Current Marketing Trends And Strategies


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Introduction
Now is the right time to come in and buy a new car. If you buy now, you will receive a free gift with your purchase. Have you thought about taking a vacation this month? This would be the perfect gift for any loved one. These are some common phrases and questions that everyone hears on a day to day basis. Whether it is on television, the radio, or on the internet, advertisement is all over and is heard or seen by people of all ages. Marketing is taking over the business world. If the right product is marketed poorly, it is most likely to fail. It is a key fundamental exercise that all businesses must do well in order to succeed. Currently, there are several trends and strategies that more and more businesses are using to sell their products. Use of the internet is growing as fast as ever. Businesses are using this knowledge to market their products over the internet. E-business has become quite popular in the world today. Also, pricing strategies such as odd pricing, leader pricing, and discounts have proven to be quite effective and trendy in marketing nowadays.
E-Commerce
Today, the world wide web is bigger than ever. You can do or find just about anything on the internet these days. E-Commerce is rapidly growing and it is considered to be one of the biggest trends in the business field today.
Benefits to E-Commerce
There are several benefits to selling on the web. Selling on the web offers the opportunity to increase revenues, ability to expand into global markets, ability to remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, power to educate and inform, ability to lower the cost of doing business, ability to recognize new business opportunities, ability for more rapid growth, and power to track sales results.(Zimmerer, Scarborough, 2005) As seen in the above benefits, e-business is a very efficient and productive way to be a successful business.
Disadvantages to E-Commerce
Even though e-commerce provides a lot of positives for a business, it can sometimes be difficult to start and keep running. Not everybody likes to buy products off of the internet. One study shows that 75% of web shoppers who fill their online shopping carts become frustrated and leave the site before checking out.

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There are a few different reasons that a consumer might do this. First of all, the customer may not have been able to find the items they were looking for. Sometimes, websites are difficult to navigate and customers have trouble finding what they are looking for. Also, checking out sometimes takes an extremely long time. During checkout, a website often asks for several personal pieces of information. This could take a long time, which may frustrate the consumer. Often times, if a website does not look trustworthy, a customer will leave the site immediately. Some websites do not have a security policy or just don't look credible. This may scare the customer away. When shopping online, there is almost always shipping costs to the consumers. While the product may be a very reasonable price, the shipping charges may be outrageously high. This may cause the consumer to leave the site and look somewhere else. Online customers usually look for competitive pricing, a well designed presentation, a good selection of products, reliable shipping, on time delivery, easy ordering, customer support, valuable product information, posted privacy policy, and user friendly navigation. Shopping online saves a lot of time and is much more convenient for most, but there are some disadvantages of purchasing on the internet. (Zimmerer, 2005)
Approaches to E-Commerce
There are five different approaches to e-commerce. The first approach is online shopping malls. An online shopping mall is a site that will list product offerings from several different businesses. The main advantages of this are the simplicity and the cost. A couple disadvantages of an online shipping mall are the lack of prominence and the lack of control over the site. Storefront-building services is another approach to e-commerce. These services will offer advice on how to start an online business for a low cost. Once again, this approach is simple and doesn't cost a lot. One drawback of this approach is that only a limited number of products can be handled. Another approach to getting started online is internet service providers and application service providers. This is very similar to store-front building services, except there is much more flexibility with the design and control over the website. Hiring professionals is also a good option for starting an online business. This provides the business complete control over the website. The professional will make and design the site in any way the business wants it. One major disadvantage of this option is cost. Hiring professionals can be very expensive. Sometimes using this option can cost the business up to $500,000. The last option available for starting a business online is building a web site in-house. If this option is chosen by a business, that business will be able to design, operate, and maintain that site with complete control. All of these options are available to businesses to use. However, some options are better suited for some companies.(Zimmerer, 2005)
Strategies for Success on the Web
Nowadays, more and more people spend loads of time on the internet. Some people will spend up to one-third of a lifetime on the internet. This is one reason why e-business has become so popular. Even though people are spending more time on the internet, businesses still need certain strategies to attract new customers to their website. One way to attract customers is by focusing on a niche in the market. Companies must try to focus on one unique area of the market. By focusing on a niche, companies eliminate some of the competition they are up against. Another strategy companies use is developing a community within their website. The purpose of developing a community is to increase customer loyalty by allowing customers to interact with each other. This strategy allows customers within the site to communicate through chat rooms, email, and customer polls. One strategy companies use to attract customers is giving away free gifts. Customers usually are attracted to the word free, which draws them into the website. Promoting the website online and off-line is also an important strategy to gaining customers. All of these strategies are being used widely around the world today to make businesses more successful.(Zimmerer, 2005)
E-Business is growing rapidly throughout the world today. People are using the internet more and more often everyday now. E-Commerce provides these people with the convenience of buying products from their home and saving them the time and trouble of driving to the mall. The use of E-Commerce will continue to grow as time moves on.
Other Marketing Strategies and Trends
Besides e-commerce, there are several other trends and strategies used in the market today. Pricing and market penetration strategies are common actions a company goes through when starting and running a business.
Pricing Strategies
There are several different pricing strategies used by businesses today. These strategies include odd pricing, price discrimination, competitive pricing, skimming, and discounting.
Odd pricing is used almost everywhere these days. This strategy is when a company prices a product at an odd price to affect a consumer's psychological view of the price. An example of this would be selling a product at $19.99 instead of $20. Even though it is pretty much the same price, this may affect what the consumer thinks about the price. (Marketing Teacher, 2007)
Price discrimination is seen a lot when you go to the movies or an amusement park. This strategy is when a customer may set different prices for the same product depending on which segment of the market they are selling to. When a movie theater charges a different price for children than they do for adults, this is price discrimination. (Wikipedia, 2007)
Another pricing strategy that is used often is competitive pricing. Competitive pricing is defined as when a company compares their price to their competitor's price and adjusts it accordingly. This strategy is generally used on more elastic products, such as milk or gas. Customers are more than likely going to buy the cheaper product in this case, therefore companies will compete with their prices. (Kyle, 2007)
Skimming is generally used when a new and unique product is introduced to the market with little or no competition. When using a skimming strategy, companies will initially set their prices relatively high to recover any research or production costs. As these costs are recovered, they will then gradually lower the price to increase sales of the product. (Kyle, 2007)
One trend that has been around for a long time is discounting. There are numerous different kinds of discounting. Quantity discounting is when a lower price is offered to a customer that buys in a larger quantity. Seasonal discounting is a kind of discounting that depends on the time of year in which a product is purchased. For example, a customer may get a discount on a snowboard if it is purchased in the summer. Cash discounts are sometimes offered to customers when they pay for their product before a specified date. Another type of discounting is the promotional discount. This is usually when a company discounts a product for a limited period of time to stimulate sales to grow. Every single one of these types of discounting are wonderful strategies to attract customers and develop long-term, trustworthy relationships with them. (NetMBA, 2006)
Conclusion
There are several current trends and strategies in the marketing world today. E-commerce is one of the biggest ones. The internet is everywhere nowadays. Businesses are rapidly growing because of the world wide web. Also, pricing strategies such as odd pricing, price discrimination, competitive pricing, skimming, and discounting are used widely by a large percentage of businesses today. Marketing is growing day by day, and it is imperative that companies do it properly to be successful.


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