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Marketing strategy has the fundamental goal of increasing sales and achieving a sustainable competitive advantage. Marketing strategy includes all basic, short-term, and long-term activities in the field of marketing that deal with the analysis of the strategic initial situation of a company and the formulation, evaluation and selection of market-oriented strategies that contribute to the goals of the company and its marketing objectives. Marketing strategies cover everything from Pay per click, search engine marketing, public relations (PR), Engineering with Marketing & the much more.
Developing a marketing strategy
Strategic planning begins with a scan of the business environment, both internal and external, this includes understanding strategic constraints. An understanding of the external operating environment, including political, economic, social and technological which includes demographic and cultural aspects, is necessary for the identification of business opportunities and threats. This analysis is called PEST, it stand for Political, Economic, Social and Technological. A number of variants of the PEST analysis can be identified in literature, including: PESTLE analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental); STEEPLE (adds ethics); STEEPLED (adds demographics) and STEER (adds regulatory).
The aim of the PEST analysis is to identify opportunities and threats in the wider operating environment. Firms try to leverage opportunities while trying to buffer themselves against potential threats. Basically, the PEST analysis guides strategic decision-making. The main elements of the PEST analysis are:
Political: political interventions with the potential to disrupt or enhance trading conditions e.g. government statutes, policies, funding or subsidies, support for specific industries, trade agreements, tax rates and fiscal policy.
Economic: economic factors with the potential to affect profitability and the prices that can be charged, such as, economic trends, inflation, exchange rates, seasonality and economic cycles, consumer confidence, consumer purchasing power and discretionary incomes.
Social: social factors that affect demand for products and services, consumer attitudes, tastes and preferences like demographics, social influencers, role models, shopping habits.
Technological: Innovation, technological developments or breakthroughs that create opportunities for new products, improved production processes or new ways of transacting business e.g. new materials, new ingredients, new machinery, new packaging solutions, new software and new intermediaries.
When carrying out a PEST analysis, planners and analysts may consider the operating environment at three levels, namely the supranational; the national and subnational or local level. As businesses become more globalized, they may need to pay greater attention to the supranational level.
In addition to the PEST analysis, firms carry out a Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis. A SWOT analysis identifies:
Strengths: distinctive capabilities, competencies, skills or assets that provide a business or project with an advantage over potential rivals; internal factors that are favourable to achieving company objectives
Weaknesses: internal deficiencies that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to rivals; or deficiencies that prevent an entity from moving in a new direction or acting on opportunities. internal factors that are unfavourable to achieving company objectives
Opportunities: elements in the environment that the business or project could exploit to its advantage
Threats: elements in the environment that could erode the firm's market position; external factos that prevent or hinder an entity from moving in a desired direction or achieveing its goals
After setting the goals marketing strategy or marketing plan should be developed. This is an explanation of what specific actions will be taken over time to achieve the objectives. Plans can be extended to cover many years, with sub-plans for each year. Although, as the speed of change in the merchandising environment quickens, time horizons are becoming shorter. Ideally, strategies are both dynamic and interactive, partially planned and partially unplanned. To enable a firm to react to unforeseen developments while trying to keep focused on a specific pathway, a longer time frame is preferred. There are simulations such as customer lifetime value models which can help marketers conduct "what-if" analyses to forecast what might happen based on possible actions, and gauge how specific actions might affect such variables as the revenue-per-customer and the churn rate. Strategies often specify how to adjust the marketing mix; firms can use tools such as Marketing Mix Modeling to help them decide how to allocate scarce resources for different media, as well as how to allocate funds across a portfolio of brands. In addition, firms can conduct analyses of performance, customer analysis, competitor analysis, and target market analysis. A key aspect of marketing strategy is often to keep marketing consistent with a company's overarching mission statement.
Marketing strategy should not be confused with a marketing objective or mission. For example, a goal may be to become the market leader, perhaps in a specific niche; a mission may be something along the lines of "to serve customers with honor and dignity"; in contrast, a marketing strategy describes how a firm will achieve the stated goal in a way which is consistent with the mission, perhaps by detailed plans for how it might build a referral network. Strategy varies by type of market. A well-established firm in a mature market will likely have a different strategy than a start-up. Plans usually involve monitoring, to assess progress, and prepare for contingencies if problems arise.
A target market is a group of customers within the serviceable available market that a business has decided to aim its marketing efforts towards. A well-defined target market is the first element of a marketing strategy. Product, price, promotion, and place are the four elements of a marketing mix strategy that determine the success of a product or service in the marketplace. It is proven that a business must have a clear definition of its target market as this can help it reach its target consumers and analyze their needs and suitability.
A target market is a group of people considered likely to buy a product or service and that has been selected by an organisation as the focus of its marketing activities. A target market consists of customers that share similar characteristics, such as age, location, income and lifestyle.
Target markets can be separated into primary and secondary target markets. Primary target markets are those market segments to which marketing efforts are primarily directed and secondary markets are smaller or less important. For instance, the primary target market for a jewellery store might be middle aged women who care about fashion, and their secondary target market could be middle aged men who may want to buy gifts for the women in their lives.
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Demography (from prefix demo- from Ancient Greek d?µ?? demos meaning "the people", and -graphy from ???f? grapho, implies "writing, description or measurement") is the statistical study of populations, especially human beings. As a very general science, it can analyze any kind of dynamic living population, i.e., one that changes over time or space (see population dynamics). Demography encompasses the study of the size, structure, and distribution of these populations, and spatial or temporal changes in them in response to birth, migration, aging, and death. Based on the demographic research of the earth, earth's population up to the year 2050 and 2100 can be estimated by demographers. Demographics are quantifiable characteristics of a given population.
