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The modern view is the "value delivery sequence". Under this view,unlike traditional view, the marketing is kept at the beginning of the planning point which is the very core part of it. Instead of emphasizing making and selling products, these companies value. Again, it is a matter of tactical marketing as it involves utilisation of sales force, sales promotion, advertising and other promotional tools to inform the market about the product. Japanese have gone beyond this and further developed this modern view by spelling out the following concepts : Note, in each expression the word ZERO is present always.
1. Zero Customer Feed Back Time : It implies that customer feed back should be continuously collected after purchase to learn how to improve the product and its marketing,
2. Zero Product Improvement Time: The company should evaluate all the customers' and employees' improvement ideas and introduce the most valued and feasible improvements as soon as possible.
3. Zero Purchasing Time : The company should receive the required parts and supplies continuously through just in time (JIT) arrangements with suppliers. By lowering its inventories, the company can reduce its costs.
4. Zero Set-up Time : The company should be able to manufacture any of its products as soon as they are ordered, without facing high set-up time or costs.
5. Zero Defects : The products produced should be of high quality and free of all sorts of defects.
In essence, marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas goods and services to create exchange that satisfy individual and organisational objectives as pointed by A.M.A. as early as 1985. Concisely, marketing as a process is characterised by action and result orientation, customer orientation, mutuality of benefit and what is more important is, it is value driven.
A number of important trends and forces are eliciting a new set of beliefs and practices on the part of business firms. Following are the challenges that a marketer has to confront:
The widespread availability of the Internet has affected many aspects of marketing. It has bestowed the customer with an extremely powerful tool called knowledge. The customers have access to a wide base of information on the basis of which they can take informed decisions. The marketer has to remain on his toes to harness the advantages accorded by the rapidly changing technology.
Increased consumer power: The present day customer not only has more disposable income, he has more information and knowledge about products and services being offered in the market. This enables the customer make informed product choices. The abundance of choice available to the customer due to the presence of almost all domestic and international brands in any product category has made the customer extremely demanding.
Shorter product life cycles: The product life cycles are shrinking by the day. The consumers shift, and rightly so, from one product to its improved version, in no time. The marketer is left with very little time to conceive new ideas, translate them into products and roll them out in the market.
Increased competition: Due to the policy of liberalization, privatization and globalization initiated by the Indian government in the 1990s, the Indian markets have been inundated by a plethora of foreign brands. Various MNCs have set up shop on the Indian soil and are offering state-of-the-art products to the consumers. In wake of this increased competition, the domestic manufacturers have also pulled up their socks and have started paying heed to quality. As a result, there is very stiff competition in the marketplace.
Changing profile of consumers: A big shift has taken place in the buying habits of the Indian consumer. The consumer's values, beliefs and attitudes have undergone a change. The fact of the matter is that the Indian consumer is no longer looking at the functional aspect of a product offering. Numerous lifestyle changes have set in and these changes continue to evolve posing a huge challenge to the marketer.
Diversity: The Indian market is a highly diverse one. The demography as well as the geography of the country presents a challenge for the marketers as they have to enhance the product portfolio to cater to various diverse needs and strengthen their distribution networks so as to reach every nook and corner of the country.
Multiple channels: The domain of distribution is no longer restricted to the brick-and-mortar stores. The marketers today have to manage multiple channels. While the retail revolution has swept the country, there is still co-existence of the traditional trade formats along with the modern formats. Additionally marketers have to embrace e-retailing as well as manage phone and computer shoppingThey have to ensure that goods and products ordered online by the customer reach them in proper condition and in the time frame promised by the company.
Social Media Marketing: There has been a phenomenal growth in the acceptance of social media in recent times. As such, the social media has^ become an essential medium for marketers as well. The fact of the matter however remains that social media marketing is uncharted territory for many companies. In addition on to regulatory issues, doubts remain over the measurability of social media marketing. If tapped properly, the social media marketing can be one of the biggest opportunities for marketers.
In nutshell, marketing planning can be said to be a forward-looking, decision-making process that relies heavily on information acquired from internal and external environments. "Good fortune is what happens when opportunities meets with planning". This quote by Thomas Edison highlights the importance of planning and points to the benefits that businesses can reap by opting to plan. Likewise, an organization that decides not to plan runs the risk of running into bad fortune. All said, there is no guarantee that planning will surely result in success or that failing to plan will necessarily result in failure.
In reality, businesses resort to varying degrees of planning and experience different levels of success. While some organizations have highly structured planning departments and planning processes, others make do with little or no resources being allocated to the planning process.
Strategic Planning determines the overall goals of the business and details the actions required to achieve them.
