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Planning principles and processes involved developing marketing strategy

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 3443 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Marketing strategy is a process or model that puts the organization to fund the available resources on the best opportunities to increase the sales and thereby achieve sustained profits. Planning a Strong marketing strategy is very important to build a flourishing business and optimize the sales of an organization. To begin with the strategy has to be written to achieve business goals in a planned way that will help focus on: product/service of an organization, sales and marketing and savings on expenditures. The strategy is to be such that ‘why and how the plan will work’ in relation to all business activities that include clients, science and technology and even business competitors. Strategies are nothing but a set of rules that govern the marketing activities of a business entity.

The strategies have to be carefully framed if it is for a new business. There are certain steps to develop the marketing strategy that one should carefully follow in order to get high returns on investment.

A) Target Market Research:

Good strategies has to begin with critical evaluation of real time market, business rivals, competitors, customers and size of the market, latest trends and financial investors(partners). For successful marketing, research is indispensable. It is a process of learning about the requirements of the target market. In order to launch a product or service in the market basic study has to be done regarding the potential requirements of the target product/service in a given demography other wise the investment which the business entity keeps will go futile. One of the methods for market research is through online. Through search websites one can use effective online market research. Online business directories and private agencies could also statistically give reports of demand for select product segment in the market. Talking to potential agencies and getting their feedback could also confirm the demand of the product / service in the market. Taking all these into consideration detailed planning has to be chalked out before reaching out to customers with the product/service. Hence market research will give an explicit understanding of the market needs that drives market strategies to yield good profits.

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b) Assess Competition

Three main points has to be kept in view while assessing competition of the product. Target customers , their grievances and competitive solutions. Who are the product customers, what are their needs, the profile of target customers have to be developed. The grievances of customers which are not solved by other competitors have to be addressed by our organization. And the last main point what is the main basic difference between our organization and our competitors, what strategies the competitors are implementing that attract the customers.

C) Unique Selling Proposition

In the above step we have come across the point ‘grievances or pain points of customers’. When those problems can be solved by the current product/service the organization should articulate its unique selling proposition i.e. it should clearly say in what ways the service/product can solve the pain point of the customer, how the customer can benefit from our organization.

D) Define the goals

Business goals should be clear and concise, whether it pertains to increasing of revenue from existing customers, or entry into share market by public issue or any other new prospects.

E) Define Marketing Mix

Defining marketing mix means finding a strategy for four P’s of marketing: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. The organization has to make sure that the product should meet target requirements, price should be within the reach of all segments of the market, place should be such that the distribution of product becomes easier, and promotion of the product should convey the pain points of the customer.

F) Writing Marketing Plan

This is a written record of above steps and it helps to identify key areas of marketing activities which the organization has to implement for achieving the business goals

G) Re-evaluation of Marketing Results and Reconsider the plan

Quarterly financial results reflect the success of the marketing strategies. Based on the results, reassessment of the marketing plan is advised and has to be monitored from time to time as per market requirements.

2. Critically evaluate a range of tools and techniques used to produce a strategic marketing plan.

For a marketing strategy to be successful, effective implementation of the marketing plan is essential. There are a range of tools and techniques for effective delivery of the marketing plan by which the objective of the marketing strategy is achieved. Marketing department generally uses these marketing techniques. It will frame the most befitting techniques to be employed to get profits. These techniques may include business promotions, public relations, advertising , literature and paper editorials, sale of exclusive materials, sms, blogs and social networking sites, promotional videos in you tube etc.

A general outline of different stages in marketing gives a picture of three stages at which these marketing techniques can be employed for successful implementation of marketing strategies.

In the above figure after market research is done it becomes easier to identify the most deserved marketing mix for the business. For a good marketing mix , business entity should ensure the availability of right product with reasonable price at right place with most suitable promotional technique. In the last marketing techniques are applied for evaluation of the success of marketing activity. For example to find out which method of advertising is reaching out the customers, what services are the most satisfactory, etc.

Business Behaviour in Marketing:

Business requirements have been transformed into a new shape with time. Today due to globalization there is a stiff competition in the market between businesses. Customer has become the most important aspect and every requirement of customer has to be met with personal touch. Recently a multi billion dollar bank in India has launched a marketing strategy of personal touch with the customers, this has done good to bank grabbing a bulk percentage of middle class segment. Every employee in the organization needs to believe that everyone’s excellence contribute to the overall success of the entity. Governing principle is that each employee should be given freedom in decision making and empowerment that gives the employees genuine responsibility and scope of initiative to employees of all levels within the organization Branding, Promotion, Packaging and Advertising. Advertising, promotion and branding are one most important marketing tools which are most practiced by all business entities to increase sales. But the most important aspect lies in the way we present ourselves to the target market. Advertising is a form of publicity to inform about the product or service. Advertising of product through a celebrity showing the advantages of one product over another is one of the different modes of advertising.

