Week 1: Target Audiences Takeaways

1. Product Life Cycle
Mike had brought up briefly the topic about product life cycle. I always knew that many products went through a ‘phase’ because of the economy, trends, and word of mouth. I found a great introductory article on product life cycle that helped me understand why products come and go, or rise and never fall (for example, iPhone).

Article Link: http://productlifecyclestages.com/
In this article it explains the different stages for a product. These stages include: Introduction Stage, Growth Stage, Maturity Stage, and Decline Stage. The introduction stage is when a product is first being introduced to its target market. The sales are still low, but the cost of product development, consumer testing, and such will still be costly. The growth stage is typically when the product has strong growth sales and profits. The maturity stage is when the product and its brand has been established and are able to maintain its sales and profits. The company could still think of improvements and product changes if need be. And lastly, the decline stage is when the product sales and profits are going downhill and the company can no longer maintain its supply and demand. The demand market could also be decreasing. 

2. Skimming and Penetration Strategy
These two words briefly mentioned and it sparked an interest in my mind because I have never heard of these words before. I did research on what these two words meant and how it relates to marketing. 

Article Link: http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/penetration-vs-skimming-marketing-strategies-8080.html
So what is skimming and penetration strategy? The penetration strategy is when a company sets a product at a low price in hopes to secure a market. The skimming strategy is when a company sets a high price for a new product then gradually lowering the prices as time goes by. What’s the difference? Penetration strategy is not good for small businesses because its more costly and the customer forecast is sometimes not always correct because products are always evolving and changing. Skimming strategy is great for larger companies that have a wide competitive pricing market. Because the companies are bigger, the customer forecast is much more clearer and they are able to change the prices of their products based on the forecast. 

3. 4 P’s
The biggest takeaway that anyone can take away from marketing are the 4 P’s. The 4 P’s are the basics of marketing and is the main focal concept for marketing. The 4 P’s include: Product, Place, Promotion, and Price. 

Article Link: http://www.notredameonline.com/resources/business-administration/how-to-develop-an-effective-marketing-plan/
Throughout the summer I’ve been helping my uncle run his small business based on what I have learned about marketing and using it towards his business. (And yes, his business doing a great job!) When he asked me to lend a hand with my little marketing skills, this was the website/article that I used as a guide. I think it’s a great website for starting a small business, especially if you have little to no knowledge about marketing or how to begin. The first ‘P’ in the marketing mix is price. Price includes the buying and purchasing process. Pricing is sometimes hard for a small company that is starting out because you want to price your products that will still allow you to make a profit, yet is still competitive to other competitors. The second ‘P’ is Product. Product is anything that can be tangible or intangible, or features and benefits. A company wants to make sure its product that they are selling will have a purpose and value to its customers. For example, if you create a product that has no value, or benefits… chances are you aren’t going to be able to sell that product. The third ‘P’ is Promotion. Promotion is how a company is going to promote its product or service. Some of these promotions could include advertisements such as radio ads, TV ads, etc., endorsements, sponsorship, public relations, etc. The last ‘P’ in the marketing mix is Place. Place is where the product will be sold. Place could also mean product placement in the store (end caps, eye level, etc.). 

4. Odd-Cent Pricing
Have you ever picked up a product and looked at its price? $2.98 for a bag of chips. Automatically, our mind thinks that the bag of chips is actually $3.00. What happens to those $0.02? That’s for the company. So why do companies use this type of pricing? It’s quite genius, actually! 

Article Link: http://harrison8bal.hubpages.com/hub/Why-Odd-Pricing-Works-The-999-Psychological-Illusion
This article gives a few facts about how this pricing strategy works great for companies and why people are so attuned to thinking the product is $3.00 instead of $2.98. According to the article, the two factors of why we think the way we do because of pricing is because we tend to look at numbers from left to right and we naturally round up numbers. The second factor, according to the article, is memory process time. This factor is a counterattack to the first factor (left to right digit reading). Through marketing research, it has come up that using a smaller unit ($4.88 vs. $5.00). 

5. Guerrilla Marketing
Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that uses low-cost marketing strategy to promote or advertise a product and get successful, high rating, results. I’ve added a link to several great guerrilla marketing strategies that have worked for companies.

Article Link: http://www.creativeguerrillamarketing.com/guerrilla-marketing/122-must-see-guerilla-marketing-examples/
My favorite guerrilla marketing example this website gives is the Sharpie advertisement. I think Sharpie did a great job at using this guerrilla marketing because 1) Sharpie writing utensils are no longer just markers, but different types of markers with a wide variety of colors, 2) Sharpie has different writing utensils that can be used on different surfaces, 3) it has customer interactions (customers can use Sharpie markers to draw on the promo poster), and 4) the placement of the interactive boards was placed in places where people are already stopping. Example, bus stops. 

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