Marketing Assignment Help

Title: Marketing

Assignment 1

  1. Define the term “marketing” and discuss how it is more than just “telling and selling”.

Marketing is the process through which profitable relationships with customers are created and maintained. Marketing is not just about telling and selling; rather it involves efforts to attract new customers as well. At the same time, it is concerned with efforts to ensure that the current customers are satisfied at all times. Therefore, marketing enables businesses create value for their customer as well as to establish strong relationships with these customers in order to gain value from them in return.

The traditional concept of “telling and selling” fails to capture the true meaning of marketing. It fails to capture the importance of satisfying the needs of customers. Marketers who fail to understand the needs of customers are highly likely to lose them to competitors. Moreover, this approach fails to capture the important contribution of marketing in the process of developing products and services that offer value to customers. Furthermore, marketing also influences the process of setting prices, distributing products, and promoting them in the market.

It is sometimes assumed that marketing entails only advertising and selling. The marketing mix comprises of other components such as place, product, and price. These components make the marketing process a very long one. To succeed, the marketer must understand core customers and their wants, needs, and demands. On this basis, marketers develop market offerings with a view to satisfy these needs and wants. The objective is to satisfy customers in order to retain them. To do this, marketing must manage expectations throughout the process of advertising and selling new products and services.

Marketing also addresses the issue of exchange and relationships between the business and its customers. Through these exchanges, information is obtained on how to make the product more appealing. The exchanges also create opportunities for customers to acquire information regarding product characteristics, usage, and  availability of alternative products. This is the reason why many marketing efforts being undertaken today are being driven by the specific needs of customers. In other words, customers provide vital information on how they would like the product or service to be designed.

  1. Should marketers stop selling cigarettes even though they are legal and demanded by consumers

Marketers should not stop selling cigarettes because consumers demand for them. Moreover, it is legal to trade in cigarettes. To support this view, one may want to provide the analogy of fast-food restaurants. Many people continue to die because of obesity-related diseases that are contributed to by the sugary foods sold in these restaurants. Yet it would be unacceptable for anyone to tell the restaurant operators to stop selling sugary foods. Instead of shutting down the tobacco industry, marketers should provide information to consumers regarding the potential dangers of smoking. It is upon consumers to make decisions based on this information.

It would be unacceptable for marketers of cigarettes to provide misleading information simply to sell more cigarettes to ignorant consumers. To prevent this, the marketers should not use the marketing tactics that are prohibited in the developed world in other countries where they are not restricted. The percentage of North Americans who smoke cigarettes has reduced from 45 percent to 20 percent because of such restrictions. Conversely, developing countries continue to consume 70 percent of all the cigarettes produced by the tobacco industry because no restrictions have been imposed. Since the restrictions have been found to be effective in reducing cigarette consumption, they should be embraced by cigarette marketers in developing countries. This will greatly reduce the number of consumers who die of diseases relating to cigarette consumption.

Assignment Two

  1. Analysis of purchase decisions relating to three products

The three products that I consume most regularly include Kiwi, Colgate, and Fresh Fry. I buy Kiwi shoe polish once every two months. I buy Colgate toothpaste once every three weeks. I purchase Fresh Fry cooking oil on a monthly basis. I bought Kiwi over other brands mainly because this product has a strong brand reputation. It has been a strong brand in this country for more than three decades. On The other hand, I always prefer Colgate because I perceive it to be of superior quality. I regard it to be more effective than other similar products in the market. As for Fresh Fry cooking oil, I have been influenced to become a regular customer because of a highly provocative TV advert.

I consider Kiwi shoe polish to be advantageous because of its high quality. It nourishes shoes while all the other products bring more harm than good to shoes. On the other hand, I prefer Colgate toothpaste because of its herbal variant. Moreover, it is cheaper than all other toothpastes. Additionally, it is widely popular because of adverts where doctors and medical experts regularly provide endorsements.

