With the increasing pressure of work and decreasing efficiency, the Department of Posts failed in managing the mailing services which made it essential that an alternative system emerges to cater to the changing needs of trade as well as the domestic sectors. The courier services thus came into existence. A number of formal and informal organisatoins started offering the services at regional, national and international levels. The different categories of users have no option but to depend on the private sector who, of course offer quality but of expensive nature. It is against this background that we talk about the marketing of courier services.
Courier Marketing –A Conceptual Framework
Marketing the courier services focuses our attention on the application of modern marketing principles in the business process. Courier marketing is a managerial process that make possible a planed development of services. It is an organized efforts to make the services commercially viable to the courier organizations vis-à-vis affordable to the users who make use of their multi-dimensional services. The marketing concept makes it essential that the organizations formulate a sound service mix in which we find a fair synchronization of different types of services. The courier marketing practices thus make possible formulation of different submixes of the marketing mix, such as the product mix, the promotion mix, the price mix, the place mix and the people mix. In addition, the development of sound marketing inputs becomes a focal point which makes the ways for the development of quality outputs.
Conceptualizing courier marketing makes the ways for satisfying the users which happens to be the most important thing for increasing the market share and the level of profits. The courier organizations thus can maintain commercial viability. By formulating and innovating the marketing mix, the courier organisations can be successful in developing and perceiving a new perception of quality which makes
possible qualitative improvements in the process. Generation of profits and satisfaction to the users are
the two important dimensions which pave avenues for multi-dimensional quantitative-cum-qualitative improvements in the process. The organizations by making the services competitive can be successful in excelling competition. Since the marketing focuses on professional excellence, the courier organizations can also be successful in projecting a fair image. These facts make it clear that the application of marketing principles is to benefit the courier organizations in many ways. It is against this background that the leading courier organisatoins are found practicing innovative marketing.
Marketing Mix for Courier Organizations
The courier organizations are required to formulate a sound marketing mix for improving the quality of services. The courier services are required to be made competitive and this makes it essential that the courier organizations conceptualize marketing in such a way that the processes of qualitative-cum-quantitative transformation are activated in the face of emerging business conditions. It is against this background that the marketing professionals are supposed to make creative marketing decisions. This focuses our attention on the formulation of different submixes.
Mounting intensity of competition makes it essential that the courier organizations formulate a sound product mix. By formulating a sound product mix, they would be in a position to understand the changing needs and requirements of different segments of users on prospects and the service profile would be made user-friendly.
Inclusion of innovative services in the service mix would enrich the service profile and would also be instrumental in sensitizing the prospects. The stimulation of demand makes it essential that the customer get the services which are not to be made available by the Department of Posts. This draws our attention on the formulation of a sound product mix for the courier organizations. The professionals are supposed to wok with the service motive. They need to make it sure that the promised services reach to the users without making any distortion in the process.
While formulating the product mix, they are required to make it sure that the service portfolio includes both the high-profit-generating services as well as the low-profit-generating services.
The first constituent of promotion, i.e. advertising plays an effective role in promoting the business. To be more specific in the present age of sophisticated technologies, we find advertisement instrumental in promoting the business of courier organizations. In this context, they need to advertise through print media, broadcast media and the telecast media. The courier organizations find print media ore effective because the sophistication in the development of print technology has opened doors for creativity. The availability of quality materials is found injecting additional attractions while advertising through the print media. The advertising professionals need to select the media preferred by the target prospects. The newspapers, magazines in big circulation may be effective since the services are used by almost all the segments of the market. In addition, the courier organizations also get an opportunity of making descriptive advertisements to courier organizations also get an opportunity of making descriptive advertisements to inform in detail the target prospects. Further we have been found more effective. The marketing professionals and to be more specific the advertising professionals bear the responsibility of composing creative slogans so that messages, themes and appeals are found instrumental in sensitizing the prospects. There is no doubt that due to audio-visual exposure we find telecast media very much effective in stimulating the demand. The large-sized courier organizations are found using all the three media.
Being an unpaid form of persuasive communication, the publicity makes it essential that the professional attempt to develop a rapport with the media people and organize a get-together and offer to them lunch, dinner and the small gifts to influence them to write articles and news items in favour. If the media people are found satisfied with the quality of services offered by them, they may give suitable coverage as a news item which would considerably be instrumental in sensitizing the prospects. The publicity measures are found more effective since the prospects at large feel that the media people are presenting right things regarding the services of courier organisatoins. Thus the courier organisatoins may also use this component of the promotion mix.
