Vital Marketing Concepts

Marketing is nowadays a vital aspect of every business. The price of an item increases on account of marketing, but reliance on it has attained an inevitable aspect of buying/selling behavior of consumers/producers due to multiple reasons such as competitive market structures (e.g., monopolistic competition, oligopoly, and niche markets), economical communication technology, information revolution, MNCs, globalization, battle for competitive edge, and Brand Identity phenomenon. Marketing is the managerial effort through which goods/services move from producer to the consumer. The Effective Marketing is “The right product/service with right way, in the right place, at the right time, at the right price and making a profit in the process”. The American Marketing Association offers the following formal definition: “Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” Encyclopedia Britannica defines, “Marketing is the sum of activities involved in directing the flow of goods and services from producers to consumers.” According to Kotler, the shortest definition of marketing is “meeting needs profitably”.Marketing is required for increasing sales and achieving a sustainable market segment for product or service. Customer gets satisfaction from the product or service, entrepreneur gets profit on sale, and business achieves reputation or goodwill. Effective Marketing materializes reputed business, profitable sale, and satisfied customer. The investigation of demand behavior is focal area of marketing. Consequently, marketing has two parents, economics and psychology. Economic considerations of demand behavior are pull or visible factors while psychological leanings are push/invisible factors behind any demand behavior. A marketing effort concentrates on customers’ propensities for psychological satisfaction and designs multiple incentives of economic benefits for customers. An effective marketing approach accommodates economic rules of selling/buying and psychological tendencies of sellers/buyers. There are seven major reasons of marketing:

To inform about new product/service or product awareness

To introduce a new business or business awareness

To motivate/persuade someone for buying or demand creation

To create stable customer account or achieving customer loyalty

To attain Sustainable Competitive Advantage

To achieve reputation or Goodwill,

To realize Brand Equity

Marketing vs. Selling: – The aforesaid concept of effective marketing covers the full experience of a business deal between seller and buyer; however, there are two distinct aspects of effective marketing, i.e., selling and marketing. Perceptually, Sellers and Marketers are two different groups in a marketing activity. They have distinct views towards the customers. Harvard’s Theodore Levitt drew a perceptive contrast between the selling and marketing concepts: “Selling focuses on the needs of the seller; marketing on the needs of the buyer. Selling is preoccupied with the seller’s need to convert his product into cash; marketing with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering, and finally consuming it.” The strategic alignment between marketing and selling is vital for better results. “A study from App Data Room and Marketo found that sales and marketing alignment can make an organization 67% better at closing deals, reduce friction by 108%, and generate 209% more value from marketing.”Marketing vs. Branding:-Branding is the marketing process by which a marketer or brand manager reduces a company’s reputation to a single word or phrase or design. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as “a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.” There is a well-known rule in marketing: “Sell what people are buying.” Similarly, the well-performing rule in branding: “Brand the attributes that people love.” An established brand creates consumer trust and emotional attachments; as a result, brands foster relationships among consumers, products and business that lead to the valuable benefits to a producer such as premium pricing, low promotion cost, loyal customer and constantly growing market share. In a nutshell, a branding effort enhances Brand Equity for sellers. Brand Equity is the brand’s power derived from the goodwill and name recognition that it has earned over time, which translates into higher sales volume and better profit margins against competing brands in the market. The vital strategic aspect of Brand Equity creation is internal branding. “Internal branding consists of managerial activities and processes that help, inform and inspire employees about brands.” In a branding effort, a marketer or an entrepreneur adopts four perspectives for an effective branding – Consumer Perspective (to ascertain desirability of product/service by multiple consumers), Company Perspective (to improve, technically and aesthetically, presentation and delivery process of product/service), Competitive Perspective (to understand and exploit differentiability/parity content of products/services with respect to competitors), and Brand Perspective (to work on creation of possible brand equity). It is noteworthy that, in branding, you create a perception of product/business while, during marketing, you motivate or persuade someone for actual buying. Branding is who you are while marketing is how you affect consumers’ decision process. More specifically, “Branding or Brand Management is a communication function in marketing that includes analysis and planning on how that brand is positioned in the market, which target public the brand is targeted at, and maintaining a desired reputation of the brand.”Marketing vs. Advertising: – Marketing deals with multiple business efforts to realize ‘Profitable Sale’ such as market research, pricing & distribution of product/service, branding, selling and public relations. Advertising is just one component of marketing. In advertising, an entrepreneur or business communicates to the potential buyers about his/her products or services. Advertising is defined as:”Any form of communication in the paid media”. The prominent advertising mediums are, print media, electronic media and social media. Conceptually, marketing is the way or strategy to convince potential buyers that you have the right product/service for them, while, advertising is conversion of marketing strategy into specific communication media. In advertising, you tell the potential customers about the existence and availability of right product/service for them. The greatest issue of present-day advertising is Cluttering. “An Advertising Clutter refers to the excessive amount of ad messages consumers are exposed to on a daily basis.” It is vital responsibility of a marketer to manage the clutter. The clutter management means to find the right time and place to connect with target customers and to send impeccable messages to them about your business or offerings.Marketing vs. Networking: – Networking is a systematic human interaction with fellow human beings to exchange information and opportunities. Business Networking is dynamically linked with effective marketing. Business networking is an outcome of socio-economic interactions of an entrepreneur. The networking efforts shape a business circle. It is noteworthy; a business circle is a sub-circle of a big socio-economic circle of an entrepreneur. A business cannot survive or flourish, at least with full potential, without proper interaction among all economic agents/stakeholders. Executives’ presence in a big socio-economic circle and related associations is vital to develop an effective business networking. The business networking, BtoB and BtoC, is the crucial aspect of effective marketing.Concisely speaking, the effective marketing is combination of networking, branding, marketing, advertising and selling. The networking earmarks areas of targeted customers, branding prepares ground through shaping/reshaping of perceptions/emotions of prospective customers, advertising informs them about product/service through multiple media, marketing motivates them for buying, and selling materializes the actual profitable sale.

