When looking at evolution, the theorist Charles Darwin and Darwinism usually springs to mind. Evolution is “the adjustment or changes in behaviour, physiology, and structure of an organism to become more suited to an environment” (http://www.nas.edu/evolution/Definitions.html). Darwinism is the theory of evolution based on biology by the theorist Charles Darwin.
As a Social Media Contributor on LinkedIn (my profile http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=221665836&trk=spm_pic), I participate in and create discussions in various groups for marketing professionals to discuss. A few weeks ago, I decided to put a topic up for discussion in The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) official group. The topic was simply this:
“As social media platforms are such a powerful tool in a consumer environment, is marketing like Darwinism in the sense that it evolves?”
Curious? I sure was. It was interesting to see what other marketing professionals thought of this question and what their responses would be.
A few marketing professionals participated in this topic. One comment that resonated with me was by Sharon McCutcheon -Marketing and Business Development Consultant.
It was this: “When we look back at the history of marketing, then yes marketing has already evolved just as the market place in which we operate has evolved. Fundamentally, being able to satisfy our customers needs profitably relies on being able to communicate effectively and that requirement hasn’t changed. Social media has increased the number of channels where we can talk to each other however non digital forms of marketing, if they work, shouldn’t necessarily be replaced by social media but enhanced by it where appropriate”.
I agree with what Ms McCutcheon says and would add a factor that plays a pivotal part in the evolution (so to speak) of marketing in a consumer environment is PESTLE analysis. This is external forces that might and can impact the way an organisation markets its products or services. I’ll explain. PESTLE analysis looks at:
Political factors – factors such as government terms and changes, trade restrictions and tariffs.
Economic influences – the cost of capital; economic, growth, interest rates, exchange rates etc.
Sociological trends – demographic and cultural factors such as population growth, age distribution, lifestyle trends, consumer attitudes and opinions.
Technological Innovations – changes in technology, technological influences, e.g. email, Internet, Twitter, Facebook, impact on cost.
Legal implications – consumer law, fair trading, corporate law – company law.
Environmental factors – local, national and environmental issues, e.g. global warming.
You see how all these factors can make marketing evolve?
In a sense the main fundamental/principle i.e. satisfying the customers need has not changed but the way in which we satisfy a customer need through communication can evolve.