This is to inform one about consumer behavior and product, price, promotion and placement. How it relates to the marketing mix and possible scenarios.
During a conversation with marketing student Lydia White, she stated:
‘As a marketer, your job is to satisfy the customer. You satisfy the customer, by satisfying their needs. To identify their needs, you need to have a specific group of people whose needs you can identify. That is why you need a specific target market. The more specific your target market is, the easier it will be to predict and therefore satisfy those targets’ needs. This is not just with advertising but also with packaging, pricing, even the attributes of your product.’ (White)
In that short statement she nailed exactly what and why the job of Marketing Manager is so important, as well as why the four P’s importance in the direct success of the business.
What do the consumers know about IPT and how do they react to that knowledge? When understanding consumer behavior it allows us to study what the consumers know and believe and how they react. It gives us information on behavior while making purchases. It also tells us what advertising methods attract or repel the consumer. Take for example a few years ago with ‘Quiznos Subs’, who’s corporate statement includes ‘We Dare To Be Different’ may have pushed the envelope to far with a failed advertising campaign featuring a dirty, scraggly looking rat to promote their sandwiches. Although, the concept itself went along with the business, the target audience did not accept it. Most people would establish a rat as a bad thing to have in a restaurant, especially one as mixed-up as they featured. I am not sure if it was even a rat…
Now let us discuss the product.
The most important aspects of the product would be quality, appearance, packaging, brand, and support. What makes our product ‘better’ than someone else’s does? How does our product look as compared with our competitors? Where does our Brand stand and do we offer any support as in if it is not the best gourmet popcorn you have eaten your money back. We have to look at our product and decide without bias how desirable is our product? From the lines forming outside I think we have a strong product within this mix for the local community. With the possibility of a 50% increase in revenue from outside, I believe the product is strong.
Price I believe is one of the more tricky aspects of the mix we need to look at.
It is a combination of several influences, one being how much the consumer will pay, versus how much it coasted to produce. There has to be a margin there for profit or it will not benefit us to be in business. There are aspects that could allow us to have a slightly higher or lower price to the competitors. With the non-reproducible patented coating process, we have a more unique product that in turn can raise the price the consumers are willing to pay. In addition, what if any discounts or special pricing may we offer. There is an old adage, ‘You Get what you Pay For’, meaning if it costs more it must be better, and also on the reverse of it is too inexpensive it is not worth it. Lastly, with price we have to understand supply and demand. If the demand is high and the supply is low, that is another factor that will raise the price consumers are willing to pay.
Location, location, location, as a marketer you hear that one word more often than any.
Location has to be thee most important aspect of the business. If you do not have the proper location, your business will fail no matter how desirable your product is. Key items to consider when looking at location are how far your target audience has to travel to find your business as well as how easy is it to get to your business. We want an area within our target market whereas there is heavy foot traffic as well as enough area for safe mobility around. Example of proper placement would be with ‘Pinion Truck Stop’ on CO I25 between Pueblo, Colorado and Colorado Springs, Colorado. This truck stops target market is long and short haul CDL drivers. They located their business about 15 miles outside of town along the popular interstate that travels through the state. They have been around for several years and have expanded from a small ‘gas and shower’ to a large building with gift shop and restaurant. Now if this business were located ‘in town’ they would not have attracted their target market. The Market being on a delicate time schedule that would not have the extra time it takes to drive ‘through’ town looking for amenities. However, a short stop on the side of the interstate is very profitable.
“Advertising is the voice of marketing” (White).
After all of our data is complied, we are now able to understand how to reach our target with our mix. This last part of the marketing plan is the most important. If we are unable to ‘show amp; tell’ our market about our product than all of our hard work would be for naught. Our research has showed that our markets age group range from young adults to middle-age adults at all income levels. This is still a huge variable of likes and dislikes with this group. For, a growing businessperson who is just starting their career has different likes than a young adult scrapping by at menial jobs. In the same aspect, their religious beliefs and political standings also affect what can be used in promoting the product. As with the above example of Quiznos Subs, of a promotion went wrong. Although, in 1993 Dominos Pizza started the ‘Total Satisfaction Guarantee’, which stated if you where not happy for any reason they would re-make your order or give you a full refund of your money. This tactic used by Dominos Pizza was exactly what they needed to help push their brand above their competitors. It shows the consumer that Dominos Pizza stood behind their product and the quality.
Without the consumer’s beliefs and desires, we would be out of work. So it is our responsibly to fully understand those beliefs and desires to the best of our abilities to create a strong marketing mix and bring our product to as many people as possible. We can look forward to possible signature products as well as contests and multi-media formats to bring our message to the consumers.
White, Lydia (White) Marketing Student at UCLA Berkley, CA. Personal communication, December 04, 2006.