A friend shared an interesting article with me this week with a provocative title, “Marketing is an outdated practice, period.” It was said at Adobe’s Think Tank: The Future of Experience Business.
The statement arose around a question about marketing’s role in the experiential economy now that simply selling a product isn’t enough anymore. All marketers are ultimately in the business of delivering an experience and product is only a part of that experience.
It’s been said “To get something different, you have to do something different.” Our customers today want something different and that means marketers have got to do something different.
“Every experience point is a marketing effort,” Daniel Newman, Forbes contributor and CEO at Broadsuite said. “Taken in that context, everyone in the company becomes a marketer.”
What Customers Want May Not Be What Marketers Are Selling
Everyone recognizes we’ve entered an experiences economy. But few companies know how to navigate it successfully. That was the key takeaway from Adobe’s Think Tank. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what that customer experience is that will meet their evolving needs and expectations.
“The customer doesn’t want to buy a product from you, they want an engaging experience with the brand,” said Nandini Nayak, managing director of design strategy at Fjord (Accenture). “The sum of the experience is the product.”
To be sure, marketing hasn’t lost its business value, but as customers demand new experiences and new ways of engaging with brands, marketers’ old mindsets are no longer relevant in the new era of the experience business wave.
Marketing’s still critical role is uncovering consumer needs, but what’s past is the idea that a product is how to fill it, Nayak said.
Ethan Imoboden, vice president of Frog, a design and strategy firm, added the question is not “Is my product performing?” but “Is the marketing strategy filling a gap in the customer journey?”
“Its about time to put forward and reformat marketing, propelling marketers’ roles alongside,” Imoboden stresses. To that end, Nayak says marketers need to focus on the entire customer journey. “It’s time to over-index on empathy in design and delivery.”
That’s easily said, but the whole Think Tank panel agreed that it is incredibly hard to scale true empathy and emotional connection throughout the customer’s journey.
This just reinforces the need to reimagine the marketers’ role to focus on a much broader range of customer needs and expectations beyond Product-Price-Promotion-Placement.
The experiences economy demands it and the new 4E’s model for marketing — Experience, Exchange, Evangelism, Everywhere –answers it.Out with the old 4Ps, in with the new 4Es