Question One: Tracing the marketing evolutionary trend, the subject has transformed from many concepts before the modern day marketing orientation. Identify and explain various orientations before the new era of societal marketing concept.
The marketing orientation evolved from earlier orientations namely:
A. The Production Era.
B. The product Era.
C. The Sales Era.
D. The Marketing Concept Era.
THE PRODUCTION ERA
The production era is the first stage of marketing orientations. During this period, there was scarcity of goods and services and consumers were willing to buy any goods that were available for consumption.
THE PRODUCT ERA
Under this era, firms shift their priority to product's quality given the assumption that quality product will sell itself in the market place and since consumers will prefer products of high quality and standard.
THE SALES ERA
During the sales era, emphasis was laid on achieving the highest sales possible from goods and services produced by firms and which in turn led to firms producing more than what the consumers needed. Firms also embark on hiring salespeople to find new buyers for their products and there was greater competition during this era.
THE MARKETING CONCEPT ERA
In the 1960s, marketing marked the motivating factor among firms and the marketing concept era was dawned. The marketing concept is the idea that an organization should strive to satisfy the needs of its customers whilst trying to achieve the organization's objectives.
The marketing concept holds the view that achieving organisational goals and objectives depend largely on knowing the needs and wants of customers as well as ensuring that these needs and wants are satisfied efficiently and effectively better than competitors. Therefore, unlike the production and sales concepts which are product and sales centred and which lay little or no emphasis on whom and why customers buy a product, marketing concept is customer-centred. For example, it emphasizes on knowing and providing the right product for customers rather than finding the right customers for a product. A market-oriented organization directs its effort on continuously and constantly collecting and gathering information about customers' needs and carefully study this information across their departments for the creation of customer values.
In marketing, social responsibility entails accepting a duty to give equal value to business profits, customer satisfaction and the well-being of the society. Today, business organizations strive to put into account the social and environmental consequences of their actions on the society at large and this according to some marketing experts is referred to as societal marketing concept. This is of the view that an organization should try to satisfy its customer in a manner not likely to hinder the well-being of the society in which it operates.
Question One (B): Consumers are often referred to as king, explain this statement from notable marketing definitions and concepts.
Today, every business activities evolved round customer and businesses make customer their top priority in their day to day business operations. This is referred to as modern marketing concept.
The term “MARKETING” is derived from the word “MARKET” which means an arrangement that is put in place where buying and selling occurred. A market consists of people with the desire and ability to buy a specific product or service.
Marketing can be defined as the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating, and satisfying customer requirements in a profitable way (Chartered Institute of Marketing).
The management process in the above definition refers to managerial functions such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling and coordinating.
IDENTIFICATION: Finding out potential product or service needed by potential consumers.
ANTICIPATION: Looking forward or being optimistic about a product or service.
SATISFACTION: Meeting the needs of customers contently.
REQUIREMENTS: Refer to what is needed by customers.
Marketing can be defined as a social and managerial process whereby individual and groups derive what they need and want through creating and exchanging products of values with each other (Kotler and Armstrong, 2004).
It can also be defined as a human activity aimed at satisfying human needs and wants through an exchange process (Kotler, 1980).
Human need and want are two different things but they are used interchangeably nowadays.
NEED: Human need occurs when a particular person feels physiologically deprived of basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter.
WANT: A want is simply a felt need. It is what a person feels he needs and which is not necessarily required for survival. This is shaped by a person's knowledge, culture and personal characteristics.
EXCHANGE: Entails offering of something of value between two or more parties. For exchange to take place there must be:
. Mutual consent or agreement
. Ability to communicate
. Freedom to accept or reject offer
. Must include at least two participants
. Involving parties must want to deal with each other
Having said these, it is clearly seen from the above definitions of marketing that meeting and satisfying the needs of customers is the pivot centre of marketing.
Question Two (A): Every marketing organisation operates in a complex and dynamic business environment. Identify and explain various micro and macro environmental variables affecting marketing companies in United Kingdom.
A business does not operate in vacuum. It has to interact and adjust to the environment within and outside its business walls. These environmental factors influence either positively or otherwise on business operations. Therefore, marketers must put into consideration how the following factors can influence business existence.