Strategic Planning process includes the following four steps:
• Establish the business mission
• Identify the business vision
• Define the business objectives
• Develop the business portfolio
These objectives support the overarching strategy. A business portfolio, also known as product portfolio, is a collection of products and services that a business manages to achieve the stated objectives.
The steps involved in the marketing planning process are:
• Scanning the marketing environment
• Setting marketing objectives.
• Formulating the marketing strategy (Segmentation, Targeting and positioning).
• Developing the functional plans.
• Managing the marketing effort.
SWOT (acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is a tool that helps identify business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are based on internal characteristics while opportunities and threats are based on external characteristics. Strength and opportunities can be considered potential advantages; however weaknesses and threats are problems that have to be addressed by an organization. Deciding on which marketing opportunities to tap will depend on the organization's own strengths and weaknesses that have been identified through the SWOT analysis.
The acronym PEST stands for political, economic, socio- cultural and technological environment and it entails the analysis of these environmental dimensions. A business has a clear idea of its strategic position once it understands the macro environment, the industry that it operates in and finally assesses its competitors' strategy.
The objectives may pertain to key areas like volume sales, value sales, market share, productivity and profit. The marketing objectives should be SMART i.e. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time bound.
Formulating the Marketing Strategy Marketing strategy is a statement of how a business intends to achieve its marketing objectives.
Marketing Strategy entails the following:
• Segmentation, Targeting, Positioning (STP)
• Creating an appropriate marketing mix for the target market
Once the marketing strategy is in place, the next step is to pen down the detailed plans and programmes. Needless to say, the marketing objectives and the marketing strategy will form the basis of the marketing plan. Even the best marketing strategy may not bring in the desired results if it is implemented in a haphazard manner.
A marketing plan is a written document that summarizes what the marketer has learned about the marketplace and indicates how the firm plans to reach its marketing objectives. Contents of the marketing plan are
• Executive summary and table of contents.
• Situation analysis.
• Marketing strategy.
• Financial projections.
• Implementation controls.
No plan can succeed if it is not implemented properly. All the strategies and tactics will remain on paper if they are not executed appropriately. "Thus the final step in the marketing planning process is to ensure that whatever has been penned down is followed in letter and spirit. In other words, the manager has to ensure that things are going as per plan, if not corrective action has to be taken
Marketing information system can be defined as a set of procedures and methods for the regular and planned collection, analysis and presentation of information for use in making marketing decisions.
Marketing information system is so designed that it collects the relevant information on a regular basis form the marketing environment external to the organization and supplies the same after necessary editing and processing to the marketing managers to aid their planning, organization and control activities. Marketing decisions made by tlie company executives and action plans developed by an organization in the light of the collected information soon get conveyed to other players in the market and all such information becomes a part of the larger marketing environment.
, a company can make use of four subsystems - also called as the components of the marketing inforation system - to collect the information about its marketing environment. The four components are: internal reporting system, marketing intelligence system, marketing research system and analytical marketing system. These are discussed in detail in the following paragraphs.
Every company has a system of reporting events and decisions within the organization. This is known as internal reporting system. The internal reporting system supplies management with variety of information, including the ones related to marketing operations and decisions. The internal reporting system basically disseminates result data such as orders received, sales made, inventory levels, accounts receivables and bills payables.
It supplies the management with the happening data. Marketing intelligence system refers to informal search of information on a continuous basis from various sources - both internal and external to the organisation.
Managers, for example, can gather valuable information by talking to different executives working in the company, company sales force, dealers, wholesalers, retailers, customers and other participants in the market.
Observation of events as and when they occur in the market is an important way of collecting the market information.
While the other two systems discussed above provide information of general nature to the marketing managers, marketing research system aims at collecting and disseminating information relating to a specific marketing problem faced by the decision makers of the firm. First a formal plan is developed to decide as to which specific information is needed and then this information is collected from such specific secondary and primary data sources as can supply the required information at minimum costs to the firm.
While marketing intelligence system collects information of general nature on a regular basis, marketing research system is employed for gathering specific information as required to solve a specific marketing problem. The other major point of difference between the two subsystems is that while the former collects information more on a regular basis through ways such as daily reading of newspapers or frequently visiting the marketplace to observe retailers' and competitors' behaviours, marketing research studies are conducted mostly on adhoc basis as and when some a specific marketing problem arises.
It is concerned with building and using marketing models and techniques to analyse the information available with the organisation and/or to better understand, predict and control the marketing process. It so happens that the three systems describe above provide so voluminous data to the managers that is not possible for the marketing managers to directly assimilate and use them in decision making.
