Though brief, this semester has been extremely informative and useful, and has provided me with tools I will be able to utilize in both my career and my everyday life. Thank you, Carol, for an excellent summer session.
This course has affected my outlook on myself in that it has affected my career goals. My goal has long been to open a restaurant, but I have never thought about the marketing side of that. Through this course, I have gained insight into the ideas of product differentiation and positioning, and these concepts will help my restaurant to succeed in today’s market. Because there are already so many restaurants, it will be important for me to find a way to make my product unique. By differentiating myself, I give the consumer reason to come to my restaurant rather than my competition. While my goal of opening a restaurant remains the same, the way I will approach it has dramatically shifted. I am looking forward to using these new tools to ensure my future success.
This course has impacted how I think about marketing as well. Before taking this course, I thought marketing was simply the process of putting up advertisements. I didn’t realize that there was so many other aspects that went into it. I had no idea the level of intensity that comes with marketing, or the importance of the consumer’s psychology and purchasing decisions. I think it has been really interesting to learn about this, and it has given me tremendous insight into the marketing process. After taking this course, I feel comfortable and confident in my marketing abilities, and believe that I have grown in my business knowledge.
Another impact of this course has been my outlook on human nature. Learning about consumer patterns and buying behavior has been really interesting for me. I knew that humans were predictable, but not to this extent. Marketers are able to identify and meet the needs of a certain person or group before the consumer even knew that they were in need. It is also interesting to me that people make purchasing decisions based on cultural and social influences. We are easily manipulated and controlled by social pressures, religious pressures, etc. Marketing identifies these influences and markets to the groups they believe they will find the most success with.
It is important to understand how marketing interacts with and is interdependent with other functional areas within a company. Marketers must interact with other areas within a company in order to get a true understanding of the product they are marketing. They are dependent on these areas because they receive knowledge from them, and these areas are dependent on them because without marketers, the product would not be successful.
It is critical to marketing knowledge to understand how the marketing mix elements are blended into a cohesive marketing program. The marketing mix elements (The Four P’s and Four C’s, listed in earlier posts) create a cohesive marketing program by building up a grouping of different marketing strategies, all of which coincide with one another in order to ensure that all bases are covered. The marketing mix covers price, availability, etc. The Four P’s and C’s come together to make sure that the consumer’s needs are being met and the product will be widely accepted and successful in the market.
Last but not least, this course has given me an understanding of the ethical and global issues facing people working in the marketing function. This includes sustainability, which is one of the major issues our market faces. It is important to our species that we begin to practice sustainability in our manufacturing, and marketing is the tool through which we can raise awareness. Many ethical and global issues can be addressed through marketing, spreading knowledge and awareness to the public. Some of the issues that marketers themselves face are ethical issues (such as the need to market products that are not detrimental to the consumer’s health), and global issues (such as the need to market products that are not detrimental to the planet’s health).
The fifth outcome of this course is the ability to describe the role and contribution that marketing plays in organizations and society. Marketing develops products that satisfy needs, and creates competition which brings down consumer cost. It also builds demand for product that make it so companies will need to expand their labor force, creating more jobs in society. Marketing also has the ability to convey important societal messages and public service announcements.
Through this class I have also developed a good understanding of current marketing concepts, strategies and techniques. I believe that I have gained this knowledge, and I feel very comfortable identifying and implementing different marketing strategies. One of the biggest insights into marketing strategy that I gained through this course was the Four P’s and Four C’s. The Four P’s are Product, Price, Place and Promotion. The Four C’s are Consumer Solutions, Customer Cost, Convenience, and Communication. Using these strategies, marketers can ensure that they are meeting consumer needs.
Another outcome of this course was gaining an understanding of how marketing decisions are made. Marketing decisions are made to cater to the needs of the consumers, while still providing profit for the company. Decisions are made after much research is done, and by identifying the Four P’s and C’s of the marketing mix.
As a result of this course, I also now know how organizations search for new marketing opportunities and select target markets. They do this by researching, polling, surveying, etc. It is important for the marketers to get to know the consumers in order to identify marketing opportunities and market gaps. Once the need is identified, the marketer can identify the target market whose needs will be met by filling this gap.
Over the course of this short summer semester, we have learned many valuable marketing skills. As a result of this, I feel comfortable and confident in my ability to create a marketing strategy. It is my opinion that the course load over this semester has allowed me to fully gain knowledge within the eleven course outcomes.
