According to Sheth and Sisodia1, poor consumer knowledge and poor consumer knowledge management are behind most marketing failures. The authors base their model on the different and distinct roles that consumers play in the marketplace – seeker, buyer, payer, user, and then hopefully evangeliser.
Without customers, people who pay for a Solution, a business is nothing – it is not in business. Sheth and Sisodia assert that knowing what drives consumers is at the core of a successful marketing campaign, that is, that there is a Return on Investment (ROI), and therefore that marketing is an investment by business, not simply a cost.
Sheth and Sisodia maintain that there are four important consumer values in their 4As model – Acceptability, Affordability, Accessibility, and Awareness:
Acceptability – the dominant value, is the extent to which the Solution meets or exceeds a consumer’s expectations. At the core of acceptability is design, that is the “right Solution system with an attendant set of experiences, that satisfies the customers’ functional, social, and emotional requirements, that is, that solves the customers’ jobs well, every time.” Jobs To Be Done, Clayton Christensen.
Affordability – the extent to which consumers are able and prepared to pay for the Solution. Acceptability has two dimensions: economic, the ability to pay, and psychological, the willingness to pay.
Accessibility – the extent to which consumers are readily able to acquire the Solution. Accessibility has two components, availability and convenience.
Awareness – the extent to which consumers are aware of and informed about the Solution. Awareness has two components, brand awareness and Solution knowledge.
1 The 4A’s of Marketing: Creating Value for Customer, Company and Society (2011), Jagdish N. Sheth and Rajendra Sisodia.