Unit 41 Contemporary Issues in Marketing Management

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This unit will introduce learners to some current issues within the marketing industry including relationship marketing, customer relationship management, marketing in non-traditional contexts, marketing services and the increasing concern with ethical and social considerations.

Unit abstract

The role of marketing as a business function is increasingly viewed as an integral constituent of overall corporate strategy as organisations have become more aware of the need to develop long-term relationships with their customers. The marketing industry has widened its scope to include non-traditional organisations such as those in the public and voluntary sectors. In this unit learners will examine how marketing theory is applied in not-for-profit organisations. Services management, and therefore marketing, has been recognised separately since the 1970s. This unit also looks at the special approaches that service industry businesses need to adopt in a rapidly changing environment. Ethical and social considerations have become increasingly important to all businesses and learners will investigate the impact this is having on marketing.

Learning outcomes

Understand the importance of relationship marketing in a contemporary business context

  • Marketing evolution: from production, transactions, consumer relationship marketing (CRM) ethos, internal and external relationships, supply chain relationships, increasing importance of customer retention rather than acquisition, value chain analysis
  • Benefits of relationship marketing:maximising customer equity, lifetime value of customer, competitive environment, how the marketing mix supports relationships – brand recognition – reference groups – consumer behaviours in relation to corporate identity; issues of credibility, trust and commitment in relationships with stakeholders
  • IT requirements in relationship marketing: range of ICT tools, loyalty cards, research capabilities, production online, access to customers; monitoring and controlling projects and marketing plans, IT used in planning, scheduling and resourcing activities within the plan
  • CRM: grown out of relationship marketing approach, what CRM systems can do, limitations and possibilities, integration with traditional methods, maximising value for customer and organisation, how internet and digital technologies can be used to enhance communications and relationships within channels and between B2B partners, increasing social CRM, use of social media e.g. YouTube, Twitter
  • Knowledge management: the growing importance of knowledge management as a key tool in gaining and sustaining competitive advantage, analytical CRM

Understand the role of marketing in non-traditional contexts

  • Public sector:importance of growth of marketing concepts in the public sector, mix of private, voluntary and public sector activity, public sector objectives, marketing as satisfaction of customer needs at maximum levels of efficiency, criticisms of marketing in public sector e.g. expense of branding initiatives, use of resources
  • Voluntary sector: types of voluntary sector organisations, role of marketing – customers, donors and beneficiaries of voluntary sector organisations; budgeting and performance in voluntary sector organisations, use of different marketing techniques e.g. direct methods, intervention marketing, virtual marketing
  • Customer identification: the nature of relationships with customers in not-forprofit organisations, nature of message and methods of communication, customer benefit and recognition, stakeholders in not-for-profit organisations, prioritising stakeholder needs e.g. power/interest grid
  • Virtual organisations: the importance of the e-commerce revolution, online purchasing and production, particular aspects of relationships with customers in virtual organisations, e-marketing mix, trends in virtual/real mix of activities

Understand the importance of applying the extended marketing mix in the service sector

  • Extended marketing mix: people, processes, physical evidence; the development of services management and marketing as a separate discipline
  • Service/product mix: nature of services as intangibles, services as added value to product mix, services within relationship marketing, service sector growth, increasing importance of services in developed economies, globalisation of services provision
  • Managing the process of service marketing: perishability and heterogeneity of services, particular marketing approaches in service industries Managing the quality of services provision: customer perceptions of quality, measurement of customer satisfaction levels, importance of customer retention
  • Role of ICT:how ICT can be used to manage the process of marketing in the services industry e.g. customer databases, capacity analysis, dynamic pricing, internal marketing research

4 Understand the reasons for the increasing emphasis on ethics and social responsibility in marketing

  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR): corporate reputation, economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic social responsibilities; impact on brand reputation.
  • Societal marketing: development in the evolution of marketing
  • Ethical considerations: business ethics, globalisation, international marketing ethics, pressure group activity, environmental/ecological issues, international protocols, sustainable marketing; ethics and responsibility in marketing research.


Principles and Analysis. 3rd Ed. Cengage Learning EMEA.
Dyson J R – Accounting for Non-Accounting Students (Financial Times/Prentice  Hall, 2007) ISBN: 9780273709220

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