Marketing Perspectives: Social Marketing
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The essence of marketing is to sell a product or service in a market - Marketing Perspectives: Social Marketing introduction. In order create a certain image for the product/ service that will have a positive effect on the consumers that the company aims for which is its target market. Marketing is not only to successfully sell the product to consumers, but also to create a strong market position in relation to the competitors. It is about answering the demand on the market in a good and profitable way. And in the process, creating a demand with a new product. This leads us to the three forms of marketing namely: social marketing, product marketing, and service marketing.
The emphasis on consumer which involves thorough research and coherent evaluation is the thrust of social marketing. The foundation of social marketing process would be research and evaluation per se. Social marketing emerged in the 1970’s as a specialized field of study in marketing. Gerald Zaltman and Philip Kotler were the proponents of social marketing. they realized that similar marketing strategies which are used to sell products to consumers can be used in “selling” ideas and behaviors as well. Kotler suggested that social marketing as “differing from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and his organization.” It seeks to influence social behaviors which will benefit its target market and its apparent society as a whole. Social marketing is most effective when used in promulgating health programs. It was used in the proliferation of contraceptives and oral rehydration therapy. Matters like organ donation and drug abuse are also addressed through the use of social marketing (Weinreich, 2006).
Social marketing is conventional marketing’s twin sister. It puts premium emphasis on the consumer and its relative target market. Determining what consumers need and want instead of compelling them to buy what they don’t feel is necessary or buy a product simply for the sake of buying such. Social marketing augments the conventional marketing mix into a more broad and comprehensive way of ascertaining the feasibility of a product. These are:
· Purse Strings—Health organizations depend on funds and donations that aid them generate the product or the service. It addresses the question on how or where will you get the financial assistance in order to proliferate a product or service (Weinreich, 2006).
· Policy—Individual consumer behavior must ride the waves of societal change in order for social marketing to be successful. Policy changes like media advocacy programs will complement a social marketing plan (Weinreich, 2006).
· Partnership—One organization cannot solely address health and social concerns alone. These concerns are more complex than it seems. It is of the essence of merging with another organization or company that will complement your social marketing plan (Weinreich, 2006).
· Publics—Social marketers have to address an eclectic group of people, yet are covered by the same target market. External publics include the target audience and policymakers, whereas the internal publics are the ones involved in program implementation (Weinreich, 2006).
Product marketing pertains to the generation of particular product or service which the consumer wants or needs. In order to produce a product for a consumer, a marketer generates a marketing mix to determine the feasibility of a product in its market and to address the needs of its target market as well. Introducing a new product to the general public refers to the product market. The consumer market is the people you are trying to entice in order to buy the product. A product market is subjective in nature ( Wheelright & Clark, 1992).
For instance, you can’t lure a 60 year old in buying the new model of the X-box video game console. Likewise, you can’t sell a hair grower shampoo to a toddler. In order to begin to understand the product from a customer’s point of view, list the functionality, the features, and the benefits that product has. The marketer should list down functionality and features that could be added. Prioritize each for the target market or market segments to ascertain the development of the product’s progress. It will be used in positioning the product. Product adaptation is crucial as well. It incorporates essential aspects and elements in order to complement the marketing of your product ( Wheelright & Clark, 1992).
In order to gauge the adaptation value of a new product, these factors should be considered:
Relative advantage of the product: How superior is the innovation to the product or other problem-solving methods it was designed to compete against?
Compatibility: Does it fit with current product usage and customer activity?
Complexity: Will difficulty or confusion arise in understanding the innovation’s basic idea?
Divisibility: How easily can trial portions of the product be purchased?
Communicability: How likely is the product to appear in public places where it is easily seen and studied by potential users? ( Wheelright & Clark, 1992).
Service marketing is quite different from the conventional method of product marketing. It is based on value and relationship. Obviously, there’s a fine line separating the process in marketing a product-based business from a service-based business. It differs in a handful of aspects like the consumer purchases an intangible good (service offered) rather than a tangible product, which suggests that the buyer won’t be able to return the service due to its intangible nature. The quality of the service may vary as well which makes it subjective. The marketing mix is augmented as well. Additional P’s are added namely: people, physical environment, and process which refers to the service per se. Developed economies owe a lot to service marketing because they tend to depart from the industrial importance to service-oriented economies which are less detrimental to the environment (Bitner & Booms, 1981). For instance, McDonald’s sells tangible products like burgers, yet consumers are concerned about the quality and speed of service as well. The conduct of the service crew matters as well. Below are the characteristics of a service:
1.Lack of ownership.
Services are used or hired for a period of time. For instance, when buying a ticket to the USA the service lasts maybe 9 hours each way, but consumers want and expect excellent service for that time. Because you can measure the duration of the service consumers become more demanding of it (Bitner & Booms, 1981).
You cannot hold or touch a service unlike a product. In saying that although services are intangible the experience consumers obtain from the service has an impact on how they will perceive it (Bitner & Booms, 1981).
Services cannot be separated from the service providers. A product when produced can be taken away from the producer. However a service is produced at or near the point of purchase. Take visiting a restaurant, you order your meal, the waiting and delivery of the meal, the service provided by the waiter is all apart of the service production process and is inseparable, the staff in a restaurant are as apart of the process as well as the quality of food provided (Bitner & Booms, 1981).
Services last a specific time and cannot be stored like a product for later use. If travelling by train, coach or air the service will only last the duration of the journey. The service is developed and used almost simultaneously. Again because of this time constraint consumers demand more (Bitner & Booms, 1981).
The concept of marketing is broad. There are numerous ways in marketing either a product or a service, which leads us to the formation of a SWOT analysis in order to ascertain whether the 4 P’s of marketing is followed. The marketing mix namely: product, place, promotion, and price are integrated in order to generate an apt marketing plan for a product or a service. In order to initiate such, a marketer should ascertain which method of marketing he should use in order to make an apt marketing plan for a product. Social marketing, product marketing, and service marketing may differ in some aspects and requires a different mindset for each in order to generate a specific marketing plan.
Bitner, J. and Booms, B. (1981). Marketing Strategies and Organizational Structures for
Service Firms.Marketing of Services. American Marketing Association, Chicago.
Weinreich,N. (2006). What is Social Marketing?. Retrieved February 10, 2008, from
Wheelright,S. and Clark,K. (1992). Product/Market Planning and Strategy. Revolutionizing Product
Development. p. 40-41.