Marketing is described as a procedure which business establishments determine what a specific target group are interested with. It also extends to the strategies used by companies in conducting sales, contact and business development. This means that marketing is an integrated process where business ventures generate value for the target audience and build rapport with the customers in order to cultivate returns from investments.
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From this explanation, it is evident that marketing is a tool used to identify customers, keep them and ultimately satisfy their needs at all times. The customers therefore are the main focus of the activities of a business and thus have to be managed appropriately. In the past, business ventures focused on production but the recent development upholds the value of the customers in order to make profits from its undertakings.
This paper presents a marketing program for a new business venture in the health and fitness industry. The proposed location of the business is south east London. To be addressed in the research are: behavior of the buyer in the market, methods of business promotion, role of customer service and determination of pricing technique. More emphasis will be on relationship between the business and the customers. This will be achieved by giving the best possible attention, customer care and summarily build customer loyalty.
Buyer behavior in the market
It is important to verify the buying behavior of customers in order to record a success in marketing a product. To persuade a customer to buy a product, marketing agency establishes the behavioral progression of how a given product is purchased. This behavior is usually subdivided into two paradigms. One of them is known as business to consumer (B2C) and the other is called business to business (B2B).
Business to consumer behavior
This deals with the consumers in the purchase of a specific product. The consumers involve themselves in the search for the products they need. Emotional attachment is well practiced in the model. While looking for information on a product, customers exploit the available channels of advertisement such as the newspapers, magazines and other media.
Businesses must consequently distribute their products and services in a convenient manner. If the search for information is not sufficient, the customers resort to other means of satisfying their needs. In such a situation, competing goods are optimally exploited (Rakesh, 2005). After such an experience the buyer decides to actualize the dream of buying a product or a service.
An analysis is thereafter done by the consumer to deduce if it actually meets the utility or value gain. If the gain is high, there is a probability that the consumer will buy the product again in the near future. This enhances consumer loyalty for the business venture dealing with a product. The benefit that accrues from the use of product or a service is important to a consumer when deciding on whether to buy a product. Marketing agencies are obliged to be explicit when demonstrating usefulness of their services and products.
Business to business behavior
This illustrates the behavior of an organization in buying a product or service. Focus is on the judgment of a product. B2B buying behavior offers a vivid description of the striking features of a product. Less emotional attachment and transference is practiced in the marketing strategy. The marketing agency places emphasis on considering the organizational buyers and how they function within the boundaries of the procedures of the organization (Miles, 2003).
In business to business marketing, information is sort from the market niche so as to gain insight of the operation of the business. The information to put across is a description of how a company’s product meets the value for money, time and resources. For this reason, B2B model shows more interest on special aspects of a product and service.
Stimuli response model will be discussed.
In the model, marketing and other stimuli is injected into the system and is expected to give a response when it reaches the target group. It is the responsibility of the marketing agency of the company to investigate what goes on in the mind of the customers. In the model, the centre box shows the mind of the target group. The description of the buyer manipulates the perception of the stimuli thus arriving at a decision to buy a product or not. The characteristics that affect the behavior of the buyer can be demonstrated by a hierarchy.
This extends to an activity made to extend the sale of a product or service. Advertising campaign, streamlined personal relations, arranging for demonstrations or exhibitions and personal letters are among the approaches to promotion in the market. The role played by business promotion is to stimulate customers to buy a product or a service.
The promotion can be directed at the consumer thus encouraging purchases or the distribution channel. Some of the methods of sales promotion include: price promotion, competition and prizes, money refunds and point of sales displays (Rakesh, 2005).
This is also referred to as price discounting where a discount on the normal price is offered for each purchase of a service or a product. Care should be taken when employing the use of discounts since it can result to losses. To maintain the reputation of the brand, business establishment must also consider the negative effects of discounts.
Competition and prizes
This is where a firm organizes a contest and gives prizes to winners. In doing so it exposes the activities of the business consequently increasing the probability that the products of the business will be bought. Another benefit that accrues from this method of promotion is being able to capture the market area to a bigger proportion.
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In this category of promotion, a customer is given money refund on submission of a proof that he or she purchased a product or service. In the context of a sports and equipment centre, refund is given to those who bough or participated in a sporting game.
Point of sales display
A research to study the behavior patterns of customers indicates that a bigger percentage of purchases results from promotions that customers examine on the shelves or display rooms. Responsibility of shaping the aspects of displays such that they are eye-catching, informative and well placed on the shelves lies with the business venture.
Role of customer service
The success of any business depends highly on the care given to customers at all times during business hours. A customer service is recognized as part of marketing strategy. An appropriate definition of customer service includes all spheres of interaction with a customer and forms a contact with the business establishment (Laermer, 2007). Customers provide the business venture with a personalized form of advertisement.
This is achieved through a word of mouth. It is evident that a more satisfied and happy customers exercises positive transference to other customers consequently increasing the number of customers attending to the business. Form this literature, it is possible for a repeat of business which as a major element for the success of a business. It is important to note that a customer who meets the utility of a product or service would establish an intimate relationship with the business.
Customer care services also supplies relevant information to the business about nonfunctional areas. Feedback from the customers acts as a source of critical information about the services offered by the business.
On reception of the details, customer’s image of the business and the impression of its services is derived and evaluated for effectiveness (Baker, 2008). One of the importances of the customer’s feedback is the ability of the business to focus on the image created by the customer. The perspective from outside the business is essential for management in gaining insight.
Furthermore, a contented customer is more likely to indulge in activities that assist in generating data on what they prefer (Laermer, 2007). In recognition of the existence of competitive and tough business environment, there is need to offer personalized care of the customer. A frequent and sustained contact with customers guarantees a permanent link. The role of customer care to a firm is critical for its growth and development.
