Marketing plans help businesses to understand their markets in order to improve their products and increase their market presence. Sky Company Limited is private company that specializes in the production, manufacture and distribution of soft drinks and beverages around the world. In fact, the company has over one hundred franchises located in different parts. It also employs over 3000 employees and is among the leading companies in terms of market share. However, the company has been losing numerous customers forcing it to close down some of its franchises. The challenge is to enhance increased profits margin by appropriate use of the available resources.
To begin with, critical analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities will highlight areas that are inefficient in the company and help it to capitalize on opportunities and strengths it posses. This marketing plan focuses on the ways to increase the market share and enhance customer loyalty. The plan suggests ways in which the company can develop new products to suit specific consumers and diversify its risks.
Founded as a soft drink company in 1972, Sky Company Limited has evolved to become one of the largest companies specializing in soft drinks such as soda and juice. Since its entry to the market, the company has faced fierce competition from other companies in the industry. Despite its continued growth in the last decade, it has seen its growth decrease substantially. Indeed, the customers have been reducing with steady rate making its unable to compete with other companies. In addition, it experiences external challenges and threats that may impede its growth.
Currently, market share reflects domination of big companies. With such competition, the company holds approximately 25% of the market share, which has been decreasing gradually (Joshi 2005, pp. 23 -134). The leading company holds almost 50% of the market and continues to dominate in the emerging markets especially in Asia and Africa. However, it is important to note that external factors have continued to pose a challenge in the industry.
The company recognizes the need to have an effective production and distribution system. The rationale is that the contemporary business context has demanded that companies should reduce their budgets and cut expenses. Despite this need, many companies have reduced their labor costs and direct increased expenditure on promotional activities. The trend transcends all industries and market analysts expect it to continue. Sky Company Limited has the capacity to reduce its labor costs and embark on an effective marketing strategy. Nonetheless, operating in different countries has seen the company experience different economic pressures.
Sky Company Limited operates in over 14 countries mainly in Latin America and Asia. Many political factors present the company with uncertainties and challenges. For instance, political instability of a country implies increased costs of distribution and production. Besides, politically motivated legislations have continued to affect the market penetration of the company with majority of soft drink companies losing significantly (Jeffrey 2004, p. 113). Although global environment is volatile to periods of recessions with many governments enacting laws to avert such dangers, Sky Company Limited is flexible and makes appropriate strategies to adapt to the political climate. Finally, there have been many calls by many political leaders particularly in the developing world to advocate for support towards local industry through tax exemption making the company to face huge competition subsequently.
Social Cultural Factors
In any business environment, social diversity is an important entry point to new markets. This is in appreciation social and cultural factors have a huge effect on the consumer and employees behavior. In various countries, people have varied beliefs, customs and traditions that dictate specific eating habit. Besides, the customers of specific countries have different needs to other in others market environment. In terms of hiring, Sky Company Limited hires the local people of the country in managerial positions as a marketing of enhancing customer loyalty. However, the company recognizes that culture is ‘inter’ and ‘intra’ groups (Joshi 2005, pp. 23 -134). For instance, in the United Sates there are subcultures that may require particular products. Youth and healthy living culture influence consumer behavior and may promote or reduce the purchase of a specific product.
Legal and Regulatory Factors
Sky Company limited has not suffered several litigations during its operations in the world. Legal requirements are different in different countries that it operates. It is not surprising that different standards applied in various countries require alterations during the production and marketing processes of soft drinks and beverages. The company is familiar with laws of the fourteen countries involving local laws. Countries have laws that guide such issues as minimum wages, medical and health insurance, pensions, and many other aspect that are unique from one country to the other.
Other factors that represent the company with legal risks include taxation laws that guide the tax systems of the countries. As such, the company may face increased taxation on foreign goods in favor of locally produced goods. Governments assume such approaches in order to protect local industry by enhancing their competitiveness. In some countries, taxes are levied through value added tax in which the market price reflects the tax collected at each stage (Schein 2004, p. 67). Unique safety standards of products are also different in various and they dictate the standards of manufacturing and packaging goods. Some companies in the sector have had serious litigations regarding their products’ content, which in turn has led to tight laws especially governing safe laws. Although Sky Company Limited has not had any major litigation issue concerning safety of its products, litigations involving other companies in the industry have been detrimental to the perception of soft drinks and beverages.
