To achieve the goal of developing desirable marketing exchanges, marketing managers are responsible for developing and managing an effective marketing strategy or business development plan.
A marketing strategy sets out a plan for the best use of the organisations activities and resources to meet its objectives. Specifically, this strategy will encompass selecting target segments understanding their value perceptions and creating an appropriate marketing mix of value offer elements Product, Price, Promotion and Placement (create/configure value; communicate value and deliver value) that will satisfy those target groups.
When marketing managers develop and manage marketing activities, they must deal with two broad sets of variables:
- those elements that make up the marketing environment they operate in, and
- those relating to developing a managed approach – a marketing mix of elements.
The marketing environment variables are the macro and market forces over which they have little control, but they affect buyers’ needs as well as marketing managers’ decisions regarding marketing mix variables.
The marketing mix which is the core of the marketing strategy consists of major decision variables the most common version being: Product, Price Promotion, and Placement (distribution). The newer version is: Create/Configure Value; Communicate Value and Deliver Value Both are very similar in their approach. These components are called marketing mix decision variables because a marketing manager decides what focus on each component to use and in what amount.
The primary goal of a marketing manager is to create and maintain a marketing mix that satisfies consumers’ needs for a general product type. The marketing mix is built around the buyer (as is stressed by the marketing concept).
Marketing managers must develop a marketing mix that precisely matches the needs of the people in the target segment. Before they can do so, they have to collect in-depth, up-to-date information about those needs.
The marketing mix represents the parameters that a marketing manager can control, (subject to the constraints of the operating/marketing environment). The objective is to create a proposition or offer to customers in the target segment of the best perceived value and generate a positive response.