Marketing is a concept through which companies get to anticipate, identity and then satisfy customer requirements in a profitable manner. This definition of marketing clearly shows that marketing is a practice which is done so that it leads to profitable ends and that it is not just practiced for the sake of publicity of the products or the company. Business performance is often measured in terms of the number of sales that a company makes and an increase in business performance will be measured by comparison of the last year’s sales to this year’s sales. Therefore, the point of view that I will support is that marketing does improve business performance. Any activity done by the company is part of their strategic plans and thus marketing is no exception to this rule.
Improves business performance by influencing buyer behaviour
For any company, the most important people are the buyers or the consumers of the products or services of that company. They buy the products, making sales and thus giving profits to the company, the ultimate goal that they have. Thus, marketing is one of the vital tools which influences buyer behavior and then ultimately makes sales, improving business performance.
With time, trends are changing and the choices of the buyers are changing. Consumers are getting sophisticated with time and even new products and services are getting added in their needs and wants. They are getting more tolerant in terms of that they would not mind trying the products of different countries and different cultures, thus cultural differences have been quite removed (Kotler, 1996).
Gauging this change in buyer behavior is only possible through marketing. It is through proper understanding of marketing and its terms that the company can see what are the factors influencing their target audiences and their decision making. The company can research and find out the reference groups that the consumers are using. Are the customers affected by informational influence, comparative influence or normative influence? Then deciding on the social class will help the company in choosing the right kind of marketing campaign in the right location.
Through marketing, the company gets to gauge at which steps most consumers are standing in terms of the decision making process. Whether they still perceive the need for the company’s product, or have reached the information search stage, whether they are evaluating alternatives or they have made the purchase. Or should the company get active in post purchase evaluation that the customer does.
When the advertisements of the product are shown on TV or its billboards are hoarded all over the city, these attempts are making a large positive contribution in influencing the decision making process of the consumers as to what they should purchase and thus marketing improves business performance (Stanton, 2000).
Improves business performance by marketing research
One of the key components of any marketing strategy that a company has is that it needs to be active in conducting research. It needs to do this so as to be aware of the changing trends, needs and wants of its consumers, whether they are individual or organizational.
Marketing research is essential for all the decisions that a company takes for itself, strategic or otherwise. It needs to know that whether sales would be higher if they package their product in a blue-colored wrapper or a green-colored one. Questions like these can only be answered via taking a market research. Research helps the company in taking confident steps towards completion or achievement of their goal. Whether it is market research, behavioral research, competitor research, product research, pricing research, promotional research, distribution research or economic and social research, it ultimately helps the business in improving its business performance because the company has solid statistics to back its decisions (Sandhusen, 2000).
There are many risks to a company which does not conduct research at all. The risks equal the costs of making the wrong decision for instance introducing a product in the market which was not meant to be accepted at all. The company would have to call back all the products thus incurring heavy losses and costs. Had the company researched before launching the product, it would have known that the market was not ready for such a product.
Improves business performance by designing a perfect marketing offer (The four P’s)
A marketing offer made by any company to its target audience consists of the four Ps: place, product, price and promotion. The company has to alter the elements of each part of the marketing offer so as to suit the target market that is being targeted.
When a company decides a strategic price in relation to what its competitors have kept, it is improving sales and thus business performance. Price is the only element in the marketing mix which generates income. And thus this is the most crucial factor in the marketing strategy of the company to decide upon. Price is also the easiest element in the marketing mix which can be altered in the short term. Thus, a company can keep income-related objectives in mind and alter the pricing strategy it has. Some of the pricing strategies that focus on income are differential pricing, bait pricing, and premium pricing.
When it comes to the place, it is important to get the product noticed. In terms of consumer products which are sold in supermarkets, they must be kept in prominent shelves where more and more consumers can see them while they are walking around the place. The more it will be seen, the more it will be sold. As far as services are concerned, their location is primary because the customer should be able to have easy access to the place if they want business performance to improve (Ross, 2001).
Moreover, promotion makes the target market notice the product and retains it into their mind so as to have upper hand over other products when purchasing decisions are being made. Lastly, product itself has to be designed so that repeated purchases take place and business performance improves.
An alternate point of view: Marketing does not improve business performance
At times, research cannot be that conclusive. For example, conducting a market or consumer research cannot give a clear picture as to the translation of the intentions of the consumers into actual purchasing transactions of the company’s product. Moreover, at times, companies reject good product ideas based on market research only when in fact they could have persuaded the public to try and accept the product with a vigorous marketing campaign. This way, products which could have been really beneficial for the market are rejected at such an early stage and thus marketing hampers business performance in such cases (Hisrich, 2000).
Apart from that, many people believe that marketing does nothing but mislead the consumers by making false claims and thus it might actually hamper business performance, because when the customers will buy the product and see the product falling below their expectations, the brand equity of the product and the company will be harmed thus harming the image of the company and the long term profitability and the sales that could have resulted.
In conclusion, it can be said that marketing a company, its product, and its image is essential for the acceptability of the company as well as the promotion of its goods and services. Through marketing, a company can reach out to a mass audience and communicate to them the image it wishes to make. It can build on its brand equity and improve its good will. It can also practice public relations through advertisements in TV and in newspaper. Thus, through marketing, a company can successfully reach out to its audience and build that relationship with them which will last for a long time in the minds of the consumers.
- Hisrich, R. (2000) Marketing. 2nd Edition. New York. Barrons Educational Series. ISBN-10: 0764114042
- Kotler, P. (2007) Principles of Marketing. 12th Edition. Prentice Hall. ISBN 0132390027,
- Ross, C. (2001) Marketing: Principles and Practice. Prentice Hall. ISBN 027364677X
- Sandhusen, R. (2000) Marketing. Third Edition. Barrons Educational Series. ISBN 0764112775
- Stanton, W. (2001) Marketing. 12th Edition. Irwin/McGraw Hill. ISBN 0072430346