The end of marketing, as we know it, is near…

What makes me believe that?

Marketing as we know it since centuries in industrial societies: research departments develop products, production departments produce and marketing departments push the mass products in the market. Now this model has exceeded its zenith, not at least because it’s getting harder for Marketing to reach the customer.

Let’s go back in history: in the older days economic development was based on personal exchanges with the producers. As seen in the agricultural and manufacturing society. Nowadays, in our industrial society, we have a brand instead. The brand establishes the mutual trust, which leads to the decision to purchase. Hence, confidence must be built. This is were marketing kicks in: mass manufacturers use marketing to charge brands with quality promises and emotions. And this happens primarily with one-way communication, i.e. advertising in the mass market.

Traditional marketing already attempted to create feedback channels for so-called “end-users”. Feedback channels should ensure that the development department knows what products to invent in the future, which can then be pushed into the market through promotion. The most important and commonly used feedback channel is market research. Market research asks many people many questions, of which the researchers think that they are reasonable. In the end this will bring rows of figures, that need to be analyzed and interpreted. But nobody would listen to the customers.

For listening we have established a second feedback channel of mass sales: the Call Center. Great invention, but its bad reputation is no coincidence. It is based on millions of frustration experiences.

But now, as Web 2.x has arrived, our customers are getting more and more involved. They move to the center of our brands and our products (and this is where they belong, if you have a close look on the theory of marketing concepts). It’s a good thing to happen!

Marketing has to re-invent itself, as it has done before. Just the cycles are getting shorter. Let’s do it!


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