Advertising is one way of promotion to the product, promotion may be done by different means such as sponsorship in big events, engaging in public related activities or through sales person who promote the product by direct contact to the customer.

Packing is another tool that promotes the business product because now TV’s are coming to market. Technology has hardly changed but the design matters a lot. Companies like Sony are manufacturing their designs in a lucrative and like-at-look manner. So this technique matters a lot. Even when we take the case of hospitality sector, the look of the internal and external architecture and arrangements in a hotel will certainly leave a long lasting impression on the customers and drive them one more time to experience.

Next comes Branding, for this to achieve, a business entity has to work a lot with sincere efforts not to just concentrate on revenues but to concentrate on building a unique image for themselves over their peers and rivals. Uniqueness only brings the company a brand image. This may come from a mixture of unique ads, unique packaging and not only that but also the product or service quality matters a lot and the performance of a given product and mainly the trust the customers keep in the product brings the brand image. It will take so many years to develop such an image.

SWOT analysis:

SWOT means Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. We have to analyze what are the main strengths of the company what are the positive attributes of the product or service which the company can provide. We have to analyze what are the weaknesses or what are the negative attributes of our product or service. We have to analyze what are the opportunities to company’s product or service. We should also have knowledge of the threats the company’s product face or the company face.

These are certain marketing techniques and tools that can bring success to marketing plan of an organization or business entity.

3. Explain with a range of marketing strategy options available and evaluate their benefits and limitations using supportive examples.

Various options for marketing strategy available are Porter’s generic strategies: cost leadership, differentiation and focus, competitive advantage, McKinsey matrix-GE matrix, market niche, BCG Matrix, and other value based marketing strategies. Below are some of the important marketing strategy options discussed and their limitations are also evaluated Porter’s generic strategies proposed by Micheal Porter, the strategies he suggested are generic and are not firm or industry dependent. Cost leadership strategy: this strategy calls ask for being a low cost producer for a given quality of the product. The entity sells its products on the average industry prices to gain competitive advantage over the rivals or sells the product below the cost price to grab a huge market share. But how can the company get cost advantage is to improve its manufacturing process or process efficiency, getting access to raw materials in a large scale at low cost, and outsourcing some services to countries like India where running and labor costs are less. Limitations associated with this type of strategy are: other companies may also take same strategy of lowering their prices, since technology improves they can take steps which may completely give competitive advantage in production capabilities, companies which follow focus strategy may overtake a significant market share.

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Differentiation strategy: this strategy calls for the product or service to be developed that offers unique attributes which are received and valued by customers who are better than the normal customers who opt for a generalized service/product. Since the product is a premium quality premium customers come and are ready to pay what ever price the company tags to the product or service. Limitations are if other competitors pirated the product or service and changes in customer preferences and tastes. Firms following focus strategy may even come up with higher differentiation in their market segments.

Focus strategy: this strategy calls for a cost leadership or differentiation advantage in a narrow market segment. The supposition is that requirements of the group are met by focusing entirely on it. Companies using focus strategy enjoy a great customer loyalty and other firms dare to enter into the sector. Firms using only focus strategy have lower volumes of consumers with higher profits, if these firms use focus along with differentiation strategy, then higher profits are possible since many firms cannot enter the competition. For example, Premium cars like Rolls-Royce are applying this marketing strategy and are earning huge profits. Limitations in this strategy are imitation in the products and change in customer preferences.

GE/McKinsey Matrix is a model to perform business portfolio analysis on the strategic business units of an organization. Business portfolio is a collection of strategic business units of an organization; strategic business unit is a division of a large company that frames its own marketing strategies and business strategies other than that of a parent organization. In GE Matrix: Market attraction, which includes not only market growth but also other broad range of factors, and competitive strength, which assesses the strengths of all strategic business units of the organization and it not only include market share but also other broad range of factors by which competitive position of each strategic business unit is evaluated Limitation of McKinsey/GE matrix is interactions between SBU’s are not considered. Estimating the value of realization of various factors. And core competencies are not taken into account.

4. For an identified organization explain what the implications of environmental changes might be? Analyze how your chose organization might respond to these changes.

