Реферат: Marketing reflections on learning outcomes


The purpose of this case study is to present a brief overview of themarketing study outcomes and personal interpretation of the key points of marketingtheory covered in this course. The interpretation will be aimed at emphasizingthe practical importance of marketing today.


The idea of marketing must have existed for many centuries. Yet, atthe beginning it probably was not so sophisticated theory as it is today.Because of the globalization and rapid development of information technologiespeople, or market participants, have been urged to systematize their marketexperience into a well-organized theory. In our course of study the marketinghas been defined by the term that sounds more specific: «an approach tobusiness focusing on satisfying customer needs and wants». To serve its keypurpose, the marketing strives to find an answer to such questions as whycustomers do not or, conversely, do readily buy products offered by thesellers, who the ideal buyers are, and what should be done to have the buyersbuy what the sellers offer. In fact, the terms «buyers» and «sellers» are notabsolutely accurate as applied to marketing. To be more accurate, the marketingapproach implies that the business activities are centered on customer, becausethe concept of business here means both profit and non-profit organizations. So,the words «buy» and «products», or «services», can be identified as the keyterms reflecting the idea of marketing. It should also be noted that the words«buy» and «services» represent a wide range of services, non-profit activities,and behavior.  


The key points of marketing concept are customer satisfaction,profit, and properly organized efforts to make profit through customersatisfaction. At the same time, strategically, it is important to understandthat a business can be profitable, or successful, only if it finds a way tosatisfy customers better than its competitors. This means, that today'sbusiness can attract customers only through successful competition. Because ofthe highly competitive environment, today it is not enough just to satisfy. Theimportant thing is to be better. In other words, if a business is unable tocompete, it fails to implement the key marketing ideas simply because suchbusiness will fail to satisfy customers. Moreover, under the competitiveenvironment it becomes important not only to meet, but also to exceed thecustomers' needs. In an organization, the role of marketing concept is moreprofound: here the marketing concept implies that everyone's job is to servethe customers directly, or to serve those who serve the customers. For example,to contribute to profit through saving costs or, in other words, to serve theinternal customers. This idea is especially important to emphasize in terms ofthe roles we may play in an organization in our day-to-day life: we do notnecessarily have to deal with customers directly to contribute to the commongoal of customer satisfaction. But our roles in it can be significant withoutdoing so.


The key components here are targetmarket (a group of customers to satisfy) and product mix (product, price,place, and promotion). In real life, these components boil down to thefollowing objective all businesses need to fulfill: to increase the number ofcustomers so as to increase sales. To achieve this goal, the marketing strategyshould give us tips on how to do that. In every particular situation we face inday-to-day life we have to find answers to specific questions. For example, to sellan accounting service like filing a personal income tax return we would need todetermine what has to be done to attract customers (Product), what kind ofoffice would be needed to deliver the service (Place), how much it would costand what price would be right (Price), and what should be done to attract morecustomers (Promotion). It is easy to see that this pattern would have to befollowed in every real-life situation. Even looking for a job we would have tobe concerned with where we can work (Place), what we can do (Product), at whatremuneration (Price), and how to attract employer's attention to be employed(Promotion). And in every case we would look for specific customers who need tohave their income tax return filed and a specific employer who employeesspecifically like we are (Target market). So, one way or the other, themarketing strategy will work for our purpose. The question is just how toidentify its components in specific terms as applied to every specificobjective.


Unlike the 4P’s of marketing that can be controlled by us, someenvironments are uncontrollable by nature, because we just have no chance toinfluence them. They may include, for example, cultural, economic, legal,political, technological, and social environments. This should not mean,however, that we should let them control us without any response. To succeed,businesses have to re-adjust themselves and find the best ways to work in them.The important point is that we need not only identify them, but also try to seeif there are new opportunities. For example, the changing demographics insideour country should make us look around to see how to readjust our products andservices to different tastes and preferences. Internationally, we should alwaysbe aware of tariffs and quotas and estimate our competitive potential. Watchingthe changes we develop possible scenarios, make relevant decisions, and getready to implement them. What can be the consequences of the war in <st1:country-region w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Iraq</st1:place></st1:country-region> formarketing decisions? Tremendous, to say the least of it. So there are a lot ofthings for marketing specialists to think of both internationally anddomestically.


The supply, demand, and elasticityhave a direct impact on marketing decisions. The low demand may point to thenecessity for better promotion of products and services simply because the consumersmay turn out to know too little about the product, or be unaware of it at all. Therewould be little wonder if our specific product is not in demand, even though ourcompetitors sell the same one very successfully. What if we fail to sell freshwater in hot summer time? Such paradox is quite possible if we do not followsimple marketing principle of 4 Ps. In terms of marketing, demand should not beviewed as something static. Even as applied to fundamentally new products, itcan be created through marketing decisions. To say nothing of basic needs likefresh water in hot summer. We just have to remember of 4 Ps. The idea of supplyin marketing is especially important in terms of competition: if we fail toprovide supply that meets demand, our competitors will do it for us fast enoughto their own advantage. The idea of demand elasticity is also important interms of marketing decisions. For example, inelastic demand for a productusually results from a lack of substitutes. For this reason, marketingdecisions might be aimed at identifying or creating a new product or service tosubstitute for the one with inelastic demand.


