Strategic Marketing Models
Marketing participants often employ strategic models and tools to analyze marketing decisions. When beginning a strategic analysis, the 3C's can be employed to get a broad understanding of the strategic environment. An Ansoff Matrix is also often used to convey an organization's strategic positioning of their marketing mix. The 4P's can then be utilized to form a marketing plan to pursue a defined strategy.
In practice, as opposed to theory, research has indicated that the outstanding problems facing marketers lie in the use of specific functions. Most senior managements have committed to the philosophy, even though their junior managers may be cynical about the degree of that commitment. Unfortunately, there is little evidence to show that this new-found belief has led to positive action. Indeed, if we look at the marketing activities they do subscribe to, using the 4Ps framework say, there is little evidence that marketing practice (as opposed to the theory) has been widely embraced. In particular, pricing is largely on a cost-plus or competitive basis, promotional budgets are small (and spent more on sales promotion than advertising or PR), 'place' is - in any case - not relevant, and marketing research is almost all second-hand.
The marketer, in real life, does not face each decision with a copy of a text-book in his or her hand - ready to work through the various lessons. The marketer starts with a quite specific environment; which will immediately limit the range of factors to be explored to a small subset of the literally hundreds explored in this book. To the perceptive marketer the range of options to be explored will usually be obvious. Beyond this, the position will be further constrained by the resources available to deal with them.For instance, theory always says that the first step is marketing research, but if your competitor has just made a major change in strategy you may have just days to react - where research may take months.
Real-life marketing primarily revolves around the application of a great deal of common-sense; dealing with a limited number of factors, in an environment of imperfect information and limited resources complicated by uncertainty and tight timescales. Use of classical marketing techniques, in these circumstances, is inevitably partial and uneven.
Thus, for example, new products will emerge from irrational processes and the rational development process may be used (if at all) to screen out the worst non-runners. The design of the advertising, and the packaging, will be the output of the creative minds employed; which management will then screen, often by 'gut-reaction', to ensure that it is reasonable.
Indeed, the most successful marketer is often the one who trains his or her 'gut-reaction' to simulate that of the average customer!
For most of his or her time the marketing manager is likely to be using his or her considerable intelligence to analyze and handle the complex, and unique, situations being faced; without easy reference to theory. This will often be 'flying by the seat of the pants', or 'gut-reaction'; where the overall strategy, coupled with the knowledge of the customer which has been absorbed almost by a process of osmosis, will determine the quality of the marketing employed!
This, almost instinctive management, is what is sometimes called 'coarse marketing'; to distinguish it from the refined, aesthetically pleasing, form favored by the theorists. It is often relatively crude and would, if given in answer to a business school examination, be judged a failure of marketing. On the other hand, it is the real-life world of most marketing!