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Marketing

Monday, 30 July 2012 04:20

The Purpose Behind:

To quote the American Marketing Association's definition, it is "an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders". If one dilutes all the verbosity and looks at it, marketing means "selling" a product. This is the prime purpose behind any kind of marketing. The "selling" is accelerated with the help of properly chalked out plans called marketing strategies.

Factors that Influence:

With "selling" as the ultimate goal, marketing strategies are influenced by two basic factors: first, acquisition of customers; second, retention of the acquired customers. So every other strategy that is laid out will focus on the above two. A Company has to work closely towards achieving these two to attain the desired cutting edge over its competitors. There are also a few other objectives like creating awareness (informational and educational) about the product, brand-building and accelerating sales.

Traditional Marketing:

With the world changing at every nanosecond, marketing is also reeling under a whirlwind of change. New modes of marketing like e-marketing and online marketing have evolved. Yet traditional marketing still holds sway with many corporates. Traditional marketing operates based on the following strategies.

The Four Ps- Worship them:

The 'Four Ps' or the 'marketing mix' is a cliché with every marketer. Formulated by Jerome McCarthy, the 'Four Ps' refers to the four factors that a marketer has to consider before launching a product or offering a service. The marketing mix comprises of Product, Price, Promotion and Placement. In McCarthy's assessment, first and foremost comes the Product-its production and management; second, the process of fixing an affordable price; third, the promotion of the product which includes advertising, branding etc and finally fourth, the placement or distribution of the product, its retailing and the process by which it reaches the customer. All these four elements have to be decided and well planned before pitching into any product launch.

Segmentation- Categorize your audience:

In traditional marketing, the market is segmented into many subsets or segments depending on geographic, demographic, psycho graphic and behavioral variables. Each segment is homogenous and responds in a particular way to a particular marketing strategy. Small segments are considered as 'niche' markets or 'specialty' markets. A product is aimed at a particular segment and is launched only after thorough market research and consumer research on the segment. This assures the marketer that he is not bungee jumping but walking safely and securely on a well-laid road. Hence a product that is not needed by that particular segment is not produced. This deep analysis of the target segment is called 'depth segmentation'. While the study of the target customer's behavioral traits, nature, lifestyle etc is called 'Buyer's Profile'. With all these the marketer draws a marketing plan, which is fully geared to reach the target consumer.

Other aspects:

Traditional marketing, unlike New Marketing, is Company-focused and product-based. It intends only to increase the visibility of the Company and its brand. The message conveyed to the customer is Company-controlled and motivated unlike in new marketing, which is Consumer-focused and attuned to consumer's interests. The Company becomes the active participant while the consumer fades into the inactive and passive zone. A marketer, adopting the traditional method, will use his product's USP (Unique Selling Proposition) to market it. USP is that unique feature which is exclusive to a particular product from a particular brand. With less number of competitors, USP-marketing is a very novel method. But in today's world every other brand has all the features offered by its competitor. Hence the glamour of USP-marketing is fading away.

Advertising and Promotion:

Marketing plans and strategies finally end in advertising. For it is advertising which exposes the product to the world and places it in a platform for the target customer to view. It gives the product visibility and helps boosts its sales. Advertising, in general, can be classified into two trends: Above-the-line (ATL) and Below-the-line (BTL). ATL covers all the advertising done through media. BTL stands for all the promotions- public relations, sponsorships, merchandising etc. In traditional marketing mostly ATL is practiced. The following media are the ATL modes of advertising:

Print Medium: Newspapers, Magazines, Yellow Pages, Posters and Billboards.

TV & Radio: All kinds of TV and Radio spots

Other Communications: All kinds of mailers and leaflets

Traditional Marketing - Is it valid today?

When the world shifts gears and operates in a faster pace, it is advisable for us also to follow its lead and take up the trend. Traditional Marketing, say many market analysts, fails to work in today's world. The brand recall is very minimal as the customer is exposed to a variety of brands. Moreover, as every other brand is as good as its competitor, there is no particular reason for the consumer to opt for a particular brand. That's why today's marketer aims at 360-degree marketing - an all round marketing strategy covering all the available modes and aimed at constant brand recall. This is where online marketing offer a lot of hope for the marketer as the web reaches out to the prospective buyer in a fastest pace possible. With all these around, the question of whether traditional marketing is valid today rises.

