MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 20

commonly dubbed as price wars. Price is completely married to value and value sits right in the laps of customer convenience. Price therefore is a factor of real and perceived value and the unspoken need that drives customers to procure goods and services. The need to tap into both their emotional and functional needs, and to set product pricing in a way that responds directly to those needs is important. With the customer at the center of the pricing process, the elements of season, location, buying power, value systems, cultural attachment, scarcity perception and the competitor landscape, must be taken into consideration from a people-perspective. Every marketer must debate candidly and conclusively about the convenience of price to the customer’s situation at every possible stage. With the current bottom of the pyramid dynamics in this continent particularly, and with the existing marketing strategies aimed at adapting to, and unleashing opportunity at this level, price is tied to convenience of reach and convenience of affordability. The ‘Mwitu’ market has revolutionized the way products are produced, packaged, priced and placed, with new lower level markets and new low income geographies playing a much bigger role on the marketing scale than was ever thought or imagined. Price works at the behest of convenience and customer convenience is the new pricing policy. Placement Placement decisions should be anchored around both physical and online availability, for products be they customer oriented and pricing customized, are really no good to the originating brand if they cannot reach the target market, or are in an unsuitable location to 18 MAL 18/17 ISSUE ‘‘ Accessibility is the name of the product placement game, and accessibility dines at the table of customer convenience. Products and services need to be right in front of the target audience, both physically to inspire uptake or digitally to stimulate conversion from keyboard or touch pad strokes, to online payment and delivery discussions.’’ encourage patronization. Accessibility is the name of the product placement game, and accessibility dines at the table of customer convenience. Products and services need to be right in front of the target audience, both physically to inspire uptake or digitally to stimulate conversion from keyboard or touch pad strokes, to online payment and delivery discussions. Placement is declared to be the most ‘artistic’ segment of the marketing basket, for time and thought goes into human behavior and what influences impulse procurement. People buy goods and services first with their eyes and then their wallets are compelled to follow. Eye stimulation is both an art and a science and the good gospel of where customers are ‘most likely to engage’ with the product is preached from every marketing strategy agenda. From the outer physical location of the proposed ‘selling point’, to the inner physical location of the goods placement, to the digital location of the online ‘shop’, to the exact location of the product or service within this area, should not be left to chance. Every single placement strategy must deeply consider customer convenience from both the inside and out. Promotion Promotion that bundles up all the other P’s in the marketing mix into the stroller and takes them out for a walk, requires that the target customer to whom the message is specifically addressed is actually in the right place at the right time, and in the right frame of mind to be receptive to the communication. With all the creative genius that is churned out into the marketing industry daily, and with players in the promotional space falling all over themselves to innovate around communicating with customers in a way that intrigues, hooks and persuades them; there is unabated brilliance that continues to illuminate brand messaging. The promotion schemes be they above or below the line, are as strategic in delivery as they are graduated in diversity and multiplicity, towards catering to different generational audiences. How convenient the promotion is in terms of reaching the relevant target market based on the current profiling and customer sifting tools, is what determines the success of each promotion project. Interesting product placement strategies have emerged from different categories, with both the private and public sector exploring unchartered waters in a bid to speak distinctly and audibly to their customers. Business development plans have customer convenience at the base, from which activations, events, visits, calls and written communication are then