Task 1: Understand the Principles Strategic Marketing Management
Discuss the Role of Strategic Marketing in an Organization
Strategic marketing entails a group of continuous activities and comprehensive processes that organizations use to classify and align resources with the established objectives. In other words, activities in strategic marketing are aligned with the organization’s mission, vision, and plans (Dess, Lumpkin & Taylor 2005). Through strategic marketing, any organization acquires a mechanism for changing static plans into strategic performance outcomes that enable business strategies to gradually develop and grow as marketing requirements and situations change.
Building organizational success requires an understanding of strategic marketing (Chernev 2009). However, one may wish to know the role that strategic marketing can play in a specific company, say, Philips. The organization’s goal is to gain a competitive advantage in a dynamic operational environment that is characterized by heightened competition from the already existing manufacturers of home appliances. Thus, Philips must apply effective strategic marketing efforts to remain relevant and/or gain a sizeable market share for all its products. The market potential of any products may not be realized as anticipated due to the emerging consumer needs and concerns (Kotler & Armstrong 2008). This scenario is important upon considering health concerns such as heart diseases that are associated with deep-fried food products, which use oil fryers and appliances. Philips has already come up with an alternative product called air fryer, which cooks food using hot air, as opposed to oil. The alternative indicates an innovative business strategy that marks continued growth and survival of Philips in the fryers and appliances market. While this plan ushers a new phase of initiating the marketing of the new products, the old product is clearly in the market transit phase. This case reveals another important role of strategic marketing, namely, helping an organization to determine when to focus marketing efforts on one product while withdrawing such efforts from another commodity (Kotler & Armstrong 2008). Hence, strategic marketing management enhances the product life cycle that forms the basis of decision-making.
Explain the Process Involved in Strategic Marketing
Strategic marketing is implemented through a defined process. The first step is an understanding of where to market and/or how to do the promotion. This process is followed by the development of a mechanism for putting marketing strategic plans in place. The implementation of marketing strategic plans at the organization has five steps. The first step involves evaluating the plans to eliminate any unrealistic elements, probable excessive cost, and the implementation time (Iyamabo & Otubanjo 2013). The second step entails setting the vision for the implementation of the plan. This step also involves setting goals in a manner that an organization can know if the plan is effective and/or if the goals are attained. The third step entails setting a team for implementing the plan. The team must understand the goals and the necessity of the plans. The fourth phase involves establishing and scheduling various group meetings aimed at discussing the plan implementation progress (Iyamabo & Otubanjo 2013). The fifth step entails bringing all management executives on board to help in analyzing the progress and achievement of marketing plans. This strategy ensures that they also become part of the plan (Iyamabo & Otubanjo 2013). If problems arise, management brainstorming is embraced to help in alleviating the impediments
Establish the Link between Strategic Marketing and Corporate Strategy
Corporate level strategies aim at examining what an organization does a couple with its command decisions. The strategies include determining whether a business establishment deserves to diversify into new regions, develop partnerships with other rival companies, and/or to abandon certain product lines to focus on the most profitable ones (Hitt, Ireland & Hoskisson 2013).
In the pinpointed case of Philips, abandoning the oil fryers while embracing the hot air fryers may be viewed as an important corporate-level strategy. Strategic marketing ensures that the concern of this corporate strategy is achieved through the development of the appropriate plans for positioning and attracting customers to buy the hot air fryer (Hooley et al. 2007). To this extent, strategic marketing results in the attraction of customers to ensure that the organization gains a competitive advantage through increased sales and profitability (Iyamabo & Otubanjo 2013). Through strategic marketing, Philips can establish a strong worldwide brand image and loyalty for its hot air fryer, which is submissive to the established heart disease health concerns. As a corporate level strategy, Philips can focus on vertical integration, which leads to reduced costs via the provision of forwarding integration methodologies, the establishment of distribution channels, and/or input and selling of outputs (Iyamabo & Otubanjo 2013). In this process, strategic marketing plays a significant role in communicating Philips’s new product (hot air fryer) to its target customers.
Task 2: Understand the Tools used to Develop Strategic Marketing Strategy
Assess the Value of Models used in Strategic Marketing Planning
Strategic marketing planning utilizes different models. For instance, the 3Cs model constitutes one of such frameworks that aid in developing a broad understanding of issues in the strategic operational environment. Also, Ansoff’s matrix model explains well the marketing mix positioning. When pursuing a given marketing plan, the 4Ps model facilitates in developing a clear understanding of the market targeting strategy (Shaw 2012). In determining the long-term implication of altering any element of 4Ps, the customers-lifetime-value model helps in visualizing the changes. It is also important to access the market in which an organization sells its products and services during marketing planning. In this context, PESTLE and SWOT analysis models are important (Shaw 2012).
