Marketing, Advertising and Sales Management

Market is a place where buyers and sellers meets and goods and services sales and buys producers.

Marketing:- It is a total system of business activities design to plan promote and distribute want satisfying goods and services to target market. The process of making aware of your product is called as Marketing.

Marketing management can be defined as a art and science of choosing target volume and getting keeping and growing customer to create delivering and communicating superior customer value. It is a business discipline which is focused on the practical application of marketing techniques and the management of a firm’s marketing resources and activities. Rapidly emerging forces of globalization have led firms to market beyond the borders of their home countries, making international marketing highly significant and an integral part of a firm’s marketing strategy. Marketing managers are often responsible for influencing the level, timing, and composition of customer demand accepted definition of the term. In part, this is because the role of a marketing manager can vary significantly based on a business’s size, corporate culture, and industry context. For example, in a large consumer products company, the marketing manager may act as the overall general manager of his or her assigned product. To create an effective, cost-efficient marketing management strategy, firms must possess a detailed, objective understanding of their own business and the market in which they operate. In analyzing these issues, the discipline of marketing management often overlaps with the related discipline of strategic planning.

A marketer can rarely satisfy everyone in a market. Not everyone likes the same soft drink, automobile, college, and movie. Therefore, marketers start with market segmentation.They identify and profile distinct groups of buyers who might prefer or require Varying products and marketing mixes. Market segments can be identified by examining Demographic, psycho graphic, and behavioral differences among buyers. The firm then decides which segments present the greatest opportunity—those needs the firm can meet in a superior fashion.

After World War II, the variety of products increased, people had more discretionary income, and could afford to be selective and buy only those products that more precisely met their changing needs and wants. However, these needs were not immediately obvious. Sometime during the mid-1950s, there was growing recognition among American business people that merely efficient production and extensive promotion, including hard selling, did not guarantee that customers would buy products. With the passage of time, more
knowledge, and experience, customers increasingly seemed unwilling to be persuaded.
More and more companies found that determining what customers wanted was a must before making a product, rather than producing products first and then persuading them to buy. The key questions became:

1. What do customers really want?
2. Can we develop it while they still want?
3. How can we keep our customers satisfied?

Thus, the marketing concept era began. Marketing concept proposes that an organization should focus on customer needs and wants, coordinate its efforts, and endeavor to accomplish organizational goals. Geraldine E Williams reported that the CEO of Nike
said, “For years we thought of ourselves as a production-oriented company, meaning we put all our emphasis on designing and manufacturing the product. But now we understand that the most important thing we do is market the product.” The major focus of all sets of organizational activities should be satisfying customer needs. This requires carefully listening to customers as a student listens to a teacher. Stanley F Slater and John C Narver reported that there is positive relationship between market orientation and
performance. Sometimes, philosophies that sound quite reasonable and appear attractive on paper, are difficult to put into practice. To embrace the marketing concept as the guiding philosophy, the concerned firm must accept certain general conditions and manage some problems. Alan Grant and Leonard Schlesinger are of the view that market-orientation requires organization-wide generation of market intelligence across departments, and organization  wide responsiveness to it. It means establishing a reliable information system to learn about real needs of customers and design the right need satisfying solutions. Setting up an information system can usually be an expensive proposition and requires committing money and time to its development and maintenance.

I. Marketing Concept

The marketing concept emphasizes three main principles.

  • Customer-oriented planning and implementations

It should be the sole aim of all employees, irrespective of their department or functional area, to satisfy customers’ needs. It would require carefully segmenting the market on the basis of the right criteria, targeting suitable segment(s), learning about customer needs and wants, analysing and spotting the right opportunities and matching them with the company’s strengths.

  • Coordination of all organisational activities

Mainly product planning, pricing, distribution, and promotion should be combined in a sensible and consistent manner, and the head of marketing should be a part of top-level management.

