11.1 The Marketing Concept
- What is the marketing concept and relationship-building?
Marketing includes those business activities that are designed to satisfy consumer needs and wants through the exchange process. Marketing managers use the “right” principle—getting the right goods or services to the right people at the right place, time, and price, using the right promotional techniques. Today, many firms have adopted the marketing concept. The marketing concept involves identifying consumer needs and wants and then producing products (which can be goods, services, or ideas) that will satisfy them while making a profit. Relationship marketing entails forging long-term relationships with customers, which can lead to repeat sales, reduced costs, and stable relationships.
11.2 Creating a Marketing Strategy
- How do managers create a marketing strategy?
A firm creates a marketing strategy by understanding the external environment, defining the target market, determining a competitive advantage, and developing a marketing mix. Environmental scanning enables companies to understand the external environment. The target market is the specific group of consumers toward which a firm directs its marketing efforts. A competitive advantage is a set of unique features of a company and its products that are perceived by the target market as significant and superior to those of the competition.
11.3 Developing a Marketing Mix
- What is the marketing mix?
To carry out the marketing strategy, firms create a marketing mix—a blend of products, distribution (place) systems, prices, promotion, and people. Marketing managers use this mix to satisfy target consumers. The mix can be applied to nonbusiness as well as business situations.
11.4 Buyer Behavior
- How do consumers and organizations make buying decisions?
Buyer behavior is what consumers and businesses do in order to buy and use products. The consumer purchase decision-making process consists of the following steps: recognizing a need, seeking information, evaluating alternatives, purchasing the product, judging the purchase outcome, and engaging in post-purchase behavior. A number of factors influence the process. Cultural, social, individual, and psychological factors have an impact on consumer decision-making. The business purchase decision-making model includes the following steps: need recognition, setting specifications, information search, evaluation of alternatives against specifications, purchase, and post-purchase behavior. The main differences between consumer and business markets are purchase volume, number of customers, location of buyers, direct distribution, and rational purchase decisions. Companies learn more about their target markets by conducting marketing research—the process of planning, collecting, and analyzing data relevant to a marketing decision.
11.5 Market Segmentation
- What are the five basic forms of consumer and business market segmentation?
Success in marketing depends on understanding the target market. One technique used to identify a target market is market segmentation. The five basic forms of segmentation are demographic (population statistics), geographic (location), psychographic (personality or lifestyle), benefit (product features), and volume (amount purchased).
Business markets may segment based on geography, volume, and benefits, just as consumer markets are. However, organizations might also segment based on use of the product, characteristics of purchasing function, and size of the client or industry, as well as other considerations related to characteristics of business customers.
11.6 What Is a Product?
- What is a product, and how is it classified?
A product can be a good, service, or idea, along with its perceived attributes and benefits, that creates customer value. Tangible attributes include the good itself, packaging, and warranties. Intangible attributes can include the brand’s image or relational attributes such as the credibility of its service providers. Products are categorized as either consumer products or business-to-business products, which can be commercial, industrial, or services products. Consumer products are bought and used by the end user, sometimes called “the ultimate consumer.” They can be classified as unsought products, convenience products, shopping products, or specialty products, depending on how much effort consumers are willing to exert to get them.
Business-to-business products are those bought by organizations for use in making other products or in rendering services to other organizations and include capital products and expense items.
11.7 Creating Products That Deliver Value
- How do organizations create new products?
To succeed, most firms must continue to design new products to satisfy changing customer demands. But new-product development can be risky. Many new products fail. The steps in new-product development are setting new-product goals, exploring ideas, screening ideas, developing the concept (creating a prototype and building the marketing strategy), test-marketing, and introducing the product. When the product enters the marketplace, it is often managed by a product manager.
11.8 The Product Life Cycle
- What are the stages of the product life cycle?
After a product reaches the marketplace, it enters the product life cycle. This cycle typically has four stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline (and possibly death). Profit margins are usually small in the introductory phase, reach a peak at the end of the growth phase, and then decline.
Price indicates value, helps position a product in the marketplace, and is the means for earning a fair return on investment. If a price is too high, the product won’t sell well and the firm will lose money. If the price is too low, the firm may lose money even if the product sells well. Prices are set according to pricing objectives.
11.9 Pricing Strategies and Future Trends
- What strategies are used for pricing products, and what are the future trends?
The two main strategies for pricing a new product are price skimming and penetration pricing. Price skimming involves charging a high introductory price and then, usually, lowering the price as the product moves through its life cycle. Penetration pricing involves selling a new product at a low price in the hope of achieving a large sales volume.
Pricing tactics are used to fine-tune the base prices of products. Sellers that use leader pricing set the prices of some of their products below the normal markup or even below cost to attract customers who might otherwise not shop at those stores. Bundling is grouping two or more products together and pricing them as one. Psychology often plays a role in how consumers view products and in determining what they will pay. Setting a price at an odd number tends to create a perception that the item is cheaper than the actual price. Prices in even numbers denote quality or status. Raising the price so an item will be perceived as having high quality and status is called prestige pricing. Pricing for services is more complicated and is often tailored to specific services for a specific customer.
11.10 Trends in Developing Products and Pricing
- What trends are occurring in products and pricing?
The internet has given pricing power to both buyers and sellers. A second trend is that many firms are using databases to create one-to-one marketing. Also, the large amount of information that is available to marketers is being mined and analyzed to target specific customers with personalized messages rather than creating one message that is aimed at a broad audience.