PESTLE is deployed as a decision criterion for targeting markets. However, based on the 4Ps (product, place, price, and promotion) model, before conducting the PESTLE approach to analyzing markets, an organization develops criteria for selecting the location of distribution channels in the effort to guarantee easy positioning. PESTLE is the acronym for political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal factors that influence a marketing planning strategy (Iyamabo & Otubanjo 2013).
For Philips Company, the political environment influences the operations of the company via taxing policies. The company must pay charges in the form of taxes to the nations where it has established stores. The management must also comply with environmental regulations, tariffs, and employment laws that are established in different nations of operation. From the perspective of economic factors, the operational economic environment of the fryers is characterized by rapidly fluctuating customer preferences, which influence its financial performance in terms of increased costs of running a business. Indeed, heart disease concern entails an important factor that can change customers’ preferences in the fryer and appliances market, thus triggering declined financial performance due to the reduction of sales of the oil fryers and appliances.
Social aspects act as incredible success factors that influence any company’s operations. Customers are concerned about the safety standards of the products they buy (Shaw 2012). Hence, for Philips, developing a product that complies with the concerns about heart disease helps in retaining and attracting new clients. People who have a first-time experience with the company always send an impressive message to other potential clients (Iyamabo & Otubanjo 2013).
The deployment of the power of the internet in enhancing quick communication indicated how technology is important in helping to send promotional materials through blogs and direct interaction with customers on social media. Nevertheless, it also presents challenges in case negative profiling is sent through the same channels. Indeed, Dess, Lumpkin, and Taylor (2005) assert that it takes longer to remove a bad image about an organization’s products than to create positive images of the same product(s). Strategic marketing also considers the implications of products and services offered for sale on the environment. The goal is to ensure that the promoted products have minimal negative effects on the environment. As such, SWOT analysis assesses the strength, limitations, prospects, and threats of the products marketed (Iyamabo & Otubanjo 2013).
Discuss the Links between Strategic Positioning and Marketing Tactics
Strategic marketing tactics act as a tool for determining the success of companies such as Phillips. Strategic marketing tactics provide a potential way of aligning the organization’s marketing plans with strategies for gaining a competitive advantage. Various strategies marketing tactics can be used in gaining a competitive advantage among them pursuing a low-cost strategy to help in driving success (Dess, Lumpkin & Taylor 2005). To this extent, the positioning strategy has to be part of an effective marketing tactic plan. In the case of Philips and its new product, an effective positioning strategy would involve placing the product in compliance with the emerging need for responding to heart disease concerns. Hence, it would be marketed as a product that reduces the risk of heart diseases in the country.
Analyze the Merits of Relationship Marketing in a Given Strategic Marketing Strategy
Relationship marketing focuses on building a strong connection between products or services brands with target customers (Mukherjee 2007). This connection is achieved by ensuring consistent delivery of a brand that exceeds consumers’ needs and anticipations (Best 2009). Relationship marketing has the merit of guaranteeing consistent and reliable customer experience. It ensures the collection of customers’ feedback on experience with products. Through customers’ profitability, relevant communication tools can be established to motivate them to continue using a brand (Mukherjee 2007). Through customer relationship marketing, clients who enjoy the experience with a given brand share the information with other potential consumers. This situation has the merit of creating customer advocates (Iyamabo & Otubanjo 2013). Finally, incorporating relationship marketing in a marketing strategy ensures that an organization gains an opportunity to engage customers in idea generation, a move that enhances innovation of new brands that can respond to the market needs, experiences, and preferences.
Task 3: Be Able to Use Strategic Marketing Techniques
Use the Appropriate Marketing Techniques to Ascertain Growth Opportunities in a Market
The international market is saturated with multinational companies that manufacture and sell various oil-based fryers and appliances. Although Philips has been actively competing in the international market for similar fryers and machines, the new hot air fryers and devices provide a unique opportunity for the company to display its innovative capacity as one of the important strategies for remaining competitive in an international market (Shaw 2012). Even though the new fryer is developed to suit the identified health concern in only one country, Philips still has a growth opportunity by expanding into international markets. However, this opportunity makes the organization susceptible to varying influences. Therefore, the strategy also calls for product diversification to meet other needs of different people in the global fryer market. Promotion and positioning of the products are important aspects of an internationalization strategy for Philips’ new product. Through its creative and innovative team that develops new product designs, Philips can establish the appropriate modifications of the fresh invention to meet the specific needs of other new markets.
Plan on how to Use Marketing Strategy Options in a Market
Philips can pursue different marketing strategies. To ensure that many people try the products to become future commodity advocates through relationship marketing, the low-price strategy is important in the introduction phase of the product to the market. Such a price strategy is an effort to gain a competitive advantage (Kotler & Armstrong 2008). Nevertheless, the strategy should be adopted during the first two years of operation. Building customer relationships constitute the key marketing strategy that will help in building a long-term positive brand image.
