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Marketing is not an option. It is a necessity (Forsyth, 2004). The definition of marketing as stated by the American Marketing Association and further described in the text by Kerin et al. is an organizational function and a set of processes for producing, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders (Kerin et al., pg 8, 2005). Kudler Fine Foods has decided to explore new services which they might offer to their customers. This paper will first assess the comparative value of the market research Kudler currently possesses. Next the paper will explain the components of the marketing mix for Kudler's new catering service. The paper will then explain how Kudler should determine the products it wants to offer. An explanation of how Kudler should determine what its pricing should be relative to other catering companies will follow. Lastly the paper will explore, in terms of a catering service, what the term place means.
Market research is very similar to the nine-step problem solving model. Market research in most cases will always lead to some type of change. Change in any organization is one of the most difficult things to accomplish (McNamara, C., 2004). Market research helps to study the marketing changes an organization needs to accomplish. According to Kerin et al. marketing research is a process of defining a marketing problem and opportunity then systematically collecting and analyzing information and recommending actions (Kerin, et al., pg 205, 2005). Marketing research is intended to define a number of things. It is intended to define the problem, much like a problem statement in the nine-step model. It is also expected to show an organization its opportunities and to generate and improve marketing actions (Kerin, et al, 2005). Currently Kudler Fine Foods does not have any marketing research data or plans on their intranet. They do have a marketing overview explaining Kudler Fine Food's initiatives to meet their strategic objective which is to increase loyalty and profitability. There is also a sales plan for 2006 and market surveys from 2003 and 2004. None of these items are market research reports. The survey is old and shows over half of Kudler Fine Foods customers in years 2003 and 2004 believe the merchandise sold at Kudler Fine Foods is not a good value for the money.
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The Marketing Components
Kudler Fine Foods catering service is no different from any other service offered to Kudler Fine Foods customers. There are four components associated with any service. Those four components according to Kerin and associates are called the four P's. These are shown below as listed and defined in the text (Kerin et al, pg 206, 2005).
Product. A good, service, or idea to satisfy the consumer's needs.
Price. What is exchanged for the product.
Promotion. The means of communication between the seller and buyer.
Place. A means of getting the product into the consumer's hands.
Kudler Fine Foods has determined the product will be a new catering service however there is not enough market research to neither decide on a price nor begin to promote the service.
A product can be defined as any item which might be offered to a market for purchase, use or consumption and may gratify need or even a want. A unique or superior product, knowledge of the market, and an effective marketing strategy are critical to a company's success (Bingham, Gomes and Knowles, 2005). Product determination truly comes down to making a decision based on the leader's knowledge. Leaders can not make good marketing decisions without a solid marketing report. A decision is a premeditated selection between two alternatives (Kerin et al., 2005). The first step in the marketing process is to determine the problem. Without knowing what the problem is a marketing plan is useless. The next steps are developing a plan, collecting relevant data; develop the findings, and taking market action (Kerin et al, 2005). Kudler Fine Food's marketing team must perform a market research study to determine if their current marketing strategy is working and what the team might add to its strategy. It maybe found that catering does not fit into the current market strategy. They must also use objective measurements to help review the success or failure of any given plan.
Price is a sum of money or goods, asked or given in exchange for the benefits of having or using a product. There are two factors that an organization should examine before setting the price on a product. These are the internal and external factors related to the product. The internal factors such as cost, wages, and other overheard can be controlled to some extent. The external factors such as Kudler Fine Foods competition or the suppliers are not within the control of the Kudler Fine Foods management. Kudler Fine Foods marketing team again must undergo an extensive marketing research analysis before price can be set for a catering service.
Place can be defined as making products available in the right quantities and locations when the customer wants them. It includes physical distributions, inventory, location, transport, and channels. Place watered down is simple where a customer, in this case Kudler Fine Food's customer, will purchase catering or any other service.
A marketing analysis would help Kudler Fine Foods determine place. The analysis would gather information, determine promotions, determine how to contact the costumer, fit or match the service to the right customer, determine price and terms, physical distribution methods, budget, and determine the risk. Without proper market research Kudler Fine Foods is flying blind. The management will be unable to properly implement new market strategies and measure the success or failure of them.