Businesspeople reviewing business plans.

The 5Cs of Marketing – How to Create a Winning Plan

Do you want to learn how to create a winning¬†marketing¬†plan? If you answered yes, you’re in luck! In this blog post, we will go over the¬†5Cs of Marketing¬†– a common¬†situation¬†analysis¬†that will help you map out your¬†marketing¬†strategy¬†and achieve your desired results.

Marketing¬†is one of the most important aspects of any business. But what if you don’t know where to start? Or what if you have a great idea for a product or service, but don’t know how to turn that into a successful¬†marketing¬†campaign?

How to Conduct a 5 c Analysis

Different business graph charts on yellow sticky notes for business planning review or marketing research analysis

Different business graph charts on yellow sticky notes for business planning review or marketing research analysis

In order to run a successful business, it’s important to understand your expenses. In order to understand your expenses, you need to conduct a¬†5 c¬†Analysis.

The 5C’s of an expense are:

  1. Cost
  2. Cause
  3. Control
  4. Convenience
  5. Change

STEP 1: Cost: 

Businessman calculates the costs incurred.

The first step is to identify the cost of the expense. This can be anything from the price of the good or service itself to the amount of time spent on it 

Additionally, this step includes any other costs incurred during the course of the expense, such as:

Fees for any professional services that you might need to have performed on the expense

Cost of travel or any other expenses that might have been incurred during the course of the expense

Fees for any required or optional equipment that might have been used on the expense

Any other expenses that might have been incurred on the expense

STEP 2: Cause: 

Next, identify the cause of the expense. This could be things like materials, labor, or advertising. you should identify the reason for the expense. For example, if you are buying a new car, you should know the reason why you want to buy a new car.

The next step is to identify the effects of the expense. This could be the effect on the company’s finances.

STEP 3: Control: 

Next, identify who has control over the expense. This could be the business owner, employees, or contracted workers. 

STEP 4: Convenience: 

Convenience: Identify how convenient the expense is for the business owner. For example, if the business owner is going out of town for a week, they may want to hire a temporary worker to handle the expense. 

STEP 5: Change: 

Finally, identify what the business owner would change if they could not incur this expense. For example, if the business owner cannot afford to pay for advertising, they will need to find ways to get more people in the door. Expense Tracking Spreadsheets Some companies use spreadsheet software to track expenses.

The 5 c Marketing Analysis Model

Online marketing analysis plan

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself or your client:


Group of business people.
  1. What do you sell? List your products
  2. What is your USP? How do your products stand out from your competitor?
  3. What is my competitive edge?
  4. What makes my brand unparalleled (Unique)?
  5. What does my business do that crushes the competition?
  6. What can my business do better?
  7. If money was no object where would I invest it in my company?
  8. What are my short term, mid term and long term goals for my company?

Consider using a simpler SWOT analysis to get a better idea of your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. The SWOT analysis is a great starting point to get an idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are. After that, a more in-depth 5C analysis will provide more details on how to improve your weaknesses.

A little self-awareness is always a good thing, especially when you’re about to ask people to make a big investment in you. It will help to clear up any lingering doubts about your product and your ability to deliver it effectively. Also, be upfront and honest with yourself as well as your stakeholders and team members. If you’re confident in your ability to deliver the product, be sure to share that. It’s much better to come clean now and ask for forgiveness later, than to hide your insecurities and deliver a sub-par product.

Is there a point in your career that you would’ve wished for a different answer? If so, that’s a great way to develop a goal for your¬†company. Not only will you be able to plan for that particular situation, but also your team and/or customers who may be affected by such a change.


Business people collaborating

I call this “the collaborative directory”, This is a list of collaborators that your company needs to do business, like the bread vendor for a deli.

For each collaborator, you need to find out who they are, how they service your company, what would happen or who would show up if the normal bread person went on vacation? make sure to get phone numbers and emails of the head honchos and primary contacts in that company.

