Shine Bright Like a Diamond: The 4Cs of Content Marketing

Developing a marketing campaign that resonates with your target audience requires a carefully thought-out marketing map, and even more planning if you want it to elicit the ‘calls to action’ you desire—whether that’s consumer buying, social following/sharing, or enhanced brand awareness. But getting on the radar of your target audience requires a strategic and creative marketing plan.

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Back to Basics

Sometimes it’s necessary to get back to basics when developing a new marketing strategy or reinvigorating an existing one. We’re all familiar with the four ‘P’s of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. These pillars make up the foundation of any solid Marketing 101 plan.

However, within the ever-evolving marketing landscape, the 4Ps often don’t provide us with the breadth and depth of guidance that we need to really reach and engage audiences—creating room for the consumer model to take center stage. In our hyper-digital, and social media-driven world, we have seen a shift toward consumer-centric marketing and the benefits to be reaped from such a strategic approach that appeals to their wants and needs.

The 4Cs of Marketing

At the core of consumer-centric marketing methods are the four ‘C’s: consumer, cost, convenience, communication. Whether your business is in the initial stage of designing a marketing framework, trying a new strategy, or assessing an existing marketing plan, the 4Cs can serve as a regular checkpoint to ensure you’re meeting the goals of your business. As digital technology continues to transform the way consumers interact with content and media online, businesses—both small and large—must be able to adapt and leverage their communications and marketing efforts accordingly, so they aren’t left in the digital marketing dust.

The 4Cs of marketing have surprising parallels to the 4Cs of diamonds: cut, carat, color, clarity. The 4Cs are the benchmarks used in determining a diamond’s cost and value, but above all, the most important considerations stem from the view of the lucky one who will be flaunting the ice—and similarly, it’s a marketing essential to keep the preferences of the end-user in mind. Using a consumer-centric approach within marketing campaign can help your business outshine the rest.

24-Carat Content

“Content is king” continues to resound in today’s marketing trends, highlighting the essence of content marketing in most current marketing schemes. Constantly generating new and engaging content can be like finding a diamond in the rough, so a planned content marketing strategy is important for ensuring that you’re getting the best ROI for the content you curate.

Consider these 4Cs of marketing in order to produce quality-rich content that draws consumers toward valuable ‘calls to action’ that generate inbound leads.

Consumer (Cut): For a brand that illuminates among markets and enlightens a broad spectrum of audiences, it is essential to consider the first C of marketing—consumer. The consumer is the most complex and important consideration, as it directly affects its counterparts.

Think of ‘consumers’ like you think of the ‘cut’ of a diamond—there is no single “cookie-cutter” audience, but rather numerous, unique consumer groups that respond to and have varying degrees of susceptibility to marketing efforts. This is why it is important to design marketing initiatives with specified audiences in mind, and to constantly assess and adjust strategic planning toward their preferences as technology, trends, and targets change.

Targeted marketing requires taking a look at your different audiences to develop content and communications that cater to the unique characteristics of each type of audience.

Cost (Carat): Cost is another important element to consider in framing your marketing approach, both in terms of price and perceived value. Taking the costs into consideration is important so that you are planning the price of your products or services based on the consumer, and not vice versa. The perceived value by specific audiences for your products/services directly affects how consumers interact with your brand.

Convenience (Color): They say that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder … and when it comes to convenience, this statement rings especially true.

In the fast-paced world we live in, time is of the essence—a convenient product/service is a valuable one, and consumers perceive value based on personal preferences and backgrounds. Knowing how the target audiences prefer to receive content and purchase products/services guarantees more effective marketing and more convenient buying.

Communication (Clarity): Effective communication is vital to a successful marketing plan. Considering your target audience is important when choosing the type and mode of communication, channel, style, and other aspects of engagement.

Targeted content opens up the lines of communication, and builds consumer confidence that drives sales. Communications should also be interactive and creative, and this is where social media is a powerful communications tool. Clarity is just as important to the quality of a diamond as it is to engaging consumers—and to make your branded marketing shine, it has to reach far and be relevant to a broad spectrum of audiences.

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William Flanagan

CEO & Founder, Audienti. Former VP-Cognio, Founder-sentitO/Verso, SALIX/Tellabs, PrimaryAccess/3Com, CompuServe. Expert in data-driven marketing.

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