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Kudler Fine Foods has experienced a significant growth and is now focused on expanding the services, improving the efficiency of its operations and increasing the consumer purchase cycle as a means to increasing the loyalty and profitability of its consumers. The American Marketing association states that "marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and collecting for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders" (Kerin-Hartley-Berkowitz-Rudelius,2005). Truly effective marketers do market research in an effort to understand their target market and create marketing strategies based on the characterization of those in the target area.
The relative value of market research
Marketing research is the process of defining a marketing problem and opportunity, systematically collecting and analyzing information, and recommending actions (Kerin-Hartley-Berkowitz-Rudelius, 2005). Many service organizations have embraced relationship marketing with its focus on maximizing customer lifetime value. In order to achieve their continuing catering service, Kudler needs to focus on new initiatives, marketing communications, and marketing research. When they do not have enough marketing research for evaluate new challenges, Kudler cannot integrate catering service with a better perspective. It is important to managers who require a better understanding of the relationship between satisfaction and the duration of the provider-customer relationship to identify specific actions that can increase retention and profitability in the long run.
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Kudler needs to figure out what factors customers use to assess the value that they get from them, what does well and poorly, how they compare to competitors, what kind of products or service might provide. The duration of the customer's relationship with Kudler that delivers a continuously provided service such as schedule, product diversity, quality and prices. To produce an effective market research tool, the information must be collected both primary and secondary data. "Primary data are facts and figures that are newly collected for the project while secondary data are internal and external data that have already been collected and exist inside Kudler and published data from outside the organization (Kerin-Hartley-Berkowitz-Rudelius, 2005).
The organization's marketing department must take action and develop a complete marketing program to reach consumers by using a combination of four tools that they are the elements of the marketing mix. The desired marketing mix is a combination of promoting the right product in the right place at the right price for optimal profitability. In determining the most profitable market mix, it is imperative that Kudler continues to maintain customer focus. The components of Kudler's marketing mix in regards to the catering aspect are the service and food, the price breakdown, and how, when, and where to promote the service. By establishing relationships with their customers, three store managers will be able to observe the customer's buying habits and obtain questionnaire data that will have been focused marketing mix for the organization.
Kudler have different variety of products and services that can be offered with the catering service. They should create unique ideas and suggestions with decoration style, entertainment, pick-up orders, full service delivery, event planning, special requests, custom menus and for any occasion, from business meetings, weddings, rehearsal dinners, open houses, bar mitzvahs or holiday parties. The anticipated outcomes will be to increase the customer purchase rate of high margin food and beverage items and to get consumer to make an evening at Kudler Fine Foods part of their social network (Virtual Organization Portal, 2007).
Catering services should offer the same quality standards as all of their gourmet foods. If they use natural and organic products, free of artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings, preservatives, customers are interested in buying more products and maintaining healthy lifestyle. As well, their recipes should use all natural hormone free beef, turkey, pork, lamb and a wide variety of seafood. Combined with their excellent quality of food and innovative talented chefs, Kudler will achieve target market.
Kudler has a wide range of prices according with the number of dishes to be prepared and different combinations. They can use different payment methods as cash, credit cards and debit cards as media exchange. In order to offer lower costs to the consumers, marketing has encouraged the purchasing department to find ways to reduce costs of ordering foods and minimize the amount of food to be stored. In addition, they have to aware of internal factors as wages, process change, and technology while external factors as competition, seasonal changes and economic need to evaluate before setting the price.
Price is not the primary differentiating factor for Kudler consumers, these consumers are focused on quality and finding specialized items. Working closely with local farmers and vendors, Kudler has brought a wide array of organic choices at the best prices in the marketplace to accommodate consumers. While the firm's preference is to have the events in-store, guests can have Kudler cooking classes at their home for a price premium, programs such as this encourage consumer loyalty and word-of mouth marketing (Kerin-Hartley-Berkowitz-Rudelius, 2005).
