Sunday, November 22, 2009


Of all the forces affecting modern marketing, perhaps none is more important than globalization. Since the 1980s, technological advances such as global telephone and computer networks have reduced geographic and even cultural distance. As a result, companies can now buy supplies and produce and sell goods in countries far from their home offices. Products conceived in one country are now being manufactured and then sold in many others. For example, Sony (Japan), Nestlé (Switzerland), Bic (France), and Volkswagen (Germany) have become household words around the world.

Although being able to market goods far from home presents corporations with many new opportunities, it also means they face new competition. Local companies that never even considered international competition now find foreign competitors stocked on shelves right alongside their own products. Some economists argue that local companies should be protected from such competition through legislation that regulates the flow of goods through trade barriers and other measures. Others oppose such regulation, arguing that it only raises prices for consumers. See also Free Trade.

Globalization, however, is only one force changing the way companies market their products or services. Another involves changes in the very interests and desires of consumers themselves. Consumers today are more sophisticated than those of past generations. They attend school for a much longer period of time; they are exposed to newspapers, magazines, motion pictures, radio, television, and travel; and they have much greater interaction with other people. Their demands are more exacting, and their taste changes more volatile. Markets tend to be segmented as each group calls for products suited to its particular tastes. “Positioning” the product—that is, determining the exact segment of the population that is likely to buy a product, and then developing a marketing campaign to enhance the product’s image to fit that particular segment—requires great care and planning. This type of campaign is known as target marketing.

Competition also has sharply intensified, as the number of firms engaged in producing similar products has increased. Each firm tries to differentiate its products from those of its competitors. Profit margins, meaning the profit percentages made by a business per dollar of sales, are constantly being lessened. Although costs continue to rise, competition tends to keep prices down. The result is a narrowing spread between costs and selling prices. An increase in a business’s sales volume is necessary to maintain or raise profit.

Another force affecting modern marketing is the influence of the consumer rights or consumer protection movement. This movement insists on safe, reputable, and reliable products and services. Both consumer groups and government agencies have intensified their scrutiny of products, challenging such diverse elements as product design, length and legitimacy of warranty, and promotional tactics. Warranty and guarantee practices, in particular, have been closely examined. New legislation has generally defined and extended the manufacturer’s responsibility for product performance.
Environmental concerns have also affected product design and marketing, especially as the expense of product modification has increased the retail cost. Such forces, which have added to the friction between producer and consumer, must be understood by the marketer and integrated into a sound marketing program.

Even the way a firm handles itself in public life—that is, how it reacts to social and political issues—has become significant. No longer may a corporation cloak its internal decisions as private affairs. The public’s dissatisfaction with the actions and attitudes of a firm has sometimes led to a reduction in sales; conversely, consumer enthusiasm, generated by a firm’s intentional establishment of a good public image or public relations, has led to increased sales.
link:microsoft encarta


salman ali said...

beside these customers knowledge has also increase due to these changes,,,which overall affects the marketing.