New Marketing

11 Apr 2016

More human, ethical, inspiring, respectful and at the service the common good. This is the new marketing that STI Expert Professor Francisco Pérez Latre (University of Navarra) defends.

Marketing has become such a key element in companies that it deserves a central role in working out their strategic positioning, in both the corporate and commercial spheres. Just as marketing has become the center of organizations, people are the epicenter of new marketing, the axis of its ecosystem.

With a dialogue-based method that that aims to advance from manipulation to inspiration, new marketing manages to find the best way to serve its public. In new marketing, it is understood that the public makes us better. The public puts us in our place, contributing an essential external reference to the work. Knowing what the public thinks is always a blessing, although we don’t always we like what it says.

Technologies have called attention to the primacy of people. In the era of the cell phone, Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter, it has become increasingly evident that people are the center of communication. Brands and institutions can approach them. And particular publics get excited by brands and become fans, or they condemn them and highlight their hypocrisy. In both cases, the public’s protagonism is greater by the day.

Its understanding of people, markets, ideologies and social change has turned new marketing into an instigator of change, innovation and creation. Those who study this novel discipline base their knowledge on culture and the humanities: Only highly prepared, well-read people who closely observe culture and society can explain social change. That’s why good universities are the natural place for this type of study.

The effects of manipulation on society and markets can be lethal. When we lose sight of people, the public is reduced to targets; customers, to "accounts;" employees become costs that can be discarded; the digital audience becomes "traffic;" products take precedence over service, and competitors become enemies to be "eliminated." New marketing transforms the language and the practice of marketing, to make them more human. Ideas to humanize marketing might seem naive. But outstanding brands and institutions are distinguished precisely because of their ability to deliver better ideas and more service and social impact. In reality, offering higher ideals and helping to build a better society is a priority for great brands and institutions, which not only innovate in their products but also posit higher quality ‘whys’.

Markets and society are not "zero-sum games:" To be better is to ensure that others may also be. That’s why what might be called “the myth of market share" is increasingly in question. The big brands know how to generously invest in expanding and improving their sector; they propose open and positive scenarios that are good for everyone; they solve problems and provide knowledge; they uncover horizons. The mindset based on short-term benefit and the "elimination" of competitors diminishes and leads everyone to ruin. Because in the end, in the world of market share and "savage competition," everyone loses.

In contrast, new marketing operates in open ecosystems. The idea is not to occupy others’ space, but to continually enrich the personal relationships that feed the ecosystem. Products are essential, but they become obsolete and can be replicated and copied. Not so the DNA of outstanding brands and institutions. Values cannot be replaced. The contrasting utilitarian vision empties companies of content, undermines workers’ commitment and causes talent flight. New marketing helps to avoid this.

For society to function, reasonable and capable women and men must take the time to discuss complex issues in an atmosphere of mutual understanding that facilitates interchange and the search for solutions. They must form a community of people who feel a sense of respect and mutual admiration for one other, and coincide in the desire to improve society and work for the common good. Oriented towards people, new marketing can help society by encouraging the search for lofty goals and points of agreement.

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Professor Francisco J. Pérez Latre is Director of International Relations of the University of Navarra (Spain) and Professor of Advertising at the university's School of Communication. He has participated as an expert in two STI meetings: "What Society Needs from Media in the Age of Digital Communication" (Oxford, October, 2013) and "Communication Technologies and Lifestyles" (Barcelona, May, 2013).

This article was originally published in Spanish by elEconomista.es on 7th of April, 2016.