Description of the Company
The company and its areas of operations have to be described, Amazon was chosen for the evaluation in this case, as the company has an international presence while using selling platform to deliver goods to the customers globally (Reuters: Amazon.com, 2016). The company expands its areas of operation by introducing mobile devices such as Kindle, Fire Phone, and Fire Tablet and subscriptions (Reuters: Amazon.com, 2016). Nonetheless, the primary goal of this paper is to evaluate Amazon’s strategy related to e-commerce while determining its possibilities and emerging themes in the market.
Principles of Strategic Marketing Management
Role of Strategic Management in Your Organization
The role of the strategic management cannot be underestimated, as it has a tendency to define the primary values of the corporate culture and determines the objectives, which are required for the prosperity and organizational growth (Chernev 2009). Strategic management implies the constant and sufficient analysis of internal and external environment to select the appropriate managerial approaches to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the company (Chernev 2009). Meanwhile, this economic phenomenon has a reflection on the marketing strategy, as the strategic initiatives and the essentiality of building customer’s value contribute to the firm’s growth (Best 2009; Hastings & Saperstein 2007).
As for Amazon, the operations are defined by the principles of the strategic management and assessment of the externalities. The company was able to respond to the modifications in the reading behaviour and introduced Kindle to enhance e-reading experience among its customers (Reuters: Amazon.com, 2016). Meanwhile, the company recognized a possibility in the smartphone market (Fire Phone) (Reuters: Amazon.com, 2016). These aspects were the instruments to diversify the company’s product lines and increase its market shares. In turn, the ability to define these externalities as significant emphasized the importance of choosing a relevant managerial method while cultivating innovation.
Furthermore, the strategic management implies the analysis of opportunities and threats during the formation of the strategy and corporate culture (Reuters: Amazon.com, 2016). Meanwhile, the prioritization of flexibility and innovation define the successful operations of Amazon in the market. Meanwhile, strategic management outlines the principles of the marketing strategy (Chernev 2009). Based on the factors provided above, strategic management is vital for the strategy formation and the establishment of the objectives.
Processes Involved in Strategic Marketing
Various stages are involved in the strategic marketing, as this process implies a high level of complexity. In this case, strategic marketing emphasizes the importance of uniting the marketing activities under one purpose while defining the needs of the target market (Lambin 2007). In this case, multiple stages have to be described, as they imply focusing on different procedures. The overall mission of the company is defined while recounting the value for the target audience (Lambin 2007). Amazon aims towards the development of the unique consumer experience while highlighting the vitality of customer-centricity (Klaus 2013).
The development of this concept is important for the flow of subsequent actions, which are critical for the brand image and awareness in the market. Nonetheless, it is essential to understand the position of the company in the market while analysing its strengths and weaknesses and determining opportunities and threats (Lambin 2007). Meanwhile, the objectives are aimed at taking advantage of company’s strengths and opportunities while minimizing the consequences associated with weaknesses and threats (Lambin 2007).
In the end, a combination of the factors mentioned above defines the company’s strategy, as the principles are equally important for the company’s success (Lambin 2007). In the context of Amazon, the company has a tendency to depict its strengths such as its brand recognition while taking an advantage of considering the importance of changes in behavioural patterns. Nonetheless, Amazon has to develop sufficient responses to the rising competition and other external threats while considering the different processes such as product design, promotion, sales, networking, and communication.
Links between Strategic Marketing and Corporate Strategy
In this case, the links between strategic marketing and corporate strategy have a tendency to exist due to the necessity of these concepts in the formation of the company’s strategy and organizational structure. The theoretical concepts have to be described, as the understanding of the academic principles eases the practical application while referring to the company described above. As it was mentioned earlier, strategic marketing implies the unity of all activities to gain a distinct competitive advantage (Lambin 2007). Meanwhile, the corporate strategy focuses on providing favourable internal conditions to cultivate the motivation and employee’s involvement to reach the organizational goals (Lambin 2007).
Based on the definitions provided above, the linkage between the strategic marketing and corporate strategy cannot be underestimated, as the well-developed principles of the approach assure the application of the strategic marketing. Meanwhile, the simultaneous utilization of these features is essential, as they have a tendency to ensure growth and possibilities to comply with the company’s mission and vision while meeting the expectations of the customers. In the context of Amazon, strategic marketing contributes to the understanding of the firm’s position while defining the long-term orientation. In turn, the corporate strategy defines the organizational flexibility to achieve the desired objectives.
Tools to Develop Strategic Marketing Strategy
Value of Models Used in the Strategic Marketing Planning
Various instruments and tools tend to exist to ensure the application of the strategic marketing strategy. Meanwhile, the primary goal of this section is to determine the value models, which can be utilized in the strategic marketing planning to ensure the ability of the company to reach its organizational goals while complying with the mission statement. An extended variety of models exists to outline the stages of the strategic marketing planning and assure the achievement of the strategy (Mullins, Walker & Boyd 2009).
