The difference between the marketing concept and the promotional era
In a number of marketing textbooks, one of the topics that they address in chapter 1 is the discussion of different marketing philosophies or concepts – which some marketing textbooks also referred to as marketing eras.
Typically there are five different concepts usually discussed in these textbooks, which are:
- The production era or the production concept
- The product era or product concept
- The sales and/or promotional concept
- The marketing concept
- The societal marketing concept
These five marketing concepts are discussed further in the article on the overview of the various marketing philosophies and eras. While in this article we provide and video example of the promotional concept in practice.
Video example of the promotional era
The video in question is a snippet from a documentary called “Art & Copy”, which covers some of the history of advertising, in particular highlighting classic TV advertising campaigns. For a student of marketing, this particular documentary is very worthwhile watching, as it is a good sense of some of the more successful advertising campaigns all time. It also provides relevant interviews with the key players involved and creates a great back story about how each of the advertising campaigns came to be.
The particular video below, which is available on YouTube, highlights an avid thousand campaign put together for an American-based bank named Crocker Bank. This bank is no longer trading in its own right, but its marketing lesson lingers on and is a great example of the promotional era.
It is also a great example of the difference between true marketing and simply being promotional based. As a quick summary, Crocker Bank faced a situation of declining customers and ageing customers. This creates a long-term concern for the growth of the bank and its ability to lend out its deposits in the form of loans, usually to younger customers.
Crocker Bank approached a well-known advertising agency that decided to create a jingle. They approached Paul Williams, a well-known musician and involved with Disney at the time, who penned the song “Were Only Just Begun”. This jingle/song was then recorded by a popular group at the time called The Carpenters and the song became the number one hit record in America.
The song chronicles a young couple getting married and highlights that many challenges lay before them. Crocker Bank use this jingle very effectively with a series of emotional images that showed young people getting married and moving into their first house.
This was a very effective piece of advertising. It was probably a breakthrough form of advertising at the time because it was emotionally driven and said very little about what the bank did. The key message of the ad was that the bank would be there for you for all the challenges you face ahead.
In the 1970s, when this ad was put to air, banks were somewhat difficult to deal with and made their customers “jump through hoops” to get loans. Young consumers, however, after seeing the ad became convinced that Crocker Bank was different than the other banks. This meant that many young consumers went and opened accounts at the bank. In other words, the advertising campaign was highly successful.
What you will note about this promotion era is that there was absolutely no substance to what Crocker Bank was providing. They had no particular products suitable for young consumers and were not particularly interested in taking a chance on them and giving them a loan. As a result, Crocker Bank had to stop running this very successful campaign because they did not have the products, pricing, people nor the process in place to meet their needs.
This highlights the clear difference between the marketing concept and the previous era of marketing simply being a form of promotion. In this bank example, as you will see in the below video, only the promotional mix was considered – the other elements of the marketing mix were not touched.
The bank’s entire strategy was built around a TV commercial. This would not happen in today’s world of considering the needs of the target market and then structuring the firm’s overall marketing mix to meet those needs.