The Traditional and Contemporary Forms of Service and Organizational Marketing

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This assignment will provide a critical analysis and evaluation of the marketing elements of our project to raise money for a school in Zambia. Marketing is defined as ‘the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large’ (American Marketing Association, 2013).

There are two forms of marketing, traditional and contemporary. Traditional marketing refers to the use of advertisements that have a proven success rate in gaining impressions. There are various traditional marketing methods, including television, newspaper and direct mail adverts. Despite the proven records, a number of these methods can become outdated if marketers do not evolve their methods to stand out among competitors. Due to the amount of companies using some of these methods, consumers often become inundated with an endless amount of spam emails and calls. Because of this, spam filters and caller ID are now used by many potential customers. ‘As of the most recently reported period, spam messages accounted for 59.56 percent of e-mail traffic worldwide (Statista, 2017). In the contemporary form, advertisements are based around satisfying customer needs. These adverts are often tailored to a target audience, reaching potential clients on a direct and personal level. If an organisation does enough research on its target market and develops a suitable advertisement, contemporary marketing can be highly rewarding. ‘Research conducted by Harvard business school and London school for business found that businesses that utilised the contemporary marketing strategy and incorporating both co-creative and shared value ideas, over the long run prospered far more than those companies who hadn't chosen this avenue.’ (JDR Group, 2017)

Before deciding on a marketing strategy, a SWOT analysis should be conducted to evaluate a firms Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Strengths and weaknesses are both internal factors and specific to that organisation. Strengths include any factors that may portray the company in a positive way or influence consumers to buy a product. Any opportunities or threats are external factors; often dictated by the external environment, competitors or social changes. By understanding these elements of a business, it is possible to emphasise any strengths within marketing material and work toward various opportunities. In today’s market, organisations find themselves in an ever-changing environment where consumer needs can change rapidly; Therefore, it is important to stay aware of any competitor movements or changes in trend. ‘Changes within the market itself can pose a threat to your organisation, such as new market entrant who significantly alters the product offering. For example, Apple’s iTunes and Spotify radically changed the market for recorded music’ (FME, 2013). The SWOT tool has assisted us in establishing the current situation of Notes & Tones and how to move forward as a project. It has been established that there is a lack of opportunities for aspiring musicians within the local area and a gap in the market for a local organisation that offers musical services, events and community assistance through music. ‘It’s actually a very creative city, there’s a lot of bands, there’s a lot of activity. One of the problems here is it doesn’t find much expression.’ (Ben Reynolds, 2017). Ambitious to succeed and improve Swansea’s local media scene, our projects main strength is the passion of those involved in the project. Ben Reynolds, the CEO of Notes & Tones, Urban Foundry and many other businesses; has been involved in countless projects which have assisted the local area and gained him and his organisations a level of respect and trust within the community. The mission statement of Urban Foundry gives a true reflection of what he is trying to achieve. ‘Forging great ideas to change the world for the better - improving people’s lives, making better places and building better businesses’ (Urban Foundry, 2017). The current lack of funding for the project is a weakness but can be rectified by various fund-raising campaigns using online platforms such as just giving, or by arranging fund raising events.

In addition to a SWOT analysis, it is important that marketers also pay attention to the marketing mix, described by McCarthy (1960) as the four P’s of marketing – Product, price, place and promotion. In 1981, three new factors were suggested by Booms and Bitner - people, physical evidence and process. ‘The 4-P model has been useful when applied to the manufacture and marketing of physical products, but with the increase in services provision the model does not provide a full enough picture’ (Blythe & Martin, 2016. P.12)

A product can be an item that is produced or a service that is being offered to a certain target market. For a product to succeed and provide an acceptable level of profit, extensive research must be done to provide critical analysis on the chosen market and the demographics of potential clients. A product will have three phases – the growth phase, the maturity phase and the sales decline phase. ‘You must ensure to have the right type of product that is in demand for your market. So during the product development phase, the marketer must do an extensive research on the life cycle of the product that they are creating’ (Marketing Mix, 2015). With Notes & Tones, the product we offer will be a website to promote local musicians and music tutors who will pay a small fee to advertise their services, income will also be generated through other on-site advertisements. To generate extra income and exposure for the project, events will be held to showcase local talent and assist the growth of Swansea’s music scene.

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The price of a product is simply how much the consumer is willing to pay for that specific item or service. When deciding how much something should be priced at, it is important to consider many details such as how much the product cost to make and how much the consumer will be expecting to pay for it. The price of a product or service can change through time, but a large increase or frequent price rises may upset customers. ‘Price is a fairly flexible element of the mix, since it is relatively easy to change the prices in response to demand fluctuations, but continually changing prices can lead to confusion (and even suspicion) on the part of customers’ (Blythe, 2009. P.15). At our live music events, the price of a ticket is estimated at five pounds and any profits will be used to fund various music workshops for disadvantaged groups of people.

