1.0 Introduction 简介
As a collection of buyers and sellers, marketplace not only reflects the total number of buyer’s needs, which in general includes three factors, population, purchasing power and purchasing motivation, but also reflects the supply of sellers, including products, value, experience and so on, it also reflects exchange, transactions, relations between buyers and sellers (Angulo-Ruiz, Pergelova, Cheben and Angulo-Altamirano, 2016). The balance of rights mainly reflects the mutual restraint and balance between two subjects to achieve a relatively stable ultimate situation of the parties, the two main bodies can be described as the relationship between states, enterprises and enterprises, political parties (Killian and McManus, 2015), in this essay, it is mainly used to describe the relationship between consumers and enterprises. This essay mainly analyzes whether consumers dominate the balance of power in today's digitally driven marketplace. The author first reviewed the evolution of marketing, and then based on this process to analyze whether contemporary consumers dominate the balance of power in today's digitally driven marketplace, the author finally took Cadbury as an example to confirm the author's argument for the above issues.
2.0 Evolution of marketing orientation 营销导向演化
In the middle of the 20th century, capitalist countries' economy entered a golden period of rapid development for more than 20 years, and the demand for various commodities increased rapidly (Matthyssens, Bocconcelli, Pagano and Quintens, 2016). Firstly, economic development raised the level of income of the people, while the long-suppressed personal needs of World War II were released (Šályová, et al., 2015). Secondly, the development of global trade has also expanded the external market demand of capitalist countries (Felix, Rauschnabel and Hinsch, 2017). In this period, consumer demand was strong and single, between corporate production and market demand, there were triple shortage, namely, the shortages of quantity, lack of quality and structural shortages, but the shortage of quantity was the first, forming the competition environment of a typical seller market (Hofacker and Belanche, 2016). In response to the particular market environment at the time, Jerome McCarthy (1960) proposed the famous 4P marketing theory, including product, price, place, and promotion. 4P theory provides very valuable decision-making ideas for enterprises on how to develop marketing strategies in the economic market conditions of shortage, so that business decision-makers in complex market conditions can quickly and effectively determine the decisive factors that have an impact on corporate marketing performance to develop a targeted marketing mix strategy.#p#分页标题#e#
Since the 1970s, as the capitalist economy has developed rapidly for more than 20 years, the material wealth of the major capitalist countries has been greatly enriched, the people's lives were no longer plagued by scarcity of materials, and the post-war generation paid more attention to personality and differentiation than their parents, especially in consumption area, consumers preferred those products which could better meet their own needs and reflect their own personality (Stoeckl and Luedicke, 2015). The 4P marketing strategy that has pursued uniform specifications and efficiency in the past and ignored consumer demand has become less effective in raising revenue for enterprises (McCarthy, 1960). In order to better cope with the challenges brought by this new market environment, scholars such as Professor Lauterborn (1990) presented many new marketing theories, among which 4C marketing theory was the most representative theory at that time. 4C were customer, cost, convenience and communication. Professor Lauterborn (1990) believed that corporate marketing should be consumer demand-oriented, first of all, it should analyze the desire and needs of consumers, and then according to market demand to develop marketing strategies, changing from the traditional marketing based on production to marketing-oriented production.
In the late 1990s, with the advent of globalization and the information age, configuration of resources in the world was more efficient and reasonable, making the social material production efficiency greatly improved, social wealth and products were extremely rich, consumers were facing more diversified choices, while the competition that companies face was unprecedented fierce. Professor Lauterborn (1990) proposed the 4C marketing theory, which emphasized the importance of customers for business marketing, but the reality was that customer needs became more diverse and personalized, in order to continue to meet the individual needs of consumers, on the one hand, companies constantly adjusted their product structure, improved the process flow, updated equipment, so that the production and marketing costs increased steadily and profit margins have been substantially compressed. On the other hand, there was fierce competition in the market, consumers were faced with many choices, consumer loyalty for enterprise products was also declining. In this context, the lack in 4C marketing theory was increasingly recognized by scholars and entrepreneurs. To this end, the American scholar named Schultz (2001) proposed 4R marketing theory in 2001. He defined the basic elements of marketing mix as four aspects: relativity, reaction, relation and retribution. 4R marketing theory tries to solve the conflict between enterprise cost and consumer's individual demand, maintain and improve consumer's loyalty, and people have began to realize the importance of constructing the long-term interaction between consumers and enterprises, so as to meet the individual needs of consumers, at the same time to achieve the maximization of business interests.#p#分页标题#e#
3.0 Changes of degree of consumers' domination of the balance of power 消费者权力制衡度的变化
