The Marketing Mix in a Changing Business Environment
The Basic Idea of Marketing as an exchange process has it’s root in very ancient history, when people began to produce crops or goods surplus to their own requirements and then to barter them for other things they wanted. Elements of marketing, particularly selling and Advertising have been around as long as trade itself, but it took the industrial revolution, and the development of mass production techniques and the separation of the buyers and sellers to sow the seeds of what we recognise as marketing today.
Marketing has become a comprehensive and integrative field, highlighting the potential for conflict between marketing and other internal functions. By showing that marketing can work with other functions, many successful organisations such as Sony, Nestle, Unilever ensure that all the functions within their organisation focus on the customer, by doing so the organisation is give every department a role in marketing.
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These activities could be introduced by applying the marketing mix to the given product or service, the ‘4Ps’ Product Price, Promotion and Place, this path of testing and going through a product life cycle has been used since 1960s when it was first introduce by Borden’s. Even though as they stand now, the 4Ps do not contain all the elements of the service sector, so they cannot fully describe the marketing activities that are going on. In 1981 as Booms and Bitner introduces the new and improved service sector of the marketing mix and introduced the 7Ps, People, Processes and Physical was added to the traditional 4Ps.
It has never been accepted that the 4Ps will define the marketing mix for different times or different applications. Its up to the marketing manager to change and apply the mix to suit the emerging circumstances. This will lead the organisation to created something unique, that the potential customer will recognise and value, that distinguished one organisation’s product from another’s. In highly competitive, crowded markets, this is absolutely essential for drawing customers towards your product.
One way of drawing customer attention within the Marketing concept is, advertising even though Advertising is not always directly concerned with marketing concept, however a very high proportion of it is and we therefore need to consider the planning of advertising within the marketing concept. Marketing Managers tend to approach decisions about adverting and other forms of promotion in tow different ways one is choosing the right Marketing Mix and the other is introducing the right Promotional Mix.
Combining the tow essential formulas to any product will be determined by the marketing managers decisions on choosing the right steps, and generating the right life cycle for the product or service. How product or services are presented to customers, under the promotional mix sometimes includes matters like visual design and packaging. But primarily the methods of communication with customers, these could include, personal selling, Adverting, Sales promotion and Public relation each of these has its advantages and disadvantages but their relative importance varies with the particular case.
The marketing manager needs to understand how markets develop over time, in order to introduce a new product to the market positioning and targeting will first go through their life cycle and their marketing strategies, to determine whether the product will have some success in growing competition. But most products are in fact dynamic, almost living things, they are developed as concepts, prototypes, they will be launched in the market. If they prove to be successful the product will grow more and more as costumers learn about them, and purchase them.
Pointing out which customer to target is the difficult and more complex issue that will depend on the trend of the time and the needs of the customers through continues research. Some special issues arise in the development of policy for the Advertising element of the marketing mix. These are the use of advertising product, the development of advertising objectives and the advertising budget. The use of media advertising is generally associated with consumer products.
Many business-to -business marketers use advertising in specialist and even on occasion in general media to achieve objectives such as creating awareness and credibility for a company so that personal selling starts from a base of customer knowledge of the company. And product and reminding customers and prospective customers of the company and its products so that when a purchase need arises the company will top the list of potential suppliers to be contacted, also building customers confidence and loyalty and reinforcing their decisions to purchase and use the company’s products.
Legal constraints lie beneath all actions that are conducted by Advertising practices and the conduct of business related to advertising are affected by the law in a number of ways, there are laws that affect any kind of trading activity, such as the law of contract and of copyright. Some laws are specific to advertising such as those, which regulate commercial broadcasting.
There are many laws relating to certain types of business activity or certain kinds of products which directly or indirectly affect the advertising of them, for reasons of public health or because the are particularly open to deception or fraud. Similarly there are laws restricting the use of children in advertisements and specific restrictions on television advertising to children. Marketing managers need to also understand the growing implications of Information Technology within their planning when launching a new campaign.
In the marketing context Technological advance can be generated from two main sources as far as the marketing manager is concerned, the first source is external to the organisations and perhaps even external to the market, thus technology developed for other purposes, academic, medical etc. And the second source of technological advance is market driven, by organisations searching for specific solution to specific marketing problems. In the other hand launching an Advertising campaign through the promotional mix, has become more sophisticated, advertising has gone beyond Television, Radio, Cinema, Newspapers and magazines.
Even though these services remain in full complaints with agencies, other communication services have emerged through Information technology comes the Internet, Mobil, Credit/Debit Cards, this has given agencies the possibility to define their target audience and launch a more effective campaign.
Readings: 1. John Wilmshurst and Adrian Mackay , The Fundamentals of Advertising 2nd Edition 2. John A. Murray and Aidan O’Driscoll , Strategy and process in Marketing 3. Frances Brassington and Stephen Pettitt, Principles of Marketing 3rd Edition 4. Leslie Butterfield, Excellence in Advertising