1. Discuss the reasons why companies may not want to use databases in their CRM programs.
Customer relationship marketing has in the last few years been used to increase the sales made by a particular company. This been the case, competition has duly risen and companies have sought to find different methods or tools that they can use to further their customer relationship marketing. One of the main and almost all effective tools for companies to increase the effectiveness of their CRM is databases. However, the difficulty surrounding the use of databases is so much and this in turn makes companies think twice before engaging databases in their CRM.
Some of the major hindrances of databases include the high cost of setting up. Setting up databases is more capital intensive than labor intensive. It requires huge investments which most companies can’t achieve. The running of the databases is also very much labor intensive as it requires very skilled personnel. Databases are also deterred by the conservative nature of the employees in a particular organization. Some employees reportedly prefer carrying on traditional marketing transaction mechanism and it is very hard to try convincing them to change and become customer oriented and use the available information from databases.
Another big hindrance to the proper performance of databases is the attitude of a big number of customers according to research. Research shows that an overwhelming number of customers are not ready to open up to their privacy. They are therefore very much resenting of any try by companies to obtain their personal information and have it in their databases. It is therefore clear that database marketing is not that welcomed as most marketers thought it would be as it also does not augur well in a case where packaged goods are the question. Research also shows that in cases where it operates, it has a high cost of maintaining, for instance the data should be continually updated as this information change with time, this is logically very labor intensive. The above hinder the effective use or the overall effectiveness of databases in marketing.
2. Identify how each macro force of the environment would affect an aluminum manufacturing plant.
The macro environment of a company controls the activities of the company by its six major forces; the demographic environment, economic environment, natural environment, technological environment, political environment and finally the cultural environment.
The demographic environment of an aluminum manufacturing plant can have a marked effect on the marketing program of this plant (Ball Corp). The demographic environment positively affects the marketing program of aluminum cans. This is mainly because aluminum cans are very much recyclable; this makes their production and manufacture readily accepted by the people as it is environmental friendly. When we move on to establish how the economic environment affects the marketing program of aluminum production, the positivity of it still lies on the recyclability of aluminum. This logically saves a lot therefore making the aluminum plant save a lot on the costs of production. In the long run, they enjoy economies of scale due to cheap marketing.
The natural environment’s effect on the same is also far much positive. Research shows that aluminum has rightfully been referred to as green metal. Its production plays the leading role in conservation of the environment as it reportedly reduces emissions that contaminate the atmosphere leading to green house effect. The technological environment favors the marketing program, for instance a recycling program has been introduced and aluminum cans are been recycled, compressed together and used to make a whole lot of other different things including vehicle parts. Having seen how the production of aluminum cans relates with the above macro factors, it is impossible to think that it will relate differently with the political environment. The government has put in place measures to support the marketing program of production of aluminum cans as it is an environmental friendly metal. Finally the cultural environment also positively affects the marketing program of aluminum can production as the production augurs dwell with the environment. The metal reduces emissions into the environment and this reduces damages of the ozone layer. This goes down well with the cultural environment and therefore the marketing is favored.
3. Explain key steps of setting up a competitive intelligence system.
As stated in the question description, the antique business is wholly competitive and success or failure depends on been informed or lack of been informed of a retailer respectively. However banking on success, you must after getting well versed with information, develop a strong and very much competitive system which will enable you go to the battlefield confident of success. Toit and Muller (2004) reiterate that one of the important factors to consider when developing a competitive intelligence unit is the organizational structure and function. Another core step in the development of an effective competitive intelligence is dealing with internal customers. This is a very key step among the other s and it seeks to establish what CI will make a marked difference with the decision makers of key importance to the firm. One way to achieve this has been proven as making internal interviews; this seeks to get to understand from decision makers some key issues. Another key step is identifying likely targets, these endeavors to determine the main targets in which the firm has direct interests in. The last step key in creating a strong competitive intelligence is establishing a proper feedback and reviewing process. This last process is not of any small importance and cannot be overlooked, it seeks to establish a proper review by answering the questions; are the targets still correct, arte the areas of interest still correct and finally should the CI functions add or delete targets or internal customers? This is a process which has to be adhered to if one is intent in developing a competitive intelligence unit.
