Professor Kotler concluded the book with a section called “Transformational Marketing,” in which he discussed how the field would change with the “new age of electronic marketing.” In the coming decade, Kotler wrote, “marketing will be re-engineered from A to Z. Marketing will need to rethink fundamentally the processes by which they identify, communicate, and deliver customer value.”
There’s only one problem: Fifteen years have passed, and this vital transformation hasn’t happened yet.
Consumers have changed, marketing operations haven’t
In case you haven’t noticed, almost every marketing conference you attend these days starts with the same four or five requisite slides. Consumers are now empowered by digital technology… they are becoming more aware… they are researching, engaging, buying, and staying loyal to brands in ways that have fundamentally changed… Yes, we get it. Consumer behavior in the age of the social and mobile web is different than it was before.
In fact, maybe it’s actually more accurate to say “is changing” and “will continue to fundamentally change,” as content’s continual evolution shows no sign of slowing. The challenge is that marketing operations in enterprise companies have largely remained just as they were when Kotler wrote his book — i.e., they are still working from mid- to late-20th century hierarchies, strategies, and processes.
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