It's Not Easy Being Clean .. Opps .. Green

Earth Day was once a quaint little holiday. Almost four decades later April 22nd has become a day that combines education with celebration. From the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' week long Party for the Planet, complete with marketing sponsorship opportunities to a benefit Shred-a-Thon for the Farmington River Watershed Association in Connecticut to hundreds of events in almost every city, town and school Earth Day sometimes has the feel of a Hallmark Holiday. From a marketer's view point that type of exposure certainly creates grass root awareness. Earth Day 2008 Event Calendar

As my friend Mary Clare Hunt preaches it will be Wall Street, not government, that will turn the tides when it comes to impacting "eco friendly" behavior. Business, including venture capital firms, are beginning to put a lot of green lettuce, and we're not talking salad stuff, in support of environmental initiatives. WSJ reports that VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, is devoting about one-third of its $700 million investment portfolio to green technology e.g., alternative fuels, fuel-efficient devices.

Mike Italiano, MTS CEO, in a detailed post on MTS' Smart Solutions For Sustainable Business blog, tells us that Green Building Investment Underwriting Standards are expected to add an estimated $1 trillion/year to the global economy after five years.

Mike's post includes a comprehensive list of companies that are involved in the Capital Markets Partnership program. Major cities such as Chicago, New York and Dallas are working along side of high profiled financial institutions JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase CitiGroup Smith Barney. Bloggy disclaimer: I've worked with MTS on the blog.

In the direct to consumer side, grocery stores like Publix and Whole Foods Market are getting into the act with extensive green initiatives. Dell's regeneration goes a step further and incorporates social media involving customers by giving them a platform to express their vision and ideas of how to "clean it up." These type of programs can't help but influence purchase behavior.

Social media is making an impact too. According to research from Nielsen Online protecting the environment has become increasingly important to consumers, with online buzz around sustainability growing 50 percent in 2007. "...consumers are becoming increasingly vocal online about the issue of sustainability... Blogger attention to... issues like pollution, toxins and sustainable agriculture reveal an important intersection between personal health and environmental wellness." Jessica Hogue, research director, Nielsen Online.

As we're seeing "Green" has morphed into a cool marketing strategy. However, Nielsen's research cautions businesses to be careful how products/ are positioned and promoted. "Consumers expect consistency in action and authentic and transparent messaging."

That's not to say that if your organization is doing good why not let your customers know and reap a few atta girl sales. It's not easy being clean .. opps .. green. Thank you to the companies that are working to keep our earth green and our skies blue.

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Sponsorship Marketing 2008

As a means of truly creating a link with your chosen market sponsorship has it all: association with a property that truly matches your brand values; opportunities to touch your consumer in many different ways through a multitude of media; provide a truly memorable experience that creates that all important relationship; and that just covers the obvious. Yet sadly, despite wanting more, many of today’s deals are not much more than corporate badging exercises that can be a less expensive way of getting that all important TV exposure, which when it comes to evaluating the true benefit leave you as the marketing director wanting.
Like all the disciplines available to reach your market, there are those brands that shine out from the crowd, who have thought laterally about how to reap the benefits and many more that haven’t!
At Sponsorship Marketing 2008 we will examine how those successful brands are achieving their goals through their sponsorship choices. During this conference we will explore:
- What factors create success
- The psychology of the consumer
- How to fully define measurable objectives
- Finding the right property
- Creating a true partnership
- Integrating your sponsorship strategy with your overall strategy
Who should attend?
- Marketing directors, marketing managers, heads of brand communication, sponsorship marketers
- Heads of research and insight from client companies involved in sponsorship marketing
- Rights owners and developers
- Sponsorship marketing consultants

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Contratulation, if you are studying for a marketing module or qualification, this is article are specifically designed to support your learning because with Free resource on the topic of marketing.

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What is Marketing ?

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Some Basic Definitions of Marketing and The Marketing Concept

Definitions of Marketing

There are many definitions of marketing. The better definitions are focused upon customer orientation and satisfaction of customer needs.

Marketing is the social process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others

Marketing is the management process that identifies, anticipates and satisfies
customer requirements profitably -

The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

The CIM definition (in common with Barwell's definition of the marketing concept) looks not only at identifying customer needs, but also satisfying them (short-term) and anticipating them in the future (long-term retention).

