Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 3116
, Published on 09 March 2012
Let’s say you have to build a house for yourself, you would start with laying base which you may call ‘groundwork’ for the same, the second step would be to erect the ‘structure’ of the house like walls, pillars etc. The final step would be the ‘materialization’ wherein you buy the furniture, curtains and décor. Now that your house is finally built next task is to ‘maintain’ which you do by leaning it every day and repainting every couple of years.
Building a house can be very similar to establishing and then running a company, let’s have a closer look at the four steps of building a house and understand how these four different phases of marketing would not only help one start a company but also run it effectively.
Step one, the laying groundwork is the ‘foundation’ of a company which is the first principle of marketing, and it can further be divided into four sub stages:-
1) Core Concepts – company’s approach to market
2) Customer perceived value
3) Market driven strategy – understanding the prevailing environment & formulating an optimum strategy
4) Understanding the customer buying behavior
If I decide to get into the business of selling shoes, primarily I need to decide would I be producing the shoes myself or would I be a channel partner or should I just operate a multi brand outlet. Deciding this is the very foundation of my business and the ‘marketing processes’ like ‘research’ would allow me to make an informed and suitable decision. Marketing is not just about selling; it is about taking right decisions at right time.
Step two, erecting the structure is the ‘Formation’ of the company which again can further be divided into three sub parts:-
1) Segmenting – Classifying mass on basis of demographics, age, sex, passion etc.
2) Targeting – Selecting one or more segment as your target group
3) Positioning – Presenting your brand in a appealing manner to selected target group.
Now that I have decided that I would operate a multi brand shoes outlet, next I need to decide is who I would be selling to, to the rich urban class or average middle class, to which age group would I be catering because my product would depend on that.
If I want to target middle class school children then I would sell leather shoes of Liberty or Bata, if I decide to target the urban class youth I would keep a stock of elegant and stylish shoes of brands like Nike or Adidas.
In order to make this decision I must study the market, competition, society demographics etc. This process is nothing but marketing and in order to take the right decisions you need marketing.
Step three; the materialization would be the ‘manifestation’ of the company, which can also be further divided into four sub parts
1) Product – Market & product research that goes into product fabrication
2) Price – deciding on price on basis of target group, competition & margins.
3) Placement – Retail & distribution channel, setting up accessible markets for product
4) Promotion - spreading the idea
Let’s say I have finalized the target segment (rich urban youth) for my multi brand store, my products would be sports shoes, casual sandals and party wear shoes. The price should not only give me a profitable margin but should also be appealing to consumer which will give me an edge over competition. Now to spread the idea I would do some promotional activities like advertisements or sales offers.
Needless to say, deciding on all these parameters is again a function of marketing.
Step four - Now I have my store up and running, so next task is the ‘maintenance’ which in business world may be referred to as dealing with competition and maintaining your quality standards at a reasonable cost.
I would do that by measuring the consumers’ response and continuously observing the tactics of competition and always keeping myself updated with upcoming trends and fashion.
Marketing is not about just limited a product, it is a cycle of multiple processes which understands the customer perceived value and then creates, promote and deliver the same to achieve customer satisfaction.
When you build your house the foundation would not be visible to the visitors and structure would be covered with materialization like curtains, doors, emulsions, hence people would only notice the décor and furnishings.
Same happens in world of marketing too, the foundation and structure goes unnoticed in many cases and people only notice the manifestation and on basis of that they develop an understanding of marketing which is only limited to manifestation like advertising and sales offers.
For example if one is to analyze Wal-Mart, one notices that it is successful because of low price and high availability and we limit the marketing to only in shop offers and branding. One must understand that the inception of the very idea of having large stock and selling at a lower price is result of marketing. It is the foundation of the company, a market driven strategy deduced after understanding the consumer perceived value and buying behavior.
Same principal applies to Indigo airlines which have the second largest market share in India (16.7%), its approach to market is providing quality service to middle class person at a reasonable cost.
Marketing is not just about spreading the idea; it is a cycle which helps in inventing, maintaining and delivering the Idea.