Channel management is the process by which producers and their suppliers reach out to various consumers of their products and services. They do this by use of various methods and techniques that aim at ensuring that they reach out to as many consumers as possible to maximize the sales of their products. Channel management involves adopting a channel that will ensure that maximum sales are achieved, and this will entail proper communication strategies between the business and the consumers (Mercer 2005, p. 67). This process ensures that the business meets the needs of the consumer since it ensures direct communication with the customers thus making the business have a proper understanding of the customer needs.
The choice of channel to use will depend on the goal that you want to achieve. Every channel aims at achieving a specific goal, and it is important to pick a channel that corresponds with the goals that you want to achieve. Organizational objectives will influence the choice of the channel depending on what the organization wants to achieve (Mercer 2005, p. 73). For example, if an organization is new to the market it is going to choose a channel that will ensure rapid market penetration to make more sales as well as appeal to the consumers.
According to Mercer (2005, p. 103), the type of product determines the choice of channel to pick. Some products may require a short distribution channel, and these mostly apply to perishable products. It is, therefore, important for the business to identify the products it is dealing with and choose the best channel. The nature of the market in which the business is operating will also influence the choice of channel. A market where there is very high competition will require the business to choose a channel that will ensure that the business is appealing to the consumers to win more customers in the face of increasing competition.
A high involvement product will require a strategy that understands the needs of the consumers. Consumers do not purchase high-involvement products frequently, and when it comes to purchasing them consumers have to make careful consideration (Bowersox, & Cooper 2009, p. 213). For this reason, it is important to come up with a strategy that understands the needs and preferences of consumers, and with this in mind come up with a channel that will capture these needs.
Marketing aims at satisfying the needs of the consumers. It does this by ensuring that consumers can get the products when they need them. Marketing uses different strategies to achieve the objective of customer satisfaction. It is through some of the channels that marketing is said to create needs that did not exist (Paley 2006, p. 123). Critics argue that some marketing strategies have gone further and made consumers buy products that they did not need.
It is not ethical to blame marketing for consumers spending money on products that they did not require. The marketing forces should be left alone to play a specific role in satisfying customer needs. It is, however, important for the marketers to carry out their activities in a straight manner and not be guided by greed because this will make them convince consumers to buy products that they do not require (Paley 2006, p. 180).
The needs are arranged according to priority, and Maslow grouped them into five basic categories. The first group is physiological needs, and these represent the needs that are needed to maintaining life or maintaining the body in a state of equilibrium. These include food, water, air, and sleep. The second category is the safety needs. Maslow identifies the need for individuals to secure and free from physical harm or psychological harm. Security is important for one to remain productive and such security includes living in a safe area or even having job security that ensures financial reserves (Boone & Kurtz 2011, p. 89).
The belongingness and love needs form the third category and this represents the social needs of an individual. These needs include the need for attention and social activity. Other examples include the need for belonging and the need for love. The fourth category is the esteem needs, and these represent the desire for self-respect, strength, achievement, and freedom. This category also incorporates the needs for social status and recognition, and examples of these needs include reputation, attention, and recognition (Boone & Kurtz 2011, p. 93). The final category of Maslow’s needs is self-actualization. This is the desire for self-fulfillment and realizing one’s full potential.
Maslow’s theory helps marketers because they can understand the various needs of the customers. Marketers will use Maslow’s theory to identify what the consumers in the market desire more they will identify the stage in which the consumers are in and target the needs that are required in that particular stage. Marketing will become much easier when you understand the consumers well (Boone & Kurtz 2011, p. 105). The needs of consumers are many, and through Maslow’s theory, a marketer will be able to capture a certain need and address it comprehensively. Through this, he can accomplish the goals of marketing that are identifying and satisfying customer’s needs.
Online marketing involves selling products and services over the internet; it uses wireless media and involves the use of electronic mail. Display advertising is the best method to use to market bags online. This will involve the use of web banners to display the bags online where the majority of viewers will see them. It is important to have the best shots of the bags so that they can be attractive to those who will view them (Bowersox & Cooper 2009, p. 302). Online tools help in marketing products and services. The choice of these tools is influenced by several factors. The most important factor is the ease of use, it is important to pick a tool that is friendly to use and implement because it will make the marketing work easier.
Cost-effectiveness is also a factor to consider, and this will involve the choice of a tool that is affordable to the marketer. The tool used should have the ability to track quickly what you have sent to the customers and be in a position to give the response of the customers. This will help the marketer to know if his products are making an impact in the market and if they are not he can be able to use another strategy (Hawkins & Best 2003, p. 143). The online tool used should also be able to bring you closer to the customers and strengthen the relationship with the customer. This will ensure customer loyalty and satisfaction.
A reference group is a group with which an individual wants to be associated with and it thus becomes a point of reference for his life issues. It influences how an individual thinks and it is used in determining an individual’s self-identity. Reference groups influence the purchasing decisions of different consumers depending on the degree of attachment to the reference group (Hawkins & Best 2003, p.163). For example, football clubs make a lot of money by selling their products such as jerseys. This is because people will buy these products because of their association with these clubs and the football stars that play in these clubs.
Hawkins & Best (2003, p. 172) argues that companies can use reference groups to influence the purchase of their products by using these reference groups to advertise their products. Advertising through reference groups will give consumers the urge to try the product. Since they want to be associated with this particular group, they will buy the products. The reference group influences the information processing of individuals as well as their attitudes. So a company that wants to make more sales should think of utilizing reference groups.
