Last updated: May 20, 2019
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1. Introduction

The core element in the marketing mix is the company’s product because this provides the functional requirements sought by customers. For example, a watch that does not tell

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the time or a car that does not start in the morning will rapidly be rejected by consumers.

Marketing managers develop their products into brands that help to create a unique position in the minds of customers. Brand superiority leads to high sales, the ability to

charge price premiums and the power to resist distributor power. Firms attempt to retain their current customers through brand loyalty. Loyal customers are typically less price sensitive, and the presence of a loyal customer base provides the firm with valuable time to respond to competitive actions.1 The management of products and brands is therefore a key factor in marketing success.

A product is anything that is capable of satisfying customer needs. In everyday speech we often distinguish between products and services, with products being tangible (e.g. a car) and services mainly intangible (e.g. a medical examination). However, when we look at what the customer is buying, it is essentially a service whether the means is tangible or intangible. For example, a car provides the service of transportation; a medical examination provides the service of a health check. Consequently, it is logical to include services within the definition of the product. Hence, there are physical products such as a watch, car or gas turbine, or service.

Brands are not often developed in isolation. They normally fall within a company’s product line and mix. A product line is a group of brands that are closely related in terms of their functions and the benefits they provide (e.g. Dell’s range of personal computers or Philips Consumer Electronics line of television sets). The depth of the product line depends upon the pattern of customer requirements (e.g. the number of segments to be found in the market), the product depth being offered by competitors, and company resources. For example, although customers may require wide product variations, a small company may decide to focus on a narrow product line serving only sub-segments of the market.

A product mix is the total set of brands marketed in a company. It is the sum of the

product lines offered. Thus, the width of the product mix can be gauged by the number of

product lines an organization offers. Philips, for example, offers a wide product mix comprising the brands found within its product lines of television, audio equipment, video recorders, camcorders, and so on. Other companies have a much narrower product mix comprising just one product line, such as TVR, which produces high-performance cars. The management of brands and product lines is a key element of product strategy. First, we shall examine the major decisions involved in managing brands—namely the type of brand to market (manufacturer vs own-label), how to build brands, brand name strategies, brand extension and stretching, and the brand acquisition decision. Then we shall look at how to manage brands and product lines over time using the product life cycle concept. Finally, managing brand and product line portfolios will be discussed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Variants

 

A1  A2   A3

Variants

 

B1  B2   B3

Variants

 

C1  C2   C3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Figure 1 Categories, brands and variants

 

The Marketing Mix is one way at looking at an organisation’s marketing activities.  It is like a snap shot of what the company is doing at this time.

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2. Four key macro factors

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The Marketing Mix is made up of 4 parts, which are known as the 4 P’s.

When we looked at the definition of marketing these 4 P’s came up as 4 key words.  Can you remember what they were?

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Although each of these factors are important individually, it is the way in which they are mixed which is crucial to an organization’s success.

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For example a company might have some excellent products on offer but the price might be too high or the promotion is all wrong and customers don’t know about it.

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A company needs to ensure that it has a strong marketing mix, this means that the company will;

×  Provide a product that the customer wants

×  Make sure that the customer can buy the product

×  Charges a price that the customer will want to pay

Promotes it effectively so that the customer knows about it

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Product

In marketing product means the goods and services that a company offers.

When you look at the Product P you need to look at a number of factors

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?Product and service features

The Brand Name

?After sales service

Product Life Cycle

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The company
Marks ; Spencer is a major food, fashion and interiors high street retailer with 347 stores around the world, including 333 in the UK.

Turnover
£8,135.4m
Pre-tax profit
£335.9m
* All figures are based on the financial year ending 2002.

Workforce
No. of UK employees 60,000 (2002)

Marks ; Spencer is one of the UK’s best-known established retailers with over 300 stores across the country. However, 1999 was a troubled year for the company with declining sales and poor financial results leading to enforced boardroom changes. In Scotland, the problem was compounded by the closure of local factories, resulting in job losses and negative media coverage. So, when the new retail shopping centre at Braehead (near Glasgow) opened on 21 September 1999 with M&S as one of the two flagship stores, the company was determined to make the most of the promotional opportunity.

 

Price

The company should think and consider to give to their product or service

 

Place

The place of the company should be the one which is suitable for the type of product or service that they sell to the customer.

When Marks & Spencer decided to enter the world of online commerce, it faced a daunting challenge: living up to its reputation for high quality, value and service in an entirely new channel. Part of the strategy called for making the online shopping experience as rich and personal as possible, with thousands of high quality images, shopping tools, and other bandwidth-intensive features. What’s more, the retailer needed to ensure availability and high performance through a variety of seasonal and marketing-driven traffic spikes, including a series of online-only 20% discount days that would be promoted via TV, radio and print advertising—as well as online.

