Fundamentals of marketing Essay

Research a traditional company that uses a good Marketing Information System to gather data. Describe how they gather information, the type of information gathered, and how that information helps the company market its products.

FedEx Corporation is the leading shipping and delivering service not only in United States but also in the other parts of the world. It’s competitive advantage has been realibility and innovation. It has provided customers with newer and better ways to deliver their packages and parcels any where in world. (FedEx, 2007) With the advent of internet and information system era, it became essential for FedEx to bring a technological led innovation in its business that can help in strengthening customer relationships and improve organizations productivity.

In 2000 FedEx announced plans fro implementing Marketing Information & Customer Relationship Management System that will enable to cross-sell and up-sell 220 different services (logistics, delivery, shipping etc) to its customers. Call center representative and sales force personnel will have access to comprehensive customer information based on their past buying behavior enabling a tailored experience for each customer (Songini, 2000)

HOW THEY GATHER INFORMATION: The information is gathered in three main stages; pre-call intelligence, comprises of basic customer information. The second is interaction history, notifies that at which points of contact has customer interacted and what was the outcome. Finally, it integrates all customer information available at initial two stages and integrates it with current transaction or delivery package tracking. The information is gathered at every contact and service point between a customer and FedEx (Ginger, 2004).

TYPE OF INFORMATION GATHERED: The new marketing information system has enabled the staff at FedEx to have access to a complete service history of a client, which includes information gathered through telephone, website, email and fax. Helping them in understanding each customer better and empowering them to better serve them. Customers can now get completely relevant answers through customer support personnel. If they have called several times over the month, it will be recorded in the database and they will not require to repeat the needful each time. (Ginger, 2004)

HOW THE INFORMATION HELPS THE COMPANY: The implementation of the new marketing information system has made it easier for FedEx sales force and marketer to sell other services to existing client and plan future marketing strategies accordingly. It has reduced customer call duration and number of calls at the FedEx call center that in turn has cut down costs. Finally, it has improved customer satisfaction and customers that only used Fedex for their personal packages delivery now trust its Logistic Division for their business needs (Rasmusson, 2003).

Think about a branded product (e.g., Ivory soap, Crayola crayons and Chiquita bananas). Research the brand and analyze how the company has managed the brand’s product life cycle (PLC) over the years.

Kellogg’s was established in 1906 by Will Keith Kellogg. This novel product quickly gained popularity with consumers and completely changed the dynamics of markets for breakfast product. Kellogg’s now produces more then 40 different types of cereals with variations in flavors.

PLC OF KELLOGG’S CORNFLAKES: Since its inception in 1906 Kellogg’s has focused on delivering a quality product. In the year 1909, more then million boxes of Kellogg’s cereal were sold. The unique product and its quality standard enabled Kellogg’s to quickly move from its ‘introductory phase’ to ‘high growth’ by 1922. (Kellogg Company, 2007) During these times it hit a ‘maturity level’ but it sales and revenue levels continue to grow and so did its market outreach because of dept created in the product line and company’s ever expanding operations in other countries apart from its native North America. Competition also continued to enter but posed little threat due to factors mentioned earlier.

It was, however, at turn of century when competitor’s market share began expanding and hit Kellogg’s. For the first time, in 2002, Weetabix took leading position in market. Weetabix’s control over market some more over the next year and was up by 2.32% (Edward, 2004). Similarly, different variations of Kellogg’s cereal also seem to be losing their winning edge over competition. Malt-O-Meal’s Golden Puff has 41% of market share in terms of pounds in consumption and Kellogg’s Smacks comes in second with 29% (Malt-O-Meal, 2005) depicting a ‘declining phase’ for the brand. Currently, Kellogg’s is brining several innovations to its packaging techniques and introduced newer flavors  (Edwards, 2004) which could help it in gathering momentum over product life cycle and sustain at ‘maturity stage’.

