There has being a noted high increase in the 21st century in Privatization, liberation, and Globalization of organization. These together with the advancement of information technology has resulted in intense competition in the entire business sphere. The effects for these are shortened product life cycles due to increased innovations and therefore macerating complexities have augmented tremendously. Many firms are desperate to look for strategy and action plans that would ensure their survival and growth. In the fast-changing socio-economic environment, the consumer is truly a moving target today. Sharp product segmentation based on consumer insights is highly desirable. The challenge for the marketers is to use the tools of branding and pricing at their disposal to ensure that the most valuable package in the customer’s perception is represented by his brand. Cooperative and collaborative relationships with customers are the most prudent way to keep track of changing expectations.
The classification of services, customization to regain lost customers, differentiation strategies to command premium price, and gastronomy strategies to provide a great deal of interaction and personalization to consumers, are amongst the prominent strategies, which could be used in customer relationships management. The market research should be visualized as a series of building blocks of information necessary for strategy development. Then the marketers must emphasize strategic marketing of their products/services for firms to compete well in the changing business scenario. A firm’s marketing strategy becomes more effective when it is a part and parcel of corporate strategy that defines how a firm can engage in successful customers, prospects, and competitors in the marketing field. Such a marketing strategy, therefore, requires being a product of the corporate strategies, corporate missions, and corporate goals.
As the customer constitutes the source of a company’s revenue, marketing strategy is closely linked with sales. A key component of marketing strategy is often to keep marketing in line with a company’s overarching mission statement. (Tom Knight 2005)
Therefore we can define strategic planning as the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives. Marketers use an assortment of strategies to guide how, when, and where product information is presented to consumers. Their goal is to persuade consumers to buy a particular brand or product. It has been noted that successful marketing strategies create the desire for a product. A marketer, therefore, needs to understand consumer likes and dislikes. In addition, marketers must know what information will convince consumers to buy their product, and whom consumers perceive as a credible source of information. Some marketing strategies use fictional characters, celebrities, or experts (such as doctors) to sell products, while other strategies use specific statements or “health claims” that state the benefits of using a particular product or eating a particular food (Bickart 2001).
Big organizations such as IBM and eBay have mastered this and have capitalized on the establishment of strategic marketing strategies which have enabled them to perform very well globally.
How IBM Strategic Marketing Has Made It Successful
The IBM Marketing Department is the one responsible for developing and implementing customer-focused strategies, programs, and capabilities that drive IBM’s brand value. This results in IBM attaining visible market leadership, strong customer loyalty, and high customer satisfaction. The goals include for IBM are 1.to positioning the firm as the world’s leading provider of integrated technology solutions for e-business on demand and the industry’s leading technology innovator; 2. improving the competitiveness and market performance of IBM offerings and 3. Leveraging IBM brand equity to expand revenue, improve profit and enhance IBM’s image.
To achieve these objectives IBM has put into place specific sectors to enhance their marketability. These sectors include The marketing management that is responsible for developing marketing strategies and also are accountable for implementing IBM marketing plans and program management. Integrated marketing communications conduct advertises direct marketing, event marketing brand identity, use of sponsors, and media marketing strategies. The IBM marketing department has established a marketing intelligence that helps to research customer satisfaction and identify new firm’s opportunities. For their marketing strategy to be very effective the company has ensured the existence of a marketing operations body that evaluates the marketing effectiveness and recommends appropriate measures to be adopted in the marketing department to ensure the demand for IBM products and services remains high.
Therefore through IBM well marketing strategies, IT has capitalized on increasing its awareness through the internet and electronic media. The IBM firm has narrowed its advertisements to focus on medium businesses and constituencies. For people to respond positively to these advantages IBM has ensured the creation of very effective casting guidelines for their advertising agencies globally. This has been achieved by IBM sponsoring specific social activities such as Black Family Technology Awareness Week during African, Hispanic Heritage Month, and including their advertisements in Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual journals during their special occasions such as Gay Pride Month. These advertisements make people learn more about the IBM products and therefore creating more interest in their products which strengthens their brands in all cross-culture and cross-social diversities.
IBM has learned secrete of advertising its products with business partners. A move that has enabled it to do well across the borders. To boost their advertisement in the constituency levels IBM first identifies the most effective partner to collaborate with before establishing the best way to reach people. The IBM partners hence help IBM to market their products and services by generating demands and selling IBM solutions to governments and commercial businesses. For example, source System and Integration which is one of IBM’s partners have based in Northern California has greatly enabled IBM to sell their solutions that comprise IBM software and hardware in the country. This is because this partner provides Californian government and commercial customers with IBM businesses solutions. Such partnership makes all communities from the entire world take IBM as their brand and that is how these collaboration partnerships have enabled IBM to do well globally (Tom Knight 2005).
How eBay’s Strategic Marketing Has Made It Successful
A strategic marketing strategy has also greatly assisted EBay Company to perform wonderfully both in the US and in global markets. In the beginning, eBay’s activities were minimal and restricted all its business operations in the US only. The good management of eBay advanced the performances of the company greatly through their strategic move to introduce online selling on eBay. This move to join eCommerce assisted the company to increase its global activities adversely. This is because its businesses spurt at a high rate in Europe, Asia, and America. The decision for eBay to join international marketing through the use of online selling was a strategic move for the company. This is because its international businesses activities had greatly multiplied since then. The company has established numerous sites straddling the global market as far as Brazil, China, and Germany.
