What Marketing Can Change
Vital marketing decisions are made by every business; but as important as it is to make the right business decision… it is essential that marketing professionals understand how their marketing impacts our social values. There are several different ways that marketers get their message across to potential customers(1), each marketing communications tool can have different effects on us. Marketing is intrusive, businesses are constantly trying to push their brands in our faces… we barely process one piece of information before the next one comes shooting our way. The pervasiveness marketing has undoubtedly influenced our mind-set and behaviour… a disposable culture creeps closer to becoming reality. It’s because our buyer behaviour is image based, we care about how others see us more than how we see ourselves. This hugely changes our views on society; contemporary marketing has made us believe that we are what we buy, and that the brands we own… are a direct reflection of us. Marketing is an integral business function, but is hardly respected. It continually aims to stimulate demand which leads to new customers… and that leads to more market share. No longer can marketing be tunnel visioned in it’s pursuit for brand awareness. Certain companies have mastered the AIDA model and can use their understanding on countless consumers, the Sony Bravia advert with the bouncing balls(2) went through the whole cycle from attention all the way to stimulating action… making them buy products they didn’t particularly need in the first place. Point-Of-Sale cues are used relentlessly and marketers are accused of not looking at how their decisions impact broader society. Our social values are changing to customers being more self-centred and buying everything that suits them. Our social values include friends, who we want to have a good time with. But playing on the back of our heads constantly, is how cool we think we look, have we impressed our friends? Do we have the right clothes on? Do we have the right phone? As I mentioned, we think that the brands we own are a reflection of us… so we try and buy the right products, not only to suit our personalities; but to fit in.
There is one thing that hugely influences our social values, and that’s technology(3). A wireless world is slowly becoming more of an actuality as time goes on. The internet, as enthralling as it may be, has made people less sociable and more secluded. Perhaps one of the most important social values is quality time with our families; this is not possible if we are glued to the monitor during dinner time. In the past, dinner meant the whole family sitting around a table, having a laugh and eating to their hearts content. The internet has cut into this social value and is influencing young minds. But it’s been a fantastic medium for communication and a brilliant source for information. Both ways can be argued. Advances in technology will introduce location based advertising in the future(4), this makes us even more reliant on technology. This means that where ever we are, we will be targeted by businesses… which directly impact our social lives; making us shop instead of talk to those we may know in the area. The whole notion of positioning is based upon understanding the consumer… not society, making us feel like we can familiarise ourselves with the brand, so that it doesn’t feel like marketing but instead feels like a developing relationship. Segmenting customers is a common marketing tool used when it comes to deciding on a target market. But it has huge disadvantages on society; a common way for segmentation to take place is with airlines. First class, business class and economy are forms of segmenting the market. Customers who have high disposable income doesn’t necessarily have to fly first class… but the positioning of first class in the consumers mind communicates the message that if you can afford it, go for it. First class passengers...
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