The concept of Market and Marketing
A market is any such person, group or organization which has existing or potential exchange relationship. It starts with customers and ends with customers. Creation of superior customer value and delivering high levels of customer satisfaction are at the heart of present day marketing. Companies today, needs to understand customer needs, study completion, develop and offer superior value at reasonable price, and make the product available to customer at convenient place. Only then their products will be in demand and sell consistently.
Marketing refers to the various groups of activities that take place in a market. These activities are either planned or spontaneous. For example, production, assembling, distribution and storage could be planned, consumption is often spontaneous.
Marketing deals with customers. It is delivery of customer satisfaction at a profit. The twofold goal of marketing is to attract new customers by promising superior value and to keep current customers by delivering satisfaction.
Strategic Marketing Planning
Stanton defines strategic marketing planning as the process of setting marketing goals, selecting target markets and designing a marketing mix to satisfy these markets and achieve these goals. The marketing strategy is therefore functional strategy. It is different from corporate strategy. However, the marketing strategy stems from the corporate strategy. In other words, the functional strategies should be in conformity with the overall strategy of the company. The functional strategy like marketing strategy sets the boundaries for all the action programmes related to marketing. According to Stanton, the six stages involved in strategic marketing planning process are:
- Situational analysis: with a purpose to determine where we are and where are we going.
- Determine the objectives: these goals should be specific and realistic
- Select and measure target markets: identify present and potential customers
- Design marketing mix strategies and tactics: How do we get to where we want to go?
- Prepare annual marketing plan: the how to do it guide to yearly marketing operations.
- Implementation and evaluation: How are we doing? Did we do what we said we would do?
This is the first stage of strategic marketing planning. It consists of an analysis of external environmental forces and the non-marketing resources that influence an organization’s marketing programme. These factors are: political, economic, competitive, socio-cultural, historical, etc. This analysis also reviews and evaluates an organization’s existing marketing mix so as to identify the flaws and problems associated with them. This analysis will help an organization to know where it is and where it should reach in future.
Formulate the objectives
This is the second stage. It includes both the corporate objectives as well as marketing objectives. At the time of setting the marketing objectives, care should be taken to make it specific, measurable and in conformity with the corporate objectives. It will be better to spell them out in writing so that there is no scope for confusion.
Selection of target markets
Under this stage, the organization should identify the present and potential customers. Apart from analyzing the existing market for its products, the organization should try to identify the new market for its products. For this purpose, the company has to adopt the marketing segmentation technique. Once the market is segmented, it is necessary to forecast the market for the product in each segment.
Design marketing mix
The fourth stage is to design a strategic marketing mix that enables the organization to satisfy the wants of its target markets and to achieve the marking objectives. The design and later the operation of the marketing mix components constitute the bulk of a Company’s marketing effort.
Prepare annual marketing plans
In the fifth stage, the strategic marketing planning is prepared. A series of short term marketing plans are prepared. Usually a period of one year is covered. They are called annual marketing plans. It includes a statement of objectives, identification of target markets, strategies relating to the marketing mix, information regarding the budgetary support for the marketing activity.
Implementation and evaluation
After formulating the strategic marketing planning in the above manner, the last stage is, it should be implemented and evaluated periodically. This is done to understand how for the organization is following plan. If there are deviations, the causes and consequences of such deviations are analysed. Further, to design the future course of action, there is a need to analyze the changing marketing environment. The actual performance of the strategic plan has to be critically evaluated so as to accomplish the objectives of the company as desired and as planned. In the process of evaluation, it any defect is found, corrective measures should be incorporated immediately. It would also be wise to do this evaluation segment – wise so that the strategy developed for each segment can be perfected. It is also good to study the strategic planning of the competitor to come out with new ideas and plans.
Difference between Selling and Marketing
Selling is an important activity of Marketing. It consists in transferring goods and services to the customers. The main emphasis in selling is on profit maximization through sales volume. Marketing on the other hand is a broader area and its functions as a whole aim at customer satisfaction and profits through such customer satisfaction. Again, in Marketing, the selling efforts are customer – oriented but in selling the efforts is company oriented.
The concept of selling assures that consumers if left alone will not buy enough of the company’s products. Thus goods are already produced and an aggressive selling and promotion effort has to be perused]. The customers’ demand on the other hand, determines production in marketing. Thus, in selling the focus in on products while in marketing the focus is on customer needs.
The difference between marketing and selling can be shown as follows: