Some marketers have supplemented the four Ps with new ways of thinking about marketing. The Ps, Cs, As and Os can be combined when looking at the marketing mix.
The firm must look at the marketing effort from the point of view of customer, rather than the company. Here the four Cs must be considered:
1)Customer needs. The firm aims to find a solution to a customer ‘problem’ by offering the right combination of products and services to satisfy particular customer needs. What does the customer need to solve a problem? For example, people don’t have time to cook – we offer the solution of frozen dinners. Pay-as-you-go was a dream solution for parents worried about children running up big phone bills. The company must identify customer needs so that products that meet these needs can be developed.
2)Customer cost. The price paid by the customer for the product. Does the customer perceive the cost of the product as fair, or is it too expensive? It includes the ‘price’ related to not buying another product of the same or another type. For example, someone who buys a sophisticated mobile may not then have the money to buy a laptop computer that they wanted.
3)Convenience. How convenient is it to find your product? Is it easy, or does the customer have to make an effort? Distributing products in the way that is most convenient for each type of customer. The firm has to decide how many new shops to open and where they should be.
4)Communication with the customer. How should you communicate with your customers? Customers are informed about products through advertising and so on. But communication is two-way because customers also communicate with the firm. For example, through telephone helplines. This is a good way for the firm to find out more about what its customers want, and to change or improve its offering, and to get ideas for new offerings.
Robert F. Lauterborn proposed a four Cs classification in 1993. The Four Cs model is more consumer-oriented and attempts to better fit the movement from mass marketing to niche marketing.
· Product part of the Four Ps model is replaced by ‘Consumer’ shifting the focus to satisfying the consumer needs. Another C replacement for Product is ‘Capable’. By defining offerings as individual capabilities that when combined and focused to a specific industry, creates a custom solution rather than pigeon-holing a customer into a product.
· Pricing is replaced by ‘Cost’ reflecting the total cost of ownership. Many factors affect Cost, including but not limited to the customer’s cost to change or implement the new product or service and the customer’s cost for not selecting a competitor’s product or service.
· Placement is replaced by ‘Convenience’. With the rise of internet and hybrid models of purchasing, Place is becoming less relevant. Convenience takes into account the ease of buying the product, finding the product, finding information about the product, and several other factors.
· Promotions feature is replaced by ‘Communication’ which represents a broader focus than simply Promotions. Communications can include advertising, public relations, personal selling, viral advertising, and any form of communication between the firm and the consumer.
2. A mobile phone customer is talking about a recent mobile purchase. Find which of the four Cs each statement refers to:
1.I was looking for a phone that gives me Internet access.
2.I wanted the phone to be delivered to my door.
3.I had some questions about how to use the phone. So I phoned the customer helpline. They were very helpful.
4.My budget’s limited – I had the money to buy a phone or a computer, but not both.
5.I love the modern design of the phone. I was looking for something that looks fashionable and up-to-date.
6.I like the TV advertisements – I only noticed them after I bought the phone, but they persuaded me that I’d made the right choice.
3. Think of something that you bought recently. Describe your purchase in terms of the four Cs. Then describe it from the seller’s point of view in terms of the four Ps.
4. Look through 4 As and 4Os which can be combined in the marketing mix:
How acceptable is the
Product? Do people
approve of the product?
Is it socially acceptable
– fashionable, attractive?
Does the product respect
the laws of the country
– is it legally acceptable?
Does the customer have
enough money to buy the product – can he / she afford the product?
Is the product easy to access?
Is the product accessible for people with
How many people know
about, or are aware of,
Is awareness high?
What do you sell?
How is it manufactured, or made? Is it a high quality (or excellent) product, or is it bottom end?
Revenue objectives concern the income you want to generate.
Price objectives concern the
price you want to sell at.
How should you organize
the sale and distribution of
Which kind of promotional
operations, such as direct
mail, will work best for the
5. Put the words and expressions from the box into the correct columns. Look at the texts above to help you:
acceptability awareness cost to user objects
accessibility communication customer needs operations
affordability convenience objectives organization
Product Price Place Promotion
1._________ 1._________ 1._________ 1._________
2._________ 2._________ 2._________ 2._________
3._________ 3._________ 3._________ 3._________
6. Complete the article about a supermarket in-store event using words from the box:
awareness customers identified meet promotional
This week, Tesco launches its biggest ever ‘Health Event’ – illustrating its commitment to helping (1)……….. lead a healthy and active lifestyle. The supermarket has (2)………. health as an important customer concern and is working to (3)……….. the needs of its customers.
Hundreds of (4)……….. operations for healthy products will run all over the store, from fresh produce through to grocery and healthcare lines. Tesco hopes that (5)……….. of its initiative will be high.
7. Replace the underlined words and expressions with alternative words and expressions from the box:
afford high quality revenue objectives convenient price socially acceptable
1.Mobile phones are fashionable and attractive to the youth market.
2.We have a reputation for providing good standard mobile phones.
3.The cost to user of mobile phones is kept down because they are subsidized by the network providers.
4.This means more people can have the money to buy the product.
5.More and more, customers buy mobile phones online because it is more accessible.
6.Expected earnings from 3G phones were not met when the products were first launched.
8. A marketing manager is talking about the marketing mix for a brand of cleaning products. Choose the correct words from the brackets to complete the text, and then match each statement with one of the Ps:
1. Our (staff / reputation / competitors) are highly motivated. We really believe in our brand. For example, our (consumers / employees / customers) are always trying to improve what we do.
2. Our (tools / range / support) includes detergent, toilet cleaner and sponges.
3. We use a lot of (advertising / presence / promotional), usually in women’s magazines.
4. You can find the brand in supermarkets and local shops. The (tangible / accessibility / process) of our (staff / mix / outlets) is important. We need to be in a lot of (locations / supports / distributions) so that we are easy to find.
5. We are more (accessibility / reputation / expensive) than our (competitors / staff / sales) but we offer good credit terms and we sometimes run special (deals / processes / support).
1. Read the first part of the text and answer whom the marketing process influences: