In the marketing world, there are numerous strategies that a marketer can adopt to grow the business and gain a significant market share.
However, in each case, there are three crucial factors that we cannot ignore i.e. Company, customers, and competitors.
These three factors are highly dynamic and dependent on each other. Careful use of these elements can help a business to have a comprehensive yet high-level view of business activities and its external environment for better decision-making.
The term company is referred to any organization, not necessarily a corporation. It provides a foundation for all the activities, funding, and staffing.
The rationale behind this element of marketing is to determine whether the company is in the best position and meets the needs, wants and demands of the customers or not.
To survive in this dynamic business environment, the company must be capable of developing and executing effective strategies keeping in mind its core competencies.
To identify the core competencies generally, the companies are engaged in an in-depth internal analysis of its product portfolio, distribution channels, culture, objectives, goals, brand value, brand position, strengths, weaknesses, aspirations, resources and investments.
SWOT analysis, VRIO, McKinsey 7S Framework, OCAT, strategy evaluation and gap analysis are some most commonly used frameworks by all sizes and the nature of businesses. Besides, during the analysis remaining true and honest about the weaknesses of the company and strengths of competitors is important.
Once the analysis is completed, the next step is to either modify or develop new short-term and long-term goals. The goals must be aligned with the reason for starting the business.
Knowing every aspect of the company helps the marketers to develop appropriate marketing plans and marketing strategies that not only strengthen the core competencies of the business but also address its weakness and help gain more viability in the market.
The second C of the marketing focuses on the customer of the company i.e. whom the company is targeting to sell its products. Customers are considered the king and soul of any business. They are the only reason for the livelihood and the growth of the business.
Not focusing only on the products of the company but solving problems and filling in the void in the life of the customers is also crucial.
It is also noteworthy to mention, customers can be of several types. Hence, the company should have a clear idea of what type of customer will like its product or service.
Who are they (new, loyal, impulse, need-based or wandering)?
What are their needs?
What do they want?
What is the motivation behind their purchase?
How do they make decisions?
Which segment (demographically, geographically, psychographically, and behaviorally) can be the most valuable for the company?
What tangible and intangible benefits do they seek?
After identifying the right customers, the company should learn more about their key interests, attitudes, behaviors, preferences, buying frequency, buying power, etc. In addition, how big the target market currently is and how much it can grow in the future.
The companies should also know why the customers are using their products but not others and maintain that characteristic.
Once a company knows everything about the customers, it becomes much easier to design and market the products accordingly.
Doing so, helps the company to communicate with them on a personal level, instead of just pushing products in front of them. In simple words, the marketing should speak to the target audience not just be shown to them.
The most common way of identifying the right customers and their needs is formal research. This research can be conducted internally (through the company’s marketing department) or through any third party.
However, here the point of focus is asking the right questions and make the whole process as interactive as possible. The results will help the marketing department to plan pricing, promotion, services and selling accordingly.
It is a fact, no matter what a product or service is never 100% unique in the market. A company always faces competition, regardless of the industry and level of business. A customer always has a choice to switch.
The third C of marketing is competitors. Having competition indicates the business is doing well and gaining share in the market. Furthermore, competitors can be of several types.
They can be direct, indirect substitutes or new entrants, hence, not leaving any gaps for the rivals and keeping an eye on them about how many of them are, what they are doing, how they are reaching the customers and how they are advertising themselves is also essential.
Innovation is the key to cater to the competition. Knowing the type of competition and kind of competitor helps a business to mitigate any potential risk, identify its own competitive advantage and avoid costly mistakes.
To stand out story-telling, personalization keyword research and PPC ads can help the company to connect with the customers. During the competitor’s analysis, a company can focus on who are the competitors?
What kind of products and services do they offer?
Why do people buy from them?
What are the value propositions that our company lacks?
What are the goals of the rivals?
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
What kind of social activities do they do?
How do they incorporate innovation, creativity and advanced technology?
The common tools to identify competitors for a business include Porter’s five forces model, industry benchmarks, market search and customer feedback.
Market research sometimes becomes complex and time-consuming when the product portfolio of the company is well-diverse.
However, customer feedback can be really helpful and cost-effective as well. Customers use different brands and listen from others as well so they can better guide about other companies, their products and most importantly their weaknesses.
In a nutshell, the 3 Cs of marketing helps to evaluate the crucial factors of any business. It is similar to a health check-up of a business, identifying what is wrong by focusing on the essential elements.
Furthermore, how those problems can be addressed. It helps the business to remain profitable and well-informed about the internal as well as external environment.