Digital Marketing

Marketing 4.0: definition and how to make the transition in your business

The evolution of Marketing is here! Check out Marketing 4.0 and find out how it can transform your business.

Marketing 4.0

It’s hard to imagine a world without the Internet. The digital environment is so deeply ingrained in society that we have started to show certain behaviors, which only exist because of this environment. One of them is how we buy products and services.

These online habits and the forms of buying and selling that have been acquired directly impact the marketing strategies used by companies. Consequently, these advertising techniques are in constant evolution.

Therefore, the following article will show how marketing has changed over time, what the impacts of these transitions are for companies, and how you can start implementing the marketing 4.0 model in your company.

What is Marketing 4.0?

 Over the years, marketing has been reinventing itself. Mainly because technology has improved, and this has led to new ways of thinking about it.

Marketing 4.0 is another phase of this progress, greatly influenced by the digital age. The term represents the combination of traditional marketing (TV, radio, and print) with the rise of digital marketing (web environment).

This concept was implemented by American professor and author Philip Kotler, a scholar in the area who noticed the changes that this digital transformation brought to companies, in general, and identified the need to underscore this new phase, calling it marketing 4.0. 

Who is Philip Kotler?

Philip Kotler, the “inventor” of Marketing 4.0, was born on May 27, 1931, and is a university professor in the US. He earned his master’s degree from the University of Chicago, and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), both in Economics. 

He also did postdoctoral studies in mathematics at Harvard and in Behavioral Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Nowadays, he is considered the “guru” of digital marketing and has shared his teachings in several books on the subject of marketing, such as: 

  • Marketing 4.0 – Moving from traditional to digital
  • Marketing Management
  • Ten Deadly Marketing Sins: Signs and Solutions
  • Principles of Marketing
  • Kotler on Marketing – How to Create, Win, and Dominate Markets
  • Marketing 3.0: From Products to Customers to the Human Spirit
  • Essential Marketing: Concepts, Strategies and Cases
  • Marketing Insights From A to Z – 80 Concepts Every Manager Needs to Know
  • My Adventures in Marketing
  • Marketing 5.0: Technology for Humanity

These are a few of his works, but it’s possible to find dozens of other books written by this marketing master.

How has marketing evolved?

Marketing has undergone several changes over the years. In other words, until it reached this stage of marketing 4.0, it went through phases 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. So, let’s understand how this evolution took place.

Marketing 1.0

During this period, marketing was focused on the characteristics of the product. Thus, advertising campaigns had a very descriptive approach, to show the features and benefits of what was being advertised as much as possible. 

Another observation is that, at the beginning, there wasn’t much competition among brands. Therefore, communication tended to be en masse, more generic, and without much of an audience breakdown.

Marketing 2.0

Soon after, during the so-called second phase of marketing, brands started to realize the importance of market segmentation. Because competition became an important issue.

With more options in the marketplace, consumers also became more demanding. Therefore, besides showing the product and worrying about its attributes, companies started to build their identity to differentiate themselves from their competitors and stand out among them.

Marketing 3.0

During the third marketing stage, creating a marketing strategy became more connected to each person’s uniqueness, i.e. brands sought the personalization of their campaigns.

Rather than merely segmenting a group of people and determining a target audience, the important thing here was to understand them individually. Mainly because people have their individualities and like to identify personally with what they consume.

Therefore, marketing 3.0 aimed at making this connection, assuming people’s typical values and purposes.

Marketing 4.0

Finally, marketing 4.0, the most current concept of this entire trajectory. 

As mentioned earlier, this is the phase most influenced by the digital context, and although phase 3 of marketing is also contained within this environment, over the last few years, we have noticed a much greater growth of this scenario.

Many strategies have been improved and implemented due to the possibilities that the internet brings, such as content production on social media and corporate blogs, integration of different digital and non-digital platforms, countless dissemination formats, etc. 

All of these characteristics configure this new marketing phase, which needed to be considered as another advance in this segment.

What is the impact of Marketing 4.0 on online businesses?

Inevitably, the entire marketing 4.0 universe drastically interferes with any company’s advertising plan. 

To adapt to this new reality, it isn’t necessary to merely have a corporate website and a few social media accounts. Now, you need to think about brand building, which is in line with all digital environment elements and possibilities.

The challenges with regard to competition have also increased because the Internet has opened the doors to many businesses that didn’t exist before. As a result, the range of options for consumers is even greater.

Another consequence of this moment is that consumers have become less passive. Because people also have more power to speak out and opportunities to give their opinion, brands need to pay attention to consumers’ “answers”.

Applying Marketing 4.0 to your business 

Now you know what marketing 4.0 is, and realize that no business can escape this reality, right?

Therefore, it’s time to start making plans to implement this strategy in your company. We will list below, which considerations you cannot leave out of this process:

Invest in horizontal relations

In order to build a horizontal relationship, it’s important to make yourself accessible. Many brands still present themselves in a way that is distant from their customers, and this communication model has been less and less effective.

Therefore, it’s worth thinking about a brand persona for example, so that your business can talk to your audience in a more personal manner.

Listen to what consumers are saying

With an increased horizontal attitude, one can expect the brand to listen more to the feedback received from its customers. 

This is a valuable practice for any marketing strategy, because when you listen to your consumers’ pain points, you collect very important information to make your solution even more suitable, and thus, increase the probability of customer loyalty.

Integrate online and offline

Although we’re immersed in a digital world, this doesn’t mean that offline strategies are over. In fact, the idea behind this new form of marketing is to integrate both fronts and move together to boost your results.

Invest in an omnichannel strategy

The omnichannel concept is, overall, a strategy that includes several communication channels, with the goal of delivering a better buying experience and strengthening the relationship with customers.

Therefore, it’s important to understand which communication channels are the most suitable for your company, and create a communication network, making the best use of them.

Monitor results to improve your strategies

One thing that this process must have is the analysis of results. When it comes to this type of strategy, it’s critical to consider the marketing indicators, which will provide important directions and insights to continue or even change plans.

The important thing is to track the results, understand the customer’s journey, and act on these insights.  

Content is the key!

Another key element in marketing 4.0 is the creation of relevant content. It’s worth noting that the content needs to make sense to your persona

Because, no matter how good the content you create is, if it doesn’t deliver value to your audience, it won’t be effective and won’t attract the right people.

Without a doubt, it’s essential that every type of business enter the digital environment and add marketing 4.0 to its reality. Besides the environment being full of opportunities, it tends to be increasingly inserted into people’s daily lives.

Therefore, it’s very important to pay attention to your content production, since it will be like an engine for your business’ online promotion.

With that in mind, make sure you read our article on user-generated content. With it, you’ll learn how to produce the ideal material for your audience and develop content that really makes sense for your business. 



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