The Challenges To Marketing In The Next Millennium
By Prasanna Perera, MBA (Sri.J), P.G. Dip. F&B.A. (SL), Dip.M (U.K.), MCIM (U.K.), M.C.Inst.M., MSLIM, Chartered Marketer (CIM U.K.)
Marketing revolves around the anticipation, identification and satisfaction of customer and/or consumer needs. Therefore, if there is an emergence of a new consumer in the next millennium, it is understood that marketing as a discipline will also have to transform to meet the expectations of this new customer.
ho is this new customer? She/he will be far more demanding and discerning than the customer of this century. The consumer of the next millennium will probably exhibit the following characteristics:W
Based on the characteristics displayed by the "emerging new consumer", Philip Kotler (1997) states that "marketing as a discipline has to place greater emphasis upon:
Service marketing is differentiated, based on services and the soft elements of the marketing mix such as people, process and physical evidence. Examples are airlines, restaurants. How do we differentiate between one airline and another? The level of service is an essential aspect, and services such as in-flight service, ground service, flight booking and confirmation are delivered by people. Ethical marketing behaviour means honesty to consumers at all times, in communication of product and service-related messages.
As we enter the new millennium, there are a number of priorities for marketing managers to consider:
These priorities are by no means exhaustive. However, they are probably the most important. Marketing managers need to take these priorities on board, and demonstrate an appreciation for the same, by referencing them in their marketing plans.
In conclusion, let me state that Marketing as a discipline will play a significant role in defining corporate excellence in the next millennium. However, this depends on whether due recognition is given to the changing needs of consumers, by organizations. As Philip Kotler states: "Marketing correctly interpreted and practised, will be the key to company adaptability and profitability." Al Ries and Jack Trout (the famous authors of the book, Positioning) advise marketers to be smarter, faster and focused. This in turn requires good analytical minds, clear and focused thinking and intuitive ability.
Prasanna Perera is Brand Manager, Hemas Marketing (PTE) Ltd., Colombo, Sri Lanka.