In this ever-changing and highly competitive business environment where customers have become so sophisticated, curious, service conscious and think about what business brings more convenience to them, so it has almost become impossible for a business to survive longer without effective marketing. Customers are the soul and feeder of any business. There is no business if there are no customers and there are no customers if there is no marketing. Marketing means not only to satisfy the customer’s needs, wants but also a step forward to delight them. In other words, marketing includes all those activities which exactly identify and satisfy customer’s needs and wants and managing long-term customer relationship in such a way that is beneficial for both the organization and its stakeholders. In broaden sense, “Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create and maintain relationships that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives.” (Brassington and Pettit, 2003)
Marketing runs throughout the product’s life, trying to seek and keep new and existing customers respectively by improving product appeal and performance, learning from product’s sale result and managing repeated performance. (CIM, 2001)
This piece of work highlights the application of different marketing concepts and models on Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited’s one product named as PTCL prepaid calling cards. This study also critically describes the alarming marketing management issues both at tactical and strategic level.
Product Life Cycle (PLC):
Product life cycle (PLC) is a useful graphic descriptive tool which explains about the history of a product from its birth (marketing beginning) to its death (withdrawal from market). It has four different stages of life named as Introductory, Growth, Maturity and Decline stage. According to Day, product life cycle analysis should provide a “systematic framework for examining the market dynamic”. (Day, 1984)
Like a human being every product has its own life cycle. For instance, when a baby gets birth, baby is in its introductory stage and needs different level and types of attention like, care, food, shelter, environment etc and these attentions will be changed according to its growth, adultery, maturity stage and so on. Likewise when a product is born or marketed, it requires different level and types of attention, such as, how and what ways should it be marketed, what sort of marketing strategies should be adopted to market it, what are the business environment can effect to the product, what are the dangers and threats (competitors) for the product, how that product needs to grow in the market and so on. Marketer should pay consideration to all these types of attention to that product as product passes through its different stages like introductory, growth, maturity and decline stage. PLC provides guidance about what the product has achieved and where it is heading to future (Grantham, 1997). The following diagram explains the marketing objectives a company may adopt regarding a product at every stage of PLC from introduction to decline and the sort of marketing strategies, such as, competition, product, price, promotion, distribution, a firm may adopt at each stage of product life cycle.
Product life cycle of PTCL prepaid calling card:
As per market analysis, PTCL prepaid calling cards have just entered into its maturity stage shown by point “b” in the following figure. At this stage product’s sale growth rate is getting low, profit starts to decline because of market is heading towards saturation and heavy competition with other competitors in the market like GT calling card, Global calling card, Call mate etc bringing with distinguish product’s features, price strategy and heavy price war and promotion, so PTCL’s management has to...
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