Category Marketing

Fundamentals of Marketing

May 31, 2007 0 comments

Concept of Marketing

The concept of marketing has been variously defined over the years; here are some explanations from leading practitioners and theorists in the field.

“Marketing is the management process for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”

Chartered Institute of Marketing

“If you are obsessed with attaining happiness you will never attain it. But if you focus on service to others, happiness will come immediately. It is the same with industry: if you are obsessed with looking for profits, you will never find them. But if you focus on satisfying the customer, you will gain everything.”

(Jose Lopez VW top executive cited by Jobber 1995)

Peter Drucker stated:

“Because the purpose of business is to create and keep customers, it has only two central functions – marketing and innovation. The basic function of marketing is to attract and retain customers at a profit.”

He went on to explain that the role of marketing is to identify customers requirements so well that when products and services are designed to meet these requirements and presented to the customers they automatically recognise and accept what is being offered. (Drucker 1973)

 

David Jobber stated that a modern marketing concept can be expressed as:

“The achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition.” (Jobber 1995)

Three conditions should be met:

  1. Customer orientation – Corporate activities are focused upon providing customer satisfaction.
  2. Integrated effort – all staff accept the responsibility for creating customer satisfaction.
  3. Goal achievement – The belief that corporate goals can be achieved through customer satisfaction.

Philip Kotler defines marketing as:

“A social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.” This leads into the debate about needs, wants and demand, Where needs stem from a state of felt deprivation affected by the complexity of physical, social and individual motivational factors. Wants on the other hand are shaped by culture and individual personality and can be influenced by variety of choice. Demand is affected by the ability to exchange resources to obtain what is on offer i.e. buying power.

The debate moves on into the concepts of products and services where Kotler defines a product as:

“Anything that can be offered to market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption that might satisfy a want or need. It includes physical objects, services, persons, places, organizations and ideas.”

Services are defined as:

“Any activity or benefit that one party can offer to another which is essentially intangible and does not result in ownership of anything.”

Marketing Environment

In his book on Competitive Advantage (1985) Porter discusses the need for people to understand the competitive environment that affects every firm. The competitive forces of other firms causes turbulence within the market, however the other forces at play include; Supplier Power, Buyer Power, Threat of New Entrants, and the availability of Substitutes.

It could be argued that competitive offerings present the biggest threat and therefore there are needs to have effective marketing intelligence gathering and analysis systems.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix described by Kotler (1999) is

“The set of controllable tactical marketing tools – product, price, place and promotion – that the firm blends to produce the response it wants in the target market.” It is useful, however to consider three more factors in this concept – physical evidence, process and people – as these will have a bearing on customer’s expectations and perceptions. For a discussion on expectation and perception theory see the work of Berry, Parasuraman and Zeithaml. They have developed a methodology for assessing customer’s responses to service offerings.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Product Innovation Marketing

Basic principles of marketing

June 1, 2007 0 comments

the relevance of marketing to a variety of industries and types of organizations, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

The Scope and Concept of Marketing

The nature of marketing and the contemporary marketing concept. The origins and development of the marketing concept. The concept of the marketing mix. The relationship of marketing to other functional areas of the business. Societal marketing and consumerism. The nature of social marketing. The application of marketing to non-profit organizations.

Introduction to the Marketing Mix

Product definitions, levels and dimensions

Price role and importance

Promotion nature and role of the promotional mix

Place concept of the distribution channel, alternative channel structures

Inter-relationships between elements of the marketing mix.

Market Segmentation

Concept and rationale. Bases for segmentation in consumer and organisational markets. Criteria for viable segments. Selecting target markets and positioning products. Alternative market coverage strategies.

Buying-Behaviour Analysis

Characteristics of the consumer market. Nature of the consumer buying decision. Psychological and sociological influences on consumer buying behaviour. Models of consumer buying behaviour. Types and characteristics of organisational markets. The organisational buying decision process. Nature and role of the buying centre. Influences on organisational buying behaviour. Comparisons between consumer and organisational buying behavior.

What is marketing?

How are needs satisfied?

What are the functions of marketing?

Who carries out these marketing functions?

 

What is marketing?

Marketing is providing the goods and services when and where they are required to satisfy customer needs or wants (Wisner 1996, p.3).

Core Concepts

Needs – A human need is a state of felt deprivation of some basic satisfaction

Wants – Desires for satisfaction of a particular something

Demands – Wants for specific products that are backed up by an ability to pay

Products – Anything offered to someone to satisfy a need or want

Exchange/Transaction – The act of obtaining a desired product from someone by offering something in return

Consumer sovereignty – in market economies the consumer is ‘king’ by choosing the products that will be made

 

How are needs satisfied?

