Organization strategic linkage models help management teams to record strategic cause-effect relationships. An example is companies try to implement a growth strategy. The production department focuses on reducing costs. The marketing department works on product reliability instead of stressing on price. The R&D department focuses on inventing significant contributions to technology rather than on service, cost, or reliability.
The above example shows that each department focus is complete, but none is linked to “a growth strategy of increasing market share through superior service." The departments are not linked to each other showing the organization lacks linkage.
The roles of a marketing specialist include determining supply and demand and choosing the places to market the product. Market segmentations are techniques used by organizations to attract desired customers. Segmentation involves dividing the market into groups of individual markets that have similar needs and want the same product or service. The advantage of using segmentation as a marketing strategy is: products can be designed to meet the needs of the market, improvement of the current company’s market strategies, development of cost-effective promotion campaigns is easy. For example, a company can sell a higher-priced version of a certain product to businesses while selling another with fewer features to average home users.
Differentiation is a way to increase sales by providing a unique and more attractive proposition to customers. A company adds some specialty to distinguish their products and services from competitors. An example of differentiation is: a restaurant changes its menu and adds cuisines so as to distinguish itself from other food service providers. Another example is on pricing, cutting down products and services below that of the competitor’s van in order to attract more customers.
The first stage of product development is the idea generation. Companies focus on customer needs studying competitor’s product then decide on which product to launch. The second step is the idea screening. At this step, the company decides on whether the idea for a product is commercially viable. The promising ideas are then picked for the next stage. The third stage involves developing a marketing strategy for the product. The strategy focuses on evaluating the market size, product demand and growth of the potential profit. The 4th stage is the development of the business model around the product. At this stage, the business model estimates sales, cost of production, and frequency of purchase. The model is used to come up with profit estimations. The 5th stage is the production of the product. At the fifth stage, proto-types of the product are created. The proto-types are assessed whether they are technically or commercially feasible. The last step is the market testing and commercialization of the new product. The new product is branded, packaged, priced and launched across the target market backed by a proper marketing strategy.
Personal selling is an effective promotional tool in marketing because it involves individual and personal communication. This makes personal selling flexible as compared to the mass and interpersonal communication of sales promotion. Personal selling also saves time and effort for communicating with people who are not prospects.
Personal selling is important even outside the field of marketing because it informs, educates and guides customers on how to get value for their money. Apart from insight, personal selling also increases sales and production in the country, thereby increasing employment opportunities.
The first step of personal selling is the pre-sale preparations. This is the selection, training and motivation of sales persons to make them familiar with the product. The second step is locating prospective buyers who have the need and ability to buy the product. The 3rd step is approaching the customer. The fourth step is the presentation of the product. This is where the sales person describes the feature of the product in detail, to hold the customer’s attention and create interest. The fifth step is demonstrating how the product works. The next step is handling objections and clarifying the customer’s doubts.
The last step is closing the sale. Having impressed the customer, the salesman now guides the customer in buying the product. Price adjustment or other concession may be necessary for a successful closing. The salesman should also follow up after the sale. This ensures the customer was satisfied. It helps to repeat sales securely and identifies additional prospects.