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What Are the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing? An Easy Explanation

what are the 4 c's of digital marketing

What Are the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing? – In this article I write about the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing.

You will learn about what the 4 C’s marketing mix theory is, how it has developed from the original 4 P’s of the marketing mix, and how to apply it to your digital marketing strategy.

If you want to learn more about digital marketing, make sure you check my other articles:

What is the 4 C’s Marketing Mix?

The 4 C’s (or 4Cs) marketing mix theory was developed by Robert F. Lauterborn in 1990.

It is an extension and modification of the original 4 P’s (or 4Ps) marketing mix.

What is the 4 P’s Marketing Mix?

The 4 P’s marketing mix is a concept developed by Neil Borden in his article from 1964, ‘The Concept of the Marketing Mix’.

His concepts are still being used in marketing studies and practically by companies globally.

What Are the 4 P’s of the Marketing Mix?

The 4 P’s of the marketing mix are:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

The 4 C’s of marketing, applied to digital marketing in our case, is an updated version and extension of the original 4 P’s.

What Are the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing

The 4 C’s of Digital Marketing are:

  • Customers
  • Cost
  • Convenience
  • Communication

Customers (replacing Products)

The first C of the 4 C’s marketing mix is Customers and is about understanding your customers’ value, their wants and needs, and helping with solving their challenges.

The main question is ‘what is the benefit or utility of your product for the customers’.

How to Quantify Your Customers’ Value

To quantify your customers value, you can ask the following 4 questions (source: islandmedia.co.id):

  1. Can you increase your customers’ revenue?
  2. Can you decrease your customers’ costs?
  3. Can you minimise your customers’ capital requirements?
  4. Can you reduce your customers’ risks?

Cost (replacing Price)

The second C of the 4 C’s marketing mix is Cost and is about understanding that price is not the only cost when a customer buys a product.

Consumers nowadays are sensitive to other types of costs, for example the impact that a product has on the environment.

Opportunity cost, or the loss of other alternatives when a choice is made, is also something important.

Convenience (replacing Place)

The third C of the 4 C’s marketing mix is Convenience and is about understanding your customers’ preferences in terms of place where to buy your products.

Consumers are now used to shop online, shop in-store or click-and-collect (order online and physically collect from the store).

Communication (replacing Promotion)

The fourth C of the 4 C’s marketing mix is Communication and is about communicating with your customers rather than simply using promotions to reach them.

Communication can happen digitally on any of the 5 D’s of Digital Marketing:

  • Digital Devices like mobile phones
  • Digital Platforms like social media
  • Digital Media like online advertising
  • Digital Data like surveys
  • Digital Technology like virtual reality

How to Use the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing

You can use the 4 C’s of Digital Marketing as a framework for an audit of a company.

You can use a simple template like the one you can see below:

[table id=24 /]


The 4 C’s of digital marketing is a theory and framework that can be used as an extension of the original 4 P’s marketing mix.

Along with the 5 D’s of digital marketing it can help the drafting of an ideal digital strategy for businesses and brands.

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Learn More


  • https://www.curvearro.com/blog/what-are-the-4cs-of-digital-marketing/
  • https://islandmedia.co.id/4cs-digital-marketing-mix/
  • https://www.smartinsights.com/marketing-planning/marketing-models/4cs-marketing-model/
  • https://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/four-ps.asp

Featured image by Campaign Creators on Unsplash



Pasquale Mellone

Pasquale is Founder at Increasily.com, a H2H marketing agency based in Dublin, Ireland, and owner at print-on-demand ecommerce Mintycase.com. Pasquale has worked in Digital Marketing and Account Management since 2004. He currently lives in Dublin with his wife, stepdaughter and cat.