Determination of pricing strategy
Pricing strategy is the most important factor in marketing since it generates a turnover for the business. If a product or a service is priced too low or too high would affect the sales level of for the business. It is therefore important to determine the effective prices for products in a business. Penetration prices are set low so as to increase sales and the share value of the business. If an initial high price is set and progressively reduced over a given time period, the practice is called skimming.
The purpose of the business is to avail the product or service to a wider population while deriving profits. If the prices are set after making a comparison with competitors, then the pricing strategy is called competition pricing technique (Baker, 2008). In a context where products and services are priced in the same range at a varied price points is called product line pricing strategy. The main aim of this strategy is cultivating more profits by differentiating products and services into a variety specialized features.
Application of the program to a health and fitness club
Buyer behavior in the market
Health and fitness club is important for the development of an individual person. Research shows that physical exercise is important for the development of a person. While addressing that concept, it is important to note that people are driven by the need to do some physical exercise in order to keep fit. When looking for information about fitness services customers in south east London exploit the use of advertising channels.
For this reason the ‘keeping fit’ business has to advertise their services using various media such as print media and other channels. It is the responsibility of the business to establish distribution channels where customers can access products and services conveniently (Baker, 2008). It is also important to note that customers must actualize their dream of keeping fit after visiting the club. For this reason, equipments availed in the club should be tailored to meeting special needs of the clients.
Business to business behavior
‘Keeping fit’ business must seek to obtain information from the market area so as to gain knowledge of the operation of the business in a market segment. The business has to focus more on the gains that the target would derive from utilizing the services availed by the business.
The values are measured in terms of money, time and resources. Persons who want to trim their bodies through exercise have to use the least time possible with minimum resources and money. Business to business strategy therefore examines other similar business establishments offering fitness services.
Business promotion method for fitness club
More people would be invited into the business if information about fitness is availed on the advertising channels. Various types of campaigns such as advertising campaign, personal relations, demonstrations and exhibitions are relevant for the business. Some of the promotion methods to be exploited by ‘keeping fit’ club includes: price promotion, competition and prizes, money refunds and point of sales displays.
The equipments availed in the club considers the age category of customers’ attending the fitness club. Equipments sold in the club can be offered at a discount so that more sales can be made. This feature also attracts more customers to purchase from the business. It is critical to reconsider the price level since it can result to losses and ultimate down fall of the business. To maintain the reputation of the brand, fitness club must also examine negative effects of discounts.
Competition and prizes of ‘keeping fit’ club
‘Fitness club’ can organize a competition where a prize is given to competitors. The net effect of this strategy is exposure to the activities of the business consequently increasing the probability that the products of the business will be bought (Kotler, 2009). Another benefit that accrues from this method of promotion is being able to capture the market area of South East London to a bigger proportion.
The new business can formulate an approach where an incentive in form of refund is given to a customer who submits a proof of purchases. In the context of a sports and equipment centre, refund is given to those who bought or participated in a sporting game. It is also the responsibility of the ‘keeping fit’ company to subsidize their services so as to capture a bigger proportion of the target market.
Displays of equipment at a fitness club
Various sporting equipment can be displayed at the club where customers would consider buying such equipments. Some of the examples of such equipment include: mountaineering tools, swimming tools, table tennis equipments, boats and other relevant equipment s kept ion gym. More customers are pulled by the displays made at the fitness club. Responsibility of shaping the aspects of displays such that they are eye-catching, informative and well placed on the shelves lies with the business venture.
Role of customer service
Agents to offer personalized services would along way in build rapport with the customers. Tutors who teach customers on various sports and physical exercise can be employed in the new business. It is evident that a more satisfied and happy customers exercises positive transference to other customers consequently increasing the number of customers attending the fitness club. We can note that a customer who meets satisfaction after attending the fitness club would repeat the same experience in later days.
Customer care service also acts as a source of information for the business where data on customer feedback is evaluated (Kotler, 2009). There is possibility of enhancing image of the fitness club by acting on the customer feedback. In recognition of the existence of competitive and tough business environment, there is need to offer personalized service to the customer. A frequent and sustained communication with customers guarantees a permanent link.
Determination of pricing strategy for the fitness club
A strategy to employ for the fitness club is an integrated method comprising penetration pricing strategy and skimming technique. Penetration prices are set low so as to increase sales and the share value of the business (Kotler, 2009). This is applicable since the business is a new establishment.
Skimming is also applicable where the fitness club wants to make more profits. The purpose of the ‘keeping fit’ club is to avail the service to a wider customer base while deriving profits. Another approach to use when pricing the products and services is the use of competitive pricing.
A comparison is made with other sectors offering the same facilities to arrive at a good edge. In a situation where products and services are priced within a specific range of striking features of a product, then the technique used by the fitness club is referred to as the product line pricing strategy. The main aim of this strategy is deriving more profits by differentiating sporting equipments and services in the fitness club.
This paper offered an explicit discussion on the description of marketing program available for business establishment. The first part is brief highlight of marketing as a business model. Among the programs discussed include: promotional strategy, pricing strategy, customer service strategy and ultimately buyer behavior. Application of these marketing program was made on a new business in south east London branded ‘keeping fit’ club. The literature is vivid both in content and terminology.
Baker, M. (2008) The Strategic Marketing Plan Audit. London, McGraw-Hill.
Kotler, Philip and Lane, keller. (2009) A Framework for Marketing Management. 4th ed. London, Pearson Prentice Hall.
Laermer, Richard and Simmons, Mark. (2007) Punk Marketing. New York, Harper Collins.
Miles, R. (2003) Organizational Strategy, Structure, and Process. Stanford, Stanford University Press.
Rakesh, J. (2005) International Marketing. New Delhi, Oxford University Press.