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Marketing Research of Service Corporation International (SCI)

Marketing Research of Service Corporation International (SCI)

Discuss Marketing Research of Service Corporation International (SCI) within the Marketing Research ( MR ) forums, part of the PUBLISH / UPLOAD PROJECT OR DOWNLOAD REFERENCE PROJECT category; Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI) is North America’s largest provider of end-of-life arrangements and services. With its headquarters in Neartown, ...



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Marketing Research of Service Corporation International (SCI)
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Netra Shetty
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Marketing Research of Service Corporation International (SCI) - April 8th, 2011

Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI) is North America’s largest provider of end-of-life arrangements and services. With its headquarters in Neartown, Houston, Texas, United States,[2][3] SCI operates more than 1500 funeral homes and 400 cemeteries in 43 states, eight Canadian provinces, and Puerto Rico.

Every business organization needs to take the time to plan for the future. Indeed, successful planning should envision that future, and plan the strategy and tactics to make it a reality. It is important to identify the unique attributes and advantages of the firm’s offer to the marketplace, while developing a strategy to leverage the firm's strengths and opportunities. Strategic marketing planning process should be worked upon. Goals must be identified, and work on building a roadmap to reach them. Then at the end of the planning process, a comprehensive strategy will be formulated for growing the business, together with an implementation plan that will produce concrete results.
Market research is an integral part of the planning process. There are things that need to be done like the client satisfaction surveys, studying the competition, test brand recognition and then analyze market trends. In order to build future marketing programs and putting the company at a significant competitive edge, better information about an organization’s business environment should be established. The purpose of this paper is to tackle and understand deeply how consumers make purchase decisions in order to choose one appropriate target market. The “needs” and how these needs fit within the states of the consumer behavior model will be discussed and how the product/service target market and competition is being applied.
However, marketing is an energetic activity, and information has to be kept up to date and the need for deep and detailed research becomes vital (Chisnall, 2003). Part of the process of developing a Comprehensive Strategic Marketing Plan is audience and competition. An internal consensus should be achieved, which is a critical factor in the ultimate success of any carefully designed plan.

Target Audience and Competition

It is very important that the target audience will be determined first. In knowing the prospects and competition, it is important that the target audience will be identified. Competition on the other hand, provides understanding on who influences the market and the choices of the prospects (Ceonex, 2004). Moreover, information about the target audience should be familiarize, in order to understand it’s behavior, need’s and know-how to be able to market them better. By learning their needs and preferences, the marketing strategy and the target audience will be narrowed. It should be given importance that there is always something to learn in the success and failures of the competitor. Knowing and understanding the target audience will determine why the competition has succeeded or failed. It is necessary to determine the decision making process that consumers go through as they make a purchase in different buying stations and the diversity of customer needs. The determinants (psychological, sociologic and economic) that affect the consumption and customer behaviors must be clearly defined.

consumers make the purchases, what factors that influence them and the changing factors in our society (Consumer Buying Behavior). The following questions should be asked: What do customers want? Can we develop it while they still want it? How can we keep our customers satisfied? The marketing concept that the firm must adapt should be focused on the customer’s needs before developing the product; aligning all functions of the company to focus on those needs; realizing a profit by successfully satisfying customer needs over the long-term. In this a comprehensive marketing strategic plan is needed (The Marketing Concept).
Six Stages of the Consumer Buying Process

There are six stages of the consumer buying process. The actual purchasing of product is only one of the stages. However, all consumer decisions do not always include the six stages. First stage is problem recognition, which means the awareness of needs. It is the difference between the desired state and the actual condition of the consumer. This awareness of needs can be stimulated through product information. Next is the information search classified into two, the internal search (memory) and the external search that is if more information is needed (can be channeled through the “word of mouth”). Successful information drive will give a buyer possible alternatives. There is the need to establish criteria for evaluation, featuring what the buyer wants or does not want, the evaluation of alternatives. What the marketer’s can do is to influence by “framing” alternatives. The fourth process is the purchase decision wherein the buyer chooses buying alternative that includes product, package, store, method of purchase. The fifth one is the process of purchasing. It may differ from decision, time lapse between four and five and the product availability. The last stage of the buying process is the post-purchase evaluation, which is the outcome. This is where satisfaction or dissatisfaction is determined, whether the buyer has made the right decision (Consumer Buying Behavior). The firm should have an alternative approach to this by giving product warranties, after sales communication, etc. Cognitive dissonance can be reduced when the firm provides communication with the consumer after the purchase.

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