chapter  2
18 Pages

Synchromarketing

ByMARÍA PILAR MARTÍNEZ-RUIZ

Introduction Traditionally, it has been assumed that a professional marketer focuses principally on the task of creating and maintaining demand for certain goods and services. As pointed out by Kotler (1973), and subsequently revisited by the same author 20 years later (Kotler, 1993), this is only a limited perspective regarding the different marketing challenges faced by organizations. From a broader point of view, marketing management can be understood to be a question of regulating the level, timing and character of demand for one or more products of an organization. In general, a company’s desired level of demand is considered to be based on profit optimization: that is to say, sales maximization subject to a profit constraint, satisfying the current or desired level of supply or some other type of analysis (Kotler, 1973). As Kotler (1973) suggests, one of the challenges refers to the fact that it is

common for many organizations to find that their demand experiences excessive seasonality. This can be so extreme that it may vary from day to day, or even from hour to hour, causing problems of excess or absence of demand. Transportation services are an example of this. Thus, it is not surprising to find that at peak times there may be a shortage of vehicles providing certain services, whilst at off-peak times there may be a number of empty vehicles. A further example is that of museums, which receive the majority of their visitors at weekends and, therefore, the current level of demand may be below, equal to, or above the desired level of demand. These are some examples of what is known as irregular demand. In the specific problem posited of irregular demand, the explicit task of

marketing management is not simply to build demand, but rather to regulate the level, timing and character of demand for an organization’s product in terms of its objectives at the time. This view applies to all organizations where marketing management involves the marketing question of synchronizing demand, formally known as synchromarketing (Kotler, 1973). Therefore, it encompasses the management of fluctuating but otherwise normal and expected demand (in terms of average demand and supply). This would be a particular demarketing type, encompassing the marketing task of trying to resolve irregular demand, by

trying principally to bring the movements of demand and supply into better synchronization. This is precisely the subject of this chapter, which will illustrate the

main applications of synchromarketing. In the following section, the concept of synchromarketing will be reviewed, after which the main types of synchromarketing, as well as some illustrative examples, will be given.