The Place of Quality Control (QC) in Marketing

Quality control and marketing can be likened to Siamese twins who are conjoined by the product or service an organization offers. While QC is always be-labored with ensuring that the product is of sterling and impeccable quality, marketing is preoccupied with how the product will leave the company and get to the consumers.

It is not a hidden fact that we live in a technologically advanced world and with just a click prior to the purchase, consumers can learn about product information, such as size or color availabilities, manufacturing insights, and other necessary details. For sustainability, therefore, the brand must focus on commitment to quality product and customer satisfaction.

A consumer survey conducted by PwC reports that the top three store-related mobile uses are for researching products (36%), accessing a coupon or promotional code (31%), and checking information about a retailer (23%). As such, it’s becoming increasingly apparent what modern-day consumers want: the right content.

The lifeline of any brand is consumers and more consumers. If you don’t get the product right, you unnecessarily shot yourself on the foot. With the advancement in technology and the availability of social networks, any defect discovered in your product can easily go viral.

Dr. W. Edwards Deming asserted that all works are processes. And processes can be identified, measured, and improved. You shouldn’t, however, give room to consumers to identify any defect. The QC should do this before the product hits the market.

Quality Control (QC) refers to quality related activities associated with the creation of project deliverables. It is used to verify that deliverables are of acceptable quality and that they are complete and correct. Examples of quality control activities include inspection, deliverable peer reviews, and the testing process.

The team embarks on finding & eliminating sources of quality problems through tools & equipment so that customer’s requirements are continually met. An environment is created in which both management and employees strive for perfection. This is done by training personnel, creating benchmarks for product quality, and testing products to check for statistically significant variations.

Quality testing involves each step of the manufacturing process. Employees often begin with the testing of raw materials, pull samples from along the manufacturing line, and test the finished product. Testing at the various stages of manufacturing helps identify where a production problem is occurring and the remedial steps it requires to prevent it in the future.

This leads to Total Quality Management (TQM), which is the continual process of detecting and reducing or eliminating errors in manufacturing, streamlining supply chain management, improving the customer experience, enhancing long-term customers’ loyalty as well as satisfaction, and ensuring that employees are up to speed with their training.

The benchmark set by the Standard Organization which oversees your area of operation should not be your yardstick. You should surpass all industry standards put in place to regulate your activities.

But you need to know that the customers are not really interested in who does what in the company. What they care about is the quality of the product they are offered and anybody who is in direct contact bears the brunt of lapses when they occur.

The marketer mostly does the job of introducing the product into the market through different means of marketing campaigns. In an experiential marketing campaign, the target consumers are usually given an opportunity of the first-hand experience of the product.

The guy at the spot gets the first bitter taste of the wrath of the consumers. The reverberations will eventually hit the brand itself.

Snapple got a bitter bashing when it displayed a 25-foot-tall ice-lolly at Union Square in New York in June of 2013. The 80-degree temperature turned the popsicle into a melting mess. Firefighters had to be called to clear the kiwi-strawberry-flavored sticky liquid that flooded downtown Manhattan.

In extreme cases, apart from the verbal abuse there may be physical aggression on the structures of the corporation around the globe and no brand should create room for such an unfortunate incident. It won’t be out of place to come across cases of litigations instituted by displeased consumers.

Apart from the colossal financial loss that can arise from this, the goodwill the brand has taken years to build may just vanish overnight. A brand that is not solidly built and faced with this type of fiasco will have to pack up, with workers thrown into the job market.

Since the hallmark of setting up a brand is the commitment to the purpose of making returns on investment (ROI), quality control has a very big place in marketing. Marketing is revenue driven, QC is product perfection driven both of which border on satisfying the consumer. If the consumer is satisfied all stakeholders, can smile to the bank.

Photo Credit: Allagash Brewing Flickr via Compfightcc

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About John Ejiofor

John Ejiofor is a curious life-researcher, whose quest to finding answers to life's pertinent questions has led to founding Nature Torch. This blog aims to debate and explore many questions about our earth -- including those a lot of people are uncomfortable with asking. He has been published on some of the internet's most respected websites, which you can find online.
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