For fifty years, good marketing meant efficient use of advertising funds, driving distribution, segmenting markets, usually on socio-economic status and usage patterns, development of brand awareness and purchase intention,  a flow of range extensions, and staying out of trouble.

The last 10 years have seen a sea change, and none of the above really counts any more, because everyone knows how to do it, marketing has become commoditised, and being just as able at “marketing” as everyone else leads to punishment in the market.

What is needed now are genuine insights, new connections, stuff that cannot be copied, customers who are advocates of your brand, and true creativity, not just another colour.

Lip service has been given for many years to the concept of “Customer Value Proposition”, but it was in the context of mass marketing, and mass markets where it evolved. The concept is still valid, it is just far more difficult to execute, as it needs to be applied many times to market segments, often approaching one customer only.

Failure to recognise the new individual focus of marketing, and reacting by enabling a conversation between yourself and your customers, will lead to punishment in the marketplace by way of increasing irrelevance.