Akamai’s Dynamic Site Accelerator places a globally distributed highly scalable platform of more than 20,000 servers in over 1,000 networks across 69 countries at the disposal of Marksandspencer.com. In addition to optimizing the connectivity between Marks & Spencer’s origin infrastructure and Akamai’s EdgePlatform, the Akamai solution seamlessly manages all static and dynamic content delivery using servers closest to end users. Site promotions and seasonal demand peaks now pose no threat to site performance—and provisioning for capacity has been eliminated as an operational issue. Optimized performance has also significantly increased browse-to-buy conversions, while reducing the number of abandoned/incomplete transactions.

Promotion

Promotion must be a good one in order to get the customer interests.

The Marketing Strategy
A marketing budget was made available for the launch of the new store, but rather than concentrate on the opening, M&S decided to pool it with other monies made available for the November relaunch of its refurbished Glasgow Argyle Street branch. Through this, it was hoped that the campaign would benefit all ten stores in the Greater Strathclyde area through raising the company’s media profile.

An initial approach by Scottish Media Group (SMG) on sponsorship opportunities led to a series of meetings in which SMG was able to demonstrate its cross-media expertise and in-house creative abilities. In all discussions, SMG liaised closely with the London head office of M;S to ensure compatibility with the client’s national advertising strategies.

The Campaign Objectives
As well as publicising the Braehead opening and Argyle Street refurbishment, the aim of the campaign was to promote M&S fashion, with the impending launch of its new autumn range, and food, wine and gifts during the run-up to Christmas and the millennium. In the longer term, the campaign sought to generate positive PR and drive increased footfall through the Scottish M&S stores.

“Our main objective was to spend the budget we had in a more creative way across the west of Scotland and at the same time to help promote the M&S brand.”
Mark Brown, regional manager – Marks & Spencer

The Launch Promotion
The relationship between SMG and M&S launched with a hugely successful free wine promotion in the Saturday and Sunday editions of The Herald. Run over two consecutive weekends in August, the promotion was supported by 20-second television ads and in-paper teaser ads leading up to both weekends. The response was tremendous. During the two-week offer, M&S received almost 70,000 incremental shoppers through their Scottish food tills as nearly a third of Herald readers redeemed their vouchers. The newspapers also benefited from an estimated average circulation uplift of 22,000.

 

The Media Strategy
An advertising budget of around £150,000 was made available, of which over 80% was utilised in regional press. Having successfully launched the campaign and encouraged store sampling, The Herald – Scotland’s leading quality daily with over 270,000 readership and an 83% ABC1 profile – was selected as the main advertising vehicle, as its circulation and profile closely matched that of the client’s regional requirement. Each month The Herald ran a full colour fashion page within which was placed a solus 18×2 ad promoting M;S fashion. The Saturday and Sunday Herald magazines ran weekly advertorials that provided the perfect media vehicles for promoting the new autumn fashion ranges and ideas for food and wine in the run-up to the millennium.

In addition, the Evening Times – with a younger profile and a high adult coverage of over 30% within the core Glasgow area – featured sponsored daily and weekly strips on the TV pages promoting lingerie, childrenswear and occasionwear. The aim was to promote M;S fashion as stylish and affordable, with SMG designing most of the ads in-house to the client’s specifications. SMG was also able to generate additional PR for the largely newspaper-based campaign by using editorial platforms to promote fashion using ‘real’ people, including offering fashion makeovers for ordinary local people to give the message a more ‘human’ touch, thereby increasing perceived reader relevance.

Having boosted awareness of the new M;S ranges, the Evening Times strips were also used to countdown the days to the Braehead store launch, thereby both informing and creating anticipation of the big event. For the launch itself, a special print run of the Herald was produced with a customised front cover completely given over to the Braehead store. The same was also done for the November launch of the renovated Argyle Street store. In both cases, 75,000 copies were distributed to target areas and additional copies displayed in the stores. Two full colour glossy inserts with gatefold covers, previewing the new autumn collections, were also produced for the two launches and stitched into the Saturday and Sunday Herald magazines, with run-on copies available in the stores.

3. Marketing analysis of the four key factors

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The following words are all to do with the marketing mix.   We can put the in the right P.

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Product
Price
Place
Promotion

4. Description of the affect of the four factors to the marketing product or service for the next five years.

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PROMOTION

Over the four months of the campaign, SMG calculated that the Evening Times and The Herald activity alone achieved 61% coverage of the ABC1 female target audience with a frequency of over 30. Post campaign research amongst a sample of 1,000 adults within Greater Glasgow confirmed sustained awareness of the promotional campaign, particularly amongst readers of the Herald/Sunday Herald (35% spontaneous recall rising to 58% when prompted).

