Putting the Customer Front and Centre

Marketing: An IntroductionAs I mentioned in a previous post, my 2013 resolution was to read one book a month for professional development. My enthusiasm may have carried me away, for I quickly decided to make 2013 the ‘year of the job’ and enrolled in a CIM Professional Diploma in Marketing.

My university degree is in English, with a concentration in business writing, so I thought I’d benefit from one of those introductory books that would give me a broad view of the basic theories of marketing. I found an excellent example of this in Marketing: An Introduction by Gary Armstrong, Philip Kotler, Michael Harker and Ross Brennan.

This is classic textbook reading and not exactly a nightstand book, but it’s quite easy to read and is full of real-world examples that show the theories in practice.

The four main sections of the book deal with:

  • defining marketing and the marketing process
  • understanding the marketplace and consumers
  • designing a customer-driven marketing strategy and marketing mix
  • extending marketing to include such considerations as digital strategies, the global marketplace and social responsibility

The book places the customer at the centre of every marketing decision – from understanding their needs, creating a product that meets those needs, telling them about it in compelling ways and making it easy for them to purchase.

One aspect of marketing that is quite exciting to me is the integrated communications strategy. Paraphrasing from Armstrong, et al., this means presenting a consistent, positive message at every customer touch point, building strong customer relationships over the long term by showing how the company and its products can help customers solve their problems.

This is a great book and will continue to be a resource after the course has ended. Definitely recommend it!

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