Dr Brian's SmartaMarketing 2

Smarta Marketing Ideas for Smarta Marketers

Month: December, 2013

What is a “Marketing Mix”?

The Variables of a Marketing Mix

Achieving marketing objectives requires a strategy that includes a number of different elements – the various parts of a management model called the marketing mix or 4 P’s. Calling it a mix reminds us to create the right balance of the different elements that will be used.

The concept of the marketing mix

The concept of the “marketing mix” became popular after Neil H. Borden published his 1964 article, The Concept of the Marketing Mix. Borden began using the term in his teaching in the late 1940’s after James Culliton had described the marketing manager as a “mixer of ingredients”. The ingredients in Borden’s marketing mix included product planning, pricing, branding, distribution channels, personal selling, advertising, promotions, packaging, display, servicing, physical handling, and fact finding and analysis. Eugene McCarthy later grouped these ingredients into the four categories that today are known as the 4 P’s of marketing.  The marketing mix decision variables – product, distribution, promotion, and price-are factors over which an organisation has control.

The four P’s of the traditional marketing mix

1. Product – A product can be anything a prospective customer considers to be of value, a good, a service, a person a place or an idea.  The product variable is the aspect of the marketing mix that deals with satisfying a buyers wants and designing a value offering with the desired characteristics.  It also involves the creation or alteration of packages and brand names and may include decisions about guarantees and repair services.

2. Price – Price is a critical component of the marketing mix because consumers are concerned about the value obtained in an exchange.  Price often is used as a competitive tool; in fact, extremely intense price competition sometimes leads to price wars.  Price can also help to establish a product’s image. Deciding on a pricing strategy a more useful concept is to focus on the markets view of Payment or Cost to the user.  The price variable relates to activities associated with establishing pricing policies and determining product prices.

3. Promotion – Promotion is usually composed of a “promotional mix, which includes Advertising Personal Selling Sales Promotion and Publicity (Marketing Public Relations).  Sometime Direct marketing is also singled out as a separate element.  The modern approach to promotion is to see it as Communicating Value and incorporating it in the concept of Integrated Marketing Communications.  The promotion variable relates to activities used to inform one or more groups of people about an organisation and its products.  Promotion can be aimed at increasing public awareness of an organisation and of new or existing products.  In addition, promotion can serve to educate consumers about product features or to urge people to take a particular stance on a political or social issue.  It may also be used to keep interest strong in an established product that has been available for decades.

 4.  Place or Placement – This is about Delivering Value and focuses on distribution. It looks primarily at logistics, and channels of distribution and achieving convenience or accessibility value for the customer.  To satisfy consumers, products must be available at the right time and in a convenient location.  In dealing with the distribution variable, (also known as Place or Placement) a marketing manager seeks to make products available in the quantities desired to as many customers as possible and to keep the total inventory, transport, and storage costs as low as possible.  A marketing manager may become involved in selecting and motivating intermediaries (wholesalers and retailers), establishing and maintaining inventory control procedures, and developing and managing transport and storage systems.

Perhaps we need more P’s?  

(Not likely.  This model has stood the test of time and withstood numerous attacks)

A number of writers have suggested the possible extension of the 4 P’s.  For example the fairly common 7 P’s approach which includes:

People: – Particularly in service centre value offerings, people (Employees, Management) as well as the participating consumers often add significant value to the total offering.

Process: Procedure, mechanisms and flow of activities by which services are consumed (customer management processes) are an essential element of the marketing strategy.

Physical Evidence: The tangible elements of the environment in which the value offer is delivered.  It is about the tangible aspects (things that can be seen and touched) that communicate and deliver the intangible value (the service experience of customers).

While acknowledging that these additional 3 elements can be useful concepts, they are in fact already accommodated in the existing, simpler 4 P’s marketing mix model.  There have even been suggestions of a 17 P model and the Jefkins model had 20 elements: (Jefkins F “Modern Marketing” ISBN 0 7121 0853 X).

