Production and marketing of goods and services are the essence of economic life in any society. All organizations perform these two basic functions to satisfy their commitments to their stakeholders – the owners, the customers and the society, at large. They create a benefit that economists call utility which is the want-satisfying power of a good or service. There are four basic kinds of utility – form, time, place and ownership utility.
- To introduce the marketing concept and how we identify, understand and satisfy the needs of customers and markets.
- To analyse companies and competitors and to introduce marketing strategy to increase awareness of the strategic and tactical decisions behind todays top performing brands.
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Introduction to marketing
Channel concepts: distributing the product
This scenario highlights the importance of identifying the most efficient and effective manner in which to place a product into the hands of the customer. This mechanism of connecting the producer with the customer is referred to as the channel of distribution. Earlier we referred to the creation of time and place utility. This is the primary purpose of the channel. It is an extremely complex process, and in the case of many companies, it is the only element of marketing where cost savings are still possible. In this chapter, we will look at the evolution of the channel of distribution. We shall see that several basic functions have emerged that are typically the responsibility of a channel member. Also, it will become clear that channel selection is not a static, once-and-for-all choice, but that it is a dynamic part of marketing planning. As was true for the product, the channel must be managed in order to work. Unlike the product, the channel is composed of individuals and groups that exhibit unique traits that might be in conflict, and that have a constant need to be motivated. These issues will also be addressed. Finally, the institutions or members of the channel will be introduced and discussed.
Introducing and managing the product.
Learning objectives After reading this chapter, you should be able to: • look at the meaning of the term “product” from three different perspectives: the manufacturer, the consumer, and the public • understand the three levels inherent in all products • learn the classification systems that are used to identify products and suggest appropriate marketing strategies • clarify the difference between goods, products, and service products • study some of the processes involved in product planning and strategy formulation: determination of product objectives and identification and resolution of factors that have an impact on the product • understand the eight steps that makeup the new product development system Introduction This chapter begins our discussion of the functional areas of marketing. Why do we begin our discussion with product rather than with promotion, distribution, or pricing? The answer is quite obvious. None of those other functions serve any useful purpose without a company product that provides consumer satisfaction. Without a product, there is nothing to promote, nothing to distribute, nothing to price. This does not suggest that product is more important, rather, it is the impetus for the other marketing functions. Logically, we should start at the beginning, and the beginning of a market place is a set of correct decisions about the product offerings of the firm.
Interpersonal communication techniques
Deciding what we mean by interpersonal communication
In this chapter, I shall: • introduce the definition of interpersonal communication which is used throughout this book • outline a number of propositions about interpersonal communication which can be developed from this definition and which have important practical and theoretical implications.
If communication is so “universal”, then perhaps I can assume that everyone knows what it is, and move straight on to the next chapter! Unfortunately, things are not so straightforward. If you read a number of textbooks on communication, you will find a variety of definitions which emphasise different things. You will also find considerable practical differences in everyday life. Some people seem to regard the essence of communication as “being able to speak and write proper English” whereas others would argue that “good communicators are good listeners”. So it is important to clarify what I am talking about.
The skills of interpersonal communication
We normally use the term “skill” to refer to physical behaviours (what psychologists call motor skills). We can agree for example that specific sports personalities display certain skills. Ivan Lendl’s service in tennis is a pretty formidable piece of behaviour, especially if you are at the receiving end. By using slow motion film or video we can observe his coordination and rhythm, not to mention the power which many other players cannot equal. We can also observe how Lendl varies the shot in order to keep his opponents guessing. In a similar way we can observe a particular social act and try to work out what the participants are doing. And we can observe that some people seem to be far better at handling certain social situations than others. Think of someone whom you like talking to. What do they do to make the conversation enjoyable? They probably make you feel that they really are listening and interested in what you are saying. They do this by giving you encouragement, perhaps smiling, nodding etc. Contrast this picture with someone whom you dislike talking to. What do they do to make it unpleasant? Perhaps they seem to ignore you (the boss who shuffles his papers while insisting that he is listening), or perhaps they try to dominate the proceedings. If you carry on with this sort of analysis you will find that certain behaviours are performed regularly by individuals who are effective or successful in handling social situations and that individuals who are ineffective perform.
The process of interpersonal communication
In practice these approaches are inevitably interlinked. For example, you cannot really identify skills without a good understanding of the process. I shall say more on this later. In this chapter I shall concentrate on the first of these approaches. I shall briefly discuss what this involves and then explain my model of interpersonal communication. In the next chapter, I shall discuss what it means to explain interpersonal communication as skilled behaviour and give a few examples to illustrate the value of such an approach. I shall also explain how the two approaches depend upon one another. To fully understand interpersonal communication you need to integrate both approaches.
Understanding the Marketplace and Consumers
Introduction to Consumer Behaviour
Introduction As a consumer we are all unique and this uniqueness is reflected in the consumption pattern and process of purchase. The study of consumer behaviour provides us with reasons why consumers differ from one another in buying using products and services. We receive stimuli from the environment and the specifics of the marketing strategies of different products and services, and responds to these stimuli in terms of either buying or not buying product. In between the stage of receiving the stimuli and responding to it, the consumer goes through the process of making his decision.
Introduction In this chapter we shall discuss some of the basic issues of consumer behaviour. We shall outline the major influences, which shape an individual’s consumer behavour and preferences. The specific process of decision-making involved in consumer behavour is also discussed here. In this chapter we will address the question of business markets and how they differ from consumer markets. Buyer behaviour is a huge subject and it is only possible in this course to provide a brief introduction to the key issues. For the purposes of this session, we’ll therefore concentrate primarily upon consumer behaviour, and then conclude by highlighting some of the similarities and differences between this and organisational buyer behaviour (or business-to business purchasing).
Introduction In this chapter, we discuss how to find attractive target market opportunities. We start by considering four basic types of opportunities—market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification —with special emphasis on opportunities in international markets. We will also see that carefully defining generic markets and productmarkets can help find new opportunities. We will also discuss market segmentation—the process of naming and then segmenting broad product markets to find potentially attractive target markets. Some people try to segment markets by starting with the mass market and then dividing it into smaller sub markets based on a few dimensions. But this can lead to poor results. Instead, market segmentation should first focus on a broad product-market and then group similar customers into homogeneous sub markets. The more similar the potential customers are, the larger the sub markets can be.