Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo
Introduction to Business

11.2 Creating a Marketing Strategy

Introduction to Business11.2 Creating a Marketing Strategy

Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Understanding Economic Systems and Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 The Nature of Business
    3. 1.2 Understanding the Business Environment
    4. 1.3 How Business and Economics Work
    5. 1.4 Macroeconomics: The Big Picture
    6. 1.5 Achieving Macroeconomic Goals
    7. 1.6 Microeconomics: Zeroing in on Businesses and Consumers
    8. 1.7 Competing in a Free Market
    9. 1.8 Trends in the Business Environment and Competition
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  3. 2 Making Ethical Decisions and Managing a Socially Responsible Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Understanding Business Ethics
    3. 2.2 How Organizations Influence Ethical Conduct
    4. 2.3 Managing a Socially Responsible Business
    5. 2.4 Responsibilities to Stakeholders
    6. 2.5 Trends in Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    10. Ethics Activity
    11. Working the Net
    12. Critical Thinking Case
    13. Hot Links Address Book
  4. 3 Competing in the Global Marketplace
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Global Trade in the United States
    3. 3.2 Why Nations Trade
    4. 3.3 Barriers to Trade
    5. 3.4 Fostering Global Trade
    6. 3.5 International Economic Communities
    7. 3.6 Participating in the Global Marketplace
    8. 3.7 Threats and Opportunities in the Global Marketplace
    9. 3.8 The Impact of Multinational Corporations
    10. 3.9 Trends in Global Competition
    11. Key Terms
    12. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    13. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    14. Ethics Activity
    15. Working the Net
    16. Critical Thinking Case
    17. Hot Links Address Book
  5. 4 Forms of Business Ownership
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Going It Alone: Sole Proprietorships
    3. 4.2 Partnerships: Sharing the Load
    4. 4.3 Corporations: Limiting Your Liability
    5. 4.4 Specialized Forms of Business Organization
    6. 4.5 Franchising: A Popular Trend
    7. 4.6 Mergers and Acquisitions
    8. 4.7 Trends in Business Ownership
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    12. Ethics Activity
    13. Working the Net
    14. Critical Thinking Case
    15. Hot Links Address Book
  6. 5 Entrepreneurship: Starting and Managing Your Own Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Entrepreneurship Today
    3. 5.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
    4. 5.3 Small Business: Driving America's Growth
    5. 5.4 Ready, Set, Start Your Own Business
    6. 5.5 Managing a Small Business
    7. 5.6 Small Business, Large Impact
    8. 5.7 The Small Business Administration
    9. 5.8 Trends in Entrepreneurship and Small-Business Ownership
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  7. 6 Management and Leadership in Today's Organizations
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 The Role of Management
    3. 6.2 Planning
    4. 6.3 Organizing
    5. 6.4 Leading, Guiding, and Motivating Others
    6. 6.5 Controlling
    7. 6.6 Managerial Roles
    8. 6.7 Managerial Skills
    9. 6.8 Trends in Management and Leadership
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  8. 7 Designing Organizational Structures
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Building Organizational Structures
    3. 7.2 Contemporary Structures
    4. 7.3 Using Teams to Enhance Motivation and Performance
    5. 7.4 Authority—Establishing Organizational Relationships
    6. 7.5 Degree of Centralization
    7. 7.6 Organizational Design Considerations
    8. 7.7 The Informal Organization
    9. 7.8 Trends in Organizational Structure
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  9. 8 Managing Human Resources and Labor Relations
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Achieving High Performance through Human Resources Management
    3. 8.2 Employee Recruitment
    4. 8.3 Employee Selection
    5. 8.4 Employee Training and Development
    6. 8.5 Performance Planning and Evaluation
    7. 8.6 Employee Compensation and Benefits
    8. 8.7 The Labor Relations Process
    9. 8.8 Managing Grievances and Conflicts
    10. 8.9 Legal Environment of Human Resources and Labor Relations
    11. 8.10 Trends in Human Resource Management and Labor Relations
    12. Key Terms
    13. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    14. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    15. Ethics Activity
    16. Working the Net
    17. Critical Thinking Case
    18. Hot Links Address Book
  10. 9 Motivating Employees
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Early Theories of Motivation
    3. 9.2 The Hawthorne Studies
    4. 9.3 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