Here are some questions to ask:

  1. Who handles the web server?
  2. Who handles the Ecommerce?
  3. Who takes care of the inventory?
  4. What company is my domain registered with?
  5. Do I have a marketing agency handling my marketing?
  6. Who do I do business with regularly?

You can easily list all of the people that you need to be in contact with and to whom you send your work on any given day. It is helpful to keep an eye on this list and to cross-check if anyone is falling behind or missing a task. It is also useful to look at your collaborators regularly to determine if any changes are needed.

If you notice that you’ve been paying for work that isn’t being done, you’ll know who to call.


Happy customer


The first step is to figure out what you actually sell. Sometimes it’s easy to know, but other times it can be more difficult. If you’re not sure, think about the services or products you offer and try to group them together.

2. Who needs what you sell?

After you’ve figured out what you sell, the next step is to think about who needs those products and services. Try to imagine your perfect customer and write down as many details as possible. This can include things like age, gender, income, occupation, location, and so on.

3. Compare your ideal customer to your current customers

The next step is to compare your ideal customer to your current customers. Are there any similarities? If there are, that’s great because it means you’re already targeting the right people. If there aren’t any similarities, don’t worry – it just means you need to do a little more research.

4. Use this information to create a buyer persona

Once you’ve gathered all this information, it’s time to create a buyer persona. This is basically a fictional character that represents your ideal customer. The more details you include, the better.

This is the hardest part of this process., creating a customer persona and having in intimate knowledge of of your IDEAL customer is

Where do they hang out?

What do they hate?

What keeps them awake at night?

What do they desire the most?

What do they fear?

What are their pain pain points?


Business people in competition

Important to know who your competition is. This is just as important as knowing your own business inside and out. This way, you can see what they are doing well and what you can do to improve your market share. You may also be able to find opportunities to niche down and corner the market.

To start, you will want to make a list of all of your direct competitors. This should include a competitor that offer the same services or products that you do. Once you have this list, you will want to research each business and understand what they are doing well. This could include their pricing, marketing strategy, or customer service.

After you have a good understanding of your competition, you will want to develop a marketing strategy for how you will differentiate yourself from them. This could include offering lower prices, better quality, or unique services that no one else offers giving you the competitive advantage. You may also want to focus on building a better brand image so that customers are more likely to choose you over your competitors.

Knowing who your competition is and what they are doing is essential for any business. It allows you to understand what you need to do in order to be successful and stand out from the crowd.


Working in team conference with project planning.

Working in team conference with project planning.

The climate is SUPER important, you have to keep up with politics, what administration is in and how do their politics affect your business? What laws are being changed? more importantly, what new technologies are emerging? What new social media trends can you leverage for your business?

By asking yourself these questions you won’t be able to know what’s going to happen …this isn’t a crystal ball.

However it will give you a pretty good outlook on trends and if you are lucky enough you can pivot or zig and zag to avoid catastrophe, Look at sears, they refused to go online and let Amazon take over or how about Blockbuster? They should have read the tea leaves and maybe Netflix would have to share the 4 billion dollar net worth they have.

5c analysis: An annual business health check-up

Weary businesswoman

I’m not going to belabour the point, Im sure you get it now, being this intimate with your¬†company¬†allows you to make a solid¬†marketing¬†decision¬†for your small business, like whether to use¬†social media¬†or¬†content¬†marketing¬†or maybe your¬†company¬†is better with a¬†marketing¬†mix.¬†

Don’t think that just because you are a Solopreneur to small business that you don’t have to do this, Businesses of any size benefit form the 5 C situational analysis.

Things change in business pretty regularly so I suggest you perfom this marketing analysis once a year and stay on top of the pulse of your company and your competitor.

Wrap It Up

5C’s of marketing

A marketing analysis is a guide for your business, outlining your goals and how you will achieve them. Without a plan, it’s difficult to know what steps to take or where your business is going. That’s why it’s so important to create and follow a plan that works for you and your business.

With a marketing strategy, you can identify opportunities to grow your business, stay on top of the trends and keep your business in front of your customers. You can also make informed decisions about your marketing activities.

To learn more about performing a situation analysis, download my free guide!

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