  • Coordinated marketing is critically important to achieve organisational goals

The reward of doing the job well will bring in sales and profits because without profits, the firm cannot survive, neither would it be in a position to improve its offers. Marketing concept is significantly different from production concept and selling concept. Not long ago, Indian auto companies, Hindustan Motors, Premier Automobiles, and Bajaj Auto hardly showed any consideration for customers, producing obsolete models in large numbers (demand exceeded the supply). Though the prices kept on increasing, little was done to improve the models. Bajaj was the only manufacturer of scooters preferred by customers and to own one, customers had to deposit money in advance and wait for five to ten years before they could become proud owners. It is only after the entry of Maruti cars, with Japanese collaboration, that things started changing. Premier Auto, and Hindustan Motors experienced major setbacks, sales declined and ultimately there were hardly any willing buyers. In the beginning, Maruti found it difficult to meet the demand and buyers willingly booked the car and waited for delivery. Bajaj Auto faced a similar situation as customers had many choices of two-wheelers. The position now appears as if almost every auto manufacturer is desperately trying to please customers. Customers have strong preferences for certain features and price ranges. Maruti has even started selling second-hand, reconditioned, and reliable cars from its outlets to customers looking for such deals, is order to expand its hold on the market.

Acquiring New Customers vs. Retaining Old Customers
The telecom paradigm is perceptibly changing. As the focus shifts from increasing the customer base to growing the share of revenue, mobile phone service providers are focusing on a model where customer retention becomes the key focus area.
In India, significant changes in the telecom scenario have influenced the strategy shift. To start with, we had two operators in every circle. Now six or even seven operators compete in the same service area. Then, telecom costs have been consistently sliding, leading to the cheapest telecom rates in the world. All this has led to an explosion in subscriber numbers. But they also increased customer churn. Even acquisition costs per subscriber were going down (from between Rs. 5,000 and Rs 10,000 in the late 1990s, it is now about Rs 1,000 per customer). But break-even on new customers still takes 18 to 24 months. Given these dynamics, it is more profitable to retain an existing customer than fighting for a new customer. Today, non-portability of numbers in India acts as one of the biggest retention devices but this could be a temporary benefit. During the early stages of mobile telephony, customer retention typically meant providing basic customer services.

But when new entrants were actively wooing our customers, we recognized the need to focus on customer retention. We formed the Customer Asset Management (CAM) team, the business division parallel to our sales business unit. This team has a singleminded focus on retention activities with a direct say in all aspects of the business. We also started to focus on attracting the right quality of customers. Towards this, we fine-tuned our acquisition strategy. We are exploring alternative channels for selling.
It is important for a service brand to create differentiation, which is an experiential sum
of all its interactions with the customer.
The total experience is our ability to deliver advanced products first in the market, providing an impeccable network quality and rounding off the product experience with a memorable service experience every time the customer interacts with us.

(Krishna Angara, Executive Vice President, BPL Mobiles, Business Standard, June 19, 2005).
According to Steve Schriver, research indicates that consumers are less loyal now than in the past due to the following reasons:

1. The abundance of choice.
2. Availability of information.
3. Customers ask, “What have you done for me lately?”
4. Most products/services appear to be similar – nothing stands out.
5. Customers’ financial problems reduce loyalty.
6. Time scarcity (not enough time to be loyal).

These forces lead to consumer defections, complaints, cynicism, decreased affiliation,
greater price sensitivity, and a tendency to carry on lawsuits.

Marketing management often finds it necessary to invest in research to collect the data required to perform accurate marketing analysis. As such, they often conduct market research (alternately marketing research) to obtain this information. Marketers employ a variety of techniques to conduct market research, but some of the more common include:

  • Qualitative marketing research, such as focus groups and various types of interviews
  • Quantitative marketing research, such as statistical surveys
  • Experimental techniques such as test markets
  • Observational techniques such as ethnographic (on-site) observation

Marketing managers may also design and oversee various environmental scanning and competitive intelligence processes to help identify trends and inform the company’s marketing analysis.

