Customers awareness and Satisfaction – Key factors for successful marketing

“Marketing – A direction towards expansion of business activities A successful marketing – A direction towards progressive and prosperity of the business activities”

With this message it is essential to know, what is marketing? Various definitions have been propounded by the business entrepreneurs and commercial writers and authors.

But in simple term, Marketing is defined as “the performance of business activities that direct the flow of goods and services to customers who want them and involves finding out what the customers want, creating that which they want at prices which they find reasonable, informing them of the availability of the same distributing them in a way that are convenient to them, in order that they may be satisfied.

The term “Marketing” is derived from source -Market, where buying and selling activities are carried out. Indian Market is one of the biggest market in the world. With the global economy emerging in India, International traders set their eyes on Indian market to do brisk and competitive business.

Hence marketing has become very difficult in India. As such marketing is now very misleading. It is often observed that marketing is effective by the effective tools viz. Advertising and sales promotion, identification of marketing outlets, Demand and supply, consumer needs etc. It happens that sometime marketing becomes successful, but later on subsequent complaints from the customers about the product are not satisfied. This may spoil the image and pattern of the product.

Forced selling and deceiving the customers have become the motto of the marketing. But this will not last long. In the midst of competition, such style of marketing will not keep up the reputation of the product. Once the product loses its reliability and confidence of the customers, it is difficult to revive such product by any art of marketing.

With the vital factor in mind, it is imperative to bring about customer awareness about the product before launching such product in the market. The new product should be recognized and welcome by the customers.

The following basic factors to be borne in mind before marketing any product.

  1. A complete gist of the product stating its advantages and disadvantages, usefulness, how to use and derive benefits, its pricing should be widely publicized in the well known newspaper.
  2. Product awareness advertisement should also be conveyed through the media viz. Television, Cinema and other such medias with an advise to all the customers, if there is any discrepancy, confusion, ambiguity, they can get the feedback through SMS or letters or telephone calls.
  3. Customers should be apprised of the company’s Agency or other sources where they can access and ascertain the details of the product.
  4. The company should invite suggestions from the customers and if possible, the best suggestions may be implemented before marketing.
  5. The company should set up a Grievance Cell To address and redress the complaints.

Invariably, The new products are marketed hastily without giving any opportunity to the customers to understand the product

If the launching of the product is smooth and effective, marketing of the product will be easier. No customer will buy any product unless it is beneficial to him. In such a situation. Marketing plays a vital role to meet the  requirements of the customers.

There are various methods of marketing adopted by the Corporate-Private/pubic sector Organization to survive, sustain and progress in the midst of competition.

  • Aggressive Marketing : This marketing adopts forced selling of the product to the customers. Aggressive nature sometimes disrupt the marketing process. This marketing also allure the customers by giving various discounts and gifts. Such marketing do not last long. It is only a temporary reprieve. Once the customers understand the nature and disadvantages of the product, the product loses its reliability and may vanish from the market. For instance, COKE, a soft drink manufacturer, adopted this method initially and forced upon the customers by offering discount, gifts and exercising the authority. But this did not work upon the customers whereas PEPSI, a soft drink manufacturer adopted dignified, systematic and strategic marketing process to make its brand well known and successful in the market.
  • Relationship Marketing : In the midst of stiff competition, Relationship marketing is one of the most accepted marketing. Instead of looking out for new customers, it is essential to retain the existing customers. It is better to build up long term relationship with the customer and earn good will of the customers. Relationship marketing is also called Customer Relationship Management. Every customer is in the relationship marketing is segmented separately to ensure that maximum benefits are given to such customers to retain them.
  • Personalized relationship is built up on trust and confidence and is of a long standing nature. Marketing prevalent now is of relationship and such marketing may also get jolt if a small mistake is committed which may spoil the long standing relationship. Such customers should be treated as part and parcel of the organisation and should be involved in most of the key activities such as holding customers’ workshop, seminar etc.
  • Marketing by strategies: It is necessary that before marketing of any product, certain procedures and strategies are to be followed to bring about customer awareness and also to enlighten the customers of its use, merits, demerits and comparative study of similar products in the market etc. This method of marketing yielded good results and lasted longer in the market. But this marketing is very important for the new products.

However, there is no denying the fact that despite adequate precautions, there is bound to be complaints from the customers about the product. In this context, it is now pertinent to study the insurance products and complaints emerging from the customers about the product.

Insurance is an intangible product which assumes tangibility at the time of loss/damage under the policy of insurance. Insurance is a product of social security and a stamped policy of insurance is issued in consideration of a premia/premium, which is a contact between the insured and insurance company along with its terms and conditions. If there is an ambiguity in terms and conditions complaints are bound to erupt.

For effective customer care and services, an effective Grievance Redressal Machinery is to be established by the service oriented companies. In respect of all the insurance companies engaged in the insurance business activates. IRDA (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority) have now framed IGMS (Integrated Grievance Management System) to all the Insurance companies to comply with the grievances of within 3 working days and compliance within15 working days.

This machinery has sent a chill in the minds of the insurers to effectively implement grievance Redressal Machinery at their company. Violation of the PPI (Protection and Policyholders’ Interest) regulation will attract a penalty of Rs.1 lac which has strengthened the rights of the customers. But, however, a company which is transparent in their services,and with their honest marketing, may grow effectively and progressively in such a stiff competition.

Marketing with post complaints -A curse Marketing without complaints -A blessing Success of Marketing lies in Customer satisfaction.

By: P. V. Sethu, Dy. Manager, New India Assce. Co. Ltd., Grievance Cell/H.O., Published in Life Insurance Today, January, 2012

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