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Marketing Management Best Practices

Marketing Strategy by Elizabeth Morgan
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 industry.

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.

Customer Service

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!

Marketing Management Best Practices Training Courses Marketing 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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