Sticking Together

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Marketing has evolved, but its role in the dynamic of a company has remained the same. As a marketer, new goals have developed that put more emphasis on the role of the consumer, a term known as the prosumer (Colapinto, 2014). The prosumer is described as the consumers’ involvement in brand value (Colapinto, 2014). This is where globalisation is changing the way marketers do business. Practices such as media convergence and co-creation are just a couple examples of the evolution of marketing side-by-side with globalisation (Colapinto, 2014).   Globalisation is key for this new evolution in marketing because consumers are being overwhelmed with thousands of brands, and without a direct relationship with the brand, they become forgotten due to the plethora of products being marketed (Colapinto, 2014). As the consumer gains more power, marketers are teaming up with other firms in an attempt to increase cultural inter-connectedness, as well as strengthen international reach to more people (Thoumrungroje, 2004).

As a result of the expansion of international relationships, the idea of these alliances being formed is huge in the world of marketing and business (Thoumrungroje, 2004). The alliances formed between partners and customers can make or break a company’s ability to successfully reach a strong international audience (Thoumrungroje, 2004). Theseco-marketing alliances’ primary focus is to use different parts of the value-chain to strengthen their campaign by pooling resources, something that has been made much easier due to the idea of globalisation (Thoumrungroje, 2004). This is a major advantage due to the fact that marketers are growing increasingly more capable of resonating stronger customer awareness and stronger marketing positions with more resources at their fingertips.

images

The importance of co-marketing alliances

Co-marketing alliances operate under the idea that the success of each firm depends highly on the other firm (Buckling and Sengupta, 2009). The most integral part of a co-marketing alliance is maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage in the hypercompetitive world of marketing (Colapinto, 2014). A co-marketing alliance together uses resources in human resources, marketing, promotion and distribution (Colapinto, 2014).   Their task is to “continuously keep up cutting-edge positions in markets given the fast-pace technological advancements in the globalization era” (Colapinto, 2014). They quickly, effectively, and efficiently can make decisions based on the fast-changing market in order to find optimal success in highly competitive areas that one firm would not otherwise be able to do on their own (Colapinto, 2014). Their reach is most successful when it comes to international marketing, and reaching a wider audience (Colapinto, 2014). Because of increasing global opportunities this allows marketers to work together to stay on task while also decreasing costs (Colapinto, 2014). Thus, co-marketing alliances are more successful than a firm trying to reach an audience on its own. An earlier example of a co-marketing alliance is Microsoft and IBM for the MS DOS operating system in the 1980’s, which used this advantage to obtain the “position of the dominant PC software firm” (Thoumrungroje, 2004).

So why does this matter?

It is important to understand that the idea of globalisation and the rapid pace of competition and technology are changing the way businesses are run. No longer is there a confinement to a business running as its own entity, it is more beneficial for a company to ally with another firm in order to maintain a competitive advantage without over-shooting their budget. Co-marketing alliances, as a result of globalisation, are just fueling the fire when it comes to spreading the reach a company has on the international trade of goods and services. Thus, the more companies expand internationally the more powerful globalisation becomes, and the cycle carries on. As a result of globalisation taking over, national borders have nearly disappeared and free-trade has made geography and time trivial when it comes to doing business and connecting to each other (Vikas, 2010). Companies can increase their profitability through this globalisation and alliance, and they can also interact with people who share different views and cultures, further breaking the barriers of geography (Agarwal, 2010). More so, companies that are forming these alliances are setting themselves up for more overall success, they are using globalisation to their advantage and making the most of their competitive advantage in order to have the most success in a world that is dominated by more products and brands than ever before. It’s a dog eat dog world when it comes to marketing, and with the globalisation era in full-swing, marketers must be smart about how they do their business.

References:

Agarwal, Abhinav. “Globalisation and Its Impact on Marketing Strategy.” Scribd. Institute of Management Studies, Dehradun, 2010. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. <http://www.scribd.com/doc/55196035/Globalisation-and-its-Impact-on-Marketing-Strategies&gt;.
Buckling, Louis, and Sanjit Sendupta. “Organizing Successful Co-marketing Alliances.” Berkeley. American Marketing Association, Apr. 1993. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. <http://groups.haas.berkeley.edu/marketing/PAPERS/PBUCKLIN/organ.txt&gt;.
Colapinto, Cinzia, and Eleonora Benecchi. “Dynamics and Motivations of Media Marketing: The Role of Globalization and Empowerment.” Abstract and Applied Analysis 2014 (2014): 1-9. Academic Search Complete [EBSCO]. Web. 28 Mar. 2016.
Dussauge, Pierre. Strategy Alliance. Digital image. HEC Paris. N.p., 15 Mar. 2011. Web. 29 Mar. 2016. <http://www.hec.edu/Knowledge/Strategy-Management/Corporate-Strategy/Strategic-Alliances-The-Need-for-a-Holistic-Approach&gt;.
Thoumrungroje, Amonrat. The Effects of Globalization on Marketing Strategy and Performance. Diss. Washington State U, 2004. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.
Advertisements
Sticking Together

