4PMarketing has undergone a sea change from the time when the product was king and traditional one-way communication existed between the brand and the customer. Now forging a relationship and dialogue â€“ rather than a mere transaction â€“ with the customer is more important to build a successful brand.
With increasing number of brands vying for the discerning consumerâ€™s attention in a dynamic market heavily reliant on technology, marketers need to constantly reinvent their marketing strategies.
Need for more Ps of Marketing?
According to Marketing guru, Dr Philip Kotler, three new Ps should be added to the conventional 4Ps of marketing, propagated by EJ McCarthy, way back as 1960. The new three Ps are Pace, Passion and Public Relations.
Kotler was speaking at an event organised by RelioQuick, an Integrated Marketing Communication, company, in New Delhi yesterday. Speaking at the event also was Ranjivjit Singh, CMO, HP India, who felt Pace should be the first P. â€œThat is how the consumer is. Relationship isnâ€™t a one-time sale; companies need to focus on customisation to make the experience worthwhile for consumers,â€ he said.
According to Nilay Arora, Marketing and Business Head, ibibo.com, Pace is coming from the users, because internet has helped create a feedback loop with the brand. He also stressed on analytics, and that marketers need to learn number-crunching to achieve the desired ROI. With the availability of measurement tools and real-time results on digital, marketing is becoming closely tied to business.
Meanwhile, Rahul Saigal, CMO, Samsung Electronics, linked Pace with instant results required and desired in a business environment.
How does the future look like?
In such an environment, is marketing becoming quarterly driven? Is it becoming too focussed on short-term results? Kotler put the questions forth to marketers. He also asks them if there is a possibility of having two marketing departments in a company – a technical one and a strategic marketing department?
Most marketers tend to agree that there needs to be a fine balance maintained between short term and long term. The short term goals should be in alignment with the long term objectives of the company. Marketers need to have contingency planning and a clear idea of must dos.
With such an interactive and engagement-led marketing scenario where the consumer has become the most important, Kotler is of the view that crowd sourcing and co-creation will become the next big thing. Customers will become co-creators of products in the future.
HP, for instance, has initiated several ad-campaigns through crowd sourcing on digital.
According to Samsungâ€™s Saigal, with new phone launches practically every week, the smartphone market is a dynamic landscape and while there is a need to develop strategic influencing skills, it is also required to follow an old-fashioned approach of capturing the pulse of the audience and being in touch with the consumer in the marketplace.
Another point of conflict often is related to the decision between having a localised or global approach. Consumers are increasingly being exposed to global trends and to survive in such a competitive milieu, brands need to have a global outlook. But, at the same time, brands also need to stay relevant to local needs.
â€œThere is a huge advantage of globalisation. New product introductions, for instance, come in through insights done at global level. At the same time, the advantage of localisation is in the emotional and cultural context. There is an in-between approach, which means using global insights and local cultural nuances,â€ said HPâ€™s Singh.