Maybe one can nullify this question by a few well-grounded answers: Traditional Marketing is adjudged as the best method according to a national survey conducted in 2005 in the U.S. jointly by Harris Interactive and Public Relations Society of America. As per the survey, most of the general public, Fortune 1000 businessmen and Congressional Staffers voted the traditional method of marketing as the best method. Though the year 2005 belongs to a dead past now, the statement by the reputed marketer Mr. Wilson will put an end to doubting queries: " Traditional Marketing helps because people still view them".

Advertising

Sunday, 29 July 2012 21:26

The seller is happy when the buyer is happy. So make as many buyers happy as you can. That requires quality and service, but that’s why you’re here -- and it’s not complicated.

The entire process is made up of five broad strokes. Take those strokes and add as many bells, whistles, systems, technologies, apps and economic doodads as you want -- but be sure that all five broad strokes are taken. Do that and you’ll never think that marketing has to be anything that Simple Simon couldn’t handle with his right hand tied behind him.

Listen to find a problem you can solve  

The first broad stroke doesn’t require any of your hands -- only your ears. The first broad stroke is your ability to listen. Be alert for problems. Be alert in social situations and the social media. Be alert in the attention you pay to the mass media. Are people talking about problems they have, problems that need solving? 

Zero in on the problems that don’t yet have solutions. Pick a problem that you can solve. That’s how you respond to opportunity.

Related: How to Make Your Marketing Work Together

Pricing the solution  

The second broad stroke is determining how much it will cost you to solve that problem. Maybe you can solve it with information and with service. If not, how much will it cost you to make it or buy it? Be very careful with this step, as with all the broad strokes, to overlook nothing. Broad strokes tend to magnify errors, so you don’t want to make even the most minor mistake.

Marketing  

When you tally the costs of producing your offering, don’t overlook the costs of marketing it. And don’t overlook the necessity to market it.

If you build a better mousetrap, the world won’t beat a path to your door unless they know about that mousetrap. They learn about it from your marketing, especially if it’s marketing.

If you’ve come up with a truly nifty solution, the marketing for it will catch wind and fan out to others who have long been searching for a solution. It’s nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you market.

It is now well understood why people patronize the businesses that they do. It’s known that they favor products and services that they trust, a human characteristic that has given rise to a phenomenon called “branding.” Branding helps people trust you. One of the jobs of a marketer is to convince customers to trust his or her offering.

Of course, quality is one of the factors that earn trust. And that’s why it’s part of the third broad stroke. Another factor that gains gobs of trust -- and gives the little guy an edge over the big guy -- is the ability to service what he sells. Don’t forget that one of your sacred goals is make your customers happy. Terrific service does just that.

Service what you sell

Terrific service is not necessarily free for you to provide. And yes, it does require effort. In particular, it requires a person who wants to deliver it and doesn’t do it just because he’s supposed to.

Factor in the cost of service right along with the cost of marketing and cost of goods.

Related: 5 Ways to Build a Solid Email Marketing List

Earn profits

The fifth broad stroke is what marketing should be all about. Not sales. Not store traffic. Not turnover. Not responses to an offer. Not hits to a website. Not awards. Not sales records. Not any metric you can name. That fifth broad stroke is profits, what’s left over after you’ve deducted the cost of everything else in your business. No matter how glowing the other numbers in your business may be, it’s the profits that should glow, that keep you in business, that enable you to grow your business, that attract investors, that entice buyers of companies, and that ought to be the prime reason you went into business.

It’s your job to grow healthy profits every year. You owe that to yourself, your employees, your family, and your future. That’s why profits best reflect your success. Profits are elusive. Profits are honest. Profits are hard-earned. But profits are not complicated.

They are the fifth of the five broad strokes of success, and they are crucial to your company’s health. But earning them is not a winding road. Instead it is a straight road, possibly uphill, but always leading to exactly where you envision going. 

Published in Advertising

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