Discussion of general marketing terms, marketing concepts such as the Four-Ps, and the dynamics that constitute marketing activities with resulting sales. Situational examples of marketing are reviewed that involve religious organizations as well as generational differences.
Organizations and businesses through influence try to meet the needs of their customers with a product transaction, while making efforts to attain their organization’s goals, are involved in marketing. These efforts (marketing) are activities, methods, communications, and information reflecting intentional efforts to provide a product, in a positive exchange (sale), between the business and customer. Most often sales, are the transactions of a valued item between a business entity and a customer. These items may be a manufactured product, commodity, service, resource, or obligation. A sale is successful as long as one party can provide an item of value that another party values and is willing to purchase. Successful marketing is this transactional process from the perspective of a business discovering the needs and satisfying those desires.
Marketing Concepts and Satisfying Customer Needs
Businesses research and develop methods to identify criteria that enable a sale with potential customers. This transactional behavior is more conducive and productive when certain conditions are perceived as ideal from the perspective of the customer. The concept of Four-Ps first developed by Notre Dame professor Jerome McCarthy, encompasses these conditions as, product, price, promotion, and place, saying that they were the basis for modern marketing strategy (Motley, 2002). These four conditions highlight important customer concerns that a business should address in their marketing concept or approach to potential customers.
Importance of 4P’s & Marketing Concepts
The concept of marketing involves an identification process to focus an organizations effort that will likely result in a profitable transaction. An established, important component of a modern marketing concepts program are The 4Ps are product, price, promotion, and place (Kerin and Hartley, 2020). These elements describe situations that should be addressed by a business’s marketing program to facilitate a sale. The product offered should be one that is wanted or needed by the customer. Variances can add attractiveness, but the want or need should be exhibited by the customer. Pricing is straight forward in that a product should be priced competitively in order that it is attractive to the customer in terms of competitors offering similar products at a lesser price as well as comfortable for the customers available resources. The promotion of the product often creates a want or need for a customer, but also can satisfy a search for fulfillment of that need or want. Place is the final attribute that designates the manner or way of completing the transaction. This could also involve the ease of the transactional process, making it more attractive than that of competitors.
Marketing in Church Operations
According to the article, Church marketing: Strategies for retaining and attracting members, church membership has been in a decline since the 1970’s (Webb et al., 1998). Whether this statistic is accurate 22 years later, does not negate the use of marketing concepts to attract and retain church members. It does illustrate that any organization can benefit from employing marketing concepts to attract, illicit or provide a transactional behavior, in this case the Word of God.
Generational Trends in Marketing Plans
An interesting dynamic of marketing concepts plans and elements that comprise marketing strategies involves the discovery process of the customer. Generational cohorts such as millennials have different needs and wants as compared to baby boomers. There is a trend now for social activism on the part of organizations that the younger generation transacts business with. This was not the case for older customers. As a result of changing wants on the part of customers, marketing concepts have evolved to encompass those desired wants. Organizational goals have even changed as a result of changing consumer wants, no longer is profitability the mantra but rather that of an environmental partner. Consequently, if a person were to open an ice cream parlor, the marketing of that business might take on a completely different approach than that of thirty years ago. Today’s advertising and marketing might reflect a more social environment engagement for the business such as contributions to community causes where a portion of purchases support local organizations. You may see more customization in products to cater to different wants that differ from conventional ice cream flavors. The store itself might shift from a utilitarian decor to more of a relaxed, stay and study or read atmosphere.
Marketing to other generational markets would focus on the perceived values of each group. It is not impossible, but difficult to market to everyone all of the time. Advertising can be directed based on interests to a specified component of the customer base through conventional methods such as radio, print, broadcast, and social media outlets, however presentation of a business storefront makes it difficult to be all things to all customers. One approach to customize presentation of the physical store may be to incorporate elements that reflect the values of various generations, such as, delivery service, drive-thru, changing flavors of the week, promotion of important causes that the business supports and follow up with advertising to show involvement and promotion. Keeping an agile approach to meeting the wants and need of the customers you would try to attract is the best approach to successful marketing.
The Unchanging Product
In Hebrews 13:8 we are reminded that Jesus is steadfast, reliable, supportive, and timeless through all time. This message of a product in marketing terms is unique. What one may find interesting is the changing methods we choose to hear his message, or the environment that seems to fit with religious connection, but the product remains the same, it is perfect, unyielding, and always waiting for us. Given that we may exhibit various receptive actions from the marketing of the message, makes us realize even more how flawed and shallow we are given the perfect product offered.
Kerin, R., & Hartley, S., Marketing: The Core, 8th Ed. Published by McGraw-Hill Education, New York, NY, 2020, IBSN: 978-1-260-08886-1
King James Bible. (2017). King James Bible Online. https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/ (Original work published 1769)
Motley, L. B. (2002, April). Worth reviewing: the four P’s. (Customer Satisfaction). ABA Bank Marketing, 34(3), 48. Retrieved from https://link-gale-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/apps/doc/A105617223/BIC?u=vic_liberty&sid=BIC&xid=8cb67326
Webb, M. S., Joseph, W. B., Schimmel, K., & Moberg, C. (1998). Church marketing: Strategies for retaining and attracting members. Journal of Professional Services Marketing, 17(2), 1-16. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.liberty.edu/login?qurl=https%3A%2F%2Fsearch.proquest.com%2Fdocview%2F200204386%3Faccountid%3D12085