What’s Driving the “New Marketing?”
Respondents to my column about the tenets of new strategic marketing by and large projected the view that new strategic marketing, as propounded by the authors of the new book, Marketing Moves: A New Approach to Profits, Growth and Renewal, by Philip Kotler, Suvit Maesincee, and Dipak C. Jain (Harvard Business School Publishing, 2002) is a fact in many organizations today. It can be summed up by the question, "What's new?"
Karl Hansen commented, "New Marketing is just another way to help people try to understand and define the role of marketing." Lee Vargas-Bianchi added, "I do think we need to advance...marketing concepts beyond the 4 Ps, but ultimately, didn't they imply to a certain extent what the authors now mean by 'value'?"
Perhaps we should be encouraged that the ideas excerpted from Marketing Moves (always at the risk of doing violence to the depth of the authors' arguments) raised so few eyebrows.—James Heskett
What seems to many to be new is the Internet. Comments Thomas Rector, "...the 4 Ps remain valid—even in the Internet age. ...'interactivity' provides the best opportunity to fine-tune the positioning (and sometimes the tangible features) of the product." He concurs with Balu Rajagopal who wrote, "The marketing 4 Ps are still a valid framework but the Internet has added a new dimension—interactivity. ... If there is a case to be made for a new '5P' framework then the fifth 'P' would be a 'Partner.' By 'Partner' I mean both the customers (who help define the value) as well as the enabling partners (who help in delivering the value)."
Perhaps we should be encouraged that the ideas excerpted from Marketing Moves (always at the risk of doing violence to the depth of the authors' arguments) raised so few eyebrows. Comments from readers of this column suggest that marketing has, in practice, moved beyond the product development, promotion, pricing, and distribution activities that defined the field five decades ago. Alternatively, the extent to which the Internet cuts across organizational boundaries and fuses various functions of a firm together (as well as a firm with its customers, suppliers, and partners) may suggest that marketing as we knew it has become so identified with the development and implementation of Internet-fueled strategies that it is losing its identify as a function. What do you think?
Who doesn't remember the basic lesson from Marketing 101, the four Ps—which I don't even need to enumerate? They were based on concepts of a marketing mix developed in the 1950s and popularized for marketing instructors by Jerry McCarthy in 1962. Now the three authors of the book Marketing Moves, Philip Kotler, Dipak Jain, and Savit Maesincee, ask us to transform the thinking we explored in good old 101. The ideas gain added impact because the team of authors is led by Kotler, perhaps the most widely read marketing academic of the past three decades.
I basically agree to the premise that Internet has transformed the way we transact, but whether it really impacts the way people purchase is a point in question.
Basically, we are asked to put aside the strategic marketing tenets of the past when marketing was done by a marketing department and focused on the "interruption" of customer buying behaviors, the need to acquire new customers, immediate transactions, and the treatment of marketing costs as expenses. Instead we are asked to think of marketing as the work of exploring, creating, and delivering customer value. This work focuses on gaining the "permission" of customers to sell to them, customer retention and loyalty, the capture of lifetime value, and marketing expenditures as investments. Everything happens faster. And, among other things, product design is shifted from the manufacturer to the customer.
Many of the examples that the authors cite are from the world of the Internet and e-commerce. And yet, one can't help but ask the following questions: To what extent is the "new" marketing new? How much of it would have evolved regardless of the emergence of the Internet? And how has it really changed the life of marketing managers? What do you think?