The Marketing 3.0 Era is here

A new marketing model treats customers not as simple consumers but as the complex, multi-dimensional human beings that they are. Customers, in turn, are choosing companies and products that satisfy deeper needs for participation, creativity, community, and idealism

The current recession has led to companies re-evaluating their traditional marketing strategies and making the end consumer an active factor in this process. No longer do they see consumers as a target; a vessel to be filled to the brim with ads, but instead view them as “intelligent beings” – and as such – capable of becoming involved in sustainable development policies. The result is the creation a structure that will still promote sales, but will also communicate a sense of responsibility for the environment and the essential values the company itself would like to represent. This is behind the evolution of Marketing 3.0, as defined by international marketing guru Philip Kotler.

The roots of this new approach to the marketplace are bedded in the conviction that the end customer has the ability to choose and can be guided by an awareness of environmental issues and by responsible choices on the part of manufacturers.

These choices can take the shape of making an effort to ensure the health of the work force is protected and that reducing consumption and safeguarding our planet’s resources such as raw materials and energy are made a priority.

Such results can be achieved by deploying clear social policies and can be based on refusing to exploit the work of women and children or to allow stressful working shifts and unhealthy working environments, or on using packaging that can be recycled or is biodegradable – better yet suitable for compost. Other such avenues include e-commerce solutions and production facilities close to the point of consumption to limit the impact transportation has on the environment. This approach can be considered a seismic shift that adds authentic value to the purchasing experience.

Another secure solution is to control the supply chain from start to finish. For example, Walmart has asked its 60,000 suppliers to purchase 95% of their materials from “environmentally committed” suppliers.
So if this continues does it mean there will no longer be any “bad companies” who get away with committing unlawful acts or claim to produce “quality” items, when this is not the case? It’s hard to say, but there is no doubt that increasing use of social media can contribute to making the system better. Because, thanks to the ‘net, if a company makes false claims it will soon be unmasked. Businesses will be forced to be “good” because the consumer has become more powerful than them. The only thing that will improve a brand’s image these days is authenticity. And if – as Philip Kotler believes – marketing has to offer a purchasing experience and not merely a service, companies must make sure that this experience is as authentic as possible.