Marketing 3.0 - Critical summary review - Philip Kotler

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Marketing 3.0 - critical summary review

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Marketing & Sales

This microbook is a summary/original review based on the book: Marketing 3.0: From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit

Available for: Read online, read in our mobile apps for iPhone/Android and send in PDF/EPUB/MOBI to Amazon Kindle.

ISBN: 978-0470598825

Publisher: Wiley

Critical summary review

Phillip Kotler is known as the most influent marketing guru in the world. He practically invented marketing as an academic discipline and became its greatest teacher. Some may think he has become a dinosaur, but here at 12min we find him to be the most influential guy in marketing history and knowing his work is mandatory for anyone who dreams of making great successful marketing campaigns. Marketing 3.0 is an extremely rich and full of unconventional reviews of the future of marketing. Want to start planning your business marketing? Want to plan a long-term marketing career? Do not miss this microbook!

A New Consumer

The way marketing is done evolved a lot over the last few decades. All the research and knowledge created in the field have become simple rules, easy to follow by the marketer. Technology has evolved, and costs have declined. That allows any company to be able to invest in marketing, making ads, pamphlets, campaigns on social networks. And that's terrible news. As marketing was developing its knowledge and technology, the perception and level of consumer demand changed. They are now bombarded with thousands of marketing pieces every second and this has left them incredulous and questioning. If before what was in the media was true, now they want to be part of the media. If your marketing does not bring engagement, your consumers will stop paying attention, and your efforts will go down. Traditional marketing is not prepared to deal with this new customer. We need to change the way we view the marketing act in contemporary times. Kotler presents the 3 eras of marketing:

  • Marketing 1.0 - Product Age: The focus was on the development of functional products and making them mass products;

  • Marketing 2.0 - Age of Consumers: The focus shifted to meet and satisfy the consumer through segmentation;

  • Marketing 3.0 - Values Era: The focus has shifted to recognizing that the consumer is more than just a buyer.

The consumer has other collective, environmental needs and seeks an ever better society. By the middle of the last century, there were few products to be purchased by consumers, and therefore marketing was not necessary. Henry Ford, with his Ford T, was just focused on creating a product. As the industry grew, it became required to understand the customer and his needs better, as more and more companies competed for selling products. Now the internet and social networks have created a new era where consumers communicate with global reach, and this calls for a new type of marketing for a new kind of consumer.

Consumers Also Make Marketing

Many marketers today have left the customer out of their priorities, and this has made marketing confidence fall dramatically. While this is a problem, it is also an excellent opportunity to resolve the issue, after all, every marketer is also a consumer of products and services. And consumers need to know that they also practice marketing in their daily lives by persuading and influencing other consumers. Marketing is not just something that marketers do for consumers. Marketing also happens from consumer to consumer, because unlike before, today people no longer sit on the couch and just consume news, entertainment and ideas. They are actively participating in everything that happens, not as spectators but as actors as well.

Technology Has Transformed The Consumer

This change occurred because of the development of technologies that allow us to interact with others easily and quickly and because these technologies have become much cheaper and accessible, with the growth of social networks. Open source software also enables more and more collaboration. Today digital collaboration platforms can be divided into two categories:

  • Expressive: Blogs, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and other channels through which people share personal points of view;

  • Collaborative: Can be developed and altered by virtually anyone, such as Wikipedia itself.

This growth in social networks has transformed the way we do marketing, especially in digital, and has made consumers rely more on people in these networks than on TV ads and banners on the sites they visit. That has made classic advertising methods obsolete and increasingly leads companies to engage in social networks, including using collaborative platforms to create products with their consumers.

Embracing Co-creation

Increasingly, people work in sectors directly related to creation and communication, and video producers, web developers, social networking professionals are creating new things all the time. Although this is still a not so large sector of the economy, they are multipliers and thus has a significant influence on the formation of customer opinions. Creative professionals have sophisticated desires and look for new ways to utilize products. In this new world, values such as making the world a better place, finding a purpose for their lives, being happy and spiritual become more important than the desire to consume. A company that wants to be successful in marketing needs to approach creative professionals and embrace them in their product creation strategy.