The right product, in the right place, at the right time, at the right price -

This is a snappy and realistic definition that uses McCarthy's Four Ps.

Marketing is essentially about marshalling the resources of an organization so
that they meet the changing needs of the customer on whom the organization depends -


This is a more recent and very realistic definition that looks at matching capabilities with needs.

Marketing is the process whereby society, to supply its consumption needs, evolves distributive systems composed of participants, who, interacting under constraints - technical (economic)and ethical (social) - create the transactions or flows which resolve market separations and result in exchange and consumption.

This definition considers the economic and social aspects of marketing.

What exactly is marketing and why is it important to you as an entrepreneur? Simply stated, marketing is everything you do to place your product or service in the hands of potential customers.

It includes diverse disciplines like sales, public relations, pricing, packaging, and distribution. In order to distinguish marketing from other related professional services, S.H. Simmons, author and humorist, relates this anecdote.

"If a young man tells his date she's intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he's saying the right things to the right person and that's marketing. If the young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is -- that's advertising. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is -- that's public relations."

You might think of marketing this way. If business is all about people and money and the art of persuading one to part from the other, then marketing is all about finding the right people to persuade.

Marketing is your strategy for allocating resources (time and money) in order to achieve your objectives (a fair profit for supplying a good product or service).

Yet the most brilliant strategy won't help you earn a profit or achieve your wildest dreams if it isn't built around your potential customers. A strategy that isn't based on customers is rather like a man who knows a thousand ways to make love to a woman, but doesn't know any women. Great in theory but unrewarding in practice.

If you fit the classic definition of an entrepreneur (someone with a great idea who's under-capitalized), you may think marketing is something you do later -- after the product is developed, manufactured, or ready to sell.

Though it may feel counter-intuitive, marketing doesn't begin with a great idea or a unique product. It begins with customers -- those people who want or need your product and will actually buy it.

Entrepreneurs are in love with their ideas, and they should be. After all, why would anyone commit their energy, life savings, and no small part of their sanity to anything less than a consuming passion. Because entrepreneurs are passionate about their idea, product, or service, they innocently assume other people will feel the same. Here's the bad news -- it just doesn't work that way!

People have their own unique perceptions of the world based on their belief system. The most innovative ideas, the greatest products, or a superior service succeed only when you market within the context of people's perceptions.

Context can be many things, singly or simultaneously. To name a few, you may market to your customers within the context of their wants, needs, problems solved, or situation improved. Entrepreneurs need to be aware of many other contexts, such as social and economic trends or governmental regulations, which we'll discuss another time.

People don't just "buy" a product. They "buy" the concept of what that product will do for them, or help them do for themselves. People who are overweight don't join a franchise diet center to eat pre-packaged micro-meals. They "buy" the concept of a new, thin, happy and successful self.

Before you become consumed with entrepreneurial zeal and invest your life savings in a new venture, become a smart marketer. Take time at the beginning to discover who your potential customers are, and how to effectively reach them.

Without a plan, your entrepreneurial dream is really wishful thinking. While a marketing plan can be a map for success, remember that the map is not the territory. A strategy that ignores the customer isn't an accurate reflection of the landscape.

A good marketing plan can help you focus your energy and resources. But a plan created in a vacuum, based solely on your perceptions, does not advance the agenda. That's why market research, however simple or sophisticated, is important.

Just keep in mind that research attempts to predict the future by studying the past. It reveals what people have done, and extrapolates what people might do -- not what people will do.

Planning is imperative, research is important, but there's no substitute for entrepreneurial insight. After all, as Mark Twain wrote, "You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus".

The Philosophy Marketing and the Marketing Concept.

The marketing concept is a philosophy. It makes the customer, and the satisfaction of his or her needs, the focal point of all business activities. It is driven by senior managers, passionate about delighting their customers.

