Business environment is changing and marketing strategies are changing accordingly. Marketing has become an important strategic function of any business organization. Success of any business, now heavily depends on the effort and investment made on marketing by the company. For this, it is really important for all the businesses to understand the market dynamics and environment and plan its marketing strategies accordingly. For effective, efficient, reliable and systematic marketing strategies, attention must be given to various elements and factors related to marketing. Some of such factors (7 Cs of marketing) are:
Customers are the center focus for any business organization. Customers are the end consumers of products and services. A company should understand their customers before considering anything. Every business tries to be customer-centric in operation. Hence, the marketing strategies of companies keeps customers as their important factors.
Customers accept or reject the products/services offered. They have the supremacy to build a business or to close it down. A company concepts a product keeping the needs/wants of customers in mind.
Also, companies focus on customers throughout the process of business operation as a customer is a human-factor and it is difficult to predict the behavior of the consumers. Due to this importance, customers are always in priority when it comes to marketing and marketing strategies.
For example: Amazon is a customer centric company that has spent many years catering to the needs and demands of the customers. The heavy investment of Amazon on customer’s satisfaction is the main reason for its growth and success. The strategy and plans are based upon the customers and their needs satisfaction.
Marketing campaigns have a longer effect on consumers and it assists or affects the behavior of consumers. For a company, to take advantage of its marketing campaigns, it should align its objectives, plans, campaigns and all other marketing tools. There should be an integrated marketing campaign for effective results.
Consistency in marketing campaigns and tools used during the campaign are must. Difference in message in different marketing platforms may lead to confusion among the customers regarding the approach of the company and its product. When the customer gets confused, they lose confidence in the company. It is a loss for a company if customers are doubtful regarding the products and services used.
The message that the company markets through its marketing channels and medium must be consistent so that the customer can get the value proposition of the company and relate its products and services with the message.
For example: Sony is one of the oldest brands in the world. The company has communicated to its customers the same tagline for years which is “Make. Believe”. To remain relevant in the ever changing market it is important that the company provides a consistent message to the customers.
Marketing costs a lot of money in any country. In this globalized economy, marketing a product is very expensive. Despite this, companies are spending a large amount of money in advertising or marketing related work.
Again, the quantity of budget spent on marketing doesn’t mean that it will create the same amount of impact. To be relevant in the market, marketing should be relevant. For this, marketers need to be creative and innovative. Two things are most important for a company i.e. customers and market, both of these things are dynamic and difficult to predict. Hence, in such a situation, marketing approaches need to be creative in a sense that it remains relevant in the present day.
Marketers need to find creative ways to gain the attention of the target customers. Companies marketing strategy need to be creative and innovative to educate and persuade the target customers.
For example: RedBull introduced innovative ad campaign called #putacanonit. The campaign encouraged people to take pictures of red bull can with anything. This campaign gained the attention of many customers and increased brand awareness. Customers these days are attracted by new and unique ideas that attract their attention. Creativity in marketing can be the effective approach to increase brand awareness, gain new customers and retain the existing ones.
Marketing campaigns need to be relevant. Culture factor in marketing advocates this relevance. Every individual is different and considers different parameters for making decisions.
Any marketing campaign or approach needs to understand the market environment and individuals associated with that environment. For instance, ‘a model in a bikini’ in an advertisement can be perceived differently in different regions. In western part of the world, this may be normal and effective but in middle east part of the world, this may be disrespectful and inappropriate
Therefore, different cultures may have different responses to the same message. Companies need to deliver messages to different culture groups in such a way that it remains relevant and respectful to the audience to which it is targeted. Failure to respond to different cultures can affect the companies negatively.
For example: McDonald’s entered the Indian market. As beef is not allowed in India and the majority of Indians are vegetarian, they changed their menu and introduced food items that satisfy the Indian market. If McDonald’s had not changed its marketing strategy in India as per their culture then the company would have failed in the Indian market.
A marketing campaign stands good when people respond positively to it. Effective communication leads to positive response Right message needs to be communicated to the customers. When the right message is communicated, it helps the target customer to remain informed and persuaded. It helps to gain the trust of the customer. With the proper communication, a company can increase the lifetime value of the customer. Misinformation communicated in the right way and right information miscommunicated will impact the image of the company.
For example: Apple focuses on websites and trade show presentations to communicate with the target customer. It is important that the company frequently communicates with customers to gain their trust and build brand image. Apple has been able to communicate with its customers and gain their trust.
Companies constantly need to make changes to marketing strategy to satisfy the changing needs of the customers and to remain relevant in the market. Similarly, changes in the business factor and market need to be adapted in the marketing strategy. The dynamics in the market changes frequently.
Change is a critical component for any brand and its marketing strategy. In this modern era, marketing needs to incorporate creativity, innovation and technology to deal with the change.
For example: Ford Motors incorporated a change in marketing strategy by analyzing the rise of ride sharing systems. The company focused its marketing and announced to sell SUVs and trucks only.
The rise of the internet has made it possible for companies to reach and cater the global arena. Technology and globalization has made everything easily accessible. Now, the competition is global and anyone from anywhere can compete with anyone. This has made doing business a challenge and on other hand this has opened ample opportunities for marketers.
Due to this easy accessibility, companies need to effectively and efficiently evaluate various marketing channels for successful campaigns. Selection of channels can have an important role in effective marketing and it can save a lot of resources for any business. A channel can be a marketing channel or a distribution channel or a payment channel. A good channel will have a huge impact on a company.
For example: Uber gained many customers from social media networking. The marketing of Uber to gain customers is dependent on social media sites.
7 Cs is a very important concept in formulating the marketing strategy. By focusing on the 7 Cs of marketing, companies can market the products and services in the competitive market. The changing needs and wants of the customer must be taken into consideration in any marketing plan. Marketing strategy should take primary focus on the customers and their needs.