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Business Bursts: Marketing

Updated Tuesday 23rd November 2010

There are many motivations for businesses to get their marketing right - Business Bursts examines how these messages are getting ever more sophisticated.



Dr Andrew Lindridge, Senior Lecturer in Marketing
Marketing is generally about giving people what they want, and people will only buy something or a product or a service if it’s sold to them at the right price, has a right product offering, places convenient to them and it’s promoted in such a way to encourage them to want to buy it.  Now products and services that are successful are the ones which use all those components.

Dr Terry O’Sullivan, Senior Lecturer in Management
The most important thing in marketing of any sort is the actual product and the service that you’re marketing.  Your marketing effort can help people know about that, they might not have known about it before, or it can help people to access it or it can help people to be able to afford it by setting the price right, but at the end of the day they’ve got to be interested in the show or the exhibition or whatever it might be.

Maureen Meadows, Senior Lecturer in Management
One of the best known examples of relationship marketing or customer relationship management in the UK is the supermarket Tesco’s.  Now for a number of years Tesco’s have had a Clubcard.  So as a customer you sign up for a Clubcard, and that means that every time you do your shopping you’re going to get some points on your card, which bring you various advantages.  Now you have to hand over some information that’s part of the deal in order to get a Clubcard.  You have to give Tesco’s some information about yourself.  Maybe your age, how many children you have, the age of your children, maybe your household income, some of your hobbies and interests, those sorts of things.  So you have to give some of that information to the supermarket in return for the benefits.

So we’ve moved from that mass marketing approach to a much more targeted individualised approach where we segment markets into groups of customers with different needs and wants, and where we don’t just view every exchange as a transaction, buying a chocolate bar today and I might buy a different chocolate bar from a different manufacturer tomorrow, to a point where the organisation wants to build a relationship with me as a customer, wants to find out about my needs and wants to satisfy those, wants to keep me happy, keep me loyal, so that I keep buying the same product from them.

Dr Terry O’Sullivan
I suppose marketing, because it involves the exchange of money, because it involves providing products that need to be safe, because it has occasion, well very often has unintended consequences let’s say, let’s say like the consequences it has on the environment, because people are involved in all sorts of relationships in terms of how products are produced and marketed around the world, it raises all sorts of ethical issues.

Dr Andrew Lindridge
An historical example of how marketing failed would be the example of Rover Cars.  Where Rover had been part of British Leyland, which was a large gathering of British car companies, and had gone down from being a high status car, to poor reputation, and Rover tried to redesign its image, or reposition it as we call in marketing, to make it more exclusive, say compete against Mercedes, Audi, BMW.  And the market clearly could see that the product did not match the competition.  The price was too high.  It wasn’t available in designer dealer outlets, let’s say Mercedes Benz has.  So everything about the message being sent out was wrong.  So people just didn’t buy Rover cars because the product didn’t reflect what they thought it was, which is why Rover went bankrupt.


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