Marketing today is not a function; it is a way of doing business. Increasingly in retail, it is not what you sell that counts, but how you sell it. Whether it is the paanwalla, the bania the supermarket or the department store the universal principles of marketing remain the same. Marketing today, has moved from merely selling of products and services to creating relationships with the customer.
In this article, we examine the elements of marketing for a retailer and the methods of communicating with the consumer. We first look at the components of the Retail Marketing Mix, and then the methods of segmentation, targeting and positioning for a retail store, The various methods of communication with the consumer like advertising , sales promotion publicity and personal selling are then considered. The concept of integrated marketing communications is explored with its reference to the retailer and finally the role, that branding plays in retail is explained.
The role of marketing in Retail
In order to evaluate the role of marketing in the area of retail, let us first start with some of the commonly quoted definitions of the term marketing.
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as the process of panning and executing the conception, pricing promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals.
From these definitions one can draw the conclusion that marketing has to do with providing the right product to the consumer at the right place and time which is largely what retailers believe that they are doing.
The role of marketing in a retail organization is two fold. The first role that marketing can play for a retail organization is that of informing the consumer that he exists. The second role that marketing play for the retailer is enabling it to get closer to the end consumer.
As the industry evolves and begins to focus on creating the experience for the end consumer, the elements of the marketing mix become increasingly important. Technology aids the understanding of consumer needs and preferences and at the same time, serves as the silent salesman. P-O-P signage and in store media educate and draw attention of consumers to a product’s availability and attributes. Coming at a time when most consumers want more information and when retailers have reduced staffing levels, retail marketing performs a vital service and augments cost reduction efforts.
Retail marketing is one of the few mass advertising medium that can convey the same overall strategic message in differing languages to varying audiences in the same village, city or region. Today’s P-O-P displays are easily assembled maintained and at the same time, more powerful in entraining and informing n the retail environment.
Retail Marketing is the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business development. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves.
Marketing is used to identify the customer, to keep the customer, and to satisfy the customer. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that marketing management is one of the major components of business management. Marketing evolved to meet the stasis in developing new markets caused by mature markets and overcapacities in the last 2-3 centuries. The adoption of marketing strategies requires businesses to shift their focus from production to the perceived needs and wants of their customers as the means of staying profitable.
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Retail is the sale of goods and services from businesses to an end user (called a customer). Retail marketing is the process by which retailers promote awareness and interest of their goods and services in an effort to generate sales from their consumers. There are many different approaches and strategies retailers can use to market their goods and services
The Four P's of Retail Marketing
Retailers use various advertising and communication tools to grow awareness and considerations with future customers. Finding the right marketing mix can lead to a profitable growth and a higher return on investment. By considering the right advertising strategy retailers can persuade consumers to choose to do business with their retail brand. The fundamental approach used my modern retailers in marketing their products is the Four Ps of Retail Marketing.
Retail branding as a discipline borrows heavily from branding as an overarching domain, but there are some fundamental differences. The aim of any ambitious retailer is to establish its brand as a preferred destination for shopping amidst all the competition. Positioning is strongly influenced by a proposition. This proposition can be defined at different levels, which may include one or more of the following examples:
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