How has digital changed how you market
The world and how we interact is always evolving. From the many new technological advances to small changes that affect our daily lives, the world is so much different than it was a decade or two ago. Many of these changes have influenced how we as a company market our products and services to our customers, and in this article, we’ll explore the rise of “digital” in marketing while taking a look at its impact on creating a sales and marketing strategy.
The 4Ps of Marketing
The 4Ps model— product, price, promotion, and place—was the standard for the marketing strategy of choice for most of the 20th Century. The formula was simple, and it made complete sense for marketers tasked with reaching target audiences without any direct communications channel. Print media, television, and radio were the dominant marketing avenues from which 20th-century buyers would gain knowledge of products, services, news, events, and trends.
Advertisers could easily match their products to specific channels based on the demographic makeup of viewers/listeners on a daily and hourly basis: female-focused products marketed through daytime television, male-focused products sold through evening news and prime time, and toys during Saturday morning children’s TV sessions.
All about the customer
These days it’s hard to find a market segment that isn’t saturated with products and/or service options. And, when it comes to our customers, they have become increasingly knowledgeable and annoyingly informed and much less likely to purchase an item just because the commercial makes it look good.
Brands and corporations have slowly realized that incorporating the customer more sincerely within their services and product development is a crucial part of developing a successful, long-term business model.
Instead of the 4Ps, the 4Cs model came to represent the marketing strategy better. As the model indicates, customers are now at the heart of marketing communications, which is oriented around their needs and buying habits.
The Modern Customer Journey
Just how much the customer journey has changed over the last 15+ years is still not fully understood or appreciated by the vast majority of us (suppliers and customers alike).
Consider, for example, the customer journeys of yesteryear’s parents, toy enthusiast, and business owner:
- Long “wish-lists” from each child in the family sent Mom or Dad off in search of that special toy without an option for comparing prices or shopping from the comfort of their home.
- Buying the latest video games, until recently, involved multiple trips to the local gaming center to learn about the latest and greatest devices and games before returning home to make sure your son or daughter doesn’t already have that item.
- Getting the word out about your product or service meant late nights at Chamber functions and airports as you traveled to get in front of those folks who MIGHT be your next big customer.
Those and 99% of other customer journeys have been irrevocably changed by the Internet.
Those examples also allude to changes in the delivery and sales channels involved—i.e., how the customer purchases the product. parents, toy enthusiast, and business owners have been particularly hot sectors for e-commerce because they lend themselves particularly well to online transaction. Which is most certainly the reason those industry sectors have been among the first to be transformed by the Internet.
And the direction of travel is clear: Customers have more control over their product research phases. It is, therefore, increasingly important that suppliers and brands understand how to respond.
The concept of customers’ managing the research and comparison phases of their buying journey is entirely well accepted now; however, when brands or suppliers honestly ask themselves the question, only a minority can say they have fully re-engineered their “Top of the funnel” marketing efforts to reflect this new (and continually evolving) reality.
Marketing vs. Sales
Traditionally, marketing people have run away from having to be responsible for sales. After all, how can we be expected to create valuable brand experiences for customers if we always have to worry about ROI?
In the real world, the truth is that both have a point: Human creativity has enduring value (even when measured by the commercial yardstick of ROI), but digital has driven Sales and Marketing so close that in many industries they are now parts of an indivisible whole.
Closing about GCA and how we can help you build a strong sales & marketing funnel