ASSIGNMENT: MARKETING MANAGEMENT “CUSTOMER IS THE KING IN COMPETITIVE MARKETING WORLD” To: MONTO CHANDRA GOPE Lecturer, Marketing Management, Metropolitan University, Sylhet. From: Md Redwanul Karim, MBA 19TH BATCH ID: 101-126-003. Date of submission: 17/06/2010 INDEX 1. Introduction [Page-03] 2. Discussion [Page-04] . Conclusion [Page-06] 4. References [Page-07] CUSTOMER IS THE KING IN COMPETITIVE MARKETING WORLD Introduction: “Marketing is not a campaign; it’s a commitment. And there’s no more important commitment than that which we make to our lifeblood – our customers”. Joseph Jaffe. ‘Customer is King’ is the premise that any product’s design, production, distribution and marketing should have one central focus at the core of all decision-making: the customer. Not long ago, consumers were without rights with regards to their interaction with products and producers until a movement called consumerism began pushing for increased consumer rights and legal protection against malicious business practices.
Since then, various types of consumer rights and laws – ‘the right to be safe’, the right to be informed’, the right to be heard’, ‘the right to choose freely’, ‘consumer credit act 1974’, ‘consumer protection act 1987’, ‘electronic commerce regulations 2002’, ‘consumer protection from unfair trading regulations 2008’, etc – were established to offer the customers the ultimate hierarchy in the marketing world.
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Competitive marketing strategy has relationship marketing as one of the key functionality in enhancing business performance in today’s world, which encompasses identification, establishment, maintenance, enhancement, modification and termination of relationships with customers in creating value for customers and profit for organisations. It helps understand the customer better, buy in customer attention, protect emotional well-being and customer psyche, and build trust with them. As the competitive marketing strategy dictates, customer is the main partnering element. Discussion:
Market is any one of a variety of different systems, institutions, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby people trade, and rights or ownerships of goods and services are exchanged. Markets vary in size, range, geographical scale, location, types and variety of human commodities, as well as the types of goods and services traded. Consumers buy specific goods or services depending on their needs and preferences. Rarely does one product interest the entire population, which applies even to staples, such as sugar, flour and salt.
Even if a company targets the entire population for these products, not everyone would be a potential customer. This same statistical truth applies to any products. For which it is an important managerial process to identify, anticipate and satisfy the customer requirements while designing, marketing and promoting a product. Financial success often depends on efficient marketing ability and planning. Finance, operations, accounting, and other business functions will not really matter if there is insufficient demand for products and services.
The demand for products and services only depends on customers and emerges from their needs and socio-demographic variables. The old marketing adage is that a satisfied customer will tell 5-7 of their friends about their experience, whereas the dissatisfied customer will tell 15-20. Today, in this world of advanced technology, an unhappy customer will tell “a million of their closest strangers”. 2 Present marketing world is very competitive and dynamic. However, promoting competition in the markets directly or indirectly serves consumers through protecting consumer interests and increased economic efficiency.
In this situation, every organization anticipates competitors’ moves and tries to capture the market over the competitors. Products or brands by themselves do not automatically usher in customer loyalty or strengthen customer relations. In today’s world, customers look for products that best suit their needs and purpose in terms of price, features, quality and appearance. They expect to be treated as “kings” and to receive sales and service support, along with definite solutions to problems from retailers, dealers or channel partners.
From customer point of view, the company or brand exists only to create value for them and to provide them with results. In the fast-changing global economy, the focus must be on the way in which the nature of value is changing, involving new ways to determine price of goods, innovation and emotion. The implication of these new forms of exchange is a transfer of power from the producer to customer. The Managing Director of Foster’s Australia, Jamie Odell, said3, “Acknowledging the customer as the key consideration is a vital part of how we develop the premium branded wine market.