Another approach – the 4 Cs

Not a singing group from the 60’s

Place becomes Convenience

Price becomes Cost to the user

Promotion becomes Communication

Product becomes Customer motivation

These C’s perhaps reflect a more client-oriented marketing philosophy. The C’s are also not nearly as memorable as the P-words.

Formal and Informal Leaders

Dr Brian Monger

The formal leader is the supervisor appointed by the organisation to lead a specified group in the attainment of the organisation’s objectives.  The organisation gives the supervisor the necessary authority to carry out these objectives.  An informal leader, on the other hand, is “appointed” by the work group itself, usually because of their referent and expert power, their personal qualities and job knowledge.

A very effective supervisor may be both the formal and informal leader of the group.  However, work groups often have two leaders: the informal and the formal.  This does not necessarily mean that the supervisor is not supervising properly; it may mean that the informal leader is meeting certain team and individual needs that the formal leader cannot or should not be meeting.

The informal leader may or may not support the supervisor; whichever is the case, informal leaders usually have as much (and often more) influence on a group’s output as the formal leader.  So don’t try to eliminate any informal leaders in your work group, but rather ensure that they are working with and not against you, for the benefit of your work group and the organisation.

The informal leader is likely to be the person to whom others often go for advice, assistance or just a chat.  It is the person who speaks for the group, the person who is able to get the ball rolling”.  An informal leader may emerge because of a booming voice or an ability to make others laugh, or because of seniority.  If your work group concentrates on getting its work done, for example, producing 400 units an hour, the informal leader may be the person who can produce the most or generate the most enthusiasm for attaining results.  On the other hand, if your work group needs to have tension relieved because of the stressful nature of the job, the informal leader may well be the person who can do this.

A work group may have both of these objectives (400 units an hour and relief of tension); in this case, two informal leaders may emerge if one person is not available who can meet group needs in both areas.

Whoever the informal leaders are in your work group, their positions are precarious ones.  Being an informal leader today and a non-leader tomorrow is not unusual.  This is particularly true where the composition of the work group changes frequently or where the work location, product or task changes.  As a group’s needs change, so does its choice of informal leader.

Authority and Responsibility

Authority is the right to command or act and relates to the power you have over resources.  If you have authority, you can require a person to do something that you want done.  Every supervisor is conferred some formal authority by the organisation.

Responsibility, on the other hand, is the obligation that employees have to their managers and the organisation to do a job or task that has been assigned to them.  The key idea here is one of obligation or duty.  You are hired to do a certain job; therefore, you have an obligation or responsibility to do that job.

It wouldn’t be fair to hold people responsible for doing a job without first giving them the necessary authority to do the job.  Thus, although authority and responsibility are different, they should go together.  This means that when you have been delegated authority, it should be accompanied by sufficient responsibility.

What Type of Leader do Employees Look for?

No two people are exactly alike and therefore no one  type  of  leader  can  be singled out as the ideal for  which  everyone  is  looking.  One  person  looks for guidance and encouragement, while another prefers to be left alone to get on with the job.

Despite individual differences, surveys show that there are some specific behaviours that most employees look for in a leader.  Most, for example, want a leader who lets them know clearly what is expected of them and how they are getting on.  They want to be sincerely patted on the back when they deserve it.  They want training, and guidance when they are having difficulty in achieving their objectives.  They want to work for a leader who is approachable and keeps them informed about what is going on.

Employees prefer leaders who let them know honestly where they stand and what their chances of advancement are.  They want a leader who gives them a sense of importance, who makes them feel that they are valued members of the team and that they are doing a worthwhile job.  They want a leader who has ordered work habits (someone who plans the work and works to the plan), who has well-defined objectives and who organises resources efficiently.

