Carlos Herrero
Extrategia de Comunicación y Medios
Expert Contributor

Will There Be Marketing in 2021?

By Carlos Herrero | Thu, 08/12/2021 - 12:43

Marketing works in the same way as human beings: one part is rational, one part is emotional, one part is experiential and one part is axiological. It is a humanistic science with scientific characteristics.

Leaving aside the obligatory changes brought about by the long period of the pandemic, if anything has mimicked, metamorphosed, adapted and transformed, it is marketing. Specialists in this science adorn it with generic terms ranging from inbound marketing to others that only provide confusing terms that often lack content.

But marketing as we knew it signed its death certificate in March 2020 and is trying to reinvent itself in a world that is still under the wave of the pandemic and has not really changed in its essential convictions. The PowerPoint that goes around the world confirming that the home office is here to stay, that corporate travel will be eliminated and that digital communication platforms are a marvel, does not provide more than a reference for the situations that have necessarily occurred.

Let's get to the bottom of the marketing style that should have been faced years ago and which the pandemic led us to understand in a quick and even contradictory way.

The experience is not only that of the shelf or the store. That is nothing new. It is just that there is a lack of precision. The experience is digital in the sense of a holistic experience, where I observe, analyze, decide and buy at my own pace without the invasions of powerful marketing at the point of sale. The king is the product and the queen is the experience. This is the chessboard presented to us by the insistent digital experience. The core value of the product with its attributes and benefits remains at the center of any marketing plan worth its salt.

Even Aristotle would agree: the first thing is the what, the reality, the fact.

Everything in marketing is transformed and integrated, not eliminated. Whoever pretends that the books, the shelf, the store, or the point of sale will disappear, commits a serious error of basic social anthropology. Flexibility continually breaks the static and boring trends that prevailed in the 19th century. And we are only halfway through the 21st century. Everything moves and adapts every day in a Darwinian sense of survival. Marketing departments now have a job of innovation that eliminates the inertia of a world that had become somewhat repetitive.

Consumer perception starts to count in an unexpected way. There is time at home to think, to observe, to understand. If the concept of time has changed, so has the concept of perception. Decisions have the ability to pause, which allows us to make wiser choices. Impulse or image buying will continue to exist but thoughtful and cautious perception will be a great companion on the shopping journey.

Brands receive a flood of information every 24 hours that moves them to adapt. Issues of health, confinement, hygiene, social care, uncertainty, return to public places, return to face-to-face classes, a certain return to office work demand new ways of attracting the consumer’s attention. The offer of digital platforms and apps, whatever the industry, must become present, friendlier, more flexible and more proactive. The world was changed by apps but it is being transformed by apps that must offer our products and services in specific circumstances. The order of reasoning has changed and so has marketing.

Price is starting to play its role as a bishop in all this chess. The world is moving in the midst of not only a health but also an economic crisis. If we look at the Amazon offers that continually appear on the internet, we can perfectly understand that price does matter.

Moreover, where is the purpose, the proposal, the social responsibility, the added value? It remains in the concepts that accompany each product and service that companies propose. We do not see so many innovations. Using digital platforms for meetings and participating in webinars is no longer a novelty. It is necessary to provoke again a marketing revolution that offers humanity added values for the change in the world.

Will there be marketing in 2021 and 2022? Of course, but it will be different, purposeful, deep, reflective, away from terminology that served for easier times and not for this pandemic wave that has changed our way of thinking and deciding.

Photo by:   Carlos Herrero