At Foster’s, we employ a consumer insight team and an innovation network, both of which report into our management group and help us in our efforts to be consumer-led and customer-driven. ” This is vital then for the goods or services to be consumed by the target market that these have to reflect the customers’ needs, choices and preferences as well as customer perceived value. Customer focus should be the driving force as there is no sense to market a product or service to sell, which the customers do not want. In the past, producers were powerful as the numbers were few and dominated the market and customers were bound to follow.
But now we can see that customer requirements are prime factors and they dominate the market. Marketing is now seen as a platform for creating customer connections and customer relationships through increasing understanding of managing customer relationships, matching customer needs with satisfying product offerings and delivering and maintaining superior customer value with the aim of maximising customer loyalty4. Dick Martin, in his book called ‘Secrets of Marketing Masters’, stated that marketing has changed more in the last 9 years than in the previous 90 years5.
Regarding the approach that has to be taken in the current world, Shelley Lazarus, the Chairperson of Ogilvy & Mathew Worldwide, considers that all the old formulas about marketing need to be shaken and rethought as the new technologies unleashed changes in people’s behaviour whether they are shopping or working or just hanging out at home. It is worth mentioning some examples where it is evident that customers are given the highest importance such as telecommunication industry, banking industry, merchant banking industry, investment industry, medical industry, food industry, retail industry, etc.
Customer always wants the best suitable service and organizations try to provide the superior service to gain competitive advantage in the market. If any firm fails to attract customers through marketing myopia6 and unable to deal with customer dissonance7, it will create a situation in which the firm cannot survive in the market for long, or it will collapse or fail to achieve the organizational goals. To be successful, a firm needs to add value for its customers, by distinguishing between what it is selling and what its customers are buying.
An organisation should have prescribed guidelines or processes of managing change and remaining flexible in its response to changing market conditions, competition, and innovation. Marketing needs to affect every aspects of the customer experience, that is the product’s design, quality, price, service, reliability, etc. While considering these things, a customer chooses his/her required product from the market. A producer, when makes a product, needs to analyze two important things: (a) what the customer wants, and (b) what the competitors have; without which an rganization cannot achieve the organizational goals. Suppose a customer wants to buy a camera. The customer has a wide variety, what the current competitive marketing world has to offer, to choose from that would fulfill the specific demands, such as, Canon, Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, etc, to give the best picture quality, higher megapixels, with latest styles and features, a reasonable price and after-sales service, etc. Conclusion: In this era of competition, the customers are constantly bombarded with too much advertisement – the extent of which is beyond one’s ability to actually read, view and listen.
However, the marketing masters know how to connect and establish that meaningful relationship with their potential customers and maintain that for longer term. The intellectual capital of marketing seemed to have moved to the client side giving them the esteem of kings of the marketing kingdom. Its no longer simply about driving marketing programmes, rather its about creating a truly customer-centred mind-set across the enterprise and this has to be the integral part of the corporate planning and culture as well as the central instrument of the marketing plan of an organization.
Finally, feedback loops of an organisation need to be active, direct and effective at improving, evolving and moving the business forward. This highlights an organization with an entirely new set of criteria, beliefs and characteristics that reflect a company truly in touch with its customer base. Reference: 1. Joseph Jaffe, ‘The Customer Service Manifesto’, March 2010. 2. [http://www. masternewmedia. org] – accessed on 11/06/2010 3. http://www. wineaustralia. om (Australian Govt website) – accessed on 12/06/2010 4. Philip Kotler, Kevin Lane Keller, Abraham Koshi & Mithileshwar Jha, 2009. ‘Marketing Management: A South Asian Perspectives’, Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt Ltd. 5. D Martin, 2009. ‘Secrets of Marketing Masters’, New York. 6. & 7. M Z Alam, 2010. ‘Key Terms of Marketing’, Abir Publications, Dhaka 8. Lecture notes by Mr Monto Chandra Gope, Lecturer, Marketing Management, Metropolitan University, Sylhet.