MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 18

CUSTOMER CONVENIENCE IS CUSTOMER CONVENIENCE THE NEW MARKETING? By Carolyne Gathuru M arketing’s traditional four P’s have over the years graduated into five, then six, then seven and now eight P’s. With the latest conceptualization adding on the most recent four Ps as People, Perspective, Philosophy and Planning. With respect to customer convenience, even if the restriction remains within the original four P’s under which the rest may all be tucked, the need to examine the central role this plays is critical. It is said and quite rightly so that for the customer – Convenience is King. The attraction, acquisition, growth and retention of the customer is dictated by convenience. More so now than ever in this digital age. The disruption around customer convenience continues to push boundaries world over, with new and innovative products and services that make life easier, simpler and more comfortable for the customer taking center stage. Product Products must meet specific customer demands and answer or provide solutions to their needs. The customer should be at the center of any discussion on product and with emphasis on how a product can provide convenience of any sort to the customer. This should be so much so that the customer identifies with the product in a way that has them feel that their life would not be the same without that product or service in it. Product convenience be it an actual tangib le product should take into account: the packaging and if it provides ease in terms of feel, handle, ‘‘ The disruption around customer convenience continues to push boundaries world over, with new and innovative products and services that make life easier, simpler and more comfortable for the customer taking center stage.’’ 16 MAL 18/17 ISSUE grip, holding or shelving fit as well as carriage; ease of look and feel, product info accessibility and comprehension; height, weight, width, depth and volume; as well as its shape and the necessity for cylindrical, square, flat, rounded, oblong or triangular application. Service based products need to provide relief to the customer where they experience the joy of the service bringing convenience in the sense of saving time, saving money, saving them from complexity or saving them from what would be construed as a pain. Convenience is everything where products are concerned. Right from product conceptualization to product application, convenience must be thought through and must form the basic building blocks for marketing success. Price Price is by far often given the most attention and sometimes takes such precedence in an organization’s marketing agenda that it bears down on everything else. Brands have been known to engage in what are