What Is Marketing Management?
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as follows: “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and service to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organization goals.” Several key ideas are expressed in this definition.
First, marketing is a managerial function involving both planning and execution. Thus marketing is not a group of unrelated activities but tasks that are planned and executed to attain identifiable objectives.
Second, marketing involved the management of specific elements or functions: product, pricing, promotion and distribution. These functions constitute the work or substance of what marketing is all about. To be involved in marketing means to be involved in the planning, execution and/or control of these activities.
Third marketing is goal oriented. Its aim is to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives. Marketing’s concern is with clients and meeting a need in the marketplace. However, its concern is not just with any client or all clients but those preselected by management as the market segment(s) on which the practice will concentrate. Thus, specific clients with their specific needs become the focal point of a practice’s marketing activities.
Practices having a true “marketing” focus will concentrate on four key elements to enhance market share, profits and efficiency. These elements are quality, value, relationships, and client satisfaction.
One of the most significant trends in recent marketing practice has been the emphasis on value – the right combination of quality, service, and support delivered at a reasonable price. This concern with value by clients has forced many practices to reconsider their views of quality and client service in order to meet the demands of the marketplace.
Practices have been concerned with delivery of a satisfactory level of client service for decades, but it is safe to say that the level of concern has increased. Competitive forces and the more demanding nature of clients have combined to put client service at, or near, the top of most practice’s lists of important issues.
Another key element of effective marketing is relationship management. The word relationship means connection or closeness, and practitioners must develop relationships with suppliers, colleagues and clients. The focus of relationship management is on building and maintaining long-term relationships with all the parties that contribute to the success of the practice
An emphasis on quality should result in increased client satisfaction. Client satisfaction is the results of a practice’s ability to meet or exceed the expectations of the client. Increased client satisfaction results in retention of existing clients. Since it is cheaper for a practice to retain an existing client that attract a new one, client satisfaction becomes a focal point for maintaining sales and improving profitability.
Practices who want to improve client satisfaction must implement systems to measure current levels of satisfaction against established client satisfaction goals and also develop action plans to alter operations if goals are not being met.