4. Why would one brother be so in favor of the PLC concept and the other so opposed to it? What would you advice them?
The product life cycle refers to the phases undergone by a product in its life until it is disposed off or rather better sold. As lamented in the description prior to the question, great controversies have arisen prior to following the concept of product life cycle. According to QuickMBA the life cycle of a product is associated with changes in the marketing situation. At a mature point in the product life cycle, there are great revenues to the product although these revenues initially enjoyed don’t last a lifetime; they are replaced by lower revenue turn up during the decline stage of the product life cycle.
After a clear cut and in depth look into the whole product life cycle concept, I see that one of the brothers is so intent in making great sales by taking advantage of the maturity stage of the product. This is a stand opposed by the other partner and brother which I support. I think the first brother does not put in place any measures to look into the business when the product finally gets to the decline stage in its life cycle. Owing to this fact it is evident that with such an approach, you will after the maturity stage of your product close down the business for good. However, my sincere advice would be that they should not fully follow this concept. They should indeed acknowledge its existence and work in every way possible to develop strategies that will not only take them successfully through the maturity stage but even later will be in position to compete in the market.
5. Explain how a marketer can classify products according to durability and tangibility.
The competitiveness of the markets and the need for product classification is one factor that the manufacturers can ignore only to their own wanted peril. Products can be therefore classified on the basis of durability and tangibility, the rate of consumption, buying behavior and relationship of goods to the organization’s production process and cast structure (Adeoti). He reportedly suggests that according to durability and tangibility, products can be further more categorized into three groups. These three groups are the non-durable goods. These are tangible goods which normally have few uses; they are reportedly fast consumed and purchased. The other category is that of durable goods which are tangible with directly opposite characteristics as the first. They normally survive a vast number of uses and are not frequently purchased. We finally have under this category, the subcategory by the name services. They are not tangible; they are better defined as activities, benefits or satisfactions that are offered for sale. They can’t be separated from the producers and they cannot be stored for future muse, they are therefore produced and enjoyed within a very short time frame.
Classification of goods has serious implication on the type of marketing, for instance non durable goods require fast and quick distribution because they are purchased frequently. On the other hand this is not the case for durable goods, the proper strategy of competition especially for homogeneous products, would be proper branding and price wars. This is the best strategy for these goods. Research however shows that the best marketing strategy for services would proper focusing on the life cycle of this service. The offer characteristics and the marketing characteristics should therefore be used to form a strong basis for the marketing strategy of a service. These strategies help the marketers to stand a chance in the stiff market full of competition.
6. Discuss Musselheads in terms of three Ps of service marketing.
The initial 4 Ps marketing strategy is used for products, but most manufacturers and service providers prefer the 3 Ps strategy for service marketing. This strategy is reportedly of more effect on the marketing of services. While looking at the case of Musselheads in terms of 3 Ps strategies for service marketing, this is what I can detail. Firstly we have to identify which are the three Ps involved in this strategy of marketing services. The three Ps are well started as People, Process and Physical evidence. Therefore a clear reading into the context of Musselheads, we can accurately and confidently discuss the situation in terms of these.
The context of Musselheads in terms of the first P which is people, we find Musselheads very much at par with it. They acknowledge that all people involved with the consumption of a product are of great importance. This been their notion, and them knowing only too well that this strategy mainly defines segmentation of the demographic market; they undertake to deliver to their customers regardless the cost of delivery. The next P been the procedure, requires the marketer to device a way through which services will be flowing to the consumers, with the carefree drivers, we see the achievement of this fully. We then get moving down to the last P involved. Physical evidence form of service marketing involves effectively communicating to their customers and potential customers about their services and the satisfaction brought by their serviced. We see the achievement of this from the communication by Musselheads drivers through fliers. This seals the deal and makes as see Musselheads as to using the 3 Ps marketing to market their services.