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In view of the dynamic nature of the marketing environment to what extent do you consider consumers to be in practice central to marketing activities?

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Introduction

In view of the dynamic nature of the marketing environment to what extent do you consider consumers to be in practice central to marketing activities? There are a number of definitions of marketing; the majority of them revolve around the concept that the consumer is of great importance to the 'well-being' of a firm. The consumer must therefore be at the centre of all its activities. However in the world that we live in, at times firms seem to forget this ideology and create certain trading circumstances which affect the marketing environment in a negative manner. A company's marketing environment is described as: "the actors and forces external to the marketing management function of the firm that impinge on the management's ability to develop and maintain successful transaction with its customers." (Kotler 1997) It is of paramount importance for a company to evaluate its environment in order to identify any trends that may require them to alter their marketing strategy. Companies have to be able to respond to marketing changes and most importantly to consumer needs. With these view points in mind it is evident that consumers are in practice central to marketing activities and in this essay I am going to discuss to what extent. The marketing environment revolves around consumers, as it is the consumer who purchases the goods/services that are on offer; hence the consumer determines how much revenue a company makes or whether the company becomes the market share leader. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore governments across the world have imposed legislations and regulations upon certain firms. This may determine how much the government purchases from a particular supplier or how much it helps to secure foreign markets. In which the consumer may benefit from certain goods available at a lower prices due to the lower cost of production for foreign firms relative to domestic firms. Government in the UK introduced regulatory units, such as the Monopolies and Mergers Commission and the Director General of Fair Trading can enforce specific laws and some discretion in establishing operating rules and drawing up regulations to guide certain types of industry practices also control one of the marketing mixes in price. These regulatory units are imposed to protect consumer interests. They are breaking up monopolies and therefore making the customer the ultimate decider on what will be produced and what will not. There have been occurrences where a firm has taken initiatives itself without having to wait upon government enforcing new laws or fines. For instance considerations of environmental issues in both short and long run. Then again having an ethical and moral approach for 'green issues' may be a way of adopting further customers. An example of this is the Body Shop, and its promise not to produce animal tested products. This tells us that a major cosmetic firm is making its consumers central to the marketing mix, which in this case is the product. ...read more.

Conclusion

Low unemployment rates occur during the period of 'boom' and 'recovery' in the economy and marketers see this as a positive because the more people who have jobs, the higher the consumer spending. Likewise a high disposable income means the more money people bring home, the more they can spend. In the example above it can be illustrated that the product price of 'the luxury car' would generally be far too high for the 'locals' in Bangor, as their disposable income is probably lower than the average cost of a Porsche. For this reason setting up a Porsche garage in Bangor would be viewed upon as a bad idea. The interest rate is another important indicator as it is usually set lower in time of economic downturns. This decrease of the cost of money inclines people to take out loans and in turn use the money for cars (not always Porsches) and homes. In spite of this during economic boom the interest rate is usually set higher. Marketers need to be aware of the constant changes occurring in the environment. Businesses need innovative strategy planning to survive in dynamic markets. The whole environment is circled around consumers and the marketing mix which are the basic tools and techniques that the marketer can control to make available the desired product and service offerings. This substantiates the marketing assumption that the 'Consumer is King,' and firms and the government base all their research around, the marketing mixes and consumer needs and in turn both want to see them as central to their marketing activities. ...read more.

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