Need for big change in marketing campaigns

By Lincoln Yap

INDONESIAN marketing expert Hermawan Kartajaya postulates that marketing as practised today necessitates a big change, in that marketers today need to look at intuitive and emotional or psychographic factors, rather than demographics. 

For example, since men and women differ in their emotional responses, there is thus the need to take into consideration these responses when planning marketing campaigns, according to Hermawan. 

Hermawan Kartajaya

However, he does not advise segmentation based on gender as there are no “pure” men or women, rather there are mixes of male and female chromosomes. Thus, the use of psychographics and behavioural variables can help marketers target their markets more precisely. 

“There is a need for differentiation to create a different context or ambience, if not a new product. A clear differentiation helps one to position oneself around a strategic market,” Hermawan told StarBiz after recently presenting a lecture on Marketing in Venus at the Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in Petaling Jaya.  

Hermawan, who is adjunct professor at UTAR, is also president of the World Marketing Association.  

He wears many other hats, such as that of governor of the Asia-Pacific Marketing Federation Foundation and senate chairman of the Indonesian Marketing Association. 

In his lecture, based on his latest book Rethinking Marketing co-written with Prof Phillip Kotler, Hermawan outlines 18 principles on his theories of marketing based on current-day demographics. 

People today live in a more mobile world, as seen in the heavy usage of cellular phones and other mobile devices. With this heightened level of personal contact, they have also become more emotional in their responses and thinking, resulting in the need for marketers to touch hearts more than their minds. 

Thus, his 18 principles outline strategies like being more proactive instead of reactive, where proactive means competing for the future.  

This is unlike reactive which means competing for the past. In this respect, brands should have charisma, a criterion that would make it stand out. In other words, marketers need to create an “aura” around the brand. 

Other strategies include empathy which denotes reliability of products, leading to greater customer loyalty. Marketers may target the heart, such as in the case of Apple computers where the design of the much vaunted iMac computers, while providing all the necessary technical specs, also provide a pleasing sight on the desk. 

This is the “differentiation” Hermawan said, that sets successful companies apart, and enables them to corner segments of markets that are competitive on a global scale. 

“With globalisation, marketing has become more important and all must compete, even global entities, to retain their strengths,” he added.  

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