Marketing Management Best Practices
Marketing Strategy by Elizabeth
Marketing strategy is the set of programs that are matched with
the target market opportunities in order to achieve
organizational objectives. Drawing up a marketing strategy
essentially consists of three steps: targeting market selection,
setting market objectives and developing the marketing program.
A firm may choose to market its
products to all users or to some sub-groups. The strategic
decisions that a firm has to make are whether to sell the entire
product market en masse or concentrate on a portion of the
market. Secondly, it is very important to determine when an
existing target market strategy needs to be modified. And
finally, deciding when to stop serving a particular target
market is also important. Products which become obsolete or
irrelevant, are not able to survive against competition or show
slow growth rates because of declining industry growth force
managements to withdraw from a market.
Marketing objectives should be
set and stated for each target market in quantitative terms like
sales, market share and contribution to profit, and in
qualitative terms like getting new customer groups,
strengthening brand image, building customer awareness and
attitudes, and educating the customers about brand features and
uses. Market potential is the maximum possible sales of a
product in a specific market in a specific time period. It is
the aggregate of the sales possible by all the sellers in that
The marketing program consists
of strategic use of the variables that influence demand--the
product, price, place and promotion. These four elements
together constitute the marketing mix. The variables must be
consistent with one another. A quality product image is
inconsistent with a heavy price discount or making the product
available at a low-cost retail outlet. A value-for-money or
economy image is inconsistent with a highly stylized product
placed in an exclusive retail outlet.
Targeting market selection
without considering the firm's resources and capabilities to
design an appropriate marketing mix, or developing a marketing
mix which matches the firms resources but does not consider
target market requirements, are both mistakes.
Do you provide a service to
your customers? You do, if you do any type of work. Are you
interested in setting yourself apart from the pack? If so, you
can make more money as long as you are committed to providing
service that goes above and beyond what is expected.
Are you a stickler about
receiving top notch customer service? Do you routinely "come
through" as a provider of exemplary services to your customers?
Chances are you have been greatly disappointed at one time or
another regarding the service you received from a salesperson,
an internet hosting company, a hair colorist, or any one of
thousands of different service providers. Frankly, customer
service in many areas -- retail, for one -- isn't what it used
to be. However, where there is poor customer service there is
also a great opportunity. Read on and I will explain.
Let's say you are in a field
that routinely provides so-so service to customers. It could be
that customer expectations are low and no one expects top notch
service. Maybe most customers are simply "price sensitive" and
could care less about how fast or how well you deliver. However,
you can bet that there are a percentage of customers out there
who appreciate service that goes above and beyond the industry
standard. These same customers typically will pay a little extra
for service that really serves them. If you can tap into this
customer base, you can create a niche, raise your prices, and
make more money in the long run.
Depending on your industry, you
could command a price premium of 10-25% over the average
provider. That may not sound like a lot, but it could spell the
difference between eating hamburger or eating steak. I don't
know about you, but I would prefer eating steak!
Naturally, providing a high
level of customer service means you will have to break a sweat.
You may have to happily redo [its all in the attitude, baby!] or
improve on an existing project in order to satisfy a good paying
customer. This is what sets you apart from the pack.
If you are satisfied with the
"status quo" then that's okay too. Just don't expect to have
customers beat down your doors for work. At least the better
customers will not!
Management Best Practices Training Subjects: Marketing, 4Ps, market research, marketing mix,
sales, public relations, advertising, brand, e-marketing, competition,
sustainable competitive advantage, PEST analysis, SWOT analysis, Porter
competitive advantage, Porter 5 competitive forces, Porter Value Chain.
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