Post-Capitalism in Marketing: What is it, who’s talking about it, and what does it mean for you?

Post-capitalism is unlikely to be a concept discussed in day to day office talk, and here at OTB we’d guess it doesn’t come up so often in your weekly team meetings either. When you think of marketing, you often think of its association with consumerism, it’s strong relationship with branding and its ability to elevate an organisation to a leading position in the market place. It has the ability to drive corporate social responsibility, and relies heavily on the globalised nature of marketplaces and wide reach of social media that have grown up within the modern capitalist world.

So why are industry experts now discussing post-capitalism in relation to marketing? What does this traditionally political or economic term mean for the future of the marketing industry? Don’t worry, OTB has the answers.

So, what is post-capitalism?

Post-capitalism is inherently difficult to define. It does not appear in the online Oxford English Dictionary. Capitalism is defined as ‘an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.’ It follows therefore that if the current economic and political system is capitalist; post-capitalism is the system which would follow our current era.

Some have argued that the post-capitalist era has already begun. An article published this summer by The Guardian argued that ‘without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy’. The article is an incredibly in-depth, well written account of our modern economy and how its changes can impact for the future development of the world – well worth a read for those interested in the intricacies of how the market economy looks set to develop in the coming decades.

What do the marketing experts say?

But what does this change in economic outlook mean for marketing? This week Marketing Week has argued that when it comes to marketing, post-capitalism means that ‘we are moving from an era of scarcity of physical goods to one of an abundance of information goods.’

Like the article by The Guardian, Marketing Week has argued that the growth of the sharing economy is of key importance when it comes to marketing in a post-capitalist world. The popularity and strength of sharing as a marketing tool should not come as a surprise to marketers, with many a brand tapping into the power of user-generated content, viral marketing campaigns and consumer demand for information and dialogue. These terms are all frequently discussed in relation to marketing strategy in board rooms across the globe, and look likely to remain the focus of future marketing if this shift is to continue.

Marketing Week has highlighted a number of blue chip companies who have successfully fulfilled the demands of this new communal approach to marketing, and argues that ‘From Santander's Kitti app, a platform to save for a shared purpose, to BMW's on-demand rental service, DriveNow, brands are finding their way - and their places - in this sharing economy.’

What does this mean for you?

It is clear that despite its lofty connotations and traditional political and economic definitions, post-capitalism is having a meaningful impact on the marketing world. So, how can you stay up to date with the latest demands on your marketing strategy, and ensure that your organisation is ready for this new phase?

One important insight to take is the importance of generating readily available information and content when it comes to keeping your marketing at the forefront of the industry. If consumers and the economy more widely are moving away from a product-centred outlook and placing a higher value on intangible ideas such as reputation, sharing potential or a consumer-brand relationship built on trust, these elements must become the focus of your future marketing.

If you or your organisation need to shift the focus of your marketing to meet these need, or have an idea but are unsure about how to integrate this into your current marketing strategy, contact us today to make sure you’re ready for the post-capitalist changes heading your way.

Post-Capitalism in Marketing: What is it, who’s talking about it, and what does it mean for you?