The Marketing Society Forum: Are Marketers Keeping Pace with Changing Consumer Preferences?

Article excerpt

A report from Fujitsu has questioned Britain's ability to adapt and remain competitive.

YES - Mark Trinder, Sales director, commercial and online, ITV

Marketing departments are now more fleet of foot and flexible than they have ever been. The brands that do not adapt quickly enough simply do not survive.

Lifestyle, technology and economic considerations have had a big impact on consumer preferences. However, there are many examples of successful adaptations or entrants. Look at the discount airline operators (easyJet, Ryanair), financial services (Metro Bank, Barclays' Ping, Wonga) - the list goes on.

Established and major brands protect themselves via NPD, brand extensions and discount ranges to ensure they take their share of changing consumer needs. But, not everything needs to be new: timing is vital - Wispa is back.

NO - Louise Fowler, Business leader, brand and marketing, Co-operative Banking Group

We are prone to making the mistake of thinking we can predict what's going to happen, rather than finding a way to respond quickly when things do. Research doesn't help.

Consumers can't tell you what they're going to want before they know they want it.

Some brilliant (or lucky) marketers can spot trends very early, but mostly businesses need to be nimble and able to move as the market does.

This means insightful attitudinal segmentation, behaving like consumers yourself, and watching and listening. Technology not only enables, but also holds us back as it can be slow and expensive. …


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