Marketing Management; A Primer

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Marketing management refers to the organizational discipline that deals with practical application of marketing orientation, methods, and techniques within organizations and enterprises, and management of the activities as well as marketing resources of a firm.

All firms should analyze the industries they operate in, so that they can determine the strength of competition. They must also know the government policies and regulation that have an impact on the industry. There are various fundamental procedures that a firm can use to analyze the industry. They include: Primary and secondary research, ATU studies, market segmentation, and SWOT analysis.

Primary Research

In primary research, information is obtained by internet surveys, mail, or phone. Primary research is aimed at the thorough study of customers. This in-depth study enlightens a given firm on the products and services that will best suit the customers’ needs. For instance, if a firm finds out that customers want additional features on products or additional services, the strategy would be to incorporate the customers’ demands. Fulfillment of customers’ needs brings about rise in sales and profits.

Secondary Research

Usually, secondary research information is obtained through sources such as Nielsen and the NPD Group. Data such as market share, percentage of sales out of total sales in the industry that each competitor has, is included. Also available is information of competitive promotions, strategies, and products. A firm aware of its position in the industry is able to handle its products appropriately.

ATU Studies

ATU stands for awareness, trial, and usage. It is a comprehensive phone survey designed to compare a firm’s brand awareness with that of its competitors. Additionally, a firm is able to determine how it is rated by its customers as well as its competitors’ customers.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for strengths weakness, opportunities, and threats. In this type of analysis, a firm compares its strengths and weaknesses with those of its competitors. Consequently, a firm will determine where it has advantages and use them strategically to increase sales and profits.

Once a firm has analyzed its industry and planned on strategies, it can follow some rules in order to achieve successful implementation. For example, it should entice but not force systems on employees, take a gradual approach, and most of all, it should make the implementation process simple.

Performance of a firm can be measure by metrics. These established numbers make it easier to track progress. For example, if the goal was to increase sales, metrics like return on assets, return on sales, and asset turnover ratio can tell how a firm is performing towards achievement of the goal. Similarly, if the goal was to improve customer loyalty, measurements in purchase analysis, customer surveys, and direct feedbacks at purchase points will come in handy.

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