In the last edition, we touched on the fact that marketing is at the heart of any business success, as well as being an ever-present management function. A business basically is in existence because it has customers, and this further underscores the point that marketing is at the heart of business, as it involves the acquisition, maintenance and management of a firm’s relationship with customers.
Management gurus say that marketing is too important to be left for marketing. Great and successful companies have very often had CEOs who take on the role of Chief Marketing Officers.
Moreover, the marketing function is driven by some concepts and principles, irrespective of the product (services, places, ideas, persons, etc.) involved, and this includes pharmaceuticals. We have examined and explained the following concepts:
NEED: It is considered as a state of deprivation or lack, or an absence felt or observed by human beings.
WANT: This is the exact form that our needs take in the process of fulfilling it, and is shaped by culture and individual personality.
DEMAND: This refers to want backed by buying power.
CUSTOMER VALUE AND SATISFACTION EXPECTATIONS: Value is considered to be the most exact measure of satisfaction.
EXCHANGE AND TRANSACTION: Exchange is the act of obtaining a desired item from someone by offering something in return, while transaction is trading between two parties that involves at least two things of value, agreed-upon conditions, a time of agreement, and a place of agreement.
MARKET: This comprises the actual and potential buyers of a product.
We will now proceed to look at other concepts, principles and issues that are necessary for understanding of marketing, branding and marketing management. Before we go on, lets illuminate the concept of market with the figure below:
Value chain and delivery network: Value chain is a series of departments, associated firms and service providers that carry out value-creating activities to design, produce, market, deliver, and support a firm’s products while value delivery network is made up of the company, suppliers, distributors, and, ultimately, customers who partner with one another to improve the performance of the entire system. Thus, while marketing influences its ecosystem, it is inexorably being influence in turn by its ecological system.
Product. The product is anything that can be offered in a market for attention, acquisition, use, or consumption that might satisfy a need or want. It takes many forms. For instance, it may take the form of service (activities, benefits, or satisfaction offered for sale and are essentially intangible and don’t result in the ownership of anything), or experiences (what buying the product or service will do for the customer or what it makes the consumer feel). All in all, a product to a customer is seen as the complex bundles of benefits that satisfy their needs.
Price. Price covers the actual amount the end user is expected to pay for a product. More accurately, it is the cost the customer bears to enjoy the bundle of benefit offered by the product; that is, price offered, and the collateral costs of acquisition like, energy, opportunity cost, time used in the process of acquisition, etc. This is linked to what the perceived value of the product is to the customer, rather than an objective costing of the product on offer.
Place or placement has to do with where and how the product will be provided or made available to the customer. It is simply a matter of access and distribution is a key element of placement. How a product is accessed by the end user also needs to complement the rest of the product strategy.
Promotion. This is the communication and awareness creation for and about the product, price and placement and other things that the customer and potential customers need to know about the product. Promotion is just the communication aspect of the entire marketing function. This is about the best known of marketing activities and strategies. These may include advertising, sales promotions, special offers and public relations. Whatever the channel used, it is necessary for it to be suitable for the product, the price and the end user it is being marketed to.
Marketing mix. Marketing is sometimes defined as “putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.” The use of a marketing mix is an excellent way to help ensure that “putting the right product in the right place,” will happen. The marketing mix is most commonly executed through the 4 Ps of marketing: Price, Product, Promotion, and Place. The relative and absolute “quantity” (read emphasis, amount of effort, level of importance) of each of the four Ps, depends on the product attributes, environment, price, target market, access strategy, cost, profitability, value, available resources, etc., and can be “mixed” in virtually infinitesimal ways and proportions. It is this idea that gave birth to “marketing mix”. Professionals see marketing mix as the specific/relative emphasis or proportion of the set of controllable tactical marketing tools—product, price, place, and promotion—that the firm “blends” to produce the response it wants in the target market.
Tunde Oyeniran, a Sales/Marketing Strategist, Selling/Sales Management Trainer and Personal Sales Coach is the Lead Consultant, Ekini White Tulip Consulting Limited, Lagos. We deliver Training, Recruitment, Online Medical Communications Service and Field Force Management Solutions Feedback. Channels 080-2960-6103 (SMS/WhatsApp) /email@example.com or You can download our 2021 Program Schedule at https://fb.me/EkiniWhiteTulipConsulting