LEARN TO SELL MORE!
- Learn management, communications and business
- Learn about marketing, sales and promotions
- Combine these skills and discover opportunities for employment and business in the marketing industry
MANAGE YOUR MARKETING BETTER
This Advanced Certificate in Applied Management (Marketing) trains in you those practical skills needed to manage your business or to work in a company at a managerial level.
This course will give you the basic knowledge and basic practical experience to boost your confidence in moving to a new position or creating your own company.
Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate In Applied Management (Marketing) is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
Understanding the Scope of Marketing
Marketing is concerned with relating the supply of products to its potential demand in such a way as to satisfy the needs and wants of buyers and create a profit for the supplier. The process of marketing is that of transferring goods and/or services from producer to consumer at a profit. It should add maximum value to the product at minimum cost.
The marketing manager/personnel are concerned with such activities as: pricing, selling, merchandising, advertising, promotion, packaging, market research, transport, destination, placement, planning, and accounting. In fact, marketing includes all those processes which will enable a manager to maximize the added value of a profit. Sales are one of those.
Marketing is, in the fullest sense of the phrase, "THE NAME OF THE GAME", or the primary purpose of most business activity. The ‘game’ is fundamentally concerned with competition, which relies heavily on the offering of substitutes and/or complements.
Marketing today is a consumer-based approach to business activity, where each aspect of business is
coordinated in terms of what the customer wants.
Marketing is not just selling, and involves a lot more than selling. Sales are part of marketing, and good sales are usually the end product of successful marketing. Marketing involves several crucial processes:
Attracting customers (Through promotions & advertising)
Persuading them to buy (Through promotions & advertising)
Keeping customers satisfied (by delivering what they expect, and giving service so that they come back!)
Graduates from this course may become involved in one, several, or all of these processes.
Some marketing jobs involve managing the whole four stages (eg A Marketing Manager) while others might only be responsible for one part (eg. A Sales Manager, or Customer Service Officer).
HOW DO YOU DEVELOP A RETAIL STRATEGY?
Retailing is the final step in the process through which consumers buy goods or services for their personal use. A retail outlet is more than just a place where you buy and sell things though. It provides important benefits to society, including providing employment for many people and making significant contributions to the economies of countries throughout the world. On a more personal scale, retailers provide a convenient service for both sellers and buyers. They save people time and money by locating a range of products for sale in one location. And just as importantly, they fulfill our need for shopping as a leisure experience by providing interesting and pleasurable environments in which to acquire goods.
Retail Life Cycle
Retailing is never static. Even in the short term of one or two seasons, retail outlets must cater for change as new products become available and changing trends influence what customers want to buy. In the longer term, retail businesses must be prepared to adapt to such things as:
- changing demographics; for example an aging population among the customer base or an increase in double or triple income households in the area.
- changing patterns in urban development; for example, the development of nearby large shopping centres, retirement villages or freeways
- economic upturns and downturns - both globally and nationally.
- new technology; for example, shopping over the internet and electronic bar coding.
- increased competition – from similar businesses in the local area and further afield.
In recent years, the outstanding trends in retailing are that customers are generally more affluent, have higher expectations, are more consumer-oriented and have less leisure time. On the one hand this means that retailing is easier because customers have more money to spend and a greater desire to spend it. But on the other hand, many retailers have to work longer hours and put more effort into merchandising to meet customer expectations. Many retailers also face ever-increasing competition, as urban populations grow and globalisation brings new competitors to local market places.
The retail life cycle is a concept that summarises how retail outlets develop and decline:
1. Introduction Stage: The new retailer adopts an aggressive marketing stance to ensure their success. This typically means lower prices so the retailer can compete with other businesses and lower profits because of development costs.
2. Growth Stage: Sales and profits increase as customers try out the new shop. Competition increases as other businesses copy the idea so the retailer needs to expand to stay ahead – possibly starting up new outlets and more sophisticated distribution channels. Profits may decline slightly as a result of this investment.
3. Maturity Stage: The retailer has over expanded and faces intense competition which makes it difficult to retain loyal customers. Profits decline as the retailer cuts prices to attract customers.
4. Decline Stage: The business can no longer compete and becomes obsolete. Businesses which change the nature of their operations to suit the changing times may be able to avert decline.
Factors That Influence Retailing Strategies
The success or otherwise of a retailer depends on many things. Some are beyond the retailer’s control; for example, the flow-on effects of natural disasters, international events or government policies. Normally though retail success is dependent on the choices made by the retailer. These include the following:
Product type and price
What to sell depends firstly on the retailer’s personal choice (for example, choosing to sell gourmet foods or convenience groceries, or both) but is also driven by consumer demand (do customers want to buy gourmet foods in your shop?) and competition (are other shops nearby selling the same gourmet foods and at what price?).
The characteristics of a product affect its ability to make a profit. The retailer depends on both markup and turnover to make a profit. The markup is the increase in price between what the retailer has to pay the wholesaler and what the buyer pays the retailer. Some products have a high markup but low turnover, eg. furniture. Other products such as groceries have a low markup because of competition, but high turnover.
The gross margin of a product also needs to be considered as this allows the retailer to compare how the shop is performing compared to similar businesses and how much different product lines within the shop are contributing to profits. (Gross margin is the amount the retailer makes on an item (revenue minus the cost of goods sold, calculated as a percentage of sales. It does not take into account the operating costs.) In general terms, businesses that sell goods with high markups have higher gross margins.
High turnover, high markups and high gross margins do not necessarily make large profits. A retailer that sells large quantities of an item in a short space of time may have to continually reorder small amounts to meet demand, which means they cannot take advantage of bulk discounts offered by wholesalers. Smaller shipments also increases the cost of delivery charges. Ideally the retailer achieves a balance between turnover and gross margins.
Factors that influence the outlet location include:
- Cost of land to build a new outlet or cost to lease an existing premises. Large superstores often build on the outskirts of regional towns where land is cheap, flat, and easily accessible by road.
- Zoning regulations – local commercial and industrial zoning laws determine where outlets may operate.
- Convenience – for both customers and deliveries. This includes proximity to highways, major traffic routes, major shopping centres and housing areas. Also consider ease of delivery access, signs, parking areas and street visibility.
- Location of competitors. Competition from similar businesses nearby isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many businesses benefit by clustering together to draw in customers who wish to browse and compare a range of products before making a purchase. Camping shops, clothing stores, fast food outlets and antiques shops commonly use this strategy.
- Customer demographics – age, income, lifestyle, etc. determine what consumers are likely to buy. For example, a garden centre or hardware store is likely to do well located near new housing areas.
Shop ambience and image
Increasingly shopping is a leisure experience – we don’t just shop to buy items we need; we visit shops to pass the time, to meet people, to see what’s new, and to eat and relax in an attractive setting. ‘Retail therapy’ is a fact of modern urban life.
Creating a desirable image and ambience is important for luring customers into the shop. Customer targeting is vital – a surf wear shop for example uses very different music, décor, lighting, and other fixtures to a women’s clothing boutique. Creating the right mood or ambience is more likely to encourage customers to buy what’s in the shop.
AFTER THIS COURSE
All businesses not matter what they do or sell (whether a service or a product) need marketing expertise to succeed in a competitive business environment. If you don't have marketing skills it will leave you behind and your competitors in front. Whether you are running your own business or working for others, gaining marketing skills helps drive you and the business you are working in forward.
Marketing involves a whole range of actvities and procedures and before you can even sell a product you need to understand the benefits of marketing it first. An great course if you work in sales, hope to work in marketing, want to advance your careeer to a management position or just want to understand the marketing process in order to sell more.