What Marketing is and what it means to be a marketer?

Hello people, the genesis of this first post is the sequence of events which happened 10 years ago while I was working as Asst Sales Officer for a famous fabric brand. We had joined this organization as fresh marketers and were assigned to implement brand and distribution strategies

While we were able to gear up and execute distribution strategies in terms of adding exclusive retail stores, reaching out to more towns,  things on product development were consuming time due to various reasons like capacity requirement; team s capability to launch new products; procurement of raw materials; Go to Market strategies etc..,

We were confronted with issues which we hadn’t heard about in B-schools. A real eyeopener indeed, that was the time when I realized that marketing domain is vast .My exposure to this vastness only kept increasing with years..However I will restrict myself to the 4 basic essentials of marketing function for this post and keep updating on rest as we move on.

1.Knowing your customer :

To start with , I would always go with ‘Knowing your customer’

These are the right people for your brand. It is not only who they are , but also what their values are..,which includes how they think ,their belief systems, where do they shop , their eating habits ; their routine etc..,To simplify it includes demographic details like age,gender,location and SEC status and Psychographic details like personality, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles.

By ‘Knowing your customer’ a marketer is well poised to understand unfulfilled needs and wants of a prospective customer

2.Development of Products and Services:

Companies which understand their customers well and think of new , innovative products and consumer benefits cohesively could gain competitive advantage.

While the development of new products involves a lot of time, understanding and buy in internally (even before external buy in from end users),understanding customers would help in serving them better or providing product line extensions etc..,

A classic example would be launch of 1 kg curd in 2014.Traditionally Indian market was used to to 200 gm packs of curd.While consumer usage pattern suggested that consumers pick up 2-3 packs of curd while they visit a supermarket.The reason was that they visit the supermarket once in a week and that they stack up their weeks requirement in a go.Hence their regular consumtion was around 600 gms / HH .With the launch of 1 kg pack , this got increased to 1 kg / HH / week.

Usage and Attitude studies help to fine tune product specs like pack size ; price ; flavor preference and even the market requirement clearly apart from insights on new product ideas.A marketer play a key role in getting these insights from market ; gauging their potential and suggest a GO / NO GO for new product / product tweaks

3.Marketing communication:

Marketing communication (MarCom) is a fundamental part of a company’s marketing efforts. Loosely defined, MarCom can be described as all the messages and media you deploy to communicate with the market.

It includes advertising, branding, packaging, online presence, point of sale materials like posters , PR activities, sales presentations, sponsorship events and more.

MarCom has two objectives .one is to create new customers and sustain them and another is to make them buy more (thereby reducing the sales cycle)

There s lot to talk here in MaCom.We will discuss about Positioning (a perception about a brand in consumers mind) and Sales cycle in our upcoming posts

4.Measures , Quantifying size and Gauging product performance :

“Marketing defines, measures and quantifies the size of the identified market and the profit potential. It pinpoints which segments the company is capable of serving best and it designs and promotes the appropriate products and services.”- Dr.Phillip Kotler

Apart from measure of market size,Marketing also measures and improves the consumers/businesses and brand health and strength.

The critical steps in marketing include

  1. defining the trends ,regulations,Target audience and competitors in the business
  2. measurable business objectives in terms of where to take that business
  3. detailing the plan to achieve those business objectives

Lets take an example of a FMCG company which has brands in categories like haircare; personal care;Ready to Eat snacks etc.., for eg Hindusthan Unilever limited has more than 25 brands spread across these categories .Now each of these are brands in any company is assigned to a marketer who essentially work with the sales team in gauging the market potential and derives brand objectives for a particular FY.

The objectives set are based on the below data sets:

  • Internal data – on sales (primary and secondary)
  • Nielsen or internal PDO study report
  • Usage and Attitude study reports
  • Brand Track
  • SOV s and SOE s

We will of course talk more and in detail about many of topics discussed here in separate sessions

While the essentials of Marketing function vary based on perspective , they generally refer to a process of identifying business opportunities ; develop a product which meets the opportunity ; communicate the benefits effectively and constantly guage the market environment

Please feel free to add on and comment

‘Purpose of Business is to create and keep a customer’-Peter Drucker
As a marketeer ,I find this relevant and perennial to keep up my perspectives clear

I help you in : Identifying customer needs and design products & services effectively,Consistently engage with customers by delivering clear & meaningful communication,I also have a knack for gaining consumer insights

Whether its Brand Development,Brand Building,Building a Brand architecture model,STP or a TG assessment model getting to the point and setting a clear brand roadmap is essential.That’s where I come in..,Someone you can rely on.

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