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Time to reconsider the 4Ps of marketing?

24-September-2012
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Time to reconsider the 4Ps of marketing?

Digital marketing has several positives over the conventional communication medium, with measurability being one of the key advantages. However, while different platforms on digital and mobile space need to work in tandem, at the same time, they also need to integrate with traditional media. Is it time to reconsider Kotler’s 4Ps of marketing?

Digital brings in measurability
One of the core advantages of digital marketing over traditional media is its measurability. This strength, however, according to Suvodeep Das, Marketing Head, Kaya, has also become its weakness owing to the focus of marketers on their brands’ immediate business.

“Marketers adopt the audio-visual medium to communicate, which has a lag period of around six weeks and then move on to digital and mobile expecting effective result in days,” said Das

There are other significant benefits of mobile such as its ability to facilitate one-on-one interaction and engagement with the brands’ customers as well as leveraging the opportunity presented by the rural sector because of the limited reach of PCs.

However, different mobile marketing formats are used depending on the objective of the campaign and the demographics of the target audience. Das exemplified this by citing a campaign that was done for Nihar Cooling Oil in Bihar. Since SMS-based advertising could not be used effectively because of limited literacy levels, a voice-based advertising campaign was initiated using the voice of a popular regional actor to create awareness about the new product. Around 86 per cent people are estimated to have heard the entire call and from the ones who participated in a contest, 36 per cent trials were induced.

While the advantages of digital and mobile are manifold, Das pointed out some crucial hurdles that need to be taken care of. One of the biggest challenges is that the format of advertising and communication is still developed in the classical manner which then needs to be adapted to suit the digital landscape. “Along with this, there are many privacy and intrusion concerns with digital media. There is a need for a common, authentic standard of measurement,” said Das.

The key is integrated campaigns
“Do not develop a mobile strategy, rather mobilise your strategy,” said Rob Marston, Founder, Zeus Unwired.

According to Marston, mobile invariably sits in its own silo and is not usually integrated with other communication platforms. The budgets allocated towards video, social and mobile still remain a small part of the overall marketing budget. The key is to have integrated campaigns. “Mobile, search, display, web apps and social media – all of these need to be combined,” said Marston.

He went ahead to draw comparison between the landscape in India to that in the rest of the world. In Australia, while online advertising is close to 3 billion dollars, mobile advertising is only around 45 million dollars. Further substantiating his argument, he appended that there exists close to a 20 billion dollar opportunity in the US to match spends on mobile with that of mobile consumption.

In marketing terminology, Philip Kotler’s 4Ps of marketing namely Product, Promotion, Price and Place, need to be redefined in today’s digital age, he further stated.

In his opinion, it should be the ‘Consumer’ not Product. Brands need to make products that people want to buy. As far as the other principles go, Price should be replaced by ‘Cost’, emphasis should be on ‘Convenience’ rather than Place, and ‘Communication’ should take precedence over Promotion.

SoLoMo – the way forward
Christian Geissendoerfer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Yoose spoke about the strength of SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) and how brands and agencies can use this as an effective tool to simplify the digital space and ease understanding for the consumers. Geissendoerfer went ahead to share case studies which would exemplify this further.

One such case study was on the Facebook campaign created for McDonalds’ in Singapore. The context was the country’s National Day in the year 2011 and the challenge was to generate 46, 000 Facebook ‘check-ins’ at different McDonalds’ outlets throughout Singapore.

Singapore, being a smartphone-penetrated market, stress was on the mobile marketing strategy for this campaign. But the digital component was part of an integrated campaign that encompassed different media verticals – print, outdoor and television. A multi-channel approach was used as opposed to only a mobile one. As a result of this integration, in a matter of three days, close to 53, 000 ‘check-ins’ were seen on the social networking site, said Geissendoerfer.

The above excerpts are taken from the presentations given by these panellists at the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Forum, organised in association with the exchange4media Group. It took place on September 21, 2012 at New Delhi.

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