Demographic analysis can cover whole societies or groups defined by criteria such as education, nationality, religion, and ethnicity. Educational institutions usually treat demography as a field of sociology, though there are a number of independent demography departments.
Formal demography limits its object of study to the measurement of population processes, while the broader field of social demography or population studies also analyses the relationships between economic, social, cultural, and biological processes influencing a population.
Science of population
Populations can change through three processes: fertility, mortality, and migration. Fertility involves the number of children that women have and is to be contrasted with fecundity (a woman's childbearing potential). Mortality is the study of the causes, consequences, and measurement of processes affecting death to members of the population. Demographers most commonly study mortality using the Life Table, a statistical device which provides information about the mortality conditions (most notably the life expectancy) in the population.
Migration refers to the movement of persons from a locality of origin to a destination place across some pre-defined, political boundary. Migration researchers do not designate movements 'migrations' unless they are somewhat permanent. Thus demographers do not consider tourists and travellers to be migrating. While demographers who study migration typically do so through census data on place of residence, indirect sources of data including tax forms and labour force surveys are also important.
Demography is today widely taught in many universities across the world, attracting students with initial training in social sciences, statistics or health studies. Being at the crossroads of several disciplines such as sociology, economics, epidemiology, geography, anthropology and history, demography offers tools to approach a large range of population issues by combining a more technical quantitative approach that represents the core of the discipline with many other methods borrowed from social or other sciences. Demographic research is conducted in universities, in research institutes as well as in statistical departments and in several international agencies. Population institutions are part of the Cicred (International Committee for Coordination of Demographic Research) network while most individual scientists engaged in demographic research are members of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, or a national association such as the Population Association of America in the United States, or affiliates of the Federation of Canadian Demographers in Canada.
A target audience is the intended audience or readership of a publication, advertisement, or other message. In marketing and advertising, it is a particular group of consumers within the predetermined target market, identified as the targets or recipients for a particular advertisement or message. Businesses that have a wide target market will focus on a specific target audience for certain messages to send, such as The Body Shops Mother’s Day advertisements, which were aimed at the children and spouses of women, rather than the whole market which would have included the women themselves.
A target audience is formed from the same factors as a target market, but it is more specific, and is susceptible to influence from other factors. An example of this was the marketing of the USDA’s food guide, which was intended to appeal to young people between the ages of 2 and 18. The factors they had to consider outside of the standard marketing mix included the nutritional needs of growing children, children's knowledge and attitudes regarding nutrition, and other specialized details. This reduced their target market and provided a specific target audience to focus on. Common factors for target audiences may reduce the target market to specifics such as ‘men aged 20-30 years old, living in Auckland, New Zealand’ rather than ‘men aged 20-30 years old’. However, just because a target audience is specialized doesn’t mean the message being delivered will not be of interest and received by those outside the intended demographic. Failures of targeting a specific audience are also possible, and occur when information is incorrectly conveyed. Side effects such as a campaign backfire and ‘demerit goods’ are common consequences of a failed campaign. Demerit goods are goods with a negative social perception, and face the repercussions of their image being opposed to commonly accepted social values.
Defining the difference between a target market and a target audience comes down to the difference between marketing and advertising. In marketing, a market is targeted by business strategies, whilst advertisements and media, such as television shows, music and print media, are more effectively used to appeal to a target audience. A potential strategy to appeal to a target audience would be advertising toys during the morning children’s TV programs, rather than during the evening news broadcast.
Reaching a target audience is a staged process, started by the selection of the sector of the target market. A successful appeal to a target audience requires a detailed media plan, which involves many factors in order to achieve an effective campaign.
Mind share relates generally to the development of consumer awareness or popularity, and is one of the main objectives of advertising and promotion. When people think of examples of a product type or category, they usually think of a limited number of brand names. The aim of mind share is to establish a brand as being one of the best kinds of a given product or service, and to even have the brand name become a synonym for the product or service offered. For example, a prospective buyer of a college education will have several thousand colleges to choose from. However, the evoked set, or set of schools considered, will probably be limited to about ten. Of these ten, the colleges that the buyer is most familiar with will receive the greatest attention.
Marketers and promoters of mind share try to maximize the popularity of their product, so that the brand co-exists with deeper, more empirical categories of objects. Kleenex, for example, can distinguish itself as a type of tissue. But, because it has gained popularity amongst consumers, it is frequently used as a term to identify any tissue, even if it is from a competing brand. Q-tips and band-aids would be other examples of this.
One of the most successful firms to have achieved pervasive mind share is Hoover, whose name has been synonymous with vacuum cleaner in the UK for many decades. Similarly, the term "googling", describing the act of online searching, was derived from the Internet search engine Google; however, since Google remains the world's most popular search engine, it remains to be seen if the term will become generic for all searches.
Popularity can be established to a greater or lesser degree depending on product and market. For example, in the Southern U.S. it is common to hear people refer to any cola-flavored soft drink as a "coke", regardless of whether it is actually produced by Coca-Cola or not.
A legal risk of such popularity is that the name may become so widely accepted that it becomes a generic term and loses trademark protection. Examples include "escalator", "panadol", "chapstick", "tupperware", and "bandaid".
Other objectives of mind share include short or long term increases in sales, market share, product information, and reputation.
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This page was last updated October 21st, 2017 by kim
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