Marketing is the act of publicising products and offers to customers to get them to want to buy it; this could be via the television, a poster or radio. Marketing always has the customer at the centre of its activities and wants to build customer relationships in order to keep them coming back. Another definition of marketing is the actual action of selling an item or service to customers, like in a retail shop for example.
John Lewis’ aim: serving customers with flair and fairness. John Lewis’ marketing strategies support this by advertising a wide option of customer services on the website including; FAQ’s, Delivery problems, New Customer Registration, Orders and Returns, Gift Vouchers and Discounts and much more.
Oxfam’s aim: to work with others to overcome poverty and suffering. Oxfam’s marketing strategies support this by displaying adverts on television about how you can donate in almost any way and showing emotional real life stories that encourage you to donate.
Public Sector Organisations
In the public sector marketing is used by advertisements on the television, for example the UK police force put up an advert about drug driving to deter people from doing it. The police also produce flyers explaining about drugs and how to get help or ask questions to just raise awareness about what drugs can do, they also send out officers to schools to speak to young teenagers. This type of marketing is good as it is face to face and personal where as you might not listen to a TV advert so well.
Another public organisation, the NHS, also use advertising on the television. Their most recent one is about cervical cancer and aims to raise awareness about the jab and that girls need to take it. The advert itself starts of with catchy music and grabs people’s attention and makes them more likely to remember that there is a jab against cervical cancer.
Private Sector Organisations
In the private sector marketing is used by mainly large companies that can afford to invest in long advertisements on TV such as, Somerfield, Tesco and Asda. For television it is such a competitive and expensive market so small private businesses approach marketing in different ways such as handing out flyers to their local area, investing in internet advertisement space and putting their name and contact deals into the yellow pages. An example of a small private sector business that is using internet advertisement for marketing is ‘Able Plumbers’ who are based locally in St Albans and have an online website ‘www.able-plumbers.co.uk’. They have also placed a sponsored link in Google under the search ‘plumbing’. This type of sponsored link marketing is worth while as it boosts your company to the top of the search listing however you do have to pay for every click.
In the voluntary sector marketing is used by online websites where you can apply for a cause online, ‘www.ncvo-vol.org.uk’ is a good example. They can also sponsor certain TV programmes to gain awareness and encourage people to volunteer, this does however cost a lot and would need financial backing. A better way to market the voluntary sector, without investing a lot of money, is to hand out flyers or, even cheaper but time costly, go door knocking and talk to people about their organisation and whether they would be interested in becoming a volunteer. A decent example of a voluntary organisation is Oxfam who have volunteers that help out in crisis situations and help third world countries, they use marketing by advertising on television about the situation in third world countries. This is to raise awareness and to encourage people to help the cause by donating or even volunteering to do some of the work.
Marketing has taken companies to a whole new level and helps companies understand their consumer needs; this could be through questionnaires or just observing life and see what it is people want and what items would make life a lot easier. An example of a company understanding consumer needs is T-Mobile who used to offer just pay as you go system. They saw the need for a simpler method for their consumer who didn’t want to have to keep topping up and worrying about running out of credit. T-Mobile and many other mobile companies then created a ‘pay monthly’ plan on which required signing a contract.
This gave T-Mobile’s consumers a new set up that allowed them to not have to worry about running out of credit and also helped T-Mobile as they have a secure monthly income that they know they are going to reap profits from as it is on contract for ‘x’ amount of years depending on the type of plan. Understanding the consumer needs can also help companies use marketing to communicate effectively and talk to the consumer in a way that they understand. This could be by email, formal or informal, text messages or by posting information through the letter box.
Marketing has also helped companies keep ahead of competition by getting their names out in front of the public eye and displaying new offers or club card schemes. There are a number of ways that companies can get their name out such as, TV advertisements, brochures, flyers, web space and books like the yellow pages. Asda is a good example of a company that has used marketing to keep ahead of their competitors. They use TV advertisements that last at least 30 seconds and take results from ‘www.moneysupermarket.com’ that compare their deals on every day items and show the public that they have x amount of deals better than Tescos, Morrisons and Sainsburys. This will encourage people to shop at Asda as they know that they have better deals and that they will get more for their money.
Another aspect that marketing has helped in business is the ability to utilise new technology. This is the progression from having to write from hand to each of their customers and then having to actually post the item to their letter box to simply writing one email and sending it electronically to their consumers’ computer. This advance in technology has made marketing so much easier and a lot faster, an example of a company that has utilised new technology for marketing purposes is River Island who have created a mailing list for consumers to sign up to, this way they get their information out to people who are interested and is not considered as spam.