    5. 9.4 McGregor's Theories X and Y
    6. 9.5 Herzberg's Motivator-Hygiene Theory
    7. 9.6 Contemporary Views on Motivation
    8. 9.7 From Motivation Theory to Application
    9. 9.8 Trends in Employee Motivation
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  11. 10 Achieving World-Class Operations Management
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Production and Operations Management—An Overview
    3. 10.2 The Production Process: How Do We Make It?
    4. 10.3 Location, Location, Location: Where Do We Make It?
    5. 10.4 Pulling It Together: Resource Planning
    6. 10.5 Production and Operations Control
    7. 10.6 Looking for a Better Way: Improving Production and Operations
    8. 10.7 Transforming the Factory Floor with Technology
    9. 10.8 Trends in Production and Operations Management
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  12. 11 Creating Products and Pricing Strategies to Meet Customers' Needs
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 The Marketing Concept
    3. 11.2 Creating a Marketing Strategy
    4. 11.3 Developing a Marketing Mix
    5. 11.4 Buyer Behavior
    6. 11.5 Market Segmentation
    7. 11.6 What Is a Product?
    8. 11.7 Creating Products That Deliver Value
    9. 11.8 The Product Life Cycle
    10. 11.9 Pricing Strategies and Future Trends
    11. 11.10 Trends in Developing Products and Pricing
    12. Key Terms
    13. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    14. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    15. Ethics Activity
    16. Working the Net
    17. Critical Thinking Case
    18. Hot Links Address Book
  13. 12 Distributing and Promoting Products and Services
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 The Nature and Functions of Distribution (Place)
    3. 12.2 Wholesaling
    4. 12.3 The Competitive World of Retailing
    5. 12.4 Using Supply Chain Management to Increase Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction
    6. 12.5 Promotion Strategy
    7. 12.6 The Huge Impact of Advertising
    8. 12.7 The Importance of Personal Selling
    9. 12.8 Sales Promotion
    10. 12.9 Public Relations Helps Build Goodwill
    11. 12.10 Trends in Social Media
    12. 12.11 Trends in E-Commerce
    13. Key Terms
    14. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    15. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    16. Ethics Activity
    17. Working the Net
    18. Critical Thinking Case
    19. Hot Links Address Book
  14. 13 Using Technology to Manage Information
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 Transforming Businesses through Information
    3. 13.2 Linking Up: Computer Networks
    4. 13.3 Management Information Systems
    5. 13.4 Technology Management and Planning
    6. 13.5 Protecting Computers and Information
    7. 13.6 Trends in Information Technology
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    11. Ethics Activity
    12. Working the Net
    13. Critical Thinking Case
    14. Hot Links Address Book
  15. 14 Using Financial Information and Accounting
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Accounting: More than Numbers
    3. 14.2 The Accounting Profession
    4. 14.3 Basic Accounting Procedures
    5. 14.4 The Balance Sheet
    6. 14.5 The Income Statement
    7. 14.6 The Statement of Cash Flows
    8. 14.7 Analyzing Financial Statements
    9. 14.8 Trends in Accounting
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  16. 15 Understanding Money and Financial Institutions
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 Show Me the Money
    3. 15.2 The Federal Reserve System
    4. 15.3 U.S. Financial Institutions
    5. 15.4 Insuring Bank Deposits
    6. 15.5 International Banking
    7. 15.6 Trends in Financial Institutions
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    11. Ethics Activity
    12. Working the Net
    13. Critical Thinking Case
    14. Hot Links Address Book
  17. 16 Understanding Financial Management and Securities Markets
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 The Role of Finance and the Financial Manager
    3. 16.2 How Organizations Use Funds
    4. 16.3 Obtaining Short-Term Financing
    5. 16.4 Raising Long-Term Financing
    6. 16.5 Equity Financing
    7. 16.6 Securities Markets
    8. 16.7 Buying and Selling at Securities Exchanges
    9. 16.8 Trends in Financial Management and Securities Markets
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  18. 17 Your Career in Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 Learn the Basics of Business
    3. 17.2 Developing Interpersonal Skills Is Key to Your Success
    4. 17.3 Make Your Future Happen: Learn to Plan
    5. 17.4 Going to College Is an Opportunity of a Lifetime—Never Drop Out
    6. 17.5 Get Your Career Off on the Right Track
    7. 17.6 Self-Test Scoring Guidelines
  19. A | Understanding the Legal and Tax Environment
  20. Index
  21. References
  1. How do managers create a marketing strategy?

