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Street level marketing (1999)

Street level marketing (1999)

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Published by Dr Stephen Dann
Street level marketing (SLM) represents a new movement in the application of marketing theory. Much of contemporary marketing theory focuses on top down implementation of marketing strategies, aided and guided by intrusive observational marketing research technique which endeavor to capture a single snapshot of a marketing environment that can be translated into long term marketing strategies. SLM operates from a different perspective in that it uses a bottom up marketing focus whereby the marketing is driven by membership, rather than observation, of a market niche. It focuses on intra-niche marketing where the objective of the organisation or individual is to meet needs and wants of the niche which are also experienced by the marketer as a member of that niche. This does not preclude street level marketers from developing business strategies for extra-niche markets, however, the focus of SLM is on the marketing within the producer's "home" market niche.
Street level marketing (SLM) represents a new movement in the application of marketing theory. Much of contemporary marketing theory focuses on top down implementation of marketing strategies, aided and guided by intrusive observational marketing research technique which endeavor to capture a single snapshot of a marketing environment that can be translated into long term marketing strategies. SLM operates from a different perspective in that it uses a bottom up marketing focus whereby the marketing is driven by membership, rather than observation, of a market niche. It focuses on intra-niche marketing where the objective of the organisation or individual is to meet needs and wants of the niche which are also experienced by the marketer as a member of that niche. This does not preclude street level marketers from developing business strategies for extra-niche markets, however, the focus of SLM is on the marketing within the producer's "home" market niche.

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Published by: Dr Stephen Dann on Aug 16, 2007
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09/06/2012

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 Street Level Marketing
Dr Stephen Dann and Associate Professor Susan Dann
 Introduction
Street level marketing (SLM) represents a new movement in the application of marketingtheory. Much of contemporary marketing theory focuses on top down implementation of marketing strategies, aided and guided by intrusive observational marketing researchtechnique which endeavor to capture a single snapshot of a marketing environment thatcan be translated into long term marketing strategies. SLM operates from a differentperspective in that it uses a bottom up marketing focus whereby the marketing is drivenby membership, rather than observation, of a market niche. It focuses on intra-nichemarketing where the objective of the organisation or individual is to meet needs andwants of the niche which are also experienced by the marketer as a member of that niche.This does not preclude street level marketers from developing business strategies forextra-niche markets, however, the focus of SLM is on the marketing within the producer's"home" market niche.The primary application of SLM is to aid the development and marketing of nichespecific innovations that are developed by niche members to fill a perceived need in theirmarket niche. The focus on developing niche based marketing strategies gives SLM anopportunity to utilize some of the tools of ethnography in conjunction with a marketingorientation and the market advantage of street level credibility. However, SLM is notwithout it's weaknesses - whilst market immersion offers an advantages, it does not
 
replace the need for good business practices to be used in conjunction with street levelmarketing.
Street Level Marketing Defined 
Street Level Marketing is defined as marketing activities undertaken by a member of apsychographic niche to further the adoption of a idea, good or service, developed withinthe niche to meets the specific needs or wants of the niche. The nature of the street levelmarketing's intra-niche focus gives it an apparent exclusivity in that the marketer is amember of their own target market. This is recognised explicitly as a point of differentiation between SLM and other marketing strategies - street level marketers andSLM campaigns exist within the niche and are not imposed upon the niche by"outsiders". In particular, unlike traditional market segmentation which is an intrusiveprocess adapting products and communications message to identify with the market, theSLM strategies are developed from within, offering greater opportunity for marketer andmarketed to share a common understanding as to the value of the product offering.SLM consists of a series of sub-component elements which expand and operationalise thestreet level marketing concept. At the most basic level is the notion of marketorientation, which is the core of the SLM concept. Without a market orientation, and theuse of the marketing philosophy, street level marketing does not exist, even if producersare engaged the use of some of the marketing tool kit in their intra-niche businessactivities. In addition to marketing philosophy is the concept of market immersion,which represents the street level marketer's involvement in the niche to which they are
 
marketing their business activity. As with the market orientation, immersion is a criticalelement - without actual membership of the niche, marketing activities towards a specificniche are not street level marketing. At best, these activities may be guerilla marketing,traditional market segment approaches or relationship marketing, but they do notrepresent the intra-niche oriented SLM concept. The third element of SLM is the notionof credibility, which is subdivided between street credibility, representing the marketer'sreputation outside of the commercial transaction, and the classical notion of sourcecredibility. The final element relates to the concept of "aidmheil"
 I'm-th'ell
] which is theSLM marketer's faith or conviction in their product service or idea.
 Marketing Orientation
 Marketing Activities.
One of the key determinants of street level marketing is that the organisation orindividual must actively engage in activities identified with the marketing concept, and/orpossess a market orientation. As marketing is regarded as a total business concept, it isnot necessary for street level marketers to have clearly defined organisational structureswhich are responsible for the firm's marketing (Doyle & Wong, 1998). However, theorganisation must focus on determining needs and wants of the target customers ratherthan having a production orientation. In addition, the use of the marketing conceptencourages a focus on long term profitability achieved through maintain a market focus(Gray et al, 1998). For street level marketing, the advantage of the intra niche targetfocus is that the organisation is developing products for people who are similar in nature

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