Marketing mix is referred to as combination of various marketing tools, which are used to form marketing strategy. Every organization has certain objectives, which needs to be achieved . These objectives are fulfilled through sales of its products.
So; organizations must build a strong marketing mix for its successful marketing plan. All these marketing tools involved in forming the marketing mix are variables. On the basis of marketing factors and organizational objectives, these variables are mixed successfully to reach and satisfy the target consumers’. Thus, for an effective marketing plan, it’s important to define and build strong marketing mix.
In today’s marketing world, consumer is the king.Therefore; all the marketing strategies revolving around product and services should be consumer-centric. In fact, it’s essential for all organizations to define its marketing mix and hence its marketing plans keeping in mind its consumers. This means, it’s essential to understand the needs and demands of its consumers to define the marketing mix.
Initially, marketing mix was defined in terms of 4P’s like product, price, promotion and place. They used to form the base for the marketing plan and aimed at mass marketing.However, these days most of the organizations use 4C’s to define its marketing mix and marketing strategy. This is a niche marketing approach and aims at looking into marketing from consumer’s point of view. In simple words, while following 4C’s marketing mix, everything revolves in and around consumers.
Variables of 4C’s marketing mix are
Marketing mix, based on 4C’s is consumer oriented. Their main focus is towards consumer’s value. These potential customers can be end users, clients, purchaser, suppliers or vendors etc. Each of these potential consumers have different needs and demands.Therefore, while forming a marketing plan for its products or services its important for organizations to know the demands and needs of its target consumers .In this concept, the products or services offered to the consumers are manufactured keeping in mind the needs and demands of its prospective consumers.
These help the products and in return the organizations, in creating a special place in the minds of their consumers. This approach, in return helps the product or services offered by an organization to create a place for itself in the market .
Thus, customer value based marketing mix, helps in creating loyal consumers and accounts for creating awareness about the brand as well as the organization at the end.
Convenience is the second C of marketing mix. It has taken over, ‘Place’ of the 4P’s of traditional marketing mix. Today, people are preoccupied with some work or the other. They have scarcity of time. Therefore, they look for shopping options which come into their way. Like departmental stores at petrol filling stations etc.This makes their life easier and much more relaxed. So, consumers these days look for convenient options to shop for their products. This not only saves their time but it also saves their energy. With rise of technology like Internet, shopping has become much more convenient.
People are now able to access all the information needed to buy a product through Internet and other hi-tech options by sitting at home or other convenient place . It also helps them shop at their convenient time. So,unlike past, consumers do not have to move from one place to another to gather information about a product ,which they wish to buy. In fact,all the information received from Internet helps them to make a quick and more wise buying decision.Therefore,its important for organizations to strategize the selling of their products keeping in mind the convenience of their potential customers.
Cost is the third element of 4C’s marketing mix. It has replaced price of the 4P’s traditional marketing mix approach. According earlier concept ‘Price’ aimed at maximizing the profit of the organization. However, the present scenario of marketing is not the same anymore.Today, survival of a profitable business is pretty tough .This is because there are number of competitors in the market which are ready to offer similar product (in terms of providing customer value) at the competitive cost.
Such market players are ready to grab the opportunity. So, it’s essential for organizations to give a tough fight to its competitors and attract its perspective consumers. Hence, organizations should aim at selling their products to their consumers at a reasonable cost. Their main objective should be to provide maximum customer value at minimum cost. Therefore, while formulating marketing mix for their products or services, organizations should always take into account consumer’s willingness to pay for that product. This means organizations should set up a cost for their products or services such that it provides maximum value to its consumers.
Communication is the last marketing mix variable in 4C’s approach. According to this niche marketing approach, today’s consumers do not believe in promotions of products or services. Earlier, based on 4P’s approach various promotional tools were used to make consumers aware of the advantages and USP of their products. It was a one sided affair. But now, consumers do not believe in the claims made by the organizations about their products or services.
That is, they no longer go by face value.In fact, they prefer interactive way of marketing communication. This involves any chosen form of communication between the organization and the consumer. Its a broader platform of interaction along with the promotions like advertising etc. Here, the main objective is to listen to the consumer ,clear his doubt and convenience the consumer to buy the product.S o, it’s important for organizations to build a strong and cordial relationship with their perspective consumers.
Therefore while strategizing communication mix, its important for organizations to plan and decide –
- An effective way of communication
- Things to communicate about the product or services
- Mode of communication
- Based on the above mentioned marketing mix variables, a marketing manager should use the best of its available information and resources and decide on the best marketing mix. Thus, 4 C’s marketing mix provides a framework to the organizations to build an effective marketing plan to reach its end consumers.