Trends in Marketing
Marketing trends have changed dramatically since the Second World War, when marketing just consisted of notifying the consumer about the existence of a product. In the current scenario, the consumer is king, and any company that wants to stay in the game has to keep up with the latest market trends and consumer behavior. To thrive in today’s economy a business must market its products vigorously and successfully.
To market effectively, the consumer must be analyzed, his behavior must be assessed; then based upon these findings a marketing strategy has to be developed. And so, marketing has become a science that endeavors to understand the consumer and predict if a certain product will be a hit or not. Moreover, the media boom (Satellite TV, Internet, Mobiles, PDA’s, etc.) has created abundant avenues for connecting with a wide variety of consumers. This has helped business to increase their market share, not just in the domestic market but also in the global market.
Marketing Trends and Consumer Behavior
Today’s consumer is very unlike his ancestor, he is more prone to experiment and take risks. He is totally comfortable with current technologies and increasingly depends on these to fulfill his needs. Increasing digitization, expansion of social networking and entertainment based services are just a few samples of this trend. The consumers behavior is becoming less influenced by his/ her cultural background and much more influenced by the global media.
Hence, convergence has become the most important marketing trend. Companies are forming new partnerships to cater to this global consumer. The old marketing mix of 4ps, 7Ps, etc. is being revolutionized by today’s consumer driven market. As a result businesses have to keep up with the ever changing demands of the consumer. Whatever strategy was successful two months ago, will most probably be redundant today.
This makes it important for companies to not just understand its customers, but also to be able to anticipate what they would want next. Today’s consumer is driven by the need to stand out in the crowd, which makes them buy whatever is the most fashionable product of the day. Sunglasses worn by the current pop-star, a pair of Nikes shoes or branded jacket are all must haves for consumers of this century. Having things is more about satisfying their ego, rather than a fundamental need.
Entire departments and institutions have been established to understand the consumer – how they choose products, where they prefer to buy, what price ranges they can afford, etc. Behavior mapping through social-media sites is also increasing. In fact, in his article ‘Where Digital Marketing Is Heading in 2010 (Part Two) 1 Millward Brown says “Survey research will remain the primary tool for understanding branding effects and motivations across these platforms, but the deeper value-addition to the marketer will be how the branding effects in surveys help explain the behavioral and sales information coming from a variety of sources including buzz monitoring, online behavior tracking, shopper loyalty databases, consumer sales panels and custom databases. While online listening techniques will continue to grow in importance, marketers will find this of limited value unless they also understand who is saying what.”
Understanding customers means understanding how they behave; why they do what they do, what makes them think this way and what will the effect of all this be on their buying. To make things uncomplicated marketers divide customers into various types. Segmentation is carried out on the basis of age, gender, nationality, etc. and then strategies are formulated to target each segment according to their behavioral analysis. As a result, successful strategies are developed to influence and persuade consumers to purchase the products or service on offer.
Traditional marketing strategies need to be worked on and modified to fit today’s market requirements. The consumer has become highly informed, alert and cynical of marketing done by companies. The technological environment has made it possible for the consumer to interact with other consumers through the social networks and discuss the pros and cons of every product. Marketing to this generation of consumer is highly challenging. Only the fittest and most thorough marketer can survive in this challenging environment.
- Millward Brown ‘Where Digital Marketing Is Heading in 2010″ (Part Two)