Kudler should offer extensive menus from breakfast/brunch to elegant dinners with many items for special diets and cuisines. Every effort will be made to augment menus to satisfy those needs. They can use flyers, news papers, local radio, emails, television advertising, public relations, events and web-pages to persuade the consumer demands. They should introduce free sample foods, discounts and combos to promote the old and new services. Therefore, rather than providing everyday discounts to the customers for their purchase frequency like lower end markets, Kudler has partnered with a loyalty points program to provide customers with points which can be redeemed for high end gift items, airline first-class upgrades, or other specialty foods (Virtual Organization Portal, 2007).
Kudler has three different locations (La Jolla, Del Mar and Encinitas) to provide consumers regularly their specialty foods. Each store has a retail space located in a fashionable shopping center and stocked with the very best domestic, imported foodstuffs. Kudler is offering parties in the store to show customers how to prepare specialty foods that the draw for the consumers is to be trained by world-renowned chefs, local celebrities and other food experts to be invited to exclusive, upscale events.
In addition, they should provide their own cooking private class at Kudler whether someone is seeking a hands-on or demonstration experience. They should also set up a meeting space with A.V., Power Point capabilities and is perfect for a small reception, business meeting or team build to attract new and existing customer. Increasing open-hours in the store will increase the frequency of visits in the store and more revenue. Consumers will receive multiple entries in high-ticket item contests by bringing a friend to the parties.
Target Market affects use of technology
The marketing manager's view of the product influence buying decision of consumers that include both the controllable marketing mix factors like products and distribution as well as uncontrollable factors like competition and changing tastes of buyers (Kerin-Hartley-Berkowitz-Rudelius, 2005). Marketing researchers use information technology to frame questions that provide answers leading to marketing actions. Technology allows Kudler to improve new ways of doing business and offers the infrastructure to support the different business functions. So, information technology enables massive amounts of marketing data to be stored, processed, and assessed. Kudler is developing employee training programs and integrating new software systems to facilitate the effort (Kerin-Hartley-Berkowitz-Rudelius, 2005, p.222).
If they start using e-commerce, consumers are interested in shopping and buying online due to convenience, choice, customization, communication, cost and control. They should provide choice assistance using choice board and collaborative filtering technology, which also provides opportunities for customization. Technology collects information and help to have better customer services with the optimal way. This assessment of the marketplace lead Kudler to create its new catering food service and an extraordinarily sophisticated marketing strategy based on traditional and interactive approaches by using advanced technology.
Catering Service and Local Organic Growers Decision
As kudler has grown upscale specialty food store in the San Diego Metropolitan area, so it has ability to make a difference in its food supply and environment. Kathy Kudler wants to create the strong market that existing gourmet fine foods and add local organic produce market and a catering service by working directly with growers and vendors to expand an increasing array of organic products and by maintaining healthy lifestyle their customers for choosing organic products. They plan to have a new catering service with organic produce and new suppliers will be strength for the business. The organic produce will benefit the catering service because it will provide healthy meals for customers. Besides offered a sense of quality healthy eating with affordable prices can promote the customer loyalty (www.wholefoodsmarket.com).
Marketing analysis would help Kudler Fine Foods to determine the right product, place, price and promotion. It is necessary that Kudler should take advantage using advanced technology and get useful information to evaluate target market. Kudler has found a niche in the gourmet market place and expanded the service to develop customer relationships with loyalty. Kudler's new initiative will help tracking purchase behavior at the individual customer level and providing high value incentives through a partnership with a loyalty points program. The customer purchase behavior patterns will facilitate its processes and offerings to best satisfy their valued customers. With proper market research, Kudler can find ways to build long-term customer relationships to provide unique value that they can deliver to target market.
Kerin-Hartley-Berkowitz-Rudelius (2005). Initiating the Marketing Process: Retrieved on
October 27, 2007 from Marketing (8th Edition) Ch.1
Kerin-Hartley-Berkowitz-Rudelius (2005). Targeting Marketing Opportunities: Retrieved on
October 27, 2007 from Marketing (8th Edition) Ch.3
Kerin-Hartley-Berkowitz-Rudelius (2005). Implementing Interactive and Multichannel
Marketing Retrieved on October 28, 2007 from Marketing (8th Edition) Ch.21
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