Why marketing needs THE EYES?
Starting from the very first day of marketing, which might be initiated on the day the first wheel had been sold, the world of business has evolved in all the aspects. Today each small aspect of business changes in a whisker of time. So is the marketplace. No product has a guaranteed long term value. Neither a company nor a brand can sit idle and enjoy the success they are cherishing today and bound to be busy in making next strategy for the uncertainty they may face tomorrow. In this constantly changing marketplace and altering consumer behaviour it is very hard to set a certain process to gain success and stop strategizing. Moreover with this shifting environment competition is getting tougher every day. The relentless up gradation and innovation of new technologies and solutions adding fuel to this war of existence in the market for the businesses. Needless to say the work for the marketers at present is no more limited to sketch a plan and supplying the same to the sales team but they have to be more active, knowledgeable, responsive and energetic to decipher the combination of problems to get the business on right track.
At present the Marketing Team should not get restricted to create only Customer focused plans but they also have to come up with the innovative strategies through which they can beat the shrewd tactics of the contenders. To accomplish that they have to ponder over the three aspects of present competitions listed below:
If we revisit the early 90’s we notice there were major companies who used to have one strong category in their product mix and used to raise most of their profit from that and relished a hefty market share creating almost a monopoly. They used to face only two to five competitors who were feeble in either monetary strength or unclear about the market environment or had a dearth of knowledgeable management with strong strategy.
In reverse today the scenario has completely transformed in last few years. Consider the Indian market at present. We can see brands like Britannia is constantly getting challenged by Parle and ITC. Airtel and Vodafone constantly fighting with their new offers or advertisements. Micromax and Karbonn is coming forward in mobile segment to challenge Samsung or Nokia through their marketing strategies. In one word competition is getting fierce in each and every industry and all the companies are taking full advantages of the available Marketing Metrics to attract new customers and to cement their place in consumer-mind for a longer duration.
All the businesses want to be ahead by some steps from the nearest competitor or want to reach some steps closer to the competitor ahead. But that is not possible if there exists a little gap in the whole process. It’s always tough to rise while people are waiting there for one to slip and to crush him to reach a higher position. This is why the businesses need the “Eyes of Marketing” to succeed in this cut – throat competition (Figure 1).
What are the eyes?
Eyes are integral part of a human being for vision. Similarly the marketing team in a business needs a vision to aim for. For a marketing team the two elements of vision are:
- Revenue (in turn Profit) Generation &
– The core aim of a business in current market scenario.
There is no sense of running a business which is incapable of generating revenues and fetch profits from the market. Without revenues a business will never be able of fulfilling its basic needs such as paying salaries to employees, upgrading itself through Research and Development, filling the government regulations like taxes and will not be able to prove its worth to the customers resulting a downfall and gradually closure of the company.
In present market with fierce competition the main aim of any business is to sustain the fight and continuing to be in profit. If it lacks strategy to sustain, other companies will crush it and clinch off its business resulting a massive setback for the company which can result in complete shutdown. So a company should regularly exercise its marketing strategy to be up-to-the-mark in market ensuring its long run regardless of the competition.
So the question is how can we achieve the vision of the eyes of marketing?
For this we need to see the problems with a clearer vision using a component just like spectacles provide our eyes with. The most two important steps for “Marketing Spectacles” (Figure 2) are:
- Market Analysis
- Marketing Strategy Building
A proper Market Analysis provides us with multiple useful data including Consumer Behaviour, Competitor Analysis, Retail issues, Sales issues etc.
Building the correct Marketing Strategy is not only the remedy of all the problems but the instrument for bolstering the future of the business also.
So if we fit these elements of the spectacles properly over our eyes the vision will get cleared and we can achieve what we want to see in our business.
How to use the spectacles?
Often we notice a company is trying to turn up with a new product and as soon as the product passes all the preliminary tests it is released in the market only to raise the eyebrows of the existing competitors. The sole aim is to infiltrate the target market with pace to lure the customers by the new product leaving the existing rivals in total disarray. Before discussing the “Marketing Spectacles” we will watch out for these three scenarios when new competitor enters the market:
1. Strong existing companies: How can it protect its product consumption and increase intake of the same overriding the new products to play for a longer time?
2. Weak existing companies: How can it protect the few customers and its constant revenue to save itself from getting eliminated?
3. New companies: How can it hit the market so hard that all other companies gets thrashed away? How can it sustain in the market for a long time?
These scenarios are mentioned to give an idea on the thinking process of the companies so that it will be easy to understand how the tools of “Marketing Spectacles” can solve the different needs of the companies – new or existing.
Market Analysis: With various efficient tools in reach companies are in a better position than ever to conduct proper Market Analysis through different procedures. As the fast-growing technology offers easiest methods to measure the marketing metrics Market Research has become lot more easier and time saving. We will discuss some of the Market Analysis methods in brief to have a clear view.
- Consumer Behaviour Analysis: Consumers are impatient today and they easily get bored with same products. At the same point of time they are enthusiastic to discover new alternatives of a product category. They are less brand loyal nowadays and will easily change a brand if they don’t get the proper commodities. To satisfy their fluctuating mind-set and shifting choices thorough behaviour analysis is needed.
- Competitor Analysis: As the transparency increases with posting company reports through various mediums so increases vulnerability to competitors. And one company thus can be benefitted collecting important data of competitors to evaluate its position in the market. Proper Competitor Analysis gives one company the plus of understanding the junctions where the competitors have an advantage or disadvantage. Strengthening those positions can give the company proper boost to rule over the market.
