Marketing has been known to be a way of promoting and selling of products. In this essay, we are critically going to focus on the different types used by marketers to determine product positioning, competitive positioning, customer’s perception and distribution-channel analysis. In addition, we will focus on the comparison on the strengths weaknesses of each method and finally assessing different types of marketing analysis required to develop marketing strategy.
Product positioning has been known to be the act of coming up with an image of what a given client or company is offering so as to make the consumer or the target customer to have the full knowledge needed about the product that is being marketed in relation to competitors. Having the image of the product to be marketed then some analysis which determines the product positioning needs to be used for the better marketing.
These analyses are such as factor analysis, discriminate analysis and multidimensional scaling. Factor analysis has been known to represent the attributes in terms of smaller number of underlying factors after which the brand ratings are then used to position the brands while discriminate analysis also requires respondents to provide attribute ratings even though like factor analysis its objective is to minimize the required number of attributes to a smaller number of underlying dimensions.
Despite having the almost the same characteristics as such of those of factor analysis, they tend to differ whereby discriminate analysis tries to focus on those attributes which has got different brands and it also tends to assume those attributes which shows a large variations within the products themselves. That is why, in product positioning, this analysis identifies the underlying dimensions among those groups. Finally, Multidimensional Scaling was seen to enable the products to be mapped spatially so that the relative positions in the mapped space should reflect the degree of the perceived similarity between the products (Kohli & Leuthesser, 2011).
With the analysis discussed above, it’s important for one to note the strengths and weaknesses of each and every analysis when it comes to marketing the product. Some of the strengths of the factor analysis technique are, it reduces the complexity of the data through the means of reducing the number of variables (Kotler, et al. 2008). Apart from the reduction of the number of the analysis, it can be also be used to identify the hidden dimensions or even construct those dimensions which may tend to look apparent to the target market from the direct market and finally, it easy and ensures the right decision are made.
As much as it posses those strengths, factor analysis also posses some weaknesses in it whereby the usefulness of the products entirely depends on the originator of the product. it is ability to collect the enough set of product attributes needed and if the important attributes becomes unavailable, then the value of the procedure are reduced (Joshi, 2005). Incase there is any similarities in variables, then the factor analysis takes the responsibility of assigning single factor on it hence making it harder when it comes to identifications of factors that capture more interesting relationships and finally, naming of any factor may require the background knowledge because more attributes may lead to more correlation for no apparent reason.
It will be of important if we happen to know the strengths of those factor analysis also, for instance, if we compare multidimensional scaling with factor analysis, in multidimensional scaling analysis, despite its strength in desirability, at the same time it has less products which may lead to unstable condition due to the consumer’s needs. That’s why it is recommended that more products should be available. Another weakness that may be experienced with multidimensional scaling is the same brand on the same products. This may lead to some customers not being considered when it comes to product wants of which might be found unavailable due to the same brand in the market.
An advantage the product may have under multidimensional scaling is the allowance of the product to be reversed when it comes to ranking order among the subjects. It has also shown to be robust to embedding an existing set with new stimuli as long as the new stimuli are unlike and also multidimensional scaling has also become robust when it comes to metric and finally it has got an easy interpretation, in multidimensional scaling analysis, fewer dimensions are generated as compared to factor analysis due to factor analysis including those dimensions allowing for significant amount of the total variations.
But when it comes to factor analysis with discriminate analysis, it defines dimensions which shows bigger differences between groups who pretend to ignore those dimensions of products which have got the likelihood of showing the bigger variations. It can also be used as a complementary technique to highlight the dimensions which may tend to differ before as agreed among the customers.
All the above kept into consideration, then there is a need for the company involved in the product to position the product based upon some opportunities provided. First, the originator of the product should consider the customer’s need and make sure the product is available, then he should identify the strengths that are both unique and important of which he should also determine on how incase the product develops some weaknesses, on how to correct it and making it look more appealing (Kotler, et al. 2008). There is also some need to change the consumer usage patterns by including some different or adding more products in the market and finally identifying those place that determine the best target for the product.
Finally, there is need for the distribution channel so as to develop a market strategy, this are the existing distribution channel which should focus on the relationship between the consumer and the manufacturer. Another one is the trend and the emerging channels which mean new opportunities can be offered to develop competitive market and the channel powered structure whereby if the product happens to have the little brand equity, then the retailers have negotiating power over manufacturers and can capture more margins.