A place can either be a physical or virtual location where a product or service is showcased. The location of an organisation or advertisement must be chosen carefully to ensure the chosen target market can easily access any product or service. ‘The product should be available from wherever the firm’s target group of customers find it easiest to shop. This may be a high street shop, it may be mail order through a catalogue or from a magazine coupon, or it may even be doorstep delivery’ (Blythe & Martin, 2016. P.10). Client opinions are often built upon first impressions; therefore, it is important to find a suitable place that represents a business’s morals. The events for our project will be held at Unit Nineteen which is located just off Wind Street, a busy local nightlife area. The venue is ideal due to the central location and low rental costs as the CEO of Notes & Tones rents the building. It has been mentioned that due to the structure of the building, the area has a low footfall, which is something we believe can be changed by making the public aware of the area through sufficient marketing campaigns. Adverts will be placed on the website and social media sites to gain interest in the project.

Consumers opinions on a company are usually based around the people who work for the organisation. Customer facing staff are often the first point of contact for potential clients and must be suited for the role to ensure customer expectations are met. The culture of an organisation is shaped by the leading authority who will set guidelines and rules to let staff know what is expected from them. A negative work culture will emerge if employee satisfactions and needs are not considered, which can slow down productivity and greatly damage an organisations reputation. ‘The reputation of your brand rests in the hands of your staff, they must be appropriately trained, well-motivated and have the right attitude’ (CIM, 2015). When Notes & Tones was first founded in 1991 under a different name, thirteen individuals all had an equal share of decision making power. The clash of ideas and personalities caused uncertainty and unrest within the work place and with no clear structure or culture, the company eventually folded after a few small projects. In an interview in 2017 with Ben Reynolds, he told us ‘My number one rule is, I want people I know I can get on with who are going to be constructive and supportive.’ The individuals a firm decides to target is also an extremely important element of the people element. If a product or service appeals to a certain demographic, an organisation must have a sufficient understanding of those consumers. ‘Thorough research is important to discover whether there are enough people in your target market that is in demand for certain types of products and services’ (Marketing mix, 2015).

The term physical evidence refers to any visible aspects of an organisation; for example, a hairdresser will provide clients with a new haircut and may even take images to use for any marketing publications. Consumers are more likely to make a purchase from an organisation if they have seen some physical evidence. Many sites will provide evidence in the form of reviews and testimonials to offer customers a level of assurance when buying something they may not have tried before. A large majority of businesses will provide their clients with physical evidence in a form of a contract, receipt or printed material.

For a business to operate sufficiently, a clear process must be implemented to ensure customers receive a consistent and efficient level of service. ‘Customers are not interested in the detail of how your business runs. What matters to them is that the system works’ (CIM, 2009). Having a well-managed process will not only increase staff productivity, but also allow an organisation to identify and solve any external threats. The process of our project revolves around generating and pursuing ideas as a group. This is currently extremely manageable due to the low number of employees, but processes may need to change over time.

Promotion is a key element of any marketing plan for an organisation to communicate their idea to potential clients and includes many forms such as advertising, social media and personal selling. Communication between organisation and consumer is the only way to let them know what it is that is being offered and why they should buy from you. Successful marketing campaigns that communicate a product to the mass market can often be expensive and an organisation must carefully consider how much they are willing to spend in promoting their idea. ‘Full-page advertisements in Sunday colour supplements can upwards of £15,000 per insertion; a 30-second TV ad at peak time can cost £60,000 per station. It is therefore worthwhile spending time and effort in ensuring that the message is comprehensible to the target audience’ (Blythe & Martin, 2016. P.198).

As a project still in its development stage, our communication methods for Notes & Tones have been by social media and by word of mouth. To communicate our ambitions to potential clients, a Facebook page has been set up and all team members have invited their friends list to ‘like’ the page. A Facebook advert could be created once sufficient funds have been raised to target certain demographics within the local area using market segmentation. Engaging on social media is crucial in our current technological age due to the sheer number of users. ‘More than 1.2 billion people access Facebook every month, nearly 20 times the whole population of the UK. Similarly, Twitter has more than 645 million registered users, and more than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube monthly, watching more than 6 billion hours of video’ (Kotler et al. 2010). An online blog has been published and various blog posts have been made about different music topics. The Facebook page and blog will be updated regularly with interesting topics and project news to generate traffic toward the website. Blogging not only generates interest from blog readers but it also greatly helps the search engine optimisation (SEO) of a website. ‘Sites that post frequent blog posts have 434% more indexed pages and 97% more inbound links’ (TechClient, 2013). Photos will be taken at music events and workshops and uploaded on to our Instagram page with hash tags to ensure they appear on various key word searches such as ‘live music Swansea’ and ‘music workshop Swansea’. On the 18th January 2018 an event will be held to showcase our project and ideas to the local community. The event will provide an opportunity for us to communicate and discuss our goals to a large audience.

To conclude, for a marketing campaign to succeed; key issues must be addressed within the marketing mix and fully understood. One cannot pay attention to just a few specific elements of the 7 P’s, a missing ingredient within the mix can be a recipe for disaster. ‘All the elements of the marketing mix influence each other. They make up the business plan for a company and handled right, can give it great success. But handled wrong and the business could take years to recover’ (Economic Times, 2017).

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