Source: Business Horizons; Nov/Dec97, Vol. 40 Issue 6, p39, 6p, 1 chart Document Type: Article
Subject Terms: *BUSINESS planning
Abstract: Discusses the customize ways of introducing, providing and delivering products and services to customers by business firms. Impact of customization on the marketing mix; Strategies or instruments in the marketing mix; Options for business in producing and marketing a product or service.
Full Text Word Count: 3699
Accession Number: 9712104170
Persistent link to this record:
Cut and Paste: Marketing mix customization and customizability.
Database: Business Source Premier
MARKETING MIX CUSTOMIZATION AND CUSTOMIZABILITY
Businesses looking for custom methods of designing, pricing, selling, and delivering their wares can do it themselves or leave it up to the customer.
We are sailing out of this century and into the next with our marketing methods in full-scale metamorphosis. Top-down marketing is becoming bottom-up. Transaction marketing is giving way to relationship marketing. One-way or broadcast marketing is moving to an interactive style to encourage a dialogue with the customer. And mass marketing is shifting to a customized, one-on-one method of reaching individual customers.
Because of fierce competition, long-term competitive advantages often are no longer sustainable. The policy to be followed, says d'Aveni (1994) is one of continuous market disturbance in order to create "temporary" competitive advantages. Hamel and Prahalad (1994) suggest that firms should look almost continuously for new opportunities. In the midst of such dizzying change, companies must be able to make "realtime" decisions, so their planning and tactics horizons often become shorter. To be flexible and highly responsive to market moves, a top-down approach in which business strategy decisions precede tactical and planning decisions often no longer works. Companies should be able to adapt their tactics immediately.
In the same context, a firm's communication approach becomes more and more bottom-up. Rather than determining target groups (who?) and communication aims (what?) before deciding on the instruments (how?), specific methods of communicating, such as via the Internet, are leading to the identification of who and what. Moreover, many writers claim that a paradigm shift is occurring from transaction marketing to relationship marketing. Firms are beginning to realize that keeping current customers may be more important than trying to attract new ones.(*)
Especially in business-to-business markets, many firms are starting to involve their customers in the product development process. Along with an increased concern about customers' real needs, wants, and demands, the information flow between customers and firms becomes more important. The Internet and other new communication media allow companies to interact with customers much more directly. Face-to-face or phone and fax contacts are no longer the only means of doing so.
Marketing strategies are also becoming more individually oriented. Businesses have begun to develop databases that allow them to approach customers on an individual basis. This in turn allows companies to customize their ways of introducing, providing, and delivering products and services to the customers.
A FRAMEWORK FOR MARKETING MIX CUSTOMIZATION
In light of all these transformations in the marketing field, particularly the trend toward "individualization" of the consumer, the focus here is on the impact of "customization" on the marketing mix. Five...