...Understanding Market Sophistication
Let's talk sophistication. How many similar products has your market been told about before? A market evolves like an animal species does over millions of years. Over time markets adapt and become more intelligent like a living breathing, organism.
In our time and age, information flows much faster than it ever did in the past. As time goes on, this flow of information will continue to speed up. This means markets will mature much faster. What do I mean when I say market maturation? Example:
What if I told you that you could get into a piece of machinery that will move across country at over 60 miles per hour!? In fact, you could get from Los Angeles to New York in only several days!
Pretty incredible right? Of course not, the car was invented over 100 years ago. That appeal would have been incredible in the 1850s. But an ad with those type of hooks/angles and themes today would be laughed at. Why? The product is exactly the same but the market is in a different level of sophistication.
This level of sophistication increases as time passes and markets tend to evolve into the future. The faster information spreads, the more marketing we are exposed to. This tends to lead to markets reaching higher levels of sophistication faster than ever before.
In the future, marketers who truly understand will be able to capitalize on these evolutions. Those who can't will be slaughtered. Gene Schwartz described markets in five stages. After the fifth stage, markets tend to splinter, segment, and repeat the process all over again. The five are as follows:
1st stage - What the product does
2nd stage - The product does it better than it's competitors
3rd stage - Introduce a Mechanism
4th stage - Elaborate on the Mechanism
5th stage - Shift from mechanism focus to identification
Post Stages 5 - market splinters and new segment repeats all stages from the beginning