You may have heard about the concept of Marketing 3.0, which became famous through a book by international marketing guru, Philip Kotler. I have noticed that more and more business experts have begun referring to this concept in their talks and writings.
This concept of Marketing 3.0 speaks of an evolution in the market with insights into social trends and cultural changes. In addition to business people, anyone with an interest in culture, communication, and spirituality can benefit from this perspective.
The first generation of marketing, Marketing 1.0, was decentralized, but disconnected, requiring the physical presence of buyer and seller. Because success was focused on quality or specification of products, marketing efforts were local and centralized around the product.
Because the quality of products had been standardized upward, Marketing 2.0 was customer focused; people competed with differentiated functions and services. Those companies who gave higher satisfaction through distinguished services succeeded. The market was centralized, but buyers and sellers were connected through intermediaries such as Exchanges.
Marketing 3.0 represents the final evolution of marketing: decentralized but connected, with a focus on values. In this sense, market presence is possible through a ‘network presence.’ The Internet has had a powerful impact on communications, security, and technological and legal infrastructure of markets. In this market, appealing to the emotions of customers is not enough. You must also appeal to their spirit. Philip Kotler says that today’s customers search for meaning, happiness, and spiritual realization through their purchases, and companies should respond to their pursuit accordingly.
A company’s social values and how it realizes them really matter to the customers of Marketing 3.0. They want companies to set social agendas and work hard to make the world a better place. The collective power and wisdom of customers is far greater than superficial marketing tricks, so only companies who synchronize their values with their business culture and activities will be the champions of Marketing 3.0. The customers seek self-actualization and this is not limited to the individual dimension, but expands to social and global dimensions.
In Marketing 2.0, companies who made a good profit and gave big donations were considered good. However in Marketing 3.0, the business model itself should be contributing to solve the problems of communities. Marketing 3.0 tells us that companies who don’t work for the betterment of the world will no longer survive. Global issues like public health and the environment have become very personal issues that affect every aspect of our lives. Companies who want to thrive should take initiatives to create mature and sustaining cultures, and healthier and harmonious lifestyles. We need a definite paradigm shift from individual-centered to Earth-centered management, which demonstrates our collective care for the future of our planet. Companies who understand Marketing 3.0, who re-prioritize and re-organize their values, culture, and business activities, and who actualize their mission and values with authenticity, will thrive in the future. They are real Hong Ik companies and models of responsibility to their communities and the earth.