48 Part One|Defining Marketing and the Marketing Process
Now that we’ve set the
context in terms of
company-wide strategy, it’s time to
discuss customer-driven marketing
strategies and programs.
Comment Marketing Strategy
and the Marketing Mix (pp 48–53)
The strategic plan defines the company’s overall mission and objectives. Marketing’s role is shown in Figure 2.4, which summarizes the major activities involved in managing a customer-driven marketing strategy and the marketing mix.
Consumers are in the center. The goal is to create value for customers and build profitable customer relationships. Next comes marketing strategy—the marketing logic by which the company hopes to create this customer value and achieve these profitable relationships. The company decides which customers it will serve (segmentation and targeting) and how (differentiation and positioning). It identifies the total market and then divides it into smaller segments, selects the most promising segments, and focuses on serving and satisfying the customers in these segments.
Guided by marketing strategy, the company designs an integrated marketing mix made up of factors under its control—product, price, place, and promotion (the four Ps). To find the best marketing strategy and mix, the company engages in marketing analysis, planning, implementation, and control. Through these activities, the company watches and adapts to the actors and forces in the marketing environment. We will now look briefly at each activity. In later chapters, we will discuss each one in more depth.
Customer-Driven Marketing Strategy
As emphasized throughout Chapter 1, to succeed in today’s competitive marketplace, companies must be customer centered. They must win customers from competitors and then keep and grow them by delivering greater value. But before it can satisfy customers, a company must first understand customer needs and wants. Thus, sound marketing requires careful customer analysis.
Companies know that they cannot profitably serve all consumers in a given market— at least not all consumers in the same way. There are too many different kinds of consumers with too many different kinds of needs. Most companies are in a position to serve some segments better than others. Thus, each company must divide up the total market, choose the best segments, and design strategies for profitably serving chosen segments. This process involves market segmentation, market targeting, differentiation, and positioning. Marketing strategy
The marketing logic by which the
company hopes to create customer value
and achieve profitable customer
Marketing strategy involves two key
questions: Which customers will we
serve (segmentation and targeting)?
and How will we create value for
them (differentiation and
positioning)? Then, the company
designs a marketing program—the
four Ps—that delivers the intended
value to targeted consumers.
At its core, marketing is all
about creating customer
value and profitable
FIGURE | 2.4
Managing Marketing Strategies
and the Marketing Mix
Chapter 2|Company and Marketing Strategy: Partnering to Build Customer Relationships 49 Market Segmentation
The market consists of many types of customers, products, and needs. The marketer must determine which segments offer the best opportunities. Consumers can be grouped and served in various ways based on geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral factors. The process of dividing a market into distinct groups of buyers who have different needs, characteristics, or behaviors, and who might require separate products or marketing programs is called market...
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