Management is as old as man, and marketing has always been a vital aspect of the management and business equation.
Marketing is a strategic institution of commerce and enterprise whether in terms of pure exchange of goods by barter as was common in the olden days. Marketing equally feature among traders from the time money became our means of exchange. Marketing would feature as people trade in one form or another, in franchises and other forms of commercial bulk sales and chain stores merchandise, as well as in the advanced business operations of corporate bodies, multinationals and blue-chip organizations.
The evolvement of core management theory and practice into serious practices on strategic planning and policy led marketing management into the vital role of essential ingredient of the strategic planning process. Along with the transformation process in management , behavioral science and general corporate response to emerging economies and fast technological advancement, marketing management has moved up into a fully integrated planning approach whereby marketing concepts, theories and findings are integrated into the broad corporate strategic policy for effective and efficient market understanding, niche building, product development, and effective profitable marketing regime that gives the organization maximum returns on investment. Organizations began to pay close attention to reports filtering from the marketing departments in their bid to find lucrative ventures that will not only keep the entire corporate body afloat in the face of stiff competition, but will also yield good dividends in profitable returns.
Four key aspects of the planning process began to feature more prominently in management thinking and marketing decision practices. They are: Analysis, Synthesis, Creation, and Communication.
You will realize quite easily that these four elements are also in tandem with the essential elements of the marketing strategy practices today.
Analysis: The primary need of the entrepreneur is to seek answers to critical questions on the rationale for the entire business process leads the drive for analytical presentation of current performances, plans, and market opportunities in the face of competitors and other challenges.
We set off by asking critical questions on subject, and then progress through questionnaires targeted towards a balanced audience. Reports and findings from the survey would help in drawing assumptions or repeat of the survey with better parameters when the first test was found inadequate.
To arrive at logical conclusions, theories and models from the behavioral school, management thoughts and theories, scientific models and applications are employed to get credible results and findings.
Synthesis: Management later make use of the findings when the conclusions of the studies are synthesized to forge out sound market opportunities in terms of products or services or both that were discovered or unearthed from the survey study. This approach would also show how best to approach the market, meet the core needs of the customer, handle competition, and solve other related issues such as logistics, deliveries, among others.
In synthesis, we rank marketing or product opportunities according to the basis at which they would give marketing goals and alternative strategies.
Creative Steps: Alternative strategies would emerge at this juncture of the process. Creative steps and moves are taken to take advantage of such opportunities within the planning process.
Communication: Within the organization, management should effectively communicate the findings, the proposals and the decisions to each stratum of the hierarchy. Communication of vital information, no matter how little, is vital to the implementation of the new drive or focus of the organization in the light of the fall out of the survey and its analysis. Stakeholders of the organization are informed about the new direction of the organization should also be communicated and informed at the time to make them play their roles effectively.
Product strategies are the serious attempts made to fit the attributes of a product to those benefits desired or sought by the consumer. Moving a particular brand closer to another brand regarded in the market as the ideal brand is known as brand mapping. This is akin to niche marketing, discussed below.
Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy whereby the sales team is compensated through the network system – the sales force benefit from sales personally generated as well as from sales made through their recruits, their affiliates and joint venture partners. This explains why it is otherwise known as network marketing.
In most cases, the sales team sells products to consumers or provides services to customers directly by means of relationship referrals; personal push, networks and contacts through the social media and sheer word of mouth. In contrast to multi-level marketing is single-level marketing, where the salesperson is rewarded for selling the product directly to the consumer.
Niche building is a popular phenomenon among internet marketers. A niche is discovered when a particular service (or product, sometimes) is discovered through deliberate study and search, developed and produced to meet or targeted towards a particular need in the market or within a particular market segment, where the service or product is best needed and desired. Such marketing effort is expected to yield most returns because of the underlying preliminary efforts. This is a far cry from the development of products for the purpose of meeting generic market demands.
Despite the hype and razzmatazz created around online marketing, it is still a segment of the old brick and mortar marketing system, but has surpassed and moved upwards because of the highly effective and efficient web explosion and internet connections. Web activities and application of software, rapid mailing and correspondence, with the addition of videos, webinars, teleseminars have transformed marketing online int a very big global marketing sector.
Apart from the big noise often made about recognizable online presence, credible and efficient online marketers are aware that the content of the on-line marketing strategy justifies the effort in the end. All efforts to build relationships and repeat sales would not come about without a credible market niche from the onset.
Ideally, efficient on-line marketers would focus on the paramount needs of potential customers or prospects, seek to meet those needs by creating or making available adequate products or services, communicate effectively to the market to get those items to the customer.
A successful marketing campaign begins with the search for the needs at the market which the on-line marketer could produce and deliver adequately. This is the most immediate application or target need for which the product is meant to satisfy as against the generic or broad need of that product.
Fruits are very many, and are of various types and species. The fruit market is , broad with various fruit types, colors, and categories. Describing the right niche or defining a niche at all is critical for a successful marketing campaign. Having the right marketing niche from the onset would help peg down advertisement costs and undue marketing and sales effort. He that failed to plan has already planned to fail. Many businesses failed because there was no concerted effort to decide the niche of the campaign from the onset.
Effort at getting a service appropriate niche is crucial and critical to a successful marketing process. It is important to search and study well, digging deep to discover the specific need of the market or consumer to produce the adequate product or service that will satisfy that need.
By digging deep, we would discover the followings:
1. A particular product would mostly serve different uses.
2. An array of different applications of the single product provides us with the lead for various studies on possible markets than the generic segment.
3. Study of various customer behaviors would expose alternative marketing options and opportunities.
4. The alternative marketing options are the new markets begging for our services and products.
Discovering specific market niche boils down to our first discussion of analysis, synthesis, creation, and communication. The initial marketing option may seem to us as a great demand for fruits. This is the first level. A curious survey may show that the demands is actually true and great for fruits, but digging deeper reveals that the market actually need fruits; also need apples, oranges, and bananas, and again want many stocks of green apples, red apples, yellow oranges and green bananas. Suddenly, we were woken up into a lot of markets far bigger and clearer than the first “fruits” market.
Proper niche search enable the service or product provider detect various potential customer uses of that product, beginning the search by taking the point of view of the customer. Apple Inc. transformed hand-held telephone market into a whole new world of products and applications. The uses a customer describes for a product can be much larger in number than what the creators of the product originally had in mind. Different customers connote various product applications which should be serviced differently and separately with their peculiar approaches because different customer uses result in different search behavior.
Have you found your niche?
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