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Behind The Design

As times and technology change fast, shifting the marketing mindset is essential

Through extensive experience, I have discovered that the challenges facing marketers are greater than ever, as theories and methods that have succeeded in the past are no longer guaranteed to work in the future, and those challenges are compounded by the increased speed of change.

Thus marketers have to move faster at every stage, developing products and ideas and presenting them in bold new ways.

If one were to observe the landscape, fortune seems to favour the bold, as most successful projects generally showcase ideas that the general public are not familiar with or have never even heard of before the project's launch.

Consequently, it is more important to possess an in-depth understanding of the market psyche, as this will allow companies to create a real impact. This is in contrast to consumer research, where consumers will generally mention products that already exist or those that cannot be further improved in terms of design or cost structure.

Besides these conceptual breakthroughs, marketers have to keep in mind the general business environment and higher cost of raw materials, which have a direct impact on the cost and pricing of products.

The necessity of constantly brainstorming new ideas and ways of doing things can be illustrated by the property market. In an industry that faces construction and development costs that rise by 10-15 per cent on average every year, average Thai household annual income increases by about 6-7 per cent. This discrepancy directly contributes to markedly lower consumption levels.

Therefore it is vital to develop new products that consumers can still afford by redesigning functionality, cutting construction costs, and seeking ways to keep the final prices from increasing too much. This is why property developers today not only have to focus on keeping up with design trends, but also have to understand their business' structure and finances.

The media through which marketers communicate with consumers also face new challenges, such as the proliferation of digital television, which will result in the existence of many more television channels that have increasingly higher advertisement costs, even though the actual impact of their adverts remains unclear.

The wealth of online media allows marketers many ways of sending customised messages to target consumers, so adjustments to their communication strategies that have increasingly focused on clearly defined consumer targets have inevitably led to reduced communications with the general public.

Managing media and communications has a significant role in the success of any company, and this requires careful study of a wider range of channels beyond traditional and online media.

Every single consumer touch point has the potential to remind customers of the company in different locations by conveying its message frequently so customers will understand the products effortlessly through multiple user-friendly media.

Tapping into these new forms of media for each consumer group is one of the greatest challenges for marketers, as they have to be thoroughly studied in great detail. It is no longer sufficient merely to analyse information as was done in the past, but marketers have to understand the complexities of the environment.

Conventional modes of marketing can no longer attract or retain consumer attention, because of the sheer volume of competing information. Thus it is a challenge for the public relations team to find new ways to come up with ways to present their ideas effectively.

In recent years, we have seen these challenges successfully addressed by new companies headed by experienced leaders. At the same time, we are in the midst of witnessing many well-established companies face a power transition from the founding generation to the second generation. This juncture is ideal in offering the new management team the opportunity to adjust the ways of thinking and managing their business.

The key, then, is not to be too attached to the company's former glory, but to view its past successes as the foundation upon which the new managers can build upon as the business is handed down successfully from generation to generation.


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