The following are sometimes referred to as the factors of marketing as they have to be considered carefully to make the marketing of goods a success:-
(b) Marketing research;
(e) Buying and assembling;
(f) Standardisation and grading;
(g) Branding and trademarks;
(h) Warehousing; and
(i) Selling or salesmanship.
Marketing Research has been defined by the American Marketing Association as “the gathering, recording and analysing of all facts about problems relating to the transfer and sale of goods and services from the producer to the consumer.” Marketing Research, in fact, refers to research on any important aspect of marketing such as product planning, pricing strategy, consumer preferences, advertising sales promotion and distribution. Thus marketing research supplies the facts on which the marketing decision can be taken more accurately.
It is the processes by which consumers’ needs and their possible reactions to certain types of products and marketing strategy can be ascertained. Marketing research can be used in the initial stage for planning a product suitable to a majority of potential consumers.
It can also be used by an expanding organisation to find out the consumers reactions about its present product with a view to improve its marketing activities such as the type of advertising. In case of a product’s failure, marketing research can provide indication as to the cause for such a failure. Marketing research also helps in analysing the size of a market as well as sales potentials of different market segments or areas.
The information required can be obtained either through published sources or through a field survey. Numerous statistics are prepared by Government and other institutions which give useful information. Where information is not so readily available, an actual survey, in questionnaire method is used.
Here a list of questions is prepared to be answered by consumers of dealers depending on whether it is a consumers’ research or dealers’ research. Answers so received are then analysed with a view to making deductions and arrive at conclusions.
However the questionnaire should be drafted carefully. It should be:-
(a) easy to understand,
(b) logically arranged,
(d) to the point,
(e) easy to tabulate, and
(f) Not too lengthy.
The questionnaire may be filled up-
(a) Through the telephone,
(b) Personally with the help of field investigators, and
(c) Through the mail.
The Mail Questionnaire has its advantages as it:-
(a) Is quicker,
(b) Avoids the employment of individual interviewers,
(c) Reaches persons in remote and inaccessible locations, and
(d) Avoids the bias or prejudice created by the interviewer.
As against this, the non-response or non-relies are larger in number in the mailing list, it requires very careful preparation, and the questionnaire has to be brief.
If is also not sure as to who actually filed up the questionnaire. Thus in a personal interview, the information gathered is generally more reliable, and the questionnaire can be larger.
In addition, observation is possible. Whatever the method used for gathering information, marketing research can be useful in:-
(a) Devising appropriate advertising and sales promotion strategy;
(b) Product analysis to determine improvements in the product and desirability of new products;
(c) Fixing salesmen’s quotas;
(d) Sales forecasting so that production can be suitably planned;
(e) Consumer preference and identification;
(f) Assessing competitive strength and weaknesses;
(g) Improving distribution.
A systematic research would thus enable the business organisation to take marketing decisions which would be practicable, i.e. in accordance with the position and reactions in the market.
Scientific packaging is very important in retailing and today almost every commodity is packaged, e.g. cereals, biscuits, tea, coffee, tobacco, breakfast foods and drugs. The design, colour and shape of a package are carefully selected in order to appeal to the consumer.
Often as an added article which can be used a glass or box or some other attractive article which can be used by the customer after the contents are consumed. The advantages of packaging lies in the fact that packaged commodities, are:-
(a) Convenient to handle;
(b) Clear and therefore more appealing;
(c) Neat and attractive in appearance;
(d) Easier to distribute and sell;
(e) Time-saving in wrapping and weighing; and
(f) Protected from getting stale.
(i) Establishing Identity-The package should be so designed as to distinguish the manufacturer’s products from those of his competitors.
(ii) Use in Advertising-An attractive package can also be shown as an illustration in an advertisement so that the customer knows exactly what to look for when entering a shop.
(iii) Attractiveness of Attention Value-Packaging like branding helps identify a manufacturer’s product. For example, toothpaste of different manufacturers can basically be identified by the packaging rather than by the paste inside the tubes.
Through the appropriate use of colour and design the package can be made to attract and hold the attention of a passer-by. This is very important in countries where self- service has become necessary, as the package here has to perform even the selling function.