In simple terms, the idea ofmarket segmentation (naming and segmenting) is how not to lose the focus. Forthis purpose, identifying most promising consumers is really a critical part ofmarketing activities. Would it be a reasonable decision for us to try sellingair conditioners in <st1:State w:st=«on»><st1:place w:st=«on»>Northern Territories</st1:place></st1:State>and snow-removing equipment in <st1:place w:st=«on»>South California</st1:place>?Hopefully not. The idea of positioning is also important in terms of consumers'psychology. With the diversity of products today, it becomes important to beable to have a proper understanding of consumer’s needs and attitude, to see whatand why they need and how their needs are satisfied by the existing market.


The idea of consumer productclassifications is important in terms of understanding how they think of themand what can be the motivation to buy them. This understanding is reallycritical, because to project our own perceptions on what we want to sell shouldbe the last thing to do. Since the human nature is really a complicated thing,therefore the accumulated knowledge and observations made by the marketingscientists can be really helpful in making decisions. This may apply to certainparticular classes of consumers' products like convenience, shopping,specialty, and unsought products. The useful thing to realize is that inselling a specific product or service we need to take into account specific qualitiesthey offer, in terms of both material and psychological implications. Brandingis also an important factor in marketing decisions. The idea of branding is towin wider and steadier recognition, though in real life a brand would notnecessarily ensure a desired quality. Yet it works and, therefore, should betaken into account for competitive considerations. One of the important reallife implications here is that to sell a branded product we would have to thinkwell of what kind of advantages might contrast our product or service againstthe competitor’s one. The product life cycle is especially important to interms of planning of our marketing activities. For example, when dealing with anew product on the market it is important to be aware of the main stages ofproduct’s life. The low sales at the introduction and market growth stageswould affect our marketing decisions in many ways, specifically in terms ofpromotion approaches, pricing policies, scale of production, financing, risktaking, etc.


Intermediaries, as an indirectchannel of distribution, play a very important role in selling, which is one ofmost critical marketing functions. In real life it could hardly be possible toproperly identify and effectively use all channels of distribution as they mayrepresent quite complex ramifications of different channels. For example, for asmall or medium-size production company it just might not be affordable to keepa large enough marketing department to deal with all problems of productsdistribution. Therefore, the services of intermediaries could be indispensable,even though they may take extra costs. Intermediaries help us cover largermarket sectors. On the other hand, the value of intermediaries consists intheir practical experience in trading. If our business is focused onproduction, we may need to concentrate more on production problems rather thantrading, otherwise we lose the focus and there is always price to be paid forit. So the use of intermediaries might pay back.


Integrated marketingcommunications may be defined as what we manage to achieve through all ourefforts to promote a product or service. In simple terms, it might look likeour ability to work out the right way to influence consumers using ourcommunications skills. The practical approach (defined in theory as AIDA =Attention + Interest + Desire + Action) could be basically described as acomplex process of informing and persuading. In other words, we need to designour messages to influence the consumers’ perception about our products. Theimportance of this ability in real life can hardly be overestimated. In today’sworld of tough competition the communication process should be viewed as one ofkey elements of success. Life is full of practical examples of how theeffective communication just works wonders. In a literal sense, the power ofword can just be materialized. A dentist would not attract many clients withoutsending a specific message saying that he or she can do a good job, andaccountant would not attract many customers and would not be employed by acompany without convincing them he is a good specialist.


The important thing the marketingtheory makes us understand about pricing is that it should not be viewed justas adding up the values of costs and markups guided by supply and demand. Suchan approach would be incomplete to reflect the reality. The process, in reallife, is much more complex. The real economic life makes us set various objectivesand choose different policies. Reasons and objectives may be numerous. To winmore customers we may need first to give them a chance to use our products at affordableprices to see, for example, that our product is in no way inferior to a similarbranded one, or simply to increase sales. A lawyer or an accountant beginning anew business might choose to work harder at comparatively low prices for theirservices with an objective to gain more popularity and recognition. Or, besidescompetitive reasons there can be different motivations, such as survival. Amonopoly may set prices without caring much about how it affects consumers’interests because of inelastic demand for its products: in such a case amonopoly is just not interested in working harder, because the inelastic demandwould reduce its efforts to zero. In other words, the economic reality requiresus to be especially aware of the problem of pricing. Too many factors have tobe taken into consideration, and, therefore, a very good understanding isneeded to choose the right policies.


The most important conclusionregarding my learning outcomes in this course of study might be summarized asfollows: the complex reality of today's economic life requires a comprehensiveknowledge and profound understanding of the marketing theory. The great varietyof specific marketing decisions the businesses have to make in day-to-day life alwaysrelies not only on our specific accumulated experience and skills, but also onour learning process and ability to filter and make use of specific marketinginformation in every particular case, be it a small family business or a largecorporation.  

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