Supply Chain Management Marketing Techniques
A company that is market oriented first figures out who its customers will be, then build their products or services around that market group. Marketing theory has it that a specific customer uses a product or service because he or she has a particular need, and that by using that product or service their needs will be fulfilled.
In the realm of supply chain management, marketing focuses on two specific tasks: recruiting new clients and retaining and expanding relationships with current clients. The former task is called acquisition, while the latter is referred to as base management.
Once the marketer has succeeded in acquiring a new purchaser, then it is time for base management to take over. This second half of the marketing process ensures that a relationship is established between the firm and the client, that the relationship is nurtured, and that the benefits that led the client to make a purchase in the first place are not simply discarded but heightened. The product or service that is being offered should be continually improved in order to maintain a successful relationship with the client.
Marketing entails expertise in many branches of the social sciences, such as economics, psychology, and sociology. Even anthropology, to a certain extent, can be useful for those entering the field of marketing. Many of the creative arts are also involved in marketing, particularly in the advertising branch.
Marketing is said to focus on the four P’s: Product, Placement, Pricing, and Promotion. This mixture of different facets should be planned out in advance to reflect the needs of the customers in the target group. Do not bother trying to persuade a particular marketing group to purchase something that they do not want – to do so is a waste of time, as it rarely succeeds. Using knowledge gleaned via market research, one can come up with a quality marketing plan that will teach you both what people want and how to provide it, not to mention how much you can earn from it. Via marketing management, everything that you have learned is then applied to the target group.
The Product Focus Approach to Marketing
Another popular approach to marketing is the product innovation approach. This involves the company focusing on continually innovating their products and subsequently developing a marketing plan to highlight that innovation.
In a product innovation focused approach, market research is conducted in order to make sure that a profitable market group exists for such a product. Sometimes, this has a haphazard effect, as marketers working with this approach will focus too much on a particular niche aspect of the product and try to capitalize on that niche. This might prove successful in the short run, but rarely works in longer terms. Thus, it is vital that product innovation marketers employ a multi-tiered, flexible approach.
Criticism of Marketing
In recent years, marketing has undergone an enormous amount of criticism – both from within the field and outside of it. Promotion is usually the subject of the most hostile criticism. And in discussions revolving around classical economics, which is based on a supply and demand theory, marketing may often come under fire, as modern marketing techniques attempt to refute the idea that supply and demand are independent entities, instead focusing on influencing customers’ demands from the supply side.
What cannot be denied, however, is the fact that marketing is legitimate in that it connects people to products and services that they need that they might not have been aware of previously. Another major criticism of marketing is that it is often employed by corporations, criminals, and politicians to attain dubious ends. Some feel that marketing exploits both workers and consumers, in that it treats all individuals like robots who were built to do nothing more than consume – in fact, this idea is at the origin of the popular insult, “fashion victim.”
Most people working in the field of marketing take the position that marketing is neither good nor evil, but neutral and a natural part of our modern world. While there are ethically dubious sides to it – such as encouraging obese people to buy unhealthy foods, etc. – there are also positive sides to it that can have good effects on the welfare of the general consumer.
In fact, the vast majority of the foundational concepts of marketing (segmentation, positioning, targeting) are still valid in today’s world. At the same time, marketing specialists who have a keen understanding of these topics should be employed in supply chain management to ensure that they are implemented correctly. Because of the continual evolution of marketing, one cannot say that a particular marketing concept is valid or not valid in today’s world. Each marketing concept and approach must be authenticated according to a particular service or product, as well as the environment, the segment, the time, the company’s inner functions, and the political and economic situation that the company is operating under.
Some academics, such as Stephen Brown, challenge the way so-called “postmodern” marketing is done today in a strong language. Brown points out that in academia, marketing has become one of the leading fields of study in disciplines as various as sociology, psychology, and anthropology, as well as the traditional business related disciplines. But Brown also goes on to say that marketing in today’s world is undergoing a sort of recession, that it is failing, and has nothing of value to offer the postmodern world.
What this contradictory stance reveals is that, no matter how skeptical one is about marketing, it cannot be denied that marketing has made a significant contribution to both the way business is done and the satisfaction of customers. Rather, marketing has in fact improved the quality of life for both producers and consumers – after all, when marketing is done right, it satisfies customers’ needs, it helps the business make money, and in the end, everyone is happy. In fact, if you look at the United Kingdom as an example, it has helped that country become the modern success story in the service industry that it is today, whereas before in the 19th century the United Kingdom was a manufacturing economy.
Such facets of modern shopping that we do not even question anymore – such as smiles, friendly service, refund policies, customized products, and safety – can all be credited to the modern marketing movement. It is also true, however, that these things are also done with political or economic gain in mind. This is just a facet of the modern world we must come to except if we are to live in it. In the light of the myriad of accomplishments we can credit to marketing, it is not fair for critics to dismiss all marketing as a failure or something that is inherently manipulative.
In addition to helping customers, marketing also helps the business. It helps them cut down unnecessary costs by developing products that customers actually want, without wasting the funds developing products that are merely innovative but have no sales value. Another pioneering policy that is associated with marketing is that pricing for products and services is based on what customers are willing to pay. In this respect, both the suppliers and the clients come away with a fair trade.
Despite criticism, international marketing techniques nearly always integrate a step by step model that includes analysis, planning, implementing, and controlling. Such successful international firms as General Electric, BT Group, HSBC, Weir Group, Price Waterhouse Coopers, BOC Edwards, Smiths Aerospace, and BAE Systems commonly make use of these marketing techniques, which one can glean by visiting any of their websites. These corporations start by segmenting their markets, then relating products and services they offer to them, then defining their value propositions, and finally serving their customers according to the collected data.
Stephen Brown and others have made that suggestion that what is needed in today’s marketing’s schemes is an injection of passion and dedication, particularly in regards to promotion, which is only one aspect of marketing. But the truth is, there is a lot of passion behind the segmentation, innovation, pricing, distribution, management, and promotion of products and services in today’s competitive market.
What critics of marketing fail to take in to consideration is the fact that marketing is a lot more than just promotion. It is about all the above factors, but also a whole lot more, which is why successful supply chain management will come to terms with the many intricate features of the modern marketing concept.