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Marketing Trends

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 19 May, 2007
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Trends in Marketing interview

[John Ling (Chartered Institute of Marketing Trends Researcher)]:

1) What have been the most significant changes in marketing since 1976?

[Dave Chaffey]: As a digital marketing specialist, I would naturally also say that the role of digital
media and in particular the Internet have significantly changed customer behaviour and the way that marketers can deliver value.

The online customer value proposition

Many have said that the Internet is "€˜just another channel to market"€™, and while this is
true to an extent, successful online startups and traditional companies have
innovated and developed differential propositions and communications approaches
for this channel which target audiences in ways not possible before the
personalization possible through digital media.

Of course, integration between traditional and digital channels is important and with the rise of other direct
channels such as phone and direct mail, communications integration and
multichannel marketing other significant changes since 1976.

I have written extensively about the need for marketers to develop an online value
proposition (OVP)
that builds on their core proposition, but crucially defines
new ways to offer value to customers through digital channels such as the
public facing Internet, customer extranets and mobile or wireless media. Core
aspects of the OVP which are at their heart involved with the marketing mix
include customer choice, convenience, cost reduction, community, content and

Trends in customer behaviour

Customer behaviour has changed with the choice made available through the growth of
search engines, price comparison sites and the global reach of the Internet.
Customers are now in more in control when selecting products and services "€“ the
change from push marketing to web enabled pull-marketing is significant and is
indicated by the growth of Google with its Adwords programme generating
billions of dollars annually because it enables marketers to deliver customized
messages to prospects at different stages of intent in the buying process.

User participation is another big behavioural change facilitated by the Internet and
the world wide web. Consumers don"€™t only go online to save time and money while
selecting and purchasing products, they go online to spend time, to socialize
and simply for entertainment.

The rise of social networks such as MySpace, Facebook and in the business arena, Linked In and Ecademy are now where many of us spend time, sometimes discussing brands, but for most of the time just
socializing. And of course when we"€™re socializing, we mostly don"€™t want to be
interrupted by marketing messages.

Systems to tell others what we think about products and brands are also important and user generated content generated on rating platforms such as Delicious, Digg, YouTube and the shopping comparison sites
are only going to increase in importance.

Of course these behavioural changes have been accompanied by a massive shift in
advertising expenditure as indicated by the IAB data on advertising trends.
While advertising spend has lagged behind media consumption it is now catching
up across Europe (http://www.eiaa.net/) and the World.

However, the single biggest change for me is the growing realization of the power of
branding. I have expanded upon this in the second section.

[John Ling] 2) Does CIM"€™s definition fully encompass the purpose and role of marketing in

organisations today?

Definition of Marketing

Using this marketing definition:

"€œMarketing is the management process that identifies,
anticipates and satisfies customer requirements profitably"€

As a succinct definition this is excellent and highlights the core focus of
marketing on understanding the customer and developing relevant propositions
which are profitable in the long-term.

It remains valid despite the changes in technology I have referred to above since new
channels provide different methods to research customer behaviour and deliver
propositions that are integrated across channels.

However, I do believe it undervalues the role of marketing in developing communications
strategy and branding. The practical reality is that most marketers are
involved in defining an allocation of organizations"€™ investment in
communications and then managing execution effectively, often through agencies.

To be successful in fiercely competitive markets requires more than simply
"€œsatisifying customer requirements"€. Thinking of e-businesses, my area of
specialization, success requires management of all of customer acquisition,
conversion, retention and customer development. Marketing communications competence
is required in each area. Structurally many marketing organizations are now
designed this way and a fuller definition would acknowledge this.

Furthermore the definition doesn"€™t reference the value in creating a strong brand which
achieves cut-through in the marketplace "€“ generating a buzz and recognition
which helps with customer acquisition. Another aspect of the developments in
branding is role of a brand in experiential marketing "€“ creating a brand that
gives a memorable positive customer experience which leads to satisfaction,
loyalty and advocacy.

3) What changes do you believe will take place in the marketing profession in the next
five to ten years

Future trends in marketing

In recent years, the Chartered Institute of Marketing has sought to position the importance
of marketing in influencing and directing business and organizational strategy.
In some organizations, this battle has been won, but in many other
organizations, a focus on product or sales remains dominant. I would hope that
the understanding of the role of marketing in understanding the marketplace and
in particular customer behaviour and then seeking to develop valuable
propositions becomes clearer.

I think the trend to more quantitative based marketing will continue with techniques
originating from the process-based industries such as Six Sigma and business
performance improvement becoming more prevalent. The increase in use of the
more accountable digital channels too means that digital marketers, in
particular have to develop a competence in analysis, modeling and using web
analytics tools which was not required 10 years ago.

I have mentioned the increasing role of social media and online communities, and I
think this will be a major challenge for marketers going forward. Developing
the skills and approaches to understand and influence customers when they are
participating in these online communities is going to be a major challenge.

I also have another article on digital marketing trends and data here which may be helpful.

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. 'Dr Dave' is known for his strategic, but practical, data-driven advice. He has trained and consulted with many business of all sizes in most sectors. These include large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell, Confused.com, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses. Dave is editor of the templates, guides and courses in our digital marketing resource library used by our Business members to plan, manage and optimize their marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is also keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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