I am satisfied with all the three products. I am confident that Kiwi will continue nourishing my shoes. I am also sure that my teeth will not decay any time soon as long as I continue using Colgate. Similarly, Fresh Fry is better than the cooking oil I was using previously because it lasts longer. I intend to continue using Colgate in the foreseeable future. However, if a cheaper substitute of Kiwi comes into the market, I am likely to switch over to the new product to assess its quality. I may also decide to start using other products being advertised on television to determine whether they are of a better quality than Fresh Fry. If I find them to be of a poor quality, I will revert to Fresh Fry.

  1. Psychological factor or process applied to the purchase: Subliminal messages

The product that I chose to examine in this section is Fresh Fry cooking oil. The major psychological factor that applied to my purchase is subliminal messages. The advertiser used sexual overtones to attract me to the message being communicated. Before I knew it, I was paying attention to everything being said in the advert about the product. I was not consciously aware of the fact that I was already paying too much attention on every detail of the advert. When I finally went shopping and found the product on the shelves, I decided to buy it.

The subliminal messages contained in the Fresh Fry advert were designed in such a way that they could affect my mind without me being aware of it. In subliminal advertising, efforts are made to ensure that the level of conscious perception is not reached in terms of the way the audience interprets the advert. This is precisely what happened in my situation. I was unable to gain conscious awareness of the intention of the advertiser to create awareness about the cooking oil. Instead, I simply paid attention to the attractive motion pictures that appeared on the TV screen. The process through which I could process the information was interrupted by frequent interruptions. The intention was to make me glued to the television for the longest time so that I could learn even more about the advert. Although the advert did not say anything about the quality of the product being advertised, I felt obliged to unearth the mystery behind the advert. That is how I ended up purchasing a bottle of Fresh Fry cooking oil.

Assignment 3

  1. Do you think marketers are to blame for kids getting older younger?

I think marketers are to blame for kids getting old younger (KGOY). Marketers have influenced the introduction of very drastic changes in the way the market for children’s items such as clothes and toys is segmented. For example, a marketer may sell a toy to an 11-year old child and at the same time indicate that it is also appropriate for all children aged between 5 and 11. The intention of such marketers is to increase the market size of their limited range of products. In this process, such marketers end up exposing very young children to clothes and toys that are too sexual.

Marketers who do not take time to draw distinctions in terms of age and cognitive needs when selling different products to children are responsible for kids getting older younger. Such marketers are only interested in integrating an entire market for children falling within a certain age bracket in order to make their advertising and selling work easier. Although this brings convenience to marketers, it causes untold harm to children who are forced to learn too many things while they are still too young to understand them fully. Such children end up getting confused because they are unable to reconcile what they learn with their worldview.

Moreover, marketers have discovered the so-called “kid’s power over dad and mum”. There is a very important reason why most marketers target children with adverts. Kids have become target markets mainly because they learn new things fast. For instance, they easily pay attention to adverts that feature children who fall within their age bracket. They also like adverts that describe things that they like such as candy and chocolate in the most enticing ways. Once their parents come home from work, the children insist that their parents should buy the items that they saw in the newest TV advert.

A study by LiveWire conducted via an online methodology sought to determine the extent to which KGOY was attributed to the activities of marketers (Kurnit 30). In this study, 62 mothers of children aged between 2 and 5 in the United States gave responses through questionnaires emailed to them (Kurnit 30). Majority of the mothers agreed that marketers are at the center of a situation whereby children continue to grow at a faster rate than ever before (Kurnit 32). The study’s findings singled out the pre-school kid toy business, which exposes pre-school kids to toys that require them to play with actual action figures (Kurnit 32). This is in sharp contrast with the tradition of providing these children with classical preschool products.

Today’s marketers have fully embraced new technologies targeted at pre-school children simply because they sell more. These marketers continue to exploit new parent ideologies and attitudes to sell more of these new types of toys. The mothers surveyed in the LiveWire study agreed kids of today are growing faster than those of the past, and that marketers have played a vital role in this situation by bombarding these children with branding messages via television and other electronic media (Kurnit 33). For example, in between  kids’ TV programs such as Scooby Doo, Rugrats, Blue’s Clues, and Telebubbies, numerous adverts for children’s clothing, snacks, juices, and skin-care products were presented (Kurnit 33).

