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Adobe declares traditional marketing mix is dead

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30th Sep 2015
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Anyone who has studied marketing in some form will know the importance of never straying too far from the marketing mix, or rather, the 4 P’s: Price, Product, Promotion and Place.   

However, a new study from Adobe suggests the rise of “savvy online consumers” means the traditional marketing mix has become outdated and is in need of a refresh.

When polling 2,000 consumers about their online purchasing decisions, Adobe discovered that ‘Price’ and ‘Product’ are still the most influential factors in online purchases for most people, but that ‘Reviews’ and ‘Offers’ have now become more relevant than ‘Place’ and ‘Promotion’.

The research points towards the proliferation of channels available to online shoppers and the “always on” nature of ecommerce users as reason for the shift in buying habits.       

And the ability to get the best offers, products and price, at a time and place that suits, combined with easy access to online communities and reviews to help make decisions, means marketers are essentially having to replace two ‘Ps’ with an R and an O.

“Front of mind for every marketer is how to provide customers with the best experience possible and this new digital landscape is driving marketers to reimagine some of the classic marketing tactics in order to do this,” says John Watton, director digital marketing EMEA at Adobe Systems.  

“While product and price will always remain priorities for any shoppers, the internet has seen a subtle power shift towards the consumer. More shoppers are relying on online communities and reviews to aid their purchasing decisions so brands need to harness the power of word of mouth online and give their customers the opportunity to share their feedback.

“From the business perspective, reviews are also extremely valuable in terms of helping marketers improve their products and ultimately, the customer experience.”

There’s no doubt that online reviews are now a central part of the online buying journey: The online review industry is estimated to be worth £23bn, with 42% of consumers leaving reviews and 95% seeking out real product experiences before committing to purchasing a product. A further 6% turn to bloggers and vloggers for guidance, and 61% are more likely to trust consumer reviews more than recommends from their family and friends.

However, the argument that ecommerce pushes the importance of promotion and place behind reviews and offers may be in need of further debate.

Research from eBay last year found that 90% of shoppers who use an ecommerce site say that delivery is the biggest annoyance, highlighting the importance of getting the ‘place’ part of the marketing mix right still.

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