Before any attempt is made to place promotion in any media, effort should be made to clear potential negative profiling of the latest product in the new media, including social media. In this effort, Philips should deploy the strategy of providing information relating to the new product. Emphasis should be placed on the health benefits of the product in comparison with the old ones or those offered by competitors. The internet may be viewed as one of the important media communication tools.
An online communication strategy for Philips’ new product can be realized through a myriad of modalities. These modalities can be driven by two main objectives. The first object is to establish a two-way form of a conversation between the organization and its potential customers and the provision of well-thought and implementable details relating to the measures taken by Philips’ company to ensure that it adapts to the new markets and that it can secure a quantifiable market share. Such communication ensures that all stakeholders of the company are satisfied with the efforts of the strategic marketing arm of the company to remain competitive in the dynamic fryer and appliances market.
Create Appropriate Strategic Marketing Objectives for a Market
The objective of Philips’ strategic marketing in the new product market should involve deriving strategies that can make it gain a competitive advantage over other organizations. The objective implies that while it decides to stop further initiatives of market penetration for the oil fryers, Philips should remain aware that other companies, which sell oil fryers, would not have stopped promoting their products. Hence, oil fryers will continue offering substitute competition. However, Philips has a higher stake in securing a higher market share for its hot air fryer. The concerns of heart disease already provide a strong driving force that can help to build strong customer relationships. Hence, Philips’ main objective should mainly focus on relationship marketing. Nevertheless, the threat of competitors who copy the products or introduce a similar brand in a bid to respond to emerging health concerns cannot be ignored. In this endeavor, Philips’ strategy in the market is to focus on price, products, place, and promotions or the 4Ps of the marketing mix to survive. Using the 4Ps appropriately ensures that a company remains significant in a highly competitive market environment (Kotler & Armstrong 2008).
Task 4: Be Able to Respond to Changes in the Marketing Environment
Report on the Impact of Changes in the External Environment on a Marketing Strategy
The home appliances industry in which Philips operates changes rapidly. For example, there is an emphasis on the need to develop environmentally friendly home appliances in a bid to reduce the effects of electronic wastes on the environment. As revealed in the scenario that forms the basis of discussion of this paper, an additional change has been encountered demanding the development of hot air fryers. The change clearly indicates the possibility of more changes in the external environment in the future. To guarantee compliance with such changes, the marketing strategy for the new product should also consider positioning the fryer as a flexible product that responds to customer needs.
Conduct an Internal Analysis to Identify the Current Strengths and Weaknesses in a Marketing Strategy
The current marketing strategy focuses on ensuring more awareness of Philips’ new product to make sales in the country. One of the strengths of the current strategy is that the company is recording an increasing growth in the country’s market due to its sensitization of the relationship between heart diseases and oil-based fryers. The strength translates to a growing brand image. Therefore, innovation is an indication of Philips’s flexibility to meet the needs of its customers. Despite the strengths of Philips’ current marketing strategy, it has some weaknesses. Weaknesses or limitations are the characteristics of a marketing strategy that place an organization at a disadvantage in comparison with other businesses in the same industry (Kotler & Armstrong 2008). One of the subtle weaknesses of Philips’s marketing strategy can be attributed to its increased focus on positioning the new brand as a healthy sensitive product, which may create the perception that the company engages in unethical marketing tactics such as deception. This weakness holds upon considering the company’s internationalization strategy as the opportunity for growth, particularly in nations where the people have not been sensitized by the government about the relationship between heart disease and the oil fryers. Although the low-price strategy is an appropriate marketing plan for the new product in the introduction phase, it presents the weakness of the likelihood of the company’s failure to break even by selling fewer products.
Propose Strategic Marketing Responses to Key Emerging Themes in a Marketing Strategy
Factors or elements that hinder the success of the developed marketing planning strategies (barriers) are inevitable in any strategic marketing plan. Menon (2009, p. 31) asserts that there is a need for identifying marketing planning barriers, for instance, ‘inadequate management support, failure to coordinate and comply with plans, and failure to understand customer needs.’ In the effort to ensure that marketing planning strategies are effective in realizing an organization’s objectives, it (organization) also attempts to overcome barriers. Such barriers include improper communication management, inability to manage change properly, and/or the incapacity to make accurate predictions of the environmental responses to the enacted marketing planning strategies. For the success of Philips’ marketing strategy for the new product, it needs to respond to all potential barriers quickly.
An adequate response to the above-emerging themes can be accomplished through the formulation, implementation, and development of an evaluation program for the marketing strategy of the new product. This plan creates the possibility of identifying barriers to effective marketing in a good time, including taking the necessary measures to overcome them. For example, overcoming poor communication can be effected through the enactment of effective communication processes. This process entails scrapping one-way bureaucratic communication processes and adopting a two-way communication framework. Where miscommunication occurs, effective strategies to correct any misunderstanding should be secured and implemented to curtail the possible negative implications on the brand image.
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