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News | Remembering The Fundamentals Of Marketing In A Digital Age

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Remembering The Fundamentals Of Marketing In A Digital Age

461 Views / News Story by Advert On Click / 5 April 2024
Source: forbes
Remembering The Fundamentals Of Marketing In A Digital Age

 In this digital age, where a single viral video on TikTok can seemingly spark a new trend within 24 hours, the change of pace that marketers must keep up with is immense and, understandably, daunting. As a result, we're becoming so caught up on what's shiny and new that we risk losing sight of the crux of successful marketing—our customers.

According to HubSpot's 2024 State of Marketing Report, 75% of marketers believe personalized experience drives sales and repeat business (pg. 7). This driver is why it's now more important than ever to remember the core fundamentals of your practice. Your building blocks should be the "four P's": product, price, place and promotion. The customer sits above all four as an ultimate goal; the rest stem from their needs and changing habits. What product does your customer want, what price do they want it at and where do they want it?

Developed in the 1960s by E. Jerome McCarthy, the four P's demonstrate the necessity for executives to mix different methods depending on variable market forces. Doing so helps marketers design plans that fit their time's dynamic social and political realities, specific to attracting a target market.

The three P's—process, physical evidence and people—introduced by Booms and Bitner in 1982—are necessary additions. This is ultimately the best recipe that caters to consumers today because the four P's help you position your product according to the customer brief, but the three P's then strengthen this by helping you understand where to position it, for whom and how.

A customer-centric focus outlasts any trend.
Amid the evolving landscape, AI and automation have transformed marketing more in the past three years than over the past 50, according to the HubSpot report, and keeping laser-focused on these principles remains core to meeting business objectives and satisfying audiences. Tech is an enabler; customers are the core focus.

We see many brands struggle because they have ignored these principles in favor of catering to the whims of a digital audience that's not necessarily their own. Time and effort are concentrated on making something go viral, with many forgetting to understand and meet customers' unique needs.

Despite the fundamental shifts in the tools we employ, the essence of marketing persists in businesses actively tuning in to their customers' needs and delivering solutions that resonate authentically with them. As Fairfax M. Cone said: "Good advertising is written from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions, it rarely moves anyone."

First, a marketing team needs to define the business brief through a diagnosis phase: "What problem are we solving for the customer? What are we doing to solve it? Is there a market opportunity?" Then the four P's can get underway and a misalignment between the campaign created and the customer brief is avoided.

These are not dusty old concepts but rather basic principles that are adaptable and able to work in synergy with the latest technological innovations. The parameters outline future successful campaigns and allow you to keep up and embrace new ideas simultaneously.

Before big data and generative AI revolutionized the way we work, the challenge was creating the right, tailored message for your audience. In the race to keep up, broader trends that become prevalent across multiple industries end up causing a disorientating effect because businesses lose sight of the needs and wants of their specific audience in a bid to cater to the masses.

With 64% of marketers already using AI and automation (pg. 31), it's clear that technology is propelling growth, but the challenge is harnessing this growth to meet your customers' needs. How do you use these tools to create personalized, targeted campaigns? The market we're operating in has changed, but when did it become outdated to understand the brief?

It's a simple formula, but it works, and the variable nature of each "P" avoids falling victim to a one-size-fits-all approach. Often, I witness these metrics being overcomplicated or overlooked by today's marketers, or many make the fatal error of trying to retrofit their campaign to the customer's brief at the end of the process rather than at the beginning.

Basic principles do not lead to basic campaigns.
As Pete Markey of Aviva said, the four P's "are essentially about understanding the wants and needs of customers and how to extract value from that." Why have such fundamentals become increasingly ignored in the digital age? One explanation may be that marketing teams hire purely based on a candidate's digital skills, rather than checking whether they fully grasp the basics of marketing, too. Digital literacy and strong analytical capabilities need to be interwoven with creativity.

The P's should be our backbone to creating a customer-centric approach. I anticipate brands blending agility with a steadfast commitment to marketing principles as they navigate the delicate balance between innovation, profitability and expansion in the future. Once you devise a plan that fulfills each parameter, execute your campaign through the right tech stack—this combination should lead you to success.

Tags Marketing Digital