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3.1 Marketing, competition and the customer

3.1.1 The role of marketing:

  • Identifying customer needs
  • Satisfying customer needs
  • Maintaining customer loyalty; building customer relationships

3.1.2 Market changes:

  • Why customer/consumer spending patterns may change
  • The power and importance of changing customer needs
  • Why some markets have become more competitive
  • How business can respond to changing spending patterns and increased competition

3.1.3 Concepts of niche marketing and mass marketing:

  • Benefits and limitations of each approach to marketing

3.1.4 How and why market segmentation is undertaken:

  • How markets can be segmented, e.g. according to age, socio-economic grouping, location, gender
  • Potential benefits of segmentation to business
  • Recommend and justify an appropriate method of segmentation in given circumstances

3.2 Market research

3.2.1 The role of market research and methods used:

  • Market-oriented businesses (uses of market research information to a business)
  • Primary research and secondary research (benefits and limitations of each)
  • Methods of primary research, e.g. postal questionnaire, online survey, interviews, focus groups; the need for sampling
  • Factors influencing the accuracy of market research data

3.2.2 Presentation and use of market research results:

  • Analyse market research data shown in the form of graphs, charts and diagrams: draw simple conclusions from such data

3.3 Marketing mix

3.3.1 Product:

  • The costs and benefits of developing new products
  • Brand image – impact on sales and customer loyalty
  • The role of packaging
  • The product life cycle: main stages and extension strategies; draw and interpret a product life cycle diagram
  • How stages of the product life cycle can influence marketing decisions, e.g. promotion and pricing decisions

3.3.2 Price:

  • Pricing methods: cost plus, competitive, penetration, skimming and promotional; their benefits and limitations
  • Recommend and justify an appropriate pricing method in given circumstances
  • Understand the significance of price elasticity: difference between price elastic demand and price inelastic demand; importance of the concept in pricing decisions (knowledge of the formula and calculations of PED will not be examined)

3.3.3 Place – distribution channels:

  • Advantages and disadvantages of different channels
  • Recommend and justify an appropriate distribution channel in given circumstances

3.3.4 Promotion:

  • The aims of promotion
  • Different forms of promotion and how they influence sales, e.g. advertising, sales promotion
  • The importance of the marketing budget in making promotion decisions; need for cost effectiveness in spending the marketing budget

3.3.5 Technology and the marketing mix:

  • Define and explain the concept of e-commerce
  • The opportunities and threats of e-commerce to business and consumers
  • Use of the internet and social networks for promotion

3.4 Marketing strategy

3.4.1 Justify marketing strategies appropriate to a given situation:

  • Importance of different elements of the marketing mix in influencing consumer decisions in given circumstances
  • Recommend and justify an appropriate marketing strategy in given circumstances

3.4.2 The nature and impact of legal controls related to marketing:

  • Impact of legal controls on marketing strategy, e.g. misleading promotion, faulty and dangerous goods

3.4.3 The opportunities and problems of entering new markets abroad:

  • Growth potential of new markets in other countries
  • Problems of entering foreign markets, e.g. cultural differences and lack of knowledge
  • Benefits and limitations of methods to overcome such problems, e.g. joint ventures

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