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Category Archives: Marketing Blogs

Opinions about marketing, customer satisfaction, and well, marketing again. Prepare your mind.

What’s your new recipe?

What’s your new recipe?

Mixing new ingredients and creating new recipes that no one else has tried would definitely catch the taste buds of the judges in this show called “Junior Masterchef”. Each junior contestant focus on one thing: to serve new delicious viand in a plate. Similar to a business, in order for it to stand out among the rest, it should develop new strategies and formulate new ideas to improve the products and services they offered. In this case, they are able to entice more customers and serve a great deal of satisfaction in each customer’s plates. However, the question still lies on how they should create this “new recipe” in order to produce profitable enterprise.

The marketing mix is composed of 4 P’s: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. In my previous blogs, I have used this concept of marketing mix as a main focus of a business in order to achieve its goal. In Neil H. Borden’s article “The Concept of the Marketing Mix”, he provided an every-ready checklist of elements of marketing mix as a guide when dealing with marketing problems. He elaborated clearly that this concept seems relatively simple once it has been expressed and used.

Parcelforce’s vision is to be the UK’s most trusted worldwide express carrier. I can say that Parcelforce has developed a knack of creating “new recipe” in their customer’s plate. They established simplified range of products and they focused on customer needs. Furthermore, they address the 4Ps of marketing in their own way: they launched a new product range, choose the most effective approach to price, place it so that it is easily accessible and promote the range to customers. As a result, Parcelforce has improved its market position and strengthened itself among its competitors.

Whereas Parcelforce used the 4Ps of marketing mix, the Diesel brand also used it but with an added touch of a new recipe: People. Through the passion of Renzo Rosso, proud owner and CEO of Diesel, he turned his creative lifestyle into business and developed a new approach to do something unusual by creating diverse clothing products with a touch of artistic expression and feelings. It becomes easier if we look beyond and realize that the elements of product, price, promotion, and place are inseparably bound together by the passion of people. This new recipe only made Diesel far more different than most other brands.

Certainly, the idea of creating “new recipe” and developing the concept of marketing mix results into a more dynamic and profitable venture as well as more advanced ahead of its other competitors. Mixing the 4Ps plus another touch of a new ingredient definitely caught the taste of the customers as what has been seen about Parcelforce and Diesel brand.


 
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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Marketing Blogs

 

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What is the core concept of marketing?

What is the core concept of marketing?

Marketing has developed from time to time. In Philippine history, Chinese sold their products by selling it on the streets; sometimes they even used door-to-door approach since it was easier to persuade the buyers to buy their product by means of sales talk or brainwashing. This tradition has been passed up to the present day situation.  Like for example, Mang Roger (a vendor known for his balot near San Beda College) who started selling balot years ago made a lot of effort on his part to convince the students even the professors to buy his scrumptious balots, though I wonder is it because of his charming smile and amiable personality that made us buy his balots? Maybe it was really part of his strategy to gain more consumers. Long ago, sellers found it difficult on their part to promote their products since the help of the Internet, television ads, commercials, newspaper and magazine promotion hasn’t come to save them. Though I can say that it’s also not easy on the part of the buyers to acquire the said products given that there was only limited means of knowing what was on the market. Thanks to the help of Ebay nowadays because with a simple click on your mouse, you can easily order and pay your chosen product at a discounted price with no trouble going to the supermarket or malls. Innovation and technology led to the growth and expansion of each business and industry through marketing seeing as it was easier now to advertise a product even on the other side of the world. But there were some implications that also led to the decline of some industries. The reason therein is marketing has been neglected.

Theodore Levitt saw this failure on his article Marketing Myopia. Few industries have stopped growing because they put first their own interests instead of their customers so they can earn a bigger profit. The definition of marketing, given by Dr. Ac-ac in her book the Principles of Marketing, defined as “the delivery of customer satisfaction at a profit” has been misled since there was really no “customer satisfaction” at all, only “the delivery at a profit”. Does that mean there was no marketing in the first place? We always thought that marketing is about “selling”. Yes it is, but selling is subscribed under marketing. Marketing is more than that. We should not confuse selling with marketing; there was a difference between them.

