Societal Marketing Concepts

Over the last several years, social marketing has become an important concept that is increasingly utilized to reach out to new customers. This is because this medium has grown exponentially with more people using it as a way to learn about new products and to stay connected with each other. However, the majority of firms claim to have assets in these areas. Yet, very few of them are utilizing this to effectively reach out to stakeholders. (Pick, 2012) (Richardson, 2010) (Stevens, 2004)

According to Pick (2012), those companies with over 1,000 employees have an average of 178 social media properties. The most notable include: blogs, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. The challenges are that only 25% have trained their employees in the best tactics for effectively connecting with cliental. This is problematic in showing how these firms have invested significant amounts of resources in these platforms. Yet, they are not spending the time to ensure that everyone understands how the efficiently utilize them. The results are that these organizations will miss out on key opportunities from this oversight. (Pick, 2012) (Richardson, 2010) (Stevens, 2004)

To fully understand why corporations are not embracing this strategy requires studying their marketing concept. This will be accomplished by focusing on why some firms operate under the production, product / selling approaches and how this will impact profitability along with customer satisfaction. Together, these elements will highlight the overall scope of the problems and the way firms can effectively address them in the future. (Pick, 2012) (Richardson, 2010) (Stevens, 2004)

Why might some companies still operate under the production, product or selling orientations and what impact might this have on their profitability and customer satisfaction/retention?

For some companies the production model is an essential part of their business strategy. This is because they can succeed by flooding the marketplace with the cheapest amounts of goods possible. What is happening is they can increase the total number of units they are shipping to various segments. This will directly result in improved revenues by selling merchandise considerably cheaper than their competitors. The increased amounts of output are a sign of their success. As these firms believe they are able to identify the demand from consumers and quickly respond to it. ("Marketing, Production, Sales and Societal Marketing," 2012) (Time, 2012) (Stevens, 2004)

The primary drawback with this strategy is that it is not taking into account if it is addressing the needs of customers. Instead, it is concentrating on delivering as many of the lowest cost products as possible. A good example of a firm that is utilizing the approach is Ford Motor Company. This is because the auto industry is highly competitive with consumers having a large choice of makes and models available to them. The primary factor they will focus on is the cost of the vehicle. ("Marketing, Production, Sales and Societal Marketing," 2012) (Time, 2012) (Slaton, 2007) (Stevens, 2004)

In order for the company to compete they have to create additional incentives that will appeal to consumers from this perspective. This means that they will have a series of makes and models which will be targeted at this demographic. To help enhance sales, they will also offer additional incentives (such as: employee pricing and zero percent financing). These tactics are used to demonstrate how Ford has similar products as their competitors with a lower pricing structure. This is supposed to attract customers by offering them with greater value in the process of searching for a new vehicle. (Slaton, 2007) (Stevens, 2004)

The impact that this having on their profitability and customer satisfaction; are to offer clients with competitively priced products. This helps to increase their bottom line results with company selling more units. However, when it comes to customer fulfillment and retention, this approach means they do not have as much loyalty. Instead, they are concentrating on who has the best features, prices and reliability. In this aspect, the model that is used by Ford will hurt their brand image by making them slow to respond to changes in demand. It is only after a select amount of time when they can make these adjustments. (Stevens, 2004)

The product or selling orientation is concentrating on responding to the needs of customers and providing them with the merchandise they are demanding. This is accomplished through conducting tremendous amounts of research as to what features and aspects are most important to them. At the same time, these firms will have tremendous amounts of development occurring in delivering them to consumers. ("Marketing, Production, Sales and Societal Marketing," 2012) (Time, 2012) (Stevens, 2004)

Once they understand the needs of cliental is when they will discontinue certain items and introduce new products. The basic idea is to respond quickly to the changing tastes inside the marketplace and adapt with any transformations. Moreover, these firms will concentrate on making themselves standout from competitors by building their brand image. This is accomplished through engaging in massive amounts of advertising. Under this approach, these companies will demonstrate how their products are superior to competitors. This is achieved by illustrating its benefits and how it is addressing the fundamental needs of consumers. When this happens, an organization has built up a favorable reputation about the merchandise they are selling. ("Marketing, Production, Sales and Societal Marketing," 2012) (Time, 2012) (Stevens, 2004)

A good example of this can be seen with Apple. From the mid 1980s until 1997 is when the firm went from being a dominant player in consumer electronics to a cautionary tale. Once Steve Jobs rejoined the company, is point they were able to make a major comeback. This is because he concentrated on understanding the needs of consumers and introducing products that meet these requirements. While this was happening Jobs, forced Apple to discontinue selling products that were not popular among cliental and had poor sales. (Palmer, 2012)

Instead, he changed the direction of the firm by focusing on introducing new merchandise that was on the cutting edge. The most notable was the introduction of the I Pod in 2001. This is a portable music player that allowed customers to purchase songs from the Apple store for a small fee of $.99 cents. It was the first device that helped to deal with issues of piracy inside the music industry and allowed consumers to store songs digitally. (Palmer, 2012)

As time went by, the company continued to innovate in these areas by providing consumers with videos and movies they could download. Then, they took this process one step further, with the introduction of the I Phone. This was taking the different features of I Pod and it incorporated them into a smart phone. Once this happened, is the point that Apple went from being on the verge of bankruptcy to becoming the most dominant players inside the technology arena. (Palmer, 2012)

Then, the firm used these tactics to create a new product called the I Pad. This took the various computer applications and consolidated them down into a small tablet which could work from any location (utilizing wireless technology). What made it so unique is they were able to build off of the innovations in the past and adjust with the changing tastes of consumers. When this happened, Apple continued to improve the favorable brand image that was established with the introduction of the I Pod and I Phone. (Palmer, 2012)

This is showing how the product or selling model helped Apple to understand the needs of customers and quickly adjust to them. In a competitive marketplace, this approach allowed the firm to increase its profitability and become one of the most popular technology companies. As a result, one could argue that understanding the needs of customers and responding to them are what helped Apple to enhance its research…