The fundamental elements of marketing

P&G Israel CEO: Fundamentals of marketing have not changed, but the way we must approach consumers has.

By NADAV SHEMER
June 21, 2011 23:09
3 minute read.
Sophie Blum

Sophie Blum 311. (photo credit: courtesy)

The fundamental elements of marketing – listening to the consumer and meeting their expectations – are the same as always, but the methods of approaching consumers are changing daily thanks to the digital age, Procter & Gamble Israel CEO Sophie Blum told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of the annual Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, at which she will host a panel on the future of marketing Wednesday, Blum said there were three main digital and consumer market trends in the world today.

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Firstly, digital is a major force that is exponentially growing.

“Think about it: This year alone, the [collective] time spent on the Internet was almost 24 trillion minutes,” she said. “Every day, two billion people are regularly connected to the Internet.

“By 2012 smartphone sales are expected to exceed personal computer sales. This is good luck for the manufacturers of smartphones, but for the marketing profession this is a major stimulus.”

Secondly, massive change is under way in media consumption models.

“Thanks to mobile services, everyone is more connected..., the list of media communication channels is getting longer,” she said. “It’s not that people are moving from one to the other, it is adding up. Today the consumption model is for people to use at least two or three different types of media channels [or devices].”

For marketeers, this means they must be connected, Blum said, “because your consumers, the people that are interacting with you, your brand or your services will not understand why you are not answering them live, as they are doing – and on several media at the same time.”

Finally, the issue of trust is being redefined, as consumers and people come to “intrinsically rely on their peers.”

“And this is also something completely new for the profession,” she said, “because the profession used to be A to B; now the profession is A to B, B to C, C to A, A to C.”

Blum, who is French, relocated to Israel eight years ago to head Procter & Gamble’s office here. Since then, she has been listed multiple times by the media as one of the country’s most influential women. Indicative of her influence is that she will moderate a panel with the participation of world leaders in advertising and marketing, including: WPP founder and CEO Sir Martin Sorrell, Publicis Groupe chairman Maurice Levy and leading US Democratic pollster Dr. Stanley Greenberg.

Blum said she was looking forward to having a constructive discussion with them about what the new role of marketeers is, how they can focus on content when the tools they use are changing so fast, and how the transition will be made to personalizing relationships between people and brands.

But in the end, Blum said, the fundamentals remain the same, “as marketing has always been and will always be about understanding people, delighting them and exceeding their expectations.”

“Of course, consumption models have led to dramatic and exciting changes in the marketing world,” she said. “And it’s not about building brands anymore, but about real-time brand building and ongoing relationships.

It’s no longer about just one way, but about co-creation, creating together.”

“And to add to all that,” Blum said, “I think we need immense leadership skills, which are more [complete] than the very narrow, what we could have called in the past the five Ps of marketing – product, price, place, promotion, people – or the four Ps of marketing, when the whole concept started in the 1980s and ’90s.”


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