Traditional marketing strategies, including the 4 Ps are totally irrelevant today: Raja Rajamannar

The president of the WFA and chief marketing and communication officer and president, healthcare division, Mastercard, spoke about the redundancy of the current marketing paradigms and what will cause its shift at the ISA Global CEO Conference, 2022

Aug 23, 2022 03:44:00 PM | Article | Eularie Saldanha

The third edition of the ISA Global CEO conference, saw Raja Rajamannar, president of the WFA and chief marketing and communication officer and president, healthcare division, Mastercard, explain the paradigms of marketing that existed up until now and the ones that will set the tone for the future of marketing. 
 
“We’ve had four paradigms of marketing and are now on the fifth one. From being qualitative based on aesthetics, psychology, and anthropology, we’ve moved into data, analytics, precision marketing and precise targeting, to name a few. These few technologies have caused this whole shift,” said Rajamannar. 
 
How the shift started 
 
He went on to reminisce about 2007 when Facebook financially scaled and the Apple iPhone was launched. He believed that the two technologies triggered this shift. 
 
Speaking about the different aspects of marketing that have now been merged, he said, “We have 24 technologies that will get us to the fifth paradigm. Each one of these by themselves has enough potential to disrupt the industry, and will completely transform marketing.
 
Factors causing the shift
 
Rajamannar then listed three key dimensions that will change the way one views marketing. According to him, those are the technology tsunami, IoT (internet of things) and cultural shifts. 
 
Technology tsunami: We feel that we have too much data and silos. Consumers are consistently bothered about their data privacy and regulators are stepping in today to protect data.  
 
IoT: There's so much data collected - if we don't know how to protect the data we already have, what is it going to do with the new data deluge? 
 
 
Cultural shifts: Today, when you go to any place, veganism has become pretty substantial - not just in food items, but also in cosmetics and the rest. Each one of these cultural shifts will dramatically determine how we will view marketing. 
 
Talking of what will happen with the four Ps of marketing, he said, “Between technology tsunami, data deluge and cultural shifts, marketing will not be the same. Tons of traditional marketing strategies, including the four Ps are irrelevant.” 
 
Understanding real consumer needs 
 
Rajamannar was of the view that the way marketers gathered insights had to be radically altered. Giving milieu to what influences consumer decisions, he said, “Decisions are driven by feelings and emotions and this has become part of the subconscious. We need to understand the different needs of the consumer's subconscious processes.”
 
He pointed at how every three or five minutes, an ad comes and interrupts the viewer’s experience and how the latter just waits to skip the ad. “This is taking consumers totally for granted and that’s not how it should be. Marketers are losing the window of opportunity to communicate in the right passage. The need for communication is very much there, but the way we do it has to change,” he added. 
 
Instigating brand loyalty 
 
People in married and live-ins have admitted to cheating, with 70% stating that they don’t mind the phenomenon, so long as they don’t get caught. 
 
When people, even in their personal lives are disloyal, Rajamannar questioned the audience about how brands think that they can buy consumer loyalty with just a few cashback and other rewards. 
 
He explained, “We need to rethink loyalty. The need for stickiness remains, but the path we take has to be different. Rewards and cashbacks are not the smartest way to spend marketing money.”  
 
The new paradigm
 
Quantum marketing is the new way of looking at marketing, according to Rajamannar. While stating that it’s a different method, with different frameworks and strategies, he also warned that it could be confusing in the beginning. 
 
Listing part of what comprises the fifth paradigm, he name-dropped multisensory integration. “You have to optimise each one of the five senses, to persuade consumers to make choices in favour of your brand. There is an incredible amount of clutter today and how you cut through it is critical.”
 
 
He told the audience how the making of the logo involved a lot of neuroscience research to communicate through its colours. 
 
“Sound too plays an important role. We have many establishments to work on this. Even the Mastercard products have a typical sonic signature. When one completes a transaction, he or she hears a specific sound. This gives the user a sense of gratification and completion,” he added.
 
The brand also created a couple of experiences with smell, using fragrance developers. It also worked on the sense of touch, for the visually challenged. 
 
He ended his talk by mentioning one of his most gratifying campaigns to date.
 
“We used braille to help blind people use their credit cards. However, when we realised that only less than 10% of the people in the world could read braille, we found a different way, through audio description - touch card with a distinct notch,” he said.