The Ultimate Consumers’ Market

A total game changer

            The vast world of marketing may never be the same. Though the history is brief, marketing has already made it through five major stages, proving that it is a fast-moving storm. Making its way from the trade era, where handmade goods were traded simply through travelling and exploring, all the way to the social/marketing era, where the client is based at the center of the marketer’s universe and client interaction is key (More, 2012). This new approach to marketing only solidifies the fact that the customer is the answer. Participatory marketing is changing the way marketers think and see their clients. Before, marketers were focused on how to make their brand image stronger and customer loyalty was essential, now marketers are trying to find new ways to involve the people who are buying their products. Participatory marketing is becoming an incredibly important part of this newfound participatory culture that we reside in. “Participatory culture marks a shift in media communications from a twentieth-century system of one-to-many message transmission, to a twenty-first century model in which media producers and consumers are both increasingly ‘participants who interact with each other according to a new set of rules’ (Flew,2014). In other words, consumers are becoming the right hand of the marketers. They are not only helping marketers do their job by becoming involved in the way their brands are marketed, but they are also acting as the channel in which products are marketed. However, this can go one of both ways for marketers: very good or very bad.

136093219959440787_aUCQTfY7_c

New skills may be necessary

Everyone now has the capacity to become a media creator in this era of technology. Anyone who creates a blog or shares content via the internet is a media creator (Jenkins, 2009). This does not mean that everyone is properly skilled to be a media creator however, nor is everyone skilled in what areas of the media to trust. “Rather than dealing with each technology in isolation, we would do better to take an ecological approach, thinking about the interrelationship among different communication technologies, the cultural communities that grow up around them, and the activities they support” (Jenkins, 2009). In order to teach the younger population about this participatory culture, they need to understand that although individual creativity is important, the network of digital media is not based solely on a single person but rather a collection of people and ideas. With that said, it would be more beneficial for students to be taught how to use eachother to solve bigger problems rather than using themselves to solve smaller ones (Jenkins, 2009). How this relates to marketing is fairly straightforward: marketing is a trusting game. People do not always trust the right sources because not everyone is providing truthful information. Though people may be great channels of marketing and word of mouth campaigning, this could also be hugely detrimental to a company’s brand image.

On the bright side

Many marketers are using this participatory culture to their advantage.   Co-creation and participatory marketing are a means of guiding the consumers in the right direction about how to help successfully market their products. According to P & G, participatory marketing is five times more effective than traditional marketing by “stimulating a key growth driver: recommendations” (Marsden). It is very successful in bringing the brand and the consumer closer together by putting them at the center of the idea (Marsden). Participation marketing also elicits the Hawthorne effect in the participants, which is the positive feedback associated with participation (Marsden). People really enjoy the idea of being behind the scenes and participating, and they are more likely to trust whatever it is they are participating in because they can trust themselves and their hard work (Marsden). This is so important for marketers because by using this idea of co-creation and allowing the consumer to help market their products in guided ways, they can create positive feedback for their company and also make sure that those who are acting as a direct channel for their product are doing so in a positive way, a non-detrimental way to their brand. There could not be a better time for this concept to take off considering how heavily social and digital media are valued in today’s society. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great ways for the marketer to easily be connected to the consumer, and for consumers to be connected to other consumers. Marketers have easy access to who is interested in their products and how they can get the consumer to start talking. The only problem that arises from this is that the consumer typically only associates with the same network and very rarely branches out, which is an area that must be more focused on by the marketer and the global economy as a whole (Zuckerman. 2010).

The ‘Do Us a Flavor’ Campaign

Two ways to vote on co-created products:

Screenshot 2016-03-08 18.30.05

The easy way….Screenshot 2016-03-08 18.30.18

The hard way….

References:

Flew, T. (2014). New media: An introduction. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Jenkins, H. (2009). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture. Retrieved March 08, 2016, from https://mitpress.mit.edu/sites/default/files/titles/free_download/9780262513623_Confronting_the_Challenges.pdf

Lay’s® Do Us A Flavour™. (n.d.). Retrieved March 08, 2016, from https://www.dousaflavour.ca/en/

Marsden, P. (2008, August 04). Participatory Marketing – What it is, How it Works. Retrieved March 08, 2016, from http://www.slideshare.net/paulsmarsden/participatory-marketing-what-it-is-how-it-works/47

More, M. (2012, April 30). The Evolution of Marketing. Retrieved March 08, 2016, from http://morethanbranding.com/2012/04/30/the-evolution-of-marketing/

Zuckerman, E. (Director). (2010, July). Listening to Global Voices [Video file]. Retrieved March 08, 2016, from https://www.ted.com/talks/ethan_zuckerman?language=en

