Different Markets And Differentiated Marketing

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Different markets and differentiated marketing

The process of developing competitive "plusses" must begin with a study of the basic purchasing propositions, which with non differentiated products will be largely the same. However, the first approach to establishing a difference is to examine whether the purchasing proposition can be subjected to what may be a unique, creative interpretation of that proposition. It is a basic rule of all marketing that the marketer should identify his "plusses" and that part of his market to which those "plusses" are most meaningful. While all products of a particular genre may contain the same characteristics, the emphasis on the existence of any one, or grouping of them, to one target segment of the market can readily create an association in the mind of the purchaser between product and supplier in a way which distinguishes them from all other suppliers.

A firm of removers and packers specializing in works of art and antiques successfully marketed its services to manufacturers of sensitive instruments and fragile equipment. The heavy cost of damage in all these product groups and the need for special equipment had a similarity, if only perceptual, of requirements and thus presented the opportunity to transfer the "plus" from one market segment to another. If the product or its non-product factors have varying appeals to each segment of the market, it follows that the way of presenting these appeals will differ if only because the exposure, buying methods and needs of the segments also differ. A product. which may be most economically sold through builders' merchants to builders could well require direct selling to engineering concerns. Similarly, offices buying lithograph machines may respond to diversionary pricing tactics;' a printing company is highly unlikely to do so.

The role of marketing is to see the purchasing appeal(s) of a product-orientated viewpoint, but from that of the would-be purchasers, and to interpret them in terms of benefits to the purchaser. Differences between essentially similar products sharing the same basic purchasing proposition can be achieved by the reinterpretation of the proposition. In essence this is a matter of thinking creatively about the product and its use and meaning to the purchaser. The process of market segmentation by market or product preferences or perceptual characteristics is well known, but the concomitant of differentiated marketing tools to promote differentiated advantages is not widely practised.

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