Marketing, Marketing Plan and its Elements...

Marketing, Marketing Plan and its Elements Marketing refers to the activities of the organization associated with promoting and selling of its products and services. It includes advertising, selling, delivering products to the customers, and market research. In fact, it is everything which the organization does to acquire customers and maintain a relationship with them. An efficient marketing cultivates sound business strategies, allows for successful innovation, increases the effectiveness of promotional strategies, and strengthens the brand image. The main purpose of the marketing is not only to maintain the relationship with existing ones but also to attract new customers. The process of interaction between the marketing men and the customers presents the dialogue between them and assumes the exchange of values. Marketing plan is one of the major and extremely significant of the organizational business planning process since it is the marketing which brings success in the long term, particularly, continuous growth in the earnings of the organization. Marketing plan has an input in defining efficiency in customer satisfaction terms.  It also helps to identify core products/services which meet the needs of the target segments of the organization. For understanding the theory related to the marketing and the marketing plan it is first necessary to understand its elements. These elements are (i) marketing mix, (ii) branding strategy, (iii) competitor and market analysis, (iv) customer decision making process, and (v) sales plan. Marketing mix Marketing mix is a theoretical framework which defines four indicators in arranging the offerings to meet the needs of the customers. These indicators are (i) product, (ii) place, (iii) price, and (iv) promotion. These indicators are also known as 4 Ps. The concept of 4 Ps is considered to be powerful due to the reason that it makes marketing process simpler and allows having...

Product Quality and its Management...

Product Quality and its Management Product quality is the group of features and characteristics which determines the capacity of the product to meet the specification requirements of a standard or of a customer. It is often defined as ‘the ability to fulfill the customer’s needs and expectations’. It is also sometimes defined as ‘meeting specifications at the lowest possible cost’ as well as ‘delivering the value that a customer derives from a product’. Product quality needs to be defined firstly in terms of parameters or characteristics, which vary from product to product. The quality of the product can be controlled during its manufacturing and it makes the product free from deficiency and defects. A specification is the minimum requirement according to which the producer makes and delivers the product to the customer. In setting specification limits, the following is required to be considered. The user’s and/or customer’s needs Requirements provided for in national and/or international standards Requirements of specifications of national and/or international standards with restrictions to meet specific needs of the customer The competitor’s product specifications, in order to gain marketing advantages Brand related requirements of the product. Requirements relating to product safety and health hazards provided for in the statutory and regulatory requirements As described above, the product quality is the ability to satisfy the stated needs. From this definition, product quality can be described by nine dimensions or characteristics. These nine dimensions are as follows. Performance – It is the product’s primary operating characteristics. Product is to give expected performance during its use. Product features – The product is to meet the requirements of its features. For example a rebar is to have two longitudinal ribs and several cross ribs at specific intervals. Reliability – It is the probability of the...

Customer Segmentation – A Technique for Effective Marketing...

Customer Segmentation – A Technique for Effective Marketing Customer segmentation is also known as market segmentation. It is the practical division of potential customers in a given market into discrete groups. The division is based on customers having similar appearing needs and buying characteristics so that a common market approach can be used by an organization for the marketing of its products to them in a competitive and economical manner. Also when the organization plans for expansion, then executing a marketing strategy without any knowledge of how the target market is segmented is similar to firing shots at a target blindfolded. In such case the likelihood of hitting the target is a matter of luck more than anything else. Without a deep understanding of how best the current customers of the organization are segmented, the organization often lacks the market focus needed to allocate and spend its precious human and capital resources efficiently. Furthermore, a lack of best current customer segment focus can cause diffused go-to-market and product development strategies that hamper the ability of the organization to fully engage with its target segments. All of these factors when combine together, can ultimately obstruct the growth of the organization. All markets are heterogeneous and all the customers are not the same. The different customers have got different needs. Also customers’ behaviours towards a product vary based on their requirements as well as on the environment in which they are working. Hence marketing strategy of ‘one size that fits all’ does not work in present day situation. Therefore, effective marketing strategies requires a segmentation of the market into smaller and homogeneous customers’ segments, the understanding of needs and wants of these segments, the design of the products and services to meet these needs, and development of...

Building Customer Loyalty- A Necessity for an Organization...

Building Customer Loyalty- A Necessity for an Organization A customer is an entity (individual, group, society, company, and corporate etc.) who becomes accustomed to buying from the organization. Without a strong track record of contact and repeat purchase, this entity is not the customer, but a buyer. Loyalty is the attachment a customer feels for the employees of the organization, the products and the services. A true customer is grown over time. A loyal customer is one who has the following attributes. Makes regular purchases Purchases across product and service lines Refers the organizational products to others Demonstrates immunity to the pull of the competition Customer loyalty is defined as ‘a customer which over time engage one organization to satisfy entirely, or a significant part, of its needs by using the organization’s products or services’. Customer loyalty means that the customer is loyal to the organization and only turns to a competitor in exceptional cases. The importance of customer loyalty and customer satisfaction has become increasingly apparent to an organization since the industry is facing the situation of oversupply during the recent years. This oversupply condition is bringing to the forth the necessity of building customer loyalty and to have organizational policies which are oriented towards satisfying its customers. Customers can be fickle with their loyalty, and long with their memory. It can be demonstrated by many examples that a single negative incident can ruin a long standing relationship between customer and the organization since there are several viable alternatives are available to the customer in today’s competitive market. Building of the customer loyalty requires the organization to emphasize the value of its products or services and to show that it is interested in building a relationship with the customer. The organization recognizes that...

Organizational Excellence...

Organizational Excellence It is difficult to define the organizational excellence and even more difficult to achieve it. For achieving organizational excellence there has to be a paradigm shift in the thinking of the organizational leadership and its stakeholders. Organizational excellence helps an organization to excel in all its sphere of activities. It makes the organization to achieve and sustain outstanding levels of performance which meets or exceeds the expectations of all the stakeholders. An organization to achieve sustainable organizational excellence needs support of the eight key organizational pillars as shown in Fig 1. Fig 1 Eight key organizational pillars These pillars provide the foundation for achieving the excellence as well as a common language for the top management. The organization is to bring permanent change in its values and operations by focusing on managing of these eight pillars. These pillars describe the attributes of the culture needed in the organization for excellence. Each of these organizational pillars is not new by itself. Each has its own importance. But the key to organizational excellence is combining and managing them together. They have to integrate into the organizational culture for providing excellence to the organization. These eight pillars are as follows. Customer centric approach By following customer centric approach, the organization adds value for its customers on a consistent basis. This is done through understanding customers, anticipating and fulfilling their needs, meeting their expectations and utilization of the available opportunities. Development of capabilities The organizational capabilities are developed by bringing effective and permanent change in its operations through successful change management. The changes are to encompass all the organizational activities within and beyond the boundaries of the organization. Focus on creativity and innovation The organization can achieve excellence through continual improvement by harnessing creativity and innovation....