The Art of Strategic Marketing: Market Learning, Sensing, and Intuiting
The first step in strategic marketing is to learn from the market about the changing consumer preferences and attitudes. Firms typically employ market research agencies to conduct surveys and research reports about how consumers and their preferences goods and services over others are changing with the times.
In other words, firms attempt to understand the market by direct observation by surveying the consumers and finding out what they would buy. Apart from this, market learning also involves direct interaction with the consumers to try and understand why they prefer a certain brand to others.
The strategies that the firm adopts after the market learning process are based on the feedback that they have received from the ground. This kind of strategizing is quite popular with marketers and practitioners of strategic marketing as it helps them fine tune their strategies based on market preferences.
This approach deals with going a step ahead of market learning and combining data and experience to understand how the market moves. In other words, after the data collection is done, marketers who are experienced or talented put the data and the strategic models of marketing together and try and sense how the market moves.
For those who follow the stock markets, the term mood of the market and market sentiment is terms that can be known as sensing how the market moves based on both data and the wisdom of accumulated experience.
We have discussed how firms try and understand consumer preferences by direct observation and by an indirect analytical method of sensing how the market would move. The third aspect in this sub-topic of strategic marketing takes the whole concept ever further by adopting what can be called as Market Intuiting.
In other words, this approach involves to know the mind and soul of the market and to predict the future based on both data and an intuitive understanding of how the market would move. Lest one thinks that this approach is like Astrology or other such forms of prediction, there have been the cases of marketers like the late legendary Steve Jobs who could feel it in his gut about how consumers would either flock to the brands or abandon it altogether.
The idea in this approach is to preempt the future by preparing for it and as the saying goes, chance favors the prepared mind. Hence, after studying the market through direct observation, sensing the mood of the market, this third approach is to get into the very essence of the consumer, which is to do with how he or she would behave in the future.
The key aspect here is that in the fast changing business landscape of the 21st century, it is not merely enough to measure data and proceed accordingly. On the other hand, the consumer behavior, which is in a flux, cannot be sensed by experience alone.
Hence, the combination of the strategies outlined here can be followed to beat the expectations of the consumers and by gaining insights into the mind of the consumer and getting inside their heads, marketers can hope to outclass the competition.
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