As stated by Levitt, “Selling focuses on the needs of the seller, marketing on the needs of the buyer. Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering, and finally consuming it…” The concept of this has elapsed through time. Levitt saw that business focus more on mass production than of “offering of values”. In the Generic Concept of Marketing by Philip Kotler, it was cited that “the core concern of marketing is that of producing desired responses in free individuals by the judicious creation and offering of values…” Yet some business fails to see that implication. Like, for example, the Chinese products. China was known for its low cost production, but the quality of their product is also low. Do you really think that customers were satisfied with it?

Perhaps not but a few customers found this practical. Truly they can shop more clothes and shoes in Tutuban or Divisoria rather than in SM, Robinsons, Glorietta, or Gateway. But the connotation is that the product in SM is much more superior to that in Tutuban. If you were going to buy a pair of loafers, let’s say for example, in PabDer at a price not less than P3000. Compare it to the price of shoes in Tutuban, you can buy it ten times more! But once you used it, the shoes you bought in PabDer will last for years in comparison to the ones you bought in Tutuban which only last for months or maybe weeks. Sometimes, the customers were being led to believe that it’s better to buy products at a lower cost. But let me tell you this, even the Chinese consumers have been much more pragmatic than ever – they were not buying their own product!

Apparently, J.B. McKitterick in his What Is The Marketing Management Concept mentioned the reminder of Knauth to the manufacturer that “packaging and product styling had better be customer oriented”. It was also pointed out in the article of Levitt. Business should not have limited sight as to see these implications. Let’s not disregard the core concept of marketing, which is to satisfy the customers. In conclusion, Levitt revealed to us the intuitive of survival; he quoted “The trick is to survive gallantly, to feel the surging impulse of commercial mastery; not just to experience the sweet smell of success, but to have the visceral feel of entrepreneurial greatness.” Indeed, businessmen should not limit their sights only to the extent of their own interests but first and foremost to the interests of their customers. They should not overlook marketing because real success comes from the satisfaction of their customers.

 

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2011 in Marketing Blogs

 

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Enhanced products “co-creates” good feedbacks

Business advertisements, endorsements, commercials, and TV ads were only few of the examples of promoting a product to the customers using mass media as a means of communicating the features of a product and also gain customers at the same time. In this way, companies could earn responses from their consumers if their promotion becomes effective. Like for example, there’s a commercial of Sunsilk, a hair care brand produced by Unilever group, featuring good looking models who had frizzy looking hair but when they used Sunsilk Co-Creation, lo and behold, their hair looks perfect – smooth and silky, like a new re-bonded hair! They even hired a few professional hair experts who came from different parts of the world to create a newer and better formula for special hair conditions. The new packaging looks fascinating as well as the price which was affordable. If you’ll go to the stores, they’ll provide you with discounts if you bought Sunsilk Co-Creation Conditioner with its Sunsilk Shampoo. Truth to be told, the commercial caught my interest so one day I was eager to buy it and try if it really works. Lo and behold, my hair straightens and sways! Though not like those whom you saw on TV ads, but at least it improved if you will compare it to the one I used before.

Primary marketing expert Philip Kotler in his article A Generic Concept of Marketing published in 1972 mentioned an important point relevant to what I plan to point out. Kotler cited, “Marketing is the attempt to produce the desired response by creating and offering values to the market…” It doesn’t take a lot of effort to persuade me to buy the products of Unilever, which is Sunsilk, but it takes a lot of effort for them to make a desirable response from a customer such as myself. That is what companies would like to happen – to see if they caught the attention of their customers to buy their products and satisfied their customers with it. Of course, businessmen want a desirable response that they can get from their customers if they were able to offer values to the market.

