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Marketing Systems

Course CodeBBS303
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment


  • Explore the variety of ways things can be marketed
  • Understand systems so you can better work with them
  • Understand systems so you can create better alternatives

There are endless options of how a product or service can be marketed. These different ways of marketing are sometimes put into categories, or classifications, which share common features (ie. "marketing systems”).

Such classifications might be based upon the way in which one aspect of the marketing process is handled, or it may be based upon a type of product or service; for example, marketing books or marketing through mail order advertisements; or alternatively through retail shops.

Within a marketing system, there are components and each component might be handled any number of different ways.

For example:

The way in which a product is branded might be lavish and expensive in order to appeal to a high end buyer, or cheap and simple so that it appeals to a more price conscious buyer. The way in which a product is distributed might be via retail stores, or perhaps though party plans in a pyramid selling scheme. These are just a couple of considerations that might face a manager who is building up a new marketing system.

This course aims to enlighten you as to the possibilities for marketing; showing you different marketing systems and encouraging a more innovative and creative approach to building a marketing system for any new product or service.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Marketing Systems
    • Innovation
    • What is a marketing system
    • Choosing the right system
    • Types of customers
    • Pure competition
    • Monopolistic competition
    • Oligopoly
    • Monopoly
    • Globalisation
    • Internet marketing: demographics, promotions, targeting internet users
    • Supply systems
  2. Retailing Systems and Strategies
    • Types of retail systems: shops, markets, traveling salesmen, pyramid schemes, shows, telephone sales, etc
    • Retail life cycle
    • Factors influencing retail strategy
    • Terminology
  3. Wholesale Systems and Strategies
    • Self marketing
    • Cooperatives
    • Agents
    • Regulated systems
    • Independent intermediaries
    • Manufacture owned intermediaries
    • Agricultural marketing legislation and marketing boards
    • Livestock selling systems -case studies
  4. Product Presentation and Packaging
    • Specialist marketing services: packaging, labeling, display, signs, public relations
    • Merchandising
    • Principles to follow when buying
    • Selling: credit or cash?
    • Personal service, mail order or self service?
    • Shop layout
    • Packaging and labeling
    • Branding
  5. Negotiation Skills
    • Understanding customers and markets
    • The local environment
    • Personal selling skills
  6. Marketing Organisations
    • Distribution enterprises
    • Advertising agents or departments
    • PR enterprises
    • Sales enterprises
    • Marketing tasks : Market research, Merchandising, Promotion, Transport, Records
    • Marketing strategies
    • Diversification
  7. International Marketing I
    • Introduction
    • Why enter the international marketplace
    • Alternative ways to trade internationally
    • Degrees of export marketing
    • Pitfalls
    • Significance of the internet
  8. Analyzing the Market Market analysis
    • Trend analysis
    • Market research
    • Analysing the Market
  9. The Marketing Mix
    • Marketing mix and checklist
    • Strategic planning
    • Tactical planning
  10. International Marketing II
    • What countries
    • Restrictions to international marketing
    • Economic communities
    • Strategies
    • Market entry strategy
    • Implementing a strategy
    • PBL project

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain the difference between the consumer market and other markets.
  • Draw a chart showing the market channels followed by a product or service.
  • Explain the differences between retailing and wholesaling.
  • Explain procedures, stages and concepts involved in retail marketing a product.
  • Explain the wholesale marketing system of this business.
  • Explain the core, tangible and augmented product of a favourite product which you buy and use frequently?
  • Suggest alternative ways that products might be packaged and presented in the retail situation.
  • Assess the marketing performance of two different companies.
  • Decide What preparatory studies should be made of a country before making a decision about whether to export there or not?
  • Explain procedures, stages and concepts involved in the marketing internationally of a product.
  • Suggest a product or service which you think has potential for marketing in another country.
  • Write a report on the marketing profitability of a business.


Some things Change and Some Stay the Same

The world is changing faster than ever; and that fact is something that everyone involved in marketing needs to take on board.  We are seeing products and services delivered and sold in different ways; and new types of products and services keep emerging while demand for some old ones fades.
Other things don't change though. People still want things, and will choose to buy those things that appeal to them most. Certain product characteristics still trigger preference to buy. People want to feel special, they want to feel like they have a deal, they want to feel like they have value in what they buy.
 Products and services tend to go through cycles. Everyone is attracted to anything that is new and better; and after something has been available for a while and everyone has it; the product is no longer going to easily make a customer feel "special"
This course helps you understand systems and cycles that occur in marketing; and in doing so, helps you plan your business to move with those systems, rather than in conflict with them.
For example:

Retailing is never static. Even in the short term of one or two seasons, retail outlets must cater for change as new products become available and changing trends influence what customers want to buy. In the longer term, retail businesses must be prepared to adapt to such things as:

  • Changing demographics; for example an aging population amongst the customer base or an increase in double or triple income households in the area
  • Changing patterns in urban development; for example, the development of nearby large shopping centres, retirement villages or freeways
  • Economic upturns and downturns - both globally and nationally
  • New technology; for example, shopping over the internet and electronic bar-coding
  • Increased competition – from similar businesses in the local area and further away

In recent years, the outstanding trends in retailing are that customers are generally more affluent, have higher expectations, are more consumer-oriented and have less leisure time. On the one hand this means that retailing is easier because customers have more money to spend and a greater desire to spend it. But on the other hand, many retailers have to work longer hours and put more effort into merchandising to meet customer expectations. Many retailers also face ever-increasing competition, as urban populations grow and globalisation brings new competitors to local market places.  

The retail life cycle is a concept that summarises how retail outlets develop and decline:

1. Introduction Stage: The new retailer adopts an aggressive marketing stance to ensure their success. This typically means lower prices so the retailer can compete with other businesses and lower profits because of development costs.

2. Growth Stage: Sales and profits increase as customers try out the new shop. Competition increases as other businesses copy the idea so the retailer needs to expand to stay ahead – possibly starting up new outlets and more sophisticated distribution channels. Profits may decline slightly as a result of this investment.

3. Maturity Stage: The retailer has over expanded and faces intense competition which makes it difficult to retain loyal customers. Profits decline as the retailer cuts prices to attract customers.

4. Decline Stage: The business can no longer compete and becomes obsolete. Businesses which change the nature of their operations to suit the changing times may be able to avert decline.

Meet some of our academics

John Mason John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
Denise Hodges Promotions Manager for ABC retail, Fitness Programmer/Instructor, Small Business Owner, Marketing Coordinator (Laserpoint). Over 20 years varied experienced in business and marketing. More recently Denise studied naturopathy to share her passion for health and wellness. Denise has an Adv.Dip.Bus., Dip. Clothing Design, Adv.Dip.Naturopathy (completing).
Kate GibsonKate has 12 years experience as a marketing advisor and experience as a project manager. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia. Kate has a B.Soc.Sc, Post-Grad. Dip. Org Behaviour (HR).

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