A brand audit is a thorough examination of a brand’s current position in an industry compared to its competitors and the examination of its effectiveness. When it comes to brand auditing, five questions should be carefully examined and assessed. These five questions are how well the business’ current brand strategy is working, what are the company’s established resource strengths and weaknesses, what are its external opportunities and threats, how competitive are the business’ prices and costs, how strong is the business’ competitive position in comparison to its competitors, and what strategic issues are facing the business.

Generally, when a business is conducting a brand audit, the main goal is to uncover business’ resource strengths, deficiencies, best market opportunities, outside threats, future profitability, and its competitive standing in comparison to existing competitors. A brand audit establishes the strategic elements needed to improve brand position and competitive capabilities within the industry. Once a brand is audited, any business that ends up with a strong financial performance and market position is more likely than not to have a properly conceived and effectively executed brand strategy.

A brand audit examines whether a business’ share of the market is increasing, decreasing, or stable. It determines if the company’s margin of profit is improving, decreasing, and how much it is in comparison to the profit margin of established competitors. Additionally, a brand audit investigates trends in a business’ net profits, the return on existing investments, and its established economic value. It determines whether or not the business’ entire financial strength and credit rating is improving or getting worse. This kind of audit also assesses a business’ image and reputation with its customers. Furthermore, a brand audit seeks to determine whether or not a business is perceived as an industry leader in technology, offering product or service innovations, along with exceptional customer service, among other relevant issues that customers use to decide on a brand of preference.

A brand audit usually focuses on a business’ strengths and resource capabilities because these are the elements that enhance its competitiveness. A business’ competitive strengths can exist in several forms. Some of these forms include skilled or pertinent expertise, valuable physical assets, valuable human assets, valuable organizational assets, valuable intangible assets, competitive capabilities, achievements and attributes that position the business into a competitive advantage, and alliances or cooperative ventures.

The basic concept of a brand audit is to determine whether a business’ resource strengths are competitive assets or competitive liabilities. This type of audit seeks to ensure that a business maintains a distinctive competence that allows it to build and reinforce its competitive advantage. What’s more, a successful brand audit seeks to establish what a business capitalizes on best, its level of expertise, resource strengths, and strongest competitive capabilities, while aiming to identify a business’ position and future performance.

Marketing strategy is a process that can allow an organization to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Marketing strategy includes all basic and long-term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic initial situation of a company and the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented strategies and therefore contribute to the goals of the company and its marketing objectives.

Strategic Models: Marketing ‘C’s and ‘P’s

Marketing participants often employ strategic models and tools to analyze marketing decisions. When beginning a strategic analysis, the 3Cs (Customer, Competitors, Corporation) can be employed to get a broad understanding of the strategic environment. Later sertain “C’s” were added such as Consumer, Cost, Communication, Convenience. An Ansoff Matrix is also often used to convey an organization’s strategic positioning of their marketing mix. The 4Ps (Product, Price, Promotion, Place) can then be utilized to form a marketing plan to pursue a defined strategy.

There are many companies especially those in the Consumer Package Goods (CPG) market that adopt the theory of running their business centered around Consumer, Shopper & Retailer needs. Their Marketing departments spend quality time looking for “Growth Opportunities” in their categories by identifying relevant insights (both mindsets and behaviors) on their target Consumers, Shoppers and retail partners. These Growth Opportunities emerge from changes in market trends, segment dynamics changing and also internal brand or operational business challenges.The Marketing team can then prioritize these Growth Opportunities and begin to develop strategies to exploit the opportunities that could include new or adapted products, services as well as changes to the 7Ps.

Market dominance is a measure of the strength of a brand, product, service, or firm, relative to competitive offerings. There is often a geographic element to the competitive landscape. In defining market dominance, you must see to what extent a product, brand, or firm controls a product category in a given geographic area.

Real-time marketing is marketing performed “on-the-fly” to determine an appropriate or optimal approach to a particular customer at a particular time and place. It is a form of market research inbound marketing that seeks the most appropriate offer for a given customer sales opportunity, reversing the traditional outbound marketing (or interruption marketing) which aims to acquire appropriate customers for a given ‘pre-defined’ offer. The dynamic ‘just-in-time’ decision making behind a real-time offer aims to exploit a given customer interaction defined by web-site clicks or verbal contact centre conversation.

