Marketing 4.0

Marketing 4.0 in the age of digitalization

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How does Marketing 4.0 work? “Brands can no longer do anything else: they have to network with consumers via social media.” In his book “Marketing 4.0”, marketing expert Philip Kotler outlines the outlines of marketing in the age of digital marketing. This article is about how marketing is changing in the digital age and what changes Marketing 4.0 brings with it in practice.

What is Marketing 4.0?

The numbering 4.0 is based on the software naming convention and is derived from the term for Internet trends with the change from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0.

The following list describes the marketing development from product-oriented Marketing 1.0 to consumer-oriented Marketing 2.0 and relationship-oriented Marketing 3.0 to Marketing 4.0 with digitalization as a driver.

  1. Marketing 1.0 describes the origin and core competence of marketing – the product. Marketing activities are geared towards this, so that the market is at the center (from approx. 1950s).
  2. With Marketing 2.0, the focus shifts to the consumer. Companies position themselves in isolation from each other because the consumer becomes more confident. This consumer marketing is still the core of marketing in large parts of the industry (from around 1970s).
  3. Marketing 3.0 focuses on people. Customer management with human focus shapes marketing (from around the 1980s).
  4. Marketing 4.0 describes a phase of marketing from around the 2010s that focuses on digitization and, following Philip Kotler, human focus. The core of Marketing 4.0 is derived from the trend of Industry 4.0, which is characterized by the progress of digitization.

The Internet dominates in Marketing 4.0

Marketing is shifting more and more to the internet, especially to social media. As a result, the customer power has grown significantly. The internet and social networks make the markets more horizontal, more inclusive and more social.

The dominant groups in the net world are young people, women and net citizens. The aim of the entire marketing process is to recommend customers to other customers online.

Marketing 4.0 is discussed with digitization, especially from the Internet perspective, and because of the importance of social media, it also includes a methodological shift away from sales orientation towards PR and image management.

This is reflected, for example, in the requirements for content marketing. From the perspective of the stakeholders, content should be informative and entertaining.

In terms of content, marketing thus turns away from conventional sales orientation. Digitization also leads to online-offline integration in communication, for example, when customers use a smartphone to get more information about a product while looking at it in the shop.

It remains to be seen whether the standardization of digital marketing automation with the personalization potential corresponds to the individualized customer approach or contradicts people.

How is marketing changing and where is it going?

Marketing 4.0 is the digital stage in marketing development. This does not mean that traditional marketing such as posters or print will disappear overnight.

They will retain their status in the marketing mix of offline and online measures. But in the future, relevant sales-promoting impulses will come increasingly from social media.

Marketing 4.0 increasingly uses social media. With increased customer power, customers can play an extremely positive role for companies as brand ambassadors.

To initiate this is the goal in Marketing 4.0. A lot of cross-sector marketing research shows that most consumers today rely less on marketing messages and more on the F-factor: opinions of friends, family, Facebook fans, Twitter followers.

What potential does Marketing 4.0 offer?

A difficult challenge in Marketing 4.0, but also great potential at the same time, is the huge amount of data that is now available to Marketeers.

Data can now be systematically collected, evaluated and processed. The results then help, for example, in targeting customers. Accordingly, two terms are valuable in Marketing 4.0:

Big Data

Everything we do online leaves traces of data. Big data is data that is so large and complex that manual processing is very difficult and, above all, much too slow. Digital analyzes and corresponding tools support the preparation of the data and can carry out targeted evaluations.

With customer data, for example, marketers find out what interests the target customers have without having to sift through their profiles for hours. You will find out what products the target customers are buying and can thus offer personalized advertising that is more likely to reach the customer and also has an impact.

Micro Targetting

This process means precisely this targeted message to the target customer. Marketing 4.0 should avoid high wastage. To do this, the target customer must be known more precisely. This also includes demographically narrowing down the analysis location.

It is no longer just all Germans who are involved in market research, for example, but rather target groups in a specific region or city. Based on this collected data, through emails, social media communication, clicked advertising, personality profiles are created, on which campaigns and product ideas should be based.

Recommendations for action on Marketing 4.0

  • Use social media marketing to turn your dialogue partners such as customers, partners and employees into fans and friends and thus loyal brand ambassadors.
  • Use authentic customer recommendations because this is the best advertising because it is based on values such as credibility, transparency and trust.
  • Give your brands a human look with an identity-oriented brand positioning.
  • Marketing 4.0 is transported via content marketing, i.e. stories. Therefore, work with storytelling in cross-media campaigns with moving images.

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