Examine the few definitions (at least two) of marketing and explain the marketing process with an example drawn from your chosen organization
Marketing is an old concept that has been defined in many different ways. Different definitions demonstrated the extent to which marketing continues to evolve with the growing knowledge and changing times (Percy, 2012). One of the definitions that still prominent is “marketing is a function of an organization and a set of process that creates, communicates and delivers value to target customers and managing relationships between businesses and customers (Percy, 2012).
Marketing can be seen as a process of exchanging buyer and seller values and developing strong customer relationships to fulfill the objective of both parties. Kotler supports these definitions in his definition. Marketing is a platform on which skills and products are exchanged between businesses and customers.
Explain the various marketing concepts and evaluate the costs and benefits of adopting marketing orientation in your organization
There are different marketing concepts that businesses adopt to achieve their goals. The choice of a marketing concept determines the success of business strategies (Cant, 2006). There are two major marketing concepts-selling and marketing concepts. A business can choose to utilize a single concept or a combination of both. The marketing orientation is a concept that has is costly to implement, but its returns can pay off (Percy, 2012).
With a marketing orientation, Marks & Spencer has focused on customizing its products to suit the demands, styles, and preferences of customers. Here, the firm strives to satisfy the needs of its customers as opposed to its own needs. Unlike the selling concept, a marketing concept focuses on identifying customers’ needs and producing products that meet the unique needs of each segment. This concept differs from the selling concept that emphasizes sales other than customer satisfaction (Brandy, 2011).
In implementing a market orientation, Marks & Spencer developed a strong selling point “Your M&S” which proved to be strong and extremely successful in creating and sustaining client relationships. It focused on creating consumer confidence in M&S brands. Implementing a marketing approach other than a selling approach in Marks & Spencer was problematic during the initial stages, but the company benefited from this strategy (Percy, 2012).
Analyzing macro and micro factors that affect business and marketing decisions
Businesses and marketing work in harmony within the same environment. This environment is divided into macro and microenvironment.
A microenvironment consists of forces over which an organization can exercise control. However, it is worth noting that a business can exercise its power to some factors to some degree and within the legal frameworks provided for by law. These factors include customers, employees, capital, suppliers, and trade unions.
Employees can influence the marketing decisions of a business in the sense that the ability of an organization to meet the quality standards of its customers is a component of people and resources (Brandy, 2011). Therefore, a business may want to influence its sales through employee motivation.
Macro-environment consists of externalities that affect industries and individual businesses. They are usually volatile forces that a business cannot underestimate. Politics and government policies influence policy formulations such as fiscal and economic policies, consumer and environmental protection, and transport and distribution policies.
Pressure groups such as consumer groups have a lot of bearing on business decisions that a company can make. The competition also poses a significant challenge to a business and determines what decisions a company can make to remain competitive (Brandy, 2011).
Examine the concept of segmentation and recommend segmentation criteria and targeting methods to be used for two products in your chosen organization
Segmentation is the process of dividing a market into unique sections of people having homogeneous characteristics such as preferences, likes, and tastes. This process includes considerations such as psychographics, demographics, geographic and behavioral elements that define a set of customers (Mcloughlin & Aaker, 2010).
In its quest for new and emerging markets, Marks & Spencer has implemented market segmentation strategies to trap and serve the forgotten markets around the world. The company has adopted three segmentation criteria to support its clothing line as it explores new markets in Russia, Central Asia, and other markets. These include geographic, psychographics, and demographics.
Styling of clothes must take into account climatic conditions in the target markets. Different markets have unique climates, a reality that M&S has continued to embrace.
The company has sought to deconstruct new markets by examining the family size, household incomes, occupation, and education. The company believes that it is through understanding the inner form of a market that a business can become relevant to the local customers.
Gender and Age
They are some of the key selling points that Marks & Spence has focused on to penetrate new markets. The clothing industry continues to experience bottleneck competition and companies such as M&S are having a rough time to beat the market and remain competitive in terms of quality and prices (Mcloughlin & Aaker, 2010).
Demographics: The management of Marks & Spencer recognizes the need to approach each market uniquely. For example, M&S designed conservative clothing styles for Asian markets since clothing lines that sell in the UK cannot work in Asia because of religious values that define the mode of dressing. Unlike the Asian market, the UK is defined as a liberal market that gives M&S a wide choice of styles (Mcloughlin & Aaker, 2010). Marks &Spencer has used these criteria to satisfy the tastes and preferences of consumers from all regions.
Identify factors that influence buyer behavior and propose a new positing strategy for the product or service of your organization
Consumer behavior refers to the buyer behavior that defines a specific group of consumers in a market. Consumer behavior is an important aspect that businesses must understand to explore a market. Where a business fails to discover the behavior of consumers, it cannot make sales and has a likelihood of falling out of the market. Many factors play a role in defining consumer behavior.
Age is a significant factor that influences the buying behavior of customers. Influences of mass media are one of the driving forces that affect the behavior to buy. As the market grows intelligent, this factor has continued to weaken. Studies show that the clothing industry is one of the hard-hit by the weakening of media to influence buying behavior. Evidence suggests that there is no great difference between tastes between different places and that the only thing that differs is the ability to influence tastes (Mcloughlin & Aaker, 2010).
Marks & Spencer can use their demographic marketing to exploit new and existing markets. To achieve its selling objectives, the company should approach the teenage market, which remains the most attractive in all markets (Cant, 2006). It is very important for every business in the market that should thoroughly follow the consumers’ buying behavior. The buying behavior can be viewed through the transaction that consumer makes, they can keep the checks on how much frequently one consumer comes to the store, what he/she buys from there, etc. this will help the marketers and the marketing of M&S to better provide the products and services for a targeted segment (Mcloughlin & Aaker, 2010).