It is right to mention that for promoting the business of courier organisation, we find personal selling
very much effective. The courier organisatoins may be successful in promoting the business in a right
fashion, if the sales people have high communication ability. To be more specific the large sized courier organizations may engage agents, trade representatives for developing contract with the target prospects. If the sales personnel have high communicative ability, attractive personality and commitment to profession, the dialogues can be transformed organisatoins need to recruit and train quality sales people for that very purpose. The instrumentalities of messengers acting as courier have been accepted by all. If the courier, agents, representative narrate to the prospects right things in a right fashion, we find enough scope for stimulation.
If the courier organizations offer world class services to the prospects or users; it is natural that they remain satisfied and communicate to their friends and relatives the plus and negative points. They in a true sense act as a hidden salesforce. If we come to know about the outstanding quality of courier services from our friends and relatives, we prefer to use the services of that very organisation as and when the circumstances necessitate so. The courier organizations may also take the support of opinion leaders for this purposes.
Sales promotion happens to be an important component of the promotion mix. The courier organisatoin need to think about the innovative promotional tools for the sales personnel, marketing personnel and more so for the users of the services. in these context, they need to offer gifts, offer an attractive package, concessional services to the habitual users or so. The main thing in the process is to make the tools innovative because almost all the courier organizations are found offering small or big gifts.
The pricing decisions of courier services become critical because the organizations are supposed to make rational decision which on the one hand maintain their commercial viability while on the other also subserve the interests of those segments of the society who find it difficult to pay the high tariff. Like other organizations, the courier organisatoins are also required to keep into consideration the fact that even the weaker sections of the society find it convenient to user their services. It is against this background that we go through the price mix of the courier organizations.
The courier organizations buy the supporting services from the different categories of organisatoins which substantially influence their tariff structure. It is right to mention that whatever they charge as tariff from the users remains the only source of financing the business and therefore it is difficult for them to subserve the social interests by offering concessional or subsidized services. However the courier organization need to explore avenues for the same.
The courier organizations are required to make the pricing decisions more scientific and progressive. This draws our attention on charging high structure from the users dispatching valuable documents and papers, charging low structure from the habitual users, charging very low structure from the habitual large-sized users. The motive is to increase the market share and therefore in no case the tariff structure should cross the structure charged by the Department of Posts. If they improve the quality of services and make the structure competitive, the market share would automatically be increased.
The place mix draws attention on the two important issues, first the services are processed in a right way in order that the gap between the services-promised and service-offered is bridged over and second the courier organization and their branch officers are located at a sensitive point so that the users as well as the personnel working there don‟t feel any trouble.
The first dimension of the place makes it essential that the professionals manage their head and branch offices properly. The personnel working there are efficient and the technologies used in the process of offering the services are sophisticated.
The second dimension of the place mix drawn attention on the location points for the branch and head offices. We can‟t deny that the places selec smoothly be accessible. The required infrastructural facilities should be available at the centers and the offices should be managed in a right way. The interior decoration needs due attention of the professionals because this is the provision found instrumental in adding attractions to the services. In this context, it is also significant that proper furnishing is made possible and sophisticated communication services are available at the centers. To be more specific, we find safety and protection provisions requiring due attention of the professionals responsible for managing the branch offices as well as the head office. The availability of power and transportation facilities can‟t be under estimated.
The management of place for the courier organizations need due attention of the policy planners failing which the new perception of quality can‟t be organizations need to manage place mix with the help of efficient personnel and with the support of sophisticated technologies.
In addition to other components of the marketing mix, we also need to gravitate our attention one the people mix. It is against this background that the professionals make a strong advocacy in favour of managing the people mix. This draws attention on the different categories of employees serving the courier organizations at head or branch offices.
By performance-orientation, our emphasis is on improving the efficiency of employees involved in the process. This makes it essential that the marketing professionals assign due weightage to the management of employees serving the courier organizations. The employees working at the head and branch offices are required to be efficient, well aware of the operation and maintenance of technologies used in the process, sincere and punctual to the management of time and familiar with the behavioral profile of prospects or users. By showing commitment to the profession, they can prove themselves to be high performs.
We talk about performance-orientation but don‟t find it essent-orientation. By the employee-orientation, our focus is on motivating the employees suitably by offering to them efficiency-based incentive plans. The professionals need to realize that unless they offer to the employees suitable incentives, the process of efficiency-generation would hardly be accelerated. This makes it essential that the courier organizations assign an overriding priority to the incentive plans for the employees which would make ways for performance –orientation.
In view of the above, it is right to mention that the professionals bearing the responsibility of formulating a sound marketing mix also consider the instrumentality of people mix and they need to blend the different submixes in such a way that the marketing decisions are found proactive.