When developing a marketing strategy, one of the most important starting points is a five Cs analysis. The five Cs are customer behavior, company, collaborators, competition, and context. Let’s take a deep dive into the first C, customer behavior. Your customer is most important, without having a deep understanding of who your customer is and how to market to them, it isn’t very likely that your business will be a success.
Here are some pertinent questions to answer as you develop your customer analysis according to Robert J. Dolan’s Framework for Marketing Strategy Formation:
- Who are the decisionmakers? Is it a group of people? Consider if your product or service is business-to-business or business-to-consumer
- What does the decision-making process look like? This will help you discover if your product or service is a fit for the market.
- What does the potential customer market look like? How big is the market? What demographic of people are likely to use your product?
- According to Thomas Bonoma, there are six roles within the buying process that you may also want to consider: initiators, gatekeepers, influencers, purchasers, and buyers.
Let’s use a digital innovation idea that I came up with to see how a customer analysis can be applied. Imagine a technology that fights job discrimination. It works by hiding certain words within a resume that may trigger unconscious biases, such as name, and any other information that points to one’s race or gender. Applicants will submit their resumes through a portal that blurs out certain words before it is viewed by an employer. Once the applicant is accepted, they are interviewed using another digital innovation that changes their voice. This app makes everyone sounds exactly the same, like Siri, but genderless. An applicant’s true identity is only revealed after a job offer is signed.
This product is business-to-business. Although this type of technology would benefit minorities who are searching for a job as well, the customer that should be targeted are hiring managers and human resource executives whose goal is to increase their revenue by recruiting more diverse talent and remove unconscious bias as a barrier. “Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians” (Hunt, Vivian, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince). 98% of companies have a diversity program (Krentz, Matt, Justin Dean, Jennifer Garcia-Alonso, Miki Tsusaka, and Elliot Vaughn) which means that the market for this product is large. However, an important aspect of this research may be getting a survey out to executives within these programs to see if they would actually use a product like this before developing it.
Start your next marketing strategy with a five Cs analysis!
Dixon-Fyle, Sundiatu, Vivian Hunt, Kevin Dolan, and Sara Prince. “Diversity wins: How inclusion matters.” McKinsey & Company, https://www.mckinsey.com. Accessed 23 Oct 2021.
Dolan, Robert J. “Framework for Marketing Strategy Formation.” Harvard Business Publishing, 19 Dec 2019, https://hbsp.harvard.edu/. Accessed 23 Oct 2021.
Hunt, Vivian, Dennis Layton, and Sara Prince. “Why diversity matters.” McKinsey & Company, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/why-diversity-matters. Accessed 23 Oct 2021.
Krentz, Matt, Justin Dean, Jennifer Garcia-Alonso, Miki Tsusaka, and Elliot Vaughn. “Fixing the Flawed Approach to Diversity.” Boston Consulting Group, https://www.bcg.com/en-us/publications/2019/fixing-the-flawed-approach-to-diversity. Accessed 23 Oct 2021.