The Future of Marketing – Transparency, Connectivity and Brand Advocacy

The Future of Marketing – Transparency, Connectivity and Brand Advocacy

Philip Kotler and his fellow experts announce a new era of marketing in their book Marketing 4.0 – Moving from Traditional to Digital. Written in a light and understandable textbook style, Marketing 4.0 gives you easily accessible frameworks and practical examples about how to bring together offline and online worlds.

We picked up three key takeaways from the book: 1) brand advocacy over brand awareness, 2) the importance of connectivity and transparency in brand strategy, and 3) the usefulness of practical and inspirational case examples.

From Brand Awareness to Brand Advocacy

Nowadays, it is not enough for a brand to just be known. Instead, it is more about consumers actively recommending the brand to others. These consumers, brand advocates, are the most profitable target group for a brand. The most active brand advocates include young people, women, and netizens.

In an ideal case, everyone who is aware of the brand is also willing to recommend it and every customer who is attracted to the brand ends up buying it. This, of course, is the desired goal of every brand.

The Importance of Connectivity and Transparency

In the world of the internet, connectivity and transparency are key to transforming marketing scenarios and consumer environments. A high level of transparency opens the door for smaller companies to become competitive in the big market. Transparency fosters innovation and development. The new breed of customers, such as the young, the urban, and the middle-class, are all about mobility and connectivity. These customers are consumers all the time, connected with everything, everywhere.

This connectivity among customers influences critical customer touchpoints. There has been a change from the customer path of four A’s (Aware, Attitude, Act, and Act again) to five A’s (Aware, Appeal, Ask, Act, and Advocate). The book gives its readers pieces of useful advice about how to intervene efficiently in typical bottleneck touchpoints. In addition, there are practical examples of how to measure success.

What else is happening in this new era of interconnectivity? According to Kotler’s book, brands are becoming more human than ever. How? Human-centric brands are seen as appealing and innovative and also honest and authentic. By evoking customers’ emotions, brands are better able to connect with them and become an integral part of their life.

Practical Case Studies that Really Resonate

What is great about the book Marketing 4.0 is its extensive use of real-life examples. They make the book’s concepts and arguments easy to understand. When discussing omnichannel marketing, for example, explaining customer shopping patterns such as webrooming or showrooming is not only done by theoretical description, but every observation is also supported by practical case examples from actual business environments.

The book has some nice examples of how customer experience is spiced up with technology to increase customers’ brand advocacy. One example highlighted in the book is Burberry: they use RFID sensors on clothes to trigger video descriptions of products displayed in the mirror once the clothing item is taken to the changing room. Another example mentioned is the mobile app of L’Oreal: by using their mobile front camera, customers can try on different makeup products before making a purchase.

If you are active in the field of marketing, this book is an inspirational must-read!

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