Introduction (Personal Perspective on Marketing)
My understanding of marketing is informing the customers of the presence of products and services, engaging the customers on the benefits of the products and services, and availability of the products and services in terms of costs and locations. It also includes specific aspects of the goods and services, which can advance their respective personal needs and requirements. According to my understanding, marketing is analyzing the market dynamics, comparing the products and services to competing agencies, and documenting the strengths and shortcomings of competing products and services. Marketing also aims to understand the customer satisfaction and ironing differences, whether negative or positive, which the customer has experienced.
It involves coordinating and collaborating with different organization departments in advancing the general aims and objectives of an organization. It brings together the different departments in ensuring the products and services reflect the wants and needs of the customers. The design and presentation of the product and services incorporate the views of the customers, meaning the marketing department has to engage with the design department to create, manipulate or even change the product to suit the requirements of the customers. Hence, marketing is an important component in advancing the requirements of any organization and without marketing, it becomes a challenge for an organization to become successful.
Marketing is an integral component of any organization since it enables getting the word out. It permits communication with the customer in engaging the customers on what is offered, benefits of the product, and assists in discovering of prospective customers. Marketing increases the chances of more purchases resulting in higher sales because information on the products and services spread to more customers. It is imperative to note, without sales, it is impossible for an organization to succeed. Marketing also builds brand recognition with strategies such as meeting the high expectations of the public, and the growth of reputation of the company contributes to increased sales. Marketing champion healthy competition because the different organizations have to engage the customers and employing different marketing strategies such as pricing to satisfy the requirements of the customers. Business environments, which are monopolistic in nature “steal” from the customers and presence of marketing ensures the customers are informed of products and other variables associated with the product.
Reflection on Me as a Consumer
As a consumer, I am influenced by numerous things and variables in acquiring products and services. The driving force is the need and requirements. It involves aiming to address something missing, and this is called identification of the problem. It can also be viewed as a consumer behavior since the decision making process for consumers takes phases. After identification of the problem, I start searching for the solution or utilize past experiences to determine the product or service that addresses the need and requirement. In addition, my family members can guide me in decision making because the society and community sometimes influence the decisions I make as a consumer.
In acquiring the right information about the product, I search online and seek information from friends and close associates. Obtaining the information is a form of marketing because these individuals’ present views based on personal experiences, and information obtained from third parties. The quality of the product and service encourages a word-of-mount method of marketing meaning building a strong brand is information. The information also comes with the location of which I can acquire the service and product. Easiness of access to the service and product enables me to make informed decisions and whether it inconveniences me when I decide to acquire the product. I then acquire the product, when it is a new product such that I have never used it, I gauge the quality and other variables associated with the product. The gauging is based on previous experiences especially on similar products and services that I have used.
The last aspect is a determination of satisfaction based on the information regarding the product and service relative to competing brands. If I am satisfied with the product or service, I will acquire the product in future creating an aspect of loyalty. However, if I am not satisfied, I will seek for an alternative product and service. I will also check online and seek information from other people to determine their experiences with the product. Instances that more people appreciate a product and service means the product and service have fulfilled the customer requirements. Therefore, my decision making process is influenced by fundamentals of marketing and consumer behavior.
Reflection on Consumers and Markets in General
In understanding consumers, it is important to appreciate their respective decision making processes and acknowledge other variables that influence their actions. Consumers are exposed to thousands of products and improvement of the market through platforms such as e-commerce and e-business means that the customers have a bigger bargaining power. The customers can analyze the different products and services, and can easily compare the products and services with competing products and services. It means that options for the consumers are becoming more, and the company’s manufacturing and distributing these products and services have to appreciate the diversity of the products and services.
Markets also target markets because of numerous factors such as demographic, psychological and geographical. For example, Mercedes-Benz, a car manufacturing company, targets upper-class customers who are after social status and certain value system. Apple creates products of high quality, which also targets specific customers. Other companies such as Google creates products and services that reflect certain market segment. Companies employ different approaches to reach the general market. For instance, mobile manufacturing companies create products with a different value system based on the economic/financial position of the customers. It is an aspect of differentiation to reach the wider market, which may result in increased sales.
These companies and individuals have to operate based on legislations, political and economic variables. Before a customer makes a decision to acquire a product, the individual has to determine whether the product is legal, and identification of other legal and political variables. For instance, acquiring a car is not a straight forward method, because the individual has to acquire licenses and permits. It includes insurance and having valid driving license. In the development and marketing of a product, companies have to acknowledge these requirements and purpose to inform the customers on such directives. The companies have to compete in a legal manner, and the same companies have to uphold important operating requirements. For example, championing the requirements of trademarks and patents are important in avoiding legal processes, which sometimes negates the image of a brand or company. Thus, upholding the legal framework is important to any company.
Reflection on Product Placement
I understand that product placement is an advertising strategy that organizations employ to cleverly promote their products through the use of the non-traditional technique. The strategy is for the organization to integrate appearance of a product in television, film or other media. Even services are noticeable within the drama and in certain instances, it is possible to associate a product with a specific film or media. For example, the James Bond movies have numerous Aston Martins and high-class products such as watches. These products have been integrated into the themes in the media, and the use of the products and services creates an image in the mind of the audiences.
In addition, in other media, celebrities are seen using some of the products. For instance, musicians sometimes wear or use products and services, with the aim of increased visibility. Celebrities wear shoes and clothes, which makes other individuals acquire the products. Products such as cigarettes and beers have become an important component in most movies because scenes cannot be complete without highlighting some food, drink or smoke. Hard drinks such as whiskey are associated with certain individuals’ characterization and the themes of movies also explores certain products and services. In some movies, Chinese food is ordered while in others, containers of products consumed are seen. The purpose of these numerous strategies is to encourage consumers to acquire the products and services due to its appearance/visibility in the movies.
I sometimes have a negative perception of the products and services in these movies. For example, the producers of movies are required to indicate allowed persons to watch the movies based on age. Numerous movies are stated conducive to the family but numerous instances of smoking and alcohol drinking are common. From an ethical and moral perspective, it is wrong for these movies producers to include alcohol and cigarettes because it can influence the children in a negative way. Hence, I hold my reservation on using product placement of some products and services without clarification e.g. limitations of alcohol consumption.
Reflection on Marketing Research
Companies have to understand the requirements and needs of their respective customers. It is difficult to develop a product without considering the views of the customers. Marketing research is an approach employed in collecting information from the customers about the product and service. In addition, it provides a follow up on advertisement and other marketing techniques. Marketing research also enables identification of the competitors, competitors’ products and services, and other variables associated with products and services.
Data and information for market research can be obtained from the customers either “directly” or “indirectly”. Directly can be an actual visit to the market and collect information from the customers or even at the establishment outlets. Indirect market research is a review of customers’ perceptions of the product and communication during the sale and servicing time. For example, when an individual acquires a car, the customer may return the car for servicing and the communication exchange during the period can illustrate satisfaction of the car. It means that the organizations have to employ different strategies in collecting information because the numerous available options may be biased. The truthful information regarding a product or services occurs when an individual is faced with challenges about the product or whether the individual is not aware of the data collection. It can be a basic conversation, and a marketer can obtain strategic information from the customer.
In conclusion, from a personal perspective, marketing is important because it enables the customer to be aware of the product and services, and through engagement, the customer can acquire the product. Marketing increases sales, which is important to the success of an organization. It also enables identification of the needs and wants of the customers. Through marketing, customer satisfaction can be known, and mitigation measures can be proposed to solve the problem. Thus, marketing is integral to the success of any organization.