What Is Marketing Strategy?

Marketers use a number of different “tools” to develop the products or services that meet the needs and wants of their customers, provide excellent value for the customers, and satisfy those customers. Marketing strategy is really five different components of marketing. These components are traditionally called “the Four Ps” of marketing; however, this chapter includes an additional component "People" to create a new total of Five Ps. They are the methods, tools, and processes used by marketers to develop and market products. In Chapter 12, we will analyze an additional P, "Packaging" but will continue to refer to these components as "Five Ps." These five tools are also called “the marketing mix.” These are the 5Ps:

  • Product: Something offered in exchange and for which marketing actions are taken and marketing decisions made. Products can be goods (physical things such as smartphones) or services (such as the telecommunications that must be used for a smartphone to work) or ideas (such as the thought that being constantly connected through telecommunications is absolutely crucial in today’s society). All products have both tangible and intangible aspects.
  • Price: Something given in exchange for a product. Price may be monetary or nonmonetary (such as waiting in long lines for a restaurant or giving blood at the local blood bank). Price has many names, such as rent, fees, charges, and others.
  • Place: Some method of getting the product from the creator of the product to the customer. Place includes a myriad of important tasks: transportation, location, supply chain management (managing each entity that deals with the product in its route to the buyer), online presence, inventory, and atmospherics (how the office, store, or even the website looks).
  • Promotion: Methods for informing and influencing customers to buy the product. Promotion includes several different components – traditional advertising, sales promotion, public relations, personal selling, social media, and e-commerce. Promotion is often mistaken for marketing because it is the most visible part of marketing; however, marketing encompasses much more than just promotion.
  • People: Methods of utilizing organization employees to support the marketing strategies of the company. All products have both tangible and intangible aspects. People (as a marketing strategy) are crucial to the development of the product’s intangible aspects.

Marketers utilize the tools of marketing strategy to develop new products and sell them in the marketplace. But marketers cannot create products in isolation. Marketers must understand and consider all aspects of the external environment in order to create marketing programs (plans) that will be successful in the current market and in future markets. Thus, many organizations assemble a team of specialists to continually collect and evaluate environmental information, a process called environmental scanning. The goal in gathering the environmental data is to identify current and future market opportunities and threats.

Computer manufacturers understand the importance of environmental scanning to monitor rapidly changing consumer interests. Since the invention of the personal computer (PC), computer technicians and other enthusiasts have taken two things for granted: processor speeds will grow exponentially, and PCs will become indistinguishable from televisions. The result of this will be “convergence,” which means that the digital industry (manufacturers of computers, smartphones, and other mobile devices) will merge together with entertainment (such as television, radio, streaming video, and the internet). This convergence is already creating great opportunities for new products—watches that have both computers and cell phones in them, cell phones used to download videos not available except by independent entertainment producers (who are not affiliated with traditional media) such as Amazon and Google.

One clear winner in this new world so far is Apple, which has leveraged its computer platform to make it easy and fashionable for consumers to become experts in the digital age. Apple has capitalized on this through the development of iTunes, the iPhone and iPads, and the iWatch. Apple sells almost as many iPads per quarter as it does Macintosh computers, and it certainly sells a massive number of iPhones. Microsoft wants in on this business badly, but Hewlett-Packard decided to shift its loyalty to Apple, so Microsoft doesn’t have much leverage just now. The other company to watch over the next few years is Samsung, which has doubled its efforts to make its consumer electronics offerings strong competition to Apple products. Finally, the device-free streaming services such as Amazon Music, Pandora, and Spotify have provided competition to Apple while restoring profitability to the music industry.3

In general, six categories of environmental data shape most marketing decisions:

  • Cultural/social forces: Includes such factors as the buying behaviors of specific cultures and subcultures, the values of potential customers, the changing roles of families, and other societal trends such as employees working from home and flexible work hours
  • Demographic forces: Includes such factors as changes in the ages of potential customers (e.g., baby boomers, millennials), birth and death rates, and locations of various groups of people
  • Economic forces: Includes such factors as changing incomes, unemployment levels, inflation, and recession
  • Technological forces: Includes such factors as advances in telecommunications and computer technology
  • Political and legal forces: Includes such factors as changes in laws, regulatory agency activities, and political movements
  • Competitive forces: Includes such factors as new and shifting competition from domestic and foreign-based firms

Defining the Target Market

Marketers develop the information about the environment to get a clear picture of the total market for the product, including environmental factors. Once the marketers understand the various environmental factors, specific target markets must then be chosen from the total market. Marketers focus on providing value for a well-defined target market or target markets. The target market is the specific group of customers (which could be organizations or individual consumers) toward which a firm directs its marketing efforts. Quaker Oats targets its grits to blue-collar consumers in the South. Williams Sonoma has several different types of stores, each geared toward a distinct target market: Pottery Barn for upscale home furnishings; its specialty stores, West Elm, Mark and Graham, and Rejuvenation, that specialize in jewelry and other accessories; and home improvement and furnishings that are affordable and sustainable. These target markets are all part of the overall retail market for housewares and lifestyle. Identifying a target market helps a company focus its marketing efforts on those who are most likely to buy its products or services. Concentrating on potential customers lets the firm use its resources efficiently. Examples of the target markets for Marriott Hotel Brands’ lodging alternatives are shown in Table 11.1.

