Strategic Marketing Leo Burnett What Helps People Helps Business Essay

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Strategic Marketing - Leo Burnett: What helps people, helps Business

Introduction to modern marketing

The modern day business society is vastly different from its decade old predecessor. The reasons for the alternations that occurred include primarily mutations in the macroeconomic environment. At a global level for instance, more and more technological advancements have been made and introduced within business operations, to increase their efficiency and the overall competitiveness of the organization. While the Information Technology field has been the one revealing most of the changes, and setting the tone for many of the other modifications, fact remains that the macroeconomic environment also causes changes through other dimensions. An example is offered by the incremental forces of globalization, which allowed economic agents to transcend boundaries and benefit from the comparative advantage of other countries. Among other things, this translated into higher levels of competition at both national and international level. As the competition intensified, the customers' access to various products and services also increased, coming to a point where the client was extremely pretentious. In other words, he had metamorphosed from the force purchasing whatever the company produced into the force telling the company what to deliver.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Essay on Strategic Marketing Leo Burnett What Helps People Helps Business Assignment

While the customer base exercised their new role, economic agents recognized the fact that the clients were the ones directly generating revenue sustainability. A new trend emerged in which companies strived harder and harder to satisfy the customers. Among the strategies implemented in the satisfaction of the customers were the increases in the quality of the products manufactured and the services delivered, the decrease in the organizational costs with the effect of decreasing retail prices or the ongoing communications with the organizational clients, through departments such as marketing, customer service of public relations. In other words, companies developed and implemented organization wide strategies, all with the ultimate scope of better satisfying the customers. All these efforts were constructed on the belief that what helps people, helps business.

2. Leo Burnett

The quote belongs to Leo Burnett (1891-1971), a highly reputable advertising specialist and a remarkable personality of the 20th century. Burnett initiated a revolution in advertising by focusing not on the traditionally used long text advertisements explaining why the product advertised was better than the competitive one, but assigned images to the commercials. And since a picture is worth a thousand words, the effect was immediate. Additionally, what Burnett's strategies did was to promote the product, build on its reputation, and eventually come to promote the brand and the entire company.

Despite the initial reticence towards the methods implemented by Burnett, the advertising specialist eventually came to be known as "the jowly genius of the heartland subconscious, is the man most responsible for the blizzard of visual imagery that assaults us today" (Answers, 2010).

Burnett was the creator of various commercial brands, such as the 7up Spot or the Marlboro Man. Yet, he is best recognized for his introduction of apples at the front desk. The discovery was in fact accidental -- one the assistants had placed a bowl of apples on the desk to enhance the aspect of the room --, but it was a crucial moment in the realization of the importance to better attend to people's needs. Serving apples commenced as a way of showing that the company cared for its employees and customers, and eventually gained international momentum (Answers).

3. What helps people, helps business

The idea that whatever helps the people helps the organization is constructed on the importance of customer satisfaction. Since the client is the one directly responsible for organizational wealth, his satisfaction will materialize in the company's gains. In other words, if the company strives to satisfy and help the customer, then its efforts will return in the form of organizational benefits. For instance, take the case of a random software producing company. If they were to introduce a new feature within their applications, in a way that makes them more easily accessible and more user friendly, then they will increase the customers' ease of using the respective application. Customers will as such purchase more applications and will recommend them to their friends, colleagues, family and other acquaintances. The increased sales levels due to customer satisfaction will materialize in increased revenues; ergo, the truth behind Burnett's belief that what helps people helps the organization.

Representative authors in strategic marketing have along the years studied the role of customer satisfaction and most of them have come to agree with Leo Burnett. Craig Cochran (2003) for instance, states that customer satisfaction is the core of any successful business endeavor, that it in fact represents the ultimate goal, which is an investment and that everyone must be involved in customer satisfaction (p.2-3).

Nigel Hill and Jim Alexander (2006) also stress on the importance of customer satisfaction to the overall success of a business. They define customer satisfaction as "a measure of how your organization's total product performs in relation to a set of customer requirements" (p.2). Recognizing the necessity of helping people in order to help the business, Hill and Alexander focus extensively on the importance of measuring customer satisfaction. They argue that each year, companies lose money because they are unable to sustain higher levels of customer satisfaction, and as such customer retention. The two authors also believe that customer satisfaction is complementary with customer loyalty, both of which are central to business triumphs.

In order to further enhance customer satisfaction and organizational gains, companies should also focus on means to increase customer loyalty. In other words, modern day managers should also try to retain their old customers, rather than always focus on attracting new clients. The strategies developed and implemented in this direction would essentially help the customers, draw them towards the entity and retain them, and in the end help the business.

Terry G. Vavra is also one author in strategic marketing emphasizing on the importance of customer satisfaction measurement. Yet, her work is relevant from another standpoint as well. Vavra explains the importance of customer satisfaction within the modern day corporate America. She links customer satisfaction to the overall trend of consumerism, which has in fact constituted the basis for economic development in the post war United States.

Another important aspect is that of the creation of large corporations, whose operations were constructed on scale economies. Yet, as the size of the multinationals increase, the time they got to spend with the customers decreased. The operations were beginning to be handled by marketing intermediaries, but the outcome was the separation of the producer and the consumer, and the increasing inability of companies to satisfy the needs and wants of the customers from which they were growing more and more distant each year. A relevant example in this sense is the situation created at Ford and General Motors. Once the largest automakers and vendors in the United States of America, GM and Ford failed to listen to consumer demands and the failure eventually led them to being overthrown by Japanese manufacturer Toyota, who was better in listening to the changing consumer needs (Vavra). To conclude, as they did not help the clients, the two companies did not help themselves; rather they damaged their future stability.

Paul Szwarc (2005) offers combined information on the importance of maintaining loyal customers, as well as measuring the degrees of customer satisfaction. However, he takes one step ahead and introduces conversations about Customer Relationship Management, generically known as CRM. CRM incorporates a set of strategies aimed at improving the nature of the relationship between the organization and its customers. In introducing new techniques and new strategies within the organizational climate, CRM strives to help the employees better understand the clients and their needs. By this, the company will be better able to serve the needs of customers, meaning in turn that its profits increase.

Fred Steingold (2009) militates for the customization of a traditional customer satisfaction approach to the specific particularities of the business sector, the company, the product or the service. He also argues that the organization should not limit its customer strategies to the immediately expected policies, but that they should go the extra mile and help the customer more. "Whether you're selling products or services, go farther than is legally required in anticipating and responding to the problems of your customers" (p.313).

4. Criticism

As Craig Cochran recognized the impossibility of organizational managers to fully satisfying all of the customers' needs and wants, the reader is left to understand that while some of the customer satisfactions are impossible to attain, others would simply harm the entity. Take for instance the common case of customers desiring lower retail princes. And go one step forward and assume that the company reduces its retail price. This virtually means that they will have to cut costs throughout the entire organization. At the production level, they might have to use fewer commodities, and save on energy, with the probable outcome of reduced product quality. At the public relations level, the company would have… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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