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Integrating the 3Cs: Balancing Customer, Company, and Competition in Your Marketing Mix
With the economy looking to be on shaky ground, many companies have started to keep back some of their marketing dollars. So it’s more important than ever that your marketing spend is tightly targeted and brings the best returns.
One way to do that is to go back to basics. It’s time to focus on the central principles that form the foundation of any solid marketing strategy: the 3Cs of marketing. That’s short for Customer, Company, and Competition.
This article introduces you to this fundamental principle of marketing. We’ll explain what each means and how to combine them into one coherent strategy to take your business forward.
What Are the 3Cs of Marketing?
The 3Cs are a core piece of marketing terminology. They stand for Customer, Company, and Competition.
It’s a framework used in marketing to help businesses create a strategy. It ensures any marketing strategy focuses on all three points. That way, you’re more likely to see success with your approach.
These 3Cs are about how a business positions itself in the market and how they interact with its target audience. Let’s look at each in a bit more detail.
Customer involves learning about your target market. No business thrives on marketing to everyone; success comes from targeting a niche. So the customer aspect is about getting a profile of the person most likely to buy from you.
You must learn about their demographics, interests, and buying behaviors.
Company is about how you position yourself. You’ll need a SWOT analysis to find your perfect place in the market. It will help you discover your differentiator or unique selling position.
The final C is competition. To help you grow in the market, you need to analyze your competitors for their strengths and weaknesses. It’s what will help set you apart.
Defining Your Customer
A clear picture of your target market forms the foundation of any good marketing strategy.
Traditionally, you might think this is an exercise in demographics – listing the age, gender, and location of your customer. But effective marketing means going beyond this analysis.
To market to someone, you need to know more about them psychologically. You want to understand what they need and desire. You need to know their aspirations in life and what pain points worry them during the day.
That information will help you find the perfect fit in the form of your products or services. And it will shape the marketing messages you use to present them to the world.
It’s easier to articulate the benefits of what you sell if you understand how and why they will benefit your customer. It’s why big brands often create ad campaigns with aspirational images and ideas, barely mentioning the product details.
To get these insights, you’ll need to do some research. If you have existing customers, try a survey or focus group.
If you don’t yet have customers, look online for information. You can obtain industry reports or read through comments on forums and social media. It will help you build that all-important picture of your dream customer.
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Positioning Your Company
When putting together your marketing strategy, you’ll need to consider your company. It’s about figuring out your core competencies and your business identity.
Having a deeper understanding of that will shape a clearer marketing message.
You’ll want to consider as many aspects of the company as possible to strengthen your brand position.
That might include how you operate or some unique technology you use. It might be strengths and talents in your workforce. Or innovations in your product design. It could be your customer service.
Your company culture will also be a factor in your marketing strategy. You’ll develop a more authentic brand by reflecting your business culture in your marketing. It will echo the values you have as a company.
When you or a marketing agency analyzes your company, you look inwards. So now it’s time to look outwards towards your competition.
Here, you’ll gain insights that will strengthen your marketing strategy. You’ll learn more about the industry, the current landscape, and trends. More importantly, you’ll understand why customers buy from your rivals.
That will help you determine what you need to do to get noticed. You’ll be able to spot gaps. It could be a different product design. Or it could be something more subtle, like a 30-day guarantee or free shipping.
The other vital task to tick off your list when analyzing your competition is to check pricing strategies. You’ll want to know their prices and the overall pricing model.
Analyzing the competition is essential for helping you to spot areas that need improving. It’s how you’ll push your company to become unique and exciting.
Creating a Balanced Approach With The 3Cs of Marketing
To get the right marketing strategy, you or your marketing company must focus on finding a balance between all 3Cs.
Begin by examining your offer. It should fulfill the needs of your customer. At the same time, it should showcase your company’s strengths. Finally, it must be different from the competition.
Next, look at your pricing. Pricing must reflect the product’s value in your customer’s eyes, so you’ll need to know how your benefits match their needs.
But you’ll also want to align with your company’s financial objectives, as well as align with competitors.
You’ll also need to balance the 3Cs when looking at your digital marketing channels. They must match your customer’s interests to help you get discovered. Yet they’ll also need to fit your company brand and competitor’s channels.
Finally, look at your communications and your core marketing message. That should tap into your customers’ needs, reflect your business, and help distance yourself from the competition.
Defining a Marketing Strategy That Helps Your Business Thrive
It’s tempting to run rapidly toward the latest and greatest marketing idea.
Yet before you figure out your tactics, you must develop that core marketing strategy. It’s the foundation. The 3Cs of marketing are central to crafting the right strategy for your business.
For more help on getting the right marketing strategy in place, contact our expert marketing team at Ascendance Website Solutions today.