Although there was no pre-campaign research to compare the results, the survey strongly suggested, by comparing the response levels of readers and non-readers of the newspapers, that perceptions of M;S had indeed improved.

Twice as many people said that the ads were different from the usual retail ads associated with newspapers (56% of the sample) compared to those who disagreed (28%). Although numerous treatments were used during the very different creative approach, 75% agreed that the campaign activity was clearly for Marks ; Spencer.

“The creativity and diversity of the in-paper campaign, when enhanced by the TV supported promotion, enabled Marks ; Spencer to communicate their latest developments in fashion, food and home products in a unique way. Many of the creative executions broke new ground in our newspaper titles.”
Shaun Bowron, commercial director – SMG

Although it is difficult to isolate the effects of the full campaign on levels of footfall, the new store at Braehead has exceeded expectations and is one of the company’s top performing branches in the UK. As importantly, the approach taken on this campaign succeeded in generating positive PR to the benefit of Marks & Spencer across the whole region rather than just at one or two stores.

“The partnership and trust that we developed with the Scottish Media Group delivered a marketing campaign that we were proud of and which benefited both parties.”
Mark Brown, regional manager – Marks & Spencer

 

 

 

 

 

PRODUCT & SERVICE FEATURES

 

When we look at this part of product we need to break down everything that the organization offers its customers.  For example the main product of a football stadium is the match itself, however the others goods and services that are also on offer must be mentioned.

 

Marks & Spencer

The Windows 2000 platform offers benefits to large retailers looking to build stronger integration processes and supplier relationships. Marks & Spencer, a United Kingdom-based retailer with over 600 stores worldwide, developed an internal project to significantly change the way information and technology is used throughout the organization. The road map allows Marks & Spencer to be a more flexible, customer-oriented company by increasing operational efficiencies and developing a global supply chain to aggressively compete in the marketplace.

The REJ analysis, validated by Giga, concludes that the powerful combination of Windows 2000 Server running the Microsoft BizTalk TM Server will enable a global supply chain and allow Marks & Spencer to achieve their goal of creating a system that moves information better and more efficiently between customers, suppliers and the company in real-time. Marks & Spencer projects a 10 percent reduction in inventory-related operating costs and a four percent increase in sales yielding millions of dollars in savings.

“Consolidating our infrastructure using Windows 2000 and BizTalk began as a solution to a problem, but could turn into a fundamental shift for the company. It has come at the right time for ITSS, as it is not often that a revolutionary new product is launched when one needs to implement a strategic vision,” said Mike Yorwerth, ITSS manager, Marks & Spencer. “This is fundamental to our business going forward, so Marks & Spencer can be flexible in responding to customer’s needs. With this project under way, the future for Marks ; Spencer looks very exciting.”

 

AFTER SALES SERVICE

 

It is important to remember that when a customer buys a leisure and tourism product the buying experience does not end there.  Many customers require additional after sales service.

 

Some products and services may be very popular and sell well for a while.  Eventually, however, they will lose their popularity and sales will start to fall.

The Marketing strategy would become the parameter for a company to be a successful company.

Although environmental issues influence all human activities, few academic disciplines have integrated green issues into their literature. This is especially true of marketing. As society becomes more concerned with the natural environment, businesses have begun to modify their behavior in an attempt to address society’s “new” concerns. Some businesses have been quick to accept concepts like environmental management systems and waste minimization, and have integrated environmental issues into all organizational activities. Some evidence of this is the development of journals such as “Business Strategy and the Environment” and “Greener Management International,” which are specifically designed to disseminate research relating to business’ environmental behavior.

 

WHAT IS GREEN MARKETING

Unfortunately, a majority of people believe that green marketing refers solely to the promotion or advertising of products with environmental characteristics. Terms like Phosphate Free, Recyclable, Refillable, Ozone Friendly, and Environmentally Friendly are some of the things consumers most often associate with green marketing. While these terms are green marketing claims, in general green marketing is a much broader concept, one that can be applied to consumer goods, industrial goods and even services. For example, around the world there are resorts that are beginning to promote themselves as “ecotourist” facilities, i.e., facilities that “specialize” in experiencing nature or operating in a fashion that minimizes their environmental impact [May 1991, Ingram and Durst 1989, Troumbis 1991].

Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising. Yet defining green marketing is not a simple task. Indeed the terminology used in this area has varied, it includes: Green Marketing, Environmental Marketing and Ecological Marketing. While green marketing came into prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, it was first discussed much earlier. The American Marketing Association (AMA) held the first workshop on “Ecological Marketing” in 1975. The proceedings of this workshop resulted in one of the first books on green marketing entitled “Ecological Marketing” [Henion and Kinnear 1976a]. Since that time a number of other books on the topic have been published [Charter 1992, Coddington 1993, Ottman 1993].

The AMA workshop attempted to bring together academics, practitioners, and public policy makers to examine marketing’s impact on the natural environment. At this workshop ecological marketing was defined as:

the study of the positive and negative aspects of marketing activities on pollution, energy depletion and nonenergy resource depletion. [Henion and Kinnear 1976b, 1]

This early definition has three key components, 1) it is a subset of the overall marketing activity; 2) it examines both the positive and negative activities; and 3) a narrow range of environmental issues are examined. While this definition is a useful starting point, to be comprehensive green marketing needs to be more broadly defined. Before providing an alternative definition it should be noted that no one definition or terminology has been universally accepted. This lack of consistency is a large part of the problem, for how can an issue be evaluated if all researchers have a different perception of what they are researching. The following definition is much broader than those of other researchers and it encompasses all major components of other definitions. My definition is:

Green or Environmental Marketing consists of all activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants, such that the satisfaction of these needs and wants occurs, with minimal detrimental impact on the natural environment. [Polonsky 1994b, 2]

This definition incorporates much of the traditional components of the marketing definition, that is “All activities designed to generate and facilitate any exchanges intended to satisfy human needs or wants” [Stanton and Futrell 1987]. Therefore it ensures that the interests of the organization and all its consumers are protected, as voluntary exchange will not take place unless both the buyer and seller mutually benefit. The above definition also includes the protection of the natural environment, by attempting to minimize the detrimental impact this exchange has on the environment. This second point is important, for human consumption by its very nature is destructive to the natural environment. (To be accurate products making green claims should state they are “less environmentally harmful” rather than “Environmentally Friendly.”) Thus green marketing should look at minimizing environmental harm, not necessarily eliminating it.

 

·  Packaging: reducing and recycling

We plan to both reduce our use of packaging and make sure what we do use is easy to recycle, by:

·  cutting our use of non-glass packaging by 25%

·  using sustainably sourced packaging materials like cardboard or plastic that have a recycled content, or Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) certified board from sustainable forests

·  using materials that are easy to recycle or compost. For example, we’ll focus on using four plastics: cornstarch derived plastic Polylactic Acid (PLA), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polypropylene (PP) and Polyethylene (PE)

·  printing simple symbols on all our packaging to make it easy for customers to recycle or compost waste

·  trialling ‘closed loop’ recycling (turning used packaging into new packaging) in six of our Café Revives over the next year, with the aim of extending it to all our 450 customer and employee cafés in the UK and Ireland within five years

Think of Robbie Williams, when he first launched himself as a sole artist his first two releases did not do so well, then he releases a number of hits now his popularity and record sales are not as high.

 

 

 

Figure 2 The Product Life Cycle can best be shown as a graph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

 

 

 

John Caples.,1998. Tested Advertising Methods,UK

 

Marks & Spencer.plc, 2007 : Marketing Strategy. UK

Murphy, P. 1985. Tourism: A Community Approach. New York: Methuen Inc.

National Association of Attorneys-General (NAAG). 1990. The Green Report: Findings and Preliminary Recommendations for Responsible Advertising. [San Francisco?], USA: National Association of Attorneys-General.

Ottman, Jacquelyn. 1993. Green Marketing: Challenges and Opportunities for the New Marketing Age. Lincolnwood, Illinois: NTC Business Books.

Polonsky, Michael Jay. 1994a. “Green Marketing Regulation in the US and Australia: The Australian Checklist.” Greener Management International 5: 44-53.

Polonsky, Michael Jay. 1994b. “A Stakeholder Theory Approach to Designing Environmental Marketing Strategy.” Unpublished Working Paper.

Schlossberg, Howard. 1993. “Effect of FTC Green Guidelines Still Doubtful for Some Marketers.” Marketing News 27: 1, 6.

Shearer, Jeffery W. 1990. “Business and the New Environmental Imperative.” Business Quarterly 54 (3): 48-52.

Stanton, William J. and Charles Futrell. 1987. Fundamentals of Marketing. 8th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Trade Practices Commission (TPC). 1992. Environmental Claims in Marketing – A Guideline. Canberra: TPC.

Troumbis, A. Y. 1991. “Environmental Labelling on Services: The Case of Tourism.” Ekistics (348/349): 167-173.