Marketing in practice

The Consumer-Centric Business

There are a many companies especially those in the Consumer Package Goods (CPG) market that adopt the theory of running their business centred around Consumer, Shopper & Retailer needs. Their Marketing departments spend quality time looking for “Growth Opportunities” in their categories by identifying relevant insights (both mindsets and behaviours) on their target Consumers, Shoppers and retail partners. These Growth Opportunites emerge from changes in market trends, segment dynamics changing and also internal brand or operational business challenges. The Marketing team can then prioritise these Growth Opportunites and begin to develop strategies to exploit the opportunities that could include new or adapted products, services as well as changes to the 4Ps.

Real-life marketing primarily revolves around the application of a great deal of common-sense; dealing with a limited number of factors, in an environment of imperfect information and limited resources complicated by uncertainty and tight timescales. Use of classical marketing techniques, in these circumstances, is inevitably partial and uneven.

Thus, for example, many new products will emerge from irrational processes and the rational development process may be used (if at all) to screen out the worst non-runners. The design of the advertising, and the packaging, will be the output of the creative minds employed; which management will then screen, often by ‘gut-reaction’, to ensure that it is reasonable.

For most of their time, marketing managers use intuition and experience to analyze and handle the complex, and unique, situations being faced; without easy reference to theory. This will often be ‘flying by the seat of the pants’, or ‘gut-reaction’; where the overall strategy, coupled with the knowledge of the customer which has been absorbed almost by a process of osmosis, will determine the quality of the marketing employed. This, almost instinctive management, is what is sometimes called ‘coarse marketing’; to distinguish it from the refined, aesthetically pleasing, form favored by the theorists.

Abhinash Jena

Partner at Project Guru
Abhinash has worked in sales, branding, and marketing functions for GPS companies including MapmyIndia Navigators (www.MapmyIndia.com). In addition to writing for Knowledge Tank articles, he also writes the expert's advice for Thesis & Dissertations and Power Designs.

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