In the most recent years, marketing has experienced a major shift from product-driven marketing to customer-centric marketing and eventually to human-centric marketing. Human-centric marketing aims at humanising brands with human-like attributes.
At a more micro level, humans are embracing social inclusivity. Being inclusive is not being similar, it is about living harmoniously despite differences. In the online world, social media has redefined the way people interact with one another, enabling people to build relationships without geographic and demographic barriers. The impact of social media does not stop there. It also facilitates global collaborations in innovation.
A company can be more competitive if it can connect with communities of customers and partners for co-creation and with competitors for cooperation. The flow of innovation that once was vertical (from companies to market) has now become horizontal. The horizontal model relies on outside sources for ideas that in turn will be commercialised using internal capabilities. Today, innovation is horizontal- the market supplies the ideas and the companies commercialises the ideas.
A relationship between brands and customers should no longer be vertical but instead, it should be horizontal. Customers should be considered peers and friends of the brand. The brand should reveal its authentic character and be honest of its true value. Only then will the brand be trustworthy. When making purchase decisions, customers have typically been driven by individual preference as well as by a desire for social conformity.
Customers care more and more about the opinions of others. They also share their opinions and compile massive pools of reviews. Together, customers paint their own picture of companies and brands, which is often very different from the companies and brands intend to project. The internet, especially social media, has facilitated the major shift by providing the platforms and tools.
Digital marketing is not meant to replace the traditional marketing. Instead, the two should coexist with interchanging roles. To drive customers from purchase to advocacy, marketeers need a series of customer engagement tactics. There are three popular techniques that have proven to increase engagement in the digital area. First, marketers can use mobile apps to enhance digital customer experience. Second, marketers can use Social CRM to engage customers in conversations and provide solutions. Finally, marketers can use gamification to drive the rights sets of customer behaviour.
This article is inspired by the book- Marketing 4.0 by Philip Kotler. The article talks about the how consumers these days are getting more aware about companies and brands and that their opinions are majorly influenced by other people’s views. Most of the companies, hence, should try to strike a convergence between traditional and digital marketing to leverage the paradoxes.