PM Article – Evolution of Marketing Management

Evolution of Marketing Management

-K.N. Srikanta

We are in the era of ‘Marketing’. Everyday.

Our daily life is constantly being influenced by the various brands we use. From tooth paste, coffee/tea/water, breakfast cereals, rice, to dresses, vehicles, beds, we are being constantly influenced, by various brands that have now become a part of our life.

In this era, it is not just ‘products’ which are ‘marketed’. Events Organizations, Places, Services, Ideas, Information, Properties, Marriages, Birthday Parties, Election Campaigns, are all aggressively marketed. And the list goes on.

Without any doubt, ‘Marketing’ has played a key role in developing and building these ‘brands’.

The process by which Marketing Management has evolved into what it is today, is a very fascinating subject to study.

I started my Sales & Marketing career about 35 years back, with a leading MNC. Some of the brands we were marketing those days are still popular even today!

The company owned buildings, warehouses and branch offices in almost all the state capitals and had a huge corporate office in one of the prime locations in Mumbai. The value of these properties was running to several hundred crores even those days.

In fact, they used to be landmark addresses for the public.

But surprisingly, today, most of those properties do not exist in a company’s name as the company no longer needs to own them.

Now, many such companies are focusing on ‘owning the consumers’ and their “mind space” rather than’owning the buildings and properties’, things that can be easily outsourced.

The fast-paced technological developments and globalization has a major influence on the marketing function and has resulted in rapid changes in many of its concepts.

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The evolution of ‘marketing’ can be traced in 3 major developments in our history.

1. Industrial Age

2. Information Age

3. Digital Age

1. Industrial Age:

In the industrial age, marketing was a “Push Strategy”, where the emphasis was on:

• Product Development,

• Mass Production,

• Pricing Strategy and

• Market Share.

The era witnessed efficient production, mass distribution concept and a belief that consumers prefer readily available goods. Companies followed aggressive selling and promotion strategies and sold what they produced and not what the customer wanted.

2. Information Age:

The information age, also known as internet age, made big impact on marketing where both “Push and Pull strategy” were used and the emphasis was on:

• Brand Building,

• Demand Creation and

• Mind Share.

Companies started to understand customers’ needs and then designed the right products for them. Companies focused on creating, communicating, delivering superior value to customers.

For examples, variants in tooth pastes, soaps, oils, etc.

In the process, companies started to build markets and long-term relationships with customers.

3. Digital Age:

The present “Digital Age” is also known as ‘Customer Age’. The fast-paced technological advancements are making even much bigger impact on marketing, as the customer has become King. The customer now has many choices and many sources for these choices at any place and at any time.

Hence the emphasis is on,

• Customer Development,

• Customer Insight and

• Customer Share (Size).

Every company is trying to understand the consumer’s needs, convert those needs into insights and then produce products accordingly.

In the digital era, understanding the ever-changing needs and wants of the customers, delivering the right products with the right quality, better than the competitors at a place and price that the customer demands are all going to be key factors in determining market share.

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Future Challenges in the Digital Era.

1. Green Marketing: The future challenges would be how ‘marketers’ are going to respond to environmental issues. There have been many instances of resource depletion and degradation, genetic engineering, pollution and harmful emissions of chemicals.

Just to cite a few instances, the Bhopal gas tragedy where several thousands died, still haunts us. Water resources getting depleted where soft drink manufacturing factories are located, pollution issues affecting many cities and fast becoming a major cause for health disorders, are all of great concern.

These are the major issues which need to be addressed both by marketers and regulators.

2. Retaining Customers: In the era of globalization, with no trade barriers and availability of world class products that deliver continuous value addition – all at the customer’s door step, is proving to be a major challenge for organizations trying to retain their customers.

To overcome these challenges, marketers have to strive hard by offering continues quality products with excellent pre and post sales service, to retain the customers.

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