Marketing has been evolved through three main stages: Marketing 1.0, Marketing 2.0 and Marketing 3.0.
Marketing 1.0 is the most ancient form of marketing. It centered on the standards of products and the purposes of lowering the cost of production and making the product affordable to consumers.
Marketing 2.0 evolved with the advent of information technology that allows people to do extensive research and compare similar product offerings to choose the one that fits most their demand, budget and preferences. This stage of marketing is also called customer-oriented era.
Marketing 3.0 or the value-driven era was born based on the fact that people nowadays not only want to buy a product that satisfies their demands but also gives them solutions to make the world better such as protecting environment, guaranteeing the quality of employees and ensuring the development of society. Customers want to see their participations and contributions on every cent they spend on. Philip Kotler, in the book Marketing 3.0, said,
“Instead of treating people simply as consumers, marketers approach them as whole human beings with minds, hearts, and spirits.”
Clearly, in the time of global crisis, Marketing 3.0 has been doing a good job in engaging consumers and raising their awareness to social issues, and together with the company, bringing better lives for other people like the happy ending of the four-year-old poor boy above. Marketing 3.0 is great for companies who consider themselves corporate social responsibility companies to promote their missions and values that are to address social issues. Moreover, it also helps companies to build well-perceived brands by consumers. In the story above, two schools and Vinamilk have been praised for their kindness and great social responsibility in social media pages.
Everyone wants to buy products that are both cheap and high-quality. However, we all know that in order to produce a high-quality product, labours have invested their time, effort, money, and intellectuality into the products. That’s why many people are willing to pay thousands of dollars for a pair of hand-crafted Louis Vuitton shoes, because customers know what they pay for: materials, creativity, time, dedication, high technology/ techniques and uniqueness.
An artist was making Louis Vuitton hand-crafted shoes
If customers want to pay for products with cheap prices, producers will have tricks to do it by exploiting employees, choosing shabby materials, harnessing natural resources, etc. “Made in China” products are examples. “With 70% from 2008 to 2010 of all counterfeits seized globally come from China” according to Business Insider, China is a place that you can find any “luxury, well-known brand” products in the world from Louis Vuitton, iPhone, Dior, to Chanel, etc. with shocking prices. How can China do that? They pay employees with low wages while making them work over hours and gain profits from exports where the prices are much higher than the production cost. Customers need to put themselves in producers’ shoes to understand that they can find a product that is “affordable” to their pockets but producing a product which is both cheap and high-quality is not that simple. Companies would rather produce products with cheap prices and low quality, and marketing the price as the main key factor because clearly, once money goes to their pockets, they don’t care who bought their products. Look at these pictures below, many people will be asking the ethics and values of people who created these brands? Would these people know how hurtful original creators would feel when they saw their “children” were copied and counterfeited?
Marketing 3.0 – the value-driven era will question both customers and organizations on their values. Would consumers buy a t-shirt with $2.00 while looking other people being exploited and worn-out due to the overload of work? Would companies harness the natural resources and pollute the environment in order to reduce the lower cost of production while other households close to those companies are dying because of diseases and polluted environment?
One day when Marketing 3.0 becomes more popular and mainstream, I wonder whether or not people still buy Apple products if they know how poorly employees have been treated in China.
Source: Kotler, P., Kartajaya, H., 1947, Setiawan, I., & Ebrary Academic Complete (Canada) Subscription Collection. (2010). Marketing 3.0: From products to customers to the human spirit (1st ed.). Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.