Find breakthrough Opportunities
The marketing strategy planning process involves careful evaluation of the market opportunities available before narrowing down to focus on the most attractive target market and marketing mix (review Exhibit 2-10). As the HP case illustrates, a manager who develops an understanding of the needs and characteristics of specific groups of target customers within the broader market may see new, breakthrough opportunities. But it’s not always obvious how to identify the real needs of a target market—or the marketing mix that those customers will see as different from, and better than, what is available from a competitor. This chapter covers concepts and approaches that will help you to succeed in the search for those opportunities.
What is a company’s market?
Identifying a company’s market is an important but sticky issue. In general, a market is a group of potential customers with similar needs who are willing to exchange something of value with sellers offering various goods or services—that is, ways of satisfying those needs. However, within a general market, marketing oriented managers develop marketing mixes for specific target markets. Getting the firm to focus on specific target markets is vital.
Don’t just focus on
Some production-oriented managers don’t understand this narrowing-down process. They get into trouble because they ignore the tough part of defining markets. To make the narrowing-down process easier, they just describe their markets in terms of products they sell. For example, producers and retailers of greeting cards might define their market as the “greeting-card” market. But this production oriented approach ignores customers—and customers make a market! This also leads to missed opportunities. Hallmark isn’t missing these opportunities. Instead, Hallmark aims at the “personal-expression” market. Hallmark stores offer all...