Operational marketing is the implementation on the ground of policy decisions taken at the level of strategic marketing (although, in practice, decisions are not always made at this level). It is a short-term policy, which must be constantly adapted to changes in the market situation. Operational marketing is the intermediate stage between field action, which must constantly adapt, and marketing strategy, which covers the general guidelines, it leads to the establishment of an action plan, marketing plan called for a given (eg one year) period. This plan must be consistent with plans for other areas of the company’s shares (research and development, production, finance, human resources, information systems, etc.) and the general policy of the company.
Operational marketing for simplicity is segmented into four main areas called marketing mix. This segmentation is arbitrary and has the simple goal to simplify decision making in marketing. Each part of the marketing mix is not strictly defined a priori and may cover all areas relating to marketing.
The “Model 4 P” usually referred to as the “marketing mix” (operational marketing plan) was introduced in 1960 by Edmund Jerome McCarty as thesis plan to deal with the marketing of cans of Green Giant corn in supermarket
It is sometimes suggested adding other elements:
- P for packaging when it is considered a major component of the product.
- P for personal, insofar as the mobilization of human resources is often a key success factor, among others, at the after-sales service.
- B for brand
Today, there are also emerging the “Model 5C” or another proposed segmentation in order to achieve the most comprehensive analysis:
- Company: Product Range – Stock in the market – Technology – the culture of the company – the objectives.
- Customers: the market size and growth – market segments – sources of customer information – seasonal factors – the buying process (or pulse caution).
- Competitors: direct, indirect – market share – the strengths and weaknesses of competitors.
- Collaborators: distributors – suppliers – retailers, etc.
- Context: macro environmental factors.
Performance: Provided by Staff
Xperience: Experienced by the client
Product (Product mix)
The product concept is not limited to the product itself:
- it must take into account: lifecycle of the generic product or activity, the range of product in which it fits, the brand or company history;
- it must clearly define the characteristics, features, components and related services to offer to the client;
- it must specify – especially if the product is intended to be distributed free service – optimize packaging, packaging, design, etc. ;
- it leverages standards, label of relevant quality to stay in the context of sustainable development a valid object “from cradle to grave.”
The price (for the client) can be seen simultaneously as the sum of costs, the margin of the seller and the various taxes or as the amount a customer is willing to pay for them; psychological price, this is the optimal price acceptance (according to the theories of the Austrian school). Demand is generally elastic: the number of purchases changes relative to changes in price. If the price rises, demand falls and vice versa. Consequently, different pricing policies are possible, such as political skimming, trying to sell fewer products, but more expensive, and therefore well to reach a greater benefit. The price can also be seen qualitatively (fixed-variable), dynamically (political balance) or relational (retention policy). Widespread ignorance of buyers is reported in the service sector: the price of services is generally underestimated relative to product prices. Hence the importance of a much more educational marketing and therefore more costly to the industry. However, many states do not allow the sale at a loss.
Distribution (Place mix)
The distribution includes activities that make the products available and accessible on the market by an attractive merchandising.
Examples of methods according to the size distribution:
- Big distributions (and other linked big names)
- Department stores (or supermarkets and hypermarkets, or large specialty surfaces)
Channel: Channel routing consists of a vertical succession of intermediate, the sum of the channels constituting a circuit.
- Wholesaler, semi wholesaler or central purchasing
- VPC (sale by mail)
Network: Circuit and individuals animating it.
- Sales force (commercial sometimes commute to customer contact with the product)
- Broker (and other networks …)
Communication (Promotion mix)
Communication is the set of activities that promote the product and its benefits in order to encourage customers to buy targeted. Examples: advertising, sales promotion, sponsorship, etc.
The rise of information technology and communications coupled with changes in consumption patterns (nomadism, mobility …) leads marketers to rethink their campaigns by combining optimally different messages and channels. The study “challenges around data in the cross-channel customer relationship management” conducted by an independent firm study shows that the development of campaigns to multichannel communication is a fundamental trend in current marketing strategies. While the phone and face to face were still predominant a few years ago, they should be overwhelmed by the web and e-mail by 2012. On this date, each channel (telephone, face to face or mail or fax, web, email, etc.) should weigh for a weigh roughly equivalent to customer interactions.
- Mass media communication: TV, print, outdoors, cinema, radio, Internet, etc.
- Non-media communication: POS (point of sale), corporate communications, t-shirts, eechniques of direct marketing, oublic relations, non-advertising message (informational type) to the general public via the mass media, organization of events accompanying the promotion of products and/or services, capitalizing on a cultural event, sales promotion (one seeks to significantly increase revenue over a fixed period. Several techniques for this: bonuses, games, price reductions, free trials, samples or tasting, entertainment …)
- Sales force: Direct information via trade visiting customers