In this case, the goal-based process prioritizes the development mission and vision statements at the initial stage (Palmer, Cockton & Cooper 2007). Meanwhile, this approach cultivates learning while being able to develop a sequence of steps, which will enhance the possibility of the goal-achievement and determine the compliance with the company’s mission (McDonald 2007). In the context of Amazon, this approach is the reason for the alignment of the processes while highlighting the essentiality of the unified goal for the enhancement of the company’s recognition and stability.
In turn, the role of the functional approach cannot be underestimated, as its aims at the optimization of capital and assets to maximize the overall financial performance (Palmer, Cockton & Cooper 2007). This approach divides the organizational activities into processes and stages while defining the physical assets, which can be used for the realisation of the corporate objectives. In the end, both theories emphasize the vitality of the planning for the achievement of the goals, but they focus on different actions simultaneously.
Links between Strategic Positioning and Marketing Tactics
Meanwhile, the selected marking tactics are dependent on the marketing tactics, as the principles of these aspects have a substantial influence on the overall functioning of the organization. In this case, the strategic positioning identifies the anticipated place of the company in the market while ensuring the compliance to the customer’s needs (Hooley et al. 2007). In turn, it is critical to divide the concepts into steps and assure that all departments understand the core objectives while moving towards the achievement of the common organizational goal (Hooley et al. 2007). In this case, marketing tactics contribute to the delivery of the desired position to the target audience while using applicable marketing instruments.
Meanwhile, a combination of these factors simplifies Amazon’s ability to depict its competitive advantage while applying one stage at a time. This matter helps assess the effectiveness of Amazon’s mission, vision, selected audience, and communication approach while describing strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, threats. In the end, the interdependence of these features cannot be unnoticed due to the ability to determine competitive edge and eliminate the impact of the competitors on the overall strategy.
The Merits of Relationship of Marketing
Despite a vehement correlation of relationship marketing with the strategic management, the involvement of marketing in the overall strategic formation is limited. In this case, the concept of relationship marketing implies the importance of customer relationship management while focusing in maintain the customer’s base in long-term (Kotler & Armstrong 2008;
Mukerjee 2007). Meanwhile, it contributes to building positive associations with the brand and generating a constant spread about the existence of the service without using additional marketing instruments (Kotler & Keller 2008; Roy et al. 2014). This matter is critical to the firm’s success, as it contributes to the essentiality of the clients’ base for the generation of the revenue and increasing the flexibility of the corporate culture.
The essentiality of relationship marketing for Amazon is reflected in the company’s mission statement, as the company tends to aim towards becoming the best consumer-centred organization in the e-commerce, as this principle contributes to the rise in the customers’ returns and loyalty (Klaus 2013). In this case, the concepts of relationship marketing are prioritized in the company’s strategy while using strategic marketing instruments to enhance the possibility to increase the awareness of the brand as a trusting service provider.
Strategic Marketing Techniques
Growth Opportunities in the Market
The ability to discover the market potential is vital to the company’s success, as, otherwise, the actions might be wrongful and lead to the development of the adverse consequences. In this case, the organization has to analyse the opportunities of the market and highlight their possibility to increase the awareness of the company’s image in the market. Due to the rapid development of technology, the e-commerce market is modified on the regular basis while causing the extended variety of opportunities.
In this case, the company can optimize the relationships with the customers by increasing the level of integration of the clients in the enhancement of the service (Mukerjee 2007). Meanwhile, the technology provides the opportunity for the customization of the offered goods and services while utilizing 3D modelling and giving a consumer a possibility to participate in the development of the product.
Consequently, Amazon has to consider the establishment of the partnerships with the brands, which support the principles of personalization, as this integration will have a beneficial influence on both participants. In turn, the company can focus on the enlargement of the distribution channels while opening physical stores. Nonetheless, this approach will be utilized as the brand-supporting instrument, as the e-commerce industry is growing with one billion buyers and 1.2 million USD in sales while being sustained by the significance of the Internet usage and social networks (Labrecque et al. 2013; Statista: e-commerce 2016).
Meanwhile, the stores will help the company create a perception of the company as a physical entity while ensuring the possibility of the direct contact with the customers. Lastly, the organization can enlarge its operations by expanding to the various countries with the means of takeovers and acquisitions, as the vast variety of the local companies with similar business models is present in the world.
Marketing Strategy Options in the Market
The primary goal of this section is to determine the possibilities of the development of the marketing strategy in the presented market, as they outline the dissimilar alternatives for the development related to growth. Based on the analysis of the information provided above, the minimization of the marketing scope can be regarded as one of the options, as it aims at the creation of the hierarchy of importance of the activities while prioritizing the core service (Kotler & Keller 2008; Tollin & Caru 2008).
The rationale for this option is the potential development of the negative associations connected to the company’s electronic products such as Fire Phone and Tablet. In this case, the company has to pay vehement attention to the e-commerce market. However, R&D in the additional fields has to the used to improve the efficiency of the products.
