It is time for Marketing Theory to be re-written. It is also time for all business managers and marketing managers to go back to the classrooms and re-learn as well as re-orient themselves to the current marketplace realities. The product design, technology as well as the marketing methods, competition and even the Customer Expectations have drastically changed in the last two decades .
It is not enough for the Marketing and Marketings managers to watch the numbers, but the dynamic changes and realities that are likely to affect their product is something that they need to be alert and tuned into at all times. Technology especially the Social Media Network has redefined quite a few aspects of marketing. On one hand, it has opened up an extensive network and enabled the Marketers to reach out to the consumers on one to one basis. Secondly it has enabled dissemination of information instantaneously. Are you in tune with the online community and listening to what they feel about your product or brand ?. Internet and online media is a very powerful tool that can build or violate your brand reputation and leadership. Have you learnt to participate and build a supportive audience?
Technological advancement has not only revolutionized the online and internet communication and redefined the way that the customers shop or make their buying decisions; all other factors that affect the product marketing have also changed. The war is not only limited to aggressive and attractive pricing, but the concept of quality as well as service has changed.
Take the aspect of product quality. The attributes of quality in customer’s perception has extended beyond the product performance guarantee and quality of materials. Today the customers expect nothing but the latest in terms of the product design. Every incremental feature or attribute that is added to the product offering counts in the eyes of the customer. High class quality is assumed to be the basic entry criteria to be in the market. People have differing perceptions of what they expect in terms of high class product. In most cases, customers expect your product to be up to date utilizing the latest technology. Take the case of simple washing machines. Though a machine with manual basic feature control panel is sufficient to work as well as preserve, clients would expect to buy the machine with latest control panel with all kinds of specialized and visible display features even if they do not use them in day to day life. You will see that the market leaders, be it in mobiles, computers or white goods market, having new releases and adapting new features in their products at all the time. Therefore the concept of quality of the product needs to be understood in a different perspective. The faster the marketing managers understand this, the better the company will be able to adapt and innovate. Product innovation is a necessity to keep up the brand leader ship in the market.
Today’s customer expectations have changed not only with respect to the product quality besides pricing, but extends to the service that they expect from the Company. Unlike earlier, the companies are no longer able to sell the product and end the transaction with installation. Today, offering premium service and providing total Solution has become the key differentiator in the market. Take the case of online shopping; companies go out of the way to deliver your order at your convenience to your door step and in most cases free of charge too. Many also take away the packing materials back, thus leaving you free of having to dispose the scrap. Appear at the service industry like logistics. Service providers like DHL, Fedex and others are talking a totally different speech to the customers. They offer total solutions with doorway to door services including picking up the cargo at your doorway, packing as well as completing all regulatory formalities on your behalf both at the origin as well as at the destination and deliver cargo at your customer’s door step as per your requirement. In terms of logistics support, this is a huge relief for the customers who would have to engage and deal with multiple service providers at different stages.
Any Organization that wishes to build and grow their brand as well as retain the leadership needs to learn and cultivate the culture of creating better value proposition to the Customer at all days. This is not a onetime activity, but should become a part of the Organizational culture and philosophy.