see some examples.

4C Marketing model Examples

We have chosen 3 interesting Examples where the 4Cs are key to explain their success.

 

Let’s begin:

Steam - The 4Cs of Marketing example

 

How is it possible that Steam has become so popular?

  • In case you don’t know, it is a video-game platform, where you can download hundreds of games.
    • Steam is to video-games what iTunes is to music.

 

Let’s analyze Steam’s 4Cs:

 

Steam – 4Cs example.

 

Consumer:

  • They have created a platform specially designed for their Customers.
  • If they see something people don’t like, they can modify it immediately.

 

Cost:

  • Since they use a “virtual” platform, people don’t have to buy physical CD’s.
    • Then, prices have decreased (some people still complain that prices could decrease even more).
    • Also, if we calculated the cost of going to the store… the cost also includes the inconvenience.
  • Moreover, they make special offers, based on their Customers’ profiles.

 

Convenience:

  • Clicking 3 times on their platform is much easier than taking the car, going to the nearest store…
  • Also, it is much more convenient to have it stored in the Cloud than in your small apartment.

 

Communication:

  • They have more “feedback” than they can process.
  • They communicate daily with their customers:
    • Through their platform.
    • Through their social media.
    • Via email.
    • etc.

 

As you can see, Steam has created a Completely Customer-oriented environment that has allowed them to tailor their content to what people like most.

Nintendo Classic Mini - The 4Cs of Marketing example

 

Now, let’s take a look at one of our all-time favorite products: The Nintendo Classic Mini (NES or SNES… makes no difference).

  • We say in advance that we cannot be “objective” with this product. We really love it.

Not even Nintendo expected such great success.

 

But … how is it possible that a compilation of games from 20 years ago was so successful?

 

Let’s analyze the 4Cs:

 

Nintendo Classic Mini – 4Cs example.

 

Consumer:

  • Nintendo custom designed this product for its most veteran customers.
    • The catalog of games was applauded by everybody.

 

Cost:

  • The Target Customer were men over 30 years (we say men because men are much more interested in game-consoles than women).
    • For these customers, €60 (in USA was $60) is a very affordable price for everyone.

 

Convenience:

  • The convenience was being able to play to your favorite games on a Nintendo game console with a much more satisfying experience.
    • Games were in HD, save your games was much easier, no AC plug needed…

 

Communication:

  • Since Nintendo released a “retro” product, Communication was not “very” necessary.
    • People already knew these games, these consoles…. They grew up with them.

 

Nintendo launched a good product that made people relive their old good memories.

  • In Marketing, that is very powerful.

AirPods - The 4Cs of Marketing example

 

The AirPods: How is it possible to succeed in a sector as exploited as that of headphones?

  • Before the AirPods, Bluetooth headsets already existed.
    • Apple didn’t invent them

 

Let’s study their 4Cs:

Apple AirPods – 4C example.

 

Consumer:

  • Although Bluetooth headsets already existed, Apple was the first to develop lightweight earbuds:
    • With no cable joining them together.
    • With a small design.

 

Cost:

  • Apple maintained their pricing Strategy: Expensive and yet “affordable”.
    • They want to be regarded as luxurious but affordable brand.

 

Convenience:

  • It is almost a technical Convenience: lightweight headphones that last.
    • Technically speaking, they were the best option.

 

Communication:

  • Apple’s communication strategy is almost to not communicate at all.
    • It is part of their Strategy.

 

Apple released a very good product from a technical point of view.

There were other options on the Market, but Apple offered what people really wanted:

  • Their pair of earbuds with no cables.

Summarizing

The 4Cs method is a Customer-oriented Marketing Tool that highlights 4 important Factors to focus on, when designing, developing or analyzing a Marketing Strategy.

 

These 4 Factors are:

  • 1. Consumer.
  • 2. Cost.
  • 3. Convenience.
  • 4. Communication.

 

We recommend that you use this tool, especially:

  • If you don’t sell technical products.
  • If you offer a service.

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