Cite two examples of marketing communications (advertising, personal selling, public relations, sales promotion, or direct marketing) that led you to purchase two products in the past.

Marketing Communication or Communication Mix is a combination of communication methods that a company uses to convey its message to end-user or consumer. A product’s marketing mix can have elements of advertising, personal selling, sales promotion or direct marketing (Kotler and Keller, 2006).

HOME/Apartment: Recently, I started looking for an apartment. The first communication tool that attracted me was ‘advertising’. I checked my local newspaper for what is available and who are the people selling them. It also contained references and numbers of some of the state agents. Second, hunting place was online. I could browse hundreds of on-sale or rentable sites in my locality that fit my criteria, narrowed down by price range (realtor.com, 2007). The websites were ‘personal selling’ but at a customers pace and desire. I was surprised to discover that properties that were burnt or had structures that required renovations were available for very low prices.

After doing some market research and narrowing down my requirements regarding neighborhood and vicinity, space needed and affordability, I got in touch with a state agent whose contact information I had obtained from my local newspaper classified. While, I had liked many houses in different localities up till now, I was not really sold on any particular one. Secondly, I was not sure what should be my mortgage structure. The state agent, I had approached was well versed in that. Once I explained my space and vicinity preference and my affordability, he quickly started showing me homes that best fit my requirement until I found the one that was most apt. The agent understood that I was a serious buyer with very narrow specifications and once he had put in effort to find me an appropriate house, I would be sure to buy it.

TOOTHPASTE: Every product that a consumers purchases should hold an element of attraction even if it is a ‘habitual buying’ product, needs very low customer involvement and has little differentiation as compared to its competitors such as a toothpaste. Each brand provides the same benefits as another for a layman who does not really relate to technical chemical information shared in toothpaste ads (Srinivasan, 1998). For me the most convincing communication tool is ‘sales promotion’. It always attracts me whenever I see a larger sized pack in a reduced price or a complimentary gift like a tooth brush or dental floss being offered. Other times, whenever a ‘personal seller’ comes at my doorstep and convinces me to buy a brand, I am normally easily convinced but it does not really make me loyal to brand. However, it is important to understand at this stage that a consumer is attracted to any innovation made in product such as, different flavored toothpaste other then the conventional white and mint flavored. The best way to communicate any innovations regarding such a product is ‘advertising’. Whenever I am at a local store to purchase my toothpaste and I see that there are not any impressive promotions, I tend to be attracted towards any newer toothpaste that I might have heard about or watched an advertisement of.

Select a product and research it. Provide information on the channels that are used to deliver it to the end-user. Consider the following: Which channels mentioned do you think are most efficient and why? Should the company consider discontinuing or adding channels to its strategy? Explain.

            Computers of Dell Computers are renowned world over for their buyer-specification flexibility and efficient delivery at low cost (Dell, 2007). Dell’s supply chain management plays a huge part in bringing the costs down by maintaining minimum inventory. Dell enjoys this advantage due to excellent relationships with its top 50 suppliers. All suppliers are connected to Dell through internet and all sales data is shared using ‘i2 Technologies Inc’ (Labitzky, 2001). The system consolidates sales data and orders online, accessible to everyone across organization and Dell’s suppliers. This innovative approach enabled Dell to deliver the orders within five days.

The most important supply chain channel is Dell’s communication and data sharing with its suppliers that has reduced its inventory time from industry average of 55 days to 5 to 7 days. This is the main reason why Dell has been able to sell most customized personal computers at lowest costs (Labitzky, 2001).

Dell’s supply chain system serves as an industry model, each of its channel ads value to the consumer experience. Considering current market demographics and environmental factors, this system is best suited to an organization in personal computer distribution industry.

Create a product or service that you want to market (keep it simple). Be creative (don’t market a product or service that already exists).  Include an analysis of the marketing environment and marketing strategy (target market and value proposition). Include a detailed overview of each element of the marketing mix (product, price, distribution, and marketing communications).

