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THE FUTURE IS IMMERSIVE, 『Marketing 6.0』

Wan Seok Yoon, Global Content Marketing  Manager

Philip Kotler’s recent release, 『Marketing 6.0』, offers innovative insights into current and future marketing strategies. Particularly, the emergence of ChatGPT, which has taken the world by storm, has prompted a reevaluation of market trends and the direction of marketing. Driven by curiosity about how marketing evolves amidst such waves of technological innovation, I eagerly wanted to read this book.

In 『Marketing 6.0』, Philip Kotler explains the changes in the business environment through six stages. Each stage illustrates how marketing strategies have evolved in response to shifts in technology and customer focus.

  1. Marketing 1.0 (Product-Centric Marketing):
    • Focuses on the product.
    • Companies aim to sell products and emphasize product features and benefits.
    • The main goal is to create and deliver superior products.
  2. Marketing 2.0 (Customer-Centric Marketing):
    • Focuses on the customer.
    • Companies strive to understand and meet customer needs and preferences.
    • Emphasis on customer satisfaction and building long-term relationships.
  3. Marketing 3.0 (Human-Centric Marketing):
    • Focuses on the human spirit.
    • Companies address the values, aspirations, and emotions of customers.
    • Emphasis on creating products and services that make a positive impact on society.
  4. Marketing 4.0 (Digital Marketing):
    • Focuses on the digital economy.
    • Companies leverage digital technologies to engage with customers.
    • Emphasis on online interactions, social media, and data analytics to personalize marketing efforts.
  5. Marketing 5.0 (Technology-Driven Marketing):
    • Focuses on the use of advanced technologies.
    • Companies utilize artificial intelligence, big data, and other advanced technologies to enhance customer experiences.
    • Emphasis on creating seamless, automated, and personalized customer interactions.
  6. Marketing 6.0 (Beyond Technology):
    • Focuses on blending technology with humanity.
    • Companies aim to integrate human touch and empathy into technologically driven marketing strategies.
    • Emphasis on addressing ethical considerations, sustainability, and the holistic well-being of customers and society.

In this book, Marketing 6.0 is described as an era transitioning from multi-channel to omni-channel, and from omni-channel to meta-channel. The German government’s Industry 4.0 initiative introduced in 2011 demonstrates how digital technology is integrated into production systems. In Market 4.0, digital marketing began to complement traditional marketing across the entire customer journey. Essential components of digital marketing strategies include content marketing and omnichannel marketing, which enable customers to search for and purchase products across online, offline, and mobile channels. During the pandemic, two-thirds of companies engaged in content marketing, creating valuable content to distribute to targeted customers via social media.

Market 5.0 is inspired by Society 5.0, a concept proposed by the Japanese government that envisions the use of advanced technologies like artificial intelligence to benefit humanity. OpenAI’s release of ChatGPT exemplifies the potential of AI advancements. As AI develops, other technological fields also progress, leading to further changes in the business environment and triggering the next revolution in marketing.

The rise of immersive marketing is the result.

Recently, technological advancements have strengthened immersive interactions between customers and brands. This shift is attributed to the Digital Native generations, specifically Generation Z and Generation Alpha. These two generations are deeply engaged with short-form videos on social media platforms like TikTok, experiencing highly immersive viewing. Furthermore, the introduction of innovative models that facilitate seamless communication between sellers and buyers through real-time chat features and live streams has invigorated e-commerce.

Now, companies must provide highly immersive customer experiences that break down the boundaries between physical spaces and digital touchpoints. Even after the pandemic, a significant portion of customer experiences continues to occur in physical spaces. Enhancing physical interactions with digital technology to meet the desires of the digital native generation has become a trend.

The metaverse represents a virtual world closely resembling the physical world. It eliminates the boundaries between physical and digital realms, creating highly immersive experiences. The concept of ‘Metamarketing,’ which arises from this, forms the foundation of Marketing 6.0. Metamarketing integrates physical customer experiences with digital customer experiences to create a fully immersive customer journey.

The technologies that enable immersive marketing include the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, spatial computing, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and blockchain technology.

For an immersive customer experience, it is crucial to combine digital experiences with multi-sensory experiences. This is especially important because customers suffer from digital fatigue due to prolonged interaction with digital devices and the consumption of vast amounts of content in their daily lives. Marketers should utilize multi-sensory marketing to captivate customers’ senses, evoke positive emotions, and significantly influence their behavior.

Moreover, spatial marketing is transforming how companies interact with customers by seamlessly integrating physical objects and human behavior. For example, advanced technology is applied in Amazon’s unmanned store chain, Amazon Go. Customers visiting Amazon Go can pick up the products they want and leave without having to go to a checkout counter or interact with a cashier. This frictionless shopping experience is referred to as ‘Just Walk Out’ technology.

The concept of marketing within the metaverse involves providing highly interactive and immersive experiences to customers. While older generations may struggle to accept this type of marketing, Digital Natives are very accustomed to immersive multi-screen environments.

Today’s marketers are focusing more on Generation Z and Generation Alpha, true Digital Natives who have grown up with the internet. These generations live in a world where the internet is ubiquitous and consider it an essential part of life. They do not differentiate between online and offline activities, prefer personalized content, and ignore irrelevant messages. Instead of traditional browsing using search engines, they prefer platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok, where their preference for short visual content extends to internet search behavior. They are known as Physital Natives, combining physical and native digital experiences.

A phenomenon where younger groups mature earlier while using high-level technology has emerged. Recently, the “Kids Getting Older Younger (KGOY)” phenomenon has become apparent, where younger generations display behaviors and preferences typically associated with older generations. They consume adult content on smartphones or tablets and, at an earlier age, dress up, wear makeup, engage in mature conversations, and date like older generations. Before making decisions, they thoroughly research information online. They are attracted to brands that align with their values and pursue self-actualization from an early age. They have a practical attitude and a high level of financial awareness, focusing more on functional benefits than emotional appeals. Another characteristic of this generation is placing greater importance on learning and growing from experiences rather than owning possessions. They enjoy using products and services without owning them, with Uber and Airbnb being prime examples. Marketers must understand and cater to these traits, emphasizing reliability and self-expression.

 

The five essential elements of marketing in the digital world are as follows:

  1. Content: Information created, consumed, and shared on digital media.
  2. Social Media: Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and Facebook.
  3. E-commerce: Sales channels.
  4. Artificial Intelligence: Analyzing user behavior and interests to deliver personalized content to specific user segments.
  5. Electronic Devices: Smartphones and wearable devices.

 

Marketing 6.0 goes beyond merely utilizing technology; it focuses on deeply understanding human emotions and needs to provide integrated experiences. Generation Z and Generation Alpha, as digital natives, have grown up with technological advancements and live without distinguishing between the physical and digital worlds. For them, immersive experiences and personalized services have become basic expectations.

Therefore, companies face the challenge of adopting immersive marketing to keep up with these changes.

Marketers need to deeply understand these two generations’ characteristics and develop strategies that align with their values and expectations. By recognizing the emphasis on personalized content and experiences, functional benefits, and trustworthiness valued by Generation Z and Generation Alpha, brands must move beyond simple product sales to provide experiences that positively impact customers’ lives.

In conclusion, the era of Marketing 6.0 focuses on combining technology and humanity to provide customers with deeper, more meaningful experiences. Through this, brands can build strong bonds with customers and achieve sustainable growth.

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