Craig Marks: I Want My MTV ( Studio 360 – NPR)

As we discuss in our How to Write a Marketing Plan tutorial, marketing success often is measured by whether the results lead to the achievement of specific objectives (i.e, goals). As we note, these objectives include two main types: 1) financial measures, such a revenue and profit; and 2) specific marketing areas objectives, such as gaining a certain percentage of market share or achieving a certain level of product awareness through promotion. Yet, marketers often discover that achieving these objectives can be heavily affected by factors that they do not control.

For instance, consider a company that is attempting to obtain distribution for a new consumer product. Marketers, who have enthusiastically worked hard to prepare the product for the market, often hit a roadblock because they cannot convince enough resellers to distribute their product. For these marketers, who have been generally free to design the product, set the price and create the promotions, they find the distribution component of the Marketing Mix to be frustrating as they cannot get their product distributed in desired outlets.

Government's E-Book Case Helps Amazon Build Toward a Monopoly (Los Angeles Times)

E-Book Settlement Has Publishing World in Turmoil (Los Angeles Times)

Publishers Settle e-Book Price Fixing CaseIn our past postings on the topic of price, we have often discussed how price is one of the toughest, yet often least understood marketing decisions. Consequently, many marketers often direct limited resources to issues related to this part of the marketing mix. The reasons for relegating price to the lower end of the marketing-decision checklist are numerous. For instance, to some marketers the pricing decision lacks real importance because they think their customers should not be thinking price first; rather they should be sold on product features and the benefits these provide. Others see price as an almost automated process where they just plug in a number to a standard markup equation (e.g., price is always 25% above cost) and whatever number comes out is what they charge.

As some loyal visitors have noticed, today we rolled out a few changes to the website.  Over the last few months, we have spent a considerable amount of time improving the site features and redoing the underlying structure.  This has resulted in a number of improvements including:  a redesign of Blog posts that features new Tag display and a new visitor Comment area; a new Marketing Terms section that includes a mouse-over option for seeing the definition of key terms contained within a definition; and a new layout for the Blog Archives.  In addition to these viewable changes, the underlying technical changes will enable the site to respond faster to visitors’ requests.

Retailers Seek to Cash in on Mobile-Payment Trend (Los Angeles Times)

Mobile Payments MarketWhen most people hear about new developments in retailing they usually assume it has to do with new products, a new advertising campaign, new store design and such. Yet, possibly the hottest trend has little to do with any of these. Instead, the newest thing in retailing is how customers can pay for purchases.

As we note in our Setting Price: Part 2 tutorial, a decision facing most marketers is deciding how to accept payments from customers. Until the advent of mobile technology, the options were pretty basic – cash, check or credit card payment. But, that is no longer the case. Payment by mobile device, such as smartphones and even tablet computers, is surging.

Small Generic Drug Firms Need Niches to Survive Looming Price War (Reuters)

Generic Drug IndustryMarketing is considered a relatively fluid discipline. While many other areas of business are slow to embrace change (e.g., changing a company’s technology infrastructure) or tend to follow a fairly consistent routine (e.g., Accounting department), marketing constantly requires the cultivation of new ideas that lead to adjustments to its strategy.

While marketing decisions often are built around the idea of something new, many of the basic concepts of marketing have not changed much since the modern marketing era began in the 1950s. For instance, the key cornerstone of marketing remains the Marketing Concept, which says marketers must engage in efforts to identify customers’ needs before committing significant resources to various marketing decisions.