The market, environment and consumers are the three most important factors a marketer and organization can’t afford to neglect. And also it is these factors that are difficult to monitor due to their ever changing nature.
This is where marketing research comes to the rescue of marketers and organizations. Marketing research is a means to monitor change in market dynamics, business environment and consumer behavior.
Now let’s try and understand what causes these changes.
Changes in the Market
Changes in the market are caused by following major factors:
- Entry of New Brands / Players: Entry of a new brand and player changes the market for other brands and organizations. This forces others to adjust their market effort to retain their market share.
- Re-launch / Re-activation of Existing Brands: In this case the established brands are re-launched or dormant brands are reactivated. This is done by organizations to improve performance of brands in their portfolio which again causes others to adjust their marketing efforts.
- Pricing Changes: Pricing changes by any player in the market calls for adjustment by others in their pricing as well. This again depends on the product/service and consumer perception about price.
- Distributions Changes: Changes in distribution channels by one player can also cause others to adjust their distribution strategy. Let’s take an example of a telecom company who has started using local general stores to sell their mobile recharge coupons. This will cause other players in the industry to follow the same route to be not “left out”.
Changes in the Macro Environment
Changes in the macro environment are caused by following major factors:
- Globalization of Media: Globalization of media provided marketers with opportunities to tap consumers worldwide. For example a product or service company who has consumers worldwide can use media to increase their reach and consumer base. Internet is a best example of a global media which is used by marketers and organizations worldwide to reach out to their customers.
- Liberalization: This case is more applicable in countries with closed-economies like was the case with India before 1990. Liberalization allows entry of new players and evolution of existing players in the market. As market opens it becomes more competitive and influences marketers to be more aggressive to stay ahead of their competition.
- Mood of the Nation: The political scenario of a nation causes organizations to changes their marketing strategy. This is in-particularly true for organizations selling luxary or lifestyle products.
Evolution of the Consumers
Evolution of the consumers is caused by following major factors:
- Age: With age the consumer behaviour changes dramatically. Things which may interest a kid, a teenager or an adult are mostly different. A consumer with age will change their preferences and will respond to different messages. This causes marketers to adopt different marketing strategies to target consumers of different age group. The best example for this is food supplement manufacturers who use different packaging, promotion and distribution channels to target all age groups.
- Affluence & Affordability: Different consumer groups have different purchasing powers. Thus marketers adopt their marketing strategy accordingly. Let’s take an example of a daily wage laborer and an upper-middle class housewife. They both need shampoo and detergent powder. But one can afford to buy a sachet for daily use while the other can buy a big box to monthly use. Thus marketers of these products ensure the availability in different packaging forms to cater to both consumers.
- Changes in Family Structure: Changes in family structure also causes consumers to change their consumption pattern. For example a family with kids will consume different products / services than that of a newly married couple. Thus marketers and organizations need to be aware of changing preferences of their consumers.
- Change in Location: Change of location for a consumer cause them to alter their consumption habits. This is because a change of location can force consumers to shift their loyalty to different brands due to unavailability of their favorite brand.
- Increased Exposure to Media: Media exposure influences consumer’s buying decisions. This is the reason why marketers and organizations need to pay attention to understand impact of different media on their target consumers.
All above mentioned reasons are just few among a lot of other factors which a marketer or organization needs to keep in mind while creating their marketing strategies. This is where marketing research comes to their rescue and enables them to monitor and understand changes in their market dynamics, business environment and consumer behavior.
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