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Unit 2 Marketing Orientation and environmental factors Assignment
In the context of the current day bushiness dynamics, marketing has become one of the most important activities within the organizations in terms of the strategic significance of the same. Due to various factors like similar operational and technological capabilities and equally innovative products, the companies in the industry space where the degree of competitiveness is immense, are trying to ensure that some kind of differentiation can be done on the basis of the business strategy as well as initiatives. Also for the reason that the way the information regarding products or services of the brands are reaching to the consumers influence the purchase decision making by the customer significantly, if a company fails to design and put into practice an effective and efficient strategy of marketing, the possibility of market capture by the sales department of the company diminishes. These are the factors which will be looked into through this paper where various important aspects of marketing will be looked into on the basis of few companies as well as scenarios.
1.1 Explain the various elements of the marketing process
The various processes for marketing involves identifying, segmenting and targeting a base of relevant consumers for the product or service of the brand as well as a designing and implementing different communications for these consumers to inform them regarding the product or service. One of the critical success factors for marketing communication is the relevance of the same for managing as well as satisfying the consumers’ requirements. This is the fundamental factor which the marketing processes and communication should address and the same give rise to the important elements of marketing processes as well.
The most important factors for the marketing processes are the consumer needs, wants and demands. In view of the fact that all the product or service features of the company aim to satisfy these requirements of the customers, it is necessary that the marketing processes also consider them significant for being effective and efficient. Basic requirement of the people are termed as need. On the other hand want is more secondary and evolved requirements. The demand is usually the additional requirements of customers (Rieple, 2008).
Some of the other very important factors for marketing are the product or service differentiations as well as the way the same is presented to the consumers. This has been identified from the case scenario for this section in which the salesperson from the automobile company has adopted a selling strategy of hard pressing the consumers through various tactics. As part of this selling approach, the marketer has been attempting to develop the instant need in customers’ mind for the car which he is selling. The seller is then trying to convert the need to want through urgency creation by time pressure tactic. He has also been trying to develop awareness for the customer for the car’s security features that helps in selling the upgraded costlier variety of the car. The sales process is also assisted through the traditional and non- traditional methods of the marketing as well as the channel by the company through offering discounts to the customers or other promotional attractions. This also facilitates the salesperson to achieve the number targets. These promotional and marketing activities are also important element of marketing process.
Some important elements of marketing and marketing strategy are as following (Hawkes, 2002):
- Market research
- Development of products
- Extending the product mix
- Strategic marketing plan
- Constant assessment and course correction of the plan for marketing
1.2 Evaluate the benefits and costs of a marketing orientation for a selected organization
Marketing orientation can be defined as the overall approach which has been implemented by the companies for carrying out the sales and marketing processes and this is generally done through identification of marketing elements.
Marketing orientation is needed to be aligned with the short term as well as long term objectives of the business. The case study shows that the company and its sales people have been following a hard selling approach which is a significant part of the orientation for the marketing and sales of the company. In view of the fact that the training given to the salespersons have been for such techniques and the company also rewards the employees with higher number and amount of sales without considering any other metric related to customer satisfaction, the employees are encouraged for the same. This approach is fairly effective for boosting the short term sales for the organization. The market share is also scaled up quickly trough this approach which helps the company in attaining a competitive positioning in the industry and provides more profit for the same.
However this approach is not helpful for the development and maintenance of the loyalty and satisfaction level of the consumers. This can be considered as the biggest disadvantage for this orientation of marketing. Also the approach may lead to confrontational attitude by the salesperson during the negotiations that can cause serious dissatisfaction in the mind of the customers and this will lead to ultimate loss of the purchasers. As far as the current day businesses are cornered, one of the major objectives of the marketing activities is to develop and maintain loyal customers as the cost for same is less than cost for of acquiring new consumers. For this reason the marketing orientation of the company needs to be a significant facilitator for the processes of loyalty driving.
With the orientation which has been given in the case scenario, the company will lose higher number of consumers in the long run and there will hardly be any brand advocates and thus word of mouth promotion for the company. In view of the fact that through the explained orientation the customer subsequently understands that they have been pressurized into the purchase will not be purchasing again from the brand and will inform his acquaintances regarding the dissatisfaction with the brand.
