Consumer Goods Sector
No stock market can afford to ignore the power of branding. Investors should get informed and involved about the marketing competence of the companies in which they are invested, lest they miss out on crucial elements of value. This has to be through informal and indirect methods of interaction with management teams because official reports rarely contain this kind of strategic information.
Segmentation and targeting changes are some of the most strategic yet hidden decisions that company managements take from time to time. These decisions affect stock market values in large but subtle ways. Children, working women, the growing middle-class, affluent farmers, and immigrant workers are some of the new clusters which have become available as profitable and growing consumer groups. Companies may choose to include new segments in their nets, shift focus, and even launch entirely new product lines, in response to new market threats and opportunities. Many company meetings with stock market interests never even touch these subjects, though they make earth shaking changes to company fortunes!
Online trading is not the only or even the main impact of the Internet on the stock market! The medium has begun to wield enormous influence on how increasing numbers of consumers make purchase decisions. The Internet is a great leveler in marketing terms, because even the smallest business can use it to as much effect as a large corporation. The World Wide Web is a global medium, so marketers have to transcend barriers of language and culture to realize the full potentials of their products and services.
Branding may start with proprietary product features, but a technological edge is rarely durable. The best marketers therefore enhance tangible elements with liberal doses of service. Services Marketing can be expensive, but creative use of the elements of a Marketing Mix can help branded generics gain rank, market shares, and profits as well.
Marketing can be as mysterious as the consumer mind itself! It is easy for stock market investors, obsessed with numbers and ratios, to lose sight of marketing fundamentals, but the consumer always has the final word when it comes to commercial success!