Toyota Motor Corporation’s Marketing Plan

Introduction

The relevant market plan is aimed at providing a consistent outline for Toyota’s activity and some guidelines for increasing the efficiency of its performance. The report contains a detailed analysis of its internal and external activity, the marketing strategies that the company uses, the marketing mix aspect and SWOT. The proposed plan sets three smart objectives that are supposed to be critical to the company’s success. It also provides the framework for the potential implementations that might help to achieve the targeted aims. Finally, the marketing plan at hand includes an overview of the metrics that might be employed to measure Toyota’s performance from different perspectives.

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Situation Analysis

SWOT

Strengths

In the framework of the company’s strengths, three key aspects need to be pointed out: the established brand, the effective supply chain, and the intense, innovative activity. Thus, Toyota is currently one of the most popular and respectable brands in the relevant industry. The company has a well-developed and effectively-structured global supply chain that assures consistent performance and the minimization of the market-related risks. Lastly, Toyota pursues a sustainable innovative policy that enables the company to maintain its competitive advantage.

Weaknesses

The company strategy has the following weaknesses: the hierarchical structure of the organization, the secrecy in corporate culture, the increase in the frequency of product recalls. The hierarchical character of organizational structure reduces the flexibility of the company’s regional operations. The cultural secrecy harms the response times in cases of emergency. The increased intensity of the “product recalls” consumes the resources that could be allocated to the product’s distribution.

Opportunities

The company’s opportunities are mainly determined by the current trends in terms of technologies and economics. Thus, there are three key prospects: the extension to the developing countries’ growing markets, the increased demand for fuel-efficient products and economic vehicles, the new export opportunities due to the weak yen.

Threats

As long as Korea and China strengthen its positions in the relevant market, the principal threat that Toyota is likely to face is the increase of the competition’s intensity. The competition becomes more severe in the innovation field as well. Thus, such companies as Ford have become particularly concerned about their innovative development.

External Analysis

Micro Environment: Porter’s Five Forces

One of the most critical aspects of a consistent market plan is an objective evaluation of the internal strategy. Thus, it is considered reasonable to carry out the internal analysis with the application of Porter’s Five Method.

The Threat of New Entrants

The analysis of the internal operations shows that the threat of new entrants is low for Toyota. The general market examinations show that a company takes significant risks and financial burdens while entering the car market. The key disadvantages of this field reside in the high investment capital required as well as the intensely competitive environment. From this perspective, Toyota has a series of advantages: the brand’s popularity, the sustainable positions in various segments of the relevant market, the large size of the business.

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Threats of Substitutes

The risks of being substituted are defined as moderate. Thus, the principle factor that determines the substitution tendency resides in the fact that customers are inclined to make their choice in favor of used cars due to the low costs of the latter. From this perspective, Toyota pursues a reasonable pricing policy, adjusting its costs to the current tendency. The gap between the cost of Toyota’s product and a used car is rather insignificant so that the risk of substitution is considered to be moderate.

Buying Power

The intensity of competitiveness in the car market is currently determined by two factors: the customers’ shift to fuel-efficient cars and the increased demand for the hybrid automobiles (Weaver 2002). In other words, an average client seeks for a cheaper alternative of high quality. From this perspective, Toyota implements various strategies aimed at reducing the cost of its operations that allows them offering moderate final prices. The products they offer might be characterized as affordable and quality so that the buying power is defined as moderate.

Supplier Power

One of the most critical aspects in terms of supplying power is the company’s relations with its suppliers as the productiveness of the latter determines the performance’s efficiency of the former. In Toyota’s case, the company has a series of long-term contracts with its suppliers, monitors its supply chain thoroughly and offers a beneficial term to suppliers (Ferrel & Hartline 2013). As a result, the bargaining power of its suppliers is defined as low.

Rivalry among the Competitors

The competitive intensity is determined by the growing expectations of the customers that are interested in quality improvement and prices’ cut. From this perspective, Toyota is not the only player who pursues a low-cost policy – other automobile companies employ different methods to keep up with the market’s laws; thus, the rivalry level is defined as high.

Macro Environment: PESTEL

Political Factors

In Toyota’s case, three critical political factors represent beneficial opportunities. First of all, the main markets within which the company operates are politically stable so that the company experiences a minimum of tension. Another opportunity is represented by the free trade agreements that allow penetrating such markets as Japanese, for example. Lastly, the governments of the countries where Toyota operates, including the UK, provide consistent support for the eco-friendly products so that the company receives assistance in its activity. On the whole, the political environment is currently favorable for the company’s operation.

Economic Factors

The current economic context opens a series of opportunities for the company: the new prospects of exporting from Japan determined by the current weakness of Yen (Truddel & Hagiwara 2015). Also, there are the prospects of growth in the US market, and the extension into the new markets determined by the upward trend of developing economies.

Technological Factors

From a social perspective, the company is likely to receive opportunities and meet some threats. Thus, on the one hand, Toyota has a chance to improve its e-commerce power and develop its mobile apps to enhance customers’ loyalty. On the other hand, there is a threat of cybercrime that needs to be properly managed.

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Social Factors

In the social framework, it is essential to point out the increasing demand for electric vehicles that the company is capable of satisfying. In the meantime, it is critical to take into account the financial gap between the social classes that, likewise, grows. Thus, according to experts’ evaluation, the company’s targeted clientele is the middle class (Truddel & Hagiwara 2015).

Ecological Factors

Within the ecological context, the company has two opportunities: enhancing the production of environmentally friendly cars and improving the operation methods, raising its cost-effectiveness.

Legal Factors

The legal field is highly emerging. Due to the governments’ increased concern about protecting intellectual property, the company is now less susceptible to the risks of property rights infringement. Toyota, likewise, has a chance to provide high-quality products satisfying the requirements set by environmental laws. Moreover, the company can offer safe products fulfilling or exceeding consumers’ laws.

Internal Analysis: Value Chain Analysis

Primary Activities

The company purchases its raw materials from a wide variety of suppliers around the world. Toyota employs the JIT approach to handling its raw material. The company is considered to be reliable due to the high level of the operations’ efficiency (Toyota Motor Corporation 2015). The company tries to make its products assessable – it has numerous showrooms in different countries. The customer policy is mainly focused on effective marketing communications and promotion campaigns.

Support Activities

The support activities that the company carries out include procurement, technology development, and human resource management. Toyota performs a particularly significant contribution to the human capital, seeing to the fact that the recruitment policy is constantly improved, the employees receive consistent training, and that corporate values are concisely formulated (Employees 2015).

Objectives

Toyota targets a series of smart objectives. First and foremost, it aims to turn corporate value into the management priority. Secondly, the company intends to introduce new products that will satisfy the changing customers’ demands. Finally, Toyota wants to increase its competitive capacity. To complete the set objectives, the company has worked out a consistent strategy.

Strategies

To accomplish its aims, the company implements effective marketing strategies. Thus, in the framework of STP analysis, it should be noted that the company has a reasonable segmentation policy – Toyota segmented almost all the countries in the world as its targeted market. Moreover, the company performs efficient consumer segmentation that is based on such variables as gender, lifestyle, hobbies, etc. In terms of targeting; every product has its targeted clientele.

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The Prius, for example, is supposed to satisfy an environmentally conscious customer, whereas the Lexus is designed for a more demanding client seeking for exclusiveness and luxury (Toyota Motor Corporation 2015). Toyota tries to hold its medial position; thus, it does not position itself as a top-quality brand, it focuses on keeping the prices relatively low, instead (Toyota 2012).

Tactics

The analysis of Toyota’s marketing mix (7Ps) shows that the company employs efficient tactics from a marketing standpoint. Thus, in terms of place, the physical environment, and people, the company uses the strategy that meets the targeted aim.

From the perspective of products, it might be suggested that a new product is introduced as the current line lacks luxury cars. In the framework of place and distribution, it can be recommended that Toyota strengthens its cooperation with auto supply stores as it is excessively dependent upon its dealers. In terms of promotion, the company is good at advertising and managing public relations, though the so-called “direct selling” needs to be improved as it is currently poorly developed. Finally, from the standpoint of pricing, the company mainly focuses on the market-oriented strategy, though it might be recommended that it tries combining it with the value-oriented approach.

Action

The techniques described above are supposed to assist Toyota in accomplishing the set objectives. In the meantime, these tactics are mainly focused on the marketing aspect, while the fulfillment of the set objectives requires a complex approach. Hence, the following steps might be essential:

  • Differentiation of the offered goods and services to assure satisfying the customers’ diverse needs and improving the competitive advantage.
  • Extending to new markets and occupying new niches.

Control

To carry out the relevant evaluation of the plan’s efficacy, it is critical to implement consistent metrics that will assist in measuring the company’s performance. It is proposed that Toyota employs three types of metrics to perform an accurate assessment:

  • global performance metrics: standard financial, quality, and safety metrics to monitor the products’ qualities;
  • operational performance metrics: tracking the employees’ performance at every level; selecting metrics following the process’s specificity;
  • stretch improvement metrics: measuring the performance of the business and teams.

Moreover, recent research has shown that one of the most efficient controlling tools that large manufacture might employ is lean metrics (Khadem, Ahad Ali & Seiffodini 2008). The relevant approach might be applied as a supplementary technique to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the company’s performance.

Conclusion

The profound analysis of Toyota’s case has shown that the most critical objectives to be set reside in enhancing corporate values, introducing new products and increasing the competitive capacity. The analysis of the market situation and the strategies that the company employs indicates a series of opportunities that the company currently has. Thus, the general market environment is favorable for the improvement of corporate performance: the company’s key advantage is its well-advertised brand and the low-cost pricing policy. In the meantime, there are a few weaknesses in the corporate strategy, such as the inflexible organizational structure which prevents the company from maximizing the productivity of its operations.

At this point, it is critical that Toyota puts a particular emphasis on the set targets and implements the recommended measures enlisted above. Moreover, the company should, likewise, focus, on adopting an effective measuring approach and selecting the relevant controlling tools. The proposed marketing plan is aimed at a long-term effect; thus, its efficacy might be evaluated no sooner than in one year. Meanwhile, some minor changes might be required in the course of the plan’s realization.

Reference List

Employees 2015. Web.

Ferrel, OC & Hartline, M 2013, Marketing Strategy, Text and Cases, Cengage Learning, New York, New York. Web.

Khadem, M, Ahad Ali, S & Seiffodini, H 2008, ‘Efficacy of Lean Metrics in Evaluating the Performance of Manufacturing Systems’, International Journal of Industrial Engineering, vol. 15, no.2, pp. 176-184. Web.

Toyota 2012, Figures. Web.

Toyota Motor Corporation 2015, Sustainability Report. Web.

Trudell, C & Hagiwara, Y 2015, ‘Toyota Predicts $18 Billion Profit on Weak Yen, SUV Sales‘, Bloomberg Business. Web.

Weaver, G 2002, World Fuel Cells – An Industry Profile with Market Prospects to 2010, Elsevier, Oxford. Web.

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