  1. An example of a company that is countering: LEGO Group

One company that is countering this trend by offering age-appropriate products for children is the LEGO Group, a Danish toy company. With its rich heritage spanning eight decades, this company continues to focus strictly on fostering learning and creativity in all the toys it sells to consumers. The company provides an online platform where parents can select toys for their children based not just on prices but also on age. To further enhance age-appropriateness, LEGO Group has introduced the LEGO Club where both parents and their children are encouraged to become members. In this way, parents and children from different parts of the world come together to share their experiences regarding different toys  purchased from the company. This gives parents an opportunity to complain about any over-sexualized toys they may have bought and to demand their withdrawal from the market.

Assignment 4

  1. How Coca-Cola has evolved over the years

Coca-Cola has gone through a very long process of evolution throughout its history. During the early days of its existence, the company used to rely on slogans to communicate advertising messages directly. For example, the company used slogans in 1906 to take advantage of a trend where majority of people in the US were starting to hate alcoholic beverages. Through these slogans, the company created the impression that it was a nice beverage for all Americans.

The company has also been keen to communicate major achievements to the public as a form of advertising. For example, in 1917, Coca-Cola used the slogan “Three Million a Day”. In 1925, the slogan changed to “Six Million a Day”. This means that between 1917 and 1925, the company’s sales rose from  three million to six million bottles per day. By 1997, this number had increased to reach the one billion  mark. This is an indication of the rapid growth that the company has achieved particularly during the maturity stage of its product life cycle.

Coca-Cola has also been making drastic changes to the quality of its products as part of the evolution process. In 1985, the company introduced a new taste to its flagship product Coke, which it named New Coke. During the same year, Coca-Cola reintroduced the Coca-Cola classic based on the formula that had originally brought the company to success in the US and international market. The company has been keen to reintroduce slogans, products, and adverts that had been used in earlier years as a way of informing consumers about its rich heritage. Since the company’s history extends to more than a century, it has boasts of numerous choices for its older slogans, products, adverts, and marketing strategies.

Coca-Cola’s marketing strategies have greatly contributed to the company’s success. Although Coca-Cola is among the best-known brands today, this has not always been the case. When the company started in 1886, it used to advertise its products by using coupons to distribute free drinks as a way of creating product awareness. During the 1890s, the company used items such as fountain urns, calendars, and clocks to advertise its beverages. Celebrity endorsements started being used at the turn of the 20th century. Between 1892 and 1911, the company’s advertising budget rose from $11,000 to $1 million. Billboard and radio adverts were used a lot during the 1920s while Coca-Cola Christmas adverts became famous during the 1930s. The company changed tact during the 1950s and started producing TV adverts.

Some of the company’s marketing strategies have been successful while others have failed. One strategy that failed was the attempt in 1985 to compete with its main rival Pepsi by introducing a new formula for its most popular brand Coke. This was the first time in a century that Coca-Cola was changing this formula. This move drew a very negative response from consumers. The company was compelled to revert to its original formula in less than three months.

  1. Ways in which that Coca-Cola can continue to evolve to meet changing consumer needs and wants

To continue meeting the changing needs of consumers, Coca-Cola must first protect its position in the market. The company should step up its marketing efforts in both home and foreign markets. To identify new threats, an ongoing market research program should be launched. Through this program, the company can make the right decisions on when to reintroduce specific slogans, promotions, and advertising campaigns.

Assignment 5

  1. What factors must marketers consider when setting prices?

The four main factors that marketers must put into consideration when setting prices include costs, prices of competing products, demand, and brand positioning. Costs should be assessed because every business must sell a product at a price that is higher than all the costs incurred or a profit to be achieved. Prices of competing products should be put into consideration because consumers in most cases can choose between different products that serve the same purpose. Consumers are most likely to buy products from businesses that offer lower prices. Demand is also a crucial factor in price-setting because prices tend to increase when demand is high. They tend to decrease when the demand is low. The position of the brand in the market is also an important factor because consumers tend to associate prices with the overall image of the business and the quality of its products.

