Marketing encompasses a process that identifies consumers’ needs and works towards satisfying those needs in a profitable manner. The principles of marketing entail the 7 Ps, which are product, place, price, people, promotion, process and physical appearance. The product is all about the appearance and features of the services or goods in question. This should be in accordance with the tastes of consumers being targeted. Place is all about the point where the products will be availed to customers. It should be a strategic point that targets as many customers as possible. Price on the other hand, entails the value that consumers are expected to pay. Promotion on its part embarks on how the information about the product is spread to customers. There are several avenues that can be used. The choice will depend on the nature of customers being targeted. Physical appearance is about how customers view the product and the organization associated with it while people encompass the personnel responsible for various marketing aspects. Process on its part is more of the supply chain used to deliver the products to customers.
Sales are usually involved with several processes. Among them is prospecting for sales. This process involves identification of a target market and possible viable leads. This is where networking comes in handy in pursuit of the desired information. This is followed by the approach. It is all about sales calls, mailings, and e-shots. There is the arrangement of various sales meetings and the establishment of rapport and trust. Then there is the identification of customers’ needs. This process is attained by way of listening, questioning or understanding based on the current trends. The process of presentation then follows. It entails demonstration, explanation and outlining the benefits of the service or product. This is followed by overcoming objections. Objections usually come from the potential buyers. There are negotiations and fine-tuning involved. The process is followed by the close. Here, deals and agreements are made. All the parties must be satisfied with whatever is being offered for this process to take place. The follow-up is usually the last process. It entails after-sales contact and various aspects of relationship management.
Market research has proven to be an important practice for the success of a service or product. There are various features that pertain to market research. A market research can be qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative research is more of an exploratory research. It used to gain an understanding of underlying motivations, opinions and reasons. It is also used to uncover various trends and thoughts to understand something better. Quantitative research on the other hand, entails generation of numerical data that can be transformed into useable statistics. Other features include customer survey and questionnaires among others. The uses of market research are also varied. It can be used to measure customer behavior and their buying patterns. This is very useful when launching a product or service since it gives the producer an idea of who to target and the appropriate time to do that. Market research is also used to assess sales and preference trends, brand awareness, the emergence of new markets, changes in markets, competitor activities and PESTEL environmental factors.
Many organizations work towards building their brand. This is based on various benefits that come with it. Among the values of a brand is that it enhances consumer loyalty. The moment consumers get hooked to a certain brand, it becomes difficult for them to shift to another brand. Sometimes a competitor might be offering a superior product or service, but this does not make them shift. A brand also comes along with a competitive advantage. If a company’s brand is considered to be of superior quality, consumers do not necessarily mind about the price. It might be extremely high compared to what competitors are offering, but consumers will still buy. A brand is also a favorable way of differentiating a product or service from that of competitors. A brand also influences in the shaping of consumer perceptions. This is based on how this brand was developed and the people associated with it. This makes some consumers to view it as being superior. As a result, they are usually confident while using the product or service and would not find it difficult to recommend it to their friends and colleagues.
There exist a relationship between sales and marketing, which might be positive or negative. The positive relationship comes as a result of joint planning, information sharing, trust and respect in the execution of activities, alignment, shared client relationship management functions and working towards attaining common goals. These aspects help in the maximization of resource utilization in the organization. When collaboration exists, allocation is done optimally. Duplication of efforts is also avoided hence promoting efficiency. The negative aspect arises due to the effects of the relationship. These include conflicting goals, distrust and misunderstanding, constrained product development and failure to share exclusive information. These aspects make it difficult for the relationship to work effectively. There exist potential areas of conflict between sales and marketing. Among them is culture. These two departments are equipped with different mindsets hence creating the potential for misunderstandings. The economic aspect can also be considered as an area of potential conflict. This is because it encompasses ease of sale vs. profit margin. The organizational aspect that involves responsibility and decision making is also a potential area of conflict. This is because every department will be after responsibilities that make them superior and would want to make decisions that are more favorable to them.
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