Marketinghas changed and developed through 5 stages that include the simpletrade phase, the production phase, the sales phase, the marketingdepartment phase and the marketing company phase (White, 2010).Marketing thought and practice has transformed from a philosophy inwhich it involved taking commodities to consumers, to that ofmarketing to customers. Shaw and Jones (2005) point out that sinceancient times, the practice of marketinghas been in existence. In addition to that, the practice of marketinghas been thought about by philosophers and those practicing businessfor a long period of time. They add that despite the existence ofmarketing as a concept and as a practice for many centuries, it hasonly become an academic discipline at the turn of the 20thcentury.
Thereare different schools of marketing, each aimed at understanding thefunctions and institutions involved in the marketing process.Shortageof the required supply has been the main economic issue affectingpeople for a long period of time. Marketing thought and practice atits early stages was aimed at meeting the demand of different peoplein the society and placed emphasis on bringing commodities to themarket. This early approach to marketing was of the view that theseller and buyer are separated by certain barriers and are removedfrom each other in terms of space, the time and that productive andsupply capabilities are limited (Wilkieand Moore, 2003). Marketing in this case was aimed at enabling thesociety to appropriately allocate the resources that are scarce aswell as bridging the gap between the buyers and sellers.
Themid-century period saw a shift in the marketing paradigm, achange that led to the overshadowing of the traditional approach. Themid-century period saw the development of new schools of thoughtincluding marketing systems, macro marketing exchange, marketingmanagement, and consumer behavior and marketing history. Thebroadening of the marketing paradigm in the 1970s saw the emergenceof the modern schools of marketing thought and practice. This wasdriven by the broadening in the paradigm in the schools of consumerbehavior, marketing management and marketing exchange, a fact thathas seen the further emergence of related and conflicting marketingthoughts and practice in the 21stcentury (Wilkieand Moore, 2003).
Lusch(2007) argues that there are many different definitions of whatmarketing is. He argues that the definition of marketing has changedover time with the changing practices involved in marketing. Duringthe early periods of marketing, production was restricted to homes.The shift of production practices from homes to factories led tospecialization in production as well as the market place. At thispoint, marketing was aimed at reducing the separateness that existedbetween production and consumption. Lusch (2007) further states thatduring the early stages of marketing as an academic course, marketingit was offered under different names. Marketing could be offeredunder trade, commerce or distribution depending on the institutionsoffering the course.
Marketingis a very important aspect of many modern businesses. Not only doesit play an important role in enhancing communication between theorganization and its customers, but it also makes it possible for theorganization to identify the needs of its clients and actaccordingly. Formulation and implementation of a successful marketingstrategy requires well trained personnel in the field. This is themain reason why studying of marketing is important. The study ofmarketing equips students with the necessary skills required to makeit possible for marketing to effectively play its organizational andcommunal roles. In the current economic environment, no organizationcan afford to ignore the importance of marketing. This growingimportance of marketing and increased demand for qualified marketingpersonnel is another reason why the study of marketing is important.
Marketingpractice and thought has gained more importance over the past years,a fact that has seen it being studied as an independent academicdiscipline. The entry of scholars from other fields such aspsychology has led to the broadening of marketing thought andpractice. Dominant thinking from scholars such as Kotler and Levy hasled to the broadening of the marketing schools. Broadening of themarketing paradigm has also led to the expansion of the marketingboundaries. As opposed to focusing only on business activities,marketing practice and thought has expanded to encompass otheraspects of the social life (Downess and Palmers, 2010). It is thusimportant for it to be studied since it forms an important aspect ofthe modern society.
Thestudy of marketing is beneficial to both the society and theorganizations. To the organizations, it offers a pool of well trainedemployees who form an important part of driving the organization’ssales and profits. This competent pool of employees plays asignificant role in coming up with strategies that connect theorganization to consumers. The continued importance of marketing tobusiness sales and profitability has seen more firms seeking outcompetent and skilled marketing personnel. Studying of marketingprepares one for possible career opportunities in the business world.This is important to the society as it increases the possibility ofindividuals getting employment. The importance of marketing to thesociety goes beyond preparing individuals for careers in the businessworld. Sharma (2012) points out that marketing also makes it possiblefor the society to be supplied with commodities that match theirpreferences and tastes.
Marketingas a discipline is crucial in providing firms with importantinformation about its competitors, prices and quality of itsproducts, which in turn helps the firms adjust their strategies andpolicies accordingly. Through advertisement and promotionalactivities, marketing helps firms realize bigger profit margins. Thisis achieved through the increased demand marketing processes createdand decreased cost of distribution (Sharma, 2012). Apart from that,marketing is also required by firms for decision making and planning.As opposed to the traditional approach in which a firm’s productionwas based on its production capacity, the production approachcurrently employed by firms is based on sales forecast. This showsthat marketing decisions have a direct impact on other decisions madeby the firm, including finance decisions, production decisions andplanning (Jain and Jain, 2014). The study Marketing is thereforenecessary as it enables organizations to have qualified employees whocan collect market information, which in turn facilitates the makingappropriate decisions by the firms.
Companiesin the 21stcentury continue to face many challenges, some of which includeincreased competition and the need to ensure sustainability in theirproduction processes. To ensure that they improve and maintain theircustomer base and market position, firms come up with differentmarketing strategies aimed at countering these challenges. The needfor sustainable production processes is driven by climate change aswell as increasing costs of energy. These have driven many companiesto implement sustainability strategies, whose impact on the firm’sprofitability can be adverse. For most organizations, maintainingprofitability while becoming sustainable has proved to be one of themajor challenges. Increased competition has given rise to a newchallenge to businesses which is unreasonable expectations on theside of customers. Customer expectations are continuously increasing,with customers judging businesses with regard to how they meet theirexpectations as opposed to how the business has improved. Meetingthese increased expectations has proved to be another importantchallenge that businesses in the 21stcentury face. A shift in attitudes among the different generationshas also proved to be challenging to modern businesses. Meeting thedifferent needs of different generations has been difficult over thepast years due to the changing attitudes.
Toensure that the businesses continue to thrive in this era full of newchallenges, businesses employ different marketing strategies. Amarketing strategy analyses all the important aspects of the sellingactivities of a business. It ensures that different marketingactivities as well as different business departments are in supportof each other. By utilizing effective marketing strategies,businesses can ensure that the products and services they produce andoffer have a high probability of making huge profits for thebusiness. Marketplace research forms the start of a marketingstrategy. This enables the firm to collect information about itscompetitors, customer expectations and prices, which in turn enablethe firm to fine-tune its product to meet the market conditions. Additionally, marketing strategy is important in assisting acompany’s marketing communication. Strategic marketing plan makesit possible for a business to create and establish a brand image thatwould best reflect its mission and vision. A marketing strategy isalso important in creating a positive organizational impact. Itstreamlines the activities carried out by different departments,since they will be relying on the same plan. This in turn helps thecompany develop a competitive edge over its rivals. According to SDirection (2006), companies that utilize an effective marketingstrategy gain a competitive edge over those that don’t.
Marketsegmentation makes it possible for marketing strategies that are moreefficient than the less focused strategies to be designed andimplemented. Segmentation could be defined as grouping of customersinto entities with similar probability of purchasing an item the samemarketing mix is applied to them (Lantos, 2010). The number of lowcost airlines has been on the rise. These companies utilize marketsegmentation and target groups of customers who have the sameprobability of using cheaper means of air-travel. The emergence ofthe low-cost airlines has led to stiff competition in the aviationindustry. Low-cost airlines utilize a price based marketing strategyin order to attract a certain segment of customers. The presence oflow cost carriers in the aviation industry has had an impact on theprices of tickets at the low, median and high-end tickets.Traditionalcompanies have seen the need to lower their prices in order tocontinue attracting customers.
Lowcost airlines that have already established themselves also face anumber of challenges that include continued competition from newentrants into the market and adapting to the environmental changes inthe aviation industry. There are a number of factors that havecontributed to the growing competitiveness of the low cost airlines.This includes an unfocused connection with airports and astandardized offer in which the passengers are not separatedaccording to class. Additionally, low cost carriers lack customerloyalty plans, which is aimed at reducing the extra costs associatedwith the most loyal customers. Apart from that, low cost airlinesutilize the maximum utilization strategy, with the internet and othertechnologies being used for a number of services. Additionally, mostof low cost carriers use secondary carriers in order to reduce thetime spent on stoppage. They also focus on staff training in orderfor the staff’s productivity to be optimized as much as possible.The flight services offered by low cost carriers are built around acertain demographic. These targeted customers have a fullunderstanding of the value of what they pay for.
