Magazine article Marketing

Bite-Sized Business School: Marketing Module

Magazine article Marketing

Bite-Sized Business School: Marketing Module

Article excerpt

Get the 'earned vs paid' balance right

Do you really know what your customers want, or just what they might need? There is an important difference in a digitally led, customer-centric business, says Joerg Niessing

Digital technology and the Internet of Things are transforming every sector and every business. Recent studies forecast that almost 100bn connected devices will be in use by 2020. The digital revolution is transforming the economics of marketing and making many of the function's traditional strategies obsolete. But what is changing for you as a marketing executive? New technologies, lots of data from various sources, new consumer touchpoints and more empowered customers are making it increasingly necessary for marketers to lead in a very complex and dynamic environment.

Today's digital customers expect more, trust their peers, are informed, and have choices and a voice. In addition, the classical marketing funnel has transformed into a multichannel consumer journey: Web 1.0 was about 'reading before the purchase' - Web 3.0 is about 'writing after' Web 1.0 was about 'companies pushing information' - Web 3.0 is about 'communities'. A brand is no longer what a company tells the consumer it is. A brand is what consumers tell each other it is. Web 1.0 was 'unilateral' - Web 3.0 is 'mutual'.

You have to interact and engage with your consumers along the customer journey in a transparent and authentic way. That also means that you have to spend your money in the right channels. Using only paid media to build awareness, drive consideration and ultimately inspire purchase does not work any more. You have to find the right balance between paid and earned media that captures engagement and, furthermore, how consumers connect with your brand, and the interaction between your company, your customer and their communities. This also means that companies are not building brands alone any more - many have started co-creating products and services by integrating consumers in their processes.

Although there has been, unquestionably, a major shift in how individuals and organisations communicate, the idea of being customer-centric, introduced by Levitt in the 1960s, has not really changed and should guide you through these turbulent times. …

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