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The process of marketing is divided into five steps. With these five steps companies strive to grasp what customers want, thereby creating customer value and build strong relationships with customers. The fifth step is reaping the benefits of creating strong customer relationships.
History of Marketing Management?
Marketing, as a business process was recognized in early 20th century. Until then goods and services were sold without any knowledge about customer needs. This view changed as companies came forward to consumers and understanding what they want and made products which consumers liked. This was how marketing was born.
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Sample Marketing Assignment
Shaped Alloys Ltd is a local company supplying aluminium cowlings, mouldings and structures for the MOD(Navy). They have been in this business for over thirty years. Due to the downturn in the government market they have been working on other products that they can produce effectively due to their extensive experience in light alloys.
The purpose of this report is to produce a marketing communications report that define the two markets the company operates through its B2b and B2C models and highlighting the differing communications requirements and the communications mix available to the marketer.
Many companies are using integrated marketing communications (IMC); because they need a more effective and efficient way of communications with their customers. It is believed that IMC help them to build customer relationship and therefore create profitable brands. (Duncan, 2002)
1. MARKET SEGMENTATION AND TARGETING
Segmentation and targeting seek to determine who companies want to reach in order to build brand relationship. Marketing today is in the name of efficiency and effectiveness, becoming more focused on smaller but more profitable segments of the market. (Duncan, 2003)
Shaped Alloys Ltd must be at the forefront of consumer research and conducts extensive research on a regular basis to identify new trends and to study opportunities for new and different trade channels. According to Shaped Alloys Ltd’s research, overall consumers can be grouped in two segments they are:
- The B2B sector: industrial companies which manufacture large commercial kitchens
- The B2C sector: consumer market with an extremely hard and therefore durable non-stick surface coating
Specific segments are selected and Shaped Alloys Ltd must develop different marketing plans in order to satisfy the needs of the potential buyer in the chosen segments. (Fill, 1999, pg 200)
The fundamental starting point for the creation of a successful marketing mix strategy is to ensure that the target market is clearly defined. Having evaluated the two segments, Shaped Alloys Ltd could consider two different types of targeting the two markets in which the company operates.
Positioning is the art of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of the target market. (Kotler, 2003, pg 308).
Shaped Alloys must position its two core products:
- Xtract: A modular, flexible air/gas extraction system, ideal for industrial fume or dust removal or medium to large commercial kitchens
- Diamond: A new range of saucepans for the consumer market with an extremely hard and therefore durable non-stick surface coating.
According to Ries and Trout, in an over-advertised society, the mind often knows brands in the form of product layers. The top firm is remembered the best. The number one position can be held only by one brand.
The proliferation of new types of media, the growing sophistication of consumers, the wide range of communications tools, messages, audiences and the rise in some media cost, such as television through the 1990’s, makes imperative that companies move towards IMC. (Kottler, 2003)
Therefore it is important to develop an IMC approach in order to obtain uniform branding, target the market and seek to position the Xtract and Diamond brands to their respective target markets.
The elements involved in IMC are many and they depend upon the perspective an individual might adopt, these elements might range from a simple configuration of the promotional mix through to a fully integrated and culturally driven mission and corporate strategy. (See Table 1) The present report focuses on the explanation of the promotional mix and the marketing mix and business strategy.
Table 1. Elements involved in IMC
THE PROMOTIONAL MIX Above the line and below the line
MARKETING MIX Price, Product, Place and Personal Selling
BUSINESS STRATEGY Philosophy, objectives and mission
OUTSOURCED PROVIDER Agencies, production material suppliers
ORGANISATION Employees, management and overseas division
Source; Fill 2002
Table 1 shows the main elements to be considered and managed in developing IMC. Therefore IMC is not just a matter of transmitting uniform marketing communications messages.
3. INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATION
The concept of IMC has been defined in three ways: a one-voice view in which there is one theme and one image, a perspective which suggests that product, image and consumer behaviour should be considered simultaneously and a perspective which focuses on the integration of communications disciplines.(Nowak, et al, 1994)
IMC planners, focus their attention in two types of consistency, one voice one look and strategic consistency. For instance one voice one look, delivers a campaign in which all advertising, sales promotion, sponsorship, publicity and direct response and package for the two different products have the same appearance and feel. All the media messages reinforce one and the other. (Duncan, 2003)
Therefore, Shaped Alloys Ltd must bring together its advertising, direct marketing, public relations and employee communications in order to improved communications within them in order to target its two different segments (Kottler, 2003)
IMC can be defined as the harmonisation of the messages conveyed by each of the promotional tools, in order that audiences perceive a consistent image of product organisation. (Fill, 2001) Shaped Alloys Ltd ’s key visual triggers used in advertising should be replicate across the range of promotional tools used, included point of purchase and sales force in order to position its Diamond brand to the consumer market and Xtract brad to the industrial market.
Shaped Alloys Ltd script logo and corporate colours so prominent on delivery, signs, stationary, printed material and the brand themselves must be consistent as a visual statement of the company’s authority within the market.
It is important that the brands Xtract and Diamond have their individual design style and colour which depends on the market position and customer perception. The Shaped Alloys Ltd house name in its unique script should always be included so that the product perception gains uniformity.
To achieve strategic consistency, the different messages should be tailored to the two different target audiences while maintaining a constant brand image.
3.2 THE PROMOTIONAL MIX
Effective communications is important to organisations, therefore they use a variety of promotional tools, such as; advertising, public relations, direct marketing, personal selling, promotion and added value approaches like events, sponsorship, merchandising and pop material.
In order to get these messages, traditional media, such as print and broadcast, radio can be used to create brand positioning and awareness of the brand Diamond as well as the use of the internet. (Fill, 2002)
The marketing communication tools can be used in different combinations and different degrees of intensity, according to the nature of the company and in order to communicate with the two different audience groups. See Figure 1.
Shaped Alloys Ltd must communicate with their customers and stakeholder, using a variety of communications methods. (See Table 2) The present report will focus on some of the most relevant.
Table 2. Methods of Marketing Communications XTRACT
Exhibitions and Events
Source; Fill, 2002
It is important that the brands Xtract and Diamond have their individual methods and approaches depending on the market position and customer perception. However the Shaped Alloys Ltd house name in its unique script must be always included so that the product perception gains uniformity.
Table 3. Methods of Marketing Communications Diamond
Exhibitions and Events
There are significant changes in the way organisations communicate to their target audience, for instance, there has been an increase in the use of direct marketing, internet and digital technologies, which enable new interactive forms of communication, they can be used in the B2B and B2C markets.
In other words, the mass communication (above the line) has been given way to more direct and highly targeted promotional activities using direct marketing and other tools of the mix. Therefore, through the line and below the line campaigns are more used nowadays. (Fill, 2002)
Sales promotion, public relations, personal selling
The shift is from an intervention-based approach to marketing communications, or based on seeking the attention of a customer who might not be interested; towards permission-based, focus on the audience interested in a particular offer. (Fill, 2002)
The trend from traditional strategies, based largely on mass communications, to one based on personalisation, rather than generalisation, customer orientated and technology driven approaches, is referred to as integrated marketing communications. This new media approach has been called an orchestration, whole egg and seamless communication. (Duncan, et al, 1993)
For decades, marketers have implemented the long established communications tools of advertising, public relations, sales promotion and direct marketing to achieve a diverse range of objectives. Traditionally they have been managed separated, with different objectives, goals and budgets. (Belch, et al, 1998)
Therefore it is important that Shaped Alloys Ltd coordinate the tools under an umbrella strategy in an attempt to increase communication effectiveness and consistency. (Ewing, et al, 2000)
The role of advertising in the promotional plan is important. Advertising can influence audiences by informing or reminding them of the existence of a brand, or alternatively by persuading or helping differentiate a product or organisation from others in the market. (Fill, 2002)
Shaped Alloys Ltd could use on alternative communication channels to create product awareness, such as the Diamond brand and its new range of saucepans, brand association and loyal customer bases. (Aaker, 1997)
Providing extensive information especially by using media advertising, cannot impact customers personal experience with the brand. Experiences go beyond the loyalty generated by any objective assessment of a brand’s value. What is more it links all its communications tools and focuses on the consistency of the brand.
However, Shaped Alloys’ brands Xtract and Diamond, could gain brand building through press coverage and word of mouth.
3.2.2 Sales Promotion
Sales Promotion is a marketing communication function that adds value to brand messages. A sales promotion intensifies a brand contact when a customer or prospects are buying or using situation. More specific, it is a short term added value offer designed to encourage and accelerate a response. A customer sales promotion offer is designed for end users and buyers could be designed for the brand Diamond and a trade sales promotion for the brand Xtract focusing in customers in the distribution channel, such as distributors and wholesales. (Duncan, 2002)
Shaped Alloys, in order to move its Diamond products through the distribution channel, from the point of manufacture to the point of consumption, could use two basic sales promotion strategies; push and pull.
Push strategies can be defined as marketing communications efforts targeted at members of the distribution channel. Once the retailer has purchased several truckloads of the product, that retailer will work hard to make sure the product sells in order to recoup the cost of the product and make profit of it. (Duncan, 2002)
Pull strategies, on the other hand, are communication efforts targeted to end users. They are used to motivate customers to come to stores and look for a specific brand, which pulls products from the shelves and creates need for retailers to buy more, in order to satisfy the consumer demand.
Shaped Alloys Ltd’ s sales promotion, could include push and pull strategies, using both consumer and trade promotions and the company integrate trade and consumer promotion in time and theme, in order to create a positive synergy.
Brand’s events included celebrations such as organising an event and its logistics, staffing it and marketing it to participants, sponsorships and attendees. In other words, managing an event involves the use of almost every other form of marketing communication. (Duncan, 2002) It can be suggested that Shaped Alloys Ltd could organise events such as cooking or chefs’ competitions in order to promote its Diamond brand. As well as sponsoring TV programs specialised in cooking in order to target their audience.
3.3.4 Public Relations
Public relations strengthen credibility, enhance image, develop goodwill or influence public opinion. These tactics, such as speeches, special events, newsletters, annual reports and news releases, are targeted to an audience could be used in order to target both markets the B2C and the B2B (Cuclis Communication, 2004)
3.3.5 Merchandising and POP
Merchandising means extending a brand image through promotional activities at the retail level. The majority of the elements used for merchandising are point of purchase (POP) materials, which are in-store display materials designed to call attention to a brand. (Duncan, 2002)
POP material, however, offers the opportunity for a win-win situation for both retailer and manufacturer. The brand sells more of itself and the retailer simply sells more.
Careful planning between retailer and manufacturer for a symbiotic relationship should be planned by Shaped Alloys in order to distribute its Diamond brand through the major retailers and specialised vendors. (Reuters, 1997)
3.4 THE NEW MARKETING MIX
The new emphasis on IMC has produced a new marketing mix. The traditional 4Ps are reconfigures, therefore the fourth P, becomes personal selling. (See Figure 3)
Figure 3. The New Marketing Mix- IMC
Source; Rossiter, et al, 1998
The marketing communications task is to ensure that the perception of the offering and of the organisation is the desired one. One way of providing consistency, is the use of own label products.
Marketing communication of the price is through the selection of prestige, competitive or value pricing and trough detail ads. On the other hand, marketing communication on the place is through the distribution channel as a promotion vehicle, such as store atmosphere and point of purchase ads and promotions.
3.5 BUSINESS STRATEGY
In order to use an integrated marketing communication approach effectively, it is necessary to communicate aspects of the direction in which the organisation intents to achieve this. Therefore, the business philosophy and its objectives, usually express through mission and vision statements, need to be communicated to particular audiences in a way that synchronises and co-ordinated with the organisation’s other communications activities. (Fill, 2001)
IMC needs to involve the whole organisation, because it requires internal an external communications so that they can be identified with the strategy and direction of the organisation. It is believed that IMC cannot be sustained unless it is supported by all employees adopting a customer focus. (Fill, 2002)
Once the internal orientation has been established, it is possible to take the message to external audiences. Encouraging employees to behave in such a way that they are perceived to support brand promises, provides a vital form of consistency. (Gilly, et al, 1998)
4.GENERIC CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS
IMC is not a static one level concept the establishment of IMC must be undertaken in steps, in order to coordinate various aspects.
