There are various changing trends in consumer buying habits. This has been seen in recent years as people become more knowledgeable and demanding (Joshi, 2005, p. 12). Consumer trends have changed and become unpredictable because the current consumer is more informed and knows what he is supposed to get. Information has been spread by various mediums of communication. This has enlightened consumers on their rights as far as choice is concerned. It means that consumers are choosier.
In our case, the approach to marketing has been changing in recent years. This is because companies are supposed to develop products and services that meet the needs of these consumers in both perspectives (Joshi, 2005, p. 15). The marketing concept that has been adopted is not likely to change in any given case because this trend is expected to continue taking shape.
Although consumers are distinct in what they prefer, companies are supposed to offer them various versions and models of products so that they do not complain. These concept is not expected to change any time soon because technology is moving forward and allowing companies to customize products and services as per their customers needs (Joshi, 2005, p. 11).
Because of this, there are various changes that are expected to take centre stage as far as marketing is concerned. Such changes might include paying more attention to consumers so that one can tell what they are likely to demand. This means that marketing will have to be redefined for consumers to get the right information because they rely on it to make informed decisions in relation to buying goods and services (Joshi, 2005, p. 14). In a broad perspective changes must be made on how companies relate with consumers.
Shifts in behaviors have an impact on the marketing strategy that companies will settle on. These changes in consumer behavior have different impacts. For instance, more technological shifts in behavior will demand that companies embrace the same practice (Joshi, 2005, p. 18). As consumers become more informed about the products that they need to consume, companies should ensure that these specifications and likings are catered for to avoid any disappointments.
More consumer changes might demand that companies choose sophisticated ways of marketing their products so that they can reach as many people as possible (Joshi, 2005, p. 14). This means that they have to be more committed in their marketing activities for enhanced sustainability.
There are products that can not allow for product customization. This therefore means that traditional market segmentation and targeting will be more applicable (Joshi, 2005, p. 22). An example of such products is some medicinal drugs or the medical industry. A given drug is meant to take care of all patients and there are cases where they can not be compromised to suit a given individual.
This therefore demands that they are supposed to suit the market as they were made rather than them being customized in a given scenario. Although there are trends in consumer buying habits, the fact still remains that patients need these drugs as they are so that they can get well. Customization can only be allowed in small incidences but it is practically impossible.
Changing consumer patterns might only be met by engaging in more research to come up with good drugs. This means that consumers are expected to cope up with what has been developed for them as they have no capacity to dictate (Joshi, 2005, p. 24).
In this case, consumers will be expected to be consistent with what is offered. Changes might be expected in relation to how these drugs are marketed but this will be minimal.
It means that marketing will be factual (Joshi, 2005, p. 31). This will occasionally be changed in relation to the drug that is being offered. Marketers will need to be vigilant and ensure that consumers get all the information in relation to a given drug. Shifts in demand for a given drug will make companies to change the way they market their products. Shifts will also be necessitated by increased information about drugs and their importance or the situation at hand and the mood on the ground.
M&M had developed a new version that targeted adults. This was done by coming up with new appealing colors that were to specifically appeal to the adults (Thompson, 2005, p. 3). Segmentation is mostly done after a good research has been conducted to determine if it is viable to undertake the exercise. It is only through this that a given company will be able to tell if it is in the right basis to do so. These types of research design include; exploratory, casual and descriptive.
Exploratory research unearths all the important points, attitudes, behaviors and perceptions in the market about a given situation. This goes into a deep analysis that ensures that there is concrete information. Descriptive research lays more emphasis on the occurrence of a given issue in the market with an aim of carrying out a good analysis’s (Holliday, 2007, p. 5). With this approach, the company can be able to predict the likelihood of an occurrence recurring.
Casual research is majorly concerned with knowing the cause- effect relationship in relation to a given market issue. It can be used to test the various market scenarios that a company wants to engage in (Holliday, 2007, p. 14). More so, it can be used to tell if a given change in the design of a product will likely result to an increase in sales. The use of research design in each case is supposed to help the company choose the best decision that will optimize what they had projected to achieve.
For instance, with exploratory design, the company will be able to get the right facts about an undertaking that they would wish to undertake. This helps to take care of all precautionary issues. For a company to make informed decisions about its marketing strategies they are supposed to be well acquitted with what is necessary (Holliday, 2007, p. 8). Descriptive research will help the company to make sound decisions about products and services based on past analysis.
This will look at the past history for such activities that other companies have been involved in to tell if the company might be successfu in its endeavors. If they are able to tell the likelihood of a given strategy being successful or not they will be in a good position to enhance success.
Causal research will be used by companies to know the relationship (Holliday, 2007, p. 15). This will help it to tell the impact of coming up with changes in a particular way. The company will ultimately be able to tell the expected changes in relation to sales should it decide to make any changes about its product.
In order for the company to make the final decision about a given option, it must use the most appropriate research design. Consumer habit analysis is very demanding and as such needs the best research design. Therefore, the most appropriate research design method to use in consumer analysis is exploratory research.
As much as other methods are efficient in one way or another, exploratory research tends to give out the right information in relation to attitudes, behaviors and attitudes in a given market (Holliday, 2007, p. 17). These are very important as they ultimately form a habit.
Any habit that consumers form about a given product will influence their consumption patterns in a large perspective. If a company understands these habits well, it will be in a good position to satisfy their demands. M&M might have decided to develop a new version targeting adults after doing a good and extensive consumer habit analysis (Holliday, 2007, p. 13). Though the company saw this as a good strategy, it was not a good segmentation strategy for it to develop a new version targeting adults.
Those products have not succeeded as it is very hard to find them in stores or mass merchandisers (Thompson, 2005, p. 5). This implies that the strategy has not helped to make customers demand the products more often than they used to do before. On the other hand, it confirms the held notion that these products are not moving in any way.
Therefore, the company needs to develop a good marketing strategy that will appeal to every consumer and ensure that they are comfortable. In this argument, it is better if they pursued a mass marketing approach to reach a wide base rather than just targeting adults alone.
There is notably an increase in product placements in movies and TV programs. This has been going on in recent years due to changing trends. Consumers are embracing new technology and thus are able to skip more and more commercials as much as they like to (Ross, 2005, p. 2). After marketers realized this, they have been forced to increasingly turn to product placements as a way by which they can market their products and be sure that their message has been driven home.
As a matter of fact, most products that are being marketed are featured within the story lines of movies and TV programs. This has been mostly done to make the adverts somehow more interactive and ensure that the targeted consumers give it the necessary attention it deserves (Ross, 2005, p. 3). As consumers continue to embrace new technology in all perspectives, marketers will be forced to embrace new ways of marketing their products.
There are various ethical implications of these product placements in the context of consumer perception (Ross, 2005, p. 2). Various critics feel that most of these movies are focused on products that are placed within.
This is done instead of focusing these products on the storyline. By focusing on the story line, consumers will be in a good position to understand the message better than when the movies are focused on products placed within.
An example is the Disney’s movie that was criticized for featuring an unreasonably large number of brands (Ross, 2005, p. 4). Some people maintained that there was a promotion in almost every frame. This did not go down well with them as they expected such an issue to be avoided by all means to give the movie the authenticity it deserves.
Holliday, A. R. (2007). Doing and Writing Qualitative Research. London: Sage Publications.
Joshi, R, M. (2005). International Marketing. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Ross, J. (2005). Product placement for the whole family. New York: New York Times.
Thompson, S. (2005). M&M’s Gain Weight, Get New Dye Job. New York: Advertising age.