Product Marketing for the 21st Century

Marketing by definition is all about reaching out to the consumers through targeted messages and by positioning the product based on the pricing, promotion, distribution elements of the marketing mix. Further, the marketers must be able to glocalize or adapt the global brands to local conditions to leverage upon the market power of the specific regions and countries. Further, marketers have obligations towards the consumers and hence must follow ethical norms. Finally, marketers must also be in compliance with the legal and regulatory rules and procedures in vogue in the specific markets that they operate.PricingPricing affects the marketing of a product as it determines the consumer segment that is likely to buy the product. For instance, it is common for marketers to segment the market according to the price range that they are selling the product in. There can be lower priced models for the lower end of the segment, medium priced models and finally, the premium or the upper end models for the upper crust of the market. Pricing is important because it determines the discovered value of the product and can be either undervalued or overvalued leading to the product getting sold in abundance or otherwise. Finally, pricing affects the bottom line of the company since it is the direct determinant of revenues. It is for these reasons that pricing is an important variable in the marketing mix (Blois, 2007, 42).PromotionThe way in which the product is promoted determines the extent to which the marketing campaign is successful in its scope and reach. For instance, targeted promotion at specific consumer segments means that the message that is intended to be sent because of the promotional campaign would be heard in the correct context or not. Successful advertising also impacts the bottom lines of companies since they determine the sales of the product. Finally, promotion is important because without advertising or word of mouth publicity coupled with point of sale promotions, it is difficult for marketers to get their message across and make sure that consumers absorb the message that is being conveyed. It is for these reasons that promotion is considered an important variable in the marketing mix (Egan & Johnson, 2008, 17).DistributionThis variable is usually not given the importance that it ought to be accorded by marketers. The point about distribution being important is that availability and accessibility of the product determine to a great extent how successful it would be in the real world market. For instance, when the latest version of the Apple iPhone 4S debuted recently, the outlets were not stocked with enough products leading to wait times by the consumers making them switch over to substitutes or alternatives. It is for this reason that many marketers design the distribution channels first and then plan their marketing strategies so as to leverage upon the synergies that would accrue from the combination of distribution channels and advertising. Further, many marketers test the products’ applicability and desirability in the market by rolling out test launches in select regions which would ensure that the products and their relevance to the market can be gauged by measuring the response (Kotler & Armstrong, 2010, 80).Marketing in International MarketsAmong the pricing, promotion and distribution elements to be considered for international markets, the following specific elements must be taken into consideration: The pricing must be done based on the local purchasing power determined according to the PPP or Purchasing Power Parity. Next, the promotion must be done in such a way that it is a combination of global brand appeal tailored to local conditions or “Glocal” in approach. Finally, the distribution must take into account the varying needs of the global supply chain and its success would depend on how well the company taps into the specifics of the local market. The point here is that when marketing to international markets, attention must be paid to the fact that there is a need to understand the local conditions and hence blind application of global strategies must be avoided. This means that a “Glocal” approach where the global strategies are adapted to local conditions must be followed so that the product is successful in the local markets.Ethical ConsiderationsThe primary ethical consideration that marketers ought to consider is whether the product being marketed or advertised is according to the normative rules of conduct like not targeting inappropriate advertising at children or using props or visuals that might be offensive to certain groups. The point here is that marketing by definition is all about winning the hearts and minds of consumers and to achieve this, the ethical norms must not be sacrificed. Given the fact that many marketers use messages that use stereotypes, they must be considerate towards minorities, disadvantaged sections and other groups when designing their marketing strategies (Constantinides, 2006, 418).Effect of Legal and Regulatory RequirementsThe legal or regulatory requirements that affect the marketing function include compliance with local labor laws and policies dealing with specific conditions under which the marketers operate in a given market. The fact that each country and region has separate laws for marketers to obey means that they should not only be cognizant of these laws and regulations but also be in compliance with them. It needs to be remembered that punitive action by the regulators impacts the product’s brand value apart from entailing costs that might have to be borne by the companies in marketing the product (Hassan & Submission, 2003, 140).ReferencesBlois, K. (2007). `Business Customers’ Behavior – A Challenge for the Relationship Marketing Concept?’ Journal of Business Market Management 1(1):41-58.Egan & John (2008). `A century of marketing’. The Marketing Review 8(1):3-23.Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (2010). Principles of Marketing (12th Edition) (Principles of Marketing). Prentice Hall.Hassan, S. S. & Submission, H. C. (2003). `Global marketing eviews’. Journal of Global Marketing 6(3):139-142.Constantinides, E. (2006). `The Marketing Mix Revisited: Towards the 21st Century Marketing’. Journal of Marketing Management 22(3):407-438.