Sky Company Limited recognizes the importance of technological change to enhance its effectiveness and the ability to meet customers’ demands. Through an online strategy, the company is able to reach numerous target markets and promote its products. Besides, new technological advances have enhanced such processes as market research in which the marketers are able to collect data that assist in making strategic decisions. It is important to note that some markets that the company operates have variations in the access and utilization of technology. In such markets, the company seeks to adopt appropriate technology to guide it marketing processes.
Sky Company Limited is committed to high quality products and has differentiated its products to address the need of its customers. The ability of the company to differentiate its products has enabled the country to continue reaping profits and returns. The target market includes the entire population of the markets it has ventured. It meets the requirements of each group in the society by differentiating and packaging their goods (Christensen 1997, p. 56). Some products that target young people are packaged with the trendy and fashionable manner to enhance uniqueness to the specific group.
Sky Company Limited intends to produce new products to address the needs of other groups within the society. This is in line with the fact that many people have changed their dietary habits and reduced the uptake of soft drinks. Particularly, the company understands that the products with high sugar and calories have been the focus of healthy living campaigns. As such, it aims at producing products that are of high health standards as a strategy to increase the target market. Additionally, the company has penetrated the developing countries’ market in Latin America and has realized that the youth compose majority of the population. To that end, it seeks to produce more products targeting the youth than current products. This enhances the company’s sustainability since it allows the young people to become aware of the product, which increases the customer’s loyalty (Rolfe 1986, p. 34). This is not only the driving force of the company’s performance in emerging markets but its strength in terms of brand awareness amongst the youth.
Current Marketing Objectives
Sky Company Limited have various objectives entrenched in its marketing strategy. First, the company seeks to reach more people in its area of operations and increase market presence. Currently, the company’s products attract numerous young people and leave out other age categories. Particularly in Brazil, its products have lured many young people who constitute 70% of the consumers. To achieve this objective, the company seeks to enhance its promotional activities to target the other age categories, which will in turn increase its market share.
Moreover, the company focuses on the need for market research that will provide a ‘true picture’ of the products’ differentiation and segmentation. Through empirical marketing research, a company is able to make strategic analyses and plans that will enhance the achievement of the marketing objectives. Sky Company Limited also seeks to use the research findings to evaluate the feasibility of venturing into new markets that may prove profitable than the current markets. In other words, research will allow the company to highlight areas that require improvement and others that need to be sustained.
Sky Company Limited also seeks to enable the marketing department to utilized modern and probably advanced methods when promoting a product. It helps the marketers to establish the right marketing mix of the products. This involves production of the right products that meet customers’ needs, making them available in the most effective place, promoting them and according them the most competitive price. With these factors clearly addressed by use of technology and advanced marketing tools, the company aspires to expand its presence and ensure it continues to lead in terms of market share (Schein 2004, p. 97).
SWOT analysis is important aspect of marketing plan that highlights the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that might affect a company. It helps organizations to appraise the ineffective aspects of marketing that a company can either capitalize on or avoid in its operations.
- Due to the superior quality of its products, the company has a valuable brand that enhances its ability to promote its products. This has led to global brand recognition making it able to penetrate new markets with ease unlike its competitors. The rationale is that the level of brand awareness contributes significant to the acceptance of the product.
- Sky Company Limited has a huge capital base that allows it to expand its operations. With annual revenues surpassing $10 billion, the company can use the resources to improve its marketing strategy.
- The company has a stable system of management that allows the employees and the managers to interact freely.
- Sky Company Limited enjoys huge market share in many countries making it one of the largest companies in the industry. As such, the company and its competitors are able to use their pole positions in the market to lobby for favorable legislations and regulatory framework.
- The company commands strong history that is typical of minimal litigations. This could foster the public perception of the company given the numerous corporate social responsibility activities in countries that it conducts business (Marshall 1999, p. 67).
- The company has not proactive in ensuring a customer satisfaction services. To the contrary, it relies on the sales’ fluctuations to comprehend the actual market share and customer satisfaction.
- Sky Company limited lacks a concrete business strategy regarding the market expansion and relies on competitive forces to venture into other markets.
- Although the company has a strong management system, the centralized management model limits the ability to make democratic decisions
- The company lacks specific products targeting special groups in the society.
- Despite the global economic recession of 2008-2009, the food and drinks industry did not suffer major effects.
- Sky Company limited has the opportunity to use its current market share and resources to venture into new markets.
- The company could adopt technological and management changes to become effective in production and distribution of its products. Besides, it can minimize its expenses associated with labor costs (Marshall 1999, p. 78)
- Sky Company Limited can explore other products to meet the needs of a particular target market.