According, to Fill, 2001, the starting point in the move towards IMC is at level of promotional mix, from promotional coordination, progress through to a functional coordination, where different parts are introduced to the concept of internal marketing communications.
The next step is characterised by the organisation moved towards a customer orientation culture, it requires a cultural shift. In other words, in order to established an IMC approach, Shaped Alloys must achieve and communicate their intent to all that involves both an inside an outside organisation.
Integrated Marketing Communication, means different things to different people, however the term should embrace the marketing mix, the promotional mix, internal communications and all those outsourced providers which contribute to the overall marketing communication process.
Figure 5. A Model of Integrated Marketing Communications
All these elements need to be linked to the overall purpose of Shaped Alloys bearing in mind the strategy, philosophy and mission of the organisation. (Fill, 2001)
The key is synergy, media work better together in combination than they do alone. (Schultz, 2004) In order to identify the media synergy that exists within a promotional program the methodology is; the increased effects the same marketing communication message appearing in different media can have on product sales over time however it is important to bear in mind that a different approach and message have to be transferred to the two different segments. (Naik, 2003)
Some type of synergy may occur if various forms of media elements are ran together , but identifying this synergy in the mass media has been most difficult to prove, particularly in terms of connecting the results to actual market sales. (Schultz, 2004)
The identity of the two different brands is the foundation of any good brand building program. A clear an effective brand identity, one for which there is an understanding and buy-in throughout the organisation, should be linked to the business’s vision and its organisational cultural values.
Belch, G. D. and Belch, M. ( 1998) Introduction to Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communication Perspective, 4ed, Homewood, IL, Irwin
Cuclis Communication (2004) What is Public Relations?, Cuclis Communications, http://www.cucliscommunications.com/pr.html
Duncan, T. (2002) IMC; Using Advertising and Promotion to Build Brands, 1ed., New York, McGraw Hill
Duncan. T. and Everett. S. (1993) ‘Client Perceptions of Integrated Marketing Communications’, Journal of Advertising Research, 3(3), pp 30-39
Fill. C. (2001) ‘Essentially a Matter of Consistency: Integrated Marketing Communications’, The Marketing Review, 1, 409-425
Fill, C. (2002) Marketing Communications; Contexts, Strategies and Applications, 3ed., Harlow, Prentice Hall, Financial Times.
Gilly, M. C. and Wolfinbarger, M. (1998) ‘Advertising Internal Audience’, journal of Marketing, 62 pp69-88
Kotler, P. (2003) Marketing Management, 11ed. New Jersey, Prentice Hall
Naik R. (2003) ‘Understanding the Impact of Synergy in Multimedia Communications’ Journal of Marketing Research, 40(4), pp375-388
Nowak G. and Phelps J. (1994) ‘Conceptualising the Integrated Marketing Communication Phenomenon: An Examination of Its Impact on Advertising Practices and its Implications for Advertising Research’, journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising, 16, pp46-66
Reuters, (1997) Below-the-Line-Marketing: Profits from
Direct Customer Relationships
Rossiter, J. R. and Percy, L. (1998) Advertising Communications and Promotion Management, 2ed. Boston, McGraw Hill
Schultz D. E, Tannenbaum S. And Lauterborn. R. F. (1992) Integrated Marketing Communication; Putting it Together and Making it Work, Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Business Books
Schultz D. E. (2004)’Two Profs Prove Real Value of Media Integration’, Marketing News, pp6
In order to determine the price policy for Shaped Alloys Ltd new products Xtract and Diamond it is important to consider a few aspects according to the product and the target market.
1. Selecting the price objective
It is important to select an objective in order to position the company’s market offering. This could be to maximise profits, to maximise market share or to maximise market skimming.
2. Determine the demand and estimate costs
It is also crucial to analyse the competitors’ costs, prices and offers, it applies for both products. The firm should first consider the nearest competitor’s price.
3. Selecting a price method
Costs set a floor to the price, competitors’ prices and price of substitutes and customer’s assessment establishes the ceiling price. (See Figure 1)
4. Selecting the final price
It is important to select an adequate price due to the assumption that many consumers use the price as an indicator of quality. What is more the final price must take into account the brand’s quality and the target group, as in the case Shaped Alloys Ltd is planning to priced two products for two different markets, it must be selected separately.
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