Category Archives: Sales & Distribution

Jobs and Careers in Marketing

Marketing Management is a discipline focused on the practical application of marketing techniques and the management of a firm’s marketing resources and activities for the purpose of creating a demand for the firm’s products for selling the same.

The term “marketing” as it is known now, was coined in the early 1930s by the American Marketing Association presidential address. While manufacturing was then the focus in business, a subsequent need was recognized to sell what was getting manufactured more efficiently in existing markets. While marketing management as a discipline of research and application has seen waves of changes in key strategic inclination and focus, the core has somewhat remained unchanged.

So what draws most of the marketing professionals to this discipline?

  1. First, it is theoretically very easy. The technicalities are somewhat lesser than many other super-hyped fields like Finance or Technology
  2. A lot depends on the quick thinking of the marketer. Understanding and having a good business acumen is an added bonus.
  3. The careers and jobs are promising yet offer dynamic changes to every professional, suitable to satisfy a broad variety of needs. Not everyone is cut-out for every job. Understanding job requirements as a fit with one’s personality type is a must for the sustained growth of every professional.
  4. It offers choices for career shifts industry wise and role wise, must for every professional, if one faces a mid career crisis.
  5. Last, and most excitingly, it offers a track to reach the coveted “CEO” position in the organization. Most top executives have a background in marketing, if not all.

So what roles do traditional marketing roles get you into?

Jobs in marketing can vary a lot. However, besides traditional paths in sales and marketing, there are many other roles in marketing, a list of which is prepared below:

  1. Business Development in Information Technology and Services companies (like jobs in IBM, Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Amazon)
  2. Market Research institutions ( e.g. like jobs in AC Nielson, IMRB )
  3. Consumer goods manufacturing institutions in marketing, sales, branding, strategy (higher in the organization) like jobs in Unilever, Procter & Gamble or in jobs in the FMCG sector.
  4. Consumer durables manufacturing companies in marketing, sales, branding, strategy (higher in the organization) like jobs in Sony, Apple, Toshiba
  5. Product management and even in development in research labs (like jobs in 3M)
  6. Need recognition of markets yet to be created (like jobs in MR divisions in MNCs like Tata Group, 3M)
  7. Retail chain management (both marketing, sales and supply chain functions are sometimes merged) like jobs in Wallmart, K-Mart, Reliance Fresh.
  8. Social sector and NGOs. Even social marketing is a major concern in current fast paced societies.
  9. Internet marketing service professional: You may start marketing websites as a SEO expert.
  10. Affiliate marketing professional: Create your own chain of hierarchy and get the benefits of the sales from it. E.G. Make money from tweeting and making friends join you in the same using MyLikes

I hope the choices helped you out in your search for a career in marketing. By the way, do you know about the top career choices trending globally now?  Choosing a career which won’t stagnate too soon is extremely crucial for sustainable professional growth.

http://business-fundas.com/2010/100-fastest-growing-careers/

The 8 Ps of Services Marketing

Services are radically different from products and need to be marketed very differently. So the classical 4 P structure of the Marketing Mix needs to be modified suitably to incorporate the 8 Ps for services marketing, which was previously known as the 7 Ps only.

Services can range from financial services provided by the banks to technology services provided by the IT company or hospitality services provided by hotels and restaurants or even a blog where an author provides a service (information presentation, interesting reading etc) to his audience. Services marketing are dominated by the 7 Ps of marketing namely Product, Price,  Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical evidence.

To know more in details about the classical 7 Ps of services marketing do visit our article on The 7 Ps of services marketing

While everyone knows about the 7 Ps of services marketing, the 8th P of Services Marketing has emerged in research very recently. The 8th P is Productivity and Quality.

In integral services management, improving productivity is a requisite in cost management; but quality, as defined by the customer, is essential for a service to differentiate itself from other providers.

It has been recognized that overall profitability of a firm may be greatly impacted by focusing on not only at the top-line by improving sales but also focusing on the bottom-line by lowering over-all cost of delivering services. In services management, often the variable costs are a lot more than fixed costs, and so incremental costs, if managed properly can have a huge impact on productivity. So for services, a firm may greatly benefit through proper re-engineering of processes and remodeling the same if required to improve productivity at each stage.

It has also been established in research that process improvements deliver better standardization and hence better quality in services. Quality perception is a crucial differentiating factor on services management and for long term sustainability of the same. Business Process Remodeling can lead to major process efficiency improvements which again can impact overall quality as is actually delivered by the firm and is also perceived by the customers / clientele .

8-Ps

Do let us know if you liked our article or if you have any questions.

By the way, have you read our article on the 4 P’s on Social Marketing?

Also did you read our article on the The 4 P’s of Marketing – The Marketing Mix strategies from which the 7 P Marketing Mix theory actually evolves?

The 7S for Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing is basically promotion of brands using all available forms of digital advertising media to reach the target segment. In current marketing media, the popular media includes Radio, mobile, Internet, Television, social media marketing and other less popular forms of digital media like Digital Signage, Digital bill boards, etc. Typically theories on internet marketing are quite contrastting to the popular theories of marketing in BaU marketing.

Check out our article on Digital Marketing – Theories, Strategies and Frameworks

One of the popular approaches for marketing in the digital era is the 7 S approach. The 7 S approach has been developed by McKinsey and is one of the robust approaches for systematically planning a digital marketing blueprint. The 7 S for Digital Marketing typically is the way resources for a digital marketing strategy is systematically utilized.

  • Strategy: Does the strategy fit with the vision and mission of your organization? In short, does the strategy gets aligned with the very reason for the firm to exist in the first place? This important for the alignment of strategic intent with actionable ploys.
  • Shared values: Does the strategy go hand in hand with the shared values of not only your target customer segment but also of that of the implementers? This critically examines the shared value (or often called the DNA of an organizations)  and maps its alignment with the targeted blueprint.
  • Structure: Does your organizational structure support adaptations to changes in environment in response to your campaign? This typically addresses the organizational design which will allow the conversion of actionable strategic intent into actionable strategic proactive or reactitive implementation.
  • Skill: Do you have the suitable skilled workforce to carry out the campaign successfully? This systematically addresses the access to vital in-house or systematically acquired human resouces which post deployment would create competitive advantage by converting people resource into output specific units of consumable items.
  • Staff: Are your staff equipped to deliver your strategy (location wise, access to technical resources)? This becomes important in the era of geographic dispersion among teams where virtual workforces often drive the implementation of a firm’s business strategy. Ubiquity is a critical dimension of the success factors of such an approach.
  • Style: Does the campaign thematically fit with the style of your other campaigns? This again is an input that looks into alignment of ploys with the long term strategy of the firm. The critical dimension that is evaluated is the alignment of micro-steps in a process blueprint with the larger well defined scope of such a blue print.
  • Systems: Do you have systems in place to carry out the campaign? Is there technical support for your advertising campaigns and marketing plans? This again looks into the mapping of technology, process and people that can help a firm successfully exploit the power of the integrated digital web. It in an internal analysis of the process centric view of the firm.

Hope this clears up the 7S of Digital Marketing. Hope this helps your company to chalk out a successful digital marketing program. Do let us know what you think of the article, with your valuable comments.

Have you read our article on the 4 P’s on Social Marketing? Also did you read our article on the The 4 P’s of Marketing – The Marketing Mix strategies? Do let us know what you think about the integration of these theories.

The 4 P’s of Marketing – The Marketing Mix strategies

The term “marketing mix” was coined in the early 1950s by Neil Borden in his American Marketing Association presidential address. This is one of the preliminary knowledge every marketer must have and is considered to be the basics of every marketing theory, which emerged henceforth. Many business degree programs such as devry online degrees include this within their curriculum.

The basic major marketing management decisions can be classified in one of the following four categories, namely Product, Price, Place (distribution) and Promotion.

Product: It is the tangible object or an intangible service that is getting marketed through the program. Tangible products may be items like consumer goods (Toothpaste, Soaps, Shampoos) or consumer durables (Watches, IPods). Intangible products are service based like the tourism industry and information technology based services or codes-based products like cellphone load and credits. Product design which leads to the product attributes is the most important factor. However packaging also needs to be taken into consideration while deciding this factor. Every product is subject to a life-cycle including a growth phase followed by an eventual period of decline as the product approaches market saturation. To retain its competitiveness in the market, continuous product extensions though innovation and thus differentiation is required and is one of the strategies to differentiate a product from its competitors.

Price: The price is the simply amount a customer pays for the product. If the price outweigh the perceived benefits for an individual, the perceived value of the offering will be low and it will be unlikely to be adopted, but if the benefits are perceived as greater than their costs, chances of trial and adoption of the product is much greater.

Place: Place represents the location where a product can be purchased. It is often referred to as the distribution channel. This may include any physical store (supermarket, departmental stores) as well as virtual stores (e-markets and e-malls) on the Internet. This is crucial as this provides the place utility to the consumer, which often becomes a deciding factor for the purchase of many products across multiple product categories.

Promotion: This represents all of the communications that a marketer may use in the marketplace to increase awareness about the product and its benefits to the target segment. Promotion has four distinct elements: advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion. A certain amount of crossover occurs when promotion uses the four principal elements together (e.g in film promotion). Sales staff often play a major role in promotion of a product.

So how does a marketer strategize to attain success in a marketing program, using these 4 P’s?

Do let us know if you liked our article or if you have any questions.

Have you read our article on the 4 Cs of Marketing Mix?

Also did you read our article on the 7 P’s of Services Marketing?

