A fresh perspective on ‘what is marketing?’


We are on the verge of a ‘golden age’ and are apparently going through the fifth great surge of capital and technology – driven by Information and Telecommunications.  Carlota Perez has defined a ‘framework’ that every surge goes through – installation, turning point and deployment.  According to her, during the capital driven installation phase, one normally sees a lot of disruption and a wide divide between those who have adopted the new technology(-ies) and those who haven’t.  This leads to crisis and recession, termed turning point – what we are witnessing around us today.  But once this crisis ends, there will be an overall upliftment as the technology(-ies) mature and mass adoption happens which is the deployment phase – the ‘golden age’.  It’s only natural that ‘marketing’ as a function is also undergoing transformation to adapt to the changing market place, driven by technology.  There are ongoing discussions regarding ‘modern marketing’ and  a search on ‘future of marketing’ is a good representation of how varied these discussions are.

Recently, Ashley Friedlein of Econsultancy proposed a new model – Modern Marketing Model (M3).  He defines this as the ‘DNA’ of marketing.  The model is an evolution from other models like 4Ps, 7Ps or 4Cs. He considers these models as more ‘marketing execution’ oriented rather than ‘strategy’ focused.  In M3, he has included 3 steps before ‘marketing execution’ – Strategy, Analytics and Planning.  These 3 stages are very much part of the current marketing process but perhaps done in silos without an overarching model to follow.  By bringing these 3 stages together with execution – he feels there can be a more streamlined structure and process.  In the comparison chart between the ‘current terminology’ and M3 – he has highlighted key differences.  M3 recommends removing ‘price’ as a standalone factor, instead focus on the overall brand value.   A valid point, especially with the growing interest from consumers to understand/learn more about the brand they want to engage with.  Purpose and promise hold an almost equal importance to them as price.  Similarly, more focus on consumer experience than just product.  How the consumer engages with the product/brand through the entire journey has a direct influence on the final decision.  Top performing brands focus on ‘Content’ to deliver the right consumer experience.  Forrester predictions for 2018 cites ‘Customer Experience’ as a key factor that will determine the success or failure of a business.  M3 expands on ‘place’ and calls it ‘distribution’ because of the multiple channels available to consumers – both physical and digital.  Again, this is a much-needed distinction for the current omni-channel environment.

This model works on 3 levels – a great way of bringing together different disciplines that may or may not be working at tandem currently; a flexible model that can be adapted to both B2C and B2B; demonstrates how modern marketing is underpinned by the digital ecosystem.   The last point also leads to a discussion of talent and why it’s necessary for all marketers, regardless of position or level, to be aptly knowledgeable about current technologies.  Ashley Freidlein feels ‘agility’ is key to any marketing model to keep pace with the fast changing market place.

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Mohammed Ajawi

About the Author Mohammed Ajawi

Mohammad Ajawi is the General Manager of Centric. He has got 11 years in advertising and the digital business management experience. Believes in Marketing science and driven by data. Expert in multiple sectors as FMCG, Real estate, Automotive, Telco, Entertainment, Luxury, Beauty, Retail, Banking and E-commerce. His mission is to convert the brands traditional activities to digital business and follow the market trends. He can be reached on [email protected]