- Promotion Analysis: Through researching on Advertisements trends through various media the pattern of successful advertisements can be found. Promotion Analysis gives a proper idea of leading advertisement trends and the ROI of various advertisements. It also tells about the viewers’ or users’ behaviour. Depending upon that the Advertising strategy can be built upon.
- Retail/Distribution Analysis: During the distribution of products a company can face a lot of challenges like rejection, disinterest, back-of-the-store symptoms etc. So proper analysis on the same will tell on what basis retailers give one product more importance than others. As retailers and distributors are the gateway of selling the product inadequate analysis can block the product from reaching to the customers.
- Sales Analysis: As marketing and sales are correlated heavily, marketing has to take care of the sales to guide it into the proper way. Otherwise all the efforts put by the sales team will return with little value. Sales Analysis will illustrate the acceptance of the customers to certain kind of products.
- Gap Analysis: With the emergence of smarter technologies the competitors are always trying to find out the gaps in a company to get their roots through the hole and grow with the help of that advantage. So it’s very necessary for a company to find out the gaps in its strategies before the competitors do and fill them up fast denying the competitors the time for getting the undue benefit.
Except these there are many analysis processes which are coming handy for the marketers of the leading companies at present. As one will dig deeper into the market he will be more benefited.
Marketing Strategy Building: The reports and insights of the analysis are not significant until and unless they are converted into an effective and actionable strategy. A marketing strategy team should have members who are up-to-date with current market, innovative, willing to take calculated risks and adaptive to change. Though there are numerous steps of building an efficient strategy we will scan some of the important ones:
- Deciding Target Segment: There is nothing worse than a right product at a wrong place. The whole effort of distributing the product goes into vain and in reverse a company loses the trust of customers and distributors. So before stepping into the market it’s mandatory to have a proper strategy of deciding the correct segment to target.
- Consumer Focused Product Planning: This is one of the very important part of a successful strategy. A consumer wants certain amount of attributes in a product. If that is not delivered correctly then a business will have a hindrance capturing the market. It is compulsory for a business to build a strategy to supply a product with a balance of needed amount of attributes and of reasonable price to seize the attention of the market. From Matrix 1 we can see fifth area adds value to both the company and customer and will tie them up in a longer relationship.
- Promotion Strategy: From the Promotion Analysis productive insights can be obtained. Based on the same it is necessary to build an effective advertisement strategy. Strategies should be created for both Online (Social Media, Websites and Blogs etc.) and Offline (Newspapers, Magazines, fliers and Billboards etc.) Advertising. It is important to remember an advertisement is acknowledged as successful only when it is able to stay in consumers mind for a long time rather than just penetrating the market. In case of Print media the location and size of the advertisement can hold tremendous value.
- Key Distribution Channels: Determining the key distribution channels to reach out the target segment is a vital part of a strategy. Keeping the retailer and distributor happy by providing them more benefits than the competitors can lead a business steps closer to sell their products with higher priorities than the competitors’.
- Customer Relationship Management: Effective customer relationship management works through the product lifecycle and in turn relationship with the customers plays a pivotal role in the longevity of the product. To build a fruitful relationship with customers a business should concentrate on the basic things like customer penetration, customer retention, fast service, quick customer support etc. To enhance customer loyalty it can come up with offers, discounts and promotions. It’s always advantageous to give importance to customer issues and build strategies based on that to ensure the service or product gets better.
- Channelizing Sales: From the insights of Sales Analysis one can get the idea where the market rests for a certain kind of product. The marketing team has to stream the sales process mainly towards that market so that the effective sales team captures the market. Moreover fixing the tasks of the sales team is a major responsibility of marketing team.
- Budget Planning: One crucial step of Marketing Plan is to control the budget and channelize it in proper ways to get the optimum ROI. It is very difficult for the marketers to have a pre-defined budget plan on certain sectors as success of the sectors are fluctuating time to time. So considering the probability of success and to obtain utmost return an expert budget planning for each sector is required.
While creating a strategy the marketing team has to consider all the existing gaps and should fill them up properly. They also should take care of the pitfalls that can show up during the strategy implementation and prepare themselves to solve those readily.
Will the eyes work?
If the Marketing Spectacles get fitted to the Eyes of Marketing there will be negligible chance of not being able to achieve the vision. Appropriate analysis and strategy are the gateways to achieve steady revenue (in turn profit) and sustainability. While companies are busy fighting each other they forget the basics of marketing war and leaves some important weapons untouched. The spectacles helps to find out those weapons through its tools. If a company invests quality amount of time in Market understanding and in preparation of a concrete strategy it can have guaranteed success when it steps into the market regardless of the status they are in. For a business the “Eyes of Marketing” are inseparable as it is aligned to the core business goals.
So YES the eyes will work if you furnish them with exact gears!
- Marketing Plan Template for Business Beginners (savingnspending.com)
- Five Reasons Why Marketers Fail at Competitive Intelligence & Three Ways to Pass with an ‘A’ (business2community.com)
- Top Questions to Help Develop Your Next Content Marketing Strategy (sjccopywritingsolutions.com)
- Is Marketing Through Social Media the Answer? (shanebarker.com)
- 7 Cut-Throat Internet Marketing Strategies that Never Fail (shanebarker.com)
- Competitive Marketing Analysis: 14 Ways to Monitor and Beat Your Competitors (business2community.com)