A cellular phone manufacturer is planning to launch a mobile phone that is for children under 12, FunFone. This cellular phone has several unique functions that will make it more users friendly, easy to use and convenient for its target market.

Market Environment

Cellular phone is the latest ‘in’ thing and quickly becoming essential to consumers life. Recently, a growing trend has been seen not only in adults but in children also who want to carry a mobile phone. However, most cellular sets today come with advance and sophisticated which automatically causes the price to be high making the phones less affordable for young consumers and their parents. Firefly (Firefly, 2007) will be a competing brand but FunFone has various other advance function then its competition.

Target Market

The target market of our product is children under 12. The income bracket that we are targeting is parents with $60,000 annual income.

Value Proposition

Our value proposition will be, ‘fun filled fone for kids!’

Product

The phone’s first attractive feature is its compact size, easily fit-able in a child’s hand. Bright colored and cartoon themed changeable casings, it comes with exciting games, ring tones and wallpapers keeping a child’s taste in view. Our unique aspect is that not only the cellular phone is affordable but it comes with a special GPRS locator that enables parents to know their little child’s whereabouts. Also, it comes with special screening facility, that is, parents can keep track of whose calls is the child receiving and whom is he calling. The phone also has a special emergency call button that places a call to 911.

Price

The product pride’s itself for affordability, therefore, its price starts from $120 and goes up to $150 for any ad-on’s or specific feature that a consumer may want to have.

Distribution

Its major distributor in US, initially, will be Toys R Us. However, as the product would gain popularity the distribution network will be expanded to include more children’s toy retailers.

Marketing Communications

Public relations will be used, the product will be launched in a ‘Children’s Carnival’ organized by the mobile company. Advertising will be done on television, especially on channels like Disney and Nickelodeon.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

FedEx (2007), Retrieved February 2, 2007 from: http://www.fedex.com/us/about/today/history/?link=4

Songini, Marc. ‘FedEx Expects CRM To Deliver’ (November, 2000), Retrieved February 2, 2007, from: http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/crm/story/1,10801,53429,00.html

Ginger, Conlon. ‘CRM delivers for FedEx’ (November, 2004), Retrieved February 2, 2007 from: http://destinationcrm.com/articles/default.asp?ArticleID=2850

Rasmusson, Erika. Best Practices–FedEx: An Overnight Success Story (February, 2003), Retrieved February 2, 2007 from: http://destinationcrm.com/articles/default.asp?ArticleID=2850

Kellogg Company (2007), Retrieved February 2, 2007 from: http://www2.kelloggs.com/General.aspx?ID=466

Edward, R. (2004), Kellogg’s Seals New Box Design In Bid To Bowl Over Buyers, Retrieved February 2, 2007 from: http://news.scotsman.com/uk.cfm?id=89462004

Malt-O-Meal’s Golden Puffs Tops Flavor Segment (February, 2005), Retrieved February 2, 2007 from: http://www.malt-o-meal.com/spanish_beta/pages/02-05_Golden_Puffs.html

Kotler, P. and Keller, K. Marketing Mangement (2006) 12th Edition, pp. 567.

REALTOR.com (2007), Retrieved February 2, 2007 from: http://www.realtor.com

Srinivasan, Other Brand’s Bait (1998), Retrieved February 2, 2007 from: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/research/reports/1998/srinivasan.html

Dell, Corporate Information (2007), Retrieved February 3, 2007 from: http://www.dell.com

Dominic A. Labitzky, An Analysis of Dell Computer’s Inc. Supply Chain Management (2001), Retrieved February 1, 2007 from: www.labitzky.net/372AnAnalysisofDellComputerInc.pdf

Firefly Mobile (2007), Retrieved February 2, 2007 from: http://www.fireflymobile.com/phone/?osCsid=c1bebd4ff420ed4b5b112814f68ba073