According to the 4M theory, the rapid development of mobile internet has paid attention to individual consumers and evolved marketing from being “product-centric” to "consumer-centric". This means every consumer is a receiver of marketing messages and in the meantime, an initiator of marketing communication.
Tencent appointed Philip Kotler and Milton Kotler from KMG as honorary presidents of Tencent Marketing Institute and appointed Chen Gang, currently deputy dean of the school of journalism and communication at Peking University, as honorary advisor of the institute.
Davis Lin, vice president of Tencent, pointed out how in a new ecosystem where everything is interconnected, the individual has become the smallest unit of the social economy. "Hence, we are now in a 'me' era that requires a new 4M model of marketing." This is briefly explained below:
ME: The value of an individual consumer becomes prominent with each individual consumer as the main participant in marketing.
MESSAGE: The means of communication becomes customised to cater to the needs of individual consumers.
MOMENT: The cycle of marketing becomes shortened as time cost is reduced and efficiency is enhanced with technical measures.
MEMORY: Marketing channels become diversified, trending towards native advertising that "infiltrates into people’s lives" and word-of-mouth recommendations within an inner circle that have a "communal effect".
These will be the four critical evaluation standards of marketing in the 'me' era, according to the three purporters.
The Tencent Marketing Institute will provide course training, lecturer counselling and marketer certification so as to "promote the reform of mobile marketing concepts", said Dowson Tong, senior executive vice president of Tencent cum president of Tencent Marketing Institute. The institute aims at "turning everyone into a master of marketing", he said.