Product Life Cycle
A typical product that has gone through a product life cycle is Colgate.
Colgate’s Ribbon Dental Cream was the first ever product to be introduced in the market way back in 1896. However, new Colgate creams were later ushered into the marketplace. This led to the disappearance of the original product. Colgate Total toothpaste was introduced in the US market in 1997. It bombarded the market and gained a lot of popularity. It later reached the maturity stage coupled with an improvement in sales but at a diminishing rate. The volume of sales remained stable for some time. However, the sales began to drop gradually. Currently, the popularity and volume of sales of Colgate is below par owing to a number of factors such as stiff competition and high cost of production (Orbach & Fruchter, 2014).
The product life cycle is considered to be a major tool for marketing and making strategic decisions. A product goes through four distinct phases namely introduction, growth, maturity and decline (White, 2012). Besides, each sales and profit margin evolve in different ways, which also leads to the adoption of different marketing strategies.
- Introduction: this phase begins with the launch of the product. One of the characteristics is the slow growth of sales and low profits. It can lead to losses. This is due to high investments and ignorance of the product by the target audience. The brand is still not known by the targeted audience at the introduction stage.
- Growth: when clients adopt a product, sales grow sharply and profits follow the increase in sales. Since there is an increase in demand rate, competition increases and makes other products to take advantage of the situation. The brand experiences a robust acceptance in the market.
- Maturity: this refers to the time product sales tend to stabilize due to a small market growth which may sometimes be nil. In this phase, there are a large number of competitors and competition for the available market becomes increasingly fierce. Thus, companies invest in promotions as they seek to improve sales. The brand is well known in the market during this stage.
- Decline: A stage whereby a product becomes obsolete and is gradually replaced by others. Some companies tend to increase their marketing strategies or reduce distribution and manufacturing. The brand also declines during this phase.
According to White (2012), the concept of product life cycle is crucial in the ever-changing market. Therefore, it requires a positioning strategy and differentiation of companies to foster success throughout the investment period. After learning about this field of marketing, I have found out that it is not different from my earlier expectations.
Product Usage Categories
Which items might substitute for another item? Why did you choose that substitute and how might it affect demand?
A conventional survival package may be sampled from the cosmetics selection. This can comprise of a lemon crystal flavoring, myflossMint individual floss, Moist Towelette, Pomegranate Flavored, Skin Care Lip Balm and Safetec Hand Sanitizer. Such a collection is made up of items that may be used collectively and at the same time. It is quite cheap when they are bought at once.
Both coffee and sugar are being sold at this online store. The two consumables are considered to be complementary products because their individual demands affect each other. For example, when the price of coffee rises, the demand level is expected to go down. This effect creates an equal drop in the demand for sugar. When the demand for sugar goes up, a complimentary demand for coffee is experienced (Orbach & Fruchter, 2014).
Customer Relationship Management
Developing long-lasting relationships with customers require a rigorous customer relationship management plan in place. This is an approach that positions customers as the focus of business processes so that their needs, tastes and preferences can be best understood. It is vital to develop a business strategy with a focus on clients.
A company’s actions should address the needs of customers rather than the products themselves (Orbach & Fruchter, 2014). Relationships with customers can also be built using interaction systems such as automated systems of service channels (call center), the front box systems (PDVs) and Sales Force (SFA – sales force automation). SFA’s (Sales Force) are those used by sales team to access products, record sales, and schedule delivery.
Acquisition of knowledge systems also assist in building long-lasting relationships. The data is processed and presented in the form of report or graphs for making decisions. An organization can use it to target customers, plan campaigns, stay on top of sales processes and enhance relationships with customers. It can also be used to analyze the scope of products/services in the company’s operations, making a territorial management (which site accepts the product better), manage the best contacts and business opportunities, improve sales steps and identify sales margin.
Demographics and Trends
The ideas discussed in the reading include:
Investigate the nature of both internal and external market
Keep your ears alert in what is happening in social networks
Being in a position to predict and see the future business and marketing conditions.
Example of a trendy condition
Employing technology in marketing is a current global and trendy condition that cannot be ignored at all. While conventional marketing strategies have delivered positive results for companies over the past decades, it is crucial to mention that companies are finding it more convenient to incorporate both traditional and modern methods of marketing their products and brands. Of particular interest here is internet marketing through online platforms. The above strategies can be implemented when marketing goods and services using modern technologies.
To begin with, marketing professionals should thoroughly scan both the internal and external marketing environments before deciding which marketing technology to use (White, 2012). A marketing platform that is suitable for one firm may completely be harmful to another organization even if they are operating in the same industry. Scanning assists in evaluating and scrutinizing the prevailing marketing conditions before adopting the most effective marketing technology. Second, the views and opinions of customers can be obtained through social networks.
This implies that social media outlets are vital marketing tools that organizations should incorporate in their marketing platforms at any given time. Third, a current technological marketing platform may fail to yield the much-need results in future. Through forecasting, marketing managers are able to be ahead of competitors by coming up with marketing tools that are not only dynamic, but also robust enough in the changing marketing conditions. Finally, the author was right in assuming the above approach (Orbach & Fruchter, 2014).
Functions of Marketing Management
The following four roles are fundamental to a marketing manager:
- Carrying out marketing analysis through the processes of analyzing risks and marketing opportunities.
- Drafting a marketing plan by selecting a target market and suitable marketing strategies.
- Marketing implementation by developing the required mix or marketing mix.
- Marketing control by evaluating the results/outcomes of marketing strategies and programs in place (Gök & Hacioglu, 2010).
