Unit 42 Contemporary Issues in Marketing Management-Btechnd
Marketing mix is an important marketing tool for any marketing department of an organisation. It can be defined as a combination of several marketing activities in which organisations might engage, so that it can successfully achieve the requirement of its target market. Marketing mix basically consists of four important elements such as:
However over last few years since marketing has become more customer oriented, thus in above four Ps, now there are three more Ps, which has extended the marketing mix. These Ps are (Kleis et al, 2013).
Product/Service mix plays an important role in boosting the overall value of the product and organisation for the customers associated with the company. As discussed in above section, product mix basically consists of product, price, place, and promotion, whereas service mix focuses more on the service aspect of the business where it adds aspects such as people, processes and physical layout. If used strategically, product as well as service mix can add significant value to the business in following ways:
Marketing of services at times can be tricky for an organisation and can pose numerous challenges in front of the organisation. It is important to understand that when an organisation provides a service then there are several characteristics to the service such as variability, intangibility, inseparability and inability to transfer the ownership of service. These characteristics are some of the major aspects due to which service based organisations such as Vodafone or KFC face difficulty in their marketing efforts and activities (Christophee et al, 2013). For example, when KFC started its operations in India, there was lot of pressure on its quality of product as chicken which used in the product was highly processed in nature. Similarly price factor was another major aspect where people initially were sceptical to buy the products from KFC. Thus over a period of time KFC conducted several rounds of market research in order to have a better understanding of the local taste and market demographics. Based on which KFC accordingly reshuffled its menu and included vegetarian items as well, and pricing strategy was also in sync with the market sensibility of the market. Another major issue faced by KFC was marketing of the quality of service, which was experienced only when a customer visited the store. Hence due to word of mouth and positive reviews of the quality of services, KFC not only gained respect in terms of quality of its product but was also able to attract much more customers than anticipated.
Information Technology has major role in marketing especially in a virtual organisation such as www.amazon.com. Amazon is an online retailer which is one of the biggest in the world today. This position which amazon has achieved is on the basis of its IT strength. Amazon uses IT applications extensively in its marketing efforts as well. For example, it uses mediums such as e-mails to regularly communicate with its customers and inform them about any new deal or offer. Similarly, on various websites, advertisement of products etc. is done through online banner or flash, hence when a user clicks those banners etc. then user is directed towards Amazon’s website. Most importantly, Amazon’s entire business is dependent on its e-commerce website, which also doubles up as its marketing tool as well.
Ethics and social responsibility has always remained one of the focus areas of the businesses. Especially when it comes to marketing, role of ethics and social responsibility becomes even more important. Majority of times, marketers face ethical dilemma in their marketing activity, which creates lot of issues for the organisation. That is why, companies today have become extra careful about what product they are manufacturing and selling, and whether that product has any negative impact on the society or not. It can be said that ethical and social responsibility to a large extent also impacts the image of the company, hence it important to analyse the reasons for increasing emphasis on ethics and social responsibility as part of the marketing management process.
Some of the current ethical and social concern to marketers in the service industry is as follows:
Corporate social responsibility is one major aspect of a business. It ensures that company is not only focused on earning profit and increasing its revenue but is also focused on giving back certain extent of its revenue for society development. In this regard Vodafone as a robust CSR unit which takes care of various CSR programs such as education of children in selected region of India and other developing countries it operates. CSR also is an important channel for Vodafone through which it engages with its customers, and other people of society who might need help from the company. Similarly, Vodafone from time to time keeps launching initiative such as Cancer reduction initiative etc. Thus it can be said that CSR gives a chance to the organisation to include the social element in the overall business of the organisation.
In a changing business environment, no company can take its place guaranteed. However this becomes even truer, when it comes to influencing the ethical and social marketing policies. For example recently in Asian countries such as India it was found that in Coca Cola, there is high level of traces of insecticide and pesticide in its product. This research was conducted by one of the leading organisations in India. Hence this organisation played a typical role of governing agency which analysed and publicly released the data which also impacted the sale of Cocoa Cola for. Such kind of pressure groups basically ensure that all the public activity of the company remains under the radar, and in case of any trouble, misappropriate, or misinterpretation these peer groups act proactivity and highlight the issue.
One thing which is sure is that in coming few years there will be increasing stress on the CSR related activities, and sorting out the ethical and social dilemma. Both service as well as product based companies have to be extra careful in selling their products in the market, and should also ensure that their product or service should not breach the morality and ethical framework under which the society lives.
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