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IGNOU BCOE 141 Solved Assignment 2022-23
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Submission Date :
- 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
- 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).
Answer all the questions
1) How is the distinction between buyer and user meaningful to a marketer?
This article is part of our Business Startup Guide, a curated list of our articles that will get you up and running in no time!
Here’s the simple truth of business: Without customers to buy your products, you’re not going to make any money. Almost every decision you make—what you sell, how much you sell it for, where you’re located, who you hire—is made with the intention of bringing in the maximum number of customers to your store, and to optimize the likelihood that they’ll buy your products while they’re there.
Many businesses develop personas to help them make the right choices as they start, grow, and advertise their business. A buyer or user persona is a fictional character that represents a business’s customers or potential customers, based on what you know about their demographics, behaviors, and what motivates them.
“Buyer” and “user” personas are very similar, but the labels do help to differentiate the kind of persona you are creating. “Buyers” are the people who make the spending decisions while “users” are the people who actually use your product. For many businesses, buyers and users are the same person. But, for some businesses, the person who makes the purchasing decision and the actual user of the product are different.
In this article, I’ll cover:
- What a persona is and how a business can use one
- How to create a persona for your business
- Common mistakes to avoid
What is a persona and how do you use one?
Success in marketing and product development comes from a deep understanding of your target customer. Your ability to put yourself into the shoes of your customer, to understand their pain points, needs, wants, aspirations, work and home environments—in fact, every aspect of their lives—will drive your success. Being able to think and behave like your customers is the key to being able to communicate with them effectively.
This is why entrepreneurs are often encouraged to build businesses that solve problems that they have themselves. It’s much easier to develop a product and design marketing content and campaigns when you know exactly who the customer is and how they will react to different kinds of marketing. If you’re marketing to yourself and people just like you, you have a huge advantage because you know exactly how you, and your customers, will react.
But, what if your business is solving a problem that you don’t have? What if the target customer isn’t you? How do you start seeing your business through your customers’ eyes?
In marketing and product development, we can solve this problem by doing the right user research (market research) to create fictional characters that are highly detailed representations of your target customer base. These characters are called personas, and just like in plays and movies they need a full backstory so that you, as a business owner and entrepreneur, can fully understand their goals, motivations, and problems.
There are two commonly-used persona types: buyer (or customer) personas, and user personas. But, depending on what kind of business you are running, you might just need one persona for your entire business. Let’s look at the different types of personas to see if you need several personas or just one.
Buyer (or customer) personas
Buyer personas describe your ideal target customer. The customer, or “buyer,” is the person making the purchasing decision to get your product instead of a competitors. But, this person isn’t always the same person as the one that actually uses your product.
For example, a company that is searching for new customer relationship management (CRM) software might have a senior executive make the purchasing decision, even though she might not be using the software on a daily basis. In this case, you need a persona that describes this type of person who is in charge of making the buying decision.
A buyer persona will help you make decisions about your marketing and sales processes. When you’re thinking about a new marketing campaign, you should be thinking, “will my buyer like this?”
User personas are critical for companies that designing and customizing their own products or services. These companies need to ensure that what they are building is exactly what the user of the product needs and wants. Here at Palo Alto Software, we developed a persona named Garrett who drives the bulk of our product decisions.
Designers—of software, shoes, kitchen appliances, websites, and pretty much everything else—have long relied on user personas for developing products. The idea is two-fold: if you design with a certain user in mind, not only will you design a product that gives that user what they actually want and need, but you will also design a product that that user will actually buy (i.e., a product that gets you customers).
Buyer and user personas are very similar, and sometimes the terms are used interchangeably—especially when the buyer and the user are the same person. But, if your business sells to one person and then your products are used by someone else, you may need both types of personas. That said, the differences between the two types aren’t as important as understanding how to create a buyer (or user) persona, and how to use it to your business’s advantage.
How to create a buyer or user persona for your business
Creating a persona doesn’t have to be hard and it will lead to a better product, better marketing, and a better business. In other words, it’s a small investment that can pay off big time.
