This was a recent assignment to detail what key themes in Marketing we have focussed on so far in our Digital Marketing Masters.
The journey of marketing to current day shows a shift from the customer driven approach of the 1950’s (Webster 1992) to customer-centricity (Levitt 1960a). Key themes like definitions, data and relationships are continually adapted; the digital channel now demands further change.
Levitt (1960b) discussed the importance of business definitions, citing the fall of industries like the railroads that did not see themselves in the business of transportation. Correct definition removes myopic tendencies and encourages better customer orientation by adding value. The mission statement defines the business by communicating the value proposition. A customer will choose between value propositions not products; Capon’s (2007a) Decision Making Process shows how the importance and belief of an attribute leads to choice.
Toyota’s chief engineer and his team lived in upscale Laguna Hills, observing how luxury car owners drove and treated their cars this insight created the Lexus (Capon 2007b). Consumer insight, unlike market research, continually analyses behaviour across all target markets.
Marketing is driven by data, without proof of the benefits of a campaign a board is unlikely to provide sponsorship; technology supports this with real-time analytics and SCV. The Tesco Clubcard scheme, where consumers gain points for purchasing, has been highly successful in retention and data gathering driving CRM activity leading to increased customer spend and eased entry into new markets (Mitchell 2008)
Insight shows that value is more than just the product: “…customers buy hopeful expectations, not actual things… Feelings are more important than feeling…” (Levitt 1983). Starbuck’s provide an experience to consumers so charge more for their generic product –they have provided added value, also giving them competitive advantage.
Relationship Marketing is extolled throughout marketing, marketers engage in two way communication at the interface between a business and its customers. Innovators like Apple have taken this relationship to a point of co-creation. The internet is an interactive platform where marketers are seen more as aggregators than marketers – “[creating] compelling environments that attract people” (Weber 2007).
The key themes of definition; value; insight and data; competitive advantage and relationships orientate toward a customer-centric, data driven business, where the value proposition is a philosophy.
Webster, F. (1992), The Changing Role of Marketing in the Corporation, Journal of Marketing, 56:4, pp1-17
Levitt, T. (1960a), Marketing Myopia, Harvard Business Review, July / August, pp.138-151
Levitt, T. (1960b), Marketing Myopia, Harvard Business Review, July / August, pp.138
Capon, N. (2007a), Introduction to Managing Marketing IN, Managing Marketing in the 21st Century Developing and Implementing the Market Strategy, New York USA, Wessex Inc., pp 104
Capon, N. (2007b), Introduction to Managing Marketing IN, Managing Marketing in the 21st Century Developing and Implementing the Market Strategy, New York USA, Wessex Inc., pp 158
Mitchell, A. (2008) Google Gives Tesco Clubcard Information Technology Lesson [Online], Available: http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/news/google-gives-tesco-clubcard-information-technology-lesson/2059367.article [Accessed 16th October 2010]
Levitt, T. (1983), Marketing and the Corporate Purpose IN, The Marketing Imagination, New York USA, The Free Press, pp 8
Weber , L. (2007), The Web is Not a Channel IN, Marketing to the Social Web, New Jersey USA, John Wiley & Sons Inc., pp 3