Is Your Product Packaging Newsworthy?

I see hundreds of releases on product packaging every week. For the most part I read the headline and say to myself “who cares.” That in itself is very telling because I am a packaging junkie and I’ll read almost anything that has to do with packaging.

Recently, mainstream media coverage of the packaging industry has been more in-depth than usual. I see dozens of articles about packaging each week. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the news articles deal with negative perceptions of packaging and its influence on society. From bottle water to excess packaging the packaging industry is getting a bad “wrap.” You can help change all that by portraying your product packaging in a positive manner.

So how can you get your product seen by the media in a more favorable light? Make sure that your packaging is connected to one of the more popular news trends or consider what the media will be covering outside of the obvious “breaking” news items unless of course you have a product that can “connect” to the most current story.

Start thinking about your product and how it can connect with the media coverage. A few examples of topics the media will be covering in the future include:

· Any thing to do with diets, weight loss or healthy eating.

This topic perennially becomes newsworthy as the holiday season approaches. This topic also offers opportunities for coverage in niche publications too, such as woman-oriented or fitness publications.

· Products that are geared around breast cancer or the Fight For The Cure.

The media is giving more and more coverage to this topic every year. Pink packaging abounds. But even if your packaging isn’t pink you can still piggyback of the media spin.

· Products that are marketed to or designed for the 50+ generation.

The “boomers” topic is getting substantial media play in virtually every type of publication. If you are marketing in this space, contact a few publications and find out what they will be covering in the next issue.

· Look for media spin on anything to do with the environment, recycled materials and bio-based materials.

The environment is hot right now, so this topic is definitely worth getting excited about. I just judged a brand new packaging competition for the Produce Marketing Association and one of the biggest categories was sustainable or environmentally friendly materials. If I was the winner of that category I’d be all over the media with my product packaging.

· Seasonal holiday innovative packaging.

Not your old holiday standbys but something really unique and creative. I always recommend thinking about secondary uses for your product packaging. The holidays are a great time for “keepsake” product packaging

· Investigate a pitch less commonplace to the media.

For example, recently I read about deli labels featuring CBS’s new prime-time lineup are the network’s latest attention-grabbing marketing plan. What a great concept. I’d be using this idea for every holiday promotion.

By tying your product into a hot topic or trend, you can help counteract negative publicity about the industry such as the upcoming Consumer Reports “Oyster Awards” articles which condemn product packaging every Christmas holiday. So, keep your eyes on the look out for ways and opportunities that will paint your product packaging to the media in a favorable light and not portrayed as too much, excess or over packaged.

Read my weekly newsletter Packaging News You Can Use too. Each week I pick an issue that is either getting media coverage or will be in the near future. Look at me as your prognosticator or forecaster.

Commercial Loans – Take All Aspects In Consideration

As the saying goes, taking a loan is easier than surviving with it. A shrewd businessman is one who borrow but with an eye to repay it as soon as possible. Sometimes, business requirements arise because you get a new business order hat is hard to manage within your own business funds. You obviously cannot afford to lose big business opportunity only because the funds are not there.

These and other similar situations force you to take help of external sources of financing. These sources may be temporary or permanent, depending on the nature of funding. Large body corporate often have huge financial needs, and therefore, they resort to public financing by inviting deposits or going for a ‘rights issue’ meant for the existing shareholders. On the other hand, a new business concern or sole proprietorship undertaking would obviously not be able to take benefit of that sort – neither are these meant for them.

Before applying for commercial loans, first of all decide the type of debt financing that your business firm will be comfortably able to get. If you do not own any property in the name of firm, secured commercial business loans are out of question. You will have to rely on loans that do not require any security. These loans will offer you a limited amount – upto £25,000. The interest rate is likely to be little more than what you can get by pledging some property. The amount of loan that you can qualify for can be increased by involving some property in the loan transaction.