De-marketing: Another ‘tool’ for market share?
Marketing, no doubt, implies competition, especially when viewed against the backdrop that there always exist in the market place clusters and consumers’ unpredictable purchasing decisions.
Interestingly, fighting for a market share is always a survival of the fittest, but caution should not be thrown into the wind in the name of marketing engagements; since, of late, some brands have been callously engaging in marketing gimmicks to achieve their long- term business objectives.
It is not uncommon to see market leaders, major industry players and decision makers fighting to sustain their leadership positions and market share. But the question is whether it is proper for players in the same industry to destroy one another, de-marketing in the name of fighting for more market share. Not a few believe that if marketing strategies are rightly carved out from the onset, industries will rather focus on adding value to their consumers, rather than engage in marketing gimmicks that are basically propelled by selfish interests.
Any form of strategy can be used to achieve a business goal. In fact, it often takes more than one strategy to achieve a lofty business goal, and each strategy involves its own unique tactical plan. Unfortunately, some industry players and brand owners simply throw up a list of unverifiable tactics they concoct to drive sales; impose products and put unnecessary pressure on their target audience, and call it a strategy.
For instance, the highly revered author, Steven Covey, in his famous book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, has argued that: “It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, to work harder at efficiently climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall. It is possible to be busy – very busy – without being very effective.”
The above aptly applies to marketing. Businesses often make the mistake of “doing something, even if it’s wrong”, mistaking activity for effectiveness. They get busy placing ads, buying lead lists, building a web presence, sending out mailers, massively throwing out promotional items, attending trade shows and creating brochures.
For instance, in an industry characterised by a de facto duopoly structure, such as the nation’s alcoholic beverage sector and fragmented fringe players, increasing consumer demand for variety is an opportunity for players in the sector to tap more into the marketing opportunities there to expand portfolios with new offerings. That, in turn, will stimulate additional consumer interest in new choices, instead of engaging in unprofitable marketing gimmick.
The consumer has a right to make choices in an open and competitive market underscored by fair practices. Therefore, marketing strategies should be based on consumers exercising freedom of choice, rather than arm-twisting them to fulfil sentimental and unethical marketing gimmick.Share