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Marketing is an extensive process that involves quite a lot of activities. In this diverse field, one is required to do a lot of research on the destined market, sell some products or perform some services to clients, promote their products and services through different means like advertising which at the end of the day helps in the promotion of the sales activities.
In the field of marketing, strategies have to be developed which aid in communication, technique improvement, and for the eventual development of the business. In this conglomeration of activities which form the field of marketing, the company creates a face which it uses to keep in good relationship with the most essential part of the business, the customer.
This paper seeks to dwell into the field of marketing with a lot of weight behind creation and management of products as one of the essential tools for effective marketing.
The paper will first introduce the concept of marketing theoretically looking into the main models of this field and then establish the extensiveness of this concept to the impact it has on the customer. The paper will conclude with a simple study sample of how the values learnt in the body of the paper can be established in a real life situation.
In marketing, one is supposed to keep value on the customer in various ways, identity of the right person, satisfaction to the customer, and maintenance of the customer. In order for any business venture to stay profitable in whatever it is engaging in, they have to then shift they focus from mainly production to the needs of the customers.
In this manner, this paper seems to imply that the production sector should not be halted but should be oriented towards the needs of the people to whom that production is aimed at.
The concept of marketing has it that in order to achieve the goals and needs of any organization, one has to know what the target customer base or the target market requires such that he/she or the company is able to deliver the required product in accordance to the needs of that customer at any one time in order to satisfy the customers.
On the same concept, for the company to be able to meets its targets as they might have been outlined in the mission and objectives, it should mostly consider the needs of the customer more than it would look into the competitive market. If the company was to focus on the above discussed criteria then the question at hand gets answered; an understanding of creating and managing products is indeed essential for effective marketing1.
There are many models and approaches today that are applied by different organizations in marketing their products. Depending on the approach or the model that a company employs, eventual effectiveness in marketing is determined and thus determines the profitability of the company. In all these dimensions, the most important aspect is the achievement of marketing effectiveness.
Marketing effectiveness is chiefly concerned with optimization of the expenditure in a bid to improve the returns. In marketing effectiveness, there are four dimensions which help in ensuring its effectiveness. The corporate body determines the bounds within which the market operates.
Competition helps the marketers to consider offering products that would augur well into the wants of the consumers. The decisions that customers make and put in place as they consider going on with their purchases are very important in any market situation. It is due to this that the business values the quality of the product during its creation and development in order to suit what the customer requires.
Other factors that may affect the marketing departments are those without the control of the business which can vary from geographic and climatic conditions, political and economic stability and government decisions and taxes.
Product management is the cycle within a certain organization or a company that is concerned with the planning on the product, marketing of the product and market forecasting. This edge has a lot of activities involved within it which need to have keen strategies and tactics depending on the nature of the company.
As a part of marketing among other arms of the business organization, knowledge in this field is critical in determining the effectiveness of the marketing team. Product management, when compared to product marketing, happens to be two different things but they interrelate with each other in a number of ways.
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They all have a focus on the maximization of profits and also the market share. Product management has a grass root which is focused on product creation. When the two interrelate, then the company can be focused on the likely effectiveness of the market2.
Models of management
Before grasping the concept and getting into the models which can be applied to product management for the enhancement of marketing effectiveness, the paper will look into the disciplines involved in product management. Majorly, the field has planning of the product and marketing of the product.
Planning of the product is a dynamic process that identifies and articulates the requirements in the market that define how the product will be or the features of the product. Marketing of the product is outbound. It seeks to establish to the populace that a certain product is there and gives its features so that the people can get involved interested in the product3.
One of the marketing models that is constantly applied by different organizations in their strategies is the 4P’s strategy. This strategy is also known as the marketing mix model. The model is mostly applied by marketers in various areas in order to assist them in their marketing strategy. In this model the marketing managers try they best that they can to try and put together 4, 5 or 7 variables in a way that is optimum and aimed at achieving the optimum objectives.
The variables that are used in the marketing mix model are controllable. This entails that the strategy or the marketing mix model can be adjusted frequently such that it meets the ever changing requirements of the target customer base and also some other changing things in the marketing environment which can be referred to as marketing dynamics.
