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My previous experience in preparing marketing strategies was not impressive. This is because I was not conversant with the interaction between the main elements entailed in the marketing strategy. Most importantly, I struggled to relate market research data and product development. Furthermore, I was unable to come up with clear and precise marketing objectives. However, I still managed to develop a relatively effective marketing strategies. This was because I lacked clear guideline for executing this activity. Therefore, I hope to upgrade my skills in developing marketing strategies throughout this course. I will put more efforts in polishing my market research skills, including carrying out situational and SWOT analysis. Furthermore, I hope to advance my skills in setting smart marketing objectives. This will be through reading course materials, research and group discussions with my colleagues. I hope that these activities will make me become an expert in this vital area.
Sustainability and marketing with social responsibility complement each other. Sustainability addresses the question of how long can long can an organization maintain its operation in a profitable manner. While marketing with social responsibility is a marketing approach that aims at improving the state of the purchasing customers and the entire society. The relationship between sustainability and socially responsible marketing is that responsible marketing presents a positive social image of a brand to the community. Furthermore, such companies observe high standards of ethics in their marketing strategies. This increases their acceptability in the society and avoids unnecessary lawsuits. Therefore, these two principles aim at long-term results through satisfying the customers, innovations and societal value addition. These strategies are part and puzzle of a marketing campaign in the tobacco and alcohol industry. For instance, in cigarette packets, there is a health warning that consuming tobacco products is harmful to a person’s health. For alcohol products, there is an age restriction notification. Such messages are aimed at educating the society on the effects of consuming these products.
Understanding the importance of executing a market research is one of my light bulb moments in the course. I used to think that market research only entails collecting and analyzing data. However, I now know that this activity entails more than just collecting and analyzing data. It is a tool used to improve products and service delivery, defining market opportunities and it essential in the decision-making process of a firm. It is the only process that a company can identify changing customer preference, technological advance or even competition from substitute products. This new revelation has made me understood why companies keep improving their product or changing the service and product prices.
I have also learned the importance of socially responsible marketing. Before, struggled to under why things like tobacco products contained health warning or why organizations like Microsoft donate billions of money for charity purpose. I used to view such actions as wastage of profits. However, after understanding the principles of sustainability and socially responsible marketing, I now appreciate why such actions exist.
Situational and SWOT analysis are essential steps in assessing and addressing challenges that an organization faces and also the opportunities that the market presents. What surprised me during the activities is the interrelationship between various forces shaping the market environment. For instance, how external forces such as changes in technology influence a firm’s decision and customer preference. What challenged me during this activity is to determine if changes in technology is a threat or an opportunity to a company. This is because, there are some technological changes which are both beneficial and harmful to investments, for example, online marketing. Online marketing presents an organization a chance to market it good over several platforms. However, it is tough to establish the competitive advantage it brings to a company. Despite this difficulties, I can never forget the importance of these two analyses in identifying market opportunities for a firm’s goods and services. This analysis made me understand how organizations make decisions on existing market opportunities, threats, and weakness. However, I am still uncertain on where to group natural calamities like earthquakes in this analysis. In future, analysis I plan to group it under threats because it has adverse effects on business opportunities.
The pitch presentation offered me a chance to present what I had learned and researched on this course. The most valuable things that I learned from this activity is that research is useless if it is not presented to the society or interested parties. Furthermore, I learned that communication in an integral element of business management. A person can have very well researched presentation, but poor communication skill can make the work appear inappropriate. The demonstration also made me learn the values of being confidence. There are times that I have been anxious about how people will react to my presentation arguments. However, this pitch presentation taught me that I am the owner of the information I am presenting, so there is no need to panic or being anxious.
If I am given a chance to present again, I will ensure that I increase the number of graphics in my slides. This is because graphic such as tables and graphs have visual appeal hence aid in increasing the audience concentration.
Some of the marketing competencies that I have gained throughout this course include branding and positioning, customer relationship and experience management, marketing communication. These are essential capabilities because they will enable me to cope with the dynamic market environment. Furthermore, the address both the company’s and the customer needs. In my work, I have been able to apply knowledge in market research to help my organization in identifying clients’ preferences and technological changes. Additionally, my improved communication skills have played a crucial role in improving my interactions with by colleagues at workplace.
I believe that the knowledge and skills I have gained throughout this course will make a better manager in the future. I hope to apply this knowledge to develop effective marking models in the future. This is because have gained both analytical and communication skills which will make this process easy. Furthermore, I hope to apply this knowledge in solving future marketing issues involving market research, branding, and customer satisfaction. Conclusively, this course has contributed significantly in shaping my understanding of the complex market environment.
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