A. MICRO FACTORS: These factors are also referred to as the controllable or internal factors. They are regarded as controllable factors because they are within the reach of any business and can be influenced at any point in time. They consist of:
. Company's policies and strategies
. Objectives and mission statement
. Marketing mix
. Company's culture and philosophy
EMPLOYEES: They are those employed to carry out day to day activities of a business. They can influence business activities in any of the following ways:
. Disrupt the implementation of set policies and strategies
. Threaten to bring about industrial action
MANAGEMENT: The management of an organization is charged with the functions of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, controlling and coordinating of business activities to achieve desired outcome. They also set policies and strategies needed for the achievement of objective set by the organization. A poor and incapable management will inhibit business operations.
SHAREHOLDERS: Are often regarded as owners of business. They have the right to vote at the Annual General Meeting of a business and also have voting right to sell shares held by them. And if done, can make the business prone to take over.
COMPANY'S POLICIES AND STRATEGIES: A policy can be defined as a statement of acceptable procedures which is applicable across an organization while a strategy is a way (long term) by which a business or an organization plans to achieve a set objective. Crumbled policies and strategies is likely to inhibit the achievement of business objectives while fine-tuned and straight forward one will do better.
OBJECTIVES AND MISSION STATEMENT: An objective is simply what the desired outcome or end result which an organization wants to achieve. Businesses should set objectives which are time-bound, specific, realistic, measurable and achievable.
A mission statement of any business or an organization states summarily, what the objectives of that business are. A mission statement sets out the vision and values that reveal the underlying basis of business operations which motivates employees and managers to carry out their contractual duties.
MARKETING MIX: The marketing mix represents the four tools often referred to as the Four Ps. It consists of product, price, place and promotion. Effective and efficient combination of these elements will yield positive result for a business.
PRODUCT: A product is a good, service or idea offered to satisfy consumer's needs.
PRICE: It is the value exchanged for the product.
PLACE: It is the means of getting the product to the consumers.
PROMOTION: Represents ways of communicating or passing of information about the product between the seller and buyer.
B. MACRO FACTORS: They are the uncontrollable or external influences on business. The macro environmental factors can be classified into:
IMMEDIATE EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
A. CUSTOMERS: Are people who patronize what a business offered for sale either for consumption or for a later re-sale. If customers are not satisfied with the goods and services provided by an organization and changes in consumer tastes may prompt a customer to go for better competitors' offering.
B. SUPPLIERS OR CREDITORS: Are businesses or individuals who provide the resources an organization to produce goods and services for its customers. They can influence a business if they refuse to give credit, can charge high interest rates and can also take legal actions for non-payment.
C. COMPETITORS: Are those who offer similar or identical goods and services similar to ones a business offers.
D. COMMUNITY OR SOCIETY: Can pressurize government to tighten laws and legislation, can take illegal action such as sabotage, and may refuse to purchase products.
E. GOVERNMENT: Unfavourable government fiscal and monetary policies affect business.
F. PRESSURE GROUPS .e.g. trade and labour unions: They may threaten to boycott.
GENERAL EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT
A. Political/legal environment
B. Economic environment
C. Socio-cultural environment
D. Technological environment
POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT: The system of government, political instability and unrest, government policies, laws and legislations i.e. employment law, company law, international trade regulation all go a long way in influencing marketing decisions.
ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT: The level of government intervention in the economy i.e. government spending, development level i.e. developed or developing economy, interest and exchange rates, per-capital income, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), general demand, taxation and population are all major issues to put into consideration.
SOCIO-CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT: I.e. social class, lifestyle, culture and beliefs and changing consumer tastes are all factors that affect business especially if competitors' offering are better.
TECHNOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT: Technology has and is continuously influencing the marketing environment. For example, the advent of internet and other technological advancements in the areas of production processes product innovation; computerization and new discoveries are constantly changing and influencing how businesses operate.
Question Two (B): Understanding any market requires a thorough classification by segments. Identify and explain various basis of market segmentation by proposing the segmentation criteria that can be used for two products in different markets.
In order to effectively and efficiently manage marketing efforts and to better satisfy customers needs and wants, many organizations categorize them into groups. This is referred to as market segmentation.
Market segmentation can therefore, be defined as the process of dividing the market i.e. potential consumers into specific, identifiable and homogenous groups or sub-market based on different needs, characteristics or behaviours with the aim of reaching such groups with a particular marketing mix.