People want supervisors who promote teamwork by emphasising the positive rather than the negative aspects of their performance and who provide opportunities to get their ideas heard.  Employees like to work for supervisors who are fair and impartial in their dealings, and who set a good example.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

Good Leadership Increases Productivity and Results

Dr. Brian Monger

Employees are an organisation’s major cost and second greatest asset (after customers).  For this reason, people who can lead others are valuable to any organisation.  Good leadership is worth more than modern machinery or new buildings.

What is leadership?

Leadership is an elusive quality that inspires others to perform.  It is a quality that enables a supervisor to influence others to accept directions willingly.  Leaders seem to have a special knack of getting others to follow them and do what they want done because the followers want to do it.  Leaders get things done through people.  Leaders, then, are people who can influence the behaviour of others for the purpose of achieving a goal.

There are three main schools of thought on leadership.  They are called the trait, behavioural and situational approaches.

The Trait Approach

This theory says we can learn what makes a person a leader by studying the physical, intellectual and personality characteristics of leaders and com­paring and contrasting them with the traits of their followers.  If certain qualities can be found among all or most leaders, all we will have to do is find people with these qualities and make them leaders (or so the thinking goes).

Some studies have indicated that, on the whole, successful leaders are often taller, brighter, better adjusted and have more accurate social perceptions than non-leaders or poor leaders.  They often display self confidence, a desire to influence others, abundant energy and high levels of job knowledge.

However, these traits do not hold true in all or even the majority of cases and this approach has, on the whole, been disappointing.  Only 5 per cent of the traits that successful leaders had in common in over 100 studies appeared in four or more of these studies.

The three most commonly found traits are intelligence, initiative and self assuranceAccording to a number of studies, intelligence should be above average but not of genius level, and should include particularly good skills in solving complex and abstract problems.  Initiative involves independence and inventiveness and the capacity to see what needs to be done and a desire to do it, while self-assurance has to do with self-confidence and setting high personal goals.

But possession of all the leadership traits identified by research is an impossible ideal.  Furthermore, there are too many exceptions: people who do not possess the “necessary leadership traits” but who are nevertheless successful leaders.  The trait approach is generally considered an oversimplification of a very complex subject.  Most people are not “born” leaders.

Transformational Leadership

A modern variation of the trait approach is called transformational leadershipCurrent research in Australia and overseas is indicating that a very different type of leadership, especially at senior levels, is required to lead organisations through these times of rapid change.

Today, we need transformational leaders who can develop a vision for their organisations which all employees can understand and commit themselves to.  These leaders guide their organisations through “revital­ising change”, redesigning them from top to bottom so that they are more efficient, responsive and effective and better able to meet the changing requirements of the marketplace and society.  They drum up enthusiasm for these changes throughout the organisation.  These are the three most significant functions of transformational leaders.

Transformational leaders appear to possess a number of important traits.  They are strategic thinkers – people with excellent conceptual skills who take the broad overview and set clear visions and Missions for their organisations to attain.  They are energetic and charismatic and are excellent communicators.  They have the ability to inspire people throughout their organisation and are active in setting the pace for others to follow.

The Behavioural Approach

Whereas the trait approach looks at what effective leaders are, behavioural theories of leadership concentrate on what effective leaders do.

The Situational Approach

According to this approach, it is the situation which will determine which style of leadership to use.  Each style is more effective in some situations than in others – that is, a style which works well in one set of circumstances will not necessarily work well in another.

 

Dr Brian Monger is Executive Director of MAANZ International and an internationally known business consultant with over 45 years of experience assisting both large and small companies with their projects.  He is also a highly effective and experienced trainer and educator

Did you find this article useful?  Please let us know

These articles are usually taken from notes from a MAANZ course.  If you are interested in obtaining the full set of notes (and a PowerPoint presentation) please contact us – info@marketing.org.au

Also check out other articles on http://smartamarketing.wordpress.com

MAANZ International website http://www.marketing.org.au

Smartamarketing Slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/bmonger)

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