Consumer Insights and Emotional Links

In Philip Kotler’s latest book, Marketing 3.0, he, and his colleagues, proposes that Marketing 1.0 was the “product-centric era” where marketers appealed to their customers’ minds; Marketing 2.0 was the “customer-centric era” where marketers appealed to their customer’s emotions; and, Marketing 3.0 is the “values-driven era,” where marketers attempt to make a deeper connection with their customers in an age of transparency and social responsibility (

I don’t see a lot of difference between 2.0 and 3.0. We’ve known for some time about the emotional links between consumers and the products and services they buy. Dr. Bruce Hall ( at Howard Merrell and Partners has done a tremendous amount of research validating this and a recent article in Fast Company “Doctor Love” ( validates it as well.

Dr. Kotler continues describing Marketing 3.0, “Instead of treating people simply as consumers, marketers approach them as whole human beings with minds, hearts and spirits.” I know the communications campaigns I’ve worked on over the past 10 years have considered the “whole human being” and with all of the account planners out there, I’m sure I’m not in the minority.

This is what gathering consumer insights is all about — approaching consumers as human beings to uncover the emotional links they have with brands.

My big concern is companies relying strictly on analytics, without any consumer insights, are not going to be able to identify the emotional link between the consumer and the brand. This will ultimately make their products and services less appealing and their marketing communications less effective.

As such, with the advent of analytics and the dearth of consumer insights, I’m afraid Marketing 3.0 is not going to be all that Dr. Kotler purports. And that is a shame.

What do you think, is there a difference between marketing 2.0 and 3.0 with regards to reaching consumers on an emotional level?


About Insights From Analytics

Integrated marketing professional who generates insights from analytics to increase revenue. Daily blog now resides at
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