first in marketing audits
Marketing Concepts

Marketing plays a critical role in helping your organization take advantage of opportunities. If marketing is an important element in your organization, it then becomes critical for you to ensure that your marketing is as healthy, effective and efficient as possible.

The following Marketing Health sections will give you information on Marketingmri’s benchmarks on healthy marketing concepts and practices. You can compare our view and benchmarks of healthy marketing to your actual experience and processes. This will give you an idea if you are on the right track to maximizing marketing health. The healthy marketing section also will ask some critical questions to help gauge your marketing efforts.

The Marketingmri audit process includes a review of all the elements included in the Marketing Health section.

Let’s first define marketing, and even more importantly, what healthy marketing is.

What is Healthey Marketing?

Ask a hundred people in your organization what marketing is and you will get one million different answers. Go ahead, try it. As the head of or a leader in your organization, you should know what everyone thinks marketing actually is.

The typical academic definition is quite good as it captures all the core concepts of the marketing process and hints as to what might be considered healthy marketing practice. Paraphrased, the academic definition states that ‘Marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating, offering, and exchanging products of value with others.’

Marketing and management guru Peter Drucker adds:

“Marketing is so basic that it cannot be considered a separate function. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view… Business success is not determined by the producer but by the customer.”

Renowned Professor Phillip Kotler of the Kellogg School at Northwestern teaches that “Marketing comes first.” Kotler expresses this view because marketing integrates all the functions of your business and speaks directly to your customer through the marketing mix (advertising, the sales force and other marketing activities).

The gurus of marketing tell us that healthy marketing concepts begin with the customer. Keeping that in mind, marketing then becomes a special blend of art and science. Marketers use many quantitative or scientific techniques to develop and evaluate strategies. The art of marketing is trying to create and implement a winning marketing plan for your organization.

Internal to your organization, healthy marketing occurs when all parts of the marketing plan are internally consistent and mutually supportive of the objectives your organization has set forth. All aspects of your strategy need to work together, coordinated and integrated, to make sense and give you the healthiest impact and return for your dollar and effort. Just like your body, the eye does not work separately from the arm, which does not work separately from the heart or separately from the brain or separately from the feet. On the contrary, ultimate maximum health encompasses the entire body – all the separate parts working together in a coordinated and integrative fashion.

Many organizations have one or several parts down right, but to integrate it all together through an internally consistent and mutually supportive marketing plan is not only a great accomplishment, but it is maximum marketing health.

Customer Centric Marketing

Today’s companies are facing their toughest competition ever. Healthy marketing firms are shifting from a product and sales philosophy to a healthy marketing philosophy. Meeting and satisfying customer needs will help you win customers and outperform your competition. As a customer-centered organization, you can easily become adept at building customers, not just building products and services.

In today’s environment, customers tend to be value maximizers. They form an expectation and act on it. Buyers will buy from the firm that they perceive to offer the highest customer value. Healthy marketing organizations have clearly defined this value. The buyers’ overall satisfaction becomes a function of the perceived performance of a product or service and the buyers’ expectations. High satisfaction leads to high customer loyalty – a positive sign in your organization’s overall marketing health. Healthy marketing organizations will aim for total customer satisfaction, which in turn will lead to customer retention. Healthy marketing organizations ensure customer retention. Losing profitable customers can dramatically impact your overall profits. The key to retaining customers is to consciously incorporate relationship marketing into your overall mix. Ultimately, healthy marketing is the art of attracting and retaining profitable customers.

Total quality then becomes a key factor in building healthy value creation and customer satisfaction. Today’s organizations have no choice on this matter if they are to remain solvent and profitable.

Does your marketing participate in formulating strategies and policies designed to help your company win through total quality excellence?

Does your organization deliver marketing quality alongside production quality?

Each marketing activity – customer service, marketing research, sales training, advertising, and the like – must be performed to high standards. Healthy marketing works closely with other departments to make this happen.

The Core Concepts of Marketing

According to many marketing gurus, healthy marketing rests on seven key core concepts:

  • Healthy marketing starts with human needs and wants. People’s staggering needs and wants mean amassed consumer goods and services, creating a demand that is expressed in a multi-trillion dollar economy.
  • A product or service is basically anything offered to satisfy a need and want. You can also call your product or service an offering or a solution. A product has three components (physical goods, services and ideas). Healthy marketing goes beyond just the physical product or service and focuses on the benefits rather than just describes the features. Unfortunately, many manufacturers often make the marketing mistake of paying more attention to their physical products than to the services produced by those products.
  • Ever wonder how a consumer chooses among many products that might satisfy their given need? Two concepts come into play. First, all the product choices constitute a product choice set, and second, each product has a different capacity to satisfy a need set. One of those products will deliver the most total satisfaction. A healthy core concept of marketing includes a sense of value, which becomes the consumer’s estimate of the product’s overall capacity to satisfy the need at the right cost.
  • At its most basic level, marketing emerges when people decide to satisfy need and wants through exchange. Exchange then is the act of getting a desired product from someone by offering something in return. Healthy marketing sees exchange as a value-creating process rather than as an event.
  • Healthy marketing builds up long-term trust through ‘win win’ relationships with valued customers, distributors, dealers and suppliers. This is done by delivering high quality, good service and fair prices to the other parties over time. The ultimate outcome of relationship marketing is an asset called a marketing network, which is your organization and all of your supporting stake holders.
  • A market consists of all the potential customers sharing a particular need or want who might be willing and able to engage in exchange to satisfy a need or want. Healthy marketing knows its market.
  • Healthy marketing requires a marketer, which is someone seeking prospects who might engage in an exchange of values. A prospect is someone who the marketer identifies as potentially willing and able to engage in the exchange of values.