what it is, what impacts and how to apply it to your company – WAU
We have already gone through Marketing 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. Now, it is the turn of the digital economy, the Internet revolution and all the transformations that technology brings to society and to companies. Find out everything about Marketing 4.0 now!
Marketing 4.0 is the latest stage in the market. We are living in this era of Marketing in which technology permeates our lives and becomes a necessary means for connect brands and consumers.
Try to remember your last purchases. In the last year, you may have bought a shoe, a cell phone or even a car. Certainly, at some point in your shopping journey (maybe in all of it!), The Internet was there, wasn’t it?
When it comes to researching prices, knowing brand options or actually buying the product, you probably used digital tools. He researched Google, consulted reviews on Facebook, accessed e-commerce sites and even blogs with product reviews.
But do not think that it is only you who do this: this is the standard behavior of consumers today, who use technology in all walks of life.
And what do companies have to do with it? They need to be where consumers are, adopt the language they are using. So they need migrate to Marketing 4.0.
Want to better understand what that means? Now let’s talk about Marketing 4.0: what is it, what are the impacts for your business and how to adapt to it. Good reading!
What is Marketing 4.0?
Marketing 4.0 is a concept developed by Philip Kotler, one of the most important theorists of Modern Administration.
The book Marketing 4.0: from Traditional to Digital (2016), written in partnership with Hermawan Kartajaya and Iwan Setiawan, unravels all the details of this new era of Marketing.
According to the authors, Marketing 4.0 represents the digital revolution for businesses. If before they could simply invest in TV ads, newspapers and magazines to win customers, today it is necessary to move forward in digital transformation.
New technologies and new consumer behaviors – who are already experiencing a digital transformation in their daily lives – demand a new approach to Marketing.
But it’s not just about having a Facebook page and sending Marketing email. That alone does not mean a profound change.
Transformation is more about mindset than tools. Therefore, companies need to understand the new reality that is there, before applying digital marketing. It is with this that Kotler introduces the concept of Marketing 4.0.
According to the book, connectivity causes drastic changes in society:
- to the detriment of exclusivity, the world turns to social inclusion and a sense of community, by removing geographic and demographic barriers;
- vertical power structures are being diluted, increasing the competitiveness of small businesses and giving rise to horizontal relationships between brands and consumers;
- Individual decisions are increasingly influenced by social opinions shared in digital communities.
All these transformations, caused by the Internet, also impact companies. To enter the digital age and connect with society, therefore, they must move to a more business-oriented logic. inclusive, horizontal and social.
To do this, they must also understand the paradoxes that connectivity brings.
First, the book presents the paradox of online versus offline interaction. As much as people are developing new relationships over the Internet, they value physical experiences. The future, then, points to a convergence between online and offline.
In addition, while connectivity presents many more consumer options, it also makes consumer choices difficult.
He no longer has time or attention for every brand stimulus he receives. He dedicates himself only to what offers some use to him, either as entertainment or as information.
And the third paradox is about negative versus positive defense. Connectivity encourages consumers to voice their opinions about brands. Only they can be negative or positive, and that is not under the control of the company.
What to do, then, when receiving a bad evaluation? Do not despair: you must deal with the paradox, since negative opinions encourage brand advocates to speak up.
There, therefore, are the challenges of companies in Marketing 4.0. Next, we’ll see how you can overcome them to adapt to this new scenario.
From Marketing 1.0 to 4.0: how has marketing evolved?
If the concept is called Marketing 4.0, we imagine that we have already gone through 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, right? That’s right: Kotler theorized about the transformations of society and how companies have adapted to them, since the first steps of Marketing. Follow!
In this first stage, the scenario was one of few options for the consumer and low competition between companies.
So they were focused on their own products and production. No target audience, personalization or differentiation: it was enough to spread the word, focusing on the functional attributes of the products.
It is easy to see how Marketing 1.0 manifests itself in advertising at the time. See, for example, this announcement of the Beetle, which highlights the characteristics of the car:
After that comes Marketing 2.0. At this stage, competition between companies becomes more fierce. A greater concern with building a brand begins, that is, a company identity that differentiates it from its competitors.