The question is: How can they create value in their products? According to Kotler (1972), “The marketer creates and offers value mainly through configuration, valuation, symbolization, and facilitation…”  Like the attempt of Sunsilk, they created a new packaging with class and simplicity. Unlike those other brand hair products that had complicated shapes and similar colors, this new product bottle has an array of vibrant colors that distinguishes each other from its range of different products. The price of the product was inexpensive that even the fixed income earners can add it on their shopping lists. To make it more interesting, Unilever even hired a few experts to instate an image that this product was made by professionals from different countries, which also gives rise to the presumption that their ingredients were natural and imported. If customers decided to buy their products, they’d be willing to do so if they can acquire it as easily as they can see it on commercials. It must be available to all stores and malls so when their means permit them do to so, they can effortlessly buy it. It doesn’t take a lot of time for me to buy the Sunsilk product since it was available in grocery stores.

A shampoo industry is one that is an example of perfect competition. It means that it has many buyers and many sellers, many products that are similar in nature, as a result, many substitutes. A company should know what market form they belong to in order for them to adjust in their situation. Their products must have unique features that stand out from other products so that they can have good position in the market and able to compete with the other participants.

Clearly, the core concept of marketing involves producing desired responses from their customers by creating and offering values that will enable each individual to continue using their product. It must seek to create value in four ways: configuration, valuation, symbolization, and facilitation. Indeed, the concept of Axiom 4 according to The Axioms of Marketing by Philip Kotler becomes effective and efficient depending upon the actions that a company will likely to do so as to produce the desired effect in the market.

 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Marketing Blogs

 

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Better quality of service can lead to customer satisfaction

Marketing is about satisfying the needs and wants of the customers in a profitable way. Analyzing and evaluating the buying behavior of their consumers would give rise to the actionable solutions that businesses might render as effective. Addressing the demands of the consumers through better service is what the companies should develop in order for them to keep up with the changing behavior of their customers. Using market segmentation to know the best target would help them in arranging their products at their target place.

According to Driggs (2009), “Consumers are demanding that companies know them and provide customer service representatives armed not only with appropriate training but also the resources to address customer concerns in an effective, efficient manner…” The goal of a business is to satisfy their customers and the best way to do it is to listen to what the customers says. The demand of the consumers is in lieu of the service that companies provided to them. For example, in a situation where in a customer was shopping inside the shoe store, a sales lady must always assists their customers in a polite and nice way. What if the case was, the customer was there for hours fitting a dozen pairs of shoes already and still hadn’t chose what the best pair is or what if the customer was irritating. Instead of being annoyed, the sales lady must always have good patience when dealing with galling customers. Improving the service of the sales staffs would definitely attract the customers and as a result, it would increase the sales of the company.

To maintain the good sales of a company, keeping track on the changing pattern of the consumer behavior can lead to understanding the important consumer issues that should be given focus. As cited by Wollan (2010), “Companies that want to keep in step with, or even get a step ahead of, the changing customer landscape must actively embrace analytics and adhere to shoe four principles…” Looking briefly and examining the underlying patterns of consumer behavior would actually result to information that companies might use as a constructive data to improve the quality of their service and products that would be in favor for their customers. In the example above, what if the customer was only having a bad day which is the reason for her temperamental. The sales staffs should always try to understand the changing behavior of their customers.

Meanwhile, companies should be responsive to the altering taste of the new generation today. This segment was the most complex to identify among the consumers. As stated by Harris in Marketing (2010), “So many brands expect the audience to go out of their way to engage, but this audience is in too much of a hurry…” Being flexible to the varying activities of the said consumers must be given importance. In giving good quality of service, the business should not only focus to the entire customers but also to the various segments like the young audience. Proving to them that businesses can respond to their intricate demands would surely catch their attention and as an outcome, it would certainly lead to a good customer satisfaction.

As a result from the research about the consumer behavior, a business can figure out the concerns and interests of their consumers. Developing the marketing strategies of a company through better quality of service might be a good idea in meeting the expectations of the customers. As what was proven earlier, consumers were in favor of shopping only if the staffs provide them with good personal service. Indeed, an effective quality of service can lead to customer satisfaction.

References:

Driggs, W. (2009, April). Your customers want you to know them.

Customer relationship management, 14.

Wollan, R. (2010, November/December). Analyzing the new customer.

Customer relationship management, 10.

The generation gap. Marketing (2010): 13. InfoTrac Custom Database –

250. Web. 15 Dec. 2010.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Marketing Blogs

 

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