Shifting Consumer ParadigmsMarketing and customers are two words that have been around for years. Transactions have been a part of cultural norms most likely as far back as the caveman days. I'm not sure where or when the actual word 'marketing' became widely known, but certainly the concept is not new. How we market however, has evolved as both customers and commerce have progressed.

Marketing used to be all about 'push'. Essentiallycompanies just shouting the value of their products hoping to incite people to go buy them. It was a one-way medium. That worked for a while and then a theory popped up that suggested the customer become the center of marketing efforts and the traditional 4P's (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) became more about Consumer, Cost, Convenience, Communication – you got it, the 4 C's. I don't think any of this gets lost in our new digital age, but I certainly would argue the world of social collaboration, digital engagement and interactive strategy have birthed many new ways to engage with consumers. This in turn has dramatically changed our approach to creating marketing strategies that build intimate connections with consumers.

So what should we be considering instead of the traditional marketing approach? We need to begin the process of looking at these marketing concepts a bit differently. Online and digital strategies have changed the way consumers engage, influence and make purchasing decisions. There are apps for everything from buying a movie ticket to depositing a check. We can search in Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, Google and Twitter for anything imaginable. There are influencing reviews on everything from doctors to restaurants. E-commerce is now in Facebook. All of these items designed in a way to leverage a new evolving marketing mix. So what should we be thinking about? Hear me out on this…in a recent brainstorming session here at LB we referred to it as SSED:

  • Place is now about Search Engines and discoverability – location, location, location.
  • Promotion is now about Social influence and engagement – real-time engagement and influence.
  • Product has become more about Experience – creating a more intimate connection.
  • Price has become second to Design in many ways – functionality and utilityover cost.
I am not suggesting we dismiss the previous P's and C's, yet that we simply allow for new factors (you guessed it… the SSED's) in the ongoing marketing game. Interactive strategies must embrace these new paradigms and create digital footprints that leverage each of these new tenets to create a wholistic marketing strategy. Interactive is now as important as traditional mediums. The intricate details and objectives of each must be woven together in a way that complements and provides a 360 view of the consumer and subsequently how we build connections with them. Websites and social mediums are the new storefronts and it is critical they be created and ultimately designed in a way to maximize this new SSED approach.

It's a whole new ballgame and B2B and B2C marketing is requiring the balance of the traditional 4P's with these new and engaging ways to market in real time. Search, Social Influence, Experience and Design are all going to play a larger part in how we evolve marketing strategies and leverage the digital landscape.