Changing World of Marketing and Increased Demands on Marketers
The world of marketing is literally changing by the minute as marketing is no longer confined to traditional selling and advertising but also encompasses use of advanced technologies and Big Data Analytics in a real time manner.
For instance, traditionally, marketers were expected to rely on market research conducted by specialized agencies as well as in house teams to assess the demand and consumer preferences for a particular good or service.
Next, they were expected to coordinate with the R&D (Research and Development), Production, and Quality Control departments to time the release of the products or services. Further, they were then expected to undertake advertising and sales promotions that entailed managing the ad campaigns and supply chain as well as distribution channel management.
Finally, they were expected to incorporate the feedback from the point of sale outlets as well as from market research to asses and determine whether their strategies have succeeded or need to be fine tuned.
In all the above steps, marketing was essentially demand driven and involved optimum use of technology and at the same time, was largely on physical dimensions since all this was done in the manufacturing supply chains as well as geographical distribution channels.
This meant that marketing was as much about advertising and promotions as it was about reaching out to consumers through physical channels.
New Age Marketing
However, in the recent decade or so, marketing has been transformed in ways that marketers in the 20th century could not have imagined with the emergence of digital and mobile media as well as social media.
While the introduction of Television and associated advertising and sales was the first wave of innovation and the early computer driven selling was the second wave of innovation, the advent of enhanced digital media and the convergence of social media and Smartphones can be thought of as the third wave of innovation that goes far beyond the realms of traditional marketing. \
To see how this works, marketing is no confined to specific geographies anymore. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection and a credit card can shop for products anywhere in the world anytime of the day and everywhere in the world and every time they feel like shopping.
Borderless World and a World That Operates on a 24/7 Basis
This means that selling is no longer a time bound or spatial bound affair since consumers in the West can shop for products made in the East during their daytime which is the night time for the latter. Similarly, the equation is reversed when Eastern consumers shop on Western eCommerce sites.
Apart from this, the near instantaneous feedback from consumers on a global scale means that there are no lags as far as the time between product launch and closing the feedback loop is concerned.
Indeed, one can go as far to say that there is no closure of the feedback loop since the repeated iterations between the various stages in the marketing value chain means that marketing is not a real time affair unconstrained by either time or distance.
Big Data and the Transformation of Marketing
Another important and perhaps the most important change or transformation in the way marketing has been revolutionized is the use of increasingly sophisticated algorithms and data driven analytics software along with Big Data.
It is no longer the case that marketers act on demand and forecasts of demand. Instead, they are now creating demand wherein they sense and intuit consumer preferences and indeed, to the extent that they predict consumer preferences even before such thoughts cross the consumers minds.
While this might sound like science fiction and scary to everyone, all one has to do is to visit the eCommerce retailers such as Amazon that uses Big Data extensively to the point that it has the ability to predict consumer preferences better than the consumers themselves.
What this means is that marketing is now in an exciting new game which while stressful and hyper competitive is also full of opportunities for anyone who can master these elements.
The Human Element versus Machine Intelligence
Indeed, the Brave New World of Marketing is now a combination of the age old art of selling and the New Age science of analytics driven selling. Further, as mentioned earlier, with no geographical or time constraints and moreover, with no physical channels, the entire world is the market and the technocratic cyberspace is the new distribution channel where the traditional concerns about such aspects have been replaced by concerns about payment systems and interlocking rules and regulations worldwide where the global drives are sometimes up against local imperatives.
While some might argue that marketing has always been about meeting unmet needs and driving consumer preferences, it is the case that the New Age marketer is becoming less important when compared to the machines and the algorithms that are driving the process.
In addition, while it is the case that concerns about payment channels and the competing global and local drivers of growth have always been present, what is different now is the real time and by the minute changes in the entire marketing value chain.
However, despite the arguments and the counter arguments about how much has changed or not, we would like to point out that while the media and the geospatial transformations have indeed revolutionized marketing, the human element is still important since we are yet to have computers who can think better than humans. In conclusion, as explained earlier, the art of marketing with the science of prediction means that marketing is no longer what it used to be.
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