At this stage, consumers also change. They have become more demanding in relation to brands, since they now have more options to choose from.
For this reason, brands started to adopt market segmentation, with the intention of identifying with a group of consumers – their target audience. By differentiating itself from competitors, then, each company meets the needs and desires of a segment.
A good example of this Marketing stage are Bombril commercials. The brand chose a character and language thinking about the housewife who used the product. The focus is no longer exactly the product, but the identification of the brand with the target audience.
More recently, then, Marketing 3.0 arrived. Instead of segmentation, companies started to focus on personalization – one-to-one marketing. After all, human beings come together in tribes, but each person is unique.
So consumers are no longer treated as a target or mere buyers. They become treated like humans they are – each with their own history, values and complexity.
For this reason, brands today also assume human values. To generate identification with each person, they adopt a purpose and identify themselves with causes.
That’s what people expect from a brand, not just creating and selling products.
An example of this marketing approach is Skol’s advertising that stands for differences. The brand takes on this social commitment and goes against the traditional sexist ads for beer brands. And so, it wins the public’s trust.
The transformations of Marketing 3.0 are already happening in the context of the Internet, blogs, social networks and the collaborative web. However, the digital revolution was so impressive that Philip Kotler developed a new concept for this digital economy scenario.
Therefore, Marketing 4.0 is not a replacement for 3.0. Companies must remain focused on the human being and assume a personality for their brand. But now technology plays a central role in the transformations and the human being needs to be understood in this context.
In addition, the emergence of new marketing cycles also does not extinguish the past stages. Or do you think there are still no companies focused on their own products? And Marketing sectors that still treat the public as a target, without giving people a voice?
All of this still exists on the market. But companies that adapt more quickly to the new stages of Marketing are many steps ahead.
How does Marketing 4.0 impact your company?
Given all these changes, you can already understand: your company needs to adapt as soon as possible to the digital economy.
You probably already know that you need to have a website, a social media profile, a corporate blog and an email marketing platform.
Here on the blog we always show the importance of these digital tools. But they are just tools. Therefore, we also always emphasize the need to have a strategy that supports its use.
Therefore, we are talking much more than using new technologies. To actually adapt to Marketing 4.0 means to understand the transformations that technology brings and how to connect with people within that context.
For that, it is necessary to detach from the old practices. As the name of the book written by Kotler says, Marketing 4.0 represents the transition from traditional to digital.
By understanding this, you can put together complete and efficient strategies that bring effective results for your business. You create a strong brand that is recognized and valued by people. You deliver value to the consuming public, but it also has a positive impact on the world around you.
This is what is expected of a company in Marketing 4.0.
How to apply Marketing 4.0 in practice?
In theory, you already understood what Marketing 4.0 is, right? But when it comes to putting it into practice, companies can get lost.
See below, then, the main tips to build the pillars of Marketing 4.0 in your business.
Build horizontal relationships
In the Marketing 4.0 stage, connectivity allows the creation of more horizontal and less hierarchical relationships. So, how should your company behave?
To relate horizontally with other people, nothing better than putting yourself as a person, right? So, assume an identity for your company, which highlight your purpose and values. Building a brand persona is the best tool for this.
So you can talk to consumers as equals. As in personal relationships, you must listen to the other, understand their needs and try to help them. This helps to build a relationship of trust, so essential in Marketing 4.0.
But horizontal relationships are not just for consumers. Think about it too when relating to your competitors.
It is clear that it is difficult to disengage from the market’s competitiveness. But know that competitors who come together can only win. And this is an increasingly strong trend.
Each year we see more companies in the same niche gathering around a cause. Want a cool example? The meeting of Internet giants to fight terrorism.
Another example is co-marketing actions. They generate relevant content for the public of two brands, which benefit each other.
Understand that your brand is not completely under your control
Another characteristic of the Marketing 4.0 context is the influence of others’ opinions on personal decisions.
Blogs and social networks gave everyone a voice. Anyone can publish on the web, express their opinion and influence other people’s decisions. Therefore, brands no longer have control over what they say about it. Are consumers who build brand reputation.
