Sometimes the only differentiating feature among
competitors is the relationship and buying experience between the
organization and its customer. Organizations are implementing Customer
Relationship Management (CRM) models in hopes of developing long-term
relationships with their customers. Although organizations have made an
effort to form long-term relationships with their customers for decades,
today's CRM models implement the use of technology to "effectively
increase the acquisition and retention of profitable customers by
selectively initiating, building, and maintaining appropriate
relationships with them" (Payne & Frow, pp. 135-136). It is this
effort that can help an organization establish such a relationship with
its customers that they feel like a valued and integral part of the
organization. As a result, customers can remain loyal and continue to
purchase with the organization for many years.
Week 5 discusses creative copy writing along with
strategic writing. How does an advertiser determine which words to use
in such a manner as to appeal to a defined consumer segment? How does
the advertiser decide the underlying message in the copy that will have
the highest probability of affecting consumer buyer behavior?
One theory used by advertisers is from psychologist
Abraham Maslow: the hierarchy of needs. Although Maslow’s original model
of needs was five levels, marketing has combined those into four
levels: physiological needs; safety needs; social needs; and personal
needs (Perreault, Cannon, & McCarthy, 2008). If the advertising copy
written appeals to filling one of those needs which are intrinsic to
humans, then the content of the message can help create a want!
What does this mean? For instance, we need food to
meet the physiological need for hunger. But do we need dry crackers or
caviar? We need to feel safe and protect our loved ones – has anyone
noticed the extent to which advertising goes to tell us about the safety
features of a product? We need to feel accepted and have a sense of
belonging to meet social needs – has anyone noticed the ads for
clothing, dieting, colognes, perfumes, autos, and on and on appeal to
this need? Drive this special car and you will get all the girls! Or get
all the boys!
Advertising is written in such a manner as to
influence our wants – how the need is filled. We want a specific brand
to fill our needs, and this is where the creative writing is focused.
With the availability of more and more sophisticated
methods of segmenting the population and tracking the tastes of
individuals and groups within the population, market segmentation and
target marketing have become the core methods for successful marketers
to bring their products efficiently to the attention of those prospects
most likely to become buyers. A cornerstone for the successful
development and implementation of target marketing programs is the
ability to identify your company's and product's competitive
differentiations and capitalize on these differentiations with a
complementary positioning strategy.
research methods include surveys of all types: written, telephone,
web-based, mail, etc. The trademark of this type of research is that
you can put a number or percentage to something. For example, “60% of
the people surveyed said they would buy Orange Coke” (wonder what that
would taste like?). This is true of all of the quantitative surveys you
may have completed: new car dealer survey, employee satisfaction, a
simple comment card at the local restaurant, or your student end of
course survey at Ashford.
methods, on the other hand, are not designed to express a percentage
based on responses when the research is complete. In fact, they are not
statistically valid. However, this does not make them any less
important than their quantitative counterpart. This method involves
listening to what our customers (or non-customers) think about us, a new
product, or a new advertising campaign. Focus groups and interviews
are examples of qualitative methods (Schiffman & Kanuk, 2010). By
using a focus group, a marketer can find out what people think
specifically about an idea. In the Orange Coke example, the
participants might taste the product, and then tell an unbiased
moderator what they think about it. Rather than to say “yes, I like
it,” in a focus group, we can ask more in depth questions about why they
like it, what it tastes like to them, how it makes them feel, etc.
There are two other categories of market research: primary and secondary.
The best way to describe the difference between the two has to do with
who pays for and controls the research. If a company conducts a
telephone survey (a quantitative method), decides what questions to ask,
and pays for the survey, either by using its own staff or hiring an
outside firm, then it is primary research. It is customized for a
specific purpose. Secondary research involves sources that already
exist, but can still provide valuable information for marketing.
Research that you have been doing on the internet in all of your classes
is an example of secondary research. There could be an industry survey
conducted that provides important information, but your company did not
pay for it or have input into the design. This is also secondary
A solid market research plan involves a mix of primary and secondary
data, as well as qualitative and quantitative data. It also includes
something that is often overlooked as market research: internal data.
Much of my time in market research involved analyzing customer data from
our internal databases. For example, a review of this data can
reveal: where do our patients live, what doctor admitted them into the
hospital, what was their diagnosis, insurance plan, age, race, or sex.
How many of you have purchased something from Toys R Us and they ask you
for your zip code or phone number? This is a form of market research
of their current customer base. All of these can build a foundation for
a solid marketing plan, and they also play a part in a marketing audit.