Digital vs. Traditional Marketing – Kotler
Digital marketing facilitates WOM word of mouth and horizontal communication within any target market with the customers being central in strategy and outcomes, complemented by more detailed ROI, and requiring more analysis of digital or e-consumer behaviour. The digital marketing strategy should be viewed as the system or software development lifecycle is, along the customer journey, based upon user or customer input making the system live, dynamic and relevant.
Following is a summary of Philip Kotler’s Marketing 4.0 from The Marketing Journal (Kotler, Kartajaya & Setiawan 2018)
‘Marketing 4.0 is the sequel to our widely-recognized concept of Marketing 3.0, which calls for brands to touch the human spirit.
Digital technology is increasingly moving at the heart of most modern businesses today. As OECD states, digital economy is fast percolating a wide range of industries, from banking, energy and transportation to media and health. No wonder thus how often we hear of the word ‘disruption’ in the context of business.
Moving towards marketing 4.0 requires balancing our use of machines and devices with human contact to strengthen customer engagement.
From Traditional to Digital Marketing
As we move from traditional to digital, marketing has undergone fundamental transformation in the way its various elements are incorporated. Let’s take a look at the four most critical shifts:
From ‘Segmentation and Targeting’ to ‘Customer Community Confirmation’
For brands to be able to penetrate these com munities and get their messages across effectively, they need to fit in naturally – acting as friends, showing care and genuine concern to address customers’ needs and wants. In essence, the process of segmentation, targeting and positioning is made more transparent.
From ‘Brand Positioning and Differentiation’ to ‘Brand Characters and Codes’
In this age of digital marketing, a brand needs to be dynamic and versatile in what messages it delivers and how. But what should remain consistent is the brand’s character and codes, regardless of the content of the messages that it delivers. The brand’s character – its raison d’être- is what defines its personality, it is what makes the brand stand true to its core, even if the outer imagery is flexible – think Google (with its ever-changing Doodles) or MTV – how they remain flexible with their varying designs, yet solid as brands.
From ‘Selling the 4P’s’to ‘Commercializing the 4C’s’
In view of greater connectivity in the digital economy, armed with increased customer participation, we reckon the emergence of a new set of marketing mix, the 4C’s – co-creation, currency, communal activation, and conversation.
Traditional customer service revolves around treating customers as kings, but in the collaborative customer care approach, they are viewed as equals. While customer service would focus solely on addressing their concerns while still attempting to stick to strict guidelines and standard operating procedures, collaborative care would put genuine effort into listening and responding to the customer, consistently following through, on terms agreed upon by both company and customer. In the connected world, this collaborative process is more relevant to customer care wherein customers are invited to participate in the process by using self-service facilities.
Integrating Traditional and Digital Marketing
Industry observers have been debating for a while whether traditional marketing is dead, in view of the rising influence of, and marketing spend in, digital marketing. What we believe however is that digital is not supposed to replace traditional marketing. Both are meant to co-exist and have their own roles to play across the customer journey.
Traditional marketing is still quite effective in building awareness and interest in brands, but digital marketing plays a more prominent role as customers go on to build closer relationships with brands. The goal of digital should be to drive action and advocacy, and in view of greater accountability, the focus should be on driving results, as opposed to traditional marketing where the focus should be on initiating customer interaction. In essence, Marketing 4.0 aims to help marketers identify and prepare for the shifting roles of traditional and digital marketing in building customer engagement and advocacy.’
What does this all mean?
- Digital marketing should not be viewed simply as a technical channel for budget allocation, while it includes community, word of mouth or horizontal communication with social media channels.
- Underlying brand character remains the same but with constant customer participation and collaboration as per the 4C’s customer generated content, authenticity, horizontal communication via word of mouth, and reinforcement of the message.
- Digital should complement traditional marketing’s building awareness and interest with customer interaction, also analysis of customer engagement, decision and action to inform ROI well.
- Marketing strategy (development) should be viewed as a dynamic system, not unlike the systems or software development lifecycle (SDLC) for the duration of the customer journey.
- Any system must to be based upon the needs of all stakeholders including customers, personnel, and users by continuous feedback for analysis (of outcomes) to inform improvements (including ROI).
References & Bibliography:
Kotler, P, Kartajaya, H & Setiawan, I 2016, Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital, Wiley, New Jersey.
Kotler, P, Kartajaya, H & Setiawan, I 2018, ‘Marketing 4.0: When Online Meets Offline, Style Meets Substance, and Machine-to-Machine Meets Human-to-Human’, The Marketing Journal, viewed 6 August 2018, <http://www.marketingjournal.org/marketing-4-0-when-online-meets-offline-style-meets-substance-and-machine-to-machine-meets-human-to-human-philip-kotler-hermawan-kartajaya-iwan-setiawan/>