According to the books of Philip Kotler, grand marketing guru, these are the 4 steps in the evolution of marketing strategies:
Marketing 1.0: product-driven
At the very beginning, marketing was product-oriented. Companies raise awareness about their offer by sending mass-emails to their database. It was the era of simply loading and firing email cannons. This is very different from trigger marketing.
Marketing 2.0: customer-centric
Marketers soon realised that not all customers think the same way, and that they don’t always use products the same way. This led to the development of customer-centric strategies. At this stage in the history of marketing, targeting performance was refined and the notion of persona emerged. The same message was sent to all those concerned by it. One step closer to trigger marketing…
Marketing 3.0: human-centric
Then came the era of relationship marketing. The aim here was to build lasting and satisfying relationships with customers and prospects so as to foster long-term trust. This is when the notion of content personalisation was built into in marketing strategies. However, this was still done en masse, without necessarily taking into account the individual path-to-purchase.
Marketing 4.0: technology convergence
Today, marketing goes even further because its objective is to integrate digital marketing with traditional channels. To what end? To exploit customer journey innovations, from brand or product awareness to recommendations. After the famous 5Ps of the marketing mix (Product, Price, Place, People and Promotion), we now talk about the 5As: Aware, Appeal, Ask, Act, Advocate. In concrete terms, this means one essential thing: it is the customer who decides and it is the customer event which triggers the marketing action. That is how trigger marketing was born! If the message is to attract customers and build loyalty, then it must perfectly match customer expectations, in terms of content, timings, channels, etc. (see the definition of the trigger marketing).