Basics of Marketing Process
The overall process of marketing has been divided into various steps by various marketing philosophers. To understand the marketing in simple way, we have divided the marketing process in following 6 steps.
- Strategy Formulation
- Marketing Planning
- Marketing Programming, Allocating And Budgeting
- Marketing Implementation
- Monitoring And Auditing
- Analysis And Research
Each step is interrelated with other steps, as marketing is a complex and continuous process. The relationships are shown as below in the figure. There are only vague and unclear dividing lines between any two parts of the process as precise boundaries are not as important as the general concept.
Following is a brief Description about each of the above steps:
- Strategy Formulation: Marketing strategy formation involves the development of the broadest marketing/business strategies with the longest-term impact. Through marketing strategy, the organization is allowed to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. A marketing strategy should be centered on the key concept that customer satisfaction is the main goal. Marketing strategy also defines the principles on which competition is faced successfully. At the strategy formulation stage, complex integration with other corporate functions is required. A marketing strategy has to be in rhythm with other functional strategies and overall corporate strategy. In fact, marketing strategy and overall corporate strategy are meld into a unified strategy. The overall target of strategy formulation is to achieve a sold positioning of the product or service of the firm.
- Market Planning: Market Planning is the base of the marketing. It involves objectives and plans with a 2-5 year time horizon and is thus further from day-to-day activity of implementation with an objective to make the best possible utilization of all the human & physical resources of a firm. A well-formulated marketing plan helps in establishing the effective coordination among various activities / departments of a firm. Most marketing plans are broad in nature and have a long term impact. Plans have to be developed by a combination of the specialists as well as the line managers who are responsible for carrying out a plan.
- Programming, Allocating & Budgeting: Marketing Programming, Allocating and Budgeting involves detail and focuses relatively on a shorter duration generally.
Programming is like creating functional implementation programme keeping in view one or more elements of the marketing mix. Programming depends upon the nature of the firm, its organizational structure.
Allocating means allocation of the resources of the firm on various elements of the marketing programme such as advertising or distribution etc. Through allocation, the firm decides what to do and what not to do and also how much and how long to do. Allocation is not based upon optimism of the marketer but involves hard decisions within the limits of firm’s priority and market environment.
Budgeting involves the quantitative forecasts and estimates of each marketing function. It involves forecast cash flows and needs, sales forecasts etc.
- Market Implementation:
This is the most functional stage of marketing process. Strategy formulation, market planning programming, allocating and budgeting lead to marketing implementation. Marketing implementation is the execution phase. This phase produces the actual results. The best strategies carved out by the best marketing specialists may get busted if the implementation is poor.
Implementation depends upon the human resources of the organization very much. For different personnel the meaning of implementation is different and set within his/ her work area. For example, for a sales person , the implementation means to go through effectively all the sales steps. While for a sales manager, the implementation is to organize the sales team/ force. Marketing implementation is people oriented and focuses on prospects, customers, distributors, retailers, and wholesalers. Marketing implementation needs support, coordination, and a well-developed network for successful results.
- Monitoring & Auditing:
In general, audit is evaluation of a person, organization, system, process, enterprise, project or product and monitoring is act of supervising. In marketing, the monitoring and auditing involve to identify those existing (external and internal) factors, which will have a significant impact on the performance of firm. Therefore, it involves the assessment of performance against quantitative goals. The comprehensive audit also involves review of the processes as well qualitative and non-quantifiable aspects of marketing operation. The audit has to be done on a certain occasions while the monitoring refers to the day-to-day supervision and review activity.
- Analysis and Research:
Analysis and Research is the end and beginning of marketing process. The marketing decisions need to be based upon the careful analysis and research. This may be quantitative based upon mathematics, statistics, and other quantitative disciplines and qualitative based upon psychology, behavioral science, moral science, anthropology and other disciplines.
All the above activities are interrelated to each and other. The marketing is the front end of a corporate while bearing the lateral connections with all the other functional departments.
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