Utility is the ability of a product to satisfy a need/want

Form utility – physical characteristics of a product that provide satisfaction

Time utility – ability of a good to be available when needed

Place utility – ability of a good to be available when needed

Possession utility – ability of a good to be owned or acquired

Quality and variety – ability of a good to meet human need

 

How has marketing evolved?

Production age – period of heavy demand yet short supply

Selling age – period of over production and excess inventories

Marketing age – period of increased competition and selective demand

 

How does marketing affect our lives?

Effects everyone, marketing is everywhere – billboards, t.v., radio, trucks and magazines are a few examples.

 

What is the marketing concept?

Directing business efforts towards total customer satisfaction

Product quality and customer services

Team effort

 

What are the functions of marketing?

Buying and Selling – primary tasks of marketers

Transportation and Storage – have product available when needed

Standardisation and Grading – standardise products and test quality

Credit – set sensible prices and establish terms of sale

Communication – diffuse ideas to customers and team members

Market Research – learn from research to gauge effectiveness of advertising

 

Who carries out these marketing functions?

Internal

Marketing departments

External (because firms may lack resources or expertise)

Advertising firm – plan and create promotional activities

Public Relations firm – concerned with image of the firm

Market Research firm – conduct surveys to test effectiveness of promotions

Marketing Intermediaries – assure delivery of the product between customer and producer

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Marketing

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Why is it important?

April 28, 2008 0 comments

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is an excellent model for understanding human motivation

His Hierarchy of Needs offers a blue print for understanding people around you. Understanding motivation can enable you to strengthen your relations, work more effectively with business associates, become more capable parent, and facilitate possible change in any group.

Maslow's work and ideas extend far beyond the Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow's concept of self-actualization relates directly to the present day challenges and opportunities for employers and organizations - to provide real meaning, purpose and true personal development for their employees. For life - not just for work.

Maslow saw these issues fifty years ago: the fact that employees have a basic human need and a right to strive for self-actualization, just as much as the corporate directors and owners do.

Increasingly, the successful organizations and employers will be those who genuinely care about, understand, encourage and enable their people's personal growth towards self-actualization - way beyond traditional work-related training and development, and of course way beyond old-style X-Theory management autocracy, which still forms the basis of much organized employment today.

The best modern employers and organizations are beginning to learn at last: that sustainable success is built on a serious and compassionate commitment to helping people identify, pursue and reach their own personal unique potential.

When people grow as people, they automatically become more effective and valuable as employees.

In fact virtually all personal growth, whether in a hobby, a special talent or interest, or a new experience, produces new skills, attributes, behaviors and wisdom that is directly transferable to any sort of job role.

Posted by lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Marketing Managers, Employers, Leaders - Creative Approach

Importance of Consumer Market Research

December 29, 2011 0 comments

The “real market” is the world in which factories are built, products are designed and produced, real products and services are bought and sold, revenues are earned, expenses are paid, and real dollars of profit show up on the bottom line. That is why businesses should be focused on consumers and to build the products that are relevant for the customers and strategic partners.

Peter Drucker’s foundational insight of 1973 that the only valid purpose of a firm is to create a customer. In today's world the singular goal of a company is to maximize the return to shareholders, which is turn destroys US economy and nobody even understands why customers are more important.

In order to be successful, entrepreneurs should conduct relevant, useful marketing and advertising research; constantly examine consumer behaviors and understand what products or services the consumers want and for what they are eager to pay money.

People should not underestimate importance of consumer marketing research. A wel-conducted research is the perfect foundation for the integrated marketing strategy.

There are a lot of methods for conducting consumer market research. The key is to learn how to ask questions and hear subtle but not vague customer message

I am personally not a big fun of focus groups because in most cases it is hard to get relevant information, but here is a book that is very helpful with getting started: Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research by Richard A. Krueger and mary Anne Casey

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Marketing

Metaphor marketing and the arts

December 29, 2011 0 comments

The metaphor marketing and arts is virtually universal. Even since I was a teenager, in my home country, the best way to sell products and services was not only to know all technical details about your offerings, but understand the mood and behaviors of your clientele. The only way to know your customers is to ask questions and carefully listen.

I read an interesting story about the birth of ZMET ( Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique). ZMET has become licensed and technically you can use the idea to create your own methods for deed interviews.

The researcher decided that if he makes pictures of the different places he visits, it will be his prospective. So he decided to give his camera to the locals, who never seen or used cameras before, saying to them 'If you were to leave this village, what pictures would you take with you to show others what your life is like?'

It was exciting to discover how effective people were in telling stories. In every strip of negatives, there was a story - one full of paradox, contrast, and contradiction.

Most of the photos cut off people's feet, but was because being barefoot was a sign of poverty and people wanted to hide poverty issues.

