Today’s consumers have less brand loyalties and with new innovations popping around every corner, what becomes clear is marketing of the future will become a Darwinian battle of the fittest.
According to Laura Ashton, head of marketing and vice president, Philips Lighting Growth Geographies (Asia Pacific and Latin America), “Consumers and brands now have an increasingly transactional relationship, where the consumer demands easy access to information, simple, digitally-enabled services, great pricing and exclusive products via e-commerce.”
She adds that digital marketing today is exactly the same direct marketing of the past. The only difference is the opportunity to drill down to the needs of specific audiences, analyse oceans of data, and find breakthrough profit opportunities – if marketers can give it the attention it deserves.
Ashton (pictured) adds that what is most needed is to strike a balance in “engaging the audience – not only to sell to them, but to learn from them.” This essentially means staying constantly engaged with a rapidly evolving consumer.
Mainak Dhar, managing director and head, Asia Pacific for Procter & Gamble’s Health Care business seconded the statement, adding that as consumers and markets evolve, the future will fast become one of real time brand building where consumer feedback is instantaneous and public.
Dhar adds that marketers need to especially be grateful that “consumer feedback can now flow in anytime, without having to wait for the next focus group.”
“The biggest change for marketers will need to be one of mindset – not thinking of marketing `initiatives’ and monthly `tracking’, but thinking of brand building as something that is always on,” he says.
So while, “the past belonged to those with the largest advertising budgets, the best agencies and the best media deals, the future will belong to those who are closest to what consumers want,” he concludes.