Irrespective of the nature of business, marketing plays the important role of communication between the enterprise and the target consumer, with the objective of influencing their purchase decisions. As a result, communicating the value of the firm’s products and services to the customer is an integral aspect of marketing. Through an effective marketing approach, the business realizes customer-centered practice, an approach that strives the meet the needs of customers and nurture brand loyalty. Evidently, the marketing functions within an organization play a central role in enhancing the firm’s competitiveness through the creation of customer-centered businesses which positively influences their decision making process.
1. TheCore Marketing Functions Within an Organization.
The core marketing functions are highly critical for the business in value creation and building sustainable ventures. Particularly, the five core marketing functions for any business include corporate marketing, strategic marketing, product management, product marketing and field marketing (Rosenbloom, 2013). For the organization, corporate marketing entails setting a global marketing domain through the enforcement of brand standards, maintaining positive stakeholder relationships, effective corporate communication and production synergies across the marketing platform.
As affirmed by Welo (2012), strategic marketing provides the business with opportunities for growth by assessing the competitiveness in the industry so that the products and services are reengineered to meet the strategic needs of consumers. Another core marketing function is product management, whereby the business articulates innovation, adopts effective pricing and commercialization strategies for effective positioning of the brand. Further, product marketing enables the firm to build and launch its products and services offering, as well as reengineering processes to meet emerging customer needs. As another core marketing function within the enterprise, field marketing entails undertaking marketing programs and campaigns to drive business opportunities by enhancing brand awareness.
2. The Goals and Expected Outcomes of the Organizational Function
As an important organizational function, the marketing strategy of the enterprise should have clear goals and well-defined outcomes. When formulating the marketing strategy for the firm, it is important to consider the operational, employee and business development challenges so that the plight of each stakeholder is addressed. In this regard, some of the key goals of the marketing function include creation of brand awareness and development and expansion of market for the firm’s products and services (Kumar, 2015). Importantly, the marketing goals of the enterprise should match the enterprise goals so that the collective vision of the firm is realized. Once the goals for the marketing function are in place, then the firms sets the objective on how these goals will be realized. The goals of the marketing function are accompanied by the desired outcome that the firm wishes to realize. For example, with a goal to develop new markets, the expected outcome would be an increase in the company’s sales by a certain percentage. In addition, the outcome from the establishment of distribution outlets will be increased product placement in additional outlets from where customers can purchase
3. How Companies Create Customer-Centered Businesses
Creating a customer-centric strategy for the business entails nurturing a company culture that is centered on the customers and their needs, through the creation of genuine value for your consumers (Bettencourt, Lusch & Vargo, 2014). In this regard, the business can provide great customer experience, both at the purchase and post-purchase levels. Practically, a customer-centered business puts the needs of its clientele first, and as the core of the business. Specifically, the approach to enforce to realize a customer-centered business entails, developing customer-focused leadership, understanding customer needs, designing and experience to meet these needs, empowering clientele and using their feedback to drive continuous improvement in the organization.
As posited by Bettencourt, Lusch & Vargo (2014), the approach entails customer centricity, by putting your customers at the core of the enterprise and using their feedback to enhance their brand experiences. For instance, to attain customer-centeredness, the enterprise can use customers' data to understand their purchase behavior, identify opportunities to customize products and services for the best clients, and accruing customer life time value to execute customer segmentation based on their spending power. In fact as noted by Welo (2012), customer-centric businesses tend to be over 60% profitable compared to firms that do not focus on their customers.
4. How Customer-Centered Businesses Impact the Consumer Decision-Making Process
With limited disposable income, customers are very selective on the brand to spend their money on, and the winning brands are the ones that uphold customer dignity, deliver quality service and forge positive business relationships (Welo, 2012).By being customer centric, the business anticipates customers’ needs and then strives to deliver products and services that the consumers are likely to fall in love with. In this regard, a customer centered business creates products, policies, and a culture that supports its clientele with a great experience as they strive to attain their goal.
Firms that are committed to customer centricity tend to be passionate and put the plight of their customers first. As a result, the marketing approach used by the firm is based on an understanding of the customer’s needs and use their feedback data to capture the customers insights, which are shared across the organizational platform. Besides, the products and services are based on the customers’ needs and the products and services are developed based on such premise. On the other hand, the brand is committed to building customer relationships, so at to maximize on the clients product or service experience. On the other hand, the customer-centered businesses impacts the consumer decision-making process by analyzing, planning and implementing a well formulated customer strategy that is based on creating and sustaining a loyal and profitable customer (Bettencourt, Lusch & Vargo, 2014).
5. Tools Used To Make Effective Marketing Decisions
A firm’s marketing strategy/techniquesare the tools that businesses use to make overall marketing plans so as to meet the needs of the consumer. For effective realization of the marketing goals, the marketing plan should be based on clear objectives to ensure that the plan is well implemented (Kumar, 2015). On this note, the marketing techniques that a firm applies are the tools used by the marketing department to set out and ascertain the most effectivetechniques to apply to realize profitability. In this regard, some of the marketing techniques widely applied include public relations, publicity, point of sale materials, editorial and sales literature.
Particularly, the marketing techniques are applied at three phases of the marketing process which include market research, developing the market mix and evaluating market effectiveness. On its part, market research enables the enterprise identify the most ideal market mix: composed of the right product, at the right price, in the right place and offered using the most ideal promotional approach. In order to realize the right marketing mix, the firm should ensure that the products have the right features that the consumer want, as well as prices are well fixed to ensure affordability for the consumer and profitability for the enterprise. On the other hand, the goods must be available on offer within the customer’s proximity.
Through promotion, the target group will be aware of the availability and existence of the product or service. Importantly, the company also needs to apply techniques to monitor the effectiveness of its marketing strategy. For instance, through evaluation of customer feedback on the brand or their awareness of the product or service, then the firm will devise the most effective distribution channels and price their products appropriately. Indeed, the marketing functions within the enterprise play a central role in enhancing the firm’s competitiveness through the creation of customer centered businesses which positively influences their decision making process.
Bettencourt, L. A., Lusch, R., & Vargo, S. (2014). A service lens on value creation: Marketing
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Kumar, V. (2015). Evolution of marketing as a discipline: What has happened and what to look
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Rosenbloom, B. (2013). Functions and institutions: The roots and the future of marketing
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Welo, T. (2012). Enhancing production innovation through a customer-centered, lean
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