  1. What is target costing and how is it different from the usual process of setting prices?

Target costing is a price-setting method whereby companies seek to reduce the overall cost of producing products through planning. The companies put in place to monitor and manage all costs throughout the product life cycle. Target costing differs from the usual process of setting prices in that it enables companies achieve consistent profits. This is achieved through proper planning and management of all costs at every stage during the production process.

  1. Name and describe the four types of markets recognized by economists and discuss the pricing challenges posed by each.

            The first type is perfect market, which is characterized by the existence of many firms producing standardized products. The biggest challenge is that this is a price-taking market; prices are set by the market. The second type is imperfect market, where one or several firms tend to have the ability to influence prices. The main pricing challenge is on how to maximize profits without alienating customers. The third type of market is oligopoly, where a few firms dominate the market. The main pricing challenge arises from price wars. The last type of market is monopoly, where only one firm is involved in the delivery of a service. The main challenge posed by a monopoly is the permanent perception among consumers that the prices offered for all products are exorbitant.

  1. Explain market-skimming and market-penetration pricing strategies. Why would a marketer of innovative high-tech products choose market-skimming pricing rather than market- penetration pricing when launching a new product.

In market skimming the producer offers new high-end items at very high prices while in market penetration, relatively low prices are offered for new products to achieve high sales and deep penetration in the market. A marketer of innovative high-tech products may choose market-skimming pricing rather than market- penetration pricing when launching a new product if he wants to establish a strong brand positioning in the market.

Assignment 6

  1. Name and describe the six buyer-readiness stages and discuss why it is important for the marketing communicator to know where the target audience stands and to what stage it needs to be moved.

The first buyer-readiness stage that a consumer goes before adopting a product is awareness of the product’s existence. At this stage, the customer gains knowledge that a certain good or service is available in the market. The second stage is knowledge of the benefits of the product. This stage is reached when the consumer takes the effort to gain some understanding on the features and uses of the product. The third stage is initial interest. At this stage, the consumer gains interest in purchasing the product. In the fourth stage, the customer prefers one good or service over other competing goods and services in the market. This stage is critical because the consumer must examine the different ways in which the product is more appropriate for him compared to all the other products being offered by competitors. The fifth stage is conviction. The consumer becomes convinced that the product best suits its purpose and his needs. The final stage is purchase. At this stage, the consumer purchases the product.

All marketing communicators must first understand where the target audience stands and to what stage it needs to be moved before embarking on any marketing efforts. Different marketing strategies are required for each of these stages. For instance, for a person who is at the first stage, the most important thing for the marketer to do is to provide as much information as possible regarding the product, its features, and its advantages. For a consumer who is at the fourth stage, the marketing communicator should explain in detail the features that make the product in question more superior to all the others being offered by competitors. In other words, the buyer-readiness stage should determine the choice of promotional message for a product.

  1. Describe the three types of appeals used in marketing communication messages and develop three different advertisements for the same brand of a product of your choice, each using a different appeal.

Three types of appeals that are commonly used in marketing communication messages include sex appeal, fear appeal, and scarcity appeal. In sex appeal, sexually suggestive images, texts, and videos are used to attract attention and trigger strong feelings from the target audience. In fear appeal, advertisers invoke feelings of fear to make their products more desirable to consumers. For example, insurance companies invoke fear about bad things that may happen in future such as accidents, disease, fire, theft, death, or divorce to sell more insurance policies. Lastly, scarcity appeal entails the tendency by advertisers to warn buyers that only limited stocks are available even when the available stocks are unlimited. The intention is to create a mad rush as consumers hurry to buy the products.

Figure 1: An advertisement depicting sex appeal

 

Figure 2: An advertisement depicting fear appeal

Figure 3: An advertisement depicting scarcity appeal

 

Works Cited

Kurnit, Paul “KGOY reconsidered: Kids just want to be kids”, Young Consumers: Insight and Ideas for Responsible Marketers, 5.2 (2004): 29 – 33.

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