What Marketing 3.0 Means to You

Which version of marketing are you using? Marketing 1.0? 2.0? 3.0? Or are you one of those marketers who is pushing the boundaries with Marketing 4.0?  In this first part of a two-part series, we will look at Marketing 3.0 and how it has fundamentally changed the way marketers understand and interact with their customers. Next time, we’ll look at Marketing 4.0 and how it is changing marketing yet again.

Marketing 3.0 is a term coined by Philip Kotler in his book Marketing 3.0: From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit. The idea is that like everything else in the world of business and technology, marketing evolves.  Messages are no longer going out to passive buyers. They are going out to interactive ones. Success is no longer measured in clicks, impressions, and open rates. It’s measured in customer engagement and viral sharing.

Kotler’s premise isn’t new, but as technology evolves at a frenetic pace, changing the way consumers engage with brands, it proves out just how right Kotler was. Today more than ever, Marketing 3.0 is something companies cannot afford to ignore.

According to Kotler, marketing has been evolving in stages:

Marketing 1.0 was product-driven. It focused on features and benefits and selling to the masses.

Marketing 2.0 was born out of the growth of IT and the ability to drive highly targeted messaging using segmentation and personalization. The goal became to differentiate by positioning the product in relation to the customer’s wants and needs. (This is where most brands are today.)

Marketing 3.0 is being driven by consumer connectedness. This is connectedness both to the world, socio-political causes, and to each other. Hybrid cars, for example, aren’t being marketed based on gas mileage. They are being marketed based on consumers’ commitment to a greener world and global environmental responsibility.  Purchases are being driven not as much by what consumers need as by how they make consumers feel.

Marketing 4.0, which we will discuss next time, takes this a step further and even deeper into the digital and connected world.

Most marketers are still in Marketing 2.0. While targeting, segmentation (even micro-segmentation), and data-driven personalization are powerful tools, Marketing 3.0 takes this a step further. Brands are now asking, “Did our recipients engage with our content? Did they post it, tweet it, or otherwise share it with others?” If their content is something their target audience shared, marketers know they’ve done their jobs.

Although much of Marketing 3.0 happens online, it isn’t about which channels marketers are using. It’s about how those channels are being used.  Marketing 3.0 starts with traditional marketing channels like print, email, and OOH, then it lets loose in the world of viral marketing, key influencers, and social media.

If you’re still using Marketing 2.0, here are some steps for moving to the next stage:

Deep dive your marketing database to understand what makes your customers really tick.

Develop customer profiles. Understand who your best customers are — who spends the most money with you, who engages with you most frequently (both in terms of purchasing and social media), and who your most active social media participants are.

Develop personas that reflect, not just your customers’ demographics, but their lifestyles, purchasing motivators, and values.

Understand why your customers buy your type of product. Is it a desire to feel safe? Feel worldly and adventurous? Provide long-term care for a loved one? Is it responsibility to build long-term financial stability for themselves or their children? Or to feel connected to socio-political or environmental causes?  Focus on the why, not just the what.

Understand how each customer segment uses media and how they engage with it.

Not every customer segment will use the same channels the same way. This may be different for each segment.

Put together a full multichannel messaging strategy uniquely crafted for each customer segment that connects with them emotionally.

Consumers like to feel good about the brands they engage with. When they do, they turn around and share that brand’s message with others with similar values. For example, during Breast Cancer Awareness Week, Campbell’s got a bump in demand when it changed its soup labels to pink and white with the breast cancer bow. TOMS has built its brand on its commitment, not just to design trendy shoes, but on donating one pair of shoes to needy children around the world for every pair of shoes it sells.

Add social media elements that make it easy for customers to share your message with like-minded friends, family, and social media connections.

Consumers trust other consumers more than they trust marketers, so build social media engagement around your marketing efforts to amplify your reach. Make it easy for your customers to sell your products and services for you.

Next time, we’ll discuss Marketing 4.0 and how it takes you even deeper into the world of consumer connectedness.

Need help transitioning to the next stage of marketing? At EarthColor, we’re more than printers. Our business development and database experts are here to help you move up the marketing “ladder”!

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