Thekey environmental problem that most low cost carriers face is thenoise pollution that is brought about by aircrafts. Additionally, theairports utilized by these aircrafts generate a number of problemsthat include urban sprawls and traffic problems. High fuel costs andhigh taxes have also led to changes in the aviation industry. Ticketprices across all airlines have increased. Despite the increase inticket prices, low cost airlines continue to offer services that arenot customer oriented. On the other hand, customers have become moresensitive about the service delivery by these carriers. The low costairlines are thus faced with the challenge of ensuring that theymaintain their customers.
Otherenvironmental challenges that low cost carriers face includeefficient optimizing of capacity, security and safety in a period ofincreased terrorism activities, conflicting regulations as well aspolicy and development of more efficient systems and technologies. Itis a requirement for all commercial carriers to meet theinternational civil aviation organization’s set standards for noiseemission. Some of the strategies the organization has proposed tominimize noise pollution include operating restrictions, reduction ofnoise produced by aircrafts at source, land use planning andmanagement among others. These and other challenges that low costaircrafts face have had an impact on their operations. There is needfor low cost carriers to re-look at their marketing strategies sinceit is the most viable way through which the current challenges can beaddressed.
Fora small business to be successfully run, information about thebusiness’s customers, competitors and the industry in general needsto be collected. This information plays an important to smallbusinesses including identifying the sales opportunity, reduce therisks associated with the business and identify the current andpossible challenges in the industry. This information aboutcompetitors, the industry and customers also enable the business tocome up with an appropriate pricing strategy. The price settingstrategy is specifically tricky for businesses that are introducing anew product into the market since information on competitors and theindustry may be hard to come across (Kotler and Armstrong, 2004).
Fora business introducing a new product, it is also necessary to conductmarket research in order to identify other products that may offercompetition and in order to identify the attitude of consumerstowards the product. This information is important as it makes itpossible for the business to adopt a pricing strategy that would bestmeet the expectations of consumers and be able to compete with theprices offered by competitors. Havaldar (2005) points out that thereare two pricing strategies that new product businesses can utilize,namely market skimming pricing and penetration strategy. Thepenetration strategy offers a low initial price, after which thebusiness can alter the price after the product gains wider acceptanceand penetration into the market. The price skimming strategy offershigh initial price, after which the business cuts the prices. Anexample of the price skimming strategy is when Apple decided to slashthe prices of iPhones by over 30% 6 months after the company firstintroduced them.
Marketresearch enables businesses to identify the right pricing strategy toadopt. If the research identifies the presence of establishedcompetitors and indicates that the acceptability and penetrationlevel of the product would be low, the penetration pricing strategycan be employed. A business would increase its price or lower itfurther depending on the future levels of the product penetration.The price skimming strategy can be employed if the researchidentifies a certain market segment in which the product can easilyestablish itself as the brand of choice and in which competition isrelatively low. The firm may then choose to increase or lower theprices depending on the sales and demand levels, level of competitionamong other factors.
Marketingresearch provides the marketing manager with the information requiredto link them with the consumers and the customers. This informationis important in decision making as it enables the managers to come tothe right conclusion about the services and products that are ofgreat value to the customers. It thus follows that marketing managersneed research since it provides the information and directionnecessary in decision making. Marketing research is important as itmakes it possible for various estimations such as the market size andnature of competition to be made. Additionally, it providesinformation on theviability of market that an entity wishes toenter.
Priceand demand are directly related. Businesses are able to know whatprices to change by looking at the demand of the said product. Anincrease in demand calls for an increase in the price of the saidcommodity. When the product a business deals in is available inlimited supply in the market, a higher price should be set in orderfor the business to attain high profits. The Levels of demand andsupply in a market can only be known through market research. Byanalyzing the product’s position and the business’s position inthe market, owners of small business are also able to know whataspects of price to change. Other factors that impact the pricingstrategy include the cost of production as well as taxation. Forbusinesses that are introducing new products in the market, a marketresearch on the cost of production and taxes would enable managementto reach the appropriate price decision.
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