#16 Key Question: Revolution in Marketing: Will the 4P model be replaced by concepts like 4C and SAVE?

The concept of marketing was developed in the 1960s and encompasses the crucial instruments for directly influencing the purchase decision of potential customers: Product policy, communication policy, distribution/sales policy, which are reflected in the 4P model: Product, Price, Place, Promotion (4P = Acronym for Product, Price, Place, Promotion). The instruments of marketing are combined into a homogeneous, holistically aligned system, Marketing Mix, where the individual instrumental areas complementarily support each other to the benefit of increased product sales. The ultimate aim of the marketing instruments and their specific mix is to create sustainable demand preferences for the company and its product offering through direct influence on buyers in the relevant sales markets and thus achieving the highest possible penetration of market potential  on the highest price level for maximum value creation in a sustainable way.

The transformation of sales markets from a seller’s to a buyer’s market along with the autonomous superiority of customers over their go-to-market process has given rise to new approaches of marketing concepts that propose a new and changed perspective for a companies’ market approach: From market orientation to customer centricity, focusing on the customer’s needs and values. That way new models like 4C and SAVE were created:

  • 4C: Customer Value, Convenience, Cost, Communication
  • SAVE: Solution, Access, Value, Education

Model Comparison: From 4P to 4C and SAVE

  • Product > Customer Value > Solution: From standard offering to personalized customer value and needs-based solutions
  • Place > Convenience > Access: From product availability to shopping convenience and easy purchase access
  • Price > Cost > Value: From product price to cost of ownership and buyer perceived value
  • Promotion > Communication > Education: From sales advertising to customer communication and information

All in all: The 4P model comprises the marketing instruments, which companies utilize for directly influencing customers; they are as valid as ever. Along with the digitalization driven superior autonomy of buyers regarding the entire go to market-process, the orientation of the 4P instruments has sharpened into a customer centric direction, putting the buyers and their needs into a central spot: Companies only win the battle for customers, when they provide additional surplus value to buyers for the entire buying process and not only the product. This way models like 4C and SAVE represent the new perspective of marketing, but do not replace the 4Ps.

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