This Chapter reviews the importance of marketing which is the exchange process through which companies satisfy existing and potential consumer needs by creating and offering goods or services with some added value. Marketing helps to increase and/or protect market share, retains loyal customers and attracts new ones by developing long-term strategic relationships with consumers. Ultimately, satisfied customers become a part of the marketing effort as they inform others about their views and experiences. There is therefore a focus on building brand recognition to maintain a strong corporate presence in the markets concerned.
A range of marketing theories are explored in order to provide the reader with basic tools and techniques that can help develop appropriate market positioning and support the evolution of marketing strategies. These include Ansoff’s matrix (1988), PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental) for the review of external factors and SWOT analyses (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) for a consideration of more internal business aspects. The potential application of the BCG (Boston Consulting Group) framework and the General Electric-McKinsey (GEM) Matrix are also considered, with a particular focus on the marketing mix (people, process, physical evidence, place, price, promotion and product).
The utility of advertising campaigns is discussed in the Chapter, noting how they place strategic messages in multiple media channels at fixed times. In formulating an advertising campaign, the importance of setting realistic and achievable advertising campaign goals, resourcing, the channels used, the target audience and the need to review the impact of the approaches adopted are highlighted. This sets the context for a subsequent examination of marketing strategies outlining approaches such as mass marketing, guerrilla marketing, direct marketing, close-range marketing, relationship marketing, niche marketing, transactional marketing and cause marketing.
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Marketing concepts are also explored. The production concept, focusses on business operations and assumes that consumers prefer readily available and inexpensive goods. The selling concept states that businesses have to aggressively market their products to increase demand. In the product concept, customers are assumed to desire higher quality, better performance and superior features. In contrast, the marketing concept argues that firms have to study the market in depth if they are to remain competitive. In the societal marketing concept, firms determine the needs and wants of customers and seek to satisfy these requirements as well as perceived social expectations.
In considering marketing methods, the Chapter focusses on the impact of advertising - a form of audio and visual marketing communication which presents strategic messages to an audience promoting a product or service. Promotions are also discussed, noting how they are used to raise awareness of a product, service or brand. The associated importance of packaging is also explored, noting how practical considerations can be adapted to increase the brand loyalty of consumers and create a point of critical competitive differentiation. This leads into an outline consideration of branding and how it can be used to identify and separate products/services from others. The Chapter closes with a short discussion around the importance of public relations.
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