Marketing: Retrospective to Future Trends

“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs”.

 Peter Drucker

Marketing as a business domain is always contemporary and fresh. Over the years, marketing has evolved as a domain which is contemplated to be close to the industry reforms. Marketing has evolved from concepts to reality. Marketing is, therefore, one of the important function of business which leads to growth and future.

Marketing Myopia, a concept by Theodore Levitt, viewed marketing as a short-sighted and inward-looking approach, having more company focus rather than having a focus on the customer needs and wants. Since the era of mass production, the focus was closely centred on more production with efficiency, which was further evolved to quality focus and transited to better sales. In all these phases, one thing was common- no customer focus. Companies were myopic in their approach of viewing customers only on the receiving end, rather than the consuming end.

In the past, organizations like Kodak- myopic for photographic film products, Nokia- myopic for a feature phone, were out of the business for not planning the future before. Marketers then realized that this phenomenon of being biased for any product or brand would not offer the desired yield and it requires to be more holistic and future-oriented. So, organizations like Maruti- petrol car to diesel car to CNG car, Pepsi- aerated drinks to packaged water realized that concentrating on a single product/brand will make them disappear and thus – they moved on for growth and multi-product/brand focus.

Undoubtedly, customer’s choices, preferences and habits matter a lot and likewise transforms in the long run. As a result, customers desire for new and better products, and due to this evolved behaviour, myopic view puts organizations in a self-obsessed trap. It is, therefore, a general realization in marketers to be future savvy and consistently eye for new trends and happenings. Being a product or process-centric individual would not work in this VUCA World- Volatile, Uncertain Complex & Ambiguous. Various concepts have emerged in the last couple of years which transformed the entire gamut of modern marketing. Some of the innovative and contemporary latest marketing are as follows:

1.Permission Marketing

Permission marketing is a unique aspect of marketing for those customers who provide pre-permission to the marketer. A concept propounded by Seth Godin, grounded on the premise of privacy and customer choice, has revolutionized the impact of e-mail marketing. Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has to come up with regulations like Do Not Disturb (DND) etc. to make customer’s data and time private. Permission marketing in today’s sense is substantially impacted worldwide with new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 norm. If marketers practice customers’ permission-based marketing, it will lead to better profits and satisfied customers.

2.Screen Marketing

Mobile marketing is contemporary in terms of its usage. Keeping the mobile as the only screen, customers keep it with themselves most of the time, its usage has modern practices to its credit. Marketers considering mobile as the central medium among all the other communications need to be integrated. The time is not so far when every received call will have a commercial linked to various applications over the web. Marketers are realizing the worth of mobile as a multi-functional device, not only limited to SMS or Apps.
3.Virtual Reality in Marketing

Marketers across the world are utilizing virtual reality to leverage better customer experience. Customers are exposed to the non-real world with real-time feelings via the applications of virtual reality. They can see how the product looks on them without actually getting it on and visiting the store. Nowadays, it is quite difficult for marketers to avoid the engagement of virtual reality as it makes them a modern marketer.
4.Co-Creation in  Marketing

Most of the marketers have realized that generating customer-centric product or content is not the only desired technique to win their targeted customers heart and soul. However, it is true that marketers across the world are eyeing for user-generated product and content having a flavour of collaboration. People in the marketing sector now accepts that both marketers and consumers require to contribute and collaborate to claim a win-win situation arising out of a co-creation. Customization becomes a passé and, now the marketing world is leading to hyper-customization with marketer’s inputs.
5.Voice Search

Consumers due to limited time and accessibility are preferring voice search over various search engines, making it mandatory for marketers to ensure that there facts & information are not just available instead represented in an easy-to-understand format on the Internet. Additionally, marketers should also invest time in checking the ranking of their voice search results.

The future of marketing is therefore difficult to predict, but it is sure that it will be not the same as it is now. Marketing, which initially considered as a medium of communicating messages and ensuring it goes to the intended consumer – developing a product and its brand then deciding what to tell that target market.

But the next leap will be more personal, hyper-targeted and, above everything else, embedded with a service-oriented focus. This will turn marketing – on a one-to-one basis of mass scale – into a more dynamic and complex sector. Modern marketing will be entirely consumer experience based and broadly capitalize on previous, present and future experience from diverse touchpoints. This shift requires marketing to be customer driven and, marketers to be customer-centric.

“Good marketers see consumers as complete human beings with all the dimensions real people have.”

                                                         – Jonah Sachs