Marketing practices over time
Human behavior is viewed as being affected by multiple levels of influence. These levels of influence include intra-personal or interpersonal factors, individual factors, public policy factors, institutional or community factors, and organizational factors. Intra-personal factors include individual characteristics that influence behavior such as prior disposition, knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and personality traits. Interpersonal factors refer to primary groups such as family, colleagues, and peers. The role of a primary school is to offer social distinctiveness support and meaning. Marketing strategies and performances depend on the culture inherent in a country. The same differs from one country to another. Countries where women’s major role is defined as home making, for example, are more often served by distribution systems that include bargaining.
Arguing about the price of the products requires that considerable time be spent shopping. Where women are likely to have a career outside the household, time becomes more precious – which is a constraint on bargaining. In those cultures, fixed prices are more common (Williams and Curtis, 2005). Institutional factors are informal structures, policies, regulations, and rules, which may limit or promote suggested behaviors. Institutional procurement practices in general display characteristics that differentiate them from consumer markets. Hospitals, for example, would exhibit concentrated and direct purchasing of drugs from producers and inelastic demand once contracts are negotiated.
These contracts would not be easily terminated. Community factors are social norms and networks, which exist as informal or formal among individual organizations and groups. For example, nutrition education and public awareness campaigns carried out by different social groups can promote healthy lifestyles that in turn influence the purchase of organic produce. Public policy refers to local state laws and policies that control or support practices and actions that are healthy, for disease prevention, early detection management and control.
For example, the control of occupational exposure to carcinogens is a direct result of developments in public policy. This is an important step in primary cancer prevention and demonstrates that systematic regulatory control of the workplace can be an effective cancer prevention measure. This in turn affects tobacco-marketing practices. Marketing practice changes are also influenced by a diversity of other factors. Ecological or environmental regulatory bodies and processes, trading policies and funding and grants are key political factors. General taxation issues, interest and exchange rates and seasonality or weather issues form the body of economic factors that may influence change.
Similarly, the advent of computers and the internet has considerably altered the face of marketing. Nowadays, distributors and sellers can reach a mass market through online advertisements, shops, and email. Additionally, marketing research and intelligence can easily be catered by aggregating the number of visitors to any site as well as buyers of a product.
Some technology factors include research-funding, maturity of technology, innovation potential, intellectual property issues and progression of information and communication systems (Contento 2010). Marketing segmentation refers to the identification of one’s customers, bringing to them what they wish for, building strong relationships with co-marketing partners and communicating via highly targeted promotional media for example event sponsorships or interactive websites. Segmentation is the practice of partitioning markets into groups of prospective clientele with like needs, preferences and tastes. Segmentation efforts must be managed for them to be effective and ensure profitability.
It is impossible to pursue every market opportunity so managers must make strategic choices. There are many alternative methods for segmenting business markets. In outlining geographical segmentation, a medical instrumentation firm can obtain data from hospital associations’ directories to target hospitals by region and bed size. When factoring business demographics, a graphic supplies distributor can easily target advertising agencies by using firmographs.
When featuring the products usage factor, markets can be segmented according to consumption levels of various user groups; heavy, medium or light. The best customers can be identified by several criteria. These include number of orders, unit sales, revenues, profitability and share of customer volume (Weinstein, 2004). The underlying rational of a mass marketing strategy is that everyone in the market wants the same product delivered, priced, and promoted in the same way. Alternatively, if there are differences within the market, they are not usually significant enough to affect demand. They also do not merit being addressed by the organization with a different marketing mix strategy.
Advantages in this type of marketing include elimination of extra costs that ensure larger production runs. Its limitations, however, underscore its limited usefulness. Different shopping patterns, income levels, and work habits require different pricing for certain services or products. This is well served by the segmentation strategy. In addition, a mass marketing strategy that tries to appeal to everyone leaves a company susceptible to having a segment of its customers won over by any other firm that more closely tailors its marketing mix to attract that particular subgroup.
Client centered marketing is a core business process that makes an individual client or high potential prospect in a targeted industry; market niche the focus and beneficiary of specialized information, resources and experience. It encompasses selecting a targeted industry market niche for special attention as well as developing an insider’s understanding of it. It also involves positioning, promoting, and providing value adding solutions to selected needs of clients and high potential prospects in the niche. Finally, time, resources, and relationships available to the company are leveraged to secure success in the capturing of the target market.
As the market changes from an orientation centered on product sales to one centered on the customer, direct marketing efforts to target profitable customers across the multiple channels, especially the internet, have resulted in reams of data waiting to be analyzed for enhancing future market efforts. Any market today, irrespective of size, can collect data on every customer transaction. These data are then stored in some format in a database for some future use such as financial tracking or inventory management purposes.
A brand is an icon or mark (logo) that helps distinguish one product from another. The brand represents the product. From the marketer’s point of view, it is the sum total of all user experiences with a specific service or product, building both repute and future expectations of benefit. Successful brand building involves paying constant attention to user enjoyment of a given product or service; setting sufficient budgets for marketing and evolving the brand overtime as markets and opinions change. Companies invest in building and marketing their brands for a number of reasons. These include increased recognition, establishing trust and building brand loyalty.
Brand loyalty is achieved when clients stay faithful to a given brand and, whenever possible, take pains to continue their use of that brand. In the 21st century, the useful economic life of a brand cannot be defined in a pre-determined number of years. While most physical assets can be valued using models that use ten years or less to reflect their useful economic life, brands have indefinite lives. The duration of a brand’s life depends on the readiness of consumers to buy the brand, pay the amount requested by the owner, and continue buying the brand into the future.
This is consumer brand equity. It contributes to the ability of a company to earn profits in excess of those that would be earned by a normal company (Cant, Strydom, and Jooste, 2009).
“THE LOST TRIBES OF RADIO SHACK: TINKERS SEARCH FOR A NEW SPIRITUAL HOME”
Andy Cohen bought the Radio Shack after years of being successful product manager companies of great worth. However, in recent times, he has obviously been by passed by trends. Radio shack has been forced to re- brand itself in an effort to attract new clientele with more sophisticated needs than the average Joe had in times gone by. New managers in the store have been uncomfortable with the increasing reliance on mobile technology to not only affect purchasing trends but in the acquisition of new customers. It is obvious that they have been left behind in the move of trends from product-based marketing to service oriented marketing.
The re-branding of itself to “the Shack” is hoped to alter the image of Radio Shack in the mind of the present day consumer. To this end, advertisements through the television and the internet have been employed. A dance contest was even featured yet little was garnered from these frantic efforts. A systematic study of trends in the market and how to achieve them by way of low cost methods might have achieved more change. Though successful in that it has survived bankruptcy, this has been achieved by cost cutting measures rather than success in garnering new customers.
To survive, Radio Shack has now moved to the mass market to its direct loyal customer base-its community. This it has done rather than engage in the market segmentation strategy that would suit the pockets of a larger enterprise. Radio shack has obviously been relegated to near irrelevance by modern marketing trends. Faithful client Mike D’Alessio eschews the recent past when it was a force to be reckoned with. However, even he is quick to admit that that time has passed.