Social Media Strategy and Branding: How Did Brand Image Create An Iconic Brand And Then Save It?

The brand image is the complete impression that a consumer has of a product. This is important because a brand cannot be created unless it has an acceptable image. People have to like the brand, they have to be comfortable with it. The brand must create the right images and impressions when a consumer hears the brand’s name. If this doesn’t happen, the consumer will not purchase the product. Image involves the integration and the entirety of all the attributes and benefits of a product. Image involves the functional and mental connections that a consumer has with the product. It is important because brand image creates how a consumer “sees” the product. Image is a critical part of branding a product because if products are not seen in a good way, they will not be purchased. Brand image is a critical concept for the social media era.Because there are so many products in the market place, it is image that sets a brand apart. A successful brand is created in social media when a friendship is created between the consumer and the product. The brand image is a major tool in creating that friendship.A brand image has created an iconic brand in sneakers. This same image saved this iconic brand in bad times. In the Social Media era the best way to understand a brand is to understand that brands have human qualities. Few people live charmed lives. Most people have things happen in their life in which they are proud of. These same people have things happen to them in which they are embarrassed. Brands are the same way. An iconic brand in sneakers were created through its image. Image also saved this brand from destruction.To understand how this happened, image must be understood. A brand is created through 4 tiers: image, identity, positioning, and differentiation. Image and identity are separate, but they are integrated and they impact one another. They are separate, but yet they are interchangeable. The best way to explain the concepts of image and identity is through a brand of sneakers that became an icon.Image is passive and identity is proactive. Image is something that is interpretive. A consumer is given a group of images and the consumer formulates a definition of what that image is. Identity is aggressive. A brand decides what it is and communicates this to the market. These two concepts are critical in understanding how a brand of sneakers became an icon, and how that brand sustained itself when things unraveled.In the 1960’s sneakers was an unimportant fashion staple. A good pair could be purchased for $5. A track coach devised a specialized shoe to assist runners. This specialization redefined the sneaker market. From this specialization on function, the brand evolved into a high style fashion shoe.The sneaker created an image: the image was now “cool” shoes. To be cool, you had to own a pair of these sneakers. The branding then developed extreme value for these sneakers. This company lost its way in the branding of their sneakers. You now had to pay for cool. The sneakers now were sold for over $200. This meant that only a certain young person could afford them. It also meant that a certain young person couldn’t afford them. Both groups of kids wanted to be cool.In the late ’80s and early ’90s, kids started killing each other for sneakers. The image of the brand was misinterpreted. The company never intended for kids to kill each other for their cool sneakers. The company had a dilemma. They had to retain their cool image, but their brand would cease to exist unless kids stopped killing one another.The brand used two methods to save their brand. They used their identity and they used their spokesman, who was an iconic basketball player. The company was started by a college professor. This professor designed a special running shoe to do one thing—to help people. This was the identity of the company—to help people. In healthy personality, an identity is created when a person defines just who they are. The company defined themselves as good people doing good things. This was the company’s identity. To survive the crisis, they had to retain their cool image but also be seen as good people doing good things. This is somewhat of a contradiction in terms. How could they do this?They did it through the use of their spokesman, a very articulate professional basketball player. This player was definition of cool. He was handsome, he was articulate, and he played on a basketball team that won 4 world championships in 5 years. He wore the shoes that created the championships. He was also a man from small town America, raised with strong family values. He was horrified that kids would kill each other for his shoes.He started going to schools and addressing kids. He made commercials pleading with kids to stop killing for sneakers. This expanded the image. The image was now that cool has values and respect. The CEO demanded the designers of the sneakers to find cool designs at a price tag within the range of all kids. The brand was preserved through image and identity reacting and integrating with one another. Through the integration of image and identity, this brand has become one of the most iconic in American history.