Introduction Marketing is the most powerful weapon available to a business; however, marketing is often confused with sales and advertising. It is noted that business need to understand that marketing is much more than that. Role of Marketing Marketing, in fact, has a various roles in a firm or business; firstly, it connects the business with its target market, (Ackoff, 1987, 15) it provides the major link between the business and its customers.
Secondly, as marketing focuses on the needs and wants of customers, it gives a business direction and help it to manage in a changing environment. Thirdly, it provides the information the business needs in order to change direction or adjust its tactics by providing new products or changing existing products. Fourthly, marketing helps to coordinate how a business can best use its resources to satisfy customers and achieve profit targets, yet the marketing plan can actually be seen as the ‘blueprint’ for a business’s future success.
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As it is noted in order to carry out the marketing program, a business needs a plan that will help it to achieve its objectives, and there are several stages needed to be taken; which include the situation analysis, establishing market objectives, identifying target markets, developing marketing strategies, (Doyle, 1994, 26) preparing marketing plan, and the implementation, monitoring and adjustment of the plan.
Situation analysis involves looking at the market in terms of size and growth, needs of the target market and trends in buyer behaviour, where the performance of the product(s) in terms of sales, profit margins and stage in the product lifecycle are examined, and major competitors are identified. The next stage in the marketing plan is about establishing marketing objectives; the objectives established in the business plan will be the guide for the marketing objectives.
A number of general marketing objectives can be identified, such as, increasing a business’s market share, developing new products or services, expanding the existing market, and entering new markets, etc. Moreover, identifying target markets involves breaking down the marker into smaller segments or parts; this process is called as market segmentation. Once the whole market is broken down, a business can then decide which target group of customers it will focus on. Jobber, 2001, 33) After identifying the target market, a business’s management department has to develop the marketing strategies that will allow the business to satisfy the wants of the targeted market and achieve its marketing objectives. It is noted that the marketing mix makes up the core of business’s marketing strategies, there are totally four elements of the marketing mix included in the marketing mix; the product or service offered for sale, the price structure, the promotional activities, and the distribution network of the business.
Conclusion The final stage in the marketing planning is the actual marketing plan. In this stage, all the information will be discussed and put into a coherent and logical report. Last but not the least, this stage also involves the implementation and monitoring the actual marketing plan, in so doing, a business can control its performance.
With the suggestion of all the marketing strategies listed above, it is believed that marketing is certainly the most powerful weapon available to a business, as it brings the greatest benefits, such as customers’ interests, to the business itself. References Ackoff, R. I. (1987), “Mission Statement”. In Jobber, David. (2001), Principles & Practice of Marketing, 3rd ed. London: McGraw-Hill, Pp 15-19 Doyle, Peter. (1994), Marketing Management & Strategy, Oxford: Prentice Hall, Pp 12-26 Jobber, David. (2001), Principles & Practice of Marketing, 3rd ed. London: McGraw-Hill, Pp 33-45