This introductory article discusses the product life cycle and marketing information systems. In order for your business to be successful, it must have the right product, the right promotion, price and place in the right niche and accessing the right audience for the said product.
With the business environment to avoid uncertainty market testing needs to be carried out because when testing your market by throwing two pieces of information about your product or service to different groups can bring different outcomes and enable you to gauge which one is performing better.
All products and services have a life cycle from being born into the market place until they expire due to a change of taste or the rise of a substitute product appears. However, some products and services are timeless and they move through the product life cycle scaled meaning their shell life does not expire as shown in the picture above which has an example of products and services.
Often the two activities are confused within the rim term of marketing, it's commonly, but misconstrue assumed that marketing represents advertising. Marketing more than most systems relies on a significant amount of external and internal information. Your marketing activities are determined by the overall strategic plan of your business which may get sales targets that influences activities and data collection and promotional advertising.
The marketing information system in your business falls within the management of information and it's concerned with supporting managerial activities within your business mainly areas of products and services development, customer distribution methods, pricing structure, promotion factors, advertising, and sales demand forecast.
The two main function you should be concerned with when it regards to marketing your business are:
Data and information collection and collation
Advertising and Promotion
The type of inputs your business should make to a marketing system are as follows:
Sales reports: which gives you an idea of customers demand for products and services and can be used to forecast future sales activities or indicate areas of growth and decline in demand. It concerned the areas of your income made within your business with regard to the products and services offered.
Competition: The information collated on competitor organisation, for instance, new product development, pricing structure for the same and similar service or product to enable you to benchmark yourself with your industry. This process allows you to develop pricing policies for your business. Notwithstanding but including looking at your competitor advertising and developed advertising strategies.
Customers: Information can be collected from your customers in varied forms including questionnaires, interviews, customers survey, subscription forms, analytics, and information collated by customer support system.
Advertising: Information and feedback from your advertising campaigns can be used to produce different products or services and promote products or services as well as modifying the marketing strategy of your organisation.
The underlying premise of marketing in your business is that long-term business growth can only be achieved if the need of your customer is identified, anticipated and fulfilled. Therefore having a marketing system in your business can provide your business with a competitive edge over your competitor. However, since marketing is concerned with the relationship between your business organisation and its external environment is a good idea to collate all information gathered. Many models of marketing systems have been developed to make the activities more effective in achieving its goals. One of these is known as the marketing mix the 4Ps Model which represents:
and later on, extended to the 7Ps Model and it is represented in this manner:
This type of system in your business usually concerns itself with researching the nature of the products and the research and development of products and services attempting to develop new products that will be attractive to the customers of your business. Therefore product research system activities are a valuable exercise in identifying the features that customers desire in a product or services and identifying the benefit it will provide to those customers.
For example, the following attributes of a product size, colour, composition, appearance, suitability, and compatibility can be investigated to develop products and services that will be demanded by your customers.
The input data and information for research and development come from the marketing system in the form of research data and market reports generated from marketing analysis.
Therefore, customer support systems are vital in maintaining an excellent relationship between your business organisation and your customers. This area is closely related to customer service, after-sales care, and after-sales service aiming to create an excellent and continuous relationship between your business organisation and its customers — thus will encourage customer loyalty to a particular product, service or business organisation.
Your customer's support system typically gathers information from customers, in the form of questionnaires and surveys, which can be used by either the marketing system or the research and development system of your business. The marketing system can use your customer's information to focus on advertising and promotion campaigns. The research and development system can incorporate customers' views and preferences into the development of products or services that will appeal to your customer tastes.
With the creation of the internet comes e-businesses. Websites are being created and your company can display their products and services on a website typically named e-commerce, online store, and online shop. With the birth of push and pull marketing strategies as well as automation developed. These business models feature products and services and highly required the participation of your customers interactively.
A key marketing decision for e-business is to decide whether a proactive strategy for marketing will be adopted. The passive activity of your customers or clients accessing websites pages and purchasing and downloading e-goods, pages from the internet is termed pull marketing. The information is made available by suppliers is stored on a server, and your customers search for and request, or pull, the pages from the server to download it is called pull marketing.
Once your business supplies and stored details about your customers, you could then develop a more active strategy of distributing information, this is known as push marketing. The particular benefit can be gained when push marketing is targeted at selected users. However, much of the activity in push technology is of a broadcasting nature, with suppliers sending streams of information relating to recent developments such as price changes or new products. The information can be broadcast globally or sent to a selected group of interested individuals.
Your customers can receive information in many ways different ways:
For the general release of product or service information, emails can be composed and distributed to those identified.
Details of software updates, such as the latest version of a web browser, can be transmitted when the user logs on for the new session.
If the user runs special software in the background on their computer it becomes possible for the information to be transmitted in real-time, for example across a scrolling banner or as an update on a screen saver.
The development and management of your business website have been explained above and you may choose to develop and maintain a website for a number of reasons, most commonly:
to advertise services and products
to sell products and services
to promote the corporate image of your business
to promote information (especially public services)
In the development of corporate websites, three main areas must be considered in its development and maintenance and these are the connection, publication of policies, and presentation of the materials.
In conclusion of this introductory article about the product life cycle and marketing information systems, a human resources system is needed. The human resources system is concerned with contractual matters relating to the staff of your business. People are the main resource of most organisations and as such need to be treated, coordinated and guided by managers as a valuable resource.
The main activities of the human resources system include hiring the right staff, issuing them with an employment contract, maintaining employee records, employee analysis, and evaluation.
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