2.1 Show macro and micro environmental factors which influence marketing decisions
In view of the fact that the marketing decisions which are taken by the companies need to be applicable to the target consumers of the company as well as the current market scenario, the macro and micro environmental factors have a significant level of influence for such decisions. The effect of these factors on the marketing decision can be looked into with the example of McDonalds which is the global leader in the fast food industry. For the reason that the company is present in more than 150 nations, the marketing decisions which are taken by the entity are influenced by the above mentioned factors significantly which change as per the countries where the company is operating. Following is the discussion on the same:
Micro environmental factors
- In view of the fact that the company which is being looked into is in the business of quick service restaurant, the consumer spends which take place in such companies is the discretionary spends by the consumer as the same is luxury spends by them. Hence the local economic environment which is also a determinant for the purchasing power of the customer is a very important factor that defines the way customer will be able to spend money. Pricing decisions is one of the most important marketing decision and the same needs to be in sync with the economic environment of the target market (Kotler, 2011).
- In view of the fact that the company sells food and related items the regulations by the policy makers within the country specific to the food industry is also a very important factor which influences the product mix of the company. A lot of countries have stricter guidelines for food sold by the restaurants and other outlets. There can also be various food items which can be banned in various regions according to which the product mix needs to be designed which is a very important marketing decision for the company.
- The inception of various information technologies and the related tools has also been able to significantly influence the marketing principles and the channels for marketing for the company as well as the entire industry. Particularly in view of the fact that internet and social media websites have become the most engaging and interactive marketing channels, the same has also influenced the overall channel mix for the marketing of McDonalds.
Macro environmental factors:
- Health consciousness and consumer preference: In the recent years, due to various health related and obesity related factors more and more customers are shifting their preference for the type of foods which is served by the company. This is leading to various multi level influence on the marking decision of the company including the target market, market expansion as well as product mix for McDonalds. Hence it can be said that any change in the preference by the consumer is a major macro environmental factor which influences the marketing (Gilbert, 2006).
- Consumers purchasing power: In view of the fact that the spends done at the restaurants in most of the developing nations is discretionary, if the purchasing power of the consumers are on the lower side the success of the marketing strategy or the business will be endangered. For this reason this factor has a lot of influence on the global marketing strategy of the company.
2.2 Propose segmentation criteria to be used for products in different markets
Segmentation is a set of criteria that helps the marketing company in dividing the base of the consumers in some smaller clusters of consumers who are identical in terms of their psychological or behavioral characteristics. This in turn assists the company in choosing any of these groups for targeting its product as well as communications for marketing. Some of the most widely used criteria basis which the segmentation is done is as following:
- Criteria related to geographic factors
- Criteria related to Demographic factors
- Criteria related to psychographic factors
- Criteria related to behavioral factors
Out of these criteria, for any product that needs to be marketed for the mass, the segmentation criteria which can be used most efficiently as well as effectively is segmentation basis the geographic factors. Hence for McDonalds the segmentation criteria that can be used for its international as well as domestic market is a demographic criterion.
This type of segmentation is done through demographic factors including age and gender of the customers, income segment, ethnicity or religion of the customers (Kotler, 2011). In view of the fact that McDonald markets products which is relevant for all the consumers, these segmentation criteria will be most effective.
2.3 Choose a targeting strategy for a selected product/service
A targeting strategy is the process in which the companies identify a segment of customers, which have been done by the segmentation procedure, and the product and marketing by the company is made intended for the same.
In view of the fact that McDonalds is in the business of quick service restaurants, the company needs to target the customers who belong to the age bracket of 15 to 25 years and have a medium to high purchasing power (Kotler, 2011). In view of the fact that the company has come up with McCafe a new variant of the outlets of the company which serves the hot beverages, the product can be best targeted towards the people with urban young people with medium to high income level.
2.4 Demonstrate how buyer behavior affects marketing activities in different buying situations
Due to the changes in the buyer behavior as per the different buying situations, the strategy as well as activities for the marketing of any company needs to be modified to suit the changed dynamics of the market as well as the consumer behavior. A very pertinent example which can be used for this scenario is the sudden drop in the purchasing power of consumers due to some unforeseen scenario like economic recession etc which leads to enhanced price sensitiveness of customers. This leads to shift in the behavior of the consumers as they will be attempting to cut on the luxury spending. This is more relevant for the developing countries where McDonalds is present and in view of the fact that the average purchasing power is lower in such nations, this is even more relevant.
