Page 2: The marketing process
Customers are central to the marketing process. Marketing starts by identifying the needs of customers. A business then seeks to meet those needs by making the right products available when customers want to purchase and at prices they are prepared to pay.
Marketing strategies are directly related to the overall business strategy. Hi-Tec's marketing strategy aims to:
- introduce a new brand category to the market
- make people excited about the technology in its footwear
- gain maximum exposure for Hi-Tec with measurable numbers
- create a sense of 'cool' about the brand.
The marketing mix
Hi-Tec's key marketing objective is to reposition its brand to open up new markets. This in turn will increase market share and revenues. At the heart of the marketing process is the marketing mix. This is commonly known as the four Ps - product, price, place and promotion. Key factors in the marketing mix for Hi-Tec shoes include:
- product – innovative footwear that provides high performance
- price – sold at value for money prices
- place – sold online or through premium retailers
- promotion – a mix of targeted promotional channels and methods to achieve market penetration and increased sales.
Hi-Tec adapts its marketing mix for each of its main market segments. Examples of its approach in specific markets include:
- The junior market – this is a strong sector for Hi-Tec and it offers hard-wearing shoes on the high street at prices to attract parent purchasers.
- Outdoor sports such as trail running – it offers high performance products with water-repellent qualities using Hi-Tec’s ion-mask™ technology, priced to compete in the market.
- Specialist sports – for niche markets, such as golf shoes. The same high performance product is promoted through the use of sports ambassadors like Ian Woosnam. By using sports champions in this way, the brand is linked with achievement.
The AIDA model explains the stages consumers go through before making a purchase. Hi-Tec uses an approach that seeks to take the 'action' stage further. It wants customers to remain loyal to the brand after they have used its products. Many loyal customers then become advocates. This means that they recommend the brand to others.
If a business can get its customers to promote products, it will have achieved one of the ultimate goals of marketing. Hi-Tec uses many different methods of marketing communications and above-the- line and below-the-line promotion to achieve this goal.