People need food, air, water, clothing, and housing. They have wants - strong desires for particular versions of brands, beverages, food, education, recreation, and services. According to Sarah White (2012), “People in a market economy become consumers when they are driven to fulfill their needs and desires through exchanges” (p.11). Today there are all kinds of exchanges. The internet, for example, has created a fast-paced, ever-changing global marketplace. Companies today are global, aggressive in seeking opportunities, and they are highly competitive. Thanks to technology and social media, they are using mass marketing and advertising to reach more consumers than ever before.
Marketers are always looking to fill unmet needs, and they work to capitalize on existing needs. They understand the changing dynamics in today’s fast paced global marketplace. They continue to adjust, adapt, and alter some of their strategies and tactics to ensure they are successful. EMarketing is a big part of marketing strategies, and non-traditional choices are playing a key role in the success of many products and services. In today’s highly competitive landscape, companies are constantly working to effectively position their brands and products. They work to keep their marketing messages clear and relevant to the end consumer.
What is Relevance?
Merriam-Webster defines it this way, “practical and especially social applicability, pertinence, the ability to retrieve material that satisfies the needs of the user.” To market effectively, a marketer needs to make their marketing messages and campaigns relevant to consumers. They also need to apply the marketing mix to their target consumer and segments they compete in. The marketing mix is an umbrella term that covers the elements, the four P’s of a marketing strategy under the marketer’s control.
Managing the Process for Effective Marketing
These simple, important steps of the marketing process, when done properly, help attract customers, generate sales, profitable growth, and create consumer value. Manage the marketing mix and marketing process properly, and marketers can compete successfully and drive customer satisfaction.
The marketing process includes the following (White, 2012):
- Situational Analysis: Assess and analyze the market. What are the market’s needs, unmet needs, and what can you capitalize on?
- Strategy: Analyze the market, innovate, and target the segments you want to compete in, apply segmenting, targeting, and positioning (STP).
- Campaign Development: Apply the marketing mix (four P’s of marketing).
- Execution: Implement campaign and plans. Roll it out, monitor, make adjustments where needed. This step is very important in the marketing process.
- Measurement: Measure the impact of your campaign. Determine if it was successful. Interpret what the market research indicates, and review sales and other relevant data to determine the success of your campaign.
Execution and Measurement Ensures Relevance and Success
Execution and measurement are two important steps in the marketing process. These steps allow the marketer an opportunity to assess their plan’s execution, analyze their data and sales data, compare results to goals and standards, assess competition, and make necessary adjustments in the plan.
These steps provide an opportunity to apply the four functions of marketing, which are analysis, planning, implementation, and controls. It is a great opportunity to take a snapshot in time, and for the organization and marketer to inspect what they expect. They will gain an opportunity to see what is working, what is not working, and what more may be needed. They can ensure their marketing campaign is on a good track, if it is effective being executed correctly so sales can be sustained and growth can occur, as well as their share and position in the market.
Good marketers are constantly scanning their markets, listening, observing, and forecasting to ensure their brands and products are positioned effectively. They work to keep them appealing and relevant. Without that, customers will leave them and find other sellers who meet their needs and satisfy their desires. According to Zealley, Wollan, and Bellin (2018), “Everyone’s needs vary depending on time and context. And with today’s technologies, companies now have the ability to see and act on these fluctuations at the moment (para. 5).” If companies miss to foresee those changes and fail to act accordingly, they are no longer relevant to customers and will be replaced by the competition faster than ever.
These two important steps in the marketing process, execution and measurement, allow marketers to step back and see and act on these fluctuations. Marketers can apply their critical thinking, make the necessary adjustments, and create successful outcomes.
Merriam Webster (2018). Retrieved May 17, 2018 from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/relevance
White, S. (2012). Principles of marketing. (1st ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Zealley, J. Wollan, R., and Bellin, J. (2018). Marketers need to stop focusing on loyalty and start thinking about relevance. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from: https://hbr.org/2018/03/marketers-need-to-stop-focusing-on-loyalty-and-start-thinking-about-relevance