The New Marketing Realities

The marketplace is dramatically different from even 10 years ago, with new marketing behaviors, opportunities, and challenges emerging. In this book we focus on three transformative forces: technology, globalization, and social responsibility.


The pace of change and the scale of technological achievement can be staggering. With the rapid rise of e-commerce, the mobile Internet, and Web penetration in emerging markets, the Boston Consulting Group believes brand marketers must enhance their “digital balance sheets"15 Massive amounts of information and data about almost everything are now available to consumers and marketers. In fact, the technology research firm Gartner predicts that by 2017, chief marketing officers will spend more time on information technology than chief information officers.

The old credo “information is power" is giving way to the new idea that “sharing information is power.”16 Even traditional marketing activities are profoundly affected by technology. As just one example, drug maker Roche decided to issue iPads to its entire sales team to improve sales force effectiveness. Now sales personnel can do real-time data entry, improving the quality of the data entered while freeing up time for other tasks.17


The world has become a smaller place. New transportation, shipping, and communication technologies have made it easier for us to know the rest of the world, to travel, to buy and sell anywhere. By 2025, annual consumption in emerging markets will total $30 trillion and contribute more than 70 percent of global GDP growth.18 A staggering 56 percent of global financial services consumption is forecast to come from emerging markets by 2050, up from 18 percent in 2010.

Globalization has made countries increasingly multicultural. U.S. minorities have much economic clout, and their buying power is growing faster than that of the general population. As a result, one survey found that 87 percent of companies planned to increase or maintain multicultural media budgets.19 Companies can now take marketing ideas and lessons from one country and apply them to another. After years of little success with premium ultrasound scanners in the Chinese market, GE successfully developed a portable, ultra-low-cost version that addressed the country’s unique market needs. Later, it began to successfully sell the product throughout the developed world for use in ambulances and operating rooms where existing units were too big.20

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