(iv) Creating Desire to Posses the Product-It should be so attractive that it compels the consumer to pick up the article and, after reading what is mentioned on the package, to purchase it. Thus packaging can even perform the selling function.
(v) Protection of the Merchandise-The package protects the product during its transportation as well as whilst it is in the warehouse or on the shelf, or even in the customer’s home. Thus the package should have the necessary strengths as well as quality of material such as glass, etc. appropriate for the product in contains.
Distribution refers to the physical transportation of the goods from the manufacturer through the channels of distribution to the consumer. Thus it includes the question of transportation as well as selection of wholesalers and retailers or channels of distribution all of which have been discussed in subsequent chapters.
Buying and Assembling
The buying or purchasing function in marketing is concerned with the selection of appropriate products for resale or purchase of raw materials for manufacture or conversion into the finished product.
The goods must be purchased at the right time to minimise the time lag between purchase and actual use or sale as well as to ensure that they are purchase at the most favourable price where prices are seasonal. In case of manufacture, purchasing must be done in sufficient quantity to ensure continuity of production and good quality so that manufacturing costs are maintained at the lowest possible level.
Scientific and economic purchasing would naturally increase the ultimate profitability of the operation. Purchasing can be done either by actual inspection or on the basis of a sample or description or where goods are standardised and ready, by mentioning the appropriate grades.
The term assembling refers to physically collection together in one place a large quantity of goods of the same type which may have been produced in small lots in different places. In manufacturing the term is used for putting together industrial components and parts in order to manufacture finished products.
In marketing, the assembling helps in:-
(a) Reducing the handling costs,
(b) Regulating supply,
(c) Widening the market, and
(d) Making grading possible.
By collecting together at one place similar goods before transportation, cost of transportation can be reduced considerably. When the same type of goods is collected at one place, it is possible to ascertain the difference in qualities of the goods so assembled.
Goods can then be graded easily in accordance with the different qualities so ascertained. In case of commodities which are seasonal in supply, they can be assembled at one place and properly warehoused so that they can make to last over the whole year. Finally assembling goods at one central spot can help in selling these good in place other than where they were manufactured, which helps in widening the market for the goods.
Standardization and Grading
By Standardisation is meant the process of determining and ascertaining standards or criteria based on the properties of a commodity so that they could be classified into “grades.” Thus grading and standardisation
The standards have to be fixed on the basis of certain physical characteristics like colour, quality and purity. The standard required interns required in terms of intrinsic physical properties of a commodity must be established and a list of special specifications prepared in terms of size, colour, chemical content appearance, moisture, taste length of fibre, etc.
The object of standardizing is to provide uniform quality and is very important in case of minerals and agricultural products. Once the standards and specifications are set, physical dividing the product into different classes is termed grading.
Thus eggs can be graded into “Special”, “A class,” “B class” and “C class” eggs. According to their minimum weights generally in grading, the quality, size, shape and colour are used. These can often be determined by the eye. Grading can also be done through mechanical devices,
For example, in case of cotton, the length of the staple can be measured mechanically. Grading can also be done with the help of chemical analysis. Adequate grading enables higher prices being charged for better grades, and protects the consumer in his selection. Thus grading has the following advantages-
(i) It simplifies marketing as due to standardisation and appropriate grading orders can be placed on the telephone or through letters and only the price remains to be determined.
(ii) It helps the manufacturer in production by ensuring raw materials of standard quality.
(iii) It widens market as purchasers from distant place can send orders on the basis of grading.
(iv) It reduces marketing costs by avoiding the necessity for inspection and the avoidable cost of returning unsuitable goods.
(v) It assists consumers by ensuring standard quality.
Branding and Trade Marks
Branding an article is giving it a distinctive name or trade mark, which the manufacturer has invented for his particular product, for example, “vim”, “Bovril”, “Nav-tal”. It is important then selecting a brand name to remember that it should be:-
(a) Simple in design,
(b) Appealing in colour and design,
(c) Distinctive and easy to remember,
(d) Simple and easy to pronounce,
(e) Easy to spell, register able and protectable,
(f) Intended for and capable of permanent use, and
(g) One which suggests the quality of the product.
