The Changed Face of Marketing

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Ecopreneurist takes a close look at how marketing has evolved since its first principles were defined in the 50s by Professor Neil Borden and in 1960 by E. Jerome McCarthy.  The information isn't geared towards green marketing specifically but has insights that are significant across marketing.

Posted Dec. 1st, 2008
Dave Sattler, Ecopreneurist

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In 1953, almost 60 years ago, in his American Marketing Association presidential address, Professor Neil Borden of Harvard Business School,
introduced the term “marketing mix” and in 1960 E. Jerome McCarthy
supplemented that concept with the 4 P’s of Marketing. Ever since then,
every student of marketing has learned the 4 P’s of marketing; Product,
Pricing, Promotion, Placement. In recent years, and not for the first
time, these once-seen as fundamental concepts are coming under scrutiny
in the wake of a dramatically altered landscape.

The reality is that consumers shop differently
than they did 50 years ago and expect different things from your brand.
First, consumers want to learn about your product on their time.
Traditional push, top-down, or inside-out oriented marketing from the
marketing department that interrupts a consumer experience is
ineffective. Think TiVo, iPod, pop-up blockers. Sure, they’ll consume
your media – when they want to – not when it is pushed on them. Why
don’t commercials get TiVo’d during the Super Bowl? It is part of the
experience, for some it is the most important experience, of watching
the Super Bowl.

Secondly, consumers expect to find unbiased
reviews of your product from friends, or random people on the internet.
Google, as a search engine and as a tremendous source for insights,
captures the interaction between your brand or product category and
consumers. Do not be surprised to find just about anyone saying just
about anything about your brand – regardless of whether you have a
website or not. Most major brands already understand this and have
joined the conversations and are listening, if for no other reason,
market insights.

Thirdly, consumers want to participate. This
is really getting back to filling a core emotional need. Sure, not
every one of Kraft customers wants to engage with kraftfoods on the internet and join that community but some do. This coveted group of customers represent “The One Number You Need to Know”,
your evangelists. In essence, these people are your free sales force
and finding the right tools to engage them will increase sales,
relevance, loyalty, and generate amazing consumer insights.

Fourth, they want bite-size chunks. Consumers
want to try before they buy. In August 2000, when you could download an
entire song for free on Napster, CD sales were up 8% from the previous
year. The next year, after Napster was shut down, sales were down 8%.
People could not sample the music any more. This principle is also
found in a really great book authored by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba titled “Creating Customer Evangelist”, another highly recommended holiday read.

Image of Neil Borden from

No Responses to “The Changed Face of Marketing”

  1. Yes “marketing” has changed to become unstoppably (not just two-way) but many-to many – with the access to new media.
    Other books to read to get up to speed are Here Comes Everybody, groundswell, Smart Mobs, Crowdsourcing and more.
    Here’s my list so far–-books-that-show-us-how/

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