For this reason, the company will need to alter the pricing strategy to cater to the market consumers so that it does not lose out on its loyal customers. Pricing strategy is an integral part of the marketing strategy as well as the activities. So the same is also an important decision which the company needs to take as part of its response of the buying situation and the buyer behavior by the consumers. For this reason the marketing team of McDonalds needs to understand the various consumer behaviors as well as the buying mechanisms and modify the strategy accordingly (Kotler, 2011).
2.5 Propose new positioning for a selected product/service
The positioning is the way a product or service is presented to the consumers of the company to appeal to their purchase decision making psychology. This also consists of the brand presence that is utilized for creating a top of mind recall for the specific product or services if the company.
The product which is being discussed here is McCafe and in view of the fact that this is newly launched product extension by McDonalds, it is of utmost importance that a new and unique position for the same is created in the mind of the consumers. This wing of the company is into selling hot beverages and hence the same will be competition with the likes of Starbucks etc. To counter the already established Café brands, this product or the brand extension needs to have a positioning of an upscale and aspiration driven brand that will lead to customers being involved with the same. The in store experience will also be affluent that can cater to the target customers as part of the branding and positioning.
3.1 Explain how products are developed to sustain competitive advantage
As far as the Banking industry is concerned, it is important for the companies to continuously churn new market products those are aimed at providing higher level of customer convenience. The discussion can be carried out with the example of Standard chartered which is one of the leading banks in the global industry. The steps those are implemented and followed by this company for the new product development are as following:
- Researching the target market for identifying the necessity of products
- Gather and analyze opinion of the consumers on the various ideas for new product
- A thorough analysis of internal operational and technological capabilities for new product
- A product soft launch
- Roll out of the product for the mass market
It is important that product development happens only with a customer centric view and the cutting edge technology is used for the same. Innovation is also one of the key factors to be incorporated for development and maintenance of competitive advantage through new product development.
3.2 Explain how distribution is arranged to provide customer convenience
Traditionally the distribution for Standard Chartered Bank has been through the face to face branch channels which have evolved in last 2 decades considerably. Standard Chartered Bank as of today is predominantly using online blaming as its main channel for distribution. The arrival of the internet and smart phones has made this easy and possible and most of the banking transactions are done through the same. Internet and mobile banking are the distribution channels for the company under discussion which us enabled through the mobile or the desktop website of it.
3.3 Explain how prices are set to reflect organization’s objectives and market conditions
In view of the fact that pricing is one of the most important factors for consumer decision making, it is necessary that the companies consider the local economic business environment which is also a determinant for the spending power of the customer at the time of taking its pricing decisions. It is important to set the same as per the organization’s objectives and market conditions. For example as a result of the low product differentiation amongst the banking industry, Standard Chartered attempts to offer lowest pricing as part of the pricing strategy so that it can have a base of loyal and satisfied consumers. This is as per the organization’s objectives and market conditions and the all important decision of pricing needs to be adjusted to the economic environment of the target market (Kotler, 2011).
3.4 Illustrate how promotional activity is integrated to achieve marketing objectives
Due to the global nature of Standard Chartered Bank, the promotional strategies and activities are well incorporated in the global theme of marketing for the company. The same is also linked to the marketing objectives and in view of the fact that the company is well represented across the globe and the brand marketing guidelines are needed to be followed for promotional activities. The marketing objectives are achieved through them as the same are usually as per the cutting edge technology and product superiority for the company. Brand advocates as well as word of mouth marketing are very important strategies for promotion for the company in view of the fact that in the banking industry the trust shown by the consumers is of maximum importance. The brand also has a strong marketing presence in the social media as well as internet through its own websites, blogs and success stories. (Frey, 2003).
P 3.5 Analyze the additional elements of the extended marketing mix
The additional elements of marketing mix are
- process and
- physical environment
These are rather important for the banking industry. Particularly process and people are most important in the context of the modern day banking since the industry is dependent on its technology and people for transactions within the companies. Also as Standard Chartered focuses on developing customer convenience the same is also made possible by these two factors.
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