The new digital era has enabled brands to selectively target their customers that may potentially be interested in their brand or based on previous browsing interests. Businesses can now use social media to select the age range, location, gender and interests of whom they would like their targeted post to be seen by. Furthermore, based on a customer's recent search history they can be ‘followed’ on the internet so they see advertisements from similar brands, products and services,[48] This allows businesses to target the specific customers that they know and feel will most benefit from their product or service, something that had limited capabilities up until the digital era.

A 2011 meta analyses[37] found that the factors with the greatest impact on sales performance are a salesperson's sales related knowledge (knowledge of market segments, sales presentation skills, conflict resolution, and products), degree of adaptiveness (changing behavior based on the aforementioned knowledge), role clarity (salesperson's role is expressly to sell), cognitive aptitude (intelligence) and work engagement (motivation and interest in a sales role).
The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as "the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably".[14] A similar concept is the value-based marketing which states the role of marketing to contribute to increasing shareholder value.[15] In this context, marketing can be defined as "the management process that seeks to maximise returns to shareholders by developing relationships with valued customers and creating a competitive advantage".[15]
Porter's approach was the dominant paradigm throughout the 1980s. However, the approach has attracted considerable criticism. One important criticism is that it is possible to identify successful companies that pursue a hybrid strategy - such as low cost position and a differentiated position simultaneously. Toyota is a classic example of this hybrid approach.[68] Other scholars point to the simplistic nature of the analysis and the overly prescriptive nature of the strategic choices which limits strategies to just three options. Yet others point to research showing that many practitioners find the approach to be overly theoretical and not applicable to their business.[72]
Some studies indicate that consumer responses to traditional marketing approaches are becoming less predictable for businesses.[32] According to a 2018 study, nearly 90% of online consumers in the United States researched products and brands online before visiting the store or making a purchase.[33] The Global Web Index estimated that in 2018, a little more than 50% of consumers researched products on social media.[34] Businesses often rely on individuals portraying their products in a positive light on social media, and may adapt their marketing strategy to target people with large social media followings in order to generate such comments.[35] In this manner, businesses can use consumers to advertise their products or services, decreasing the cost for the company.[36]
This refers to how the product gets to the customer; the distribution channels and intermediaries such as wholesalers and retailers who enable customers to access products or services in a convenient manner. This third P has also sometimes been called Place or Placement, referring to the channel by which a product or service is sold (e.g. online vs. retail), which geographic region or industry, to which segment (young adults, families, business people), etc. also referring to how the environment in which the product is sold in can affect sales. [44] 5 Digital Marketing Skills to Master for 2020 & Beyond