If I were consulting with a manager of a firm that sells cleaning supplies, I would clearly inform my client that a marketing plan is a major growth factor in a business entity. Therefore, significant investment in a marketing plan should be done for the company. A small marketing budget will obviously slow down both growth and profitability. I would also inform my client that a marketing plan assists in strengthening and attaining business goals throughout the lifetime of a business (White, 2012).
Hence, serous spending is necessary in this area. If the client differs with me in terms of the marketing strategy, I will give him a number of business case studies that have succeeded as a result of rigorous marketing. I will inform the client that major international firms have succeeded because of marketing their businesses. I will also convince my client that a marketing plan serves the following roles:
- Market analysis;
- Identification of opportunities and risks;
- Market segmentation and target market selection;
- Marketing objectives;
- Product differentiation strategies;
- Pricing strategy, communication and distribution;
- Tactical planing;
- Marketing Budget;
- Evaluation and control (Gök & Hacioglu, 2010).
I would inform my client that a marketing plan will assist him/her to analyze the competitors’ strengths and weaknesses as well as define strategies and actions that can boost the growth of the business. Finally, a marketing plan will establish a timeline based on the business goals (Gök & Hacioglu, 2010).
BPs corporate social responsibility
Working at the marketing department of BP requires serious articulation of ethical management and consolidating the policy of Corporate Social Responsibility. The petroleum company should inject values and practices that prioritize the welfare of citizens and the whole society by taking into account the socio-economic context.
The marketing department should defend the Corporate Social Responsibility and should be considered a key area of strategic importance in the organization. The department should learn to evolve and adapt to the changing times in regards to corporate social responsibility. Hence, there is urgent need to adopt an integrated management model in which the socially responsible projects are closely linked to the business. The internal implementation of this model should allow a company to operate in the energy sector alongside safeguarding the environment (Huang, Yen, Liu & Huang, 2014)
The sustainability of the business and the improvement of community living conditions in which the company operates should be among the main objectives of the marketing department of the firm. Social, educational or environmental projects should be mapped out by the company within all jurisdictions or areas of operations. Hence, the company should always engage itself with other community partners in order to make sure that any dangers that the firm’s operations may expose to the environment are addressed in advance (Huang et al., 2014).
Due to several years of experience in the implementation and development of activities related to corporate social responsibility, the company and its employees are supposed to take an increasingly active part in improving community’s’ living conditions. A viable CSR program can contribute towards the development of a dynamic proximity to the various partners who may equally be useful in the whole process.
The marketing department of the firm should be increasingly aware of the importance of the company’s relationship with society, and in particular with the social solidarity institutions. Such partnerships should be established and strengthened throughout the existence of the company in order to support and enhance sustainable development of the community, and eventually provide quality of life for citizens.
Marketing Ethics and Children
Although some children advertising are healthy and totally ethical, several adverts directed to minors often propagate counter-education to children. An advertisement that promotes a cereal product for children with poor nutrition is ethical and does not necessarily infringe the basic rights of the targeted group (Soni & Singh, 2012).
The modern advertising platform is filled with adverts that aim to train future citizens not to be critical thinkers but docile to the calls of globalized consumerism. There should be minimum restrictions on advertising products to children. For instance, advertising appeals that are immoral or those that push the idea that the child will be “stronger”, “cool”, “smart” or “happy” should be restricted.
Instead of debating whether it is ethical to advertise so as to induce children and teenagers to pressure parents to buy specific products which promise to fill a false need created by the media, it is necessary to create legal mechanisms to deter adverts targeted to children and adolescents. It is not legitimate for a parent to be compelled by children to buy products of companies whose aim is always to maximize your profits (Soni & Singh, 2012).
Televisions and media companies often boycott any initiatives to regulate advertising that influence children negatively. By evoking words such as “right” and “freedom”, most lobby companies linked to media believe that it is immoral not to use children as objects to sell products or services. Therefore, they ignore the rule of law and scientific research that denounce immorality and dangers of negative advertising to children.
Children’s programs continue to influence the behavior of minors to consume certain products as a way of life. The latter is sometimes marked by early sexualization of children in terms of dressing, walking, eating, and even talking (White, 2012). Most of these television programs do not press for any good educational guidance, and are viewed in homes without parents or guardians. Worse still, it is prudent to mention that today’s parents are being crazily driven to buy overrated branded products because of being influenced by peers. On the same note, children also ape their parents and eventually find themselves completely mislead by the marketing campaigns. Sometimes, fights happen in families because of these pressures (Nakata, Zhu & Izberk-bilgin, 2011).
Some ‘ethical’ executives are against companies that use children as instruments to pick parents and purchase products which they need (Soni & Singh, 2012). However, most companies investing heavily to sell children’s games, toys, designer clothes, fast food, holiday services and so on usually do so through the help of psychologists, social scientists, anthropologists, and experts in media with the aim of seducing children and youth. Therefore, adverts directed at children should be keenly regulated.
Gök, O., & Hacioglu, G. (2010). The organizational roles of marketing and marketing managers. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 28(3), 291-309.
Huang, C., Yen, S., Liu, C., & Huang, P. (2014). The Relationship among Corporate Social Responsibility, Service Quality, Corporate Image and Purchase Intention. International Journal of Organizational Innovation (Online), 6(3), 68-84.
Nakata, C., Zhu, Z., & Izberk-bilgin, E. (2011). Integrating marketing and information services functions: A complementarity and competence perspective. Academy of Marketing Science Journal, 39(5), 700-716.
Orbach, Y., & Fruchter, G. E. (2014). Predicting product life cycle patterns. Marketing Letters, 25(1), 37-52.
Soni, P., & Singh, R. (2012). Mediation of TV advertising to children. Society and Business Review, 7(3), 244-259.
White, S. (2012). Principles of Marketing (1st ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.