In last Lesson we tried to understand the concept of Portfolio in
detail and had a brief concept regarding the marketing process. The
marketing process consists of four steps: analyzing market
opportunities; developing marketing strategies; planning marketing
programs, which entails choosing the marketing mix (the four Ps of
product, price, place, and promotion); and organizing, implementing, and
controlling the marketing effort. Today we will be covering Marketing
process in more detail:
A. MARKETING PROCESS
The Marketing Process
Once the strategic plan has defined the company’s overall mission and
objectives, marketing plays a role in carrying out these objectives.
The marketing process is the process of analyzing
market opportunities, selecting target markets, developing the marketing
mix, and managing the marketing effort. Target customers stand at the
center of the marketing process. There are following steps in Marketing
5. Analyzing marketing opportunities
6. Selecting target markets
7. Developing the marketing Mix
8. Managing the marketing effort
a. Analyzing marketing opportunities
First step of the marketing process is analyzing market opportunities
and availing these opportunities to satisfy the customer’s requirements
to have competitive advantage. The marketing function of analyzing
market opportunities is important in the marketing planning process. Any
marketing manager must analyses the long-run opportunities in the market
to improve the business unit's performance. To evaluate its
opportunities firms needs to operate a reliable marketing information
Marketing research is an indispensable marketing tool for this
purpose. Researching the market allows the company to gather information
about their customers, competitors and any environmental changes to
determine the market opportunities. Once the market opportunities have
been analyzed then modern marketing practice calls for dividing the
market into major market segments, evaluating each segment, and
selecting and targeting those market segments that the company can best
b. Selecting the target Market:
To succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, companies must be
customer centered. They must win customers from competitors and keep
them by delivering greater value.
• Sound marketing requires a careful, deliberate analysis of consumers.
• Since companies cannot satisfy all consumers in a given market, they
must divide up the total market (market segmentation), choose the best
segments (market targeting), and design strategies for profitably
serving chosen segments better than the competition (market
Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into
distinct groups of buyers with different needs, characteristics, or
behavior who might require separate products or marketing mixes.
Market targeting is the process of evaluating each market segment’s
attractiveness and selecting one or more segments to enter. A company
should target segments in which it can generate the greatest
customer value and sustain it over time. A company may decide
to serve only one or a few special segments, or perhaps it might decide
to offer a complete range of products to serve all market segments.
Special segments may be called “market niches.” Most companies enter a
new market by serving a single segment, and if this proves successful,
they add segments
Market positioning is arranging for a product to occupy a
clear distinctive and desirable place relative to competing products in
the minds of target consumers. In positioning a product, a company first
needs to identify possible competitive advantages upon which to build
the position. To gain competitive advantage, the company must offer
greater competitive advantage to the target segment. The company’s
entire marketing program should support the chosen positioning strategy.
Effective positioning begins with actually differentiating the company’s
marketing offer so that it gives consumers more value than they are
offered by the competition.
c. Developing the Marketing Mix
Once the company has decided on its overall competitive marketing
strategy, it is ready to begin planning the details of the marketing
mix. The marketing mix is the set of controllable
marketing variables that the firm blends to produce the response it
wants in the target market. The marketing mix consists of everything
that the firm can do to influence the demand for its product. These
variables are often referred to as the “four Ps.”
1). Product stands for the “goods-and-service”
combination the company offers to the target market.
2). Price stands for the amount of money customers have
to pay to obtain the product.
3). Place stands for company activities that make the
product available to target consumers.
4). Promotion stands for activities that communicate
the merits of the product and persuade target consumers to buy it. An
effective marketing program blends all of the marketing mix elements
into a coordinated program designed to achieve the company’s marketing
objectives by delivering value to consumers. Some critics feel that the
four Ps omit or underestimate certain important activities.
1). “Where are services?” they ask.
2). “Where is packaging?”
3). The 4 Ps seems to take the seller’s view rather than the buyer’s
4). Perhaps a better classification would be the 4 Cs:
a). Product = Customer Solution.
b). Price = Customer Cost.
c). Place = Convenience.
d). Promotion = Communication.
