Tuesday, February 14, 2012

At What Stage Do Companies Really Need Marketing??

If marketing has one goal, it's to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions. That‟s why consumer electronics companies make sure not only that customers see their televisions in stores but also that those televisions display vivid high-definition pictures. 
It‟s why Amazon.com, a decade ago, began offering targeted product recommendations to 
consumers already logged in and ready to buy. And it explains P&G‟s decision, long ago, to 
produce radio and then TV programs to reach the audiences most likely to buy its products—
hence, the term “soap opera”.
In this regard I recently came across an article by David Court, director, marketing and 
sales practices at McKinsey & Company and found it pretty interesting. He talked about 
how customer decision making process is changing and so should our marketing efforts 
to reach the customer at the best time.

So while some brands loose the battle at the awareness front and fail to come under 
consideration, others even after being considered fail to  convert the conversion into 
a purchase action. Instead of blindly targeting their efforts at all the stages of the funnel 
and hence „wasting‟ your marketing budget, companies should try to understand at what 
stages of the funnel are they weakest and hence take more focussed decisions.
For example when Hyundai failed to come into customer consideration in USA they 
came up with a campaign where they would re-buy the car if the customer lost his job.

This removed the customer‟s concerns about financial instability in times of recession. 
What this did was, it brought the company into the consideration set.
For some companies winning the in-store battle is important. McKinsey research shows 
that one consequence of the new world of marketing complexity is that more consumers 
hold off their final purchase decision until they‟re in a store. Consumers want to look at 
a product in action and are highly influenced by the visual dimension: up to 40 percent 
of them change their minds because of something they see, learn, or do at this point—
say, packaging, placement, or interactions with salespeople. That is why you see rows of 
TVs with great picture clarity when you enter a consumer electronics store.
Similarly we should consider the two loyalties. There are people who are active loyal 
customers, who are not seeking any other competitor product and can recommend the 
product to their peers. Then there are passive loyals who though keep on using a 
company‟s product but also listen to promotions an advertisements from  competitors 
actively and are very confused about what they want. Passive loyals can be easily 
targeted by competitors and their loyalty can be changed. Understanding this helps 
companies decide which customer to target while marketing to get maximum