The paper "The Extent to Which an Independent Beauty Consultant Participate in the Eight Universal Marketing Flows" is an outstanding example of a marketing case study. World Federation of Direct Selling Association (WFDSA) has defined direct selling as “ on non-fixed retailing places and through the use of face to face way, the product and service are sold directly to the consumers. ” Robert, Peterson & Wotruba (1996) also describe direct selling as a face to face selling without fixed retailing sites. This can also be described as a distribution method for consumptive product or service through personnel contact (sales personnel to the consumer) and at different commercial locations.
The natures of consumptive and distribution way are emphasized from direct selling (Rosenbloom 1993). Direct selling can be either single-level direct selling or multi-level direct selling. In this case, we are interested in single-level direct selling that Mary Kay uses. Here direct sellers are also the consumers and they also sell the company product or service to the company consumer. The income of direct sellers comes directly from the retailing he or she sells the product to the final consumer (Robert et al 1996).
Mary Kay was founded in 1960 with its direct seller called Cosmetology Consultant. A direct seller is the only sale channel of Mary Kay, thus when consumers want to order Mary Kay’ s products, the consumer has to find a cosmetology consultant he or she knows who buy cosmetics from the company at a wholesale price and sell to end-users at a retail price. They maintain personal relationships with their end-user consumers and deliver the product to them after it is ordered; it is a high-service purchasing relationship from the consumer’ s Point of view.
Consultants thus act as both distributors and retailers (Coughlan, Anderson, Stern & El-Ansary 2006). Marketing flows shows the movement of products and services from the producer to the consumer. There are various intermediaries that make up a marketing channel in which eight universal flows can be identified. In the marketing flow, physical possession, ownership and promotion are typically forward flows from producer to consumer. Each of these moves is down the channel. Negotiation, financing and risking flows move to both directions, whereas ordering and payment are backward flows (Coughlan et al 2006).
These Independent beauty consultants participate in the eight universal marketing flows of Mary Kay products and they are very instrumental for its success. Figure 1: Marketing flows in the channel Physical possession is one of the eight universal marketing flows. In Mary Kay Company, products are physically possessed by the independent beauty consultants. The various beauty products are purchased by the consultants who subsequently sell them to their customers thus making the physical possession a forward flow. When a wholesaler takes ownership and physical possession of a portion of the output of a manufacturer, the wholesaler is essentially financing the manufacturer.
In this case, the independent beauty consultants on the products that they have already bought. They store the products in their stalls to sell to their customers. The products when in the hands of the consultant remain their responsibility (Rosenbloom 1999). According to the universal marketing channel, promotion moves in a forward direction. The independent consultants are given discounts by Mary Kay given that they by-products in wholesale. The same consultants will translate this to their customers by giving them some discounts based on their agreement.
Mary Kay runs various product promotions especially during the introduction of new product lines. They do this by giving out free samples to the consultants who subsequently give them out to the consumers.
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