Marketing management is a process of identifying customer needs and wants and then developing a marketing program to satisfy customer needs with a profit. So, effective marketing starts with the identification of a set of consumers and their need structure.
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Market Analysis: Identifying customer needs
A marketer first analyzes and scanning the external environment to identify marketing opportunities then collect market-related information to estimate current market demand and forecast the future potential.
The marketing manager segments the market to identify a homogenous set of customers who are likely to respond more positively to the planned marketing program. The marketing manager assesses the positions of competing brands in the market and decides a suitable and unique position, which will differentiate its offer from the competitors.
Marketer should understand consumer decision-making process and what factors influence this process to deal with competition while developing marketing strategies.
Identification and selection of targeted segment(s) and positioning strategy help the marketer to develop a new product or service offered for the market.
Marketing Planning: Develop marketing strategies
After developing the product or service, gives it a brand name and decides a pricing strategy for the new offer. The marketer also develops a strategy about coping with pricing changes in countering the competitor’s counter pricing strategy. He also sets up intermediaries and recruits sales people to take the offer to the market. Design and selection of value networks help in distributing the product into different parts of the market.
The market analysis revolves around finding out the current position of the company in the form of current market share, market power, the relevant strengths and weaknesses of the company in the face of competition. The marketer uses various methods like SWOT analysis, scenario building, cross-impact analysis and other environmental scanning techniques to scan the marketing environment for opportunity identification.
While planning for the market, he has to decide the segment to target, the company’s business mission, the category of customer markets it wants to serve, the type of strategy to arrive at the desired marketing goals.
The marketer tries to find the answer to the questions like:
- What problems do the company’s customers (potential customers) have that the offering (products or services) can solve better than those of other marketers?
- What is the profile of the customer having this consumption problem?
- What are the particular stages and circumstances (actual/ potential) that need modifications in a company’s marketing offer (products, prices, distribution, or promotion)?
The marketing manager assumes the role of a solution provider rather than a product manufacturer. Market analysis helps the marketer to identify new markets for existing products and for new products, to innovate new products for existing customers and to discover potential product offerings for the future.
Implementation of the marketing program
The marketing manager plans integrated marketing communication strategy through a combination of tools like advertising, sales promotion, public relations and direct marketing to promote the product or service in the market for higher consumption and brand image.
Marketing plan is not effective unless it is implemented. Without a proper implementation program, marketing planning exercise is just paperwork. Marketing implementation involves the execution of the planned strategy and allocation of scarce resources for achieving marketing goals.
Control of the total marketing efforts
Marketing control is a process of benchmarking the expended effort and resources with the set goals. Achievements are evaluated with the set objectives to find out the deficiencies if any, and to design modified action plans for the future so that the effectiveness of the resources expended and flow of profit increase.
Every organisation has a structure and culture that reflects its readiness and effectiveness to cope with the ever-changing needs of customers by providing a sustained level of satisfaction.
The concept of organisation structure revolves around two issues. The first is the relative importance of the marketing department inside the organisation and second, its relationships with other functional departments and external players in the value chain.
To summarise, marketing management process consists of four key stages, namely
- Market analysis
- Marketing planning
- Implementation of the marketing program
- Control of the total marketing efforts