How Different Concepts in Marketing Work
Marketing refers to the act an organization undertakes in order to engage its target consumer audience, develop brand equity to generate value for company/venture and create financial return in the form of profit. The marketing strategy is a complex tool, which allow companies to develop a consistent marketing mix in order to attract new customers, expand markets, reduce product costs, drive sales growth and reduce marketing spend. A marketing strategy therefore involves not only the generation of a powerful and compelling marketing message but also the creation of effective distribution and promotional plans, effective feedback mechanisms to measure customer responses, and the implementation of policies and procedures to ensure that all marketing channels and communications are effectively managed. This article attempts to provide an explanation of what marketing is and how it differs from other disciplines such as advertising, public relations or communications.
The definition of marketing has become an ever-changing concept with the growth and changes in the markets. In fact, in the last three decades, marketing concepts have undergone profound transformations due to the developments in the economic, social and business climates. As marketing and the concept of marketing has evolved, several marketing management concepts have emerged and these include the following: Economic marketing, which seek to promote products and services competitively by using financial and technical leverage; Social marketing, which seek to promote products and services through the marketing activities of the participating organizations; Conventional marketing, which target the mass market through advertising and promotion; and Technological marketing, which target the specific marketing needs of the future marketplace. These marketing concepts are categorized into four main areas of specialization: Competitive marketing, consumer marketing, environmental marketing and societal marketing.
Competitive marketing is one of the oldest marketing concepts and has emerged successfully as a force in the market. It requires the company to identify the competitive threat posed by a competitor and develop a plan to counter this by developing the most cost effective means of competing with its product and service. Competitive marketing myopia focuses on the short-term gains at the expense of the long term benefits by ignoring the long term benefits of a product or service. It thus tends to concentrate on the immediate profit margins by distributing resources in the most productive way.
Consumer marketing is all about the purchasing behaviour of the customers. It includes the research, development and launching of a product, evaluation of customer’s satisfaction with that product and its price and tracking customer buying patterns over time. Consumer marketing research enables the company to build and strengthen the customer loyalty by understanding the customer’s needs and expectations. This allows the company to make relevant changes to sell more products.
Ecological marketing concept deals with selling customer orientation towards environmental policies, practices and products. The goal is to increase sales from sustainable products, thereby reducing negative impact on the environment. Ecological marketing concept therefore places an emphasis on promoting ecologically sound products in the market through a number of marketing activities such as public education, community involvement and advertisements. It also advocates building community relationships through a set of events and programs such as planting trees, installing wind turbines and utilising green resources for packaging. The ultimate objective of eco-marketing is to promote eco-friendly or sustainable product brands to the potential customers. This helps reduce environmental impact in an environmentally responsible manner.
One of the major concepts in marketing is the concept of brand loyalty. This is all about the association between a consumer and a brand. This concept defines how consumers develop a positive perception of the company over time by purchasing the same brand repeatedly over an extended period of time. Brand loyalty marketing research enables marketers to fine tune the positioning of their brand in the market to maximize the returns on investment.