Stephen Brown’s criticism of marketers that undertake excessive researching/ surfeit consumer servicing
Myth Number 1
If manufacturers and marketers were only concerned about what the consumer felt about their products, services or utilities, they would end up churning out modified or improved models of their existing products, “that already exists” with little, if no scope left for innovative products or application of new, state-of-the-art technology deployment. (Kotler and Keller, p. 705).
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We have surely come across products, especially consumer food products, each time coming up with newer, much-improved versions, most often not having the vaguest idea of what was the problem with the earlier product was all about. Such are the strange ways marketing functions in a competitive milieu, with competitive businesses and rivals testing their marketing senses and consumer buying patterns in the marketplace. With the advent of the 21st Century, internet commerce has formed a major part of selling targets, relieving beleaguered salesman of having to convince scores of irritated customers on why they need to stock the products of his company. From a physical effort, marketing has now become a cerebral game, played along strategic lines, business astuteness and common marketing sense. But, eventually, the client has the final word since his predisposition to buy products offers the selling company orders, revenues, and profits. It is necessary for sellers to cater to the vagaries of the business environment to satisfy consumers. But this inhibits innovative and creative business sense. This is largely felt in fledgling product lines that need to gain a strong foothold in markets and survive in highly competitive markets.
Nowadays, customers are product savvy and know when the marketer is producing another sales gimmick to promote his selling. Fringe improvements, especially the attraction of packaging and colour combination, may not always work, especially if the complaint is of an inherently manufacturing or design nature. In such cases, they could look through the guise of newer, much-improved versions and see what the product actually is.
Besides, “History reveals that new ideas often come wrapped in the old packaging.” (Stephen 2008).
Therefore, it is necessary that the inherent character of products and benefit value to consumers need to be intrinsic; this could serve the product well over time and changing technology.
Myth Number 2
It believes that consumers have clear objectives and focused goals. But often, they are themselves baffled about products and their usage. Often they are misled by hypes and adverse publicity with disastrous consequences.
This may be true in certain instances, where customers are dazzled by hi-tech advertisements and powerful media hypes, extolling a product’s advantages over those of rivals. Therefore, under such circumstances, traditional marketing strategies may not work. It becomes necessary to resort to innovative and creative ideas that are designed to boost sales and create and empower brands.
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” …. It is an assembly of the relationships, combinations and interactions of belief, intention, attitude, persistence, thinking techniques, vocabulary and lack of fear to think in different ways?” (Michael Michalko’s Amazon Blog: What is Creativity. 2008).
Moreover, customers are often carried away by auxiliary benefits that go along with the purchase of products and services, in terms of freebies, discounts, gift coupons, etc.
This may be true for a certain section of buyers who constitute a minority but is certainly not applicable for a wide cross-section of erudite and discerning buyers. In present buying, aspects of premier quality, servicing and long life constitute major determinants of buying profiles, and most buyers would not be susceptible to other inducements.
Myth Number 3
Sellers need to be subservient to buyers and need to be obsequious to gain business favours. Contradicting clients and customers may not be good business sense.
The theory of customer supremacy, superiority and suzerainty could provide the right frame of mind for pursuing business goals and objectives. By nourishing his ego, many large business contracts may be clinched and profitable deals which, in the normal course, would have been bitterly contested and long-drawn.
The 21st Century is one of the immense opportunities and resource building.
It also places emphasis on products’ presentation, quality and performance, attuned to needs and requirements of business under changing conditions. Under the circumstances under Myth 2, it is necessary that credulous customers need to be rightly advised, more so, to preserve their interests, rather than that of the sellers. It is necessary to think unconventionally, using creative technology, using modern mind-mapping techniques and decision-generating models.
“The task of identifying, elaborating, and evaluating the many potential techniques of enhancing creativity has only begun. “ (Edward 2004).
While selling is important, modern selling practices do not advocate dumping products on unwary buyers or selling products that would not be in the best interests of the buyers or in line with their wishes.
It would be necessary to conclude by stating that the business environment, especially relating to high profile disciplines like marketing management and customer servicing, has stimulated large scale research and business promotional and retention analysis. One could hardly think of any sphere of marketing that could not be agreeable and scientifically improved.
EDWARD, Cornish. (1994). 101 Creative Problem Solving Techniques The Handbook of New Ideas For Business. [online]. All Business: A D & B Company. Last accessed 04 December 2008 at:http://www.allbusiness.com/professional-scientific/scientific-research/477159-1.html
KOTLER, Philip., and KELLER, Kevin. Marketing Insight: Fueling Strategic Innovation. Marketing Management, 705.
Michael Michalko’s Amazon Blog: What is Creativity. (2008). [online]. Amazon.com. Last accessed 04 December 2008 at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/A3Q2NUSNXYZYI6/ref=cm_blog_dp_artist_blog
STEPHEN, Brown. (2008). Marketing the Retro Revolution. [online]. Infibeam. Last accessed 04 December 2008 at: http://www.infibeam.com/Books/info/Stephen-Brown/Marketing-The-Retro-Revolution/0761968504.html