Broadly speaking, a marketing manager faces two broad types of marketing tasks: (1) market opportunity threat analysis, and (2) search for causes/alternatives,for making marketing decisions. Each of these types of marketing management tasks along with the specific information needs is discussed below.
The first task relates to market opportunity/threat analysis. This is accomplished by undertaking either situation analysis or company performance analysis. Situation analysis involves a detailed analysis of various components of company's marketing environment. The information needed by the marketing manager to understand marketing environment is as follows:
a Demographic environment: Population size and growth rate, gender ratio, age structure, population density and mobility.
a Competitive environment: Extent and nature of competition in the market.
Support environment: Availability, quality and cost of power, labour, raw materials, components and machines; quality and costs of advertising and research services, availability and costs of middlemen, etc.
a Economic environment: GNP and per capita income; interest rate; inflation;
economic and commercial policies.
Technological environment: Level and cost of technology adoption. .
a Socio-cultural environment: Religions, languages, education levels, aesthetics, beliefs and attitudes, lifestyles and business customs.
Political and legal environment: Ideology of different political parties, stability of government, various marketing legislations
The other kind of analysis undertaken to understand market opportunities threats is referred to as company performance analysis. By undertaking an analysis of the company's past performance, a manager is able to identify products brands and market segments where company is doing well, and as such constitute opportunities for the company for further growth and investments. Product lines or market segments where company is not performing well or where company is witnessing constant decline in its sales &profits represent areas of threats and concerns for the company.
The other kind of managerial task faced by a marketing manager relates to search for causes or alternatives pertaining to a marketing problem. In case a marketing manager finds a product not performing as per the company's expectations, he needs information about possible causes of poor product performance in the market. Since the reasons might relate to short term as well as long term factors, and might have their origin in price and non-price factors such as product quality, image, promotion or distribution; a marketing manager needs detailed information on all such aspects before he car1 be sue as to what exactly are the factors responsible for poor product performance. In a similar vein, a marketing manager requires information from a variety of sources such as customers, retailers distributors, salesman and competitors to identify possible alternatives for improving the product acceptance and sales in the market. The information needed in this connection is generally collected from the secondary as well as primary data sources both internal and external to the company.
I) Determining Decision Makers' Information Requirements: The first and foremost step in designing an efficient and effective marketing information system is to ascertain information needs of the decision makers. The system should be so designed that it is able to timely and efficiently supply the information required by the managers in decision making. A marketing information system should be able to supply the information for making both the strategic and tactical decisions.
2) Establishing Data Collection and Storing Procedures: Elaborate procedures should be laid down to ensure timely and efficient collection, processing and storage of information in the organization. In the absence of such procedures and guidelines, either right type of data might not be gathered or else these might not be properly processed and stored to be of any use to the decision makers.
3) Determining Procedures for Information Utilisation: Procedures are also required in respect of the analysis and usage of the collected marketing information in the organization. Marketing managers should be well aware of what information is available in the organization and how they can use the same in decision making. Steps must be taken to ensure that the information is timely supplied to the managers as and when they require it.
4) Proper Linkages among Components of Marketing Information System: Each of the four co~npo~lents or sub-systems of the marketing information system, viz., internal reporting system, marketing intelligence system, marketing research system and analytical marketing system, should be properly linked with each other and their should be utmost coordination among them to ensure attainment of the common end, i.e., provision of timely and reliable information to the marketing decision makers. In a nutshell, what the company should strive for is an integrated marketing information system.
5) Efficient, Reliable and Flexible System: A good marketing system is one that is able to provide quickly and reliable information to the decision makers at the minimum possible costs to the company. Furthermore, the marketing information should be so designed that it is capable of coping with the changing marketing environment and information requirements of the decision makers in the organization.
Market research is the process of determining the viability of a new service or product through research conducted directly with potential customers. Market research allows a company to discover the target market and get opinions and other feedback from consumers about their interest in the product or service.
a) Marketing research is a systematic process of data collection. By the term 'systematic' we mean marketing research is a formal and planned process. It is decided beforehand as to what the marketing problem is and what information is required to be collected to solve the given marketing problem.
b) Objectivity in data collection and analysis is the second important characteristic feature of marketing research. The marketing researcher does this or her best lo ensure that the information being collected is free from personal biases and prejudices. Those data collection methods and sources are used which appeal- to be relatively more objective and reliable.
c) The other major characteristic of marketing research is its clear cut focus on a given marketing problem. This is quite in contrast to internal reporting and marketing intelligence systems where information of general nature is collected without any specific problem in mind.
By: NIHARIKA WALIA ProfileResourcesReport error
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