Written By: Jasmine Williams
We are coming to the close of the second decade of the 21st century. In the past 19 years, we have entered into what is being called the 4th Industrial Revolution. While the past 3 revolutions all had to do with physical technological advances, the 4th Industrial Revolution is all about data sharing.
Technology’s intangible form— aka data—has taken the world by storm. Never has international business been easier to conduct. Large corporations and small businesses alike are now able to interact with firms, clients and people all over the world to share their products, services, and ideas. This ability to interact has completely revolutionized the landscape of how business is conducted now and how it will be conducted in the future.
Just as technology has advanced, so too must your business’ marketing plan in order to keep up with all the changes taking place.
Technology has always impacted modern marketing. The printing press made way to more literacy. This literacy jump made way for paper advertisements. This form of advertisement was popular for years—and still has a marginal effect on consumers. However, when the radio and television became popular, so too did marketing move to these mediums. Now the age of the internet is in full swing, and so too must your marketing strategies mesh with the modern trends to establish your business’ financial future.
Marketing 4.0 is a marketing form developed through studies conducted by Professor Phillip Kotler. In his own words, “Marketing 4.0 is a marketing approach that combines online and offline interaction between companies and customers. In the digital economy, digital interaction alone is not sufficient. In fact, in an increasingly online world, offline touch represents a strong differentiation.”
The combination of online presence and offline interaction is absolutely crucial for small businesses to master. The beauty of being a small business owner means that likely, your core audience is local. However, the following principles can be easily tailored to the small business owner who has a complete online presence.
Applications of Marketing 4.0
The first application of marketing 4.0 is developing an online presence. This is done by creating an SEO friendly website that is easy to navigate and has a quick loading time. However, creating a website is not enough to generate sales. The greatest marketing tool at your disposal is social media—more precisely, creating unique content for your social media.
Consumers these days want a personal touch. While you cannot give them a physical product through social media marketing, you can put them in touch with the way to get one. However, pure advertisements are not enough. Education is the way to show your consumers the human side of your business.
Let’s say you are an Etsy shop that sells paint supplies. Instead of showcasing your paint brushes with a sale tag on them, create a blog post on how to blend colors to make certain effects, or create a video of you discussing and implementing the technique. Give your consumers an education about how to use your product in a practical way. This will not only show them that you care about their ability to use it but it will also endear them more to your brand because they will have seen how your product produces their desired result.
The use of big data is becoming increasingly important in modern marketing. Big data takes the concept of implementing data analytics and applies it to every department in a company. So instead of simply using numbers to analyze the efficiency of sales, now numbers are being applied to employee productivity, marketing strategies and even mundane processes to determine the best way to optimize them. This gives a personalized approach to creating effective marketing strategies throughout the company.
This is extremely lucrative for small businesses with a handful of employees because using percentages and other aspects of big data will help leaders determine their employees’ production rates, distractions, and potential. The greatest example of this is in employee time consumed by mundane paperwork. Let’s say your data analytics finds that the average employee spends over 40% of their workday doing mundane tasks like filling out individual numbers on a financial report. If the numbers are already on the computer, this is a colossal waste of time. Employing the services of AI would be a much more lucrative use of your employee’s time and your money.
Knowing how data analytics to track your operation’s productivity as a whole allows you to optimize your time spending. This means that you will have more time to work with clients and improve your product or service for them. This way, you can give them more face to face interaction and so improve your marketing and relationships with them.
Using AI throughout your operation can save hours of valuable time for both you and your employees. By investing in AI services to complete non-complex tasks, employee minds will be freed up to work on more challenging projects. The greatest use of this in marketing is through chatbots. Chatbots are programmable to answer consumer’s easy questions or lead them through the website to different points. not only are chatbots excellent for gaining consumer data, but they are also a lucrative way to free up your employee’s time to be spent on more advanced consumer questions.
This more challenging application leads to better company morale and less stress as a whole. Additionally, by having your employee minds working on tasks more related to their actual job description, your employees will become more creative and streamlined in their processes, allowing the company to grow and adapt with the new trends as they come.
Marketing 4.0 has a lot of applications for both in house and out in the world. When it comes to marketing, you need to remember that your employees and your clients are people. Everything you do to make their lives happier and more seamless is a step in the right direction. So the changes you make in house to improve morale and productivity will inevitably lead to happier customer service. Happier customer service leads to positive consumer interaction. This leads to more sales and more effective marketing campaigns.
About The Author: Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today’s business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Contact her @JazzyWilliams88