A segmentation basis can be defined as a set of variables used to divide potential customers into identical or similar groups. The bases consist of:
A. Geographic base
B. Psychographic base
C. Demographic base
D. Buyer-behavioural base
Marketers can segment markets geographically based on
. Region: North, South, East, West, Central etc.
. Climate: Hot, Humid or Cold.
. States: Urban, rural, cities etc
. Country size
Geographical segmentation is basically segmenting potential buyers in relation where they live, shop or work. For example, products and services in West End London are targeted at well to do and affluent consumers and vary in term of price to those sold in East side.
Another method of dividing the markets into groups is psychographic segmentation. This is categorizing according lifestyle, personality characteristics and social class.
LIFESTYLE: This is simply the belief, opinion or a way of life of an individual which shapes the buying and other behaviour of such individual. Products and services can be provided and targeted at a specific segment based on a particular lifestyle group.
SOCIAL CLASS: The social status of most consumers influences what they use and buy. For example, people at the top managerial level use exotic and expensive cars, prefer first class services etc compared with those who earn little income and this can be used to segment markets. The social class segmentation therefore, classifies the society into six different groups namely:
D-Semi-skilled and Unskilled workers
E-Dependants on the State
The term demographic is derived from the word demography which means the study of population. Demographic segmentation therefore, categorizes customers based on age, gender, income level, religion, nationality, race, occupation etc. Consumers needs and wants change over time i.e. as people aged, their needs and wants change. For example, marketers now design specific marketing mix to suit the need of a particular age group i.e. pampers for babies and toys for children. Good example of gender segmentation can be found in cosmetic products and in the clothing industry.
Income segmentation is another basis that can be used to divide a potential market. A store like Harrods is predominantly aimed at affluent consumers so also, are cars such as Lexus and Daewoo. Products and services are also aimed at different lifecycle segments.
BUYER BEHAVIOURAL BASE
Buyer behavioural segmentation categorizes consumers into groups based on product usage rate, brand loyalty, benefit sought, occasions etc. For example, a market can be segmented into heavy, medium or light users of a particular product.
BRAND LOYALTY: This simply refers to consumers' commitment to purchasing and re-purchasing of a brand i.e. product. Loyal customers who at every point in time buy a certain product are of great importance to the business. Marketers can therefore, segment a market based on customers who patronize every time and those who rarely buys its product.
BENEFIT SOUGHT: The actual advantages a consumer wants to derive from using a product is referred to as benefit sought. Consumers' requirements and responsiveness to a given product varies and this can be used as a base to divide a market.
Other variable that can be used for market segmentation is techno graphic base which include motivation, attitudes toward technology by consumers, usage pattern etc.
BENEFITS OF MARKET SEGMENTATION
TO THE SELLERS
The principal benefits of dividing a potential market into identifiable buyer groups or sub-market from the sellers' point of view are:
. They have a better idea of the total market picture
. They can easily tailor their marketing mix to suit the needs of a particular market segment
. It aids familiarisation and also enhances the ability to assess responses from segments which is a valuable asset for market planning.
TO THE BUYERS
The main benefit of market segmentation from the point of view of buyers' is that they are more likely to have their needs met in an easy and more appropriate way than if the market is not segmented.
According to Baker and Philip Kotler (1988), effective market should be:
MEASURABILITY: This is the extent to which a particular market segment's size and purchasing power can be measured.
ACCESSIBILITY: This refers to the degree to which a segment can be easily reached and served through promotional or distributional efforts.
ACTION ABILITY: This refers to the degree to which an organization can develop or design a particular marketing mix to serve certain segment in the market. Segments are actionable if their identification gives guidance in making business decisions on providing effective and efficient marketing mix.
SUBSTANTIALITY: It refers to the size of the market segment in term of being profitable for the organization. Segments are substantial if they represent a huge portion of the market which ensures business profitability.
IDENTITIFIABILITY: It is the extent to which segments can be recognized as distinct groups in the market place.
STABILITY: It refers to the degree to which segments are stable over a period of time so as to achieve a successful implementation of marketing strategy. If segments are not stable i.e. changes in composition or behaviour, strategies developed will be difficult to employ.
