The New Marketing Realities

The marketplace is dramatically different from even 10 years ago, with new marketing behaviors, opportunities, and challenges emerging. In this book we focus on three transformative forces: technology, globalization, and social responsibility.


The pace of change and the scale of technological achievement can be staggering. The number of mobile phones in India recently exceeded 500 million, Facebook’s monthly users passed 1 billion, and more than half of African urban residents were able to access the Internet monthly.23

With the rapid rise of e-commerce, the mobile Internet, and Web penetration in emerging markets, the Boston Consulting Group believes brand marketers must enhance their “digital balance sheets.” 24 Massive amounts of information and data about almost everything are now available to consumers and marketers. In fact, technology research specialists Gartner predicts that by 2017, CMOs will spend more time on information technology (IT) than chief information officers (CIOs). Aetna’s CMO and CIO have already collaborated suc­cessfully for years, launching new products and services including iTriage, a popular health app for the iPhone. With iTriage, users can research ailments, find nearby physicians, and learn about prescribed medicines.25 Procter & Gamble (P&G) is determined to stay ahead of technology trends.26

P&G P&G uses the latest Web-based tools in all 80 countries where it sells products: ubiquitous high-speed networking, data visualization, and high-speed analysis of multiple information streams. In 40 locations worldwide, a mas­sive business sphere can display real-time market share, profits, and prices by country, region, brand, and product. Tide laundry detergent has a dedicated “news desk” that monitors social media chatter and joins in when relevant. When Tide was used to clean up a nasty fuel spill in a NASCAR race, the brand ran social media ads with real news footage within 72 hours. P&G looks at a wide range of technology applications. One pilot study showed that field salespeople increased revenue 1.5 percent merely by using iPads to show store customers the layouts of different floor displays.

The old credo “information is power” is giving way to the new idea that “sharing information is power.”27 Software giant SAP’s online community numbers more than 2 million customers, partners, and others. Once a year, 100 are chosen to contribute ideas to product development.28

At the other end of the size spectrum, by running Facebook ads offering a free cut, shampoo, and hot towel treatment to new customers in exchange for name, phone number, e-mail address, and preferred social network, The Gent’s Place barbershop in Frisco, TX, has picked up 5,000 clients. Its average marketing cost for each was $10.13, which it quickly recoups from repeat purchases.29

Even traditional marketing activities are profoundly affected by technology. To improve sales force effectiveness, drug maker Roche decided to issues iPads to its entire sales team. Though the company had a sophisticated cus­tomer relationship management (CRM) software system before, it still depended on sales reps to accurately input data in a timely fashion, which unfortunately did not always happen. With iPads, however, sales teams can do real-time data entry, improving the quality of the data entered while freeing up time for other tasks.30


The world has become a smaller place. New transportation, shipping, and communication technologies have made it easier for us to know the rest of the world, to travel, to buy and sell anywhere. By 2025, annual consumption in emerging markets will total $30 trillion and contribute more than 70 percent of global GDP growth.31 A staggering 56 percent of global financial services consumption is forecast to come from emerging markets by 2050, up from 18 percent in 2010.

Demographic trends favor developing markets such as India, Pakistan, and Egypt, with populations whose median age is below 25. In terms of growth of the middle class, defined as earning more than $3,000 per year, the Philippines, China, and Peru are the three fastest-growing countries.32

Globalization has made countries increasingly multicultural. U.S. minorities have much economic clout, and their buying power is growing faster than that of the general population. According to the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business minority buying report, the combined buying power of U.S. racial minorities (African Americans, Asians, and Native Americans) is projected to rise from $1.6 trillion in 2010 to $2.1 trillion in 2015, accounting for 15 percent of the nation’s total. The buying power of U.S. Hispanics will rise from $1 trillion in 2010 to $1.5 trillion in 2015, nearly 11 percent of the nation’s total. One survey found that 87 percent of companies planned to increase or maintain multicultural media budgets.33

Globalization changes innovation and product development as companies take ideas and lessons from one country and apply them to another. After years of little success with its premium ultrasound scanners in the Chinese market, GE successfully developed a portable, ultra-low-cost version that addressed the country’s unique market needs. Later, it began to successfully sell the product throughout the developed world for use in ambu­lances and operating rooms where existing models were too big.34


Poverty, pollution, water shortages, climate change, wars, and wealth concentration demand our attention. The private sector is taking some responsibility for improving living conditions, and firms all over the world have elevated the role of corporate social responsibility.

Because marketing’s effects extend to society as a whole, marketers must consider the ethical, environmen­tal, legal, and social context of their activities.35 “Marketing Insight: Getting to Marketing 3.0” describes how companies need to change to do that.

The organization’s task is thus to determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and satisfy them more effectively and efficiently than competitors while preserving or enhancing consumers’ and society’s long­term well-being.

As goods become more commoditized and consumers grow more socially conscious, some companies—including The Body Shop, Timberland, and Patagonia—incorporate social responsibility as a way to differentiate themselves from competitors, build consumer preference, and achieve notable sales and profit gains.

4. Marketing insight: Getting to Marketing 3.0

Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartayaya, and Iwan Setiawan believe today’s customers want marketers to treat them as whole human beings and acknowledge that their needs extend beyond pure con­sumerism. Successful marketing is thus distinguished by its human or emotional element. A third wave of thinking, values-driven and heralded as “Marketing 3.0,” has moved us beyond the product­centric and consumer-centric models of the past, these authors say. Its three central trends are increased consumer participation and collaborative marketing, globalization, and and the rise of a creative society.

  • We live with sustained technological development—low-cost Internet, cheap computers and mobile phones, open source services and systems. Expressive and collaborative social media, such as Facebook and Wikipedia, have changed the way market­ers operate and interact with consumers.
  • Culturally relevant brands can have far-reaching effects. A cultural brand might position itself as a national or local alternative to a global brand with poor environmental standards, for instance.
  • Creative people are increasingly the backbone of developed economies. Marketing can now help companies tap into creativity and spirituality by instilling marketing values in corporate culture, vision, and mission.

These authors believe the future of marketing will be horizontal: consumer-to-consumer. They feel the recent economic downturn has not fostered trust in the marketplace and that customers now increas­ingly turn to one another for credible advice and information when selecting products.

Sources: Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaya, and Iwan Setiawan, Marketing 3.0: From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2010); Michael Krauss, “Evolution of an Academic: Kotler on Marketing 3.0,” Marketing News, January 30, 2011; Vivek Kaul, “Beyond Advertising: Philip Kotler Remains One of the Most Influential Marketing Thinkers,” The Economic Times, February 29, 2012. For more stimulating related ideas, see also Jim Stengel, Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies (New York: Crown, 2011).

Source: Kotler Philip T., Keller Kevin Lane (2015), Marketing Management, Pearson; 15th Edition.

1 thoughts on “The New Marketing Realities

  1. Jamila Harbold says:

    This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

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