Essay Preview: Marketing Introduction
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To make a product appeal to the right person, a marketer would start by segmenting the market, and then target a single segment or a group of segments. Market segmentation is segmenting markets into homogenous groups of consumers, with every group reacting in a different ways to the marketing mix. Market segments should be created in that way that difference in buyer behaviour within each segment is as small as possible. This will hopefully ensure every segment can be targeted using the marketing mix.
Organisations do this as they know people have different buying behaviours. Mass marketing is used less now as companies look to target groups that they can meet the needs of best. Also known as the Four Ps, the marketing mix elements are price, product, place and promotion. Some people will increase the mix to Seven Ps, to include people, physical evidence and process.
When deciding the right marketing mix they will need to look demographic issues, age, gender, marital status, income, occupation, education, religion, nationality and ethnic group. How will these issues affect the way they market their product. How will the product attract the target demographic group. I will also need to look at psychographic issues, social class, lifestyle and personal type, as well as behavioural issues such as intensity of product use, brand loyalty and user behaviour. Also how each segment rates in order of possible success, potential growth and profit.
Abraham Maslow introduced his hierarchy of needs that is about human motivations. The further you move up the hierarchy, less people will reach these levels of needs. The bottom level is the physiological needs such the basic necessities of survival, food, water etc. The second level is of safety, a place to live and protection. At the third level we meet our social needs and our sense of belonging, friends, getting married etc. The final levels are about esteem and self-actualisation and status. Not many people get the chance to satisfy the higher level needs. Esteem means that you reach a goal that you recognise and that gives you personal satisfaction. Self-actualisation is reached by a small group of people also
Natural rights are certain basic, important, inalienable entitlements that should be respected and protected in every single action.
(Crane & Matten, 2004)
Ethics in marketing
Frameworks of analysis for marketing ethics
Value-orientated framework, analyzing ethical problems on the basis of the values which they infringe (e.g. honesty, autonomy, privacy, transparency). An example of such an approach is the AMA Statement of Ethics.
Stakeholder-orientated framework, analysing ethical problems on the basis of whom they affect (e.g. consumers, competitors, society as a whole).
Process-orientated framework, analysing ethical problems in terms of the categories used by marketing specialists (e.g. research, price, promotion, placement).
None of these frameworks allow, by themselves, a convenient and complete categorisation of the great variety of issues in marketing ethics
Ethical danger points include:
Targeting the vulnerable (e.g. children, the elderly).
Excluding potential customers from the market: selective marketing is used to discourage demand from undesirable market sectors or disenfranchise them altogether.
Examples of unethical market exclusion or selective marketing are past industry attitudes to the gay, ethnic minority and obese (“plus-size”) markets. Contrary to the popular myth that ethics and profits do not mix, the tapping of these markets has proved highly profitable. For example, 20% of US clothing sales are now plus-size. Another example is the selective marketing of health care, so that unprofitable sectors (i.e. the elderly) will not attempt to take benefits to which they are entitled. A further example of market exclusion is the pharmaceutical industrys exclusion of developing countries from AIDS drugs.
Examples of marketing which unethically targets the elderly include: living trusts, time share fraud, mass marketing fraud and others. The elderly hold a disproportionate amount of the worlds wealth and are therefore the target of financial exploitation.
In the case of children, the main products are unhealthy food, fashionware and entertainment goods. Children are a lucrative market: “children 12 and under spend more than $11 billion of their own money and influence family spending decisions worth another $165 billion”, but are not capable of resisting or understanding marketing tactics at younger ages (“children dont understand persuasive intent until they are eight or nine years old”). At older ages competitive feelings towards other children are stronger than financial sense. The practice of extending childrens marketing from television to the schoolground is also controversial (see marketing in schools). The following is a select list of online articles:
Sharon Beder, Marketing to Children (University of Wollongong, 1998).
Miriam H. Zoll, Psychologists Challenge Ethics Of Marketing To Children (American News Service, 2000)
Donnell Alexander and Aliza Dichter, Ads And Kids: How Young Is Too Young?
Rebecca Clay, Advertising to children: Is it ethical? (Monitor on Psychology, Volume 31, No. 8 Sept. 2000)
Media Awareness Network, How marketers target kids
Other vulnerable audiences include emerging markets in developing countries, where the public may not be sufficiently aware of skilled marketing ploys transferred