There are two basic strategic digital marketing models to find and keep customers known as the 4 C’s and the POEM. Model your next product launch or campaign strategy with the 4 C’s in mind and ensure you have the right mix of media to stand out above the rest.


4 C’s

Use the 4 C’s model when planning your position in the market and how to effectively market your product. The 4 C’s is evolved version of the traditional 4 P’s Marketing Model (product, placement, price, promotion) – brings the consumer to the heart of the strategy instead of the product. The 4 C’s are: Consumer (wants and needs), other Costs, Convenience and Communication.

The older 4 P’s model started with the product and was based around was very business centric., but not the consumer. It’s a no-brainer that marketers today should have the consumer’s wants and needs – and not the product – at the core of their strategy. An example here is Uber. A whole business centered around a consumers insight into a very stagnate category.

Price is no longer the sole driver as to why a consumer will choose your product over another. You cannot win in the long term by just having the lowest price. Each company or product now has other costs to consider beyond the cost of the actual product or service. These costs include costs to obtain or switch, environmental costs, political ,social etc. For example, if you are considering purchasing a new laptop and deciding between a PC and Mac, the retail value is not the only “cost” considered. You will also likely consider the cost of learning new functionality or switching your programs over. There are countless of examples in almost every purchase a consumer makes.

Convenience to buy replaces placement or where are we going to “put” our product or offer our service. Today it’s all about how easy your product or service is to access for your target audience– via the Internet, over the phone, physical stores, or a mix of the above. Make your product or servce easily accessible.

Finally, communication is critical to success of your marketing strategy. Promotion (or paid media), essentially one-way communication is no longer enough to sell your product or communicate your message. Marketers must also consider the evolving needs or listen to feedback from your consumer to impact your product/service or strategy. Now you must consider paid, earned and owned media. Consumers have a lot of choices today and they will purchase products from the companies or brands that give them a positive experience.


POEM Model

The POEM model stands for paid, owned and earned media. As discussed above, this is now the model you should use to promote your product or service. The right mix of these media types can bring in new customers, deepen relationships with existing customers and ultimately lead to the success of your business. With this method you create content or a strategy for each different kind of media.

Paid media means just that – it’s advertising where you are paying for the space for your ads. Paid media tactics include banner ads, paid search, email lists, advertorials, sponsorships, etc. Marketers are generally able to control over their message, channels, formats and who sees their ad. Paid media generally has the highest reach and reasonably easy to control.

Owned media is messaging on the channels that you own– your website, blog, mobile apps, email, social media profiles, anything that is under your brand or company’s “name”. You have the most control the content that appears on these channels and best used for building a stronger relationship with existing customers/leads. However, there is expense to set-up and maintain the content on that channel and the reach is typically low unless activated in conjunction with paid or earned methods.

The hardest to control, but the most trusted, is earned media. An advertiser does not have complete control across earned media – consumers and/or influencers can also control the message. Tactics include reviews and ratings, commenting on social media and forum comments – anything that is closer to “word of mouth.” Earned media tends to be the most powerful – for positive or negative reasons. If someone is upset about your product or company those negative reviews and comments can be a detriment to your business. But on the flip side if the right people have a great experience with your brand and shout it from the rooftops that can be the best thing that happens to your brand. Another thing that impacts how much impact a negative or positive response can have on your business is the reach of the person or organization that is talking about you.

These two models, 4C’s and Paid Owned Earned, are corner stones within digitalbrief training materials. With a great understanding of these concepts, many great digital marketing and media strategies can be developed.

What strategic models do you use? Please post any insights or links so we can all share in the knowledge.