The first course outcome is the ability to use appropriate terminology to communicate with marketing specialists and others about marketing concepts. We have absolutely increased our marketing vocabulary over the course of the semester, and I feel confident in my ability to elaborate on several marketing terms and concepts. This entire blog has provided several examples of my ability to communicate effectively about marketing concepts.
The second outcome is the ability to understand more clearly how marketing affects you as a consumer and how you influence marketing practices. Marketing is really just the ability to understand and influence the consumer. Marketing influences me as a consumer by identifying and meeting my needs. I, as the consumer, have the ability to influence marketing because based on the Four C’s. Marketers have switched gears and become more focused on meeting consumer needs. When the consumer preferences and needs change, marketers must adjust to make sure those needs and wants are met.
Another outcome of this course was gaining the ability to identify and interpret changes in the environment which affect marketing activities. Business marketing can absolutely be impacted by environmental changes that are out of their control. These environmental factors are the economy, laws and government, supply lines, and consumer trends. Companies have no ability to control these factors, but they do have the ability to prepare themselves for these changes. By making themselves and their product flexible, they will be able to adapt to a changing economic climate.
Understanding the costs and benefits of marketing on society and on those involved in the marketing process is another course outcome. Marketing is essential to our economy. Without it, businesses cannot thrive, and consumers cannot know what products and services are available to them. Marketing is a very expensive industry, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. Marketing Is a way to stimulate sales and promote new technologies.
Sustainability is recognized as the ability to meet our current needs, without impacting future generations’ ability to meet their own needs. Over the years, sustainability and environmental awareness have increased greatly. The reason for this new eco-conscious boost is that we finally realized that at the rate we are using our finite resources, we will be completely bankrupt of them over the next few centuries. It has become a huge trend in the business and manufacturing world to “go green” and promote environmental awareness and increase sustainable practices.
It is crucial to the survival of our race that we begin implementing sustainable practices in our businesses. Rather than simply using up finite resources, we need to be spending money on sustainable product development and fuel alternatives while we still can. Many businesses are going green by switching to recycled napkins, potato-based cutlery, renewable energy, and roof gardens. Consumers that are environmentally conscious are more likely to purchase sustainable products, thereby giving the companies that produce them an edge over competitors.
Marketing can be implemented and used as a major catalyst for change when it comes to sustainability in business. If marketing were to ramp up and start advocating more for sustainability, the awareness surrounding this product will increase, and lead to a higher demand for sustainability.
Many large companies are doing their part to switch to sustainable practices, including Adidas, H&M, Nissan, and Samsung, all of which can be found on the Global 100, a list of the top 100 most sustainable companies. H&M, for example, allows customers to donate their used clothing back to H&M, to be reused in other products. By doing this, they are saving cotton, reducing waste, and creating a sustainable business model.
As the years go on, sustainability will become more and more popular. Eventually we will have no choice in the matter, as nature will force our hand over the course of time. It is important that we prepare ourselves for the future, and preserve our resources for future generations.
It seems there will always be demand for new products. Out with the old and in with the new. Our economy is obsessed with upgrading. Because of this, new product design and development will always be necessary. Design refers to the process of creating the look and feel of a product, and deciding how to structure it. Development is the process of actually bringing the design to life.
It is very costly and time consuming to create a new product. The process includes concept development, system-level design, detail design, testing and refinement, and product ramp-up. Concept development means defining your target market and the needs being met, coming up with different prototypes to test product feasibility, identifying competition, and estimating production costs. Concept development is simply a launching point for product development. Before spending money on a product’s design, it is important to do research and ensure that this product can be made, will meet a need, and that the cost of production will not be higher than the value of the product.
System-level design means developing product options, generating alternative product designs, identifying suppliers, create a study, and define the final production plan. System-level design is the creation of the “how” in product development. This covers how supplies will be attained, how the product will look, how the company will go about producing it, etc. It is critical to understand the how before getting started, so that you have a clear plan.
Detail design is when the product engineering is done for each individual necessary component. This process is also known as “design-for-manufacture.” This includes choosing materials, shape, color, finish, etc. for each individual item.
During the testing and refinement stage, many product prototypes are built and tested in order to find flaws and areas of improvement. This stage can be very expensive depending on the product you are manufacturing. Cars, for example, must do extensive crash tests before hitting the market. These tests are costly because the company must manufacture and destroy many cars in order to prove that the car meets safety standards.
The final stage in product design and development is product ramp-up. This allows manufacturers to build slowly towards full-blown production in order to get the workforce trained on the new product, and allow the company to work out kinks with producers and vendors. Once these stages are complete, the company may begin full manufacturing, and enter their product into the market.