Originally published in http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/
In a new book, Wharton marketing professor Yoram (Jerry) Wind and The Wharton Future of Advertising Program executive director Catharine Findiesen Hays argue that the consumer is in control, and they want to interact with companies in new ways.
Their book, Beyond Advertising: Creating Value Through All Customer Touchpoints, addresses ways companies can develop a more integrated relationship with those they serve.Wind and Hays discussed their book on the Knowledge@Wharton show on the Knowledge@Wharton show on Wharton Business Radio on SiriusXM channel 111.
(Listen to the podcast at the top of the enclosed link)
An edited transcript of the conversation follows.
Knowledge@Wharton: How significantly has technology changed the playing field for companies, in terms of marketing, advertising and consumers?
Jerry Wind: The major change is what it has done to consumers because it empowers the consumers. Consumers now can get information on any brand they want to buy — the features, recommendations, pricing — in a moment if they have interest. They can be in a store looking at some product, and they can get on Amazon and try to find out better prices.One of the major impacts of the technology has been the availability of technology, especially mobile, every minute of a person’s life. You can hardly separate now the person from his mobile phone, which changes dramatically the whole field of marketing.In a sense, the consumer now has access to all the information. There’s no longer this information asymmetry, where the manufacturer, the marketer, had information, and the consumer was at their mercy, not knowing what’s there. The consumer now has more information than the marketer. The consumer is in control. The consumer is skeptical. Consumers don’t trust advertising. They are the reason we have technology leading to the possibility of ad blockers.Consumers are sending a very clear message to advertisers: “We hate your advertising. We want to block it.” The advertisers, unfortunately, instead of listening to this and saying, “Okay, let’s change and follow some of the guidelines that are in the book,” they say, “Okay, let’s block the ad blocker,” which is the dumbest thing they can do.“You can hardly separate now the person from his mobile phone, which changes dramatically the whole field of marketing.”From the consumer point of view, the technology has changed everything. From the media’s point of view, look what’s happening in terms of digital advertising today. Digital advertising is really taking over to a large extent from the traditional one. But it’s one component. It has to be viewed as part of an integrated whole. So technology has been a major, major force of change, as an enabler for some of the changes we’ve been seeing.
Knowledge@Wharton: As you just said, the consumers have more information than the marketers themselves. A lot of consumers realize the increased power that they have in this process now, more than ever before. That’s a big shift.
Catharine Hays: It has really changed the nature of the relationship, from one where you had no choice but to watch a certain number of channels and see a certain number of ads — that’s what it was. The power was truly in the hands of the marketer. But now, that’s shifted. The marketers who are really forward-thinking are actually excited about it. It’s a shift from feeling like they’re totally in control of what the conversation is around their brand to actually being part of a conversation — bringing consumers in, bringing people in — so that they are part of a cultural zeitgeist, in fact, and part of people’s lives.
Knowledge@Wharton: Who are you trying to reach with the book? And what’s the main theme that you want to communicate?
Wind: I gave a presentation on our book to a group of 25 CMOs in the last Association of National Advertising meeting. Remember, the book is Beyond Advertising. “Beyond advertising” means primarily that you want to reach consumers not only through the traditional media but through all touchpoints. That’s really the key change
My point of view: I stated before that is fiction that you can control customers and customer relationships. Probably they are not into having a relationship with a brand, a service provider, an institution or a company. Therefore one has to use different paradigms such as outlined in the book.