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Seven Trends in Modern Marketing

Once upon a time, I was Mr. Flash for P&G, which was better than being Mr. Fairy. Since then, I have moved on and so has marketing. Here are seven trends which are changing the world of marketing:

The grey pound is getting stronger. And it wants something other than advertisements for stair-lifts and walk-in baths. Average net household wealth for the trendy, funky media target of 25 to 34 year olds is a measly £950, and going down towards negative territory. Boring old farts aged 55 to 64 have net household wealth of £149,500, according to David Willetts. The wrinklies have the money -- are you getting your share of it?

Online advertising is already larger than TV. But, TV still counts. In 2008 Brits and Yanks still spent an average of 28 hours a week glued to their TV sets. TV may have fragmented: it is now the big herd of multiple channels rather than the Big Beast of one or two channels. In 2009, however, media spending on internet overtook media spending on TV. And still the top advertisers (like the government and P&G) have not worked out yet how to harness the internet. It is time for them to go figure.

The revolution is here, but only for some of us. Marketing is changing at very uneven rates. The life assurance industry is still in the Stone Age. When you have clients signing up for 25 years, there is not much urgency to change. Meanwhile another ancient industry -- publishing -- is about to hit the revolution. Already, Amazon has over 50 per cent of the book market. The arrival of e-books gets the industry away from dead tree syndrome. No one yet knows what the value proposition, pricing or format of the new world of publishing should be. Someone is going to make a fortune (and we will all say it was very obvious how to succeed, after the event). Many more will get burned. Where will you be when the revolution arrives in your sector?

The three Cs and four Ps of marketing are dead. Long live the four Cs and five Ps. Marketing is becoming more financially aware. We have to add costs to the old formula of channels, customers and competition. And profit belongs somewhere amidst product, price, promotion and place. Marketing for profit counts as much as marketing for share.

Market research is on the move. Research used to be about opinions and attitudes, which are as reliable as a ouija board. If you want the truth, watch the feet, not the mouth. Research behaviour, not attitudes. This already happens online, because it is easy and it works. The off line world is catching up, slowly.

From features and benefits to hopes and dreams. As the person who put the blue speckle in Daz I grew up in the world of features and benefits. But even I can see consumers want and buy more than that: they buy hopes, dreams and identity whether it is a bottle of Fairy Liquid or an off-road car. Focus on the buyer's hopes and dreams, not on the wonderful features of your new product.

The world is your shrimp. As Arthur Daley proudly announced. Globalisation of markets, competitors and supply chains is real and creates unprecedented risk and opportunity. Learn to ride the globalisation tiger -- then you can eat your shrimp and mangle your metaphors.

(Pic: Nesster cc2.0)

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