From the above analysis it can be seen that the orientation of marketing develops from the initial product-oriented, to the sales-oriented, to the current market competition-oriented, in this evolutionary process, the degree of consumers’ dominating the balance of power is gradually deepening, the reason first comes from the internal factors of enterprises (Takata, 2016). In the era of product shortage, the degree of consumer dominance of the balance of power was very low, but with the development of science and technology, improved enterprise management capabilities and optimized allocation of production resources brought by globalization made the productivity of enterprises greatly increased, the shortage of products became surplus, consumers were faced with more choices (Stoeckl and Luedicke, 2015). Therefore, they degree of dominating the balance of power was greatly enhanced. Second, considering from external factors, according to Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory, when the low-level needs of consumers are satisfied, they will go to pursue high-level needs, so are the consumers nowadays, products of good quality are unable to satisfy them, they want to buy products which can reflect their personality, taste, status, and even culture. In addition, they are not only concerned about a product itself, brand image, service, social responsibility and many other factors of a product ill be carefully considered, so if the product can not meet their needs, they will choose other products, anyway, there are a lot of alternative options in the market, consumer demand is also changing, which is the main reason leading to the increased consumers domination of the balance of power in today’s digitally driven marketplace (Šályová, et al.,2015). Again, from the perspective of information dissemination, social information dissemination in the past was not very developed, there were not too many channels for consumers to acquire product information (Matthyssens, Bocconcelli, Pagano and Quintens, 2016). However, in the electronic and information age, consumers can easily understand product information through a variety of channels, especially through the Internet and mobile networks, consumers can also understand other consumers’ evaluation on products and choose to buy or not buy the products, once a product can be recognized by consumers, it will form a good reputation, which will make the product a best-selling product in a region or in the world within a short period of time. On the contrary, if a product has a poor reputation, it will be difficult to be sold, it can be said that the development of the network plays the role of promoting consumers’ dominating the balance of power. Finally, the development of globalization allows manufacturers to face the global marketing, but there are different cultural backgrounds, different consumption habits in different regions, if manufacturers do not attach importance to the differences in local consumer demand, it will lead to a series of adverse consequences, such as facing an unsalable result, more importantly, if a product violates local customs and religious regulations, it is likely to lead to local resistance to the enterprise, which is one of the important manifestations of improved consumers’ domination of balance of power.#p#分页标题#e#
4.0 Marketing research and case studies 市场研究与案例研究
With the development of economy and the intensification of competition aggravates, the complexity of marketing is also increasing. Therefore, it is very necessary to strengthen the theoretical and empirical research on marketing. On the one hand, according to the new situation in market environment and new challenges to continue to enrich and improve the original marketing theory, so as to provide specific guidance for marketing practice, on the other hand, it should continue to use new research methods and analysis tools to understand the specific problems in practice, to assess the marketing strategy effect, provide more support for the establishment of new marketing theory. This essay uses case study to discuss whether consumers dominate the balance of power in today's digitally driven marketplace.
Cadbury is a well-known chocolate maker, a number of fans of Cadbury were once through social network site to ask Cadbury to resell "Wispa" chocolate bar that was no longer produced (Cadbury, 2016). Cadbury responded to fans' requests on social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook and began to reproduce "Wispa" chocolate bar," during more than three months of reselling, Cadbury has sold more than 40 million "Wispa" chocolate bars. It was equivalent to that it sold 4 "Wispa" chocolate bars per second; the annual profit growth was more than 30%, and "Wispa" chocolate bars which have been discontinued once became the group's star products (Cadbury, 2016). Considering from this case, it reveals the following issues. First, Cadbury paid attention to communication with its fans to accept the fans’ suggestions in time. Second, Cadbury was happy to meet the needs of consumers and re-produce "Wispa" chocolate bars, which were no longer produced. Finally, Cadbury attached great importance to consumer demand, which brought it abundant profits finally. A product which was originally abandoned by the manufacturer has become a star product of the enterprise once again because of what consumers requested, at the same time, it set up their image of care about what consumers need. In the data era, there are many such cases. Through the network, consumers have a lot of ways to understand product information to express their demands for products, if companies attach importance to the needs of consumers and meet their needs, which is likely to bring companies huge returns, otherwise they may not get consumers’ loyalty. Before the data era, it is difficult to find such cases. First of all, because of the shortage of products and the existence of asymmetric information, consumers did not have more choices, they can only passively select the products produced by enterprises. Then, because there was no network, consumer demands failed to be propagated through appropriate channels, companies have no better way to collect the views of consumers. Finally, due to the lack of network, the views of the vast number of consumers could not converge to form a strong public opinion to have an impact on the production of enterprises, so as to make enterprises to make adjustments. In short, this example illustrates that consumers dominate the balance of power in today's digitally driven marketplace.#p#分页标题#e#
5.0 Conclusion 结论
The author certainly agrees with that consumers dominate the balance of power in today's digitally driven marketplace. From the perspective of the evolutionary process of marketing orientation, due to the impact of factors of corporate internal and external factors, information dissemination and internationalization, the orientation of marketing evolves from the original product orientation to the sales-oriented to the current market competition-oriented, in this evolutionary process, consumers’ domination of the balance of power is also gradually deepened. The case of Cadbury also illustrates that in the data age, there are many ways for online consumers to understand product information and express their demands for product, if a company attaches importance to the needs of consumers, which is likely to bring the company huge returns. This example on the one hand shows the importance of business concerns about consumer demand, on the other hand, it also affirms that consumers dominate the balance of power in today's digitally driven marketplace.