By Chris Thorneycroft Smith, associate director, Eclipse Marketing
You don’t need me to tell you how fast the world of marketing is changing.
Classic mass marketing techniques that we’ve all known and relied on for decades, like exhibitions and advertising, are passé.
In their place technology has given us some highly developed new tools. Databases and computerised systems and processes enable us to take a more targeted approach, gathering much more specific information about markets and customers.
With consumers becoming more sceptical of traditional marketing, we have to come up with even smarter ways of communicating with them.
So, the old ways of marketing are dead. Long live the new ways. The market is changing and companies must change the way they approach customers and prospects.
Bright, sharp businesses with their fingers on the pulse and their eyes on the leading edge are applying new technologies to their mainstream communication challenges, and gaining distinct competitive advantage as a result.
In today’s Britain, nearly 15 million households (61 per cent) have internet access. When we’re thinking of making a major purchase, where do we as consumers look? We go to the Internet to research information and find the best price.
We’ve become used to doing this when booking holidays or purchasing white goods for the home. Now we are doing the same for cars and other big purchases. Some organisations are even starting to use the internet for bigger B2B capital purchases, like commercial vehicles.
Take the automotive sector, which I know well, having been managing director of Iveco Ltd, one of the world’s largest transport manufacturers.
The automotive industry used to be at the forefront of marketing techniques, setting the trends and leading the field. I believe they’ve surrendered that crown to the likes of Tesco and Vodafone, both big hitters in terms of new ways of marketing.
Though some automotive manufacturers employing innovative marketing techniques, too many are falling back on simple price cutting to bring the orders in.
What are Tesco and the like doing that the competition isn’t? Embracing consumerism, that’s what. They connect with their audience, engage with their consumers, find out more about them and, just as importantly, listen to what they have to say.
Successful companies are moving with the times and changing their techniques for reaching their consumers. What will become of those who don’t? Well, we all know what happened to the dinosaurs, don’t we?
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