Marketing Planning, Segmentation and Products

Marketing Planning

Stakeholders’ participation in the marketing planning process

Stakeholders participate in the marketing planning process by providing the top management team with ideas about the market needs, market structure, and other details required to structure the marketing system for a successful process. The top management team collects information from the stakeholders when they are making decisions and this information is used to decide the best marketing strategy (Moore & Pareek, 2009).

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The process of developing a marketing mix

The marketing mix is made up of four components: product, price, place, and promotion. Therefore, the process of developing the marketing mix starts by identifying the specific product needs of the customers. The marketer develops a structure of understanding what the customers require and then goes ahead to provide such products. The marketer must then compare the prices of similar products and the promotional strategies that match the target market. Lastly, the marketer decides the best place to place the products (Moore & Pareek, 2009).

The relationship between a business strategy and a marketing strategy

Business strategy refers to the policies that a company establishes to attain a competitive position in the market. It entails the optimal utilization of all resources available for an organization to make the maximum profit possible by reducing costs. Marketing strategy focuses on establishing strategies for attracting and retaining customers and the overall competitiveness of the company in the market. Business strategy is related to marketing strategy in that the overall goal of the two strategies is to improve the competitiveness of the company while maximizing the profits generated. The business strategy contains all the strategies involved in maintaining the performance of a company while marketing strategy is a subset of business strategy (Ferrell & Hartline, 2008).

The stages in organizing a learning activity for non-marketing personnel about the marketing plan implementation

The initial stage is creating awareness about the learning processes available. Secondly, the marketer identifies the group of personnel and their areas of operation. Then the marketers develop the best learning strategies to apply to each group. Finally, the marketer delivers the marketing plan strategies to each group for implementation (Moore & Pareek, 2009).

Methods of monitoring the success of a marketing campaign

Monitoring is the process of ensuring that all the marketing objectives are being implemented accordingly (Bartle, 2007). Methods of monitoring:

  • Changes in the performance of sales
  • The number of customers retained or repeats buying from the firm
  • The number of new customers acquired
  • The number of complaints made by customers and other stakeholders
  • Awards received from other firms, e.g. Investor in Excellence (Dunn, 2007).

Evaluating and improving a marketing campaign

It is important to evaluate a marketing campaign to identify whether the goals and objectives of the company were attained. The process starts by collecting feedback information from customers, evaluating the feedback, and solving the problems identified (Moore & Pareek, 2009).

Ways to communicate changes to relevant stakeholders in marketing objectives

  1. The marketer can write formal letters to the concerned individuals.
  2. Use of posters especially when the people involved are too many.
  3. The use of direct-to-consumer communication where consumers explain the customers about the changes.
  4. Summoning people especially the internal stakeholders.
  5. Use of agents to deliver the message about changes.

Market Segmentation

Differentiated and undifferentiated markets

Differentiated markets are defined as markets that focus on the specific needs of the customers. The marketers aim at building customer loyalty by concentrating on the particular needs of the customers. Market specialization is a common feature of differentiated markets and the competition among firms is very high. Each organization makes an effort to capture the demand for as many customers as possible.

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On the other hand, undifferentiated markets are those markets with general characteristics such that the marketer focuses on the general needs of the customers. The specific needs of the customers are not focused but the common needs are satisfied by the marketers. In such markets the level of competition is low and companies can operate in the market successfully without focusing on the individual needs of the customers. Mass advertising is applied to reduce the costs of promoting to individual customers (Bull and Passewitz, 2010).

Behaviouristic and geographic segmentation

Behaviouristic segmentation is a method of delivering products to customers depending on their loyalty towards the products, how they use the products, and their buying response towards specific commodities in the market. For example, Apple Inc. sells its products to customers depending on their loyalty (Govoni, 2004).

Geographic segmentation is defined as the process of dividing the market according to countries, cities, or other locations of the customers. As such the price, product, and promotion are designed for the customers according to their location. An example, Coca-Cola Company sells its products according to the geographical location of its customers (Govoni, 2004).

Segmentation in discount department stores

Discount department stores segment their customers by product group location by creating different departments for all product varieties. They offer different prices for different consumer classes and this makes people buy from a department that matches their economic class. The prices are the main segmentation criterion for the stores (Moore & Pareek, 2009).

Variations of the product mix of an electrical appliance store

For a suburb with mainly family group residents, the product mix will include simple household electrical appliances. The suburban areas are rural and people live simple lives.

For an inner suburb with apartment and townhouse living, the product mix will be composed of simple electrical appliances. People in such areas require basic electrical appliances.

For medium-sized outback or country store, the products will range from electrical appliances, television sets, radios, and other appliances. The appliances are expensive and classic because this group of consumers has money to purchase such items and their standards of living are high.

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For an area with students and singles in flats, the product mix will compose classic electrical appliances, stylish utensils, computers, and other modern electrical products.

