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Role of marketing in a consumer society - Essay Example

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Marketing can be said to have both positive and negative effects on society and hence the study of marketing strategies must include both effects if one were to take an objective and reasoned approach to it…
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Role of marketing in a consumer society
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Download file to see previous pages Marketing can be said to have both positive and negative effects on society and hence the study of marketing strategies must include both effects if one were to take an objective and reasoned approach to it.Marketing plays a vital role in mediating between the producers and the consumers of goods and services. Without marketing, the consumers would not be able to get information regarding the products that the producers are producing and hence be bereft of the information needed to make informed purchases. Without marketing, the producers of goods and services would be unable to communicate the benefits of owning products and hence they would not be in a position to relay the necessary information to the consumers. Ever since the advent of the mass produced modes of production and patterns of mass consumption, marketing has been regarded as the indispensable medium through which the “conversation” between the producers and consumers happens. This is the reason for the huge marketing budgets that producers have and the way in which the media is used to broadcast images and advertisements is another facet of the consumer society that we live in (Mooij, 1998, 15). This paper addresses the question, “what is the role of marketing in a consumer society?” by analyzing the case of Apple Inc., which is renowned for its innovative and sophisticated approach to marketing. The readings assigned for the course as well as the textbooks that are prescribed are referred to for this paper as well as external research into the marketing methods of Apple and the way in which it has established a position for itself in the contemporary hi-tech marketplace. Marketing can be said to have both positive and negative effects on society and hence the study of marketing strategies must include both effects if one were to take an objective and reasoned approach to it. As the readings make it clear, the era of mass produced goods and the consumer society we live in has seen marketing as a force for good as well as something that has negative connotations. The focus of this paper is on a critical examination of how marketing is practiced in a consumer society with an emphasis on how Apple has used marketing to further its interests. Segmentation Apple focuses mainly on users who are 30 years or younger and as a study by Rubicon (2008) found out, 50% of the users who use Apple’s products fall into this segment. Hence, it makes sense for Apple to orient its marketing strategies towards this segment and as can be seen from the branding and marketing strategies that Apple employs to target its core customer base. Further, it has been found that Apple has one of the highest return customers or customers who buy another Apple product and hence can be considered as giving repeat business to the company. The typical strategy followed by Apple is not horizontal marketing like making a special type of peanut butter for every customer but in engaging in vertical marketing where it produces a specific product for each type of use. This can be seen in the way that Apple has produced an IPod for listening, IPad for reading and IPhone for apps. The point here is that Apple does not add features to target individual customers in each segment. Rather, they target specific user experiences and build the product around that user experience accordingly. This approach of Apple towards market segmentation makes for a study by itself. Apple’s approach of targeting a specific market and then producing high quality products for that market segment is novel and something that has been successful for the company. As the following quote about market segmentation shows it is the conventional theories of segmentation that usually dictate the strategies of the companies, “In the real world of building products and attacking market opportunities, market segmentation is the process of defining and sub-dividing the aggregate, homogeneous market into addressable, targeted needs and aspirations buckets, which are in turn, defined by thresholds according to demographic, psychographic and/or budgetary constraints. Market segmentation strategy enables a company to drive complete, unified product solutions that are harmonious with messaging, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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