Page 2: The purpose of marketing
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defines marketing as: 'The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.' Marketing is therefore about finding and keeping customers. Business writer Peter Drucker points out how important good marketing is to a business:
'Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two - and only two basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.'
Portakabin demonstrates innovation in its exciting range of products and new ideas. Customers can choose from a range of applications. These may be for nurseries and children's centres or classrooms, surgeries, clinics and hospital wards. These differ from competitors' products through their high quality specifications and the outstanding service provided to the customer.
Portakabin divides the market into different market segments to enable it both to identify and meet the needs of customers in those areas. Three of its main segments are Manufacturing, Education and Health. The business must understand what its customers in each segment need and then provide goods and services to meet needs. Marketing activities inform customers about products and services and persuade them to buy.
An effective marketing campaign takes account of the AIDA model principle - that it should raise Awareness of the product, excite Interest in it, create a Desire for it and encourage Action to buy it. Raising awareness and creating interest may involve the use of promotional techniques such as exhibitions, websites, direct mail, email and telemarketing campaigns. The sales force will then capture the demand that has been generated and turn this into sales. Satisfied customers then both come back for more products but also recommend the business to friends.
Such customer loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendation is essential to a business like Portakabin. Portakabin regularly scores more than 9 out of 10 for customer satisfaction and this translates into increased recommendations. These, in turn, drive sales growth. This high rate is one of the reasons why approximately 50% of the Portakabin Group's business is from past customers.