These articles are highly popular posts in our educative blog.

Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid – Marketing Strategies

Economically speaking, the “Bottom of the Pyramid” is the largest and also the poorest socio-economic class of people across economies. This consumer segment consists of 2.5 billion people who live on less than 2.50 dollar per day. The phrase “bottom of the pyramid” is used in particular by people developing new models of doing business that deliberately target that demographic, often using new technology. This segment of consumers have also been referred to as the “Base of the Pyramid” or more commonly the “BoP”.  This consumer segment has drawn the attention of the biggest marketing firms due to the sheer earning potentials from volumes of sales with low margins.

The consumers at the bottom of the pyramid have a very distinct buying behavior as opposed to the other consumers. While the rest of the consumer segment derive value from products through 3 sources, namely attribute based satisfaction, consequence based satisfaction and finally, goal based satisfaction,  it is our belief that the consumers at the BoP derive value / satisfaction mostly from the innermost ring or the first level/source of satisfaction. Because of their spending ability, this class of consumers tend to be very conscious about the core benefits obtained from the purchase of any product or services.The probability is high for success of products which fulfill the attributes of the lower bases of the consumer need model provided below.

While every the most profitable consumer segment in current economic times is the youth within the age gap of 20 – 30, commonly called the twentysumthing, the sheer volume of possible purchases in this consumer segment has become a focus for marketers. While every product offers benefits to its consumers not only from its core attributes, but also from its fringe attributes (benefits from outer levels), this class predominantly derives maximum satisfaction from the core attributes of products only. Product extensions and ego-based attributes have little impact on the consumption and buying behavior of this consumer segment, who would in fact, perceive the extra benefits as being something, they are having to shell out quite a bit extra, even if the marketing firm does not charge for them. While “extras” in the product marketing mix may consist of other value adding product extensions, care needs to be taken while deciding on the basket of goods for such consumers. Thus the probability is high for success of products which fulfill the attributes of the lower bases of the consumer need model provided below, namely which fulfill the physiological need and the security needs the most.

Pricing strategies also play a major role for the success of marketing strategies in such a consumer segment. While place and promotion offer very meager sources of value or utility, a low pricing of products is often a mantra for easy acceptance on a new product introduction. Price premiums are not easily tolerable in this highly sensitive value-sensitive consumer segment. Thus it has been seen that companies rage low-price war to capture the market of this segment, and many success stories which have been glorified are that of Nirma cake soap, Tata Namak, and other brands which churned billions of dollar by targeting this segment.

Bringing home the Digits with Digital Signage

Digital signage is on a meteoric rise, both in Europe and the US. Originally utilized as branding and advertising on high streets, landmark sites and sports events, digital signage is now being utilized as a successful in-store marketing tool; revolutionizing retail and providing a whole new dimension to customers’ shopping experience.

Research in 2007 indicated that around 75 % of retail purchasing decisions were made in store, highlighting how underused digital signage was in relation to a marketing opportunity. Yet the Return on Investment (ROI) figures have been increasing every year, highlighting that there is still room for improvement for retailers keen to employ digital signage to its full potential. In 2009, a Digicom survey found that 78 percent of customers felt that in-store digital signage displays made a particular product more attractive than if it was advertised via standard print signage.

Current figures demonstrate that on average, digital signage solutions deliver an 18 percent increase in sales. This figure is substantial when, on average, only two in every 100 consumers make a purchase in an ordinary retail environment. It is not surprise then that in Europe, digital signage installations are set to rise by a whopping 144 percent over the next three years. According to a new survey by POPAI, this figure doesn’t look like slowing after 2013 either.
With this swift growth in mind many of the industry’s top protagonists will meet at the Next Generation Retail Europe event (hosted by GDS International) in March 2011 to discuss the importance and growing various types of digital signage. Among the high-profile retailers in attendance will be Giorgio Armani, Marks & Spencer,  McDonald’s, Tesco, Carrefour, Diesel, Edeka Zentrale, Sainsbury’s and Pearle Europe, who will each send key executives to the meeting to discuss digital screens, interactive kiosk technology and in-store broadcast networks among other discussion points.

“[Retailers have] learned a lot of lessons, says Mike Gatti, Executive Director of the Retail Advertising Marketing Association. “We’re seeing retailers are bringing their screens down to shelf level, they’re embedding them with a lot of products, and they’ve really tailored the messages a lot more so they are able to deliver the message quickly and a lot more effectively to the customer.”

Other issues within the digital signage realm include linking the necessary hardware, software and media players together to promote a continual, uninterrupted campaign, and sustainability, where companies can utilize solid-state players, which help its carbon footprint. All of this and more, will be discussed at the  Next Generation Retail Europe event next March.

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This Article is authored by Jake Mazan, who is a guest author at Business Fundas. He is a Senior Research Analyst cum Manager at NG-Online News.