The 10 basic components of a user or buyer persona
I’ll give you a few tips for creating your persona in a minute, but first let’s review what makes up a good persona:
1. A name
While this may seem obvious, giving your persona a name is a huge step forward in making your persona real.
When you persona has a name, they’re easier to relate to as a “real” person and easier to talk about in marketing and product development discussions.
2. Their professional and personal background
These two elements go together. Specifically, you want to describe what your target customer does for a living and where they are in their career.
You also want to expand their background into a quick review of your target user’s hobbies, educational background, likes, and dislikes. This background influences your persona’s disposable income and also their brand choices.
3. Demographics: Age, gender, education, ethnicity, family status, and so on
Here, avoid dividing up your persona into age ranges or percentage male/female. You’re creating a fictional character for this exercise, so be specific about age, family status, and other details.
Once you have created one persona to represent your core customer, you may think about creating secondary personas to represent other customer groups. But, for now, just create one persona with as many specific details as possible.
What are your persona’s goals? Oftentimes, user goals are beyond the immediate problem that your company solves.
For example, while we sell business planning software, our customers’ goal is to create a successful company.
5. “I need/want” statements
What does your persona want and/or need in order to reach the goals you have defined for them?
6. Concerns or pain points
What concerns does your persona have? Are they worried about security? Are they concerned about potentially difficult return processes? How important is reliability and long-term access to your product or service?
7. Past buying behavior
Do most of your customers buy from you repeatedly? Or is their purchase a one-time purchase? Does your customer have brand loyalty? How have they solved their problems and achieved their goals in the past?
8. Environment: Physical, social, and technological
Often overlooked, your persona’s environment is a critical aspect that defines who they are. If you’re building an online application, would the real people you’re targeting be mostly using your site from home? From work? Maybe on their mobile phone? What is their home or work environment? Is it noisy or quiet?
Answering these questions will create a full picture of your persona and how they will be interacting with your site.
9. A quote that sums up what matters most to them
A user quote should be just one or two sentences that sums up what matters most to your persona.
For example, our persona Garrett says, “I want a simple planning solution that will impress my investors and not take too much time away from actually building my business.”
11. A photo
To complete your persona, add a picture. After all, your buyer persona should be real to you and your team and adding a picture accomplishes this.
It may seem counterintuitive to just focus on one person, but focusing on just one customer that is a good representation of your core customer base will make your marketing and product development much, much more effective.
2) Briefly explain the factors that affect the basic price of product or service?
Pricing is one of the most important factors in the field of Trade. Pricing to a commodity means attaching value to the product. To purchase or sell it both the consumer taking the product and the seller giving off the product benefits from the ‘value’ in return for some bearing. Like the customer gives the money to the seller to take up the ‘value’ of the product and the seller gives off the product to earn the ‘value’ of money selling the product.
It is a process in which we decide the value a manufacturer or a seller gets when he offers his goods or services. In this process, both the producer and consumer negate to mutually benefit at an equitably profitable price. It is dependent on various things like how much the company has spent on the inputs, what is the value of a product in the market, what is the need of the product to the customer etc., All the producers and businessmen want to earn profits when they start a business. But, the expected price might vary according to the market conditions, prices of supplementary and complementary goods, changes in input cost like hike in raw materials, labour cost etc.,
Pricing being the basic necessity of trade are discussed further in this section.
What is Price in Marketing?
Price is the amount which one pays for a good or service or any idea. This is the amount for which the product is exchanged with potential customers. Pricing the product or the service is the most essential for a business decision that is to be made by the owner of the business.
One must attach the price to the product which the target market is willing to pay, they should also keep in mind the profit margin they need to acquire to hit their target. This all will help the business to endeavor.
Other approaches are also included in fixing the price of the commodity or service. These approaches include:
The accountability of cost,
The degree of competition prevailing,
The customer’s expectation from the product, and so forth.
