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Marketing Basics - Kotler Philip

Maturity stage

At some point, the growth rate of sales of goods will begin to slow down - the maturity stage will begin. In time, this stage is usually longer than the previous ones and poses complex tasks in the field of marketing management. Most of the products available on the market are just at the stage of maturity, and therefore marketing management deals mainly with "mature" products.

Slowing sales growth means that many manufacturers have stocks of unsold goods. This leads to a fierce competition. Competitors are increasingly resorting to selling at discounted prices and lower than list prices. Advertising is growing, the number of preferential transactions with the sphere of trade and consumers is increasing. R&D allocations are growing to create improved product options. All this means lower profits. A number of the weakest competitors are starting to drop out of the fight. In the end, only firmly entrenched rivals remain in the industry.

The product manager must not only protect his product. The best defense is an attack. And the manager needs to constantly look for ways to modify the market, product and marketing mix.

MODIFICATION OF THE MARKET . The manager seeks to increase the consumption of existing goods. He is looking for new users and new market segments. At the same time, he is looking for ways to stimulate more intensive consumption of goods by existing customers. Perhaps the manager will want to reposition the product so that it is attractive to a larger or faster growing market segment.

MODIFICATION OF GOODS . The product manager can also modify the characteristics of his product, such as quality level, properties or appearance, to attract new users and intensify consumption.

The quality improvement strategy aims to improve the functional characteristics of the product, such as durability, reliability, speed, taste. This approach is effective in cases where: 1) the quality is amenable to improvement, 2) the buyers trust the allegations of quality improvement, and 3) a sufficiently large number of buyers want to improve the quality of the goods.

The strategy of improving the properties is aimed at giving the product new properties that make it more universal, safer and more convenient. Japanese manufacturers of watches, calculators, copy machines, etc., have successfully applied the property improvement strategy. For example, Sony is constantly adding additional new features to its miniature Wokman stereo recorders.

The strategy for improving the appearance is aimed at increasing the attractiveness of the product. So, to attract buyers who need something new in appearance, car companies periodically change the appearance of their models.

MODIFICATION OF THE MARKETING COMPLEX . Among other things, the product manager should strive to stimulate sales by modifying one or more elements of the marketing mix. To attract new customers and lure the clientele of competitors, you can reduce the price. You can try to develop a more effective advertising campaign. You can resort to active methods of sales promotion, such as concluding preferential transactions with sellers, issuing coupons that give the right to a small discount on the price, distributing souvenirs, and conducting contests. The firm can “take advantage of more capacious market channels, resorting, in particular, to the services of active sales stores, especially if these market channels are experiencing a period of growth. A firm may also offer customers new or improved services.