Marketing Mix 4C Robert Lauterborn, a Shift Paradigm

In 1990, thirty years after 4P’s McCarthy, Robert Lauterborn offered another version of the marketing mix 4C  that emphasized the consumer’s perspective. The marketing mix of Jerome McCarthy’s version and Borden which contains 4P is more impressed by the point of view of the manufacturer or marketer. While Lauterborn version emphasis on the customer perspective.

“The 4P’s was about “What does the marketer want to say?” while the 4C’s asks “What does the customer need to hear that the marketer can say?”
I felt that the 4P’s was wrong-headed because it looked at the marketing process from the company out, instead of from the customer in, which I felt was backward.

Robert F. Lauterborn

Furthermore, he refuses to see 4C in the perspective of the seller.

“Many people have played with the 4P’s and even with the 4C’s, tried to put their own particular stamp on it, but at the risk of sounding arrogant, no variation I’ve ever seen has expressed the outside-in concept as simply and elegantly as the original 4C’s formulation.”

― Robert F. Lauterborn

Definition of Marketing Mix 4C

Lauterborn’s definition of the marketing mix is as follows

• Customer Value (something that is valuable to consumers) instead of Products

• Cost instead of Price

• Convenience instead of Place

• Communication instead of Promotion

He said that 4C is his definition of the marketing mix on the strategic level.  Then on the tactical level, everything one does as part of the small “m” marketing mix is directly driven by the customer’s needs and interests, habits, and preferences. Robert Lauterborn.

The background to the emergence of this idea was that more and more goods were produced and unsold, in 1990. Robert Lauterborn acknowledged the important role of McCarthy’s version 4P marketing mix that blends the art of advertising and management. According to Lauterborn, 4P is more impressive the point of view of producers, not consumers. Maybe McCarthy didn’t mean that, but the person who studied McCarthy’s ideas in depth would easily misinterpret. Lauterborn said that “The primary progenitors of the 4P’s tried to preserve it by creating a four-quadrant “donut” and putting the word “customer” in the center.”  The misinterpretation is because the term used is more of a producer’s perspective.

Customer Value (Benefits for Consumers)

Forget products, learn the needs and desires of the target market. Neoclassical economics assumes that products create their own markets because human needs are unlimited. Now that is no longer valid when production is abundant. The consumer only buys something he wants. The seller needs to understand in advance what is the needs and desires of the consumer, then design the product. By actively adjusting supply to the needs, there is no loss of production.


Forget prices, understand the costs and sacrifices of consumers. Consumer costs are not only the official price. The price tag is only one part of consumer costs. Travel back and forth to the store is a sacrifice of time, effort, cost. Guilt also includes sacrifice, if for example, the product offered is contrary to the conscience of the consumer, for example, the company’s production process is not environmentally friendly. The best offer for consumers is not the best cake and the cheapest price, the factor of consideration is complex. If the cheap tasty cake contains pork oil, Muslims consider it worthless because of the huge sacrifice costs


Forget the location. Now to access product offerings, consumers don’t have to go anywhere. They can open the internet, search for the desired product and order. Food messages can be done via the internet. The location is important because it provides convenient access to products and services. Now convenience and ease of access can be obtained through other means, namely the internet and delivery system. In Indonesia, companies do not have to prepare delivery services. Online motorbikes provide delivery and purchase facilities.

Communication (Two-Way Communication)

Forget promotion. The important thing is communication. Promotion tends to be one-way. Communication is two-way, both from consumers and sellers. Adjustment between value offers and consumer needs requires two-way communication. With two-way communication, two parties adjust  each other. This communication concept is in accordance with the millennium era. Because the nature of internet media is two-way communication.

According to Lauterborn, advertising in the customer perspective is raising language and art to the level of power. The purpose is to (1) convince a potential customer that my product or service will satisfy his or her deepest needs and wants better than any possible alternative and (2) impel him or her to take immediate action.

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