To run a business, one has to have an effective and executable business plan. A business plan is made up of all the elements of the marketing mix collectively known as The 4 Ps, namely, Product, Price, Place and Promotion, a concept created in the 1960s by E. Jerome McCarthy.
According to Philip Kotler, often referred to as “the Father of Modern Marketing”, Marketing Mix is the set of controllable variables that the firm can use to influence the buyer’s response.
Over the years, the marketing mix has had numerous versions, evolving to 5 Ps, 6Ps and 7Ps.
Consistently at the core of all these versions of the marketing mix is the target market.
To me, understanding the target market is what separates marketing from mere selling. Marketing is selling with a purpose, keeping one’s eyes on the target, being ahead of the game and bearing in mind the who’s and what’s, the where’s and when’s and the why’s and how’s of the target market. Marketing is not random. Marketing is purposive. It is deliberate.
Why Digital Marketing?
On March 29, 1994, the World Wide Web welcomed the Filipinos to the wonderful world of internet. More and more Filipinos have been online ever since. The internet penetration in the Philippines is at 58% as of January 2017 versus the 50% global average despite having an average speed of 4.2 Mbps, which is way below the 6.3 Mbps global average. The growth of the internet penetration in the country is 27%, second worldwide to Indonesia’s 51%.
What does 58% penetration mean? This means that about 3 out 5 Filipinos have access to the internet. Based on the same report from We Are Social and Hootsuite, Filipinos spend an average of 5 hours and 23 minutes, the highest in the world, in accessing the internet through a laptop/desktop and about 3 hours and 35 minutes, still among the highest in world, using a mobile device.
Further, Filipinos spend 4 hours and 17 minutes on Social Media, again the highest in the world. 42% of Filipinos are active daily on Facebook, making the country the world’s No. 6 in terms of active Facebook user bases.
According to the International Institute of Digital Marketing, these are the pillars of Digital Marketing: Website, Social Media, Digital Media Strategies, Email Marketing, E-CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Analytics, E-commerce and Mobile Marketing. These are what one who runs a business can access and apply in reaching and understanding the target market and in maximizing the consumer journey.
New Consumer Journey
Prior to the dawn of the internet, the touch points in reaching the target market were limited to traditional mass media e.g. TV, Radio, and Print. Point of purchase was also just mostly limited to the usual brick and mortar store. Then, the consumer journey was linear whereby it was assumed that a consumer needed to be aware first about a product or service via mass media. Promotions would have to be frequent and sustained (and expensive) to make the consumer familiar about the product or service to make him or her consider buying. The consumer would then go to a physical store to make the actual purchase. Once satisfied, only then would he or she be a brand advocate. Period.
Now, the consumer journey is interactive, circular and 24/7 whereby a consumer may become aware of, be familiar with, want to consider, want to buy and be loyal to a product or service at any and every touch point in the consumer journey. Thus, a marketer may need to be available, active and interactive in every touch point as well.
A consumer needs to be able to identify with the brand to reach a successful purchase. Hence, a marketer needs to engage the target market by being present, active and interactive where the target market is before and after purchase. By interacting with the consumer, the marketer may also gain valuable insights which he or she may use to come up with insight-driven strategies to drive better sales performance.
A consumer may be an advocate now and then switch later to a competing brand once exposed to triggers post- purchase or after careful assessment of the product or service availed of.
A consumer may do online research in assessing or ask friends and family about their own experiences before making a conclusion about what he or she thinks and feels about the product.
Moreover, after being exposed to triggers, a consumer may also do online research and personal interviews of family and friends before considering an actual purchase. Nielsen’s fourth-quarter 2015 Mobile Wallet Report revealed that 72% of shoppers research items on their smartphones before buying. That is why it is vital for a brand to be present in most, if not all, of the touch points to guide the consumer.
With the growing number of people gaining access to online information coupled by the deluge of products and services cluttering the digital space, all the more a product needs virtual presence 24/7. Nowadays, consumers may become aware of, become interested in, be familiar with, purchase or become loyal to a product or service just by surfing the net. Hence, a business owner needs to bring digital into the marketing mix.
They say, to be successful is to be in the right place at the right time. I say, nowadays, to be successful is to market the right product using the right message to the right target market at the right price in every right place always at the right time more often. Go digital. Consider going digital. Be digital.
In running your business, have you included digital in your marketing mix? If not yet, let me know. Do you need a website? Do you need help in setting up and managing your Fan Page? Let me help you maximize your online presence. Leave your comments below or send me a message here.
Signing out for now. Peace!