This assessment will cover the following questions:
- Provide knowledge and understanding of the different areas of marketing and the relationship of marketing with the international business organisation.
- Understand the market and their operations for goods and services in the context of M&S organisation.
- M&S is a clothing company. Implement the appropriate market tools and tactics in the changing environment.
Marketing is one of business process that involves managing exchange relationships. It is the combination of all those activities that are undertaken for promotions of purchasing along with selling concrete items and immaterial services (Armstrong and Et. Al., 2018). It generally comprises advertising, selling and providing goods to final consumers and other types of businesses. For understanding introduction to marketing, Marks and Spencer is considered which is leading British retailer having head-office at London, Unite Kingdom. It works for bringing quality of clothing and home-ware, great value food and so on for customers residing around the world. The present report involves marketing audit of existing business performance, evaluation of enterprise marketing strategy along with position in market. Further, it includes proposal related to two sets of market segmentation that can be targetted by company in successful manner so to meet requirements of segments and moving business forward.
Marketing audit of current business performance
Marks and Spencer is multinational retailer which perform operations for bringing great value clothing, foods and many products. It was established by Thomas Spencer addition to Michael Spencer in 1884 for serving activities in retail industry (Marks and Spencer, 2020.). It has approx 1400 stores in more than 55 countries and around 50 international websites. Along with this, the company provides wide types of financial services such as current account, insurance, credit card facility and so on.
Marketing audit is described as a tool that is used for undertaking, reviewing and examining marketing environment in comprehensive and systematic manner. In other words, it is a evaluation technique which is undertaken for analysing, evaluating together with interpreting internal and external marketing environment for ascertaining problem areas, opportunities and plan of action with the purpose of enhancing business performance (Avraham and Ketter, 2016). Through marketing audit, plans, objectives, tactics, current activities and strategies are reviewed that provides insights about actual business performance in current scenario. For this purpose, organisational members conducts internal addition to external analysis that further directs in formulating major strategical decisions for enterprise betterment. In association to Marks and Spencer, marketing department conducts marketing audit by using tools associated with internal environment audit and external environment audit (Tools to conduct marketing audit, 2020). Marketing audit is as undertaken:
External environment: In this market auditing, all the external forces are considered that are outside control of business concern. The type of marketing audit provides information about elements that can leave impacts on organisational decisions and operational efficiency at great extent. At the time of conducting external marketing audit, it is essential to analyse external environment and its factors for getting insights for actual organisational status. One of the effective tool for external marketing audit is PESTLE analysis. The analysis is mentioned as framework which is majorly opted for the purpose of analysing and observing macro environmental factors that can have profound influences of performance of entity. Marketing department of chosen retailing entity have evaluated all elements of the PESTLE analysis that are as follows:
Political factor: Factors which are concerned with the ways and the degree at which government intervenes in working of particular industry or nation's economy are political factors (Ballings, McCullough and Bharadwaj, 2018) . It majorly comprises environmental laws, stability or instability of political authority, policies of government and foreign trade programmes. As Marks and Spencer operates main functions in UK, where it is seen that the political system are stable as well as fair. The managers of respective retailer performs operations by complying with all imposed legislations by political parties that helps in performing activities in appropriate and systematic manner. In upcoming duration, when the company will not be able to work with political requirements then various strict actions may be taken by political people that may influence organisational performance negatively.
Economic factor: Factors that determines performance of particular economy are economic factors. Exchange rates, unemployment rates, economic growth, disposable consumer income and changing business cycle are few economic factors which organisational members considers while analysing current performance (Baines and Et. Al., 2017). UK has one of globalised economy that helps administrators of Marks and Spencer to properly analyse all the economic dimensions and then frame suitable determinations according to findings. With this, decisions such as product and pricing are formulated for meeting choices and preferences of customers so to increase profit levels. Moreover, fluctuations on market affects buying power of customers due to which productivity and profitability of Marks and Spencer are impacted negatively as it becomes too difficult to sell organisational commodities in fluctuating market.
Social factor: the factor that represents demographic customs, nature, values and beliefs of population are social factors. The population of UK are changing their preferences as per available commodities (Dietrich, Rundle-Thiele and Kubacki, 2017). For meeting their demands and choices, it is essential to consider all at the time managing committee of Marks and Spencer formates strategies about product availability and many more. Being international company, managers emphasises of demand of customers that resides at different locations and makes offering accordingly that increases ales volume which impacts positively on current performance of entity so to make availability of goods at all places.
Technological: Factors that are part of technological innovation addition to advancement are technological factors which affects operations and position of company. Within UK, technological factors changes rapidly and frequently (Deepak and Jeyakumar, 2019). Adoption of technological changes, upgrading innovation level and technological awareness impacts positively of increasing efficiency of company such as Marks and Spencer to perform operational functions and achieving good position in market. The entity executes its key operations by using latest and innovative technology including self swipe machines for payments, delivery at home and many more for grabbing mass customer attention.
Legal factors: Factors that have some relation with political elements are legal factors. It involves specific legislations, for example, antitrust laws, patent laws, consumer protection law and safety laws. