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The 3-Legged Stool of Marketing Excellence

By: Dave Berkus


Marketing is a science devised to help drive customers to your door. There are lots of ways to define how to market well, including the four P’s of marketing(1): product, price, promotion and place. This is considered to be the producer-oriented model. These are still the driving focus behind most marketing courses, and deserve to be so.

Then there is the four C’s, the consumer-oriented marketing model(2). The four Cs: Consumer, cost, communication and convenience. This makes sense too, and surely deserves time.

Oh boy. Then there’s the compass or cardinal definitions model for marketers:  N=needs, W=wants, S=security, and E=education. We can go on forever. But I have my own model that is even simpler.

I’ll call it my IDC model, just to fit into the scheme of the conversation.

I= increase revenues. Find a way to position the company and the product to be wanted so much that it moves into the needs column for the consumer. Use all the techniques you learn in marketing classes to drive demand. Higher demand results in higher prices—if there is limited supply. Or, with or without limits on supply, higher demand results in greater revenues, satisfying the “I” in the formula.

D=Decrease costs. With greater demand comes the option to increase production and gain efficiencies of scale, driving costs down in the process. Even without higher demand, reducing costs should always be a focus for management to provide breathing room for increased profits.

And finally: C=Customers, and more customers. Marketing should provide a pool of ready to listen customers, no matter what the price or complexity of the product. More importantly for management, finding a way to focus on extreme customer service will be the most inexpensive, effective marketing tool of all. Existing customers have low acquisition costs, addressing the “D” in the equation. Extremely happy existing customers are the greatest marketers you will ever have.

Increase revenues, decrease costs, and better serve customers. IDC: that could be a motto or even a manifesto for any good management team. And it’s a good place to start a focus upon positioning.

(1) First proposed by Jerome McCarthy in 1960
(2) Robert Lauterborn, 1993

This article was originally published by Berkonomics

Published: August 15, 2014

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Dave Berkus

Dave Berkus is a noted speaker, author and early stage private equity investor. He is acknowledged as one of the most active angel investors in the country, having made and actively participated in over 87 technology investments during the past decade. He currently manages two angel VC funds (Berkus Technology Ventures, LLC and Kodiak Ventures, L.P.) Dave is past Chairman of the Tech Coast Angels, one of the largest angel networks in the United States. Dave is author of “Basic Berkonomics,” “Berkonomics,” “Advanced Berkonomics,” “Extending the Runway,” and the Small Business Success Collection. Find out more at Berkus.com or contact Dave at dberkus@berkus.com

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