Then when he returned to states, he decided to try to do the same asking people making pictures or products and services, and analyze results...

I believe that every researcher is able to create his or her own deep interview technique. You need to open up your heart and intuition and ask people do the same.

When you can get to people's unconscious, you can go beyond mind's grasp, and you can reveal what people mean and what they need. If English is not the first language of your consumers, you can use visual techniques to understand them. So no more linguistic gap.

Your success depends on your ability to leverage the power of figurative language to find the deeper “whys” that underlie consumers’ interpretations, stories, choices and behaviors.

People use 5-6 metaphors per minute of ordinary conversation. Metaphors can reveal the thoughts and feelings that occur below awareness in the unconscious mind.

I write poetry in Russian and I believe that art is the highest way of communication, sometimes even higher then engineering and science. Poets understand what metaphor is - viewing one thing in terms of another - is central to thought and crucial to uncovering latent needs and emotion; surprisingly marketers are so caught up in the literal, they neglect the metaphoric.

Marketing should be artistic, metaphoric, deep and fun.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Marketing

How to build an Unforgettable Brand

January 1, 2012 0 comments

Your new product is brilliant and is about to enter the world, but you think that you cannot come up with a creative logo because it seems that all interesting contents are taken.

It is time for new rules. Logo is just one small part of your image. Your brand needs to be slick and instantly identifiable via through the design, writer's copy, shapes and navigation. Logo is the last part in this list.

Imagine, what happens if you take away your logo from your packaging. Do you think your consumers will recognize your brand?

The next step you should take is to examine your web site. You need to make sure that your brand stays consistent via your webpages, navigation, and style.

People recognize you when your great and useful product has personality and consistent branding. When your product has personality, it will make people like it and remember it at all times.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Marketing

Advertising on the Small Screen

January 26, 2012 0 comments

Mobile advertising is an effective means of engaging prospective customers. With mobile advertising, you can build your brand, acquire new customers, generate sales, monetize your mobile media paths and portals.

Mobile commerce

Billions of dollars are exchanged every day from transactions occurring via mobile phones. People buy content, applications, ringtones, images, purchase physical goods and services, make donations, and even buy virtual goods.

Understanding how your mobile marketing strategy fits into your marketing plans.

Developing and executing your mobile strategy takes time, focus, and a keen understanding of every aspect of your business and your market. You need to keep in mind that developing a strategy is on going process which is interactive, learn, try, learn, try again process.

Marketing, at it's core, is about communication and engagement. As a marketer, your job is to communicate and engage your customers. That is information and news about your products, services and related activities, so your audience know what your organization does and offers.

If you have a budget, high expectations, a demanding timeline, working with MarpaSoft LLC is a great approach. You will get many advantages: brand consistency, ease of maintenance, and a single and trusted point of contact for updates.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Marketing

Creating Your Own Mobile Community

January 26, 2012 0 comments

There are many potential advantages to own your own mobile social community. For example, you can provide a service only to your customers or subset of your customers. You may want to engage your customers to ask questions when they have troubles assembling your products, you may want to allow other customers who encountered the same issues help you out by answering those questions from a consumer's prospective.

You need to determine what your customers should be able to do in your mobile community.

Ultimately you want to see the return on investment - even if the results lead to increased customer satisfaction rather than sales. Make sure you track new users, returning users, and other metrics to show that users are engaged with community.

Engaging with mobile users

People are not going to participate in your mobile social network unless you invite them and give then solid reasons to interact and engage on increasingly deeper levels. You have advantage in mobile community rather in a web-based community because mobile can enable engagement.

People are more likely to share things about your business in the moment, not hours and days later. Imagine, your customer is in a crowd in a football game, and see funny and entertainment ad of your business on a big screen. They might post immediately a positive comment about your business and post it to another person who is watching the game.

You will get more interactions if you encourage people to post comments on their mobile devises right away in the moment.

  • Invite thought leaders from other mobile communities to join your community.
  • Encourage them to share their expertise.
  • Encourage your customers to interact with you while they are at your location.
  • Put sign in your office or a store to upload photo or their ideas to smartphones.

Listening and Responding to Social Sharing

People, especially customers, like to have their voices heard. They can express themselves in forms of words, pictures, videos and music. It is important for your business to listen to what's being shared so you can respond and initiate meaningful interactions. You need to listen what people say about you. Some people will write their opinions and reviews, while others can simply write a story of their experience. Some people may want to write you personally. Other people may post a public comments.

When people write you personally, it is easy to answer. When the comment made public, if a group is too large a message can get lost.

