New to Marketing? Start With the 4Cs

Easy to adopt, the 4Cs marketing model is an easy way to find out what your customers want. Learn how this strategy can be useful for your marketing efforts.

Marketing is crucial for every business as it helps to reach new customers and manage the brand’s image. However, it can be challenging to keep up with its fast-paced nature and stay updated with the latest strategies. 

For beginners, the 4Cs model provides an excellent starting point. It prioritizes the most critical part of your business—the customer. Learning about and applying this method can boost sales, identify problems, and more.

So, what exactly are the 4Cs of marketing? And how can you apply them to your new campaign or strategy? Below is a breakdown of the different aspects of the 4C model. You’ll learn what each C stands for and how they can help revolutionize your marketing work.

About the 4C marketing model

In the past, marketers followed the traditional 4P model. This strategy focused solely on the business, including product, price, place, and promotion. The customer took a backseat. Everything changed in 1990 when Bob Lauterborn introduced a new way of marketing.

In an article for Advertising Age, he wrote of the need for a new model for the modern, tech-savvy customer. He recommended prioritizing the 4Cs of business: the customer, cost, communication, and convenience.

Despite being 30 years old, it is a robust strategy that marketers of any experience level can use. Below, you will find out what it takes to apply the 4Cs to your marketing work:


Effective marketing relies on understanding your customers—their needs, desires, and expectations. As such, a central part of the 4Cs is learning about who your customer base is and what you can offer them.

Modern-day customers are selective and will choose the best brand on the market. As such, it’s crucial that you tailor your marketing to address their needs. To do this, you must conduct extensive marketing research. 

Segment your customers across demographics and see who they are and what they want. You may also research your competitors to see if and what gaps in service exist that you can fill.

By examining customer data, you can position yourself as a leader in your niche. You’ll not only increase revenue but also foster long-lasting relationships with your customers.


In business, marketers often think that cost refers to the retail price of a product or service. With the 4Cs model, cost includes other factors that influence a customer’s habits.

By identifying these, businesses can better position themselves in their market. These hidden costs can include:

  • Travel: The time, effort, and cost it takes for customers to reach your store.
  • Delivery charges: Online shoppers must consider the cost of postage. They also will consider waiting times and return policies.
  • Taxes and customs: International shoppers may need to pay extra fees.
  • Future costs: Does the warranty include repairs or maintenance? What about accessories? Is there a way to provide discounts or deals?
  • Research: How much time does a customer need to spend to learn how to use your item or service? Does this provide value to them?

Marketers must factor in these “hidden” barriers to appeal to more customers. They can adapt and adopt new strategies to bring costs down. For example, you might offer discounted delivery rates for purchases. Or, your business might provide information to help customers see the value of items.


Communication is the backbone of marketing. Not only do you reach your customers, but you can also engage with them and prove your value to them. 

Effective communication can involve explaining your product in the simplest way possible. Share informative articles and explain complex topics in an approachable way. Your messaging is not designed to “trick” or “manipulate” customers. Instead, give them all the necessary information to make informed decisions.

Another huge part of communication is allowing customers to reach you. Have an easy-to-access contact page and customer support to ensure help is at hand. Be present on social media and address customer concerns as and when they happen.

By listening to customers and sharing valuable information, your brand will appear trustworthy. This, in turn, helps create brand loyalty, where customers think of you first.


The final part of the 4C marketing model is convenience. This is where businesses streamline and support customers throughout the entire buying process. To do this, marketers must identify and reduce potential buying barriers.

For example, customers might struggle to find a store that stocks your product. You can consider expanding into new locations to maximize convenience. Additionally, marketers can help identify barriers ruining a customer’s experience. Your website might be confusing, so customers click off before purchasing items.

Improving convenience requires that marketers gather customer feedback. This helps them identify what they’re doing well and what they can improve on. Create web forms and questionnaires so customers can share their feelings with you. 

Not only can this help them feel listened to, but it also gives you new ways to build brand loyalty and set yourself apart from competitors.

The benefits of using the 4Cs of marketing

Despite its age, the 4Cs model is a popular strategy for both new and experienced marketers. It helps you research your customers and find out what they want from your brand.

Best of all, the 4Cs is a flexible model that helps brands remain competitive and reactive. By focusing on customers and their needs, you can adapt to changes in demand and buying habits.

What’s more, you can get an overview of how your brand is performing. You can identify customers’ problems and make changes to improve your service. This helps you remain competitive and relevant. It also helps you build long-lasting, trusting relationships with new and existing customers.

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