Marketing Management Chapter 7: Market Segmentation, Positioning, and Branding

For a complete list of all chapters so far, you can visit the Marketing Management Tab on the blog!

Chapter 7: Summary

Markets can be defined in a number of ways, but for a marketer the key definition is in defining who the customer is. Even so, there are different categories: (1) customers, (2) users, and (3) prospects. This categorization leads to the concepts of penetration and brand (market) share.

Within markets, there may be segments, which a producer may target to optimize use of scarce resources. The viability of these segments depends on (1) size, (2) identity, (3) relevance, and (4) access. The identification of market segments requires a number of activities including (1) background investigation, (2) qualitative research, (3) quantitative research, (4) analysis, (5) implementation, and (6) segmentation/positioning. A major aid to positioning is usually offered by two-dimensional maps based on two most critical dimensions identified by statistical analysis.

Branding is the most powerful marketing device for differentiation, which may, in effect, create a near monopoly. Once established, a brand name has a strong brand equity. Branding policies may be based on (1) company name, (2) family branding, and (3) individual branding. These policies may be developed further by brand extensions and multibrands, but this approach may be limited by cannibalism. Co-branding by companies that market complementary products helps fill market segments not met by them individually. Private brands and generic brands are also becoming increasingly important in price-sensitive markets.

Marketing Management Chapter 6: Estimating the Market Demand

For a complete list of all chapters so far, you can visit the Marketing Management Tab on the blog!

Chapter 6: Summary

Forecasts predict what may happen, all other things being equal. Budgets go beyond these forecasts to incorporate the effects of an organization’s planned actions. Both may be

•     Short term—For capacity loading, information transmission, and control

•     Medium term—For the traditional annual planning process

•     Long term—For strategic planning, resource planning, and communication

Forecasts need to be dynamic. In other words, changes in the environment require modification of forecasts. From them, budgets may be derived at the sales, production, and profit levels.

Forecasting is based on, and derived from, some other data sources; and it is conducted at three different levels. Macroforecasts look at total markets and may be derived from national or global data available from the OECD or the U.S. government. However, the most important aggregate forecast for business is at the market or industry level. Microforecasts build on the predictions of individual or group (customer) behavior. Product forecasts may then be split into forecasts by product type and over time.

There are both qualitative and quantitative forecasting methods. Qualitative forecasting is normally employed for long-term forecasts. Techniques include expert opinion, expert panel method, technological forecasting, Delphi technique, decision tree, and scenario.

Quantitative forecasting techniques for short- and medium-term typically try to isolate the trend, cyclical, seasonal, and random fluctuations. The specific techniques used may be period actuals and percent changes, exponential smoothing, time-series analyses, multiple regression analysis, and more complex econometric modeling. Various leading indicators are also readily available from government sources to forecast the short- to medium-term conditions of the market. Although most forecasting techniques ignore the competitors’ possible reaction to one company’s competitive move, game theory is gaining popularity in recent years to address the likely impact of the competitors’ moves in forecasting.

With the widespread use of personal computers, spreadsheets have become a useful forecasting tool to model many hypothetical “what if” scenarios. By developing many scenarios, you can determine which factors are sensitive to changes in the conditions under investigation.

The primary role of forecasting is risk reduction. You should note that risk can also be reduced by purchasing insurance against unfavorable events, diversifying into a portfolio of different products and markets, or adopting flexible manufacturing to better cope with unexpected changes in the market. Finally, thanks to Internet use, many companies, emphasizing the needs of the customers with an ability to satisfy and serve them quickly and efficiently, have begun to adopt the “build to order” model of sales fulfillment with no forecasting error rather than the traditional “build to forecast” model.

Marketing Management Chapter 5: Marketing Research and Information

Chapter 5: Summary

This chapter explored the search for information about the customer and the market. This constitutes the listening part of the marketing dialogue. Marketing research is also needed to assist managers in the decision-making process and to analyze organizational performance. To be viable, however, the benefits derived from marketing research need to exceed the cost of conducting such research.

A systematic research approach will lead to the development of a Market Information System (MIS) that contains information both internal and external to the firm. Important internal data sources are performance analyses, sales reports and employees’ ongoing experience. The more data the intelligence system receives and the more precisely the system can process the available data, the better it can serve the manager. It is therefore important to develop ways of entering nonnumerical reports, such as accounts from a sales conversation or information about customer interests. New technology can enable an MIS to alter communication and decision structures within a firm but also requires careful planning of information distribution and retention.

External information can be derived from either secondary or primary data. Secondary data, collected in response to someone else’s questions, are obtained through desk research and are available quickly and at a low cost. Main sources of secondary data are internal databases, libraries, directories, newsletters, commercial information providers, trade associations, and electronic information services. To ensure their usefulness, the researcher must determine the quality of the data source, the quality of the actual data, and the compatibility of the data with information requirements. Primary data are collected directly on behalf of a specific research project. Typical ways of obtaining such data are through syndicated research—such as retail audits, panel research, or omnibus surveys—and custom research.

The first step of primary marketing research is to clearly define the objectives to ensure the usefulness of the research. Next, the research level needs to be decided. Exploratory research helps mainly in identifying problems, descriptive research provides information about existing market phenomena, and causal research sheds light on the relationships between market factors. The research approach then determines whether qualitative or quantitative data will be collected. Observation, in-depth interviews, and focus groups are primary techniques to yield qualitative data, which may be very insightful but are not fully generalizable and cannot be analyzed statistically. Quantitative data overcome these problems but require the systematic collection of large numbers of data. Experimentation and survey research are the primary research tools. Good survey research must concentrate on question design and structure to elicit useful responses. Data can then be collected by mail (postal mail or e-mail), by using online applications e.g. SurveryMonkey, by telephone, or in-person after an appropriate sample frame is constructed. The data need to be analyzed with appropriate techniques to make the data set comprehensible, insightful, and useful for management. This usefulness is at the heart of the research report, which in essence is a communication process persuading recipients to use the information.

Marketing Management: 4th Edition Available Now!

Featured

Hello! I have very pleased to announce the publication of Marketing Management: 4th Edition with the help of Springer Publishing. I would like to give a special thank-you to Masaaki Kotabe, Demetris Vrontis, and Riad Shams for their collaboration.

Over the coming weeks, I will be releasing promotional summaries of the chapters of Marketing Management right here on this page. You can look for new Marketing Management posts every Wednesday!

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book and would like it signed, please contact me. For purchasing, please visit https://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783030669157

International Logistics, Part 1: Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management encompasses the planning and mangement of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and logistics. It also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third party serivice providers, and customers. In essence, supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies.

Advances in information technology have been crucial to progress in supply chain management. Consider the example of Gestamp (Spain’s leading supplier of metal components for car manufacturers), which used electronic data interchange technology to many reports increased manufacturing productivity, reduced investment needs, increased efficiency of the billing process, and led to a lower rate of logistic errors across the supply process after implementing a supply chain system. Globalization has opened up supplier’s ability to provide satisfying goods and services will play the most critical role in securing long-term contracts. In addition, the physical delivery of goods often can be old-fashioned and slow. Nevertheless, the use of such strategic tools will be crucial for international managers to develop and maintain key competitive advantages. An overview of the international supply chain is shown below:

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