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How does the strategic marketing process relate to the strategic planning process discussed in Module 3? Is it necessary that the marketing strategy be linked to corporate strategy? Why or why not?

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Strategic Marketing & Strategic Planning Process

INSTRUCTIONS:

How does the strategic marketing process relate to the strategic planning process discussed in Module 3? Is it necessary that the marketing strategy be linked to corporate strategy? Why or why not?





FROM Module 3 DQ 1

Chapter 8 of the textbook suggests that there are only two generic strategies available to a firm: differentiation or cost leadership. Both strategies can be applied either into a focused market or a broad market. Do you agree that these are the only two strategies available? Are they mutually exclusive? Why or why not?

ANSWER.

In the recent times, there have been many deliberations on the available generic strategies that are available for firms. This attitude has come as a result of realization of the core role played by such generic strategies to a firm. Although the number of the available generic strategies is not the main issue, rather the benefits that a firm stands to gain as a result of adoption of such strategies, there has been confusion concerning the same.

According to Draft (2013) many scholars have argued that there are only two generic strategies that are available to firms. Although the two commonly discussed generic strategies are commonly available, that is, differentiation or cost sharing, they do not represent the limit. There are other generic strategies that are available to firms.

The applicability of differentiation or cost sharing is broad in the sense that it can be applied to focused market or broad market. It is crucial to note that; there are other generic strategies which also have wide application just as the two commonly discussed generic strategies, hence, they cannot be said to be exclusive. One of such other generic strategy is that of focus. This is whereby; a firm chooses to focus on a particular item. For instance, a firm could choose to focus on a particular product or a particular cost. Mehran (2015) asserts that; the tricky part of this generic strategy is selection of the item to focus on in specificity. This is because; focusing on the wrong item would prove to be disastrous to a firm.

Another available generic strategy to firms is that of competitive advantage. This is whereby; a firm seeks to increase its competitive value in comparison to other firms of similar caliber. This strategy could be attained through increasing the value of products offered or by lowering prices.

References

Daft, R. L. (2013). New era of management (11th ed). Boston, Massachusetts, Cengage learning

Mehran F. c. (2015) Total Business Excellence: Wilkes University, Mesa, AZ Campus (480)-277-1649







WEEK 6 LECTURE NOTES

Marketing Management and Service Excellence

Introduction

Marketing is about discovering and satisfying customer needs to develop a customer base. The marketing mix the 4Ps of product, price, promotion, and place help businesses create market segments, which in turn allow businesses to develop a loyal customer base within each segment. For example, Toyota has lower-priced automobiles for the budget-minded consumer, sedans, and SUVs for families, sports cars for the young at heart, and hybrid cars for the environmentally conscious. Then there is the entire Lexus line for upscale consumers. In nearly every type of business, a market orientation is how a business must think if it wants to remain in business.

Companies, such as Toyota, do not merely invent in these niches. On the contrary, target markets are based on meticulous analysis of consumers` wants and needs. In other words, decisions about market niches and product development use a variety of market research techniques to identify discrete segments based on data. For example, the Edsel marketing debacle in the mid1960s drove Ford to introduce an icon of consumer marketing success: the Mustang. With elegant timing, the car`s success coincided with millions of baby boomers coming of age and ready to slide behind the wheel of this remarkable new car.

Customer loyalty requires more than the 4Ps. Today`s customer demands timely delivery and post-sale service as well. Developing and maintaining loyal customers involves a process commonly referred to as customer relationship marketing (CRM), through companies identify, study and come to understand their prospective buyers intimately. The goal of CRM is to help consumers develop positive perceptions of the organization and its offerings so consumers will turn to them first when shopping in the marketplace. To maintain consumer loyalty, the firm also must stay in close contact with the customer. Firms like Lexus, Tiffany`s, and Nordstrom`s have gained a distinct competitive advantage through relationship marketing.

Marketing Strategy

Linking marketing with corporate strategy requires that all levels within the organization contribute to that strategy. Firms typically create a marketing strategy that involves three phases: planning, implementing, and controlling its direction.

As with consumer research, formulation of strategic marketing efforts revolves around data-based decision making. A firm should consider several principal questions when preparing to set a strategic direction: Where is the company now? Where does it want to go? What are the trends in the market? What is the most likely competitive response to face if a particular marketing mix is chosen? What are the financial implications of making strategic marketing decisions?

A business must examine a situational analysis of not only its own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT), but also those of its competitors, especially when the overall strategy is to develop strengths that take direct aim at competitors` weaknesses. To illustrate, a company may choose to develop a product that plays to its own strengths while simultaneously aiming at a major competitor`s weaknesses. On the other hand, the opposite may be true. From a rational decision standpoint, a company may choose not to market a product because of ethical considerations (e.g., tobacco or alcoholic products) or because it may involve development of unknown technologies.