The good performance of eBay has made it to be one of the leading electronic marketers in the world. Its good performances are highly dependent on its strategically designed playbook. These eBay playbooks consist of hundreds of WebPages of a collection of the wisdom of all eBay’s worldwide managers that span from America, Asia, and Europe. These playbooks are updated regularly. The playbook contains the formations that assist managers in their day-to-day eBay’s business activities. They contain information on online marketing, management, and community outreach. (O’Brien & Marakas2008, 323-324)The company through online selling has been very successful in opening new sites outside the US to operate across Asia and Europe. The company started by expanding into Germany and China before moving to other places. Today Germany eBay is by far the largest international site with an approximate sale of $ 70 billion annually. This is a much higher sale compared to the sale realized from the US of $ 20 billion. The good marketing strategies that are employed by eBay’s marketing department have enabled the company to expand to other parts such as in Europe in states like the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Italy.
The efficient marketing strategies of the company have enhanced eBay’s well performance. In the past, eBay used to concentrate all its advertisements on Television only. The marketing department realized that this method of creating awareness for their services was not very effective. Therefore they changed their advertising methodology to include creating awareness of their services and products through the use of the Internet. This proved very effective and nowadays eBay is heavily advertising its services and products through the Internet. Good advertisement through the Internet has therefore greatly boosted the good performance of the company. This is because the internet creates great awareness that has enabled the company to acquire many more customers worldwide. (O’Brien & Marakas 2008, 326)eBay has a very efficient marketing department that has helped the company establish an effective mechanism to overcome cross-cultural conflict.
eBay usually localizes its business activities to fit into the culture of its area of operation. For example, in Germany, eBay is generally configured to fit into Germany’s culture. All the conversations are in Germany. This is also the case in other places such as China and Italy. This helps the company to be taken as a local company and not to be taken as an American Brand. Therefore all the countries that host the eBay services take eBay as their community’s Brand. This strategy has enabled the company to perform very well in the international market as it has enabled the company to overcome the cross-cultural cultures and cross-cultural communication barriers that are common in international marketing (Chaffey 2003, 115). When eBay establishes its site in a country the management at first concentrates all their efforts on marketing their services to the locals through the use of the Internet and other advertising means. This enables the company to bring more customers to the site. Thereafter, the company embarks on perfecting detailed category management or rolling out pay pals. This helps to enhance and ease the company’s activities greatly (Carrol 1992).
Other reasons why eBay has been that successful in its local and international markets are its easy URL and efficient electronic money transfer methods such as pay-pal, E-gold, and others. This is because Internet businesses require a lot more than just a storefront on the Internet to be successful. One of the main things an Internet business would require is an easy URL to remember. If you have a long drown-out URL few people will remember it and they will more than likely visit a more memorable site. Therefore that’s why eBay has adapted an easy URL for their customers to easily remember it. Good Internet business also requires some type of shopping cart so that customers can select items and continue shopping on your site as well as get an idea of how much they are spending (Chaffey 2003, 116). These facilities are well supplied by eBay to facilitate the smooth shopping of their customers.
Another thing Internet retailers may need is a service that allows them to accept credit cards for instance Pay Pal or other merchant account companies. It’s very hard to run a business online if your only accepted method of payment is checks and money orders more people are using credit cards to pay for purchases online or electronic checks or virtual cash like E-gold. If you equip your business with the ability to accept these types of payments you will have a better chance of people making purchases from your website. This has been well addressed by all eBay sites by establishing pay pal facilities to boost their online sale on all their sites worldwide. Being online has as well, big advantages; from my point of view these are the two main advantages: These are the Technological differences; buyers of one country can afford to buy high technology products at a cheaper price than in their own country. This is due to the different developments of the markets. The other one is caused by the difference of currencies; people from the U.K. or U.S.A. can buy at a cheaper price than in their own country due to strengthens of their currency. Therefore online buying allows customers to buy products at a cheap price, which is what the majority of online shoppers are looking for. This is why eBay has been successful in selling thousands of jewelers, watches, and electronics such as computers software. (Chaffey 2003)
Good marketing strategies are very important as they enhance the businesses to perform well. Therefore businesses organizations must ensure that they establish competent marketing strategies that will allow their products to compete well with similar products from other companies. This can be ensured by the marketing department advising their companies’ managements on the strategies to employ to enhance the sale of their products and services. Some of these strategies that companies can adapt include establishing companies’ websites to help promote awareness of the company’s products or services. The establishment of the website also helps the firm to market and sell its products or services online thus enabling it to serve customers cover a wide geographical area more easily and at a much lower cost. Good marketing strategies should also allow firms to easily market their products and services across all cross-cultural barriers through localization of services across borders to allow foreign consumers to embrace the firm’s products as their brand. These are the strategies that have been embraced by IBM and eBay and hence the base of their excellent performances (Jackson1985.
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