Environmental change is the most important problem faced by each and every company, especially in the present scenario due to globalization a recession in US may result in collapse of financial sector in Greenland. So it has great consequence in decision making regarding internal policies of company and performance of companies in maintaining standards to sustain competitive advantage of the industry. Latest high technology may provide some solutions to mitigate the problems faced by the industry due to these changes. “No matter how organizations change their designs and learn from their experiences in the face of environmental changes, whether they can truly be successful in their adaptation to the environmental change may be only judged by their performance (Huber 1991, Weick 1991) (Zhang Lin and Chun Hu, 1997)

In the present situation, I am going to take the case of McDonald Company on the implications of climate change. Iron moulds with hard blows like wise for the companies to record success constantly, improvement in high technology and development of excellent marketing strategies are possible when companies try to mitigate and adapt on the ever changing external environments.

McDonalds has adopted environmental scanning, which is nothing but developing a methodology that focuses on gathering information and improving the knowledge of the environment in which the business operates. The main purpose of environmental scanning is to detect and monitor the latest trends and methods in the market environment where in the business entity does its operation. The internal policies of the organization should be flexible enough for change to meet the demands of the end customer from time to time so as to ensure competitive advantage. Although McDonalds has got several internal problems the perfect focus on the strategy to adapt to changes in the market environ has helped them to maintain their number one fast food chain in the world.

With the brand image McDonalds had, it do innovate so as to keep the said position. By the implication of environmental change, the company had adopted the environmental scanning strategy through which it is able to keep its top position. With it, the company can focus on the process of analyzing a balance between the rising prices of raw materials and customers perception on pricing and quality of the end product.

Globalization is also one of the outcomes of the environmental change, but this has offered the company an opportunity to expand overseas whence increasing their target market. Acquisitions, mergers and franchising are other methods the company can decide for diversification. Competition has increased a lot, breakthrough in innovations and finding for uniqueness in advertising for promotion of the product has led to a aggressive price war amongst the large brands as well, to increase their sales and market share for maintaining the current position.

Nutritional values are one of the most important basic aspects the company has to focus on offering their customers about the calorie details that meet individual health needs.

Hence it is most important for entities to frame different policies that must be considered to make sure that their strategies are met with external as well as internal environmental changes so as to be successful.

7) Specify how a range of functional areas may develop to contribute to the achievement of an organization’s marketing objectives over a period of at least three years.

The Information and Communication Technology revolution, liberalization of trade, climate change, and opening of markets in tightly controlled countries like India and china, globalization, and emergence of new Economic powers like BRIC countries have bought drastic changes in the managing of marketing strategies like customer service, distribution channels, sales, nature of product/service for organizations around the world. These changes in the economy bring so many questions into picture. How do these changes challenge the decisions made by managers and in what way they influence them? What management qualities bet fit the organizational reality? What factors differentiate unsuccessful manager from successful one’s in future?

Organizational behaviour and structure:

Organizations need to change their mindset to reflect the changes in the environment and should see the change as an opportunity rather than a problem and an effective method for starting and implementing new ideas. Constant experimentation and research is needed for enhancing its own competitive edge. Other challenges include increased productivity in the customer satisfaction and loyalty, enhanced employee skill set, effective introduction of latest technology and trends.

Organizational adaptability is viewed as one of the most important aspect because the speed at which change is happening is unpredictable and greater emphasis of the organization has to be on the same speed response to customer tastes and requirements without compromise in quality and price. This can be achieved in increased team work and greater reliance on reinventing themselves regularly.

Information and communication:

The importance of information and communication technology is so much because the entire flow of process from management in the production side to marketing chain up to the end users or customers. ICT helps each and every organization to maintain their competitive position. Knowledge of Technology is concerned with ” the cognitive and intellectual skills which together with knowledge of management concepts, techniques and analytical framework, will enable managers to perform competently, transfer performance to a variety of situations , produce new and creative solutions to problems and deal with unexpected and unpredictable situations” ( monk R E 1994). Demands and changes in buying behaviour of customers can be predicted so that company can focus on specific demands and demographics. When information is gathered periodically and analyzed, innovations can be done in the interests of customers and hence increased productivity.

Internet is considered as one of the most important thing that must be taken into account. Online business has increased many a fold since its advent. Lifestyle has changed customers now want comfort with efficient and reliable service at their door steps. So this is also one of the best used marketing strategies and helps organizations to target huge market segment when compared to traditional marketing. Due to IT, organizations are reaching out to customers through sms, blogs and social network websites and Google etc. The rise of technically skilled labor intake means the company manager has to act as a catalyst for mobilizing the organizations talents and distribution channeling of available talent for attaining organizations strategic aims. So developing a realistic marketing strategy is such an important skill that is now eased with the advent of information and communication technology. These are some of the functional areas which contribute to achievement of marketing objectives.


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