Many marketing managers are already aware of the four Ps and how pleasing customers has become a major priority in marketing today. With increases in technology, however, customer approval is more important than ever before, and all aspects of business are rapidly advancing to conform to expectations of today's varied consumers. The internet has offered consumers the ability to not only rate a large number of products, but also easily provide their own reviews, opinions, and input into the most popular products.
The effect of this on production is that today's products are tested and engineered to be of the highest quality and also accommodate many customer needs. In terms of marketing management, it means being able to listen to the customers and not only what they like and dislike but what their needs are and how they can be met. One great example of how businesses have adapted to customers can be seen in the auto industry. Today's vehicles come standard with such things as mp3 players, navigational systems, Bluetooth capability, and even added cup holders and grocery bag hooks. Also, cars are now equipped with more safety features than ever before.
With the increased availability of information on a variety of different products, today's consumers are more educated than ever before, demanding products that are made from the safest materials and production methods that are safer for the environment. Increased consumer demands for hybrid vehicles and cleaner fuel alternatives have also been proposed further government regulations, incentives for vehicles that benefit the environment, and also increased government funding for research into other forms of fuel.
Fuel and the price of gas in today's economy is also another aspect that has significantly affected the auto industry, and a number of other industries as well. While sales of larger SUVs and trucks are decreasing, more people are interested in smaller, compact cars that offer better fuel economy. Another advantage that technology has offered auto dealers and consumers alike is price comparison shopping and referrals. Now, when a customer is looking for a new vehicle, they can go online, research certain models, compare prices, and easily get a referral to a local dealership that offers the best price. For the dealers, this has lead to increased competitiveness and greater cost cutting, as well as no haggle pricing on the part of some companies.
With more and more people turning to the internet not only to shop, but also to do product research prior to buying, price comparison is becoming increasingly important. In fact, in a recent survey, it was determined that 58 percent of online shoppers felt that all ecommerce sites should offer a price comparison service that enabled them to make the best choices on the spot. Marketing management is shifting faster than ever before, and customer input and approval is valued much more today than ever before.