‘Right Price’ is one of the important criteria for business success. The right pricing policy is a guideline set by the top-level managers to achieve good sales of the product. Price is indeed a weapon to bring competition in the market, to change the satisfaction level of the consumers. The distribution channel of distribution is affected by the pricing policy.
Both the terms price and ‘Pricing’ are different in their aspect, Pricing is the method of translating the value of the product in price or quantitative amounts like rupees or dollars.
Types of pricing methods:
The entire pricing method is divided into two basic types:
Cost-oriented pricing method: it is used by most companies to determine the price of finished goods. It is further divided into cost-plus pricing, markup pricing, target returning pricing. In the cost-plus method, the manufacturer calculates the cost of production and adds up a certain percentage as a profit on the cost of production. In the markup method, a certain percentage of the cost of the product is added to the end price to obtain the final product. In the target returning price method, the company fixes the price such that it gets the amount invested in the production process of a good.
Market-oriented pricing method: the price of a good or service in this method is determined according to the trend and research of the market. It is further divided into 5 types. In the perceived value pricing method, the price of a good is fixed keeping the viewpoint of the customer into consideration. They consider elements like production cost, quality of the product, advertisement and promotion.
In the Value pricing method, the company tries to produce a product that is of superior quality and inferior cost. In the going-rate pricing method, the company decides the price of their product by taking an example from the price of their competitor as an estimate. In the auction type pricing method, the product is auctioned preferably, online through an e-commerce site and they are sold to the highest bidder. In the final method of differential pricing, the price of a good is changed for different people or customers. It changes across time, area and target customers.
Factors influencing Pricing
The factors influencing the price can be divided into two heads – Internal Factors and External Factors.
Talking about the internal factors means the factors that work from within the organization. The factors are:
Two management levels decide the pricing policy, one is the price range and the policies are decided by the top-level managers while the distinct price is fixed by the lower-level staff.
For implementing a price, the marketing mix needs to be in sync, without matching the marketing mix, consumers will not be attracted to the price. The marketing mix should be decisive for the price range fixed, meaning the marketing mix needs to maintain the standard of the price of the product.
In today’s market, it is uncommon to find a unique product, hence the differentiation lies in the nature, feature and characteristic of the product. The added features like quality, size, colour, packaging, and its utility all these factors force the customers to pay more price regarding other products.
Cost of the Product:
Cost and Price are closely related. With the cost of the product, the firm decides its price. The firm makes sure that the price does not fall below the cost lese they will run on losses. Cost of the price includes the input cost that a company spends on raw materials, wages for labourers, advertisement cost, promotion cost and salaries for the employees.
External factors are not under the control of the firm. These factors affect the whole industry group uniformly. Yet, a company tries to estimate any upcoming problems in the external environment and also makes up a backup plan in advance. This is done by forecasting the market trend.
The factors are:
The market demand of a product has an impact on the price of the product, if the demand is inelastic then a higher price can be fixed, if the demand is highly elastic then less price is to be fixed. When the demand for the goods is more and the supply of the goods is constant, the price of the goods can be increased and if the demand for the goods decreases the price of the goods should be decreased to survive in the market.
The prices are required to be competitive without any compromise on the quality of the product. While in a monopolistic market, the prices are fixed irrespective of the competition. Thus, the manufacturer tries to estimate the price of his competitor. When the price of the supplementary goods is high, the customers will buy the manufacturer’s product.
If the supplies condition, the easy availing option of the raw materials are available, then the price of the product can be moderate. Once, the raw materials supply price heightens then the price also rises.
In the period of recession, price is lowered so that easy purchase is guaranteed. While in boom periods, prices shoot up high as now they can earn profit.
Determinants of Price in Marketing
The main determinants that affect the price are:
The Utility and Demand
The extent of Competition in the market
Government and Legal Regulations
Marketing Methods used
3) Discuss the basic purpose of changing the package?
