Welcome (Back) to Simple-PDH
Welcome back to Simple-PDH. We are celebrating our one year anniversary and a recent upgrade to our web page. It’s behind the scenes stuff, but you can now access course materials faster than ever. Our mission is simple – we want to help you gain and maintain your professional credentials in product development, project management, quality and marketing. Feel free to share your feedback at any time by contacting us by email.
Marketing and Quality
What do marketing and quality have in common? Among many things – the customer! Marketing focuses on identifying the customer needs while quality focuses on meeting those needs to the full and complete satisfaction of the customer.
Marketing View of Customers
Marketing often takes a very data-driven view of the customer. Marketing research will include studies of customer behaviors and attitudes. Often this information is used to improve product placement but it is also utilized to generate new ideas for product development. In fact, new products and services cannot be successful without customer feedback.
Customer feedback comes to the marketing professional in a number of ways. First, financial data provides insight into perceived value of products and services. For example, market share informs a firm of the percent of sales it makes relative to its competitors. New products strive to impact a market share metric to validate that features in the product design meet customer needs.
Other marketing research methods are used to understand customers’ evolving needs as well as trends in social, economic, and political environments. Tendencies in fashion or technology drive product and service development so that customers will continue to seek out and purchase desired products. Trend analysis often leads to new product designs and helps project teams understand important attributes for the new product.
Customers and Quality
Customers also serve as the number one focal points in any sustainable quality program. Companies are generally in business to make money and those revenues are achieved via sales to customers. Consumers will not accept a low quality product as a solution. Thus, quality improvements must first identify drivers of customer satisfaction.
Interestingly, many quality tools mirror or overlap those in marketing research. For example, focus groups and nsurveys are both used to gauge customer satisfaction. Results of these studies influence marketing campaigns and improved production. Focus groups utilize collaborative discussions among a group of potential or existing customers. The in-depth conversation may reveal new customer needs (marketing) as well as reliability concerns (quality).
Moreover, sustainable quality program, such as total quality management (TQM) and Six Sigma, recognize the value of the internal customer. An internal customer is another party within your firm that receives your work product. A poorly prepared packing slip is transferred to the accounting department (internal customer) who prepares the invoice. A wrong invoice eventually triggers a complaint from the ultimate customer (external). Thus, quality involves a full focus on customers throughout design, production, supply chain, marketing, and sales.
Marketing and Quality for the Customer
Companies need to always focus on the customer first and foremost. Firms that fail to do so will lose business and flounder against the competition. Satisfied customers will return to make additional purchases and will share stories of a positive experience with their friends, families, and social networks. Online social sharing is especially valuable today as many new customers check product and service reviews prior to making a purchase.
Marketing and quality management share many tools and methods to gather data, such as financial analysis and customer interactions in focus groups. When these functions collectively support identifying customer needs and delivering solutions that satisfy the customer, a business can beat the competition soundly. Yet, it is an ongoing battle as customer needs continue to evolve over time and as technology and fashion trends drive new needs.
Finally, marketing and quality share one more trait. We are happy to announce that we will be offering new courses in both marketing research and quality management in 2017. These workshops are designed for you to learn how to implement a customer-centric view into all of your organization’s activation from development to production to marketing and quality improvement. We also dedicate several modules of our New Product Development Professional (NPDP) courses to marketing and quality.
If you have questions about existing or upcoming certification or PDH courses, please contact us at [email protected] or by phone at 281-280-8717.
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