Defining Marketing for the 21st Century
The 21st century has seen the advent of the new economy, thanks to the technology innovation and development. To understand the new economy, it is important to understand in brief characteristics and features of the old economy. Industrial revolution was the start point of the old economy with focus on producing massive quantities of standardized products. This mass product was important for cost reduction and satisfying large consumer base, as production increased companies expanded into new markets across geographical areas. The old economy had the organizational hierarchy where in top management gave out instructions which were executed by the middle manager over the workers.
In contrast, the new economy has seen the buying power at all time thanks to the digital revolution. Consumers have access to all types information for product and services. Furthermore, standardization has been replaced by more customization with a dramatic increase in terms of product offering. Purchase experience has also changed as well with the introduction of online purchase, which can be done 24 × 7 with products getting delivered at office or home.
|Companies have also taken advantage of information available and are designing more efficient marketing programs across consumers as well as the distribution channel. Digital revolution has increased speed of communication mobile, e-mail SMS, etc. This helps companies take faster decisions and implement strategies more swiftly.|
Marketing is art of developing, advertising and distributing goods and services to consumer as well as business. However, marketing is not just limited to goods and services it is extended to everything from places to ideas and in between. This brings forth many challenges within which marketing people have to take strategy decisions. And answer to these challenges depends on the market the company is catering to, for consumer market decision are with respect to product, packaging and distribution channel. For business market, knowledge and awareness of product is very essential for marketing people as businesses are on the lookout to maintain or establish a credential in their respective market. For global market, marketing people have to consider not only culture diversity but also be careful with respect to international trade laws, trade agreement, and regulatory requirements of individual market. For non for profit organization with limited budgets, importance is related to pricing of products, so companies have to design and sell products accordingly.
Marketing philosophy employed by any given company has to be mix of organization interest, consumer interest and societal interest. In production philosophy, companies focus is on numbers, high production count, which reduces cost per unit and along with mass distribution. This kind of concept is usually making sense in a developing market where there is the need of product in large numbers. The product philosophy talks about consumers who are willing to pay an extra premium for high quality and reliable performance, so companies focus on producing well made products. The selling concept believes in pushing consumers into buying of products, which under normal circumstance, they would be resistant. The marketing concept believes consumer satisfaction, thereby developing and selling products keeping focus solely on customer needs and wants. The customer philosophy believes in the creation of customized products, where in products is design looking at historical transaction of consumers. The last philosophy is the societal concept which believes in developing products, which not only generate consumer satisfaction but also take into account well being of society or environment.
Digital revolution and 21st century have made companies fine tune the way they conduct their business. One major trend observed is the need of stream lining processes and systems with the focus on cost reduction through outsourcing. Another trend observed in companies is, encouragement to entrepreneur style of work environment with glocal (global-local) approach. At the same time, marketers of companies are looking forward to building long term relationship with consumers. This relationship establishes platform understanding consumer needs and preference. Marketers are looking at distribution channels as partners in business and not as the customer. Companies and marketers are making decisions using various computers simulated models.
To summarize 21st century marketing is challenge, which is to keep up pace with changing time.
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