The Shift to Precision Marketing

By Motley, L. Biff | ABA Bank Marketing, May 2011 | Go to article overview
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The Shift to Precision Marketing


Motley, L. Biff, ABA Bank Marketing


TE MARKETING LESSONS EMANATING FROM INSTANT-INFORMATION-BASED WORLD are coming fast and furious. The events which led to the speedy ouster of the Egyptian administration last winter and its spreading repercussions drove home to me not only the importance that leaders--whether they are political or business--must place on understanding the ever-changing needs of their constituencies, but also the speed with which they must respond.

Here are two important foundational elements underpinning any meaningful marketing plan in today's grass roots world of accelerating change.

1. Supply exceeds demand. And it's getting worse. In today's world of borderless markets, low-cost communications, and virtually no barriers to competitive entry, any successfully differentiated product has a short life span. Competitors will spot successes quickly and fill any pricing or functional gap. This is why so many of the new technology-driven brands are offered in versions with planned updates like the iPad 1.0 ... 2.0 etc.

The critical success factor going forward is high-speed intelligence. If you know more about what your best customers might like than your competitors do, then you have an advantage. But it's short lived, and you have keep your finger on their pulse every day. Apple's iPhone combines a PC with a phone; and the iPad combines newspapers and books with a PC. These brilliant insights did not come solely from the mind of Steven Jobs, smart as he is, but were framed by Apple's fanatical devotion to customer research and insights driven by the certain knowledge that in the market for smart gadgets, supply-demand gaps have very short lives.

But Apple isn't the only one. Today, if you walk into a typical supermarket, you are faced with a choice of over 45,000 products. This compares with just 7,800 in 1970. Keep in mind also the typical vocabulary of an average American is less than 5,000 words. If a brand's message is to get through this clutter, something has to change.

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