Wabash Blogs Marketing Immersion 2006

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Group Studies Marketing Segmentation

Benjamin Ray Gonzalez Jr. - Today the main focus was on marketing segmentation and target marketing. In addition, the concept of marketing myopia was also discussed as a failure of effective target marketing and marketing segmentation. The recurring them in today’s discussion was how to execute both target marketing and marketing segmentation successfully to avoid failure and profit losses.

Target marketing was defined as the motive for marketing segmentation. Companies can no longer mass marketing because consumers are becoming more secularized. For example, the laundry detergent lines of Proctor and Gamble, they market Cheer as the detergent with color guard and Tide as the all purpose stain and grease remover.  What is interesting is that P & G owns Cheer, Tide, All, Bold, Gain, and Era. The reason why P & G is able to maintain fifty-seven percent profits in the detergent market is because of their marketing techniques.  P & G marketers have been able to highlight one feature of each detergent and make it the detergent’s sole purpose. This method curves away from the failure of mass marketing. (See Tuesday photo album.)

We also learned that demographic segmentation was the most popular form of marketing segmentation.  The effectiveness was short-lived because consumers could be marketed to by ideology. The solution created is psychographic marketing, adding a personal rapport and appeal to the product being marketed. Psychographic marketing advertise a certain lifestyle and ideology.  An example is the automotive industry, recent Ford Mustang commercials appeal to and independent and untamed spirit.  The Mach 1, Cobra, and Mustang logos have also remained unchanged in order to encompass the baby boomer generation that was first introduced to the Mustang and the modern designs attract the younger customers.  Another example was Mr. Kocal with the Indianapolis symphony.  He expressed the gamble that would be taken in marketing towards different audiences, they would be prone to losing their loyal customers.  These ads were able to bridge two very different generations by marketing and idea with a car and adding the personal relationship by presenting the modernized features of the car along with the classic mystic of it.

The main flaw of most large companies is marketing myopia. An article by Dr. Theodore Levitt described marketing myopia as a process when companies over invest in product development. The main example used was the Kodak film company. Kodak over emphasized its rivalry with competitor Fuji film, hence it ignored its customers needs and this allowed unanticipated competitors to take over the market. Digital cameras took over the market and the primary pioneers were Canon and Olympus, not Fuji. In fact, Kodak concentrated most of its product development on conventional film; it released the Advantix film line a few years ago.  Advantix was a type of film that did not need to be loaded; it proved useless in competition with digital cameras.  Marketing myopia occurs when companies become incredibly introverted. 

The most important lesson learned today in marketing was that marketing is successful when tailored to the desires of the customers.  Companies and individuals cannot get caught up in competition because there will be unnoticed innovations in the market.  The trick is to keep the customers satisfied and the way to do that is to effectively market products.