Marketing is often short changed in many businesses, especially SME businesses.
What I mean by that is that many people don’t fully understand the full scope of marketing in a business.
All too often marketing is seen as a simple promotions or advertising exercise… for example billboard advertising, Google Adwords advertising and so on.
Don’t misunderstand, these tasks do come under the umbrella of marketing, but marketing is so much more than that.
What You Will Learn
• What is marketing management
• The Marketing Management Process
Marketing Management – A Definition
So, marketing occurs whenever one party has something it would like to exchange with another.
For example, in the past I’ve exchanged cash for a new phone.
Marketing management is simply the process that helps these exchanges happen.
Being more specific, marketing management is a process of analysing, planning, implementing, coordinating, and controlling programmes involving the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of goods, services, and ideas designed to create and maintain beneficial exchanges with target markets for the purpose of achieving organisational objectives.
Quite a sentence, eh?
Marketing involves so much, from before the product was even conceived, to the actual finished product hitting the customers’ hand.
And to manage marketing effectively, we should follow ‘The Marketing Management Process’.
The Marketing Management Process
The diagram above, highlights the major decisions and activities involved in the marketing management process.
It is split into five sections, and I’ll go through each of them separately.
Integrating Marketing Plans With Company Strategies
The process starts by ‘Integrating Marketing Plans With Company Strategies’.
Now the essence of all strategic planning at all levels is identifying threats to avoid, and opportunities to pursue.
The marketing strategy should work hand in hand with the overall corporate and business level strategies of the company, working together to achieve the desired outcomes.
Market Opportunity Analysis
Once we know our strategies to follow, the process move on to ‘Market Opportunity Analysis’.
Its here where we need to look at the markets and industries as a whole, and select the markets and industries that are most attractive to our entry.
We have to understand consumer buying behaviour, why is it the consumer buys?
We carry out market research and forecasting tasks, which help us segment the market and then target these markets effectively.
Following which, we know more about our customers and are able to position our offering towards them.
Marketing Programme Components
The ‘Marketing Programmes Components’ section of the process, considers the well known 4P’s of marketing (The Marketing Mix)… Product, Price, Place (distribution) and Promotion.
Its here we consider all decisions relating to the 4Ps, considering each individually and in great detail.
Examples of things I would want answering relating to product decisions would be… how the product will be designed to give it a chance to win sustainable competitive advantage, and how will the product deliver the benefits and value promised in the positioning statement of value proposition?
When it comes to pricing decisions we need to determine a price that captures a fair share of the value customers receive from a product, without violating the constraints imposed by its strategic objectives, cost structure and competitive environment.
Distribution decisions involves getting your product from your manufacturing plant, and into the customers hands… covering the institutions to include in your distribution channel… merchant wholesalers, agent middlemen, retailers and/or facilitating agents.
Finally promotion decisions centre around who should marketing messages be directed towards, how to inform target customers of your product, what media to use, and so on.
Strategic Marketing Programmes For Selected Situations
Every product has a life cycle and depending on where you product sits within its life cycle, determines an appropriate strategy.
Considerations will also include is your company a pioneer of the product, or a follower.
Understanding this will help you choose a strategy, that will give you most chance of being successful… and this is important for EVERY business of EVERY size.
It allows you to allocate your resources in the most effective way, to ensure you get the biggest bang for your bucks!
Implementation And Control
As with anything, one your have your plans and strategies finalised, you need to implement then and ensure they are being controlled.
This final part of the process helps managers consider how effectively do this.
It’s no use having the best plans when you start out, only for you and your team to not carry these plans out as required.
Time is wasted and opportunity is missed.
Therefore, we need to ensure we have a solid implementation and control plan, which will help things become a reality.
What’s more, a solid control process will help you highlight problem areas quickly… helping you re-adjust and adapt to unexpected happenings.
To Wrap Things Up
As I said at the very beginning, marketing is so much more than simple advertising and promotions… and unfortunately, the full function of marketing is ignored by most businesses.
To give your business the best chance of success, whether large or small, is to follow the marketing management process.
This ensures that you are considering all aspect of marketing in your business… and ensures you are following a proven process, that will take your business forward.
My online course ‘Business Level Marketing’ covers every aspect of the Marketing Management Process, and is solid for any entrepreneur, business professional, or someone wanting to develop their skills.
Don’t make the mistake that other companies worldwide make, get control of your marketing and follow the marketing management process.