In 2005, Chekitan Dev and Don Schultz introduced the customer focused marketing mix (SIVA) in Marketing Management. SIVA was presented as an alternative approach to McCarthy’s classic business orientated marketing mix popularly known as the 4Ps. SIVA and 4Ps are presented here as a complementary mechanisms to shape marketing practice through considering the needs of the customer within the constraint of the organization’s capacity. To that end, we present a means to combine the managerial focus of the classic 4Ps with the customer orientation of SIVA as the Marketing Mix Matrix. McCarthy (1960) suggested an entrepreneur had access to four key controllable variables – product, promotion, place and price – which could be adjusted to appeal to consumers for improved success in the market. Product is the offer the entrepreneur makes to the market that can be consumed to meet a need, provide a solution or be used in the process of creating something else of value.
Diversity of form has been the hallmark of the product concept given that it incorporates physical goods, physically-orientated services that are performed on people or objects, intangible services including the internet, intangible products such as software or mp3s, experiences such as cinema and ideas including advice, knowledge or emotional outcomes. Promotion refers to the total array of deliberate communication between the marketing organization and its customers, partners or society through the use of the promotional mix.
Communication between customer and market in promotion was traditionally unidirectional from the marketer to the market until the Hoffmann and Novak (1996) computer mediated communication theory, and social media facilitated conversations between customers and companies. Place refers to every mechanism involved in the coordination of a product from the point of production to the point of consumption. The logistical challenges of delivering intangible benefits to the customer through embedded services, ideas, digital products or experiences has renewed interest in the importance of place in the marketing mix. Price encapsulates the total cost that the consumer has to bear in order to acquire, access or use the product including non financial and financial factor.
Dev and Schultz (2005a, 2005b) suggested a customer focused alternative to McCarthy’s 4Ps approach with the SIVA mix. SIVA represents the four key decision influences from the consumer’s perspective and stands for Solution, Information, Value and Accessibility. Solution refers the value that the customer creates by consuming the offer made by the organization and acknowledges that individuals actively consume products and services in different ways, adding their own interpretation and uses and consequently become part of the overall value creation process.
Solution sees the complexity of the consumer’s needs as an opportunity to co-create customized outcomes which means viewing the world from “What problems can my product solve?” rather than the outward focus of “Who wants these features?” Information represents the sum total knowledge the customer has about the marketer, marketing offer and interactions with the marketing firm. It moves beyond the controlled marketing messages emanating from the organization, and includes the information derived from the customer’s prior experience with the product, the observed and communicated experiences of their online and offline social networks plus any third party information found through product reviews, blogs and other sources.
Value refers to the potential, actual and future cost of the solution and represents the total sacrifice the consumer will make in return for the bundle of benefits from the solution which incorporates the social costs of time, effort, pride and reputation in addition to any monetary elements. Accessibility refers to the delivery of the promised solution at an acceptable cost by giving the customers what they want at a location that suits them in a time frame that meets their needs. The focus in accessibility changes the focus of the supply and logistics channels to emphasize the points of access that the customer can use to acquire the solution.
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