In the 4P’s model, the major issue is the product. In the olden days, it was assumed that once a product is good, it is bound to sell itself. The difference between now and then is the fact that manufacturers have become keen and products are becoming better with days bringing along a stiff competition. Still on the same issue, legislations have been put in place that have given the customer a right to having a
Good product and thus once he/she perceives that a certain product is not good, the product can be returned. It is thus the purpose of the organizations to ensure that the products that they create and supply to the customers are good and satisfies the needs of the customer.
Secondly, there is the price option. One should take into consideration the amount that the customer is willing to produce for the particular good. Companies should therefore be very keen on pricing and incentives like discounts and offers. The place where the product is available comes into place also. Availability of any good is the most important thing.
Promotion also plays a very big role in today’s market world. In this realm the market groups must be well informed about the organization and more so the products that the organization offers. This model can thus be seen to be having two very crucial benefits which include satisfaction of the customer and also the maximization of the performance of the organization4.
Applying the right marketing mix comes up with an extra model which can be termed as strategic marketing and tactical marketing. As discussed earlier, marketing and selling are two very different approaches to a product. In marketing, there has to be identification, anticipation and meeting of the customer’s requirements in such a way that the organization will remain at a profit.
Of most importance in this area is the research that is done or in this case, the market research. It is a crucial step in that it leads to creation of the right product. For the process to be successful, then the right mix has to be applied. In this case, the previous model is applied where one gets the right product from the right place at the right price.
The model in discussion from the previous paragraph operates mainly in two levels; strategy and tactics. The strategic part is mainly concerned with the long term choices that have an impact on the organization in its entirety. In this realm, marketing is visualized as the backbone of the company or the organization.
This makes all the concerned parties in that organization get responsible and focus on meeting the needs and requirements of its customers both externally and internally.
Tactical marketing helps in the right application of the marketing mix. In other words, it is the right application of the marketing mix. While trying to apply the right market mix, all the activities outlined in the previous model are put in place. When the conditions discussed are met, focus is shifted from selling of the product to marketing which eventually leads to buying of the product by the customers.
According to the arguments which have been put across in the discussions above, it is clearly evident that marketing revolves around two main entities; the product and the customer. In practice the customer or the consumer of any product is concerned with the value of the product. The consumer is interconnected with the product primarily due to the need of the consumer to purchase the product in the first place.
If the company does not offer the expected value to the customer, it is highly likely that the customer will not get back to the same stalls due to dissatisfaction. It is thus important that the customer gets the right value for the purchase made. Before dwelling deeper into this topic, it is important to know what the meaning behind the term value?
Popularly, many people have taken value to be a low price. On the other hand value is an attribute that has a certain set of features. The features are then followed by benefits by the product that has been purchased, and also the psychological and the service benefits that a marketer offers due to the need of the customer to buy a certain product and thus use their money in such an endeavor.
It can thus be clearly put across that value is a direct association between the product’s price and the customer. Depending on how the customer perceives this question, a product can be taken to be of a high value or of a low value.
Practically, there is no measure of value. It all depends on the customer and the needs of the customer and the satisfaction that the purchase brings along with him. People perceive things in different ways and thus value to them comes in differently. As an example, two people might want to buy shoes.
One of them is willing to buy a shoe directly from Adidas whilst the second one might be requiring the same shoe but from a second hand store. Despite the similarity in the make and the difference in usage and of course the price, both the people might perceive the end products to be either of high value or of low value5.
This hence seems to justify the argument that when the segments are combined differently, them there lies a different combination in value. The perception of value to this person who can afford the second hand shoe is very different from the perception of value from the person who wants to get the product directly from the manufacturer.
A low end person as per the example posed before will probably be concerned with the functionality of the product he is purchasing, the price and maybe the design. The other person is seeking to fulfill his personal expression, the outlet retailing to him and maybe after-sales-service.
Some other factor that may determine the value of the product is the psychological implications that the product comes along with. Risk is one of the factors that affect the psychology of the consumer and it is possible to find most people choosing a brand that has been renown over time so as to feel safe with their purchases.