The Ultimate Consumers’ Market

Marketing & the knowledge worker

 36JanFeb13_Johns_third-wave-of-virtual-work1

Marketing as a knowledge worker

This idea of being a knowledge worker is something that cannot be avoided as digital capitalism is on the rise. In fact, digital capitalism is in such full swing that those who are not knowledge workers, deep knowledge thinkers to be exact, are in for a rude awakening. But what is a knowledge worker anyways? Knowledge is the most important resource of our society and culture partly because it is intangible and endless. Without knowledge, our ideas are seemingly useless. More important than this knowledge is how we communicate our ideas within our technoculture. Being a knowledge worker means using the most powerful processor on the planet: our brains. The truth behind digital capitalism is that nothing can ever be more powerful than the human brain, not even the robots that are being built right before our eyes. Surely these robots are a part of this disruptive innovation going on in the world around us, but the easiest way to avoid this disruptive innovation is to get educated. It’s more important to be competent and reliable, a ‘smart worker’ if you will, than a hard labourer. This can take many shapes, but for a marketer, reliability is vital. People are only going to trust someone who is reliable. For example, Nike is not afraid to spend millions of dollars making its product top of the line because that is the brand they have created for themselves. We trust Nike because Nike is reliable, rarely do they fall short of expectation (Armstrong, 2015). “Influence trumps authority” (Armstrong, 2015). At the end of the day, no one is going to have all the power, so it is influence that drives a marketing campaign. When you think of the occupation of marketing, some of the first words that may come to mind are communication, trust, innovation, and creativity, adjectives that robots cannot replicate as easily as humans. Traditionally, marketing is all about the consumer, the who, what, when, where, why, and how they are going to react to different stimuli. This will always be the case whether it’s robots or humans at the stake of the consumer. The reason I bring this up is because nothing can compare to human-to-human interaction. A voice-automated service just puts the consumer as a number, when the consumer is the most vital part of a company’s success. Marketers have such a huge advantage because of this, if they use this to their advantage they can become the most highly influential people of the company: the people the consumer can trust.

It’s all about creativity

This is huge for a knowledge worker to understand. By simply going with the flow of the past, the marketer is limiting himself or herself entirely. The marketer must be innovative, by simply following the past they are not being a deep knowledge thinker, but rather a knowledge technician. That’s where robots cause disruptive innovation, they can follow the past because they can be programmed to do so. As a deep knowledge thinker you are breaking through the barrier of digital capitalism. According to Schumpeter (2013), “Technology is creating ever more markets in which innovators, investors and consumers—not workers—get the lion’s share of the gains.” There is no room for the weak and a marketer who does not understand that competence and creativity will dominate will likely fail. That is to say the person is not an innovator, using convergence to his or her advantage and letting a robot take over a task that once had value. Most people are convinced that advertising is the end all be all for a company’s success, when the fact of the matter is that marketers are at the very will of the consumer, their fate is determined by the central force driving the company. If an idea is not creative, innovative, influential, and unforgettable, then it will not survive to maturity. Marketers need to think into the future, see patterns in consumer behavior, and not wait until the disruption is so distinct that recovery is nearly impossible (Holtshouse, 2009). Humans have the most competitive advantage in the world: the ability to harness knowledge. The intelligent and creative worker will prosper.

So what should you do?

The innovation and digital capitalism isn’t something that should make you afraid, it should motivate you to stretch the limits and the boundaries of your mind. This rise of digital capitalism is expected to produce some of the most creative and innovative ideas that people would have never even imagined could be possible. Competency will be the deciding factor of whether or not a market will succeed or not. Reliability will follow suit if that marketer is indeed competent. At the end of the day, the consumer will only buy your products and services if they believe that what you are marketing will better their lives, as consumer expectations increase so must the power of the marketer. Marketers must be innovators. Standing on the sidelines will not cut it as digital capitalism comes into full-swing. Good ideas aren’t always good enough, it’s how these ideas are innovated and converged into the technoculture that is being established (Forbes, 2014).

 References:

Armstrong, D. (2015). How marketers will win. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://futureofmarketing.eiu.com/ 

De Balincourt, J. (2013, February). Big Globe Painting. Retrieved February 15, 2016, from JULES DE BALINCOURT (Originally photographed 2012)

Holtshouse, D. (2009, September). The future of knowledge workers. KMWorld, 12.

Innovation vs. Marketing. (2014, January 22). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2014/01/22/innovation-vs-marketing-balancing-the-two-key-elements-of-business-success/2/#480e139475ab

Innovation vs. Marketing. (2014, January 22). Retrieved February 15, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/theyec/2014/01/22/innovation-vs-marketing-balancing-the-two-key-elements-of-business-success/2/#480e139475ab

 

Marketing & the knowledge worker