Marketing management is the process of developing strategies and planning for product or services, advertising, promotions, sales to reach desired customer segment.
Marketing management employs tools from economics and competitive strategy to analyze the industry context in which the firm operates. These include Porter’s five forces, analysis of strategic groups of competitors, value chain analysis and others.
In competitor analysis, marketers build detailed profiles of each competitor in the market, focusing on their relative competitive strengths and weaknesses using SWOT analysis. Marketing managers will examine each competitor’s cost structure, sources of profits, resources and competencies, competitive positioning and product differentiation, degree of vertical integration, historical responses to industry developments, and other factors.
Marketing management often conduct market research and marketing research to perform marketing analysis. Marketers employ a variety of techniques to conduct market research, but some of the more common include:
- Qualitative marketing research, such as focus groups and various types of interviews
- Quantitative marketing research, such as statistical surveys
- Experimental techniques such as test markets
Two customer segments are often selected as targets because they score highly on two dimensions:
- The segment is attractive to serve because it is large, growing, makes frequent purchases, is not price sensitive (i.e. is willing to pay high prices), or other factors; and
- The company has the resources and capabilities to compete for the segment’s business, can meet their needs better than the competition, and can do so profitably.
A commonly cited definition of marketing is simply “meeting needs profitably”.
The implication of selecting target segments is that the business will subsequently allocate more resources to acquire and retain customers in the target segment(s) than it will for other, non-targeted customers. In some cases, the firm may go so far as to turn away customers who are not in its target segment.The doorman at a swanky nightclub, for example, may deny entry to unfashionably dressed individuals because the business has made a strategic decision to target the “high fashion” segment of nightclub patrons.
Project, process, and vendor management
More broadly, marketing managers work to design and improve the effectiveness of core marketing processes, such as new product development, brand management, marketing communications, and pricing. Marketers may employ the tools of business process reengineering to ensure these processes are properly designed, and use a variety of process management techniques to keep them operating smoothly.