Marketing is not only much broader than selling, it is not a specialized activity at all It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of the final result, that is, from the customer's point of view. Concern and responsibility for marketing must therefore permeate all areas of the enterprise. by Drucker

This customer focused philosophy is known as the 'marketing concept'. The marketing concept is a philosophy, not a system of marketing or an organizational structure. It is founded on the belief that profitable sales and satisfactory returns on investment can only be achieved by identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer needs and desires. by Barwell

The achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition. Jobber

Implementation of the marketing concept [in the 1990's] requires attention to three basic elements of the marketing concept. These are: Customer orientation; An organization to implement a customer orientation; Long-range customer and societal welfare. by Cohen

Now that you have been introduced to some definitions of marketing and the marketing concept, remember the important elements contained as follows:

  • Marketing focuses on the satisfaction of customer needs, wants and requirements.

  • The philosophy of marketing needs to be owned by everyone from within the organization.

  • Future needs have to be identified and anticipated.

  • There is normally a focus upon profitability, especially in the corporate sector. However, as public sector organizations and not-for-profit organizations adopt the concept of marketing, this need not always be the case.

  • More recent definitions recognize the influence of marketing upon society.

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Services Marketing and the Extended Marketing Mix (7P's)

What is services marketing?

A service is the action of doing something for someone or something. It is largely intangible (i.e. not material). A product is tangible (i.e. material) since you can touch it and own it. A service tends to be an experience that is consumed at the point where it is purchased, and cannot be owned since is quickly perishes. A person could go to a café one day and have excellent service, and then return the next day and have a poor experience. So often marketers talk about the nature of a service as :

Inseparable - from the point where it is consumed, and from the provider of the service. For example, you cannot take a live theatre performance home to consume it (a DVD of the same performance would be a product, not a service).
Intangible - and cannot have a real, physical presence as does a product. For example, motor insurance may have a certificate, but the financial service itself cannot be touched i.e. it is intangible.
Perishable - in that once it has occurred it cannot be repeated in exactly the same way. For example, once a 100 metres Olympic final has been run, there will be not other for 4 more years, and even then it will be staged in a different place with many different finalists.
Variability- since the human involvement of service provision means that no two services will be completely identical. For example, returning to the same garage time and time again for a service on your car might see different levels of customer satisfaction, or speediness of work.

Right of ownership - is not taken to the service, since you merely experience it. For example, an engineer may service your air-conditioning, but you do not own the service, the engineer or his equipment. You cannot sell it on once it has been consumed, and do not take ownership of it.
Western economies have seen deterioration in their traditional manufacturing industries, and a growth in their service economies. Therefore the marketing mix has seen an extension and adaptation into the extended marketing mix for services, also known as the 7P's - physical evidence, process and people.

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Marketing Communications

What are marketing communications?

Marketing communications is a subset of the overall subject area known as marketing. Marketing has a marketing mix that is made of price, place, promotion, product (know as the four P's), that includes people, processes and physical evidence, when marketing services (known as the seven P's).

How does marketing communications fit in? Marketing communications is 'promotion' from the marketing mix.

Why are marketing communications 'integrated?' Integrated means combine or amalgamate, or put simply the jigsaw pieces that together make a complete picture. This is so that a single message is conveyed by all marketing communications. Different messages confuse your customers and damage brands. So if a TV advert carries a particular logo, images and message, then all newspaper adverts and point-of-sale materials should carry the same logo, images or message, or one that fits the same theme. Coca-Cola uses its familiar red and white logos and retains themes of togetherness and enjoyment throughout its marketing communications.

Marketing communications has a mix. Elements of the mix are blended in different quantities in a campaign. The marketing communications mix includes many different elements, and the following list is by no means conclusive. It is recognised that there is some cross over between individual elements (e.g. Is donating computers to schools, by asking shoppers to collect vouchers, public relations or sales promotion?) Here are the key of the marketing communications mix.
The Marketing Communications Mix.

* Personal Selling.
* Sales Promotion.
* Public Relations (and publicity).
* Direct Marketing.
* Trade Fairs and Exhibitions.
* Advertising (above and below the line).
* Sponsorship.
* Packaging.
* Merchandising (and point-of-sale).
* EMarketing (and Internet promotions).
* Brands.

Integrated marketing communications see the elements of the communications mix 'integrated' into a coherent whole. This is known as the marketing communications mix, and forms the basis of a marketing communications campaign.

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