What Are the 5 C’s of Marketing? (With Analysis Template)

Christy Walters


April 11, 2023 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

wooden letter C on a white backdrop to represent the 5 C's of marketing.

If someone handed you a crystal ball to predict the future of your company, would you look into it? What do you think you’d see? Truthfully, every market and business owner would love to know what the future holds for their brand so that they could better prepare for what comes next. Marketing frameworks and analyses might not be as mystical, but they still help you get the same kind of answers. Today, we’re looking at the 5 C’s of marketing framework to determine how this analysis can give you answers about specific areas of your business:

What Are the 5 C’s of Marketing?

wooden letter C on a white backdrop to represent the 5 C's of marketing.

Image via Unsplash by @nikhilmitra

The 5 C’s are a marketing framework that helps you think about all the different areas of business operations. Using this framework can be as low-effort or time intensive as your company chooses. Here are the specific sections of a 5 C’s marketing analysis:


The context portion of a 5 Ca’s analysis examines the climate of your business. It’s an external, macro factor that looks at industry trends that shape how your business operates. Reviewing the context of your company and market helps you look at areas like:

  • Market positioning of your brand
  • Changes in your industry over a specific period
  • How the greater national and international economy affects your business
  • Recent technology changes that affect your industry
  • Legal processes or procedures that affect your company or industry

Related: The 5-Step External Marketing Audit Process


The customers’ section of a 5 C’s analysis helps you look at your company’s relationships with its customers or clients. Here, you’ll look at both current and future customers and clients to determine how they interact with your brand. When you’re looking for information for current customers, check your sales data against your audience segments. Who are your heavy, medium, and low buyers? What characteristics or qualities does each of those groups have in common? It’s important to focus on these areas to help you attract new leads and customers, especially those in your heavy saturation category.

Related: Demographics vs Psychographics in Content Marketing


The competitors’ portion of the 5 C’s analysis helps you learn more about the other businesses in your industry or market. Your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum and you’re always working against at least one competitor for your audience’s attention and sales. The more you know about your competitors and how you stack up against them can help you adjust and perfect your marketing strategies. Some areas to consider when conducting a competitive analysis include:

  • Companies with the most market share in your industry
  • Brands that have gained or lost market share over a specific period and why
  • New businesses that have entered your industry or market
  • How your content and digital channels compare to your competitors
  • Companies that have advanced in innovation
  • Companies with the highest and lowest quality, prices, and audience approval ratings

Related: 25 Competitor Criteria To Cover in Your Analysis


The collaborators’ section of a 5 C’s analysis helps you look at your brand and business partners. What’s considered a brand partnership may differ for every company. These can include people and organizations like:

Your partnerships and collaborations tell your audience more about your company’s values. For example, partnering with an influencer who posts questionable content may make your audience think twice about working with your brand. Reviewing your collaborations can help you understand why you’re not attracting the audience you expected.

Related: Influencer Qualities To Look for To Promote Your Brand


The company portion of a 5 Ca’s analysis is the internal part of the framework. This section allows you to see your company’s position in its market compared to all the information you collected for the external parts of the audit. This portion of the analysis can help you look at the internal aspects of your organization like:

  • Profitability
  • Reaching and setting goals
  • Company culture
  • Investment areas
  • Values
  • Customer response times
  • Company adaptability
  • Product and service offerings
  • Communication channels used

Related: How To Do an Internal Marketing Audit in 4 Steps

How Are the 5 C’s Different from the 3 C’s?

The biggest difference between the 5 C’s and the 3 Cs is right in the name. Or should we say in the number? The 3 C’s is also a marketing framework for business analysis and predictions, but it doesn’t include the context and collaborator angles. These two areas are important for understanding the global market factors that affect your company and the people or organizations your company works with. Using the 5 C’s instead of the 3 C’s gives you a clearer picture of the factors surrounding your market standing and your company’s marketing efforts.

Related: 11 Types of Competitive Analysis Frameworks To Find an Edge

Why Is the 5 C’s Framework Important?

Examining the 5 C’s of marketing helps you predict the future of your business and react to any unforeseen circumstances your business may encounter. Using any analysis framework helps you get a deeper understanding of your company and all its important facets. The 5 C’s gives you specific areas to observe and analyze to help create better strategies for your marketing plan.

Who Should Use the 5 C’s?

