Thanh Kiet Nguyen
MKTG100 – Reflective Paper
Throughout first 4 weeks, I was studying marketing this semester, I did not think that it would be such a big picture. Coming into the subject, I thought that I would be learning about smart ways to advertise products to consumers. In the first four weeks, I have already learnt that there is a lot more to marketing than the way a product is advertised. While advertising is important to the marketing process (Armstrong et al, 2015), I now know that there is a lot more behind successful marketing. Throughout this paper, I will be discussing what I have learnt so far in first 4 weeks, as well as my personal experiences as a consumer within the marketing industry.
I have learnt that marketing put basically, is about ‘managing profitable customer relationships’ (Armstrong et al, 2015). Marketing develops on organisations having a strong market orientation, which meaning they have a strong focus on clients and competitors. In order to achieve strong strategy as well as target market, companies must first understand the five core concepts customer and marketplace concepts are; needs, wants and demands, market offerings, exchanges, transactions and relationships, markets, and value satisfaction and quality (Armstrong et al, 2015).
Alongside market orientation, I have also learnt about the significant of the marketing mix, also known as 7’P. The extended marketing mix consists of seven elements that marketers consider when marketing a new products. Seven elements including: people, process, product, promotion, price, placement , and physical evidence (Armstrong et al, 2015). It is essential for marketers to consider these components in relation to their target market, because these are the things intended buyers will compare amongst similar products from different competitors. When looking at marketing from a business point of view, it is essential to understand these key concepts of marketing in order to succeed in the market.
Marketing plays an important role in the trade of goods and services, it’s also work to understand the needs, wants and demands of clients. In marketing, building strong customer relationships is very significant to successful marketing, and done by creating value for customers and building customer relationships, which in turn captures value from clients (Armstrong et al, 2015). It is significant to create positive value for customers, as this not only creates long term with clients relationships, It also helps to build the reputation and credibility of the company
As a consumer, I have been exposed to the numerous techniques used by marketers. I do believe that in some cases, marketing can be manipulative, but I also believe that it can be influential. As a student as well as a younger member of society, I regularly use technology and have seen marketing all on the Internet. Marketing on the internet can be very manipulative due to the vast amounts of user data available online. Organises are able to collect, analyse and share users’ digital data by create cookies on their computers (Armstrong et al, 2015). Once companies have access to this user information, they are able to use it to take unfair advantage on consumers. I have been exposed to this type of Internet manipulation on numerous occasions. For example, if I am looking at an online shop and then log onto Facebook, an add for the same online shop will appear on my Facebook account trying to manipulate me into making a purchase. I do find that this is an invasion of privacy, and it is somewhat manipulative. This type of marketing creates many ethical and legal issues within marketing, in regards to consumer protection and privacy, and questions the common good.
Another form of marketing manipulation I have seen is the Woolworths Everyday Rewards program. Consumers are given a card that they scan every time they make a purchase. They are enticed to sign up to the loyalty program because they earn points for every item they purchase. Once they have a certain amount of points, they earn vouchers and other rewards (Worthington ; Fear, 2009). While this is a great way for consumers to be rewarded for shopping at Woolworths, the company are also using the loyalty cards as a way to collect information about their customers (Worthington ; Fear, 2009). Woolworths collect a great deal of consumer data from their loyalty cards, such as; customer demographics, location, products purchased, frequency of purchase, transaction value, basket analysis, and customer behaviour (Worthington ; Fear, 2009). Woolworths can use this data in many ways to manipulate consumers. For example, they can analyse data in relation to geographic location to determine what consumers in a certain area will spend money on, and then advertise these products in that area. Woolworths also analyse transaction history of customers, and will send them emails promoting sales on items they regularly purchase (Worthington ; Fear, 2009). I find this form of marketing to be intrusive and manipulative towards consumers. Woolworth’s are using this data to manipulate customers into spending more money, which I find is an invasion of privacy. While I understand that this data can be helpful from a marketing perspective, I find it to be very manipulative. Economic implications may also arise due to the high costs of having to run the rewards program (Worthington & Fear, 2009).
It is now evident to me that marketing operates in a complex and ever-changing environment, meaning that there are many ways in which it can impact individual consumers as well as society in general (Armstrong et al, 2015). Marketing techniques influence consumer behaviour and can be the difference between a consumer purchasing a product or not. It helps with consumer choice and decision making, while also creating customer value. Macroeconomic forces also have an impact on marketing and society. They shape opportunities as well as pose threats to companies. Economic growth or change, and circular flow have a big impact on the role of marketing in organisations and society (Armstrong et al, 2015). They determine how individuals perceive the market and whether they are willing to spend money in the economy or not. Successful marketing will influence consumer behaviour and persuade consumers to spend money even when the economy is not healthy, and this consumer spending could inturn help to improve the economy. This is just another reason why I think marketing is important for the economy, when conducted in an ethical manner.
Within the first four weeks of studying marketing, it is evident that I have learnt a lot from the subject. Moving forward I believe that I will be able to apply this knowledge in my everyday life plays a role as a consumer. I will be able to determine when marketers are trying to manipulate me as a consumer, compared to persuade me, and I will also be able to look at marketing techniques to influence and improve the economy. I believe that this knowledge and basic concept will help me to become a smarter consumer within society.
Armstrong, G., Adam, S., Denize, S., & Kotler, P. (2014). Principles of marketing. Pearson Australia.
Worthington, S, Fear, J 2009, The hidden side of loyalty card programs, The Australian Centre for Retail Studies, pp. 1-12.