The steps in the market segmentation process

The first stage in market segmentation involves establishing the market as well as the consumers being targeted. The second stage involves establishing a structure for the market depending on the needs of the consumers of the market and the nature of the market. Thirdly, the needs of the consumers are identified by collecting their views and implementing such views. Fourthly, consumers with similar needs are grouped and their characteristics of each group are analyzed. Lastly, the needs of each group are catered for and the marketer continues to find a new market. This makes the whole process to be cyclic (Scholasticus, 2010).

Starbucks Inc. is an example of a company that has been successful in segmenting its market. The company sells its products according to the economic class of its customers. It has worked on a market niche and this niche is further segmented to improve the value of products offered to the customers.

Products and Services

Interrelations of components in the marketing mix

The product is the main item presented in a market and it must have a price tag that is determined by the cost of producing such a product. In the market place, the marketer must promote the product to create awareness about the existence of the product.

A value offer versus a value acquisition

Value offer is the net gains that a consumer is expected to gain from a product before he/she buys the product. On the other hand, value acquisition is the total value gained after purchasing the product.

Service as a product

A service can be a product. A product is the result of a manufacturing process and this is composed of goods and/or services.

B2B products, commodities, and brands

B2B products are sold by a firm to another firm. Such products are not sold to end-users and in most cases, they are exchanged between companies with the main aim of adding value.

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A commodity is an item of trade. A commodity refers to goods and services meant for exchange with money or other goods or services.

A brand is a name that is used to represent a product, an organization, or any other thing that is of value to customers.

The purpose of packaging in regards to a product

  1. Packages inform: they provide information about how to use the product, the company that manufactures such products, warnings, and explain the contents of the product.
  2. Packages are used to contain products, for example, toothpaste is contained a plastic tube.
  3. Protect: the package prevents the contents from spoilage, leaking, breaking, change in temperatures, and any other thing that may spoil the product.
  4. Transport: packages are used when moving products from one place to another
  5. Display: packages are used to display how to use the product, provide information about the size, price, and other aspects of the product (Heimlich, 2010).

The importance of labeling to a product

Labeling a product helps the consumers make a well-informed decision about the products available in the market, for example, labels on drugs help consumers buy the best drug to satisfy their needs. A brand provides value to customers when they satisfy the needs of customers, for example, when a customer is cured by a certain brand of a drug, the value for the drug to the customer is attained.

Product-service continuum

This is a spectrum showing how goods and services are interrelated in the market. It shows products with a service element in them. Examples of goods without a service element are cereals, cosmetics, and drugs. These are manufactured products and there are no services attached to them because all the production processes have been done and they are consumable without the use of any additional service (Hansen, Mowen and Guan, 2007).

Internal and service marketing

Internal marketing is the process by which the management promotes the strategies of the firm to the employees to enhance acceptance for the effective implementation of policies. The employees must implement the policies of the company and this can be enhanced by internal marketing. Internal marketing motivates employees to work towards achieving the goals of the firm. Internal marketing is important for service marketing because it improves customer satisfaction. Employees become motivated to satisfy the needs of customers when top management involves them in implementing policies (Cahill, 1996).

Branding and the strategies of standardization and customization in relation to services marketing

Services are intangible and it requires marketers to establish a good brand image for the customers to develop loyalty. Branding is used to help customers identify the products of a specific company when performing service marketing.

Standardization is the process of creating unity in all marketing strategies of a company. This can be used by applying a similar marketing strategy by a particular company that has several products to offer to the market. When a service company has a variety of products to market, it requires using a standardized marketing strategy to help customers identify products from the same company and to reduce the marketing costs.

Customization involves developing marketing strategies that are relevant to each consumer group in the market. In service marketing, companies offering their products to markets with a variety of consumer groups use this strategy to promote their products according to the nature of each consumer group (Gilmore, 2005).

List of references

Bartle, P. (2007). The nature of monitoring and evaluation. Web.

Bull, N. H. and Passewitz G. R. (2010). Finding Customers: Market Segmentation. Ohio State University Fact Sheet. Web.

Cahill, D. J. (1996). Internal marketing: your company’s next stage of growth. New York, NY: Routledge.

Dunn, S. (2007). Condition Monitoring in the 21st Century. Web.

Ferrell, O. C. and Hartline, M. D. (2008). Marketing Strategy. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.

Gilmore, A. (2005). Services marketing and management. California. Sage.

Govoni, N. A. (2004). Dictionary of marketing communications. California, Sage.

Heimlich, J. F. (2010). Purposes of Packaging. Ohio State University Fact Sheet. Web.

Hansen, R., Mowen, M. M. and Guan, L. (2007). Cost Management: Accounting & Control. Canada; Cengage Learning

Moore, K. and Pareek, N. (2009). Marketing: the basics. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.

Scholasticus, K. (2010). Market Segmentation Process. Web.

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