Packaging industry is more than just packaging to consumers today. Consumers, distributors, retailers and food producers are looking for fresher, more thoughtful packaging solutions that has minimum negative impact on the environment. The right kind of packaging will catch the eye of consumers, and it will also differentiate the product from the potential business competitors. A strong packaging strategy will also act as a marketing tool, informing the consumer what the brand is about.
Better packaging creates brand identity in the market. A dedicated consumer can recognize it from anywhere in the environment, that’s a winning situation for the brand. The company must adapt to the needs and demands of the customer and the generation in order to attract more customers. This has been evident in the packaging changes over the years, as companies adapt the packaging to the generation.
Product Packaging during Covid-19
During the pandemic, brands are redefining their packaging and design strategy to cater to safety-concerned consumers. For instance, Swiggy introduced extra protective double-layered packaging to the food keeping it fresh and safe, while Nature’s Basket are switching to single-use paper bags that can be disposed after use.
Some are delivering sanitizers with the goods, while others are facilitating digital payments through QR codes. India’s packaging industry has seen a boost during the pandemic due to lockdown on physical stores and higher adoption of e-commerce. Brands are trying to make changes in their packaging and design, in an attempt to make it safer during the pandemic. The importance for immunity and safer packaging grows stronger.
Reasons to Change Product Packaging
The most important aspects of the marketing is arguably the product packaging. In most cases, businesses with physical products, the packaging design is the deciding factor on whether the item is purchased or not. In today’s design-focused environment, customers give equal importance on the quality of the packaging design of the product. To stand out in the product competition, companies need to invest on the product packaging.
When to consider a product packaging redesign is the concern? There are several instances when the change in the Product Packaging needs to be considered.
1. Budget Problems
Every Organization experiences financial and budget constraints. There are some expenses that eat the organization’s revenue. Also, some product packaging can be costly. Organizations can be excessively financially invested in their product packaging design without any noticeable return on investment. Moreover, Organizations have to consider changes in the product packaging if they want to cut costs.
2. Outdated Product Packaging Design
The Packaging Design trends are always evolving and most of the product packaging designs during this decade feature bright colors and a lot of design elements. Today’s design standards tend to go the minimalist route. Designers emphasize a huge deal on white space, that is the blank space around the text and symbols. Check when the product design was created. Compare the design to the current trends in your industry’s product packaging. The change in the product packaging is definitely needed if it’s too old and the product should be launched with a new face.
3. Advanced Product Packaging Technology
New technology has more efficient product packaging methods. Furthermore, there are new ways to design the packaging. The organizations can have greater updates on their branding by using new technologies on product packaging. There are new styles to choose that may be a better fit for the products. Businesses can incorporate the latest ones in their design to create a more powerful packaging redesign. Thus, advancements in packaging technology demand changes in product packaging.
4. Change in Product Formula
Product formula change with time and new ingredients become available. Latest technologies changes product’s functionalities and specifications. The product may even need a new size or a new shape. To work on these changes, businesses also need to change the product packaging design. Beside from the obvious need to change ingredients or change the packaging shape and size, it is also a good opportunity to advertise the improvements on the product formula.
5. Customer Relations Crisis
Customer relations nightmares can happen even to the best of organizations. Especially when customer interaction happens almost immediately through social media, one bad piece of publicity could be fatal to the brand. It takes time to recover from the effect of the negative publicity. That is why an organization should take the time to consider and change the product packaging. It would show that the organization is actively trying to improve their product and image, starting with the design.
4) What are the functions of channels of distribution. Explain them.
5) How is a retailer different from a wholesaler?
6) List out the tools used in trade promotion.
7) What are the factors that determine the choice of media?
8) What do you mean by services? Discuss its characteristics.
9) Define rural marketing and challenges faced by rural marketers.
10) What is Green Marketing? Discuss its importance.
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IGNOU BCOE 141 Solved Assignment 2022-23
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11) Write short notes on:
(a) Digital Marketing
(b) Merchant Agents
12) Distinguish between:
(a) Selective distribution and exclusive distribution.
(b) Departmental store and Multiple shop.
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