Personal Reflective Blog 3

Developing the marketing plan

Insights into the relationship between product development market positioning and target audience:

The effect on product development of the market positioning and target audience is dependent on the company market orientation (Kotler, Armstrong and Harris (2013)). An inside-out approach, when coupled with an innovator style, will not consider the market place but will devise a strategy for their innovative product. In addition, companies that rely purely on market analysis and their strength in addressing opportunities (use of SWOT) will develop a product purely for the market. However, the relationship becomes more interesting when the product is modified to reflect the market conditions. This is particularly pertinent to those on the MMU Product Design MA as most products have arisen from an innovative/ creative background but do not necessarily have the strength to stand alone as a true innovator.

The target market identified in reference to the ‘Diffusion of innovation’ model (Rogers (1983)), which illustrates the rates of uptake in new to the world products as time develops is to aim at innovators and early adopters with no intention of sustaining into the majority, rather, with a constant reset towards innovators and Early adopters. Using targeting such as behavioural and benefits of service segmentation will benefit this organisation, as quality will be a main driver for purchases and how customers use the product or where they shop are identifiers for target customers.

Your understanding of the dynamics between operations management, logistics and supply chain budgeting, lifetime value, marketing and selling:

The industry best practice approach of ‘the 4 P’s’ – product, price, place and promotion –  enables assessment of how a product or strategy is brought to market.

As previously discussed, ensuring value delivery and customer satisfaction are of the upmost importance in marketing. Many customer driven companies have customer relation managers. Loyal customers are worth investing in and growing. At this point marketers spend time gaining a stronger share of the customer rather than market share. Ensuring their customer equity will be maximised brings you back to needing to know what your customer wants and needs and ensuring they want more of it.

Also at this point it is about finding the profitable customers (they are usually a few) and focus of growing these relationships. It is ok to get rid of the non profitable customers says Kotler, Armstrong, and Harris (2013, p29) let the none profitable customers go to your competitors!

Along side a strategic plan and a comprehensive understanding of your customers wants and needs, it is important to keep an eye on marketing trends. Trends are like pathways to success if you can get on board at the right time.

Managing interdependent tasks in the development of product and marketing plans:

When considering how the application of an outside-in strategy would affect the development of both a marketing plan and the development of a product, the interdependent tasks would be concerned with the plan and producing sufficient direction for the product’s development. Providing an understanding of the market, the key needs the product must fulfil and the price bracket, production availability and location of sale will all have significant dampening effects on the creative process.

The process of inside-out would have resulted in a strategy to identify the appropriate market place and consumers for the predetermined product. Keeping the product core values and strengths at the heart of the strategy and development of the marketing plan, the interdependent tasks would have been around, making the marketing plan fit. Finding correct models and research to deliver the product to the strongest possible market available.

Reflecting on the interdependent tasks during development of both the marketing plan and product, it can be said that the process has been quite iterative. With a strong understanding of where the product will be going, an idea of the core values and strengths the organisation currently hold it can be compared to having a blurry end goal. With the blurry end goal in mind, the following interdependent tasks have been experienced:

  • ·During situation analysis, the development of the ‘need’ created a redefining for the product. Moving it from something creatively and process lead and into a functioning concept with attributable values.
  • ·The PESTE, and porter five forces analysis brought to light areas for the organisation to keep an eye on, these were key factors in the direction of the products, learning that there was new technology or expected sales growth in areas encouraged the product direction to favour these anticipated markets. Making significant changes to entice the customer or include new technology, yet retaining the element of innovation the product started with is key.
  • ·Competitive analysis required an investigation into areas not covered by product design. Competitive analysis such as relative product quality, brand image, fulfilling company strategy and further direction. This threw up an understanding for the strategic level of the competitors and the potential challenges as well as the current.
  • Taking a business view of the organisations assets, capabilities and resources, highlighted areas overlooked as assets previously. Bringing to the forefront new opportunities and directions for investment in the future. A therapeutic and fulfilling process.

Kotler, P., Armstrong, G. and Harris, L. (2013) Principles of marketing. 6th edn. Harlow: Financial Times, Prentice Hall