Marketing 3.0: a re-invention of the wheel?

The title assumes that there have been predecessors; like marketing 1.0.

If they have been around this fully escaped me. Or can it be that marketing 1.0 never existed. But was invented after somebody came up with the idea of 2.0?  To which extent Marketing 3.0 is new and helpful in further leading and giving direction to our businesses.

Let’s have a quick look at what Google (or is it Google 5.0; I am getting nervous here!) has to say about it. This boils down to putting corporate values and believes at the centre of the attention rather than product (marketing 1.0) or customer (marketing 2.0). Actually Google wasn’t very forthcoming with regard to providing information about Marketing 3.0. Maybe Marketing 3.0 is not astute enough to put itself in the floodlight.

When we see marketing 1.0. described as little science, not systematic, little accountability, best guess, shooting from the hip, how did marketing evolve?

Some elaborations I found in Wikipedia say that Marketing 2.0. “refers to the new generation of marketing ideas emerging from the Internet era. The expression became popular in 2005 along with the idea of Web 2.0. It is a buzzword that forms part of the business jargon of corporate work environments pertaining to new means of marketing. The expression is most frequently used by a new breed of marketers who work primarily with the Internet. This new generation of marketers views media such as TV, newspapers, and radio as secondary means of communication”.

So the new breed doesn’t associate itself with the old breed: the people with no access to or no knowledge of the internet. This provides excellent grounds for further segmentation (one of those hobby-horses of marketers): Marketing for dummies! If this is already in print, I apologise to the author(s).

But obviously after customers (Marketing 2.0) became too common-place, it was time to think of something new, something that would change the face of the marketing-earth. By making marketing softer, by buddying with the stakeholders (I mean the ones that share our values and beliefs) to make the world a better place.

So, what does Wikipedia have to say about Marketing 3.0?

It isn’t for everyone. If you’re targeting older age groups, the old media solutions can still work. Your product or service may not be appropriate for these new paradigms. Even if you think you’re in the right space, you need to do your research (and we explore online survey tools that can make your job easier). You also need to do a reality check: are the 3.0 Tools available in your neighbourhood? It’s a global economy but some tools work better in some countries than others. Marketing 3.0 is a work in progress. New media arrive in the twinkling of an eye. Some have the half-life of a mayfly; others will be around for the duration.

So, is it about tools after all? And about a limited life-span for 3.0. Because somebody is already bound to work on Marketing 4.0.

I see a strong link between Marketing 3.0. and Corporate Social Responsibility; the latter for me includes sustainability. It’s about sharing in a responsible way, but not about sharing the responsibilities. Maybe marketing has appropriated CSR for the next stage of its own development. Because marketers are supposed to be the best positioned people when we think about corporate strategy and image. Or should CSR remain the domain of the boardroom? And which conflict arises when another billion acres of rain forest is “sacrificed” to grow cheap soya. Does the boardroom look at the planet or the profit? Or maybe the indigenous people that are driven from their homeland? Where does that figure in the corporate set of beliefs and values; and what does Marketing 3.0 do with that?

From whichever angle I look at it, I invariably come to the conclusion that conceptually not a great deal has changed since marketing (1.0) came to life; which I estimate to be around 8.000 years ago. There is still a supply that needs to be matched with demand in a tumultuous environment where everybody is fishing in the same pond. The objective of a company is not to share believes and values; the objective is economical and financial sustainability and sharing beliefs and values adds to a good way to reach this objective.

So marketing 3.0 is again about tactics and should not pretend to shake the world on its strategic foundations. Do I therefore imply that it should be discarded? Quite on the contrary, as long as it is understood that it’s a means to an end. Nothing more, nothing less.

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