According to David Soberman and Dilip Soman, the last few years the landscape on which firms interact with customers is in a state of flux. To address this state of flux, we need new tools and techniques. The techniques listed are a few that aim to do just that.
Losing Control and Loving It by David Dunne
Web 2.0 has turned much of the classical approaches to marketing on their head. Segmentation, for example, has become much more challenging. Consumers no longer belong to a single demographic set but to multiple tribes driven and determined by their interests, their peers and their lives both on and offline. This creates other factors the producer must consider such as the product's viral potential and its innovative capacity. Marketing today is all about the creation of meaning for the individual: a symbolic meaning associated with the product. To address this,
Dunne gives us three pieces of advice
- Lose the illusion of control. Lead the discussion but don’t control it.
- Monitor your products' online presence.
- Engage your customers transparently, rapidly, and honestly. Relate to them as people, not targets.
Memory, Persuasion, and Decision-Making by Andrew A Mitchell
Brands often have powerful associations linked to it. Associations may also be formed with advertisements that can link good or bad feelings to the product. Consumers can react actively or passively to an advertisement. The strength of the consumer’s association is then determined if they reacted actively or passively. A great benefit is achieved if a customer actively and positively reacts to an advertisement, potentially creating a strong association with your brand. However, it should also be kept in mind that positive associations with brands can be passed on to other similar brands.
Marketing Management when Facing Forward-looking Consumers by Andrew Ching
It's much easier these days for consumers to gather information and spend time thinking about how they would benefit from a product. These are forward-looking consumers. Customers are often risk-averse when new products are released and are reluctant to try them that out. This can be worked around by introducing free samples sales. These things create an incentive to try the new product. We should change our marketing to reflect the customer. If most consumers are reluctant to experiment we may want to design our advertising in a way that informs the customer of the facts they would know if they had taken the risk. Additionally, if they are experimenters then developing a differentiated brand is more beneficial.
Just Imagine: The Role of Visualization in New Product Evaluation by Min Zhao
It's important to find ways to reduce the risk of failure. customers’ reluctance to accept new products can be attributed to the learning cost associated with new product adoption and consumers' underestimation of the value it brings. This is the “what’s in it for me?” factor. A key method to reduce this factor is to structure marketing campaigns to help the consumer learn about the benefits and features through visualization. Without actually using the product, consumers can be guided to mentally experience the new product and visualize where it can add value to their daily activities. Many different visualizations are employed in marketing practice. Through interaction with salesmen, in TV commercials, in printed advertisements, or even through product descriptions on product packaging. Whatever channel, visualization needs to be made easy, because if it is difficult, negative associations will be made.