We’ve written a lot about the rapidly changing world of marketing — with the advances in social media, technology, big data, etc. So, sometimes, we need to pause and reflect on things that are the constants in marketing.
In 1966, McKinsey published an article by John D. Louth on “The Changing Face of Marketing”: “This article from the McKinsey Quarterly archive analyzes six major changes that promised to transform future marketing efforts. These forces have largely proved to be as influential as predicted and continue to shape today’s challenges.”
The six major changes — which are really marketing constants — are as relevant today as they were nearly 50 years ago:
- The dominance of the customer — “It is nearly a truism that the needs and wants of the consumer are the critical issues today in creating new products and services, and developing the accompanying plans to merchandise them at a profit.”
- The spread of marketing research — “The second trend is the increased use of marketing research — in terms of both quantity and scope. To an important degree, of course, this trend is a response to the first. If knowledge about future customers is essential, and if the quality of the marketing output is materially affected by the caliber of the informational input, then marketing research is bound to increase in use and contribution as the interest in more scientific marketing grows.”
- The rise of the computer — “The third major trend marketing must consider is the emergence of electronic data-processing equipment as a major tool of scientific marketing not only for reporting data but also, more importantly, for planning and control by management.”
- Expanded use of test marketing — “A fourth important trend, in my opinion, will be toward more controlled experimentation to narrow the odds of an error in making marketing changes. Two major influences emphasize the need for further expansion of test marketing. The first is the rising cost of marketing changes: the costs, for example, of introducing new products and packaging, of developing new advertising and promotional programs, and of retraining salespeople. The second influence is the mounting investment in product research and development. About half of all corporate research-and-development activity in the United States today is concerned with the creation of new commercial products.”
- Metamorphosis of field selling — “The fifth trend I foresee is a shift in the nature of the field-selling job toward a more integrated, profit-oriented marketing effort. Key-account selling is becoming an increasingly crucial feature of the field-sales job—a trend with important implications. In many companies, a key-account selling program may entail special analysis of present and potential customers, and the establishment of related control reports to measure profit results with particular accounts.”
- Global market planning — “An ever-broadening application of the marketing concept to worldwide markets is the last of the six broad trends that I believe will change the face of marketing in the next few years. Over the past decade, the marketing concept has become widely accepted in the United States—perhaps, in some situations, too enthusiastically accepted and too indiscriminately applied. Nevertheless, I believe the concept of a completely integrated marketing effort is valid and will be increasingly adopted. In many companies operating worldwide, it will stimulate the development of global market planning.”
Click the image to read the full classic article.
Diane Von Furstenberg has been a prominent, trend-setting fashion designer for decades. Take a look at the Web site of her company to see what she’s doing now.
Here’s a brief bio of Von Furstenberg by Liz Welch of Inc.:
“Designer Diane von Furstenberg was 27 when she made the first wrap dress in 1974. The iconic design landed her on the cover of Newsweek — and millions of women snapped up her dresses. But when demand faded, von Furstenberg ended up selling most of her licenses to avoid bankruptcy. In 1997, von Furstenberg relaunched her company, which now has annual sales of more than $200 million. The wrap dress, too, made a comeback, and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with ‘The Journey of the Dress’ exhibition, which traveled the globe. And, as the 68-year-old designer recently shared with Inc. contributing editor Liz Welch, she is focused on building a company to outlast any fad.”
Click Von Furstenberg’s photo to read her recent interview with Liz Welch for Inc.
For the tenth year, a major award for the best firms in CRM has been given by 1to1Media, this time in conjunction with Gartner.
Click here to read a summary about the 2014 Gartner &1to1 Media CRM Excellence awards.
And click the image to read the full report.
After a few hiccups (such as the introduction of dual subscriptions), Netflix is certainly on a roll again. And a large part of Netflix’s recent success has been tied to its development of original programming, including Emmy-winning House of Cards. This move has changed the business for the industry and drawn emulators like Amazon.
Here is a good infographic that shows “The Economics of Netflix: How to Make a $100 Million Show.” Click on the image for a larger version, and then scroll down to learn many interesting facts about the economics of programming.
Some small companies mistakenly place marketing activities on the back burner. They fail to recognize the importance of marketing in building business and maintaining customer relationships.
So, receiving and listening to good marketing advice are vital for small firms.
New Republique is a creative Australian-based advertising agency. It recently developed the useful small business marketing infographic shown below. There are several good observations in this infographic for small firms.
The complexities and variability of airfares can be disconcerting even to the most patient people. Two recent articles appearing in the Wall Street Journal illustrate the situation. The second article referenced in this post shows how dire matters are to many fliers — the government is proposing a new disclosure rule.
First, Scott McCartney reported about the “Airfare Riddle: Same Flight, Different Prices”:
“The flight is the same. Even the seat is the same. So why is the airline charging two different — sometimes very different — prices? American Airlines and US Airways, which merged late last year, are selling seats on each other’s airplanes. But they are pricing tickets separately, and will continue to do so for the next 18 to 24 months. American flights have one price in American’s reservation system and sometimes a different price in US Airways’ reservation system. Same for flights on US Airways airplanes: Check both AA.com and USAirways.com and you’re likely to see different prices.”
“The savings opportunity for savvy travelers can sometimes be large. Earlier this week, a one-way ticket on American’s Flight 1054 from Boston to Dallas-Fort Worth was $656 on American’s website, but only $346 on USAirways.com. A Phoenix-Seattle round trip on US Airways flights for travel June 13 to 20 was $359 on US Airways’ Web site, but only $298 on AA.com.”
Within McCartney’s article was an interesting chart. Click the image for a larger version.
Illustrations by Jean Tuttle
Second, Jack Nicas wrote about “U.S. Government Proposes Requiring Airlines to Disclose More Fees”:
“The U.S. Transportation Department’s proposed new rule would enable customers to see airline fees for the first two checked bags, a carry-on bag, and a seat reservation alongside airfares when they browse for tickets. The requirement is largely aimed at improving fliers’ ability to compare prices between carriers on travel Web sites like Kayak and Expedia. ‘The current system does not give consumers accurate pricing and does not allow comparative shopping,’ said Charlie Leocha, head of the Consumer Travel Alliance, a flier-advocacy group. ‘This new system will… So it is a dramatic change.’”
Within Nicas’ article was another interesting chart. Click the image for a larger version.
Over the last few years, the debate has been growing more fierce with regard to the way TV channel subscriptions are sold to consumers.
On one side of the debate are the service providers who aggressively bundle channels and charge a monthly fee for the bundle — whether the consumer wants all the channels in the bundle or not. On the side are consumer advocates and some government officials who say that people should only have to pay for the channels that they actually want to view.
Now, comes new research from Nielsen that seems to strongly indicate that unbundling channel fees would greatly benefit most viewers. According to Nielsen, the typical household now receives 189 TV channels through subscription bundles. Yet, the typical household regularly watches only 17-18 of those channels.
Click the image to read more from Nielsen.
As Anum Hussain, an inbound marketing manager for the inbound sales division of HubSpot, writes:
“The way people buy products and services online has dramatically changed over the years — and these days, the customer has more power than ever. To understand more about what influences today’s customer, the folks at BigCommerce analyzed a range of E-commerce sites to give us a broader understanding of what people value when shopping online. While these findings may be specific to online ecommerce shops, we believe there’s some valuables lessons here for all business types. Take a look, and keep reading below for some tweetable takeaways.”