Marketing is an important business function, which has the potential to improve sales and revenues desirably even in saturated markets. To achieve its goals, the performance of marketing needs to be measured to improve decision-making. Marketing metrics such as return on investment, likeability, and others if properly used can enable business leaders to select, which marketing tools are effective in improving sales/revenue and which ones are not necessary to save money. In this paper, marketing metrics, marketing performance data, and the effort of getting closer to customers are explored using article deconstruction technique. A case study on Apple Company is used to understand the application of reasonable marketing initiatives. That is, unlike other competitor firms, Apple does not find it reasonable to use social media as one of its marketing tools based on the platform’s weak points. Every business leader and marketer should have a thorough knowledge of what reasonable marketing entails to enable marketing perform its function as a strategic activity.
Theory– Article Deconstruction Using the MEAL plan
The Metrics that Marketers muddle
Performance of any business activity needs to be measured for good decision-making. In marketing, there are many metrics used to measure the effectiveness of marketing activities used to attract customers and improve sales. However, without a good understanding, marketing metrics would not be effective as needed. According to Bendle & Bagga (2016), market share, likeability , net promoter score, ROI, and customer lifetime value are the five types of marketing metrics commonly known but are widely misunderstood thus misused. For example, most business leaders misuse market share as a business objective rather than as a measure of determining the performance of marketing efforts in terms of sales or revenues. In regards to the net promoter score, which is the difference between the percentage of promoters and the percentage of detractors, it is established that the difference happens to hide important information that would be useful to a business. That is, failing to be more informed weakens a company’s competitive position. The authors give a detailed discussion of how each metric is misunderstood and wrongly used. Further, additional information is provided for each metric what it means and how it should be employed by businesses to help them grow.
The authors have used factual evidences to illustrate how the common marketing metrics have been misunderstood and consequently misused. Considering the examples used, authors seem to use what they observe to be commonly practiced by business leaders.
Bendle & Bagga (2016) use tabulations and flow charts to distinguish right and wrong uses of each marketing metrics
The article has discussed five different marketing metrics separately but the discussion focus on how marketing metrics regardless of whether they are common or not, are continually misunderstood and wrongly used. Hence, the article’s closing remarks are that, marketers should realize how wrong they are about the metrics they use and correct themselves by understanding them, using them correctly, and make continuous improvements.
Breakthrough brands 2017
Gallagher, et al. (2017) focus on those new firms such as Instagram, Airbnb, Spotify, and others that have succeeded in winning customer loyalty and customer satisfaction in the already saturated market. The characteristics of these firms are found to be those that rely heavily on technology to develop and sell their products/services and in being closely connected to their customers. The success of the firms is comparable with big firms such as Apple, Disney, and Coca-Cola that have been there in the market. Another interesting point is that some of the traditional firms still have maintained their position in the market. In addition to the three, others are Walmatt, Toyota, Samsung, Microsoft, Ford, and others.
Qualitative data has been collected from a sample of 4000clients to establish which new firms were most liked in the market in terms of how valuable their products are to customers.
A survey was used to gather information from customers and each firm mentioned is categorized according to its industry and its age in the industry.
Gallagher, et al. (2017) have organized their findings according to how popular the firms are in their respective categories. That is, under the new category, Airbnb is ranked as the most liked and under the old category, Apple is listed as the most liked in the market.
Demonstrating the Value of Marketing
Hanssens & Pauwels (2016) establish that marketing is a form of business activity that is struggling to show the value it creates to the company. The outcome is claimed to be because of lack of adequate data to account for the millions of money used to support marketing activities. Without proper measurements, it is agreed that it is impossible to determine the effect of any change made on marketing activities on sales. Businesses need to work with sufficient data that informs about marketing and its performance in order to determine how it can increase its competitiveness.
To support their arguments, Hanssens & Pauwels (2016) first use secondary sources to illustrate how changes in marketing are done by different companies according to product life cycle and in emerging and mature markets. Afterwards, the article conducts a qualitative study by conducting experiments and surveys to gather data that would be used to convince the importance of having marketing performance data.
Secondary data and surveys used in qualitative research study are used and data collected is categorized according to established performance variables, which include- customer perception, customer behavior, finance, accounting, and others.
The article has established how marketing performance data improves decision-making. However, the process of acquiring the data seems to be complex following the limitations gathered from the secondary sources and those experienced in the qualitative study. Nonetheless, business-leaders are advised to use technological aids to enable them obtain and make use of the data.
Based on the proper use of marketing metrics and marketing performance data, Apple Company does not consider the use of the social media in its marketing strategy regardless of whether its competitors and its other peers use it or not (Pradiptarini, 2011). According to the firm’s top management, as noted by Kapko (2015), the failure to use the social media to boost the company’s marketing initiatives has less impact on the firm’s growth. Pradiptarini (2011) informs that the decision to choose whether to use social media marketing or not is dependent on its return on investment. In addition to the quality of content, social media marketing is found to require other marketing initiatives to be effective. That is, marketers need to relate more closely with their customers to understand their needs in order to improve product value. Social media is yet to be improved to cover this need since; the method is only focused on having short-term relationships with customers. More so, intensive use of online communication limits physical interactions that are more effective in relationship building. Besides the improvements needed, even though the social media has the ability to popularize a company’s products/services to a larger group of people, there is no guarantee that the millions of the audiences will be convinced to make a purchase. To conduct social media marketing requires – specialized employees that are trained to manage the platform, technology, and other costly resources. Hence, some firms such as Apple need to be convinced that investing on the platform will have a reasonable return.
Deconstructing three different articles that discuss projects related to marketing has enabled the study to establish that the best marketing method is one that enables businesses to get closer to their customers in effort to understand their needs and improve product value. In this regard, the performance of all marketing activities needs to be measured to establish how they are benefiting the company and how any change in them would affect it. Thus, conducting marketing blindly without a proper account of how resources are used and what the returns are is a poor way of running a business. That is, just as social media marketing is, not all marketing activities are effective when used alone. Marketers need to establish how the activities can be improved to increase sales and revenues. Thus, having a good understanding and appropriate use of marketing metrics and making use of marketing performance data is necessary to conduct reasonable marketing.
Bendle, N. T., & Bagga, C. K. (2016). The Metrics that Marketers muddle. MIT Sloan Management Review, 57(3), 73-82.
Gallagher, L., Nusca, A., Kokalitcheva, K., Hackett, R., Lev-Ram, M., Korosec, K., & Rao, L. (2017). Breakthrough brands 2017. Fortune, 75(1), 64-69.
Hanssens, D. M., & Pauwels, K. H. (2016). Demonstrating the Value of Marketing. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), 173-190. doi:10.1509/jm.15.0417
Kapko, M. (2015). Inside Apple’s odd, yet effective, Social Media Strategy. Retrieved< https://www.cio.com/article/2979114/social-networking/inside-apples-odd-yet-effective-social-media-strategy.html>.Pradiptarini, C. (2011). Social Media Marketing: Measuring its effectiveness and identifying the Target Market. UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research XIV. Retrieved< https://www.uwlax.edu/urc/jur-online/pdf/2011/pradiptarini.mkt.pdf>.
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