I. THE MARKETING MIX FROM THE CUSTOMER’S POINT-OF-VIEW: THE ‘4 A’s
In essence, this is what we want the ‘4P’s’ to accomplish. They provide ‘outcomes’ measures. Like the 4 P’s, the 4 A’s will always be a function of the ‘Target Market’.
II. THE ‘4 S’ MODEL OF THE PRODUCT/SERVICE LIFE CYCLE.
The product life cycle moves from ‘emergence’ to ‘rapid growth’ to ‘maturity’ in the well known ‘S-shaped Curve’; and over the same time the probability that any customer will buy follows a normal distribution from the ‘early innovators’ to the ‘early majority’ to the ‘late majority’ to the ‘laggards’. The ‘4 S model describes the behaviors that drive the inevitable march to maturity (and cost-of-capital returns in an efficient market) – Products standardize; Market Segments saturate; Customers grow more sophisticated and seller organizations slow down. This means that over time their will be imitators and knock-offs giving the buyer more choice and causing downward pressure on Prices. The market will be buying all that it needs unless the seller stimulates increased purchases with new use development, innovative communications, new channels and perhaps, new target markets – all of which are costly, further squeezing margins and profits. At the same time the potential/repeat customers will become more sophisticated about the availability and usefulness of the product/service and less willing to pay premium prices. Finally, the organization slows down with age – it is difficult to sustain the entrepreneurial energy of the emergence and rapid growth stages of the life cycle. Essentially this is a behavioral explanation of the ‘efficient market’ concept.
III. ROLES IN THE BUYING DECISION PROCESS
Each of these ‘roles may be played by a different...