dmanCustomers are just ‘a mouse click’ away from the competition and other customers. Why does it matter?
In today’s time when the quality is ceasing to be a remarkable differentiator across the categories and price is again gaining the importance, and information free flow is nearing its extreme and myth of inherently being high involvement of any category is vaporizing, also due to substantive increase in buying power of consumer.
In this new world, marketers need to compound their understanding of every aspect of societal changes that affect human being and it requires some real hard work as every significant change and even at times not-so-significant changes does have its effect on people, if not lasting. In this era, understanding and fulfilling consumers Wants and needs (mostly in this particular sequence) require conscious, meticulous deliberations and deployment of resources and at this point viral and buzz comes handy. The origin of this new medium of dissemination of marketing message can be traced in history and by that I mean any time in history as long as we don’t traverse more than 13,000 years back in time; the time when human started to form tribes and developed communication.
We, since, had been sharing information of some value with others and even information of little value with anyone and everyone that comes in close contact. Hence, there is neither anything new about this process nor anything technical about this.
If aforesaid words hold any truth then why viral/buzz has not been used previously and why there is so much of brouhaha about its being ‘the thing’? Well, there are quite a few reasons, both genuine and not so genuine, of it. Let’s first begin with defining the territory and understanding genuine reasons and eventually it’ll lead us to not so genuine reasons as well.
Let’s start with scratching the surface. Marketing is not a hard science and there is nothing counterintuitive about this process. Yes, marketing in all its capacity, is just that, a process a lengthy process in that. It can’t be and it isn’t system of any sort because for something to be a system we need to have some constants including some rules that too largely fixed. This is the game in which the sure and certain way to get defeated is to play the game by its rule. Pick any issue of any business literature or overhear (if you are not suppose to know) any droning folklores and you’ll find it littered with pieces defying the existence of any rule and glorifying either this or that for the remarkable feat he achieved by bending or breaking the rule.
Second, Marketing is just a process because it is evolving over the period of time and it affects and at the same time gets affected by every minutest change in multi-faceted texture of society, be it human psyche, a societal development, any technological change, changing education system or communication system and even natural science, you name it. Systems are not so hyper-sensitive to the external stimulus rather in marketing there is no such (or there should not be any) term as ‘external stimuli’.
And most importantly, while dealing with feverishly (of late) evolving human we can’t play the game with any set rules. We need super-responsive or even hyper-responsive process. And the response to these and several other questions pertaining to this can be found in buzz and viral. This gives a human touch to the business processes and without exaggerating I proclaim that eventually it’ll be the ultimate unifier and will humanize the dehumanized industrial and post industrial world. This is the final nail in Big Brother’s Coffin. (More about nails and Big Brother’s coffin in different post on the same topic)
Viral and Buzz treats human as a human, not as a consumer or prosumer or as any other fancy tag. We all were born as a human not as a consumer and traditionally marketer never respected it and even at times they denied the existence of any such entity. Business is largely humane; all we need is to establish and strengthen this belief. This is just a humble effort in this direction and seeks your support and approval.
What has changed now for this to come in existence? And why wasn’t it such a big force from the very beginning? Expecting the least it should have come in existence in last decade or even decade before that, why not then? What’s in for me as a consumer? As a Marketer, why should I worry? What’s in for me as an Entrepreneur? How will this affect the society? No, not any more, we are already too bugged by plethora of other vehicles. We together will try to answer these and many more such questions in the next installment. Why there is so huge a trench between practitioner of the field and theorists of the field? Who is right and who is not? Or are both on the same side?
In second part, we’ll together endeavor to seek answers to the aforesaid and related questions.