MKTG100: Marketers are Manipulating you in How they Market Products - Journal Marketing Assessment Answers

August 20, 2017
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Question:

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This assessment task will cover each of the learning objectives for the unit. You will be required to compile a journal of answers to formative questions over 6 weeks of the semester and complete the activities nominated below, which will help form your writing task. You will then complete the writing task due in Week 8 and submit it with your journal via Plagiarism in LEO. These formative questions will form the basis of tutorial discussion in the assigned weeks. Formative

Formative step 1: The nature of marketing What was the most important thing you learned in week 1 about marketing? Why have you identified this as the most important thing? In what ways does this most important thing impact on you as a consumer? Has this changed your views on what marketing is about and why?

Formative step 2: Environments affecting marketing Many companies connect with their publics and relate to the social and political changes taking place in their communities through cause related marketing. Identify three cause related marketing activities and explain how these appeal to you. How do you feel about these companies as a result of this marketing activity? Does having products identified with giving money to a particular cause entice you to buy one brand over another? Why?

Formative step 3: Macro-economics and Marketing As a consumer how do marketer reactions to the macro-economic environment affect you?

Formative step 4: Understanding buyer behaviour Will understanding the buyer decision making process make any difference to how you approach purchases in the future? How do you feel about marketers ‘helping’ you through the process?

Formative step 5: Segmentation, target marketing and positioning Visit a supermarket and examine the brands of breakfast cereal on offer. Using the basis for segmenting consumer markets, identify the segmentation variables of a specific cereal and why you fit/do not fit that segment.

Writing task: Using one or more of the formative steps you have undertaken to inform your paper, address the following topics:

  1. In what ways has your view of marketing changed/not changed as a result of what you have learned since the beginning of the semester?
  2. Why is/isn’t marketing important to an organisation?
  3. Do you feel that marketers are manipulating you in how they market products? Why?
  4. Moving forward, in what ways do you think you will be able to apply what you have learned in this subject In addressing these items you need to support your comments with appropriate references and examples.

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Solution:

  1. In what ways has your view of marketing changed/not changed as a result of what you have learned since the beginning of the semester?

Since the beginning of this semester a lot of learning took place and that has changed my opinion about marketing. Before the starting of this semester, for me marketing was just limited to selling products somehow. I used to think that marketing simply means selling the products using various tactics and increasing sales and thereby profit. After studying various aspects of marketing such as marketing mix, promotion practices, target audience, penetration, online marketing, product life cycle, etc. my opinion about marketing has totally changed. After this I got to know that marketing is not selling, in fact marketing and selling are totally different from each other. After this the definition of marketing for me has totally changed and now I think marketing is an activity or an action of promotion and sales of products or a service and it includes advertising and market research as well (Foxall, 2015).

Before this semester marketing to me was very limited in its scope and I used to think that the only objective with which a business or a company undertakes this is to enhance profit. But marketing also helps a company in various aspects. With the help of marketing activities a company can get to know the actual position of sales and a company can also forecast sales patterns. The marketing research helps a company in collecting the data and knowing the opinion of customers about a particular product and then changing the product as per the preferences of the customers (Morris, 2014). Marketing activities also help in getting feedback on a particular product and making it more useful. In this way it also comprises of huge investment. Above all marketing is an activity that is essential in providing competitive advantage to the business or a company. In this manner the scope of marketing is very wide.

Except for these positive aspects of marketing for the company I used to think that marketing is always beneficial for customers as well. But after studying all the dimensions of marketing in this semester I got to know that sometimes marketing activities are deceiving for the customers. Many a times a customer gets influenced by the wrong information presented by the marketer and due to that the customer suffers. In this manner a lot of things have been changed about my perception of marketing before and after studying marketing in this semester.

  1. Why is/isn’t marketing important to an organisation?

Marketing is very essential and integral part of an organisation. All the functions and activities of marketing are very important to a business or an organisation. First of all marketing helps a company in deciding what product or service they can launch in the market which has potential. This can be done by using marketing research. It also helps a company in knowing the target audience for that particular product or service and then enables them to know the estimated quantity to be produced. This saves time as well as resources of the business. The marketing research gives an estimation of the profit as well. After this marketing also helps in knowing the consumer behaviour by analysing various aspects of a consumer such as social factors, cultural factors, geographical factors, etc. This helps a business to check the opinion of a customer about the product or service.