The new way of creating products is based on the collaboration of companies, consumers, suppliers and interconnected partners in an innovation network. It is the accumulation of individual experiences of each of them that creates a greater value for the product, so it is necessary to be attentive to this transformation. A great example of user empowerment in product design is Dell's Web site where consumers give suggestions for improvements and new product ideas, and Dell interacts directly with them, often adhering to their ideas and launching novelties and innovations.

Marketing 3.0 Is Human

The human being is composed of 4 elements: a physical body, a rational brain, the emotional side and its spiritual side. Modern marketing needs to connect with individuals in all these spheres. Traditional marketing only connects with the customer through your mind (the memory of a brand) and the emotional (trying to create emotions through advertising messages). The rational and the spiritual side tend to be forgotten and become essential in the new marketing. Marketing 3.0 also needs to work on the spiritual side of the consumer. It is necessary to create high trust in the brand and to position itself as something genuinely aligned with the purpose of consumers. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the 3 I’s of a brand:

  • Brand Identity: It is based on how the brand communicates itself to people and how they perceive those identifying attributes;

  • Brand Integrity: It is based on how much people trust and align with your brand;

  • Brand Image: It is based on how people see their brand, through their own impressions.

To define the 3 I's and show their commitment to a purpose, it must define a mission, vision and clear values that resonate with the consumer's wishes. If your company is able to fulfill and realize these principles to the consumer, you gain your trust and an integral identity. Most people seek to make the world a better place and thus satisfy their spiritual yearnings. That is why your company should find a purpose, a goal more significant than just profits to actually create a corporate soul that connects with the consumer. The mission of a company should represent a basic purpose, the reason for existing. Already the vision is the future imagined for the company. Vision is a path which the company wants to take and what it seeks to achieve and, therefore, it is the driver of the long-term strategy. Vision derives from the mission but has a life of its own. Finally, your business needs to define its values. What attitudes guide the day-to-day business, the behavior of people and the type of attitudes with which you communicate to consumers.

Communicate Your Mission

It is crucial for customers to know that your business connects to causes and a greater purpose. Therefore, your mission should transform the lives of customers. For this to happen, one must produce innovations at all times that really change people's lives. However, a mission is not enough. It is necessary that your company can build a story, a narrative that communicates its purpose. A good tale has a character, a good plot and also a metaphor. Your mark should be to become a character and represent something that is really important to people. When a brand is accepted by customers, it ceases to be the exclusive property of the company. It becomes part of people's lives, and this story happens to be the popular domain. People want to hear and believe in your purpose, and you can reinforce it all the time through your marketing. For example, rather than simply donating money to some institution attached to your purpose, connect your product to social causes that align with it as well. More than just a donation, make a real effort to communicate this relationship. A great strategy to prove your company's social responsibility is to link it to social causes that have to do with your product and its purpose, a concept called cause-marketing. Donating money to a cause may seem like a synonym for goodwill, but marketing causes are much more effective because it demonstrates a real commitment of the company and not just a specific effort towards its mission and purpose.

Values Need To Be Continuously Strengthened And Transmitted

The company values are only true if lived at all times by the leadership and the employees of a brand. They need to be part of the culture, and if a company has a primary value, it must be true to them 100% of the time. When the company fails, people notice and are disappointed, feeling betrayed by the brand. You need always to have standards of conduct aligned with company values, aspirational values, which represent skills the company needs to develop to help you get where you want to achieve your goals. There are also the accidental values that the company assumes from the experiences and the profile of its employees, and you must be attentive to them. Having a clear set of values helps the company to attract and retain great talent, improves internal productivity and the perception of service by the end consumer and integrates the business as a whole.

Your Values Are Also ImportantWhen Working With Partners

Choosing the right partners is crucial for business and even more important if you sell through channel structures where partners have contact with the end consumer. Imagine that you produce a product, but it is distributed by a partner A and sold by a partner B. The integrity of the brand with the consumer also passes through these partners and there comes the importance of knowing how to choose your business partners, to ensure that your brand is actually integrated. It is necessary that your partners have a mission, vision, and values similar to those that your company seeks. Especially in the case of companies that have little contact with their end consumer, such as in the hardware industry, channel sales need to share experiences in line with what the company itself would do. In Marketing 3.0, channel management begins with the discovery of the right channel partners for similar purposes and values. Channel partners with compatible values will be able to convey stories to consumers convincingly, and this will ensure a strong brand and customer experience.