The buying behavior can be identified by observing consumer transactions-how much and the frequency of their spending. Using this information, Marks & Spencer can understand and provide customer-driven products for a given segment. The company can use several marketing approaches such as electronic and social media, role models, and so on to drive sales from Girls clothing. They are characteristic of a group that is not choosy with impulse spending.
Using your chosen company, explain how products are developed to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage
Product development is a crucial process for any profit-making firm. Product development is a multifaceted process that builds a firm’s product portfolio that is capable of competing on the market. Marks & Spencer has developed quality standards for its products to meet the changing tastes, preferences, and likes of its customers (Stokes & Lomax, 2008). The company has focused on producing classic styles to meet the complex needs of its high-end customers, as well as low-end customers. However, this does not mean that Marks & Spencer has focused on young shoppers only, but its entire market.
Evaluate a range of distribution methods to provide convenience to a target group of customers in your chosen organization
Distribution methods are channels through which a business presents its products efficiently and effectively to its customers. In essence, they are means by which organizations make their goods available on their shelves and those of their retailers. As sales increase, most companies tend to forget or ignore distribution as the core element of growing sales even further (Stokes & Lomax, 2008).
Mark & Spencer developed a computer-based distribution channel to cope with the increased competition in local and international markets. This channel is a self-serving channel that identifies shortages in inventory. Marks & Spencer seeks to become the most trusted partner to all its franchisees. Surveys show that Marks & Spencer is working with over 20 companies across the world to facilitate their effort to penetrate new and potential markets and build brand recognition in local, regional, and international markets.
The company has devised several local and international distribution strategies to ensure efficient movement of products across its regional and global units. Third-party logistics (3PLs) and supply chain members have come out strongly as the most efficient distribution strategies adopted by Marks & Spencer (Mcloughlin & Aaker, 2010).
Discuss the various pricing methods used by businesses and critically evaluate the pricing strategy of your organization
Marks & Spencer’s has adopted domestic and international pricing strategies to appeal to both markets. These pricing strategies consider fixed and variable costs, competition, positioning, objectives, as well as the target market. Marks and Spencer has for so long followed a value price strategy (Stokes & Lomax, 2008). The company has focused on middle-end customers using value-based pricing in which the products are priced based on the value proportions. Its main emphasis has remained value for customers’ money.
Explain the concept of integrated marketing communication and discuss the elements of the promotional mix as relevant to your organization
Integrated marketing communications is a dedicated approach that helps firms to achieve their marketing campaign objectives through a mix of promotional methods. According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies, integrated marketing communications appreciates the role of a comprehensive plan that assesses the roles of advertising, public relations, sales promotion, and personal selling to offer businesses with optimal communication effect (Stokes & Lomax, 2008).
Marks & Spencer focuses on developing a strong marketing mix to boost its sales and increase its market share and awareness. These actions have been deployed in existing and new markets. However, the company has applied this promotional mix differently based on market characteristics.
The company implemented a plan to integrate public relations, strong advertising, and sales promotion to attract its customers (Stokes & Lomax, 2008). With the growing online advertising, Marks & Spencer has cashed on this form of marketing to boost its sales.
Examine the nature of the extended marketing mix and discuss their relevance to service marketing
A marketing mix is a technique that incorporates all marketing variables necessary to a business seeking to make profits. A marketing mix, therefore, helps an organization to figure out how to achieve its objectives to exploit its target markets. A marketing mix is composed of product, place, promotion, and price. A marketing mix is commonly referred to as the 4Ps of marketing (Stokes & Lomax, 2008).
Service marketing is a technical field that requires businesses to develop appropriate marketing strategies capable of delivering sales. Since it is difficult to measure the value of services in quantitative form, service businesses must curve their market niches using accurate pricing, just-in-time delivery, and proper promotional strategies to boost sales (Mcloughlin & Aaker, 2010).
Evaluate the marketing mix variables for two segments of the consumer market and discuss how different it would be for business-to-business services. (B2B)
Marketing is a concept that operates as a function of several variables. As discussed, a marketing mix consists of price, place, promotion, and product (Cant, 2006). I select age and geography as two segments that a business can use to explore a market. To exploit a market segmented based on age; a business can use the promotion to present its products to a consumer market. In the clothing industry, teenage groups can be targeted using advertising media as a promotional technique to increase sales (Mcloughlin & Aaker, 2010). On the other hand, place, as a component of the marketing mix is useful when reaching out for external (foreign) geography as a macroeconomic aspect.
Marketing between businesses is completely different from marketing between businesses and consumers. A marketing strategy that involves organizations is called B2B marketing. Business-to-business marketing is not as complex as marketing to customers. Where a business markets its products through a local business, it is easy to adopt a variable mix that can attract sales (Cant, 2006).
Assuming that your selected organization is to enter the international market, examine and discuss the differences between domestic marketing and international marketing
Domestic marketing refers to activities that aim at boosting sales in home markets, while international marketing is an effort to push for increased sales in foreign markets. The market continues to shrink as many players enter the market. This has made many businesses to embrace the concept of global marketing and international markets. Domestic marketing focuses on exploiting local markets where products are customized to meet local needs (Cant, 2006). On the other hand, international marketing spans beyond local demands and has been seen as an extension of domestic marketing.
Brandy, D. L 2011, Essentials of international marketing, M.E. Sharpe Armonk, NY.
Cant, M. C 2006, Marketing management, Juta, Cape Town, South Africa.
Mcloughlin, D., & Aaker, D. A. 2010, Strategic market management: global perspectives, Wiley, Hoboken, N.J.
Percy, L 2012, Strategic Integrated Marketing Communications, Routledge, New York, NY.
Stokes, D., & Lomax, W 2008, Marketing: A brief introduction, Thomson, London.