Question Three (A): Explain product life cycle with a typical diagram and identify characteristics and essential strategies for survival at each stage of the life cycle.
Product is the first element of marketing mix. It can be defined as a combination of goods and services offered to satisfy consumers' needs and wants. Product can be:
TANGIBLE: e.g. laptops, cars, machineries etc which can be physically handled and felt.
INTANGIBLE: e.g. computer repairs, banking and insurance services. This cannot be physically handled but it can be felt when it's been rendered.
Product life cycle entails those stages that a given product passes through from the time it was introduced until the time it's withdrawn. Therefore, a product will typically pass through four major stages in life and which includes:
A. Costs are high because they include research and development costs
B. Sales and profits are usually low
C. Few competitors
D. Firms may embark on price penetration to make huge sales or price skimming strategy to quickly recover costs of production.
E. Mass promotion to create brand awareness
F. Limited product available and few distribution channels.
A. Sales are rapid
B. Profit at peak level due to increased output
C. Price softens due to increasing competition
D. Unit costs decline and mass market appears.
E. More investments on product awareness to increase market share and enjoy overall market growth.
A. Sales continue to rise but at a decreasing rate
B. Competition at its peak
C. Profit level off
D. Price softens further and there is also, mass market
E. Persuasive advertising can be employed due to increasing competition so as to encourage consumers to buy the product.
F. Business may embark on more research and development to improve quality, production efficiency and product modification.
A. Sales decline permanently as market shrinks
B. Profit low or even drop to zero
C. Product is withdrawn from the market but if the product is profitable, businesses can exclude some production costs and sell the product at a low price in cheaper markets.
It is important to note that the total length of time over which a product may be withdrawn from the market depends largely on a number of factors such as relevance to basic needs of consumers and product adaptability in the light of economic trends.
Question Three (B): Decision of an organisation to embark on either extensive or selective distribution strategy is contingent on some factors. Identify and explain the factors responsible for the choice of a strategy using both industrial and consumer products as examples.
The task of distribution is simply the management plan of making goods and services available to the intermediaries or final consumers for use or consumption. Effective distribution is of great importance to the business especially for the achievement of marketing objectives.
EXTENSIVE DISTRIBUTION: This involves making goods and services available as widely as possible through various channels which are available. It is associated with market penetration pricing strategy which involves establishing a low product price to attract a large numbers of customers.
SELECTIVE DISTRIBUTION: This involves choosing fewer means of distribution. Here, a small number of retail outlets are chosen to distribute a product. It is associated with price skimming strategy. A price-skimming strategy is used when a high price is established in order to recover costs of production as quickly as possible. Selective distribution is often used for products such as computers, videocassette recorders and technical items with high development costs.
FACTORS DETERMINING CHOICE OF CHANNEL
The needs and wants of consumers go a long in determining which channel to use. For example, ostentatious customers may prefer selective distribution channel while industrial users will prefer dealing directly with the manufacturer.
The nature of product also determines the choice of channel. Product characteristics that need to be considered include:
PERISHABILITY: Perishable products such as flowers, tomatoes and vegetables require a distribution channel that is fairly shorter especially in hot weather. Perishable items most times move from producers to consumers.
BULKY PRODUCTS: Heavy and bulky product such as cement are best moved through train and sea transportation while it is preferable to transport crude oil through pipeline transportation.
SPECIALIZED AND STANDARDIZED PRODUCTS: e.g. Sony and Samsung computers are better moved through selective channel. High-tech products most times move from manufacturers to consumers.
There is better chance of selling directly to retailers or final consumers if manufacturers of a certain product are many. A single manufacturer may not have the resources to sell directly to consumers.
THE DEGREE OF URGENCY: This refers to the extent to which a particular product is urgently needed at any point in time.
COMPANY'S POLICY: A policy can be defined as a statement of acceptable procedures which is applicable across an organization. It may be the policy of an organization to continuously embark on the use of either extensive or selective distribution strategy in making its products available to customers. Company may also decide not deal directly with customers and may
DISTANCE INVOLVED: The distance to be covered also needs to be put into consideration. It is unadvisable to transport perishable goods over long distance.
COST INVOLVED: Some products can be transported using various channels. The cost of a channel and its substitutes must be considered.