Another strategy implies focusing on the development of the brand image while discovering the possibilities of opening stores with the signature Amazon labeling. Nonetheless, only several locations have to be introduced initially to check the effectiveness of the strategy and customer’s responsibility. Lastly, geographical expansion can be utilized while paying attention to the integration of the e-commerce with the local cultures. This approach will ensure the company’s recognition in the world while maintaining its connection with the ethnicities and increasing customer’s loyalty.
Strategic Plan Objectives for a Market
Based on the factors provided above, the strategic objectives could be revealed to determine the areas that require attention and cultivate company’s development. The goals will cover the firm’s actions from dissimilar angles and depict all the components, which are vital for the formation of the strategy. The first objective is related to the application of the approach linked to the minimization of the marketing scope.
In this case, the company has to re-establish its overall strategy while eliminating the importance of the side projects within six months while focusing on the increase of the revenues by 20% in the e-commerce segment. Meanwhile, the company has to conduct research related to the customer’s satisfaction concerning Fire Phone, Fire Tablet, and Kindle and determine the ways for improvement within three months while evaluating changes in consumers’ preferences.
The subsequent part of the objectives is interrelated with the maintenance of brand image while launching physical stores. In this case, one store has to be established within one year since the objectives introduction, and its efficiency is measured by increasing by 20% customers’ returns and quarterly growth in revenue by 5%. The clients’ satisfaction inquiry and financial analyses will be used as monitoring tools. The objectives related to the geographical expansion could be formulated as 1) finding favourable organizations for acquisition within a year to increase company’s recognition worldwide, and 2) increasing the overall global market share by 5% within half a year after the takeover.
Changes in the Marketing Environment
Impact of Changes in the External Environment on a Marketing Strategy
The primary goal of this section is to highlight that the external fluctuations have a critical influence on the marketing strategy while altering its objectives and modifying the flow of the development of events. Various factors affect the effectiveness of Amazon’s marketing strategy, and the changes are related to the rise of the competition and alterations in the consumer behaviour. In this case, the continuous analysis of customers’ behavioural patterns was the primary cause for the adaptation of the interface of the website and the development of new product lines.
Meanwhile, the intensifying competition could be regarded as a core reason for the usage of the takeover, as this approach increases the company’s recognition while using the acquired organizations as an additional source of the revenue. Lastly, the rapid technological modifications determine company’s necessity to upsurge its appearance on different devices due to the inevitability of the constant interactions with the customer. In the end, a combination of these aspects defines the necessity of using customer-centred strategy to increased customer’s loyalty.
Current Strengths and Weaknesses in the Marketing Strategy
Despite the well-established objectives, the strengths and weaknesses have to be evaluated to understand the basic aspects, which have to be emphasized in the modified strategic approach (Tollin & Caru 2008). One of the strengths is the ability of the company to discover the changes in consumer preferences and introduce diversified products lines to enhance company’s presence.
This aspect increases brand recognition and formation of the company’s image in the technological market while having leading positions in the e-books’ devices with signature Amazon’s Kindle (Klaus 2013). Meanwhile, these matters were achieved with the assistance of the customer relationship management and the usage of the technology to monitor the potential fluctuations in consumers’ preferences (Businessballs.com: customer relationship management 2016).
Another asset is the ability of the company to maintain its core service at the competitive level, as the firm highlights its importance (Reuters: Amazon.com, 2016). Meanwhile, the other products are regarded as supporting merchandises to generate additional revenues and increase the possibilities for the future development. In turn, the company’s marketing strategy tends to comply with its mission of being customer-centred while focusing of personalization of the services with the assistance of the recommendations and the availability of reviews and search engines (Businessballs.com: marketing and advertising tips 2016).
As for the weaknesses, the incompliance with the cultural specialties of the region might be viewed as a potential drawback for the development. In this case, the local companies can increase their strengths while occupying the extended shares of the market. Meanwhile, the negative feedbacks about the technological innovations introduced by Amazon might have a damaging impact on the brand image. In the end, the company utilizes its strengths to form a distinct competitive advantage and meet customer’s expectations regarding the products, but the weaknesses have to be diminished to assure this position.
Responses to Key Emerging Themes
It is vital to determine the fluctuations in the industry and assess dissimilar matters, which have an influence on the strategic dynamics. In the context of the presented case, the key emerging themes have to be identified while depicting the ability of the organization to respond to these changes. As it was mentioned earlier, the rapid development of technology and increased competition can be regarded as one of the emerging themes related to e-commerce. In this case, the company has to conduct research on the regular basis to maintain the potential changes related to customer’s preferences and the actions of the competitors. This approach will help eliminate the loss of the market share due to the prioritization of the distinct competitive advantage.
Another theme is the vitality to offer clients customizable services and products while engaging the users in interactions and considering their proposals concerning the topic. In this case, the company has to be able to establish partnerships while providing benefits to the service providers and Amazon. This response will increase company’s strength while highlighting its customer-centered orientation and introducing supporting services to enhance the user’s experience.
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