Exams are just round the corner. If you are studying for a marketing exam and struggling to see how all of the components of marketing fit together. In any professional marketing plan there are key stages and key concepts that will be expected. If you need to understand this quickly you can access the plan here, it is simple exam of marketing practice
When we think about successful marketing most people will talk about advertising campaigns. The ad about the Meerkat for example. Funny ads are remember or those with a story that runs and runs. Nescafe was the first brand to run a ‘story ad’. This is where boy meets girl and the will they, won’t they story runs through the ads. Funny and interesting now the trick for marketing is to take that interest and create something more. Current marketing practice is using more humour to differnentiate in a crowded market
The advert is the start of the conversation. If there is no reply then it is one sided. Imagine you are in the shopping centre stood on a box with a megaphone, trying to sell your stuff. The reaction would be to avoid, or laugh. That is hardly good communication. So ads create that first impression. The task now is to go much further.
Businesses who take communication to a whole new level ask for a response. That response creates two way communication and engages the consumer. Then you have buy in and that is a whole new ball game. Consumers are interested in your business and can relate to it. You are not shouting over a megaphone, trying to be louder than the competitors. You are working with your consumer. That gives the consumer more power and they can then shape the products or services they want. The marketing term of co creation is built on consumers engaging with your business. The development of Twitter, Facebook etc are tools to make this happen. UTube relies on consumers to create the business.
The question is now, how far will your business go in engaging and allowing your consumers to shape its future? If you are a marketing student consider which businesses engage with their customers the most. This is an example of best marketing practice, the marketing lessons are to build that two way process and look through the customers eyes
In marketing there are so many marketing case studies that talk about brand stretch. It is a popular topic in marketing exams and assignments. Current marketing practice is to build brands. The importance of branding cannot be under estimated. Kotler famously said that ‘without brands products become commondities’. One of the key tasks of any marketing manager is to build the brand. This is equally important in all sectors from the popular consumer goods such as Coke Cola, to banks to branding people. For example building X Factor as a brand, Simon Cowell as an individual and the latest in the family is Cheryl Cole.
Once the brand is built the level of brand equity develops. That gives the business opportunities to expand. We have seen that followed by the likes of Tesco. From a start of food retailing the brand how expanded into clothing, electrical goods, financial services and so on.
One of the latest businesses to stretch the brand is o2. From a mobile phone business which was originally part of BT it has built the brand from scratch. It has grown to be the largest mobile phone provider in the UK. The consumers are across the spectrum but it boasts a large number of younger customers. These are difficult to access for marketers. This customer base is now so valuable and o2 are now able to offer more to these customers. They can see the needs of the customers and that is the key for marketing managers.
The expansion for o2 is into financial services with the latest card. The benefits are that you are able to manage your cash and be alerted , by text of course, when the balance on the card falls. This is really helpful and offers a personalised service. Visit www.o2.co.uk for details. The question in any brand stretch or expansion is how far can it go? If it is over stretched it loses the equity in the brand. Some of the exclusive brands offer diffusion lines and low cost items but it is an aspiration to own an expensive product. If it becomes too available it loses the very reason for purchase. The marketing lessons and best marketing practice is to carefully select the markets to enter and to ensure that the brand equity is built not reduced
Marketing students have seen for many years that Marks and Spencer is a marketing case study that has built its’ entire business on it own brand. Marketing the brand has been taken many years of dedicated effort. It has a range of quality suppliers who manufacture all of its’ ranges. Due to the price pressures M & S hit the headlines when companies in the UK were closed in order for the products to manufactured more cheaply in a range of different countries. This affected consumer confidence and some would say, that in the early stages the quality suffered. This is an example of marketing practice and how it is constantly developing.
The next development was into convenience type stores and offering only food. Simply Food can be found in some high streets but also in railway stations and motorway service stations. Often the simpler the idea the better. This has helped to revitalise the business. It has focused on customer needs. Built specific ranges for the different target customers.
For any business to succeed it must get the marketing basic right. Simply need to decide on the customer, really get under their skin and understand those needs. So, we are driving home and want something easy from Simply Food. No effort when we get home was a master stroke and a clever brand extension. It seems that Waitrose is about to offer a similar stripped down shopping experience.
The latest development is now to offer branded products. This is a total change in brand policy and is a calculated risk. The advantage is that it will extend the M & S brand into new areas and offer customers the opportunity to buy the brands and own labels at the same time. The challenge is to ensure that these brands compliment the current range and not compete.
Marketing lessons and tutorial. Be specific about the brand position and ensure that the brand values are clear and the brand is not over extended
When you think of Ferrari it conjures up images of sexy red sports cars. Racing round the Italian mountains with sparkling blue sea in the background. Driven of course by the best looking guy.
The brand is loved by those who may not be able to afford the car but can buy the merchandise. Marketing students have seen the classic brand extension into clothing, sunglasses and so on. There are 28 stores around the world where the brand fan can indulge their passion. So far all pretty traditional brand extensions. Common in the automotive industry.
The latest extension of the brand is a big change. Ferrari are opening a theme park in Abu Dhabi. The roof is in the shape of a side of the Ferrari GT body.
The car maker says the theme park will host over 20 attractions, “each designed to bring to life a different part of the Ferrari story”, including the world’s fastest rollercoaster and rides for children. (Marketing Week Oct 09)
This really takes the ride of your life to a whole new level.
Lessons for marketing students are to build the brand so that it has real equity and that links to the relationship it has with the consumer. Once that is established the brand then extends into new areas. The risk is to ensure that it is not stretched too thinly or it will devalue the brand.