Examples of Target Markets for Marriott Hotel Brands
Price Range Target Market
Fairfield Inn $105–125 Economizing business and leisure travelers
Towne Place Suites $110–140 Moderate-tier travelers who stay three to four weeks
SpringHill Suites $120–165 Business and leisure travelers looking for more space and amenities
Courtyard $120–170 Travelers seeking quality and affordable accommodations designed for the road warrior
Residence Inn $126–175 Travelers seeking a residential-style hotel
Marriott Hotels, Resorts, and Suites $135–410 Grounded achievers who desire consistent quality
Renaissance Hotels and Resorts $135–415 Discerning business and leisure travelers who seek creative attention to detail
Ritz-Carlton $295–1,500 Senior executives and entrepreneurs looking for a unique, luxury, personalized experience
Table 11.1

Creating a Competitive Advantage

A competitive advantage, also called a differential advantage, is a set of unique features of a company and its products that are perceived by the target market(s) as significant and superior to those of the competition. Competitive advantage is the factor that causes customers to patronize a specific firm and not the competition. There are four types of competitive advantage: cost, product differentiation, service differentiation, and niche.

Cost Competitive Advantage

A firm that has a cost competitive advantage can produce a product or service at a lower cost than all its competitors while maintaining satisfactory profit margins. Firms become cost leaders by obtaining inexpensive raw materials, making plant operations more efficient, designing products for ease of manufacture, controlling overhead costs, and avoiding marginal customers.

Over time, the cost competitive advantage may fail. Typically, if one firm is using an innovative technology to reduce its costs, then other firms in the industry will adopt this technology and reduce their costs as well. For example, Bell Labs invented fiber-optic cables that reduced the cost of voice and data transmission by dramatically increasing the number of calls that could be transmitted simultaneously through a two-inch cable. Within five years, however, fiber-optic technology had spread through the industry, and Bell Labs lost its cost competitive advantage. Firms may also lose their cost competitive advantage if competing firms match their low costs by using the same lower-cost suppliers. Therefore, a cost competitive advantage may not offer a long-term competitive advantage.

Product Differentiation Competitive Advantage

Because cost competitive advantages are subject to continual erosion, other types of competitive advantage tend to provide a longer-lasting competitive advantage. The durability of a differential competitive advantage can be more successful for the long-term viability of the company. Common differential advantages are brand names (Tide detergent), a strong dealer network (Caterpillar for construction equipment), product reliability (Lexus vehicles), image (Neiman Marcus in retailing), and service (Federal Express). Brand names such as Chanel, BMW, and Cartier stand for quality the world over. Through continual product and marketing innovations and attention to quality and value, marketers at these organizations have created enduring competitive advantages.

Service Differentiation Competitive Advantage

In today’s world of instant connection and social media, services are crucial for both tangible and nontangible products. Almost every day, the media report the consequences of poor service that went “viral” on social media because the service interaction was videotaped and uploaded to the internet. Customers now demand a higher level of service for all kinds of products, and if the service level does not meet customer expectations, it is likely that the customer will post negative comments on a review site or upload the interaction to various social media platforms. Some small companies have had to close their doors on the basis of one poor service interaction that went viral. Service levels that delight customers are even more important for intangible products such as engineering and accounting. More than 80 percent of the U.S. GDP is based on services. The ability to create the service product, continually refine the service process, and interact with customers (co-creators of the service) is crucial. Higher-level services require more planning, better execution, and constant evolution through the relationships with the customers. The use of service differentiation as a competitive advantage can be one of the most enduring and viable types of advantage.

Niche Competitive Advantage

A company with a niche competitive advantage targets and effectively serves a single segment of the market. For small companies with limited resources that potentially face giant competitors, utilizing a niche competitive advantage may be the only viable option. A market segment that has good growth potential but is not crucial to the success of major competitors is a good candidate for a niche strategy. Once a potential segment has been identified, the firm needs to make certain it can defend against challengers through its superior ability to serve buyers in the segment. For example, Regions BankMusic Row Private Bank follows a niche strategy with its concentration on country music stars and entertainment industry professionals in Nashville. Its office is in the heart of Nashville’s music district. Music Row Private Bank has decided to expand its niche strategy to Miami, the “epicenter” of Latin music, and to Atlanta. The latter is a longtime rhythm-and-blues capital and now is the center of contemporary “urban” music. Both new markets have the kinds of music professionals—entertainers, record executives, producers, agents, and others—that have made Regions BankMusic Row Private Bank so successful in Nashville.

Concept Check

  1. What is environmental scanning?
  2. What is a target market, and why should a company have one?
  3. Explain the four types of competitive advantages and provide examples of each.
Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at
Citation information

© Apr 5, 2023 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.