Magazine article Marketing

Dynamism Must Lead the Way to Our Satisfaction

Magazine article Marketing

Dynamism Must Lead the Way to Our Satisfaction

Article excerpt

In the past two or three years, corporate strategies have been preoccupied with cost cutting, "delayering" and generally with what's going on inside rather than outside the organisation. This insularity has been bad news for marketing with its outward orientation towards customer satisfaction and developing new products and markets.

This year is producing a more favourable set of conditions for marketing to work in both the consumer and the corporate environment. However, marketing in the mid-90s will need to ensure that it does at least two things differently if it wants to retain maximum corporate and consumer effectiveness. First, much greater sophistication is required in assessing the trade-offs between marketing objectives and other corporate aims. Take customer satisfaction. If a company's competitive strategy is to be the lowest cost producer, there is likely to be a drive towards market share leadership to gain the benefits of production economies.

Paradoxically, there may well be a conflict here with an objective of maximising customer satisfaction. Research confirms that as a company develops from being a niche supplier to a tightly defined group of customers to more of a "mass-market" operation, so does its ability to satisfy its customers become compromised. Hence companies with larger market shares often have lower customer satisfaction levels than those with lower market shares.

What we need are dynamic measures of satisfaction that take account of the stage of corporate development, and great care in customer satisfaction benchmarking exercises. …

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