2 What is retail marketing?
The concept of retailing can be traced back deep into history and the development of human civilisations. However, until about half a century ago, retailers were at the end of the supply chain and their key function was to sell products offered by manufacturers. Retailers had some influence on the products made but much emphasis was placed on pushing (selling) manufactured goods. But a new approach to business emerged which laid the founding principles of marketing. These principles brought about a new way of looking at business development which revolutionised modern business practices.
To date, through successful adoption and application of marketing, detailed knowledge and understanding of the customer and careful management and planning of retail operations, retailers have shifted the power and control in the supply chain from the manufacturer towards the retailer. In this section we are going to learn about different views of the role and importance of marketing in retail. The purpose of the following series of activities is to develop your understanding of the elements of the marketing mix and examine how retailers apply the mix. It is important that you check your understanding of the meaning of the term ‘marketing’ before you proceed. The next activity will help you do that.
Activity 4: Marketing in practice
Purpose: to develop your understanding of the scope of marketing in modern businesses.
Task: Watch the following film and with the help of the discussions it presents, write a short description (of 100 words) explaining what marketing means to a modern business. Here you will meet marketing experts; Cheryl Calverley, Brand Manager for Birdseye Peas, Kieran Monahan, Chief Executive of Next Door Communication Agency, and David Jobber, Professor of Marketing at Bradford University. They discuss the meaning of marketing from different business perspectives.
As you have seen from the film, it does not matter what area of business you are working in, marketing is at the heart of business activities. For this reason, it is important to have a sound understanding of how marketing can help to shape planning and management decisions. You may also have noticed that there is a strong link between the retail environment and marketing. Please note, sometimes the meaning of marketing is confused and considered to consist largely of just promotions and advertising. The reality is that in market-orientated businesses, marketing is at the heart of every business activity and consequently influences all business decisions and actions, not just its promotional activities.