Firms must rely not only on what their consumers` needs are, but also what they anticipate them to be, and then develop products and services accordingly. To illustrate, prior to the 1970s, a radio was a device that sat on a table for listening enjoyment. Until SONY developed their revolutionary product, no one in the late 70s ever thought that a radio could be something that consumers wore on their heads.

Who benefits from effective marketing strategy? In the free-market system, three groups benefit: customers who buy the products and services, firms that produce and sell the products and services, and society as a whole. The key to delivering these benefits resides in the effective design and execution of successful marketing strategies and tactics. In free market systems, the competitive nature of the marketplace ensures that only the most efficient and effective producers and marketers prevail. Known as consumer sovereignty, the consumer is king, and ultimately determines which services and products sell and which businesses survive and prosper.

Marketing and Productivity

Marketing is a primary function of management, as it correlates directly with generating sales revenue that is ultimately used to fund the operations of the organization and contribute to profitability. Marketing should be viewed as a viable, organization-wide function that can be incorporated into operations, human resources, ethics, and the creation of value.

This notwithstanding, the marketing function (similar to the HR function) has come under attack in recent years. This is a direct result of the difficulty in linking marketing efforts directly to the bottom line. For example, some types of advertising can be extremely expensive, and top executives should rightfully ask whether the investment is really worth it. Because this is difficult to measure, the question remains an open one. Most business people would agree that advertising drives customers to buy products and services, but how are ads linked directly to buyer behavior? Is it the most significant driver? The marketing function must face these are difficult questions. Roland Rust and others have begun to research this important field to provide insight into how marketing is linked to shareholder value.

Services Marketing and Customer Loyalty

The services marketing function is a direct result of the transformation of the U.S. economy from the industrial and manufacturing sectors to a services sector. With the growth of the service sector and related growth in Internet and e-based businesses, it is vital that managers understand the services marketing function. Services marketing involves several unique aspects when compared to the marketing efforts involved with tangible goods. The intimate involvement of the customer in the service transaction, as both a receiver of the service as well as an architect of the service, adds to the complexity of the delivery of the service when compared to a good. The impact of the physical surroundings on the service transaction requires the marketer to give thought to how that environment can be shaped to enhance the service experience. The processes required in effecting a successful service transaction must involve the customer, should be simple, and oftentimes necessitate an education effort to inform the customer of his or her role in the transaction. Taken together with the rest of the marketing mix, the marketing manager has a challenge to at once sell an initial transaction and at the same time ensure that the customer returns.

The nature of services requires and relies on people to deliver and maintain them. The satisfaction of services consumers relates directly to the experience they have with the people providing the service. Think of a recent experience in using services, whether at a dry cleaner, a hotel, or a bank, and consider the components involved in delivering the service. In all cases, it is likely the experience as a consumer was not based solely on the service, but rather on the friendliness and competence of the employees and the operations of the organization providing the service. Whenever there is a breakdown in the process or people delivering the service, it is likely that consumers will be dissatisfied and potentially choose another service provider. This simple example illustrates how the organization creates true value for consumers, which is increasingly important in the highly competitive economy.

Conclusion

Marketing discovers and satisfies customer needs by cultivating long-term relationships with various segment markets. The marketing mix helps businesses create these market segments, which in turn allow businesses to develop a loyal customer base within each segment. Organizations must link their marketing strategy with their corporate strategy. An effective marketing strategy involves the three phases of planning, implementing, and controlling. As organizations continue to become more competitive and consumers become savvier, managers must implement the concepts of services marketing to be successful.

References

Parasuraman, A., Zeithaml, V. A., and Berry, L. L. (1985). A conceptual model of service and its implications for future research. Journal of Marketing, 49(4). Retrieved October 26, 2005, from EBSCOHost database. AN: 5001773.

Porter, M., and Bond, G. (1999, July). Edward Jones. Harvard Business Review.

Rust, R.T., Ambler, T., Carpenter, G. S., Kumar, V., and Srivastava, R. K. (2004). Measuring marketing productivity: Current knowledge and future direction. Journal of Marketing, 68(4), (p. 76-89). Retrieved October 26, 2005, from EBSCOHost database. AN: 14342529.







3. Optional: Changing Mind: Leadership Theories



For additional information, the following is recommended: Leadership Theories page on the Changing Minds website.

http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/theories/leadership_theories.htm



Website

1. Optional: Socialmedia.biz



For additional information, the following is recommended: Socialmedia.biz website.

http://www.socialmedia.biz/

CONTENT:

Strategic Marketing & Strategic Planning Process Student: Institution: How does the strategic marketing process relate to the strategic planning process? The marketing function is very essential in an organization. Therefore, any organization in the competitive market that is prof

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