Perception of value
When trying to market any product to a person or to a group or set of consumers, it is good to consider what the consumer perceives to be value. When such a matter is put in focus, some attributes of the product may even not be necessary to the target person as it depends on his/her perception.
To some people, affordability may mean a huge deal to them but to some people; it might not be anything but control over the product matters. Taking an example of a product which is packed in small packages or in bigger packages for usage at home, there are those people who will prefer the sale package as they will be able to manage usage of the product as much as they can afford the bigger packages.
In such a case, value to the person is not the price but the size. The smaller package is more valuable as it will be easier for him to manage than the bigger package which will be a bit hard to manage.
To some people, value is depicted by the price. Some people might fear visiting exclusive places due to fear of high costs which might not be the case as it all arises from the fear that the offer might prove to be a little too expensive for them. If a way was found to prove to the consumer that the price is not as expected, then there is a high likelihood that the consumer will try to accept value.
From the above examples, it is evident that different people perceive value differently and it is upon the organization to create that link which connects the product to the target. This can simply be done using the marketing mix method through the application promotion.
Promotion carries along with it the aspects of understanding the organization as well as the product and bringing it closer to the target consumers. This can be enhanced through a variety of ways like advertising, offering and other incentives which tend to pull the end user closer to the product specifications and thus value6.
In creating this link, the organization will have respected the needs of the customers that it holds. Following up the link creation from the beginning of this paper the following points hold up; effectiveness in marketing is found once the customer is satisfied with the value.
To reach the right value, the marketing mix strategy is applied after a thorough research. The right product hence gets created and through proper management, the customers get the right value for their purchase and thus effectiveness in the whole process.
This part seeks to study a company which has applied this strategy in marketing its product. Procter and Gamble is a German company that supplies consumer products. It majors in pharmaceuticals, personal care, cleaning paraphernalia and more. In the recent past, the company was forced to restructure its packaging to modes that were friendlier to the environment.
The reason for this was due to some emerging and increase in resistance from the consumers who demanded that the products had to be friendlier to the environment. Consumers were pushing for an environmental friendly product and so the only way that the company would stay safe was by respecting the decision of the customer.
Arguing from the basis of the discussed aspects, organizations need to be aware of the needs of the consumers. With this knowledge, they can then be able to create products which will be meaningful to the customers and thus be profitable to the organization. After creating the right product, proper management of the product should follow which will cement the factor of effective marketing.
In the case of Procter and Gamble, they discovered what the consumer wanted and went ahead to create it. After, this, proper management of the product led to the effectiveness in the market. Without this knowledge, the company would probably have gone so down in business today.
Andreasen, R. Marketing Social Change, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995, pp 100-232.
Berger, P. and Nasr, N., ‘Customer lifetime value: marketing models and applications’ journal of interactive marketing, 12(1); 17-30.
Blattberg, R. and Deighton, J., ‘Manage marketing by the customer equity’, Havard Business Review, July-August, 1996, 136-144.
Day, G., ‘A two dimensional concept of Brand loyalty’, Journal of Marketing Research, 2(2), 29-35.
Kumar, R. The power of managing value, The Hindu Business Line, 2003. Web.
Walsh, D. et al., “Social Marketing for Public Health,” Health Affairs, Summer, 1993, 104-119.
1 Andreasen, R. Marketing Social Change, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1995, pp 100-232.
2 Day, G., ‘A two dimensional concept of Brand loyalty’, Journal of Marketing Research, 2(2), 29-35.
3 Blattberg, R., and Deighton, J., ‘Manage marketing by the customer equity’, Havard Business Review, July-August, 1996, 136-144.
4 Walsh, D. et al., “Social Marketing for Public Health,” Health Affairs, Summer, 1993, 104-119.
5 Kumar, R. The power of managing value, The Hindu Business Line, 2003.
6 Berger, P. and Nasr, N., ‘Customer lifetime value: marketing models and applications’ journal of interactive marketing, 12(1); 17-30.