II. The Advertising and Sales Management

Sales concept seems to be based on a lurking apprehension that customers will not buy the product in sufficient quantities unless aggressively pressurized. The selling concept was the major means of increasing sales and profits during 1920s to 1950s in the developed countries of that period. Companies believed that the most important marketing activities were personal selling, advertising, and distribution. Selling concept is geared towards converting existing product(s) into cash rather than first finding and then satisfying customer needs. Sales concept is often observed in practice when companies show heavy reliance on their promotional capabilities based on “hard sell” approach. It is obvious that if a company’s products do not match the changing tastes and requirements of customers, with many alternative choices available, managers might be inclined to go for aggressive promotional efforts to sell enough quantities. In his book, The End of Marketing as We Know It, Sergio Zyman writes that the purpose of marketing is to sell more stuff to more people more often for more money in order to make more profit. Of late, this has been happening in case of some Credit Cards in our country. Generally, “hard sell” is often seen in case of products or services that people buy without giving much thought to the matter, such as non-essential goods, and tend to postpone such purchases. With ever intensifying competition, products becoming more standardized without any meaningful differentiation i.e., commoditization, heavy promotional efforts in all possible manners are bound to remain the practice, in order to grab more share of the customers’ purse. The consequences of “hard sell” might harm the customer base to the extent that, in some cases, they might even bad-mouth the product if the product fails to match up to their expectations.

The major differences between selling concept and marketing concept:

1. The selling concept starts with the seller and its focus is on existing products, it being seller-oriented. The company believes in aggressive selling and other promotions. Customer value and satisfaction are no concern for the seller. The firm produces the products first and then figures out ways to sell and make profits. Different company departments operate without coordination.

2. Marketing orientation starts with the customer and the company strives to learn customer needs and wants, develops appropriate products or services to satisfy the customer. Business is viewed as a customer need satisfying activity. All departments coordinate their activities and the focus is on customer needs. Profits are an outcome of doing the job well by the company. It requires reliable company wide information system and maintains it. All departments are responsive to informational inputs. Everybody understands the critical role played by marketing, a fact visibly demonstrable when the head of marketing is part of top management.

Reasons for the failure of new products:

  • The new product fails due to certain reasons in market.
  •  The idea is good, but market size is overestimated.
  •  The product is not well-designed.
  •  The product is incorrectly positioned in market, no advertised effectively and over- priced.
  • The product fails to gain sufficient distribution coverage or support.
  • Development costs are higher than expected.
  •  Competitors fight back harder than expected.

Advertising is a form of communication for marketing and used to encourage or persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners; sometimes a specific group) to continue or take some new action. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common. The purpose of advertising may also be to reassure employees or shareholders that a company is viable or successful. Advertising messages are usually paid for by sponsors and viewed via various traditional media; including mass media such as newspaper, magazines, television commercial, radio advertisement, outdoor advertising or direct mail; or new media such as blogs, websites or text messages.

Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through “branding,” which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate certain qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers. Non-commercial advertisers who spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies. Nonprofit organizations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement (PSA).

The Institute of Sales Promotion is an organisation in the UK that represents brand owners, agencies and service partners engaged in promotional marketing. Formed in 1933, it was established as the ISP in 1979 and provides professional diplomas and certificates, best-practice guidelines and representation for the sales promotion industry. It is based in Islington, London. The organisation uses the CAP Code to ensure sales promotions are correctly administered. They can refer complaints about sales promotions to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Coca Cola ad.

The purpose of ISP

  • To promote sales promotion and its benefits to organisations and to the regulatory authorities.
  • To progress the achievement of excellence in promotional marketing by educating all parties in best practice and in the effectiveness and versatility of sales promotion.
  • To protect stakeholders’ interests in using sales promotion as part of their sales and marketing activity through the provision of a legal advisory service and by promoting responsible self-regulation in line with the CAP Code.

 

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