The use of an appropriate marketing mix and communication
Methods are vital to support the strategy of a humanitarian
Marketing is often described as the activities which a company or organization undertakes in selling and buying products and services. It involves promoting their products and services through advertising, sales, and delivery to clientele. Marketing is often embedded in the marketing mix which states the four ‘Ps’ of marketing which are product, place, promotion, and price. Marketing involves concept such as customer relationship management, business marketing, societal marketing, and branding. Customer relationship management ...view middle of the document...
For these humanitarian organizations, they use a holistic marketing concept, which is involved with production, product, selling, marketing and societal marketing. The production concept regards the organization’s activities in terms of delivering the activities they have been funded to conduct. The product concept suggests that these organizations should focus as much as possible on delivering these activities to the highest possible standards to ensure the success of their activities (Kahn 1978: 57). The selling concept suggests that the organization should create proper strategies to present their previous activities to current and future donors to attract more funding. The marketing concept for humanitarian organizations is basically organized around trying to tailor their activities towards the needs of the community they are working as well as to suit donor needs and requirements (Steinberg 1986: 514). Lastly, the holistic marketing concept means that the humanitarian organizations use a complex set of activities to integrate their marketing activities towards meeting the needs of funders and communities they serve.
The marketing continuum defines the patterns or trends within a market, which allow some organizations or companies to perform better than others do (Keating, Parsons, and Roberts 2008: 425). Often, they also include trends within an industry that occur as a result of the external environment such as changes in regulations that help some companies grow while others may exhibit slower growth (Klein and Dawar 2004: 209-210).
The marketing cycle for business organizations starts with building client knowledge through creating consumer product knowledge and conducting research. This is followed by product development and pricing strategies. Labels and packaging of the product is the next step after which the products are distributed to clients (Gerstner and Holthausen 1986: 61). The company then conducts advertising, public relations, and promotion activities to improve their sales and ensures customers are satisfied through customer service activities. These customer service activities feed into the organization’s customer knowledge phase and research, which begins the next marketing cycle (Ferrell and Hartline 2010: 112).
Ferrell and Hartline (2010: 128-129) posit that the marketing cycle begins with customer knowledge, which means that these organizations need to conduct research to gain knowledge about their customers, market, or industry, needs of the consumers, and competitors available. This is followed by the product development phase where the company tailors their product to the consumer’s needs, package the product appropriately and use appropriate distribution strategies to ensure the customer’s needs and expectations are met. MacInnis, Moorman, and Jaworski (1991: 38) adds that at this stage, the company should also understand the competitors and the realities present in the community to help them...