Marketing also helps a business in determining the various elements of product such as design, specification, ingredients, etc. It then helps a company in keeping an optimum price of the products. It helps in deciding whether the company shall go for penetration pricing or skimming pricing. The marketing activities play decisive role in determining promotional practices (Martins, 2012). It helps an organisation in deciding a promotional practice that will be beneficial for the company. It simply suggests about which promotional practice out of a number of promotional practices shall be suitable.

Marketing helps a business in deciding the target audience (the customers who are more likely to buy a particular product) for an organisation. It is marketing that helps a company in knowing the measures to penetrate a market and increase its sales. The marketing activities also help in depicting the product life cycle and thereby determining the future course of action. In this manner marketing activities are very important in making an organisation competitive and profitable. The above analysis of benefits of marketing suggests that marketing plays an integral role in an organisation and it is very beneficial for a business to run smoothly.

  1. Do you feel that marketers are manipulating you in how they market products? Why?

It seems a number of times that marketers are manipulating the customers. The most significant way of manipulation is advertising. The companies use false and misleading information to influence the customers. The companies have started using celebrity endorsement for their products and this is an activity that can easily change the opinion of a customer. When an individual sees his ideal using the product in an advertisement he gets influenced and without even cross-checking, buys the product. Marketers have forgotten the difference in persuasion and manipulation and they are now taking resort to manipulation to sell the products. The organisations and businesses are using a number of techniques to manipulate the customers and forcing them to buy a product. The manipulation is dependent upon four major models that are psychological models, economic models, sociological models and stimulus respond models. Manipulation is an activity that tends to change the behaviour of a customer using information that is false or misleading.

To manipulate an individual marketers first understand the behaviour of a customer and then manipulate them to buy those things that they do not need actually. It changes buying form into impulsive one. The companies use various measures to manipulate the decisions of the customers to sell a product. It includes giving discounts, keeping prices lower, challenging quality, free samples, exaggerated information, etc. It affects the purchasing behaviour of customers by creating need of the products. All these factors affect the buying behaviour of the customers. Limited time offers and loyalty cards have a big role to play in manipulating the behaviours of the customers. When the marketers give such offers the customers feel like buying those things because they are in offer today and there might not be any offer on them in the future (Fitchett & Caruana, 2015). In this way customers purchase even those things that they do not require at all. There are many instances that clearly prove that marketers manipulate customers with their strategies. For an instance the purchase of mouth washes and tooth paste. Why would an individual brush his teeth with clinically proven tooth paste and then rinse it with mouth wash. There is no need to have a mouth wash after having a tooth paste but we are manipulated by the companies. In this way Marketers manipulate customers by interrupting the patterns, creating comfort, leading the imagination, shifting the feelings, satisfying critical minds and changing associations.

  1. Moving forward, in what ways do you think you will be able to apply what you have learned in this subject In addressing these items you need to support your comments with appropriate references and examples.

This learned knowledge about the marketing and its dimensions have provided a lot of learning and they can be used very well in practical life. As a consumer I am now aware about the tactics that the companies use to market their products and increase sales, so the most important point that I have learnt is to be aware of that. I have learnt that the companies create needs of the products and the customers get influenced by that (Winer, 2013). I will be now aware about whether I need a particular product actually or it’s just because of manipulation I am buying it. For an instance the next time when I will go to a departmental store I will not get influenced by the bright colours or discounts on the products. I will only buy those products that I actually decided to buy irrespective of their price and colour. I will also be able to analyse a product effectively by looking at its price, place and promotion strategy (East, Wright, & Vanhuele, 2012).In this manner at the time of making future purchases I will now make effective decisions.

Except for it I will be able to apply this knowledge in the companies later when I will join a job or I can also use this knowledge in my own business in future. In business all the functions of marketing play a vital role and I will be able to apply them to find out target market for my business, ascertaining marketing mix, deciding on pricing and product details, etc. (Shimp, 2013).

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