Migrating from the “Four P’s to the Four C’s”

How are traditional and digital marketing different? In traditional marketing, communication only happens in one direction, with the company speaking directly to its target audience. While this type of communication does sometimes exist in digital marketing, typically the focus is around multi-directional communication, with the company both talking and listening to its audience. In addition, in digital marketing, all interactions are online and, therefore, are public. Any customer can join in the conversation in real time.

Advertisement campaigns have also changed with digital marketing. In traditional marketing, campaigns are well-planned and span a specific amount of time. In the digital world, there’s also some planning ahead, but there’s more room for adjustment during the campaign. Additionally, there’s always space for real-time response.

Traditional marketing is all about what to offer customers and how to offer it to them. The established four P’s: product, price, place, and promotion, have always been a major focus for marketing departments. But today, the marketing mix has shifted from these P’s to four C’s. Though these new four C’s have been defined differently by various marketing experts, we’ll define them as co-creation, currency, consumer, and conversation. These elements represent the evolution of brand-to-customer communication to a model where companies both speak and listen.

Co-creation is the process of involving customers early in the ideation stage for products, services, content, and more. It allows them to customize and personalize these elements to their needs. Currency, or pricing, is also evolving. Dynamic pricing, which involves setting flexible prices based on capacity utilization and market demand, is not new in some industries, but the practice has continued to grow in the digital age. Companies of all sizes are now charging different prices based on company size, location, and more. In this way, price is more like currency, which fluctuates depending on market demand. As for the other C’s, consumers and conversations, these are both an important part of digital marketing that we’ll discuss in more detail.