Marketing Case Study-Marketing is Changing

Marketing used to follow the standard process. The company asked the customers what they wanted and to greater or lesser extent gave it to them. The change now is that customers are not just consulted, they create the ‘product’. If you think for a moment about the ability to take a product and change it. Customise, tailor, you chose which term you prefer. From here the consumer creates what ever they want. They ‘mash’ the old and new, create their own ringtones, trainers, slideshows, videos. Where would U Tube be without consumers uploading their own videos?

o2 are working with consumers to develop content. The key word is with not for Here the company becomes truly consumer led and that gives ownership to that consumer. Cynics would suggest that is a cheaper way of developing the product. This maybe true but it also decreases risk and if the consumer is involved the chances of success are greater.

In his book Wikinomics this idea was developed by Tapscott. He coined the term ‘Prosumers’. Here the production, where the pro comes from is generated by the consumers. For me that is the best chapter in the book and well worth the money. The theme of mass collaboration where companies such as Procter and Gamble have hundreds of patents and spend billions on research. They then allow other businesses to use this expertise for a licence fee. A general win win situation.

If you are interested in looking at marketing in a new way and really pushing the approach forward try the book

Marketing Case Study-P & Gs Secrets to Success

When we think about big global businesses Procter and Gamble is right up there. It has recently changed the way in which it develops strategy. It is starting from the inside out. We preach in marketing to be externally focused, so is this a contradiction?

If we look at the P&G ideal it is driving values in the business, which focus on care of the customer. The starting point is to build the culture of the business. Everything that the business does is aimed at making the lives of the consumer better. If this is achieved the profits will follow. Many of the items are relatively small ticket e.g. razor blades. The secret is scale. Do the maths. P&G have 7 billion consumers who spend $14 pa (HBR 09). If this is increased by just a few dollars per consumer per year the increase in profits is huge. Spending an extra dollar per year, per consumer is a juicy prospect

So, how will P& G achieve this? They spend more on innovation by some distance, than its competitors. They conduct more than just lip service market research. They really get under the skin of the consumer and understand how they live. 10 years ago the P&G business in Brasil was dying. The product were top of the range yet in relatively too expensive by a long way.

‘In a recent article by Moss Kanter When the first basico products were launched (women’s hygiene, diapers, and “greener” laundry detergent), demand immediately outpaced supply. They quickly captured market share through small neighbourhood shops, substituting colorful store displays for costly TV advertising. Premium products were lifted too. The business in Brazil became a profitable global growth model, and not just for emerging countries. Tide Basic was recently introduced in the U.S ‘( HBR 09)

This gives great benefits to the consumer but also to the business. It showed how the team could re-engineer the way in which the products were developed. Each tiny element was examined to find a way to decrease costs. That helped to gain synergy across the business and create a sense of belonging for all of the staff. They gained a great deal of satisfaction from challenging accepted business processes.

This process has seen similar improvements in India. The majority of shaving is done in barbershops. Not home or in the car as in other countries or on the train on the way to work. Again the P&G products were too expensive for the lower incomes. So the manufacturing processes had to be taken apart and new products developed. One of the benefits was bringing the business together to think outside of the usual business silos.

Lessons

Create a vision

Challenge the accepted way of doing business

Get inside the skin of the consumer. They shave, yes but how do they live? Look in depth not just think about developing another better product and doing the same just a bit better.

Uncover new markets. E.g Asda sells a great deal of Indian food. Customers demanded more and one of those demands was for clothing. This week in the UK Asda, which is owned by Walmart will launch the first high street range of Indian clothing.

Be brave and challenge, before someone else seizes the opportunity

Marketing students

If you are going to University soon, this blog will help you to apply marketing to your marketing exams and case studies. I have lectured marketing for a while now and find that students do not sometimes get the best marks due to poor technique. Often the exam or assignment is too theory based or alternatively lacks structure and any theoretical base.

Start with the required marketing theory. E.g. if you are asked about market segmentation. Show that you know what it is- a means of selecting the ‘best’ part of the market. So if the market is shoes, not all shoes but womens shoes and then really fashionable very expensive trend setting shoes. The examples or case studies bring it to life.

The case studies in this blog will help you to add reall insight into your assignments and usually I add comments so you can see the angle and how that helps you to focus on a key marketing concept

Marketing Strategy for Small Businesses

Strategic marketing is something that is often talked about but rarely implemented. It can be seen to be very clear cut and simple as a process but the challenges and choices offer huge and exciting opportunities and introduce great complexity.
Strategic marketing is the long term view of the organisation and where it wants to be seen by its customers. That is only part of the picture. Customers are central, but other stakeholders such as suppliers, funding bodies, banks and indeed competitors all want a piece of the action.
The process of strategic marketing is structured and includes clear elements of order and content. At least , when it is presented as the direction of the business. Achieving that is a much more complex process. The strategy is like the swan gliding on the lake, yet below the water working furiously against the tide.

The process of strategic marketing will be outlined to provide a clear guideline for a range of organisations. It will show the essential components from the analysis of the current situation to the strategic choices. The current trends in the environment, such as the economic situation, the development of social media all offer new challenges. The issue is to determine the difference between a trend and a fad.

There are also new ways of conducting business. No longer is a customer always a customer, they maybe a supplier, a partner and in some cases a competitor. In times of higher risk and more restricted resources collaborations and networks are popular.

The strategic choices will be to examine the opportunities and match with the resources of the organisation. Then, for the organisation to position and differentiate itself to build competitive advantage and offer value to the consumer.

Tese complexities must be explored to show how they can offer small organisations the opportunity to build a solid platform for the future and create a sustainable business.

For SMEs there are huge challenges but also great opportunities. Resources for all organisations are tight but those smaller businesses can respond more quickly and be innovative in the ways, in which it goes to market. It can test and try, work with others and collaborate. A key message is to be clear about who your customer is and where you compete. Don’t try to be everything but be the very best in your market, make your customers the happiest, offer superb value, do something special.

The strategic marketing process is a coat hanger, but it is the clothes and accessories that make it this season and next and that is the challenge and the fun.

Marketing Lessons in the Recession

The posts on the blog show how marketers are developing some really clever ways of creating interest for their business. The earlier posts with videos on Lego and T- Mobile, for example show innovative ways of gaining attention.

The lessons and challenges for marketing in the recession are:-

To stand out from massive competition. Some competitors will cut price, that is tempting but will cheapen the brand and lower the profit from each sale. Try to offer better value and bundle products such as buy your house insurance and buy car insurance at a discount.

Ensure that the customer is loyal and sees your business as a solution to their problem. Remember people buy the benefits not the product. Its not that the speed of the processor is or the size of the engine is. What does that mean? So I can access internet quicker, use less fuel in my car etc

Add real value for the customer. Make life easier, so you can connect the phone to the PC, downlaod pictures and print in one click.

Be clear who that customer is, don’t try to target everyone. If you are selling clothing, is the customer the younger trendy girl who wants something different and new every week. Or the classic buyer who buys one or two key pieces each season. Is it the techie guy who wants all the latest in mobile phones or someone who just wants emergency calls.

So the lessons are to offer a really fabulous deal and to keep that customer happy but the competitor scared