d. Managing the Marketing Effort
The company wants to design and put into action the marketing mix
that will best achieve its objectives in target markets. This involves
four marketing management functions. The four functions are:
analysis, planning, implementation, and control
a. Marketing Analysis:
Marketing analysis involves a complete analysis of the company’s
situation. The company performs analysis by Identifying environmental
opportunities and threats. Analyzing company strengths and weaknesses to
determine which opportunities the company can best pursue. Feeding
information and other inputs to each of the other marketing management
b. Marketing Planning:
Within each business unit, functional plans must be prepared,
including marketing plans. Such plans include marketing plans which are
aggregate plans consisting of plans for product lines, brands and
Marketing planning involves deciding on marketing strategies that
will help the company to attain its overall strategic objectives. A
detailed plan is needed for each business, product, or brand. A product
or brand plan should contain the following sections: executive summary,
current marketing situation, threats and opportunity analysis,
objectives and issues, marketing strategies, action programs, budgets,
Contents of Marketing Plan
1. Executive summary - The opening
section of the marketing plan that presents a short summary of the main
goals and recommendations to be presented in the plan.
2. Current marketing situation - The section of a
marketing plan that describes the target market and the company’s
position in it. The current marketing situation is the section of a
marketing plan that describes the target market and the company’s
position in it. Important sections include:
1). A market description.
2). A product review.
3). Analysis of the competition.
4). A section on distribution.
3. Opportunities and Issues Analysis- This section
requires the marketing manager to look ahead for threats and
opportunities that the product(s) might face. A company marketing
opportunity would be an attractive arena for marketing action in which
the company would enjoy a competitive advantage. In the threats and
opportunities section, managers are forced to anticipate important
developments that can have an impact, either positive or negative, on
the firm. Having studied the product’s threats and opportunities, the
manager can now set objectives and consider issues that will affect
4. Objectives - Objectives should be stated as goals
the company would like to reach during the plan’s term.
5. Marketing strategy - The marketing logic by which
the business unit hopes to achieve its marketing objectives. Marketing
strategy consists of specific strategies for target markets, marketing
mix and marketing expenditure level. Strategies should be created for
all marketing mix components. The marketing budget is a section of the
marketing plan that shows projected revenues, costs, and profits. The
last section of the marketing plan outlines the controls that will be
used to monitor progress. This allows for progress checks and corrective
6. Action programs - This section sets out what will
be done, when, by whom and how much will be spent doing it.
7. Projected profit-and-loss statement - The
marketing budget section of the plan shows projected revenues, costs and
8. Controls - This last section outlines the control
measures that will be used to monitor progress. Goals may be set out
weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually or for all such periods. Following
evaluation of results, actions are recommended and implemented in the
c. Marketing Implementation:
Marketing Implementation is the process that turns marketing plans
into marketing actions in order to accomplish strategic marketing
objectives. Whereas marketing planning addresses the and “why” of
marketing activities, implementation addresses the “who”, “where”,
“when”, and “how”. One firm can have essentially the
same strategy as another, yet win in the market- place through faster or
better execution. Successful implementation depends on an action program
that pulls all of the people and activities together and forms sound
formal organizational structure its decision and reward structure (HRM
functions and procedures) and the firm’s marketing strategies fitting
with its company culture (the shared system of values and beliefs).
Marketing Department Organization The company must design a marketing
department that can carry out marketing analysis, planning,
implementation, and control. Formats for organizing the department
1). The functional organization where different
marketing activities are headed by a functional specialist (such as a
sales manager, advertising manager, etc.).
2). The geographic organization where sales and
marketing people are assigned to specific countries, regions, or
3). A product management organization where a product
manager develops a complete strategy for a product or brand. Today, many
firms are shifting to customer equity management where
customer profitability is important.
4). A market or customer management organization where
a specific market plan is developed for each specific market or
5). A combination plan where large companies many times
combine elements of any of the above.
d. Marketing Control
Marketing control is the process of measuring and evaluating the
results of marketing strategies and plans, and taking corrective action
to ensure that marketing objectives are attained. Implementation
requires four steps:
1). Set specific goals (What do we want to achieve?).
2). Measure performance (What is happening?).
3). Evaluate performance (Why is it happening?).
4). Take corrective action (What should we do about it?). Two broad
forms of control are important:
1). Operating control involves checking ongoing
performance against the annual plan and taking corrective action when
2). Strategic control involves looking at whether the
company’s basic strategies are well matched to its opportunities. The
major tool for accomplishing this form of control is the marketing
audit. The marketing audit is a comprehensive,
systematic, independent, and periodic examination of a company’s
environment, objectives, strategies, and activities to determine problem
areas and opportunities. The purpose is to recommend a plan of action to
improve the company’s marketing performance.
1). The marketing plan covers all major marketing areas of a
business, and not just trouble spots.
2). If done correctly, the audit is normally conducted by an objective
and experienced outside party who is independent of the marketing