Evaluating the ROI on Mobile Marketing

You can track user participation by frequency, location, any other measurements and you can do it in real time. You can outline demographics and psychographic data, so you can identify your prospective customers and design promotional strategies to specific audience. You can gather preference data such as likes and dislikes. You can track calls, votes, clicks and more interactions.

Working with Marpasoft LLC

If you have a budget, high expectations, a demanding timeline, working with Marpasoft LLC is a smart approach. You will get many advantages: brand consistency, ease of maintenance, and a single and trusted point of contact for updates. Marpasoft LLC helps you identify and answer your key issues involved in your mobile site build.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Marketing

Creating Content for Mobile Website

January 26, 2012 0 comments

Creating a content for mobile websites is not a big challenge. It works much the same as creating a copy.

Mobile site vs apps and role of html5

Html5 was developed in 2007 by w3c.org

Recently we see more companies Launched mobile websites based on html5. HTML5 offers many advantages.

MarpaSoft LLC builds high-engagement web, mobile, and social apps for startups, established brands, nonprofits, and organizations of all kinds.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Marketing

Marketing with Mobile Coupons

January 26, 2012 0 comments

Offering incentives, gifts, freebies, and samples

It should come as no surprise to you that people respond to incentives. Offer them something of value, and they will be more inclined to participate in your program and initiate conversation with you. Continue offering value, and they become your customers. Then they become loyal customers.

Posted by Lisa
Categories: Marketing

Steps Involved in Developing a New Business

November 16, 2013 0 comments

A few days ago I was offered to prepare the presentation on entrepreneurship and why Los Angeles to be a better place of doing business.

While brainstorming how to combine most valuable of my experiences in my speech, I decided to make sure I prepare several presentations, because it may easily happen that most of the people in the room will be looking to start a business now or in near future, or even better already started and need to hear about somebody trying and doing the same.

I think the most important is to have an elevator speech that successfully describes your business. I am struggle with this myself. The successful elevator speech can be developed later into executive summary. This is the first step into developing and delivering impressive investor presentation. Here I want to mention you need to conduct an extensive research - both competitor analysis and their pricing strategy and detailed consumer market research that will help you to prove a business concept.

Every Investor wants to know

Even most investors are daydreaming to hear new Facebook coming, but realistically you need to know right away that people can buy your products or services. Most companies fail because they do not do their homework, they have this perfect idea, and later they may realize that investments are gone, but their clients were not willing to pay the price.

Nowadays there are new ways to fund our projects, and if the project is community related the best step is to do crowd funding; if your product is business to business or business oriented, it is better to bootstrap it with your clients and have a prototype ready before you go to ask for money.

Elevator speech

I want to talk here in this post of the elements of elevator speech and what it takes to create a right approach.

Elements of a Pitch

(adapted from Conor Neill)

  1. Description of the problem you solve
  2. The individuals or groups that will benefit
  3. The specific product or service you deliver
  4. How you differ from competitors and substitutes
  5. How you will make money
  6. What resources you require (money, time, support, expertise)

Enumerate the Steps Involved in Developing a new Business

Here is an interesting article about those steps Summary of Survey of 650 startups

One of the steps to be successful is to constantly learn and apply your knowledge to make more money:

"Founders that learn are more successful: Startups that have helpful mentors, track metrics effectively, and learn from startup thought leaders raise 7x more money and have 3.5x better user growth."

Here is another fact:

"The right mentors significantly influence a company's performance and ability to raise money. "

Innovation

Innovation is a very important factor to success: but today you need to know as much as you can not just about your business, but about technologies available that only technical person can help you with to translate your requirements into products with innovation. Most people overlook importance of technical founders.

Here is how you can innovate

  1. New Product or Product Quality
  2. New Method of Production
  3. New Market
  4. Conquest of Raw Material
  5. New Kind of Organization

(adapted form Schumpeter)

Pitch your idea to 12 strangers

In conclusion, in order to be successful, the very first thing you need to start is to pitch your business idea to 12 strangers, I would suggest that at least 4 of those people will be professionals form the industry to which you are going to sell). Track their responses, including the questions they ask, and prepare report.

Sometimes you can analyze the consumers and the industry by just talking to a small segment.

Here is a good example how my partner validated idea for writing software for Digital Video Surveillance and the problems we uncovered during our research phase. We had a software we previously delivered for real time broadcasting in Erlang, so we just bought non-expencive IP camera ($20) and very non-expensive computer ($60 bucks, - today there are plenty of other hardware such us www.raspberrypi.org for as low as $25.00. It worked perfectly and even the resolution was good.

Validating the idea of writing a software for Digital Video Surveillance

You also can read about

Creative Marketing Research for Digital Video Surveillance

or become our strategic partner

to enter Security Surveillance Marketplace.

Posted by lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship Product Innovation Marketing Video Surveillance Software