Now more than ever, the success of promotion and marketing efforts depends on the incorporation of the marketing mix elements into an organization’s marketing strategy. In driving towards successful promotion and engagement with customers, knowing and implementing the elements of the integrated marketing mix has become crucial.
Synergy and a nice balance have to be created between the traditional 4 P’s of marketing, the 4 C’s of integrated marketing, and an organization’s communication and marketing strategy. Not striking the right balance between these elements leads to a disjointed approach and renders promotional activities ineffective. The marketing mix theory must be successfully implemented and applied to organizational marketing efforts.
Traditional marketing placed a lot of emphasis on the four P’s of the marketing mix; Product, Place, Price, and Promotion. However, like the marketing techniques, these 4 P’s of old-school marketing have become archaic and are barely effective these days. A marketing mix that is more focused on customers is what works. The four C’s of integrated marketing are more effective because they are centered on customer actions, decisions, and trends.
Integrated Marketing Mix’s Four C’s
Succeeding at marketing requires focusing on customers more. This has resulted in a shift towards a customer-heavy approach to marketing and the creation of the four C’s of Integrated Marketing. They provide the benefit of making a brand better geared towards fulfilling customer needs by establishing two-way communication between brands and customers.
Integrated marketing’s four C’s essentially allow brands to create solutions to the needs and problems of customers because they are able to identify these needs. In this age, the brands that are most successful at marketing and promotion are the ones that keep traditional four P’s of marketing in mind while converting them to integrated marketing’s four C’s.
The four C’s of Integrated marketing are Customer solutions, Customer cost, Convenience, and Communication. They are all about providing customers solutions that effectively and conveniently address their needs. The experience of users is extremely important to customer retention and loyalty, choosing a brand’s products has to be the best option available to them.
Customer Solutions not Product
Traditionally, brands focused on creating a need for their products after product development. This is the technique that worked in that era, but it doesn’t anymore. The key to success now is creating customer solutions by developing products that solve the problems of customers.
The role of market research has therefore been expanded in product development as products must now eliminate the pain and problems of customers.
Customer Cost not Price
Several elements affect a customer’s purchase decision and a product’s price is one of them. But the cost to the customer actually goes beyond just the product’s price alone. Elements like the time it takes to purchase, fees, size, and the emotional implications of using a product are all important and require consideration.
Convenience not Place
How conveniently customers can access a brand’s product and services are important to success. Customers no longer want to have to go miles and miles before getting the things they need. Brand strategy and processes must be optimized to create convenient and fluid customer experiences so customers don’t depart for more convenient alternatives.
Communication not Promotion
Traditional marketing communication in the 80’s and 90’s involved brands simply releasing jingles to inform customers about products with little room for customer feedback and interaction. Not anymore though as customers must now be actively engaged and asked for feedback about products and services. Their input must also be recognized and changes to products and services geared towards satisfying them.