THOUGHT: Marketing 5.0 by Kotler provides marketers with a way to integrate technological and business model evolution with the dramatic shifts in consumer behavior in the last decade. I would argue, however, that we need less technology when it comes to marketing and more of human touch.
Kotler says, “marketing 5.0 is the application of human-mimicking technologies to create, communicate, deliver, and enhance value across the customer journey. One of the critical themes in Marketing 5.0 is next tech, a group of technologies that aim to emulate the capabilities of human marketers. It includes artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), sensors, robotics, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain. A combination of these technologies is the enabler of Marketing 5.0.
He goes on to say, “digital technology can revolutionize how marketers ply their trade. There are five ways technology can boost marketing practices:
• Make more informed decisions based on big data.
• Predict outcomes of marketing strategies and tactics.
• Bring the contextual digital experience to the physical world.
• Augment frontline marketers’ capacity to deliver value.
• Speed up marketing execution.
I’m afraid I have to disagree.
Whenever someone tries to apply quantitative tactics to human behavior, I get nervous. People don’t buy products based on rational behavior. They buy products they are comfortable with and products that may them feel good. As far as I know, applying digital technology to these behaviors doesn’t work.
Not too long ago, I helped a client analyze their customer service BOT. It turned out that the BOT was good for them, but customers hated it and often disconnected in frustration. The satisfaction score with the BOT was 1.6 out of a possible 5.
It really comes down to how you see your customers. If you see them as a market segment with aligned behaviors instead of micro-groups of people who all have different behaviors and needs, you’re making a huge mistake.
My second issue with “digital marketing” is that it tends to overwhelm marketers with meaningless data. There is a shortage of people who can pull insights and use them to drive brand objectives.
Remember those demographic cards that used to come with hard goods? Manufacturers used to collect data on existing customers to help them refine their marketing initiatives. Today, it’s about prospects and growing our customer base rather than focusing on our profitable customers.
One aspect of consumer behavior that has changed is that consumers are less willing to try new brands unless there is a strong financial incentive to do so. The brands they chose are used because of familiarity not because of marketing.
Learn all you can about your customers and get as close to them as you can. Never allow them to become just data.