Revisiting the marketing mix in an era of digitization lessons in brand repositioning and differentiation strategy

Revisiting the marketing mix in an era of digitization lessons in brand repositioning and differentiation strategy

The marketing mix of Price, Product, Place, and Promotion has evolved. While classic strategies are often still in play, digitisation has arrived to shake things up in the world of branding. The marketing mix as a concept still holds weight today because it is a series of actions that form a plan to drive revenue and growth. Despite business change, the 4 Ps still require keen scrutiny, market research and competitive analysis. But, how, exactly has it changed?

There are two new factors in the current marketing mix. People and process. In a market that increasingly values entrepreneurship, innovative technology and creation, it is hard to overlook the importance of unique talent. Customer service is a key aspect of delivering a satisfactory experience for a consumer, and those offering it must be highly trained in communicating brand messaging with a knowledge of unique selling points that differentiate their product or service from competitors. It is also important to develop a workforce that is goal oriented, and able to take initiative to grow a business with lesser input and guidance from senior employees.

A focus on process goes hand in hand with focus on people. Automation, technology, and digitisation play a vital part in the business world of 2019. These new systems ultimately reduce cost and increase customer satisfaction. Concentrating on the ‘process’ enables businesses to increase their efficiency and lower their overall cost, allowing them to introduce competitive prices that place them at a market advantage. The ways in which consumers are researching and purchasing in the APAC region has dramatically changed in the past five years as well, with an overall internet penetration rate of 45% and a 14% increase in the use of social media. 70% of consumers in China use social media to research their purchases, with a 25% conversion rate.

It is obvious that a focus on both process and people is necessary to foster a healthy business in the digital age in APAC. Consumers have more input in the branding of a business than ever before – with a web of connections made via social media that have changed consumers from segments that are unilateral and targeted individually, to communities that have opinions on how they would or wouldn’t want to be sold to. Brand positioning has evolved as well. Product life cycles are shorter and consumer attention is shorter. Brands, therefore, must become more agile and adept at capturing an audience with the advent of disruptive technology.

Social responsibility is another factor that should be taken into account when redefining the marketing mix. 86% of consumers in Hong Kong believe that in order to have a competitive advantage, businesses must be socially conscious – particularly regarding the development of a green conscious supply chain. Only 36% of business owners agree with this statement. This sense of community minded demand, where consumers are asking for more than just product is impacting the ways in which businesses decide to brand their goods or services.

In the age of digitisation, how can businesses effectively develop a marketing mix that suits the objectives of their business and meets the demands of consumers? By building a brand strategy that takes into account the advances of disruptive technology. Brand positioning must be authoritative, malleable to consumer habits and desires, and, more importantly, socially conscious. The matters of people and process must also be considered, in order to optimize efficiency and keep costs low. Businesses should embrace automation, new technology, and an increased consumer voice in order to attain a competitive edge that will build a flourishing business.

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