Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Marketing 101: The Micro-environment - Customers

Next in the Marketing Micro-environment, we come to Customers.

Customers are the key to sales.  If you don't have customers, you can't sell anything. Managers must continually study customer needs and try to anticipate how they are developing so they can meet these needs effectively now and in the future.  However not all customers are the same.  Managers must actively study five distinct categories of customer markets.

Consumer Markets
Consumer Markets are made up of individuals and household units.  These customers buy products and services for their own personal use.

Business Markets
Customers in Business Markets typically purchase products and services that will be further processed or used in their own internal business processes.  These customers are commonly referred to as B2B, or business-to-business customers.

Customers in Reseller markets purchase products and services specifically to resell them to others for a profit.  Well known resellers in the United States are "big box" stores, such as Target or Walmart.

Government Markets
Customers in Government Markets consist of government agencies that purchase products and services from private companies, and provide public services or transfer products and services to others who they deem need them.  Some industries are much more dependent on Government Markets than others.

International Markets
Customers in International Markets are buyers who reside in other countries.  These buyers include consumers, producers, resellers and even governments.

A business will typically sell it's products and services to multiple Customer Markets.  Customer markets can also provide areas for a business to grow into.  Each market requires it's own special strategic marketing to properly "sell" to it's distinct type of customer.  Each Customer tastes and preferences will also change at different rates, and are effected by larger economic factors in different ways at different times.  A good marketing manager will always have a good sense of what is going on in each of the Customer markets he or she is strategically marketing to.


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