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Marketing - An Introduction

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Introduction

MARKETING MARKETING- AN INTRODUCTION * MARKETING is the management process involved in identifying, anticipating and satisfying consumer requirements profitably. * Remember that marketing is not simply advertising or selling, in fact 'selling' or 'Advertising' are just one of the many marketing aspects or functions. * Marketing is a process. It does not have a start or and end but is ongoing all the time. * It is not just a series of activities, but 'a way of thinking' about how to satisfy consumer needs in a way that it would be profitable to the business. * It affects all aspects of the business, such as the production department, the personnel, as well as any pricing decisions that would have to be made. * Lastly since consumers are vital to the business, finding out what they need or want through marketing research is very important. Subsequently, businesses are more and more involved in building relationships with consumers (relationship marketing) to create a loyalty towards the company. For ex. Tesco strongly stresses on this. IMPORTANCE OF MARKETING TO A BUSINESS- A BRIEF * Economic growth has led to an increase in demand for products and services. Therefore if the business wants to gain a share in the growing market and increase profitability, it MUST insure a successful marketing strategy. * Rapid changes in fashions, tastes, lifestyles means that businesses must ANTICIPATE and respond to these changes. For ex. Toy manufacturers try to foresee the next 'craze' that would come up (shorter life cycles). * Changes in technology mean that marketing and production departments now have to work closely together to anticipate new opportunities that may arise. For ex. Marketing media now used by firms include electronic billboards or satellite TV. * Competition is nothing new but the scale of it is. For ex. Japanese goods have become very competitive in UK markets. This means that expenditure on marketing has to increase. ...read more.

Middle

(a) Information is gathered from electronic points of sale (Epos) which give details of items brought, the time as well as the date of purchase. (b) Video installation in retail stores: some even count the number of customers entering a shop and some differentiate between adults, children and pushchairs! (c) Interactive methods: consumers may be able to express their views through Internet websites. (d) Credit cards or loyalty cards could indicate spending patterns of consumers. FOCUS GROUPS: > This involves a group of consumers being brought together on one or a number of occasions. They are asked to answer and discuss questions that are prepared by market researchers. This group is thought to be a representative of all the customers of the business. > Advantages are: (a) Relatively cheap (b) An easy, simple way of gathering information > Disadvantage is: (a) The views of a small number of customers may not reflect the views of the entire market the business is interested in. CONSUMER PANELS: > This involves a group of consumers being consulted on their reactions to a product over a period of time. TV companies widely use consumer panels to access consumer reactions to new programs. > Advantages are: (a) Panel members know the procedure and so time is saved, (b) Consumer panels can be used to consider how consumer reaction changes over time. (c) Consequently a picture of consumer trends can be build. > Disadvantages are: (a) Panel members tend to be atypical (b) Panel sophistication can develop (c) It is both difficult and expensive to choose and keep a panel available for research over a long period. TEST MARKETING: > Involves selling a product in a restricted section of the market in order to assess consumer reaction to it before making it available to the entire market. > SAMPLING: > The most accurate way to do the research would be to carry out the survey of every single potential consumer of a firm's product and is known as the 'Population'. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Eventually it is hoped that the information would allow greater demand overall and perhaps increased profitability. TARGETING THE MARKET * As I just mentioned that one of the uses of segmentation is that it allows firms to target particular groups. That is precisely what we are going to discuss now. Hmm... * Should the firm target a particular segment or attempt to sell to all consumers? Three segmentation strategies can be identified. * UNDIFFERENTIATED MARKETING: is like a shotgun with most of the 'shot' going astray! It ignores the existence of segments and offers a single mix to the heterogeneous market. This failure to target is likely to result in disappointing sales! However this strategy is likely to suit those products, which cannot easily be differentiated amongst groups of people. For ex. Milk was previously marketed in an undifferentiated way. Today, milk is differentiated according to its fat level; skimmed, semi-skimmed as well as the sources it comes from, cows, goats and Soya. * In CONCENTRATED MARKETING a particular segment is targeted. The marketing mix is in absolute accordance with that particular segment. Like a high-powered rifle the product is not available to people outside the target segment. OR in other cases the product is available to all, even though firms expect only its target group to purchase the goods (usually in the case of small firms). * In DIFFERENTIATED MARKETING a separate marketing mix is developed for each segment of the market. For ex. Banks have different types of accounts designed for teenagers, students and others geared up to the needs of retired couples. This strategy is very costly and therefore only available to large firms. The figure bellow depicts these three strategies: TOTAL POPULATION WITH POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS FIRM UNREVEALED "UNDIFFRENTIATED MARKETING" TARGET SEGMENT FIRM "CONCENTRATED MARKETING" SEGMENT A FIRM SEGMENT B SEGMENT C "DIFFERENTIATED MARKETING" NICHE MARKETING * Involves CHECK LIST Marketing concept: (Product or market oriented businesses) Market research and sampling Segmentation and consumer behavior Objectives Marketing mix Product Pricing Promotion Placement Marketing strategy or plan International marketing Sales forecasting ...read more.

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