A brand is defined by the American Marketing Association as “a name, term, sign, symbol or design or a combination of them, which is intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors.” Thus the main objective of a band is to help the manufacturer distinguish his product from similar products of competitors.
The following are some of the reasons why manufacturer brand their products:-
(i) It helps the manufacturer establish contact with his consumers instead of having to rely extensively on intermediaries such as the wholesalers.
(ii) It enables the manufacturer to control the price of his product which is identified by its brand.
(iii) A brand can play an important part in promoting demand and providing repeat sales.
(iv) It induces product loyalty.
(v) It also helps wholesalers and retailers as selling become easier once the manufacturer has established a demand for his product.
(vi) It increases the chance of success in advertising and sales promotion programmes.
(vii) It helps the manufacturer introduce new products successful.
(viii) It helps the consumer in purchasing by identify the product.
A warehouse is a place where goods can be properly stored by the owners until they are required, Warehouses are extremely important in modern commerce particularly in the following cases:-
Factories have to produce goods in anticipation of the demand and warehouse is the best place to store them until required.
For perishable goods such as fish, flowers, fruit, poultry and dairy produce cold storage warehouses are extremely useful
There are goods with only a seasonal demand but as the factory must be kept occupied throughout the year, the goods are stored in warehouses until they are required.
When goods are imported from abroad all of them are not required at once. Therefore suitable warehouses are provided at convenient points to stock the goods until other traders or consumers are ready to buy them.
Agricultural crops are ready only at certain times of the years and must be cut and stored properly as they will be needed through the year.
The following are the different type’s warehouses:-
(i) Licensed Warehouses- These warehouses have to obtain a license from the Government, the conditions for the running of the warehouse being prescribed on the licence. They are privately owned, generally by public limited companies.
These warehouses are specially constructed to store a large variety of articles and are open to the general public. Some warehouses are specially constructed to store only a certain type of gods e.g. meat, wheat, fruit, etc.
(ii) The Central and State Warehousing
Corporations-These warehousing corporations have constructed buildings for storing food grains, oil seed, cotton seeds, cotton, cattle fodder, etc., all over the country. Farmers and others who store their agriculture produce in such warehouses can obtain loans at reasonable rates of interest against the warehouse receipt only without an actual transfer of possession of the goods.
(iii) Bonded Warehouses-A bonded warehouse is one in which the importer has to store the goods until customs duty is paid. This is a great help to those who do not wish to lock up their capital in paying heavy duties on goods which are not needed immediately.
These warehouses are owned by the Dock authorities and are under the supervision of the Customs Authorities so that the goods cannot be removed from the warehouse until the duty has been paid.
(iv) Duty-Paid Public Warehouses-These warehouses are situated near the docks and are owned by the dock authorities. A rent is charged for the space which is let for storing and the warehouses-keeper is expected to take reasonable care for the safety of the goods.
(v) Wholesalers Warehouses- The wholesaler’s warehouse is meant for the wholesaler’s own goods which he has to buy in advance of demand and store carefully until required by retailers. Usually different kinds of goods are store in different departments of the warehouses and when an order is received departments of the warehouses and when- an order is received a copy of it is sent to the various departments which store those goods.
Each department then sends the goods to the Packing and Dispatch Department which checks them with the order and dispatches them in one lot to the retailer who has sent the order.
These warehousing corporations take protective measures against insects and other pests and thus the farmer or trader who takes advantage of this storage facility saves a considerable amount of his stock which would otherwise be eaten up by insects.
A delivery order, as its name implies, is an order on the warehousemen from the owner to deliver the goods mentioned therein to particular person.
A delivery note is a list of the goods which are delivered. Unlike an invoice, a delivery note does not mention the prices. Thus it is very convenient for handing over to the buyer’s clerks to check the goods without disclosing their cost price. A delivery note is made in duplicate, one copy duly signed being returned to the seller-after the goods are checked.