Any business can use the 5 C’s analysis to review important areas of company and marketing functioning. Entrepreneurs, startups, and small to medium-sized businesses may be most likely to work through a 5 C’s analysis. That’s because the 5 C’s doesn’t have to require any deep analytics or rigorous testing. It could if you wanted to take it that far. But for some businesses with limited staffing or limited knowledge of running their own companies, the 5 C’s is a great framework to help the get started with analysis and prediction.

Tips for a 5 C’s Analysis

Use these tips when developing your 5 C’s to get the most out of your analysis:

Tell the Truth

Especially when evaluating the company segment of the 5 C’s, it’s important to review factors openly and honestly. Be truthful about your company’s weaknesses. Don’t view them as failures. Rather, look at each weakness as a place where your company can improve after the 5 C’s analysis. If your company was already perfect, it couldn’t get any better. The more honest you are in your analysis, the better data you can collect. With more reliable data, you can create a plan of action that works for your company and lets you reach your goals.

Set Your Goals

Having goals before you do your 5 C’s analysis is an important step in guiding your focus. When you include goals in the company section of your analysis you can refer to them when you’re collecting data for the other areas. Consider setting one-, three-, and five-year goals to include in your plan.

Find Your Focus

While it’s important to cast a wide net when looking for information for your 5 C’s analysis, it’s still important to have some type of focus to guide your research. This comes from setting your goals. What are you trying to achieve? When you understand your objectives, it’s easier to focus on data collection areas and resources. Sometimes you may also use your business intuition to help shape your analysis focus. It’s important to remember that every company is different and every analysis is different. Your approach to the 5 C’s should be unique to what your company needs.

Use Public Data

When looking for sources for your analysis, you can use public customer data to learn more about your audience. You can learn what leads and clients think about your company and others. Then you can compare the information from each group to learn about how you stack up against your competitors.

5 C’s Analysis Template

If you’re still unsure where to begin with the 5 C’s framework, this template and the questions within can help. Spend about 15 minutes filling out each selection and answering the questions provided. You can add any additional considerations for your business or ignore questions that may seem irrelevant to what your company does. From there, you should be able to see gaps in business areas more clearly and develop approaches to help you fill those gaps with new marketing strategies:

1. Company

  • What products and services do we sell?
  • Does our company have a competitive advantage in its industry?
  • How do our company’s products and services vary from our competitors?
  • What does our business do better than others?
  • What does our business do worse than others?
  • How do customers view our business?
  • How do we use investments for our company?
  • What are our short-term and long-term company goals?

2. Collaborators

  • Who are our company’s investors or stakeholders?
  • What shipping providers do we use?
  • With what company is our website domain registered?
  • Do we work with influencers and brand ambassadors?
  • Who creates or supplies the products and services we sell?
  • What eCommerce platforms does our company use?
  • Do we have partners who help run our company?
  • Who writes our content or other copy?
  • Who develops our visual marketing components?
  • Do we work with any freelancers or contractors?

3. Customers

  • Who is our target audience?
  • What are our ideal clients or customers like?
  • Which of our products or services sell most and least frequently?
  • How do customers and clients behave on our websites and social channels?
  • Is our audience growing, shrinking, or staying the same?
  • How many customers and clients become repeat buyers?
  • Which of our promotions or campaigns are most effective?
  • Which channels do we use to communicate with customers?
  • What type of customer feedback do we receive?
  • What messages do we share with our customers?

4. Competitors

  • Who are our direct competitors?
  • Who are our indirect competitors?
  • Do we have any new or emerging competitors?
  • What are our competitors’ biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What strategies do our competitors use to gain clients and customers?
  • Can our competitors do things we can’t?
  • Who are our competitors’ target audiences?
  • What content types do our competitors use?
  • What are our competitors’ social media presences like?

5. Climate

  • Are there any new laws or regulations that affect our company or industry?
  • What are the current trends or social opinions in our industry or geographic area?
  • Are there any economic trends that could affect a client or customer’s buying power?
  • What are the most recent trends in technology for our industry?

Combine Analyses for More Information

One thing that’s important to remember about the 5 C’s is that it’s not a decision-making tool. It’s simply an analysis of different aspects of your company. The 5 C’s is a helpful marketing framework to teach you more about your business. But don’t rely on just one type of analysis alone. Other tools like SEO and content analysis can help you dive deeper into your marketing strategy to stay ahead of the competition, strengthen your focus, and find your next great content marketing opportunity.

Author Image - Christy Walters
Christy Walters

CopyPress writer

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