In this ever-changing and digitally scripted marketing environment, one phrase has been beaten to death and that’s Best Practices. It’s now primitive and substituted by the next generation anecdote “Next Practices” …
We often are strangled within the framework of 4P’s, but the marketing eco-system has graduated quite beyond. Consumer and the markets are ever-evolving and are quite exposed and hence expect uniqueness in whatever they see, consume or experience, whether it’s a product or service.
Lalitaji has been washed by “the ultimate whiteness” claim. Maharaja who decades ago represented Aviation has been taken over by “on-time” proposition. Hooks or marketing propositions for paints has been taken over by “mera wala green” promise. More than taste, it’s now about “thirty minutes or free” testament. This all have been made stronger by extensive proliferation of media mix, vehicles and available social/ web platforms.
Consumer/ customer voice, testimonies and proof of concepts is what makes a brand as stronger as the human belief system which today needs a reason to believe and trust. This trust is built by the value that the service or product brings with the price and promise.
A marketer today needs to be a smarter soul who can bring in smarter ways to connect with the customer, influence the consumer and involve or engage the user to build an equity around the product, brand or an offering.
#NextPractices is all about adopting out of the box thinking, establishing a brand association and then engaging with the customers which is self-sustained.
Web activation, loyalty club, experiential marketing usage, virtual customer forums, Google Circles and Connect, Whatsapp, Vine, Instagram are some of those Next Practices which also will witness upgrades in few days. Is your brand or marketing existence evolved enough to be considered as Next Practices? Actually, as a marketer you need to answer!
Let’s look at some Next Practices references…
#PredictiveMarketForecasting is the latest in the offering. This is a search optimisation and cache capture based marketing technique through which you can do a geo based potential market forecasting and create your market attack plan accordingly. Direct Marketing then becomes your ammunition to take it forward and qualify the prospects and make your market moves.
#Crowdsourcing is yet another chapter added to the segment as it’s no longer limited to a specific segment or area but marketing today is broad-based and a larger spectrum cover. One control center today can interact with a global audience with a relatable common interest or cause. It’s cost efficient, result oriented and amplified. A lot of consultancy, Market Intelligence, Data set-ups, survey based units and service industry players are adopting this in their marketing strategy.
#SpecifierCapture again is a very interesting tool which uses influencers in the market to become voice of your product and create demand. Mind you, it’s not an endorsement but a reliability based marketing which always bear better outcome and brand equity.
#Virtuosity is the term given to virtual and web based marketing initiatives be it virtual demonstrations, audience engagement, feedback traction, prospect interactivity or creating purchase intent.
#GenYconnect is very critical as any marketing without the facets of Generation Young patronage will fall flat as they are the carriers or the catalyst in amplifying your offerings with the value they bring to the table.
#Sense-of-challenge is what today’s consumer look up to. Any marketing or connect that gives them an opportunity to get some challenge in life, gets an instant acceptance and hence is getting quite popular. For example, #Fitbit fitness tracker bands which have become a rage which not only push you to be in motion but gives you a challenge to be ahead of your peers.
#CorporateSocialResponsibility mix marketing has gained a lot of traction as you can add a responsible personality to your brand/ organization and push your product within the ambit of trust and reliability.
Product Life cycle is a barometer of any marketing cycle but the game is changing. Place yourself to be the next gen consumer and start thinking not as a marketer but as a user.
Forget the #BestPractices, Explore #NextPractices
Sharad Gupta, Chief Communication Officer, Escorts Limited.