2
Sep

Let me share with you Susanne Flug’s reflections about “Digital Marketing in Crisis”. She is one of our most gifted students in the Master in Digital Marketing, so I promise you the post is worth the time of reading it:

Not so long ago marketing was a simple concept. Marketers followed the traditional marketing mix, which was dominated by product, price, promotion and place. The system was working: Physical products were advertised via tv, print or radio to be bought for a certain price in the shop around the corner. This concept might a little overstated, but it mainly reflects the way of marketing during the last decades. It was based on a clear passive push strategy in the spirit of: It’s sink or swim. Probably nothing would have changed, if there hasn’t been a radical change in technology on the one hand and in consumer behavior on the other hand. Both factors are mutually dependent. And both had a huge influence on the discipline of marketing.

Unfortunately, (I will refrain the “as always”) it was not the marketing that changed first. It was me and YOU – the consumer. Maybe reminded by Immanuel Kant’s: “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity.”, we all start to do what is defined as human: We started to talk, share, participate and interact in many different ways. We discovered the new possibilities of the Internet, a technology to express ourselves. Fact is that consumption was not longer the same. Nowadays, consumers are mature and active member within the marketing process. They decide, what they are interested in. They request information or products, which is well known as the active pull strategy. Experts are talking about the prosumer rather than the consumer.

It took a while until marketers react, but finally they did. Hundreds of new and completely different marketing disciplines, labels, formats and theories appear. Nevertheless they could not prevent us from talking about a current marketing crisis, which is affecting all kind of marketing disciplines, even if they are old or new, offline or online, traditional or non-traditional. Marketers are faced against decreasing budgets, non-effective channels and less success stories. For sure, the global financial crisis is playing a role in and it is obviously not caused by the discipline of marketing. But is it just a financial crisis, which is responsible for the current situation? Probably not. So, if we can talk about a marketing crisis, what or who did cause it? And how do we solve the problem?

Let’s shed us some light on this questions. There is a slogan, which says: In every crisis there is an opportunity. I agree, it sounds trite, but sometimes the truth is very simple.

The ad spending during the last years has increased just for cable and online as a reaction of an audience turn. “Web ad spending hit $23.4 billion in 2008, up 10.6 percent over 2007.” However, we see some indicators of a crisis (even though the big impact probably comes in 2009):

- In the fourth quarter of 2008 revenue growth was more conservative at 2.6 percent.

- Industry growth was cut by more than half, dropping from 26 percent in 2007.

Simply concentrating on numbers and business facts, I would expect that digital marketing will grow in the future simply because the change in consumer behavior and the constantly improvement of technology won’t be stoppable. Nevertheless, the growth will happen under certain circumstances. Let me share with you my ideas, which circumstances I am talking about:

- Clear focus on sales activation and ROI > Outcome is key.

- Performance-based online ad offering > Measurement is key.

- Less experiments in ad formats > Control is key.

- Higher focus on the consumer > Relationship/ loyalty is key.

- Integrated campaigns > Overall strategy is key.

Beside those “hard facts” I think, we forgot something very basic to be considered while advertising a product or a service, which is as important as the “hard facts” and can be called the “soft facts”. Marketers should remind themselves every single day that they are talking to human beings! This might sound simple or even stupid, but isn’t it true? How many are outside and wondering, why they have difficulties to target their customers and that their traditional media channels are still expensive, but less effective? And how many do so, even if they are working in the digital marketing department?

I think one of the most interesting concepts referring to this truth comes from Idris Mootee who has developed The New Marketing 4 P’s.

4-new-ps

It’s simply considering the fact of dealing with human beings by putting the consumer first and concentrating on participation, personalization, peer-to-peer communities and predictive modeling. Via convenience you get brand conversation, which generates customer value to build marketing communities. For sure this is still theory, but it has an effect simply by looking at the market and the consumer in a different way. If we think about the new 4 P’s, we will discover that it is something very basic, normal or at the end “human” behind. Everybody from us is an individual living in a complex social system, which is based on a moral concept of ethical values. It solely works, because we find a common way to express those parameters – we invented a language. We do communicate!

What we do see nowadays is, communication is exactly what the Web 2.0 and the changing consumer behavior is about. Let’s say, it is amplified. People talk, share, interact and organize themselves worldwide 24/7. That’s the new impact of “word of mouth” or “word of mouse”. With this development one of our primal attributes is transformed into a new medium, which I like to call the “Renaissance of Human Communication”. What I want to emphasize is that if marketers recognize the potential of the new prosumer, and concentrate on an effective and integrated campaign, they are able to overcome the crisis and find a way to shape the future – assumed that they don’t forget they are talking to human beings!

It’s simply considering the fact of dealing with human beings by putting the consumer first and concentrating on participation, personalization, peer-to-peer communities and predictive modeling. Via convenience you get brand conversation, which generates customer value to build marketing communities. For sure this is still theory, but it has an effect simply by looking at the market and the consumer in a different way. If we think about the new 4 P’s, we will discover that it is something very basic, normal or at the end “human” behind. Everybody from us is an individual living in a complex social system, which is based on a moral concept of ethical values. It solely works, because we find a common way to express those parameters – we invented a language. We do communicate!

What we do see nowadays is, communication is exactly what the Web 2.0 and the changing consumer behavior is about. Let’s say, it is amplified. People talk, share, interact and organize themselves worldwide 24/7. That’s the new impact of

Any thoughts, my friends?

Best

Manuel A. Alonso Coto

Comments

Stephen Dobinson October 31, 2014 - 1:31 pm

The new Ps of marketing are clearly a step into the future of marketing through effective communication. Communicating is the new form of attractive offers to lure in clients.
https://www.paydayslead.co.uk

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