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Marketing Planning Essay

Explain the concept of marketing as a management process and the role of marketing in identifying and predicting the needs of current and potential stakeholders. 1. 1 The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines marketing as the process of identifying, anticipating and satisfying the customer needs and desires profitably. 1. 2 Marketing is a much broader process than selling a product or service. In order to be able to meet the needs of the customer, marketing is a management process that ensures that we: Find out what the customer needs and wants,

Develop products and services that meet these needs, Set an acceptable price while still maintaining a profit, Distribute the product or service to the consumer, Sell that product or service. 1. 3 For the process of marketing to be fully effective, it is important that the external environment within which the organization operates is fully understood. Using tools such as a PESTLE analysis will help us to understand the current market conditions and allow us to implement a more relevant and effective marketing strategy. 1. 3 As a not for profit organization, the importance of marketing within the

BUCKLE is often not fully understood and its value recognized. As a local

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authority we offer a number of statutory services such as Benefits and Planning which residents can only access through us. However, the council also offers a number of discretionary services, such as Building Control, Pest Control and Sports Centers which compete for market share with private sector companies in the area. That said, it doesn’t mean that marketing is more important for discretionary services, it means that the marketing mix will be different. 1. 4 Successful marketing is finding the right combination of factors to create the right marketing mix.

The 7 As model highlights the seven elements that need to be considered when creating a marketing strategy: Product Price Place Promotion People Physical Environment Process The 7 As model is more relevant to the BUCKLE as an organization than the 4 As (Product, Price, Place and Promotion) as it was developed for use within the service industry. As an organization, BUCKLE is promoting a range of intangible services, not selling a tangible product. 1. 5 When marketing statutory and discretionary services, there would be a different marketing mix. For statutory services, Product,

Place and Price would not be regarded as important as these are services where the consumer has no choice. With discretionary services, Product, Place and Price would be more important factors within the marketing mix as these services could be accessed from elsewhere and are often provided at a cost. 1. 6 Customers will Unit 5008 Marketing Planning By Speedboater invariably comment on our services, especially it they are Nadia recent negative experience. Marketing therefore plays an important role in allowing us to influence the behavior of our customers and help them maintain a positive perception of us s an organization. . 7 Over the past two decades there has been a tremendous amount of reform within the public sector. Local government was traditionally a process based system in which the customer/consumer had very little say in how and when services were delivered. However, there has been a switch towards a more customer centric approach to service delivery, which has seen public sector organizations consult with key stakeholders through increased use of customer feedback, surveys and consultative groups and forums.

This in turn has had a dramatic influence on how services are delivered and accessed by our customers. Examples of this can be seen from the e-Government initiative which has driven forward the use of online services within local government. Customers can now for example make payments and view planning applications from their own home, services which 10 years ago all had been done by visiting in person. 1. 8 As an organization, BUCKLE holds large amounts of information about the citizens in the borough.

This in itself gives us a great deal of insight into who our customers are, which services they access, how they access them and also what factors are important to them (e. G. Location, speed and quality of services). One way of analysis this information would be to segment our citizens by differing factors such as: Age Location Income Gender Behavior Needs I have been recently been involved in working on an initiative with the Revenues and Customer Services service area to increase the take up levels of Council Tax payment by direct debit.

One of the aspects of this initiative was to survey customers who didn’t currently pay by direct debit, but instead visited the cash office in person to make payments. Therefore in this example we segmented our customers by their behavior and targeted those who did not currently the direct debit facility. This is also an example of using marketing to influence, persuade and change the behaviors of our customers in a way that benefits the organization. 2.

Analyses and critique the current position of your organization within its chosen sector or market and recommend future market or sector position for your organization in line with its business objectives. 2. 1 As mentioned in Section 1. 3, BUCKLE offers a range of services, some of which are statutory and some which are discretionary. As such, we are somewhat limited into branching into different market sectors. However one rear where we can make a difference is by looking at how we deliver those services. 2. 2 As an organization, BUCKLE is always looking at new ways to improve services and the way in which they are delivered.

There can be many different drivers for these changes such as: Legislation Customer Feedback/Demands Technological Advances Cost Savings / Efficiency The Anions Matrix is a marketing tool that allows us to consider ways to expand our business via current and/or new services in current and/or new markets. This matrix can help us decide what course of action should be taken given current performance. The Anions Matrix is the most commonly used model for analyzing the possible strategic direction that a business should take.

Ata time where there is considerable financial pressure on the organization, developing services which can be accessed by customers at a much lower cost per transaction. Using the Anions Matrix as a tool, I have analyses the current position of our online services and categorized potential areas for development. The Anions Matrix for Developing Online Services Average Website/Limited Services E-Forms but no back office integration Average satisfaction levels Increased Online Services (Bin Collection Data, E-Benefits) Online Customer Advisors Full back office integration

Use of Social Media Develop Web Services for Leisure, Arts and Entertainment (currently outsourced to specialist companies) 2. 3 The model above highlights that the key areas for development are adding services such as the ability for customers to check refuse and recycling collection dates, submit benefit claims online and improving the customers experience when using the website are all new services that should be developed within our current market. 3. How might other parts of your organization be affected and impacted on in future market or sector plans? . 1 Marketing as a management process is instantly changing and evolving due to external environment in which it operates. Recent technological changes such as the increase usage of the Internet and in particular the rise of Social Media Marketing (SUM) has made it increasingly difficult for organizations to protect their brands and reputation. 3. As highlighted by the Anions Matrix in Section 2. 2, one area of online services that needs to be developed is the use to social media to market our services to citizens and customers.

There are many benefits for using SUM such as: Most are free to use, Allows for information to be released and circulated quickly, Other users spread your sage, Creates a community of users interested in your organization, Promotes awareness of the organization and its services, Helps breaks down communication barriers (e. G. Reaching and engaging with younger age groups who are not normally interested in local government issues and campaigns).

Departments such as Arts and Entertainment and Leisure and Public Space are very keen to push forward with using these tools (such as Twitter, Backbone, Youth) and indeed many peer organizations within Norfolk are already doing so. 3. 3 However, by using SUM to market services, there are also negatives that if not dedicated correctly could damage our brand and reputation. These negatives include: Bad news can travel fast, Campaigns about unpopular decisions can be launched easily (e. G. En of our arts venues is under threat of closure and an online petition and Backbone group has been created to fight this), Easy target for those with grudges, We have limited or no control over how our services are talked about, Inappropriate use can cause embarrassment. 3. 4 Problems from using SUM could therefore damage the organizations: Public perception Reputation Credibility 3. 5 Therefore in an increasingly online and connected world, reputation management becomes an even harder proposition than before.

Previously, negative comments or complaints about services would be made directly to the organization, either by telephone, letter, face to face or in a worst case scenario, covered by national and local media. Either way, this allowed for thought and planning into the correct action to limit the negative effects. However, with SUM, negative comments and feedback can spread quickly and be very difficult to monitor and manage. One recent example where the organization’s reputation came under attack was the setting up of a spoof website called Kings Lynn Council.

This website made any disparaging comments about the services we provided and made personal attacks on officers and councilors within the organization. This was a great source of embarrassment and concern for the organization and the individuals involved. The website has since been taken down but proved a very powerful example of the negative effects of the use of online The increased use of SUM could therefore be naturally treated with some skepticism from the senior management team of the organization, therefore any future developments need to be managed very closely and used in conjunction with an appropriate policy and guidance.

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