Marketing is increasingly attracting the interest of many business organizations, to varying degrees. This is mostly because marketing makes such an important contribution to organizational objectives and/or profits. As a result, marketing rapidly has been adopted in both the business sector and the non-profit sector.
Early leaders in marketing include many of the consumer packaged goods and consumer durable companies in the business sector and these industries have had a successful and rapid spread of healthy marketing management and processes.
The service industries have generally lagged behind manufacturing firms in adopting and using healthy marketing concepts and tools. The major modern-day challenge in the service industry is that the services are intangible, inseparable, variable and perishable. Each of these service characteristics pose challenges and require different strategies.
Healthy marketing practices already have attracted consumer service firms such as airlines, banks, insurance companies, stock brokerage firms, hotels, real estate firms and management consulting firms.
Retailers are anxious to find new strategies to attract and hold customers. Geographic, product and service differentiation has eroded. For all these reasons, many retailers are rethinking their marketing strategies.
Marketing is increasingly attracting the interest of private non-profit sector organizations such as hospitals, colleges, charities, churches, museums and foundations. Until recently, hospitals and colleges faced so much demand and so little competition that they saw no need for healthy marketing practices. That all has changed, and now hospitals are seeing soaring costs and are turning to marketing, while colleges faced with rising costs and falling or flat enrollments also are using marketing to compete for student funds.
Many long-standing non-profit organizations have lost members and are using marketing to modernize their missions and products. Even North America’s religious organizations are losing members and failing to attract enough financial support and have started using marketing to a greater degree. Many agencies in the government sector are incorporating marketing plans into their strategies and services.
Professional services businesses such as law firms, accounting firms and medical practices are starting to use marketing in the face of a more competitive market, when they formerly may have believed it was unprofessional to use marketing concepts and tools. Some service businesses are small and do not use formal management or marketing techniques at all, unfortunately missing the boat on becoming a healthy small business and marketing-centric organization.
There is no doubt that marketing plays a key role in all industry sectors, private or public, for-profit or non-profit, big and small.
Is your marketing healthy? Take the online marketing health test to help you determine whether your organization is moving towards healthy marketing practices. An advertisement or a direct mail campaign is indeed marketing, but does not make a healthy marketing organization. If you are using marketing concepts and tools, a periodic marketing audit health check-up is recommended.