A classic marketing axiom is to find a need and fill it.
As a graying marketer, I must admit I bought into the paradigm that marketing achieves the best results when needs are addressed through a problem-solution or promised benefit approach.
Do research. Find needs. Develop products. Develop lowest cost distribution system. Set prices to penetrate the market. Tell consumers through mass marketing about the problem solution. Rinse and repeat.
Today, I’m not so sure that consumers wake-up in the morning to find an answer for their needs. We just don’t seem to be a needy people. We have had an economy based on demand surplus since the advent of the marketing concept in the 60’s. Fifty years later, as we consider an abundant supply of products, marketing is evolving (not evolved) from need based, push marketing to change based, pull marketing.
Today’s consumer seems driven to change as new products enter the marketplace. Marketing has been accused over the years of the crime of CREATING need. I’ve always thought the indictment was hogwash.
Marketing doesn’t create need…marketing entices a consumer to change their solution.
I didn’t need an iPod but I sure wanted to change from my CD- playing Sony walkman.
I don’t need a new tie or any other fashion item…but I want to change my look.
I don’t need new transportation but I’d like to change the car I drive.
We are a generation of information seekers. We search the web to find ways to change our current state. Early adopters are primed and ready to change just about everything. We seem to be constantly searching for something new and improved. The pull process of information seeking feeds sources to searchers.
Change is good. Especially when it comes to a paradigm.