Saturday, 7 March 2009
The exchange is now the bonus
I had to come up with some quick sentiments yesterday at a marketing breakfast here in Melbourne. After hearing the first three speakers (financial services, FMCG and info/search backgrounds), talk about value, value and value, it became increasingly clear to me that marketing is no longer about an exchange in value, rather, it's about providing value. We obviously would like it to be the former, but to remain competitive in this age of transparency, dialogue and choice we need to constantly think about giving our users, our consumers, value in all aspects of our offering. I think the web is a great indication of this, with many solely web-based companies naturalising into global giants completely through caring about the user and adding value to their experience. The bottom line for them is their users, as this is where the power lies. If an exchange takes place, perfect - it is now the bonus. If not, a timely awakening might be on the cards.
This progression in marketing has shifted to an almost political-like model - we have leaders, but really these are nothing without the people. They are followers to their people - dictated to on a daily basis. The power has shifted. This is democracy in its purest form. People are being collectively given what they want, and if not they'll move onto someone else who will. The same goes for brands.
The only products or services where this is redundant are luxury brands, since they have always done the dictating. People want to be told what to want. On the downside, with disposable incomes on the decline, it will interesting to see if this will be the case in a couple of years.