Marketing Module 4 SLP of the of the Marketing Module 4 SLP Introduction The practice of marketing in the real world does not only involve the creation of a product or service that satisfies certain wants or desires, but also takes into account other activities like branding, advertising, packaging and ultimately selling or distribution that gets the product from where it is produced to where it is consumed. Selling and promotion are important parts of the marketing strategy because they create product or service awareness that stimulates customer desires or wants. If he or she is not aware of a new offering, they may never buy your product. Even knowledge is not enough, as a potential consumer may have to be influenced by others or by the uniqueness of the product or service offering. In modern times, where different varieties of the same product or service are made available for different segments of the population, one may follow different strategies to create appeals or desires among different segments of the population, depending on its demographic, psychographic and lifestyle analysis (Kotler &. Keller, 2011).
Branding, advertising, personal selling, industrial selling and sales promotion and distribution efforts all constitute different types of promotion strategies for a product or service. Taking the example of a car as introduced in Module 1, we can see that advertising on television and billboards, sales promotion though different offers such as prizes in lucky draws connected with another product, and special deals available at car dealers are some of the methods that are used by automobile companies to induce people to buy their products. Of course, online advertising is another means to attract consumers of all types and income groups across the spectrum. Automobile companies usually show off their latest models inviting us to click their ads and browse the details of various models available. There is even a good market for second hand cars. As to the different marketing ploys used to attract different groups of customers, typically the higher income groups, celebrities and the trend setters are shown the faster and sleeker varieties. Depending on the family size, a Pajero, a sedan or a Landcruiser may also be a good choice. On the other hand, while targeting a middle class family, a roomy and ergonomically designed car like a Camry would be a good choice. For the classier lot, a Lexus would be a good option. Similarly we have cars for the lower end as well, or those available at a discount being second hand cars. In this way the different segments of the market for automobiles can be targeted and satisfied. Of course there is healthy competition among American, Japanese and other producers of cars. In addition to local plant output, cars can also be ordered from overseas according to certain popular makes and specifications. It all depends on demand, quality and availability (USC Marshall, 2011).
I do believe that the promotion strategies selected and practiced by Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and other automobile manufacturers are the right ones and the combination of billboard, television and online advertising, along with car dealership discounts, prizes and other offerings are sufficient to stimulate the customer demand for cars. To control the cost element, more and more production facilities are being automated or fitted with robotic arms etc. The advertisements themselves focus on different aspects that matter to the customer such as quality, fuel efficiency, green engineering, space, ergonomics and comfort. Elegance, sleekness, speed, maneuverability and cost are other traditional elements that are highlighted in these advertisements and press releases.
Clicking on the Yahoo Autos section of the popular website, I could see advertisements for nine manufacturers- Honda, Ford, Hyundai, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Chrysler, Lexus and Volkswagen being shown. A click on any one of these options and you are taken to a particular vehicle with its principal features, selling points and different models available. Another option lets you select the car you wish to buy along with optional elements being offered such as choice of transmission, rims and wheels etc.
On the whole I believe that online advertising is the wisest choice for getting the different features and models of cars noticed by different classes of consumers at the same time. Other than that, billboard and television advertising also play a pivotal role in automobile related promotion and sales efforts.
Kotler, P. &. Keller, K. (2011). Marketing Management, 14th ed. Prentice Hall.
USC Marshall (2011). Information Search and Decision Making. Accessed on 03 Dec 2011 at http://www.consumerpsychologist.com/cb_Decision_Making.html