Sunday, 20 November 2011

Where does Marketing end? Where does Sales begin ? Marketing Essentials

The marketing sales spectrum

The background to Marketing

Time was that the emphasis of  business was very much on the needs of the company and the product which it made.  Products or services were launched onto the market and it was then the task of the marketing department and sales force to create the need for them.  This was company or product orientation.  In many instances it was successful, especially with new and innovative products.  However, to ensure ongoing growth and development business needed to adopt a different approach.
Classic product orientation

The emphasis changed from being centred on the needs of the company and its products to being centred on the needs of the consumers who would buy the products or services.  Companies found that they could only exist and grow if, before producing products, they first established what the actual needs of consumers were and then produced in line with those needs.  The marketing approach has a primary aim of customer satisfaction.  The better that customer needs can be satisfied, provided that by doing so a profit can be earned, the more businesses will thrive.  This is marketing or consumer orientation.

Conventional Marketing approach

The Marketing Mix

This comprises four key elements which need to be considered in order to satisfy the customer needs determined by marketing research.

The first of these is our product or service, sometimes referred to as our ‘offer’.  Product planning includes not only the physical design of a product but also decisions about packaging, branding, guarantees, trademarks and the anticipated market life of the product or service.  It is vital that the product or service is developed, in all aspects, to satisfy identified consumer needs.

The second element of the marketing mix is place, which refers to logistics or the distribution channel.  This includes everything from the physical aspect of getting the product to the customer, to the selection of appropriate channels of distribution.  These can include wholesalers, distributors or retailers if the product is intended for the general public.

The third element is promotion or marketing communication.  This includes advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, direct mail, telemarketing, exhibitions, public relations etc. The Internet,  Web Site, email, Social media: LinkedIn Twitter,You tube The blending of these different methods of promotion is known as the marketing communications mix, and will vary from company to company, industry to industry.

The fourth element in the marketing mix is price, also referred to as cost.  The price of a product or service must be set at a point where profit is possible, is acceptable and justifiable to the consumer, and is also competitive with similar products (if any exist).

These four key elements are collectively referred to as the four ‘P’s of marketing and the precise marketing mix, the relative importance of each, for one product or service is likely to differ enormously to another product or service.

Porter's five forces model

If you are exclusively marketing a service then consideration should be given to two further ‘P’s.  The first is people - they are core to making your service a success and they must be fully trained and capable of meeting the customers’ expectations.  The second service ‘P’ is processes - and these must be structured so as to deliver maximum customer value and satisfaction.

Other factors

The next group of factors to be taken into account in our marketing model are collectively referred to as the PESTLE factors.  When considering each of our four ‘P’s we must do so taking into account the following:


The political environment can significantly affect our marketing plans and strategy.  National and international considerations must be constantly monitored so that we can adapt our marketing to changes in legislation, taxation regulations, controls or political climate.  The internal politics of customer organisations may also cause a change in approach, especially with direct selling.


Economic factors will also have a direct effect on the success or failure of any product.  In general our economy is cyclical and follows a pattern of recession, depression, recovery and prosperity.  No product can be launched without considering the overall state of the nation's economy and the effects of, for example, recession on potential purchasers.


Sociological factors can have significant impact on product development and the way we price, distribute and promote.  Fashion influences vary from industry to industry, but green issues are becoming increasingly significant in every area of business.  We also need to take into consideration demographic information, ethical and other social attitudes.


We need to ensure that our marketing is keeping pace with developments in technology to stay ahead of the competition.  New materials and developments in electronics can make products obsolete overnight.


Modern Marketing plans should make provision for issues to do with national and international laws which have an impact on the marketing of the company's products and services.


Along with issues of social or corporate social responsibility , duty of care, recycling there may be other 'green issues' which have an impact on a company's marketing plan due to codes of practise, best practise or law.

As well as the PESTLE factors there are two other key elements which we must take into consideration when building our marketing plan:


The TIME factor is a critical element when any marketing plan is being considered.  No product can succeed, in spite of its relevance and quality, if it is launched too soon or too late.  Too soon and there is no market for it - too late and competitors may be so strongly established that it is impossible to make real impact in the market.


Although we should not become obsessed with competitive suppliers we need to ensure that our information about prices, products, developments and activity is up to date so that our marketing plan can counteract competitor activity.

Useful links:

Marketing Essentials Course

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