Marketing Paradigm

A marketing paradigm defines the way marketing is being done by means of a set of procedures and attitudes.

The traditional marketing paradigm

 Although marketing may have the same age as civilization itself, when talking about modern marketing as an applied art, the 1960s and 70s must be considered the beginning, in consumer markets where relatively low-valued products were sold to mass markets using mass media. Determining first the customers’ needs, and producing after that a product or service able to satisfy these needs were the most important aspects of the marketing theory based on the fact that the firm's strategic decisions were driven by customer expectations. Along the years this fundament has suffered many changes and even different names, among which there are: marketing orientation, customer driven, the marketing philosophy, customer intimacy, customer focus, and market driven.

The evolution of marketing seen as a discipline also suffered many changes such as: shifts from mass marketing to segmented marketing to mass customization; actions of including industrial markets (based on the concepts of "long-term marketing relationships", "micro segmentation", and "buying centers"), electronic markets (based on the concept of "personalized marketing"), and channel management (based on the concepts of "supply chain marketing programs" and "distributor marketing programs").

New marketing paradigms

A new perspective on marketing was felt as necessary since 1980s, when a group of theorists considered this gradual evolution as no longer pertinent, considering marketing as an established discipline ripe for a paradigm shift. Their perspective is often related to relationship marketing, customer experience management, or network marketing. For relationship marketers a complete revamping of the discipline is necessary, due to the shift from single transaction marketing to long-term relationship marketing. Their option is denied by the customer experience marketers who disagree with relationship marketers' dependence on customer relationship management software, which caused them to lose focus of the individual customer's experience of the service encounter. Network marketers bring a new view pointing out the interconnectedness of market actors and transactions, being seen as the application of systems thinking to marketing.

Any of these views bring great contribution to marketing, even if a gradual evolution, or a radical paradigm shift may be related more to factors associated with the individual's psyche than to any objective or empirical system of change categorization.

A special kind of marketing practice, incorporating public involvement in the development of an advertising/marketing campaign, is known under the name of "communal marketing", having as a result a "communal advertising". A campaign using such type of advertising uses consumers' ideas of what the brand means to them expressed through their own personal stories, with the use of print media, film or audio, composing a "consumer generated content" which will be incorporated into the campaign. After that, through a cross-media campaign, the extended community id invited to share in the results, creating a communal bond between the "brand champions as advertisers" and other individuals who are connected with what the brand has to offer. This leads to extending the relationship between the brand and the customers and also to creating a deeper connection between the brand and their core market.

Although different from viral marketing or word of mouth advertising, a high level of publicity within high relevance communities is still achieved, a necessary act since the success of the brand depends very much on these communities which normally follow the 80/20 rule, where 20% of the brand's customers account for 80% of its sales.

Considering the consumers as co-collaborators and co-creative is an important aspect of communal marketing. In the end the construct naturally lends itself to other "communal" marketing activities (such as "communal branding" and "communal research"), the trend being incorporated into consumer-based, "virtual" advertising agencies using consumer-generated content exclusively.

A "communal branding" effort is developed each time the consumers become co-collaborators in an advertising campaign, "communal research" engaging the brand’s audience which help making marketing decisions during the development of a campaign. Such an example is Peter Jackson, who reached out to readers of the book in order to help him weigh in on some major directorial decisions when making „The Lord of the Rings”.

Even if the actual practice of communal marketing has been used for several years already, through communal forms of information sharing (such as weblogs, online message boards, podcasts, interactive broadband TV, and other new media adopted by consumers for establishing community forums for discussing their customer experiences), the term "communal marketing" was coined more recently by Joseph Jaffe in his  book "Life After the 30-Second Spot", by this managing to codify the practice for marketing practitioners.