Marketing and selling as a discipline:
Use five human senses to make true sense of business
Marketing & Management Consultant, Chartered Marketer, CIM U.K.
Marketing as a discipline has evolved over the years from Product
Centric Marketing to Customer Centric Marketing to Societal Marketing.
It is widely believed that Marketing as a discipline, originated in the
U.S.A. Of course, today it is a global discipline, respected for the
contribution made to organizational success, and even countries. Time
tested marketing concepts are absolutely essential in today’s global
I will endeavour to share some concepts in this brief article.
Essentially this means creating a total ‘experience’, which affects
the body, soul and mind. This concept is very popular in product and
services marketing. For example, take the Ritz Carlton which is a 7 Star
hotel chain. The Ritz Carlton prides itself in providing their guests an
unique experience, that will captivate them totally.
The human senses have long been ignored in marketing, despite our
awareness of their great significance. The five human senses are of
crucial importance for an individual’s experience of different purchase
and consumption processes. Sensory Marketing is not about the masses or
the segment; it is about the individual. This aspect is important to
Take the example of Starbucks. As you enter you are welcomed by the
aroma of freshly brewed coffee. (SMELL). The relaxing music (SOUND), is
selected with precision and care by the Starbucks team to create the
‘Sound of Starbucks.’ The green and yellow of the interior, together
with pleasant lighting, offers a soothing and restful visual experience.
(SIGHT). Add the unique taste (TASTE) of freshly ground coffee and you
have a total sensory experience.
With the rapid growth of the retail industry, Shopper Marketing has
emerged. It is all about understanding how one’s target consumers behave
as shoppers. Shopper Marketing assumes that consumers and shoppers are
not always - or even often - the same. For instance, a shopper for pet
food products is highly unlikely to be the consumer.
The overall process of Shopper Marketing is referred to as the 3 ‘S’
- Shelf, Shopper and Store.
Good examples in Sri Lanka include Glitz, ODEL, Mondy etc., All these
retailers pay very special attention to shelf displays and
merchandising, to attract shopper attention. They also keep their stores
in really good shape, to create a great ambience for the shopper.
This is also referred to as ‘Environmental Marketing.’ Green issues
and marketing can work against each other. One wants you to consume
less, the other more. One rejects consumerism, the other fuels it.
Green Marketing can be divided into three activity areas, namely;
Green - Having green commercial objectives only. For example,
marketing products which are greener than alternatives.
Greener - Having green objectives as well as commercial
objectives. Marketing itself achieves green objectives, for instance
changing the way people use the product.
Greenest - Having cultural objectives, in addition to green
and commercial objectives. For example, making new ways of life/living.
The Body Shop is an excellent example of Green Marketing. Mainly
using recyclable containers and bio-degradable packaging, which create
minimum environmental impact. Hybrid vehicles pioneered by Toyota, is
another Green Marketing initiative. Hybrid vehicles do not pollute the
environment and also reduce the carbon footprint.
What is Buzz? Emanuel Rosen defies Buzz as infectious chatter,
genuine, street level excitement about a hot new person, place or thing.
Buzz is all the word-of-mouth about a brand.
With the advent of the Internet, Viral Marketing which is an
off-shoot of Buzz Marketing, also appeared. If off line Buzz Marketing
is infectious, then Viral Marketing is extremely contagious.
Take for example the launch of the Apple iPod. Buzz Marketing (and
Viral Marketing) has done the marketing for Apple already!! People are
buzzing with excitement and talking about the ‘single product
revolution.’ The same can be said about the Samsung ‘Galaxy Tab.’
Is the use of the mobile medium as a communication and entertainment
channel between a brand and an end user. This is the only personal
channel enabling spontaneous, direct, interactive and or targeted
communications, any time, any place. This channel of marketing is for
mobile devices, including handsets, PDAs and laptops. Communications
include, SMS, MMS, WAP (Mobile Internet and Push Services) and full
multimedia third generation (3 G) Services.
Many traditional marketing companies have adopted mobile marketing
with great success. Marks & Spencer is a good example, as well as
Walmart Departmental Stores. Even in Sri Lanka, traditional consumer
marketing companies have used mobile marketing with great success.
Common marketing concepts
All modern marketers have realised the importance of personal,
direct, interactive and quick communication, between their organizations
and consumers. Marketing concepts such as mobile marketing, buzz
marketing and sensory marketing open up the avenues for building closer
relationships with customers. Of course, the power of ICT is being
harnessed to the optimum.
Modern lifestyles with an emphasis on individualism on one hand, and
digital collectivism on the other hand, provide marketers the
opportunity to use modern marketing concepts for competitive advantage.
In this brief article, my objective was to educate the readers on
contemporary marketing concepts. My advise is for Marketers to embrace
these concepts, and implement them successfully. In a rapidly changing
and complex world, old school theories may not deliver results. Hence,
have the conviction to embrace change.
“My competitor stole my customers on the Internet.
I was asleep.” (Author)