So there is no point in panicking every time someone posts a negative comment. Assume that companies are made by people, and people make mistakes. After all, didn’t we say before that you should humanize your brand? So: to make mistakes is human.
But of course, you can minimize the impacts of negative assessments. Having a management manual for image crises, for example, is essential to know what to do in times of conflict. It is also interesting to monitor the positive and negative mentions of your brand, to have a thermometer of your reputation.
Also dedicate yourself to talking with consumers, to understand (when they complain) and to thank (when to praise).
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Integrate Online and Offline Marketing
When reading the book’s title, it may seem that Philip Kotler wants to extinguish traditional Map Marketing. But not quite.
The author argues that, in Marketing 4.0, online and offline strategies must converge. After all, the consumer lives the paradox of interacting more and more on the Internet, but valuing experiences in the physical world.
What should your brand do, then? Create complete experiences, so that people move between online and offline media and are happy with your brand.
To do this, you need to create an omnichannel experience. This term refers to the integration of a company’s sales operation across all of its channels, regardless of whether they are online or offline.
If the consumer wants to search the Internet and buy in the physical store – and there is nothing more natural than that today! -, okay. It must move between on and off without even realizing that there is a border.
In fact, does this border still exist? For those who buy, it seems not. But companies still need to change their mindset to integrate operations.
Gain attention and trust with Content Marketing
Marketing 4.0 has a great challenge: gaining the attention and trust of a increasingly busy and informed consumer.
That is why today it is not enough to pay for a 30 second TV ad. People no longer want to wait for commercials to watch the evening paper. They don’t have time for that anymore, and the Internet offers thousands of other more interesting content.
So, how to conquer this new consumer?
Content Marketing is the solution. The Content Trends study shows that the adoption of this strategy increases every year. In 2018, 73% of the interviewed companies adopt Content Marketing – an increase of 5.8% compared to 2015.
But why are these results so expressive? Because by offering relevant information to people, you get their attention.
But this content needs to deliver something of value to them, to resolve any doubts or needs, to arouse some emotion or simply to amuse.
Thus, throughout the consumer’s buying journey, you earn their trust. And a trusting relationship is much more difficult to break than a purely commercial relationship.
In times of excess of stimuli and marks, all you want is create strong bonds with the public, right?
Encourage brand advocates
For a long time, the AIDA methodology (Attention, Interest, Desire and Action) was used to describe the customer’s steps to purchase.
Professor Derek Rucker, from the Kellogg School of Management, proposed a new model, called 4As: Assimilation, Attitude, Action and New Action. This perspective also covers post-purchase: a repurchase would be a significant sign of customer loyalty.
But Kotler, based on this model, proposes the 5As: Assimilation, Attraction, Arguition, Action and Apology.
According to the author, this model describes the consumer’s journey in the era of connectivity. At all stages, he is influenced by the community, especially on the Internet.
And, in this perspective, the biggest sign of consumer loyalty is no longer repurchase: it is the willingness to defend the brand (apology).
After all, the repurchase represents only an individualized attitude. But when the consumer becomes a brand advocate, he is able to influence the decision of several people and still build a positive reputation for the brand.
This can happen naturally when a customer is satisfied. But you can encourage brand advocacy by offering a valuable experience to the consumer and satisfying them at every stage of their journey to purchase.
Walk towards digital transformation
Anyway, this is the last tip, which summarizes everything that has been said so far.
Adopting digital transformation in Marketing 4.0 means change a culture built for years. For a long time, companies and marketing agencies have become accustomed to treating the public like a mass, choosing a vehicle just for its fame or making decisions based on guesswork.
In Marketing 4.0, however, connectivity requires a new stance. Companies need to be guided by the understanding of human beings in the digital economy and data analysis to support decisions.
After all, if technology and society evolve, Marketing needs to evolve together. This is what Kotler teaches us in his books.
But the digital transformation is not just about marketing. It is a structural change in companies, which puts technology in a central role to improve its performance.
Want to better understand this concept? So read now our guide on digital transformation and marketing.