Smiggle Marketing Approach and Analysis

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Smiggle is an Australian based international stationary company created in 2003. The company offers a unique range of bright and colourful stationary products to customers, offering an alternative and distinct product to the market (smiggle.com.au, 2012). To continue to sell their product and generate a profit Smiggle must continue to engage in the marketing process to generate interest in their product and generate sales. This makes marketing an essential tool to businesses. Acting as a customer’s voice marketing informs the business of the markets wants and needs. In this manner marketing is explicitly linked to customer value, as the organisation must find a sense of need or desire within the customer and then create a product that meet it if they wish to remain in business. This essay will attempt to unpack the concept of marketing further, explaining its various processes and the importance of customer value in marketing. Marketing can be defined as ‘the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large’ (American Marketing Association, 2007). From this definition it can be seen that marketing is the process by which an organisation communicates with customers to promote, create a sense of value and ultimately sell their concept or product (Gamble, Gilmore, McCartnan-Quinn and Durkan, 2011). As previously stated marketing is not a singular function but a process. This process consists of a four basic elements; identifying a want or need within a market; creating a strategy to market a product to fulfil this need; delivering and communicating value to the customer; and the retaining of customers through the maintenance of this perceived value (Kotler, Brown, Burton, Deans and Armstrong, 2010, pg. 6). The first step in the marketing process is to identify a need or want within the market to cater to. A need is an item of necessity that people at a fundamental level cannot live without; such an example is food, shelter clothes etc. while a want is an item that has evolved from a need as society progresses and our attitudes towards living change (Basu, 2010, pg. 1). In the case of Smiggle they found a market for an alternative and colourful form of stationary (smiggle.com.au, 2012). As Smiggle stationary is not the only product of its nature on the market and its use is not essential to day to day living it is classed as a want. Therefore, before creating new product Smiggle as an organisation should engage in market research techniques; such as customer questionnaires and polls, competition business sales reports and focus groups (Kotler et al., 2007, pg. 170) to ensure that their product will meet a desire within the market and fulfil customer expectation and sell. Once a need has been identified within the market the next step of the marketing process is to create a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is the organisations choice, based on extensive research, of which audiences to target and how best to tailor the product to their needs (Kotler et al., 2007, pg. 11). The choice of target audiences will be made on factors such as product demand within certain demographics and communities, extracted through customer research such as focus groups and questionnaires, as mentioned above. Another strategy adopted in marketing plans may be to differentiate their products through the use of branding or slogans to catch a customer’s eye (Kotler et al, 2007, pg. 13), as Smiggle currently does with its bright colours and designs. The choice of target markets and brand designs is essential to the marketing process ensuring that campaigns set on selling the product are focused on the right group, using appropriate techniques. For example it could prove more beneficial for Smiggle to advertise over television and social network sites than radio given its...
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