Habitual decision-making is a problem-solving technique that does not require extensive research into the problem. When it involves purchasing products the habitual process takes into account that you are buying the same brand and the same product (Mercer 2005, p. 110). In this case, the users trust the brand, and they do not intend to change to another brand. In limited decision making consumers do little research about the products before they make the final purchase.
Extended decision-making is quite complex and mainly involves consumers who purchase expensive products. In this process consumers, search for information about the products, and they have to compare alternative products before making any purchase this means that a lot of time is taken in this process because the ultimate goal of the customer in this process is to achieve customer satisfaction. Perceived risk exists in the mind of the consumer where he/she believes there is a certain risk of buying a particular product from a specific retailer. Companies can utilize different strategies to overcome perceived risk, and these include ensuring that the products you are selling are of the right quality (Mercer 2005, p. 125).
Buyer behavior is a factor that H&O will have to take into consideration when choosing a channel strategy for their handbags. Paley (2006, p. 68) elucidates that Buyer behavior will look into the way the buyers will want to buy the handbag and by which means. Some buyers would want to buy handbags from retailers, while others will want to buy from wholesalers. Some may also opt to purchase the bags online. H&O should also consider the needs of the buyer, and this will involve offering after-sales services such as delivering the handbags to those clients that have purchased the bags online. The company should also consider product and producer factors. They should come up with the best design of the bags that will guarantee customer satisfaction.
H&O should use a channel that will ensure that it reaches out to many consumers cost-effectively and competently. As a marketing manager, I would propose the use of a channel that focuses on satisfying the needs of the buyer. Such a strategy will encompass several factors starting with the production of the bags. The bags should be of high quality and should capture the attention of the consumers. The availability of these bags should also be taken into account such that we should have enough stocks of these bags both at the retail level and at the wholesale level. We should also enhance online selling to ensure we reach out to many customers across the globe.
Tepco Inc: Market Information Systems
Marketing information systems enable the storage of marketing information. All level managers can use this system in their work. Tepco Inc should think of adopting a management information system because it will bring about a better organization when it comes to the collection of data. The system will ensure that all the data that is collected from the market is put in a database and this results in easy referencing when needed. The system is also crucial for the corporation because it stores important data such that it is only available to the managers (Mercer 2005, p. 218). Tepco will also benefit from a management information system in that they will be able to undertake proper coordination of their processes and operations.
A management information process will help Tepco in the analysis and planning of its operations. The system will provide information that is the basic tool for any planning process it will also ensure there are proper controls for this planning process. The management information system will ensure tracking of the organization’s activities, and this will bring about a broader perspective of the company (Mercer 2005, p. 228). Tepco Inc will be in a position to handle its crisis as well as avoiding them through the introduction of a management information system. The system will track the financial performance of the company, and it can be able to tell when the company is not performing as expected.
The disadvantage of a management information system is that it is complex to set-up and maintain. It requires the work of an expert and this may result in additional costs for the company. The system will require that the company trains its staff on how to operate the system, and this will mean additional cost. The system may be ineffective if the information fed into it is wrong (Mercer 2005, p. 228). For this reason, those operating the system should always ensure that they feed in the correct information to ensure the proper results.
References groups and opinion leaders will be important in repositioning the orange-flavored soft drink. References groups influence the purchasing decision of people, and these companies are bound to benefit from their cooperation with these groups. The reference groups’ will be in a position to influence people to start buying the soft drink again and since most people want to be associated with these groups their perception of these soft drinks may change, and they will start buying them again.
Opinion leaders are respected people in society, and their opinions are highly regarded in society For this reason the manufacturers of the soft drink can use these opinion leaders to advertise the product, the perception of the consumers will change drastically if they see their favorite personalities advertising and they will even associate the soft drink with the opinion leader. Reference group and opinion leaders can Influence information processing and attitudes of many people, and these companies are in a better position to reposition their products if they use this group of people (Hawkins & Best 2003, p. 263). These individuals receive a lot of media coverage, and when consumers see them they will link them to the soft drink, and this will increase the sales of the soft drink.
Introducing products to the markets
When buying a flat-screen LCD TV the decision will fall under the category of extended decision process because of the price of the product, and customers will have to do a background search about the product. To launch the product successfully into the market it is important to consider the different decisions that buyers make when buying new products because most of them are not comfortable buying new products. For this reason, we should ensure that the product we are introducing is of high quality so that it meets the expectations of the buyers.
It is also important to take into account the presence of other companies that are selling similar products. This will help us to know the kind of competition we expect to get, and it will enlighten us on the type of market that we are entering into. To reduce the perception of perceived risk we should ensure that our product is of very high quality to reduce the effects of rejection in the market. We should also provide our clients with the necessary information about the product (Boone & Kurtz 2011, p. 187).
Boone, E & Kurtz, L 2011, Contemporary Marketing, Cengage Learning, New York.
Bowersox, J & Cooper, M 2009, Strategic Marketing Channel Management, McGraw-Hill, New York.
Hawkins, D & Best, J 2003, Consumer behavior: implications for marketing strategy, Irwin, New York, University of Michigan Press.
Mercer, D 2005, Marketing, Dearborn Real Estate, North Carolina.
Paley, N 2006, The Manager’s Guide to Competitive Marketing Strategies, Thorogood Publishing, California.