- The company can enhance its market presence by acquiring other smaller companies in the industry in order to command increased market share.
- Lack of comprehensive business strategy could make the business to lose more numbers of customers to the competitors.
- The company faces decline in customers and revenues.
- The competition in the industry remains huge with some big companies commanding a near monopoly status.
- Political factors have been dynamic and unpredictable making the company vulnerable to fluctuations.
Matching Strengths to Opportunities/ Converting Weaknesses and Threats
To march the current opportunities and threats, Sky Company Limited ought to embrace technological changes, enhance customers’ satisfaction, modify its current management system, diversify its product line and explore opportunities to minimize its costs. It should venture into the emerging market and expand its operations to areas that are profitable.
It is apparent that the current marketing objectives of the company have failed to achieve their goals of enhancing growth in the company. As such, Sky Company Limited ought to aim at increasing its marketing abilities to reach more number of customers. Besides, the company ought to enhance its market presence in new markets and ensure that it reduces the current overhead costs associated with labor and production.
The company aims at ensuring that it increases its market growth to reach to about 10% annually for the next five years. This is possible through sound marketing strategies guided by marketing research (Christensen 1997, p. 58). The company ought to establish a customer service department in order to retain the current customers.
The company has the objective of exploring other options including acquisitions in order to increase its market share and take advantage of the laid down infrastructure by the acquired company.
It also seeks to integrate technology and adopt appropriate changes to enhance the effectiveness of the marketing and promotional activities.
The company should consolidate its current target market particularly the young people who constitute a large percentage of the company’s customers. This is possible through increased brand awareness and enhancing customers’ participation in the company’s promotional activities.
The company aims at establishing customer service system that will ensure that the customers’ suggestions, inquires and views are addressed amicably. This involves the use of all technological resources that are in line with enhancing an improved interactive customer’s service system.
The company ought to reduce its operations in countries like Venezuela that has reduced revenues and venture into new markets that might be more profitable. This would also involve making acquisitions that would see the company increase its market share.
To produce diverse products giving emphasis on the market characteristics as well as specific products targeting specific groups in the society.
The company should be able to adopt an appropriate market mix to continue to be profitable. The products ought to reflect the needs of the customers who belong to various social and cultural groups. The market forces should inform the pricing of the soft drinks to enhance their competitiveness. In fact, the fluctuations in exchange rates across the world require that the company should show responsiveness to the market factors. The place in which the company’s products appear ought to be pivotal in enhancing the accessibility and availability to the customers. Through interactive promotional activities, the company should be able to promote its products to enhance awareness of the brand to new and existing customers.
Sky Company Limited should organize its marketing objectives in line with the need to expand and increase its market presence and growth. A manager will head the departments that are in the marketing plan. This will enhance customer segmentation to include the young people, the special categories, the old, etc. These changes will enable the company to be creative, innovative and responsive to the customers’ needs.
Activities, Responsibility and Time Schedule
All implementation processes of the plan will commence in the next financial year and will be preceded by a comprehensive training of all members of the team. By the first three months of the year, the company hopes to have diversified its products to cover the needs of special groups. The establishment of an effective customer care system will follow this phase. When the company has implemented the steps, it is important to consider other factors such as acquisition and modification of the management system.
Evaluation and Control
Performance standards and Financial Controls
Budget reporting and its subsequent breakdown should be is an important aspect of the plan to ascertain the effectiveness of project team. The financial information and expenditure ought to be the point of reference for any evaluator. The budgetary report should be in line with financial ethics and standards that guide different business environments (Christensen 1997, p. 78).
The company will ensure that the process of implementing the plan is in line with various monitoring standards that guide such businesses. Using skilled professionals, the company will appraise the aspects of the project that they deem as challenges to the plan.
Christensen, C 1997, The innovator’s dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, Massachusetts.
Jeffrey, S 2004, A Theoretical Perspective on Political Risk, McGraw Hill Publishers, Irwin, New York.
Joshi, R 2005, International Marketing, Oxford University Press, New York.
Marshall, R 1999, The Four Elements of Successful Management, American Management Association Press, New York.
Rolfe, H 1986, ‘Skill, deskilling and new technology in the non-manual labour process’, New Technology, Work and Employment, vol.1 no. 1, pp. 37-49.
Schein, E 2004, Organizational Culture and Leadership, Prentice hall Publishers, Upper Saddle River.