Focus On The Long Term And Make It Clear To Shareholders

Short-term thinking has historically hurt the global economy and led to bad decisions. Some shareholders may push for short-term goals, but it is essential to maintain long-term focus and consistency with their mission, vision, and values. Your strategy needs to be visionary and aligned with the desired future. A management that focuses only on short-term goals is blind and can end up generating disastrous results with the end consumer, with employees and partners. The global economic crisis of 2008 showed clearly and harshly how centennial and seemingly solid companies can be destroyed by focusing only on short-term gains. The immediate view of the managers contradicted the concept of economic and environmental sustainability of the business. In September 2009, a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, big-money luminaries, including the famous Warren Buffet, signed a joint letter calling for an end to the immediacy of the financial markets and calling for policies to feed value creation For shareholders and society in the long term. The statement acknowledged the role of immediacy in driving risky strategies that could lead to a collapse in the economy and have huge negative impacts on people's lives. All members who signed the letter agreed that long-term capitalism will bring significant gains in the future and have encouraged shareholders to be more patient in their investments. Kotler says there are many benefits for companies that adopt long-term focused strategies such as:

  • Lower investments in advertising, thanks to the word of mouth by satisfied consumers;

  • Better working conditions, increasing productivity and reducing costs with formal training once employees become aligned with company values;

  • Increase in sales through new market opportunities, since a good mission, vision, and values facilitate the exploration of new opportunities;

  • Increasing the value of the brand itself, since the recognition and trust of a brand by consumers are an essential asset for companies.

The New Consumer Asks For Sustainability

Nowadays, sustainability must be part of the company's strategy. Executives need to see sustainability as a competitive edge that will define the company in the future, regardless of competition. That is essential if you are to sell the corporate vision of sustainability to shareholders. The interest of shareholders is a greater value of their assets, and the value of the company is determined by future potential performances, so we must demonstrate that companies that will prosper in the future will be able to leverage sustainable energy sources, such as investing In solar power stations. The 3 most persuasive advantages of sustainability are:

  • Reduce costs by consuming smaller quantities of expensive resources such as gas and producing less waste. That eliminates the high expense of removing litter;

  • Demand for environmentally friendly products. According to the Forrester survey, 73% of customers want brands that are concerned about the environment.

  • Sustainable practices improve the company's reputation and brand, resulting in an obvious financial impact.

Final Notes:

Traditional theoretical marketing, synthesized by Kotler himself, is being impacted by the accelerated evolution of globalization and technology. More than that, marketing got stuck in a conventional form, as the customer moved away, evolved and started to be a marketer with the advent of social networks. The new way of doing marketing is based on reconnecting with this consumer and embracing the human side of marketing to succeed, always with a true and coherent purpose. That is Marketing 3.0.

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Who wrote the book?

Hermawan Kartajaya is an Indonesian author and speaker in the field of marketing studies. In 2000, Kartajaya co-authored "Repositioning Asia: A Bubble of Sustainable Economy" with Philip Kotler. In it, they analyzed why the Asian crisis of 1997 occurred, and outlined what governments and businesses in the region could do to develop more sustainably in the future. Hermawan Kartajaya is founder and CEO of MarkPlus, Inc., Indonesia's largest marketing consulting firm. It was considered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing one of the "50 gurus who shaped the future of marketing." It is a unique combination of a thinker of strategic business concepts, particularly in marketing... (Read more)

Iwan Setiawan is a consultant at MarkPlus Inc, where he helps companies create innovative marketing strategies. He was also known for his collaboration with Phillip Kotler in marketing 3.0. Iwan Setiawan serves as Chief Operating Officer of MarkPlus, Inc. (, where he helps companies develop their marketing strategies. He... (Read more)

Philip Kotler is an American marketing consultant, author, and professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He studied economics from three Nobel Prize laureates and went on to define new marketing practices, being a few examples of it: marketing practices based on... (Read more)

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