I’ve started some of the reading for my next course – B204 Making it Happen! Leadership, influence and change. The course has been on my plan for years and I’ve been looking forward to starting it for a long time.
Our tutor has already been in touch and says this is a course with potentially life and/or career changing results, so it will be very interesting and exciting to see what happens to me over the next 12 months!
The course workload looks challenging at first glance. There seems to be quite a bit of reading, but it looks like most of the learning and reflection for the course will actually take place in the workplace – so it appears to be a very practical and relevant course for me.
I’m not sure how I will use the blog with my studies yet, but I’m sure all will become clear.
It seems such a short time since I started my B324 studies, but exam day is already upon me. I’ll be making my way to the exam centre this afternoon, and will have to sit through three more hours of pain before I can draw a line under the course and look forward to the next one.
In terms of revision, I’ve focused mainly on the B324 topics covered here in this blog. Hopefully that will be enough. I feel quietly confident, and am not nervous about the exam at all. I’m more concerned about the pain I will feel after writing solidly for up to three hours!
Reflecting on B324, there have been elements of the course I’ve enjoyed, and some which I’ve found a little abstract due to the fact that they don’t relate to my own work experience. I enjoyed looking at ethical marketing, responsible marketing and green marketing. I didn’t so much enjoy social marketing or ethical frameworks. I also found fair trade a little less interesting than green – although it was interesting to relate some of the fair trade ideas to the problems UK dairy farmers are currently experiencing.
Final words: B324 is a level 3 course and is quite challenging – as it should be. There is a lot of reading to get through, and it’s absolutely necessary to put the time in if you want to obtain reasonable marks for your TMAs. However, B324 is a course that should be very enjoyable and rewarding for people who are involved with or wish to be involved with a social enterprise of some kind.
Several writers have highlighted the fact that there is greater potential for unethical behaviour in the marketing of services due to the intangible nature of services, and also the deregulation of many service sectors.
The intangible nature of services and the high level of competition among service providers means it can be very difficult for consumers to evaluate service offerings, which leaves them highly vulnerable to influence by sales people and marketing promotions.
It is arguable that ethical behaviour is more crucial to services marketing in order to combat skepticism and gain the trust and confidence of consumers.
Kotler (1972) identified four classes of product along two dimensions: immediate satisfaction and long-term consumer welfare.
There is diagram on page 60 of the B324 Block 2 course book.
Deficient products are those that offer no immediate satisfaction and have no long-term benefit to consumer welfare. Pleasing products have no long-term benefit to consumer welfare but are immediately satisfying (e.g. cigarettes). Salutary products are those which are beneficial to consumers in the long-term, but offer no immediate satisfaction. Desirable products are those which are both immediately satisfying and beneficial to consumer welfare in the long-run.
Fair trade marketing is about making sure small producers are paid enough to cover their costs and have enough to live on.
The argument against fair trade is that it distorts the market and encourages oversupply, resulting in further price falls. The advantageous price paid to producers could result in dependency.
There are two basic components:
- Providing a working model of international trade that makes a difference to producers and consumers.
- Challenging business practice by modifying the dominant economic model.
The labelling/certification scheme is important in brand differentiation.
Fair trade works well with the idea of an ‘alternative high street’ – towns like Garstang and Hebden Bridge.
Mainstreaming can result in growth in what still remains a niche. However, mainstreaming could also result in dilution of the message.
Firms could attempt to enter the market and redefine it to better suit the marketing strategies.