Back when I was in college, majoring in Marketing, it was all about the 4 Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, Place. And that was the mantra in education and in business up until quite recently. Then, Roy McClean, Principal of The Custom Fit Communications Group introduced us to the new Marketing Four, the 4 Cs of Marketing.
I’d like to focus on the fourth C: Communication. Marketing in the new economy is much more about creating a dialogue with your potential customer, rather than selling and marketing to a “prospect.” It’s about inviting feedback, being receptive to ideas, and responding to needs; then presenting your product or service in response to what you have learned through these various interactions.
Hence, selling a Product has been replaced by responding to the Consumer; where your establishment or company is Placed has been replaced by Convenience of finding and buying your product or service through an Internet presence; Price has been replaced by Cost, which is now equated with value; and Promotion has been replaced by ongoing Communication with the Consumer.
Integrating Social Media Marketing, eMarketing, and eCommerce is time consuming and complex. But, it also allows for a more cost effective and efficient way than ever before to reach your target audience. It is critical that you have someone on your team (whether an employee in your marketing department or a P.R. agency) that truly understands how to develop, implement, and manage a solid, comprehensive, and ongoing strategy. And be careful―many agencies are jumping on the bandwagon and charging a lot of money to do so. Just because someone can update their own Facebook page and post some Tweets, doesn’t mean they can build a brand for you or your company that will be long-lasting and effective.
Companies in this economy must be customer-centric, rather than ego-centric. I’ve done battle with countless companies when designing their Web sites and they insist on loading it up with information about their company, their owner, their products, their employees, their news, etc. A more effective and current approach is to produce a site that invites a dialogue with their visitors, and then offering products and services that clearly appeal to the needs and wants of the potential buyer. If someone feels like they are participating, they will be much more engaged in your company, become a fan, spread the word, and before you know it, the ultimate dream―buzz is created!
Windows 7, in response to Apple’s brilliant “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC” campaign, has developed a series of television spots using real people and the theme “I’m a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea!” This is marketing in the new economy―reaching out to the public, inviting dialogue, responding to the needs and wants of the Consumer, Communicating how the products and services are in response to feedback... and the results are astounding!