The 21st century is an era of rapid developments, and these developments are being continuously brought into effect as a result of tremendous globalization. The effect of globalization in the recent times is being dispersed in a very smooth manner due to the high level penetration that has been attained by the internet and other highly sophisticated technology devices in various global markets.
As a direct impact of globalization, consumers located in various markets around the world are increasingly becoming aware of the highly diversified kinds of product and service offerings that are available in the global markets. As a result of this, the customers are naturally becoming more and more demanding in nature with respect to their specific needs for new and innovative products and services. This is in return creating a major pressure in the local markets around the world, and is eventually resulting in the way getting paved for the development of markets that are present in the new and emerging economies. The emergence of new markets in the developing economies is playing a major role in increasing the level of competition in the marketplaces all over the world.
In an attempt to attain a significant level of competitive advantage in the global as well as the local marketplace, companies are seriously focusing on the process of generation of value for the consumers while keeping a stringent eye on the quality of the product or service that is being provided and delivered to the customers. This brings into focus the importance of conducting an in-depth analysis of the marketing exercises that are being conducted by some of the highly popular global organizations for the purpose of communicating the value of their products or services to the customers.
Hence, in an attempt to understand the process of marketing in a more detailed and enhanced manner, this project has been undertaken. The project is multi-faceted in nature. The first part of the project will focus on the process of researching and understanding of the theories related to marketing orientation and on the various factors related to marketing mix. The next part of the project will draw its focus to selecting a specific organization which has a highly diversified its product portfolio and has its presence in multiple countries and markets around the world. The third part of the project will concentrate on studying the product marketing strategies and campaigns that are applied by the selected organization and simultaneously relating the theoretical concepts for a proper analysis of the successfully executed strategies of the organization.
Marketing is a broad term that is used in the context of creating, distributing, communicating and generating value for the customers of a particular segment, in a specific locality, region or marketplace. In broader terms, it is highlighted as a part of the overall process of organizational management that involves identifying, understanding, estimating and finally fulfilling the customers’ needs and wants while effectively utilizing the available resources like manpower, finance etc. That belongs to the firm or the organization. It can be said that, by fulfilling the needs of the customers of a specific market, the companies focus on generating financial returns for the firm, which, in turn, helps to attain sustainable growth in the long term (Wright, 1999, p.13-14).
It can be said that the marketing approach is a style or approach that is practiced a great deal in the process of value communication exercises conducted by the firms today. It is important to state that the marketing orientation approach takes into account the consumers’ hidden needs and desires through conduction of effective market research and market survey exercises. It is a proactive approach that helps the firms in designing effective value delivery processes for the consumers, through delivering successful products and services that have high consumer demand (Stevens & et.al, 2006, p. 247 -248).
The term STP represents: Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (Stone & Desmond, 2007, p. 173). It can be said that the framework of STP helps in the process of identifying the opportunities and threats that keep on arising in the marketplace in a continuous manner. Through the process of conducting an effective STP for the customers present in the marketplace, the companies will be able to fulfil the needs and demands of the customers with effective management of the companies’ strengths and weaknesses in a better manner.
Talking in a bit more detailed manner, it can be said that segmentation means the process of breaking a group of consumers into smaller segments, whose characteristics or consumer traits have a high amount of resemblance with each other. The process of segmentation is highly relevant as it helps in identifying the desired target audience and their population-based presence in various locations for the purpose of effective value communication for specific kinds of products or services (Sandhusen, 2000, p. 275-277).
The process of targeting happens after the intended group of customers have been identified with regard to their needs and demands which match with the products’ value delivering abilities. The targeting process means designing a highly effective marketing mix, which involves the process of value communication for effective value capture from the intended audience (Botha & et.al, 2006, p. 60).
The positioning factor represents the underlying theme that needs to be followed while the firm or the organization focuses on the process of value communication exercises like branding and advertising for its specialized category of products and services (Iacobucci and Calder, 2003, p. 10 -11).
Marketing Mix: 4Ps / 7Ps
The marketing mix represents the essential blend of various elements of marketing that play a major role in the process of attracting and retaining the interest of the target consumers. The various marketing mix elements that come into play in the process of designing the marketing mix for a tangible substance are: the product, the place, the promotion and the price. This combination is essentially represented as the 4P’s of marketing. Product represents value generation. Place denotes value delivery. Promotion stands for value communication for the product while price represents the process of value capture (Burrow, 2011, p. 100).
In case of service marketing, it can be said that there are 3 more factors as the marketing elements. The additional 3Ps are process, people and physical evidence (Lockyer, 2007, p. 49). The additional 3 P’s are needed in case of services marketing as the factors of intangibility, standardization, perishability as well as instant consumption is associated with services in a much intensified manner (Zethaml & et.al., 2011, p. 21).
For the purpose of studying the marketing tactics and strategies used by large companies with the aim of value communication of their brands, their products and services, the UK based retail company Marks and Spencer has been chosen.
About the company
Marks and Spencer is one of most popular retail brands present in the country of United Kingdom. It has a significant amount of presence all over UK with a total of around 700 retail outlets. The outlets of Marks and Spencer are located in multiple locations of UK like those in the high streets as well as in the other locations that have high level of consumer footfall like the airports, retail parks, stations, etc (MarksandSpencer.com –a, 2013). The high number of retail outlets in the UK attracts around 21 million customers on a weekly basis.
The company’s product portfolio for the UK market is highly diversified in nature. The product offerings for the UK market comprise of a diversified line of clothing, accessories etc., for men, women and children. The product offerings also cover a wide range of products related to personal care, hygiene as well as home-based and house ware category products that are mostly needed for daily consumption. The company’s product portfolio also comprises of various kinds of food products like fresh produce, groceries, as well as a wide range of meals (MarksandSpencer.com –b, 2013). The company’s product offering has got the reputation of being high on quality as well as extremely stylish in terms of product design. The company has attained a high level of reputation for its product offerings because of the sustainable method that is utilized for the purpose of manufacturing of consumer oriented products.
Talking regarding the overall performance of the company, it can be said that the group has received a growth of around 2% with regard to the overall sales in the year 2012. In a more specific manner, it can be said that the company’s portfolio, comprising of general merchandises like clothing accessories and home based accessories, has attained a mixed level of performance in the recent times. The food category of the portfolio offering of the company has, however, attained a high performance level in the last year. In order to attain significant growth in the upcoming future, the company has focused on developing some strategic plans which involve achieving significant growth in the retail space of UK as well as on becoming a leading multi-channel retailer in the domestic arena (Bolland, 2013).
As of the year 2013, the company has decided to focus on the process of developing the prospect of the brand in the UK market. Talking in this regard, it can be said the company has streamlined the processes of improving the outlets of the brand as well as developing the businesses related to the food, home and clothing accessories segment (MarksandSpencer.com –c, 2013).
Relation of Concepts:
It can be highlighted that the UK based Retail Company Marks and Spencer has always focused on the process of conducting its business operations by following the management policies and principles.
Marketing Orientation by Marks and Spencer
Talking about the policy of marketing orientation practiced by the company in the recent years, it can be stated that the company has always focused on the process of understanding the needs and demands of the customers through its efficiently conducted market researches and the process of taking constant feedback from the consumers. This has helped the company to understand the consumers’ psychology and their consumer behaviour. And this has further helped in the process of designing and manufacturing products that have high consumer demand and thereby there has been a reduction in the product wastage and there is lesser building up of unsold inventory (Marks And Spencer Annual Report, 2012, p. 7).
Marketing Mix of Marks and Spencer
It can be said that the product offering of the company comprises of a highly diversified range of products, which are targeted towards the end consumers.
Talking regarding the STP strategy, it normally appears that the company follows a mass market strategy for its product marketing. However, on a more minute observation, it can be said that the company’s multiple product lines attempt to implement a highly specialized segmentation strategy that is unique for every product line. This is done for the purpose of better understanding of the consumers’ psychology and increasing the effectiveness of the product turnover of the company.
Given the nature of the product offerings of the company, it can be said that the product purchase demands low involvement on the part of the consumers. As a matter of fact, the company continuously focuses on manipulating the various marketing elements like product characteristics, place, promotion and price that are applicable in case of product marketing.
For the purpose of effective value communication, it can be said that the company focuses on providing superior value to the customers, through the process of providing discounts and other promotional offers. Apart from all this, it also needs to be mentioned that the company tries to provide a select range of customized services and this also contributes in further value generation by the company for the consumers (MarksandSpencer.com –d, 2013).
On a concluding note, it can be said that the entire project highlights the most essential factors of the marketing processes that are often implemented by a company for the purpose of successful value communication of its offerings. The project also highlights the marketing methods of the UK based retail company, Marks and Spencer. It has been described in the project how the company focuses on the process of delivering products that have significant value for the customers. Also, it has been highlighted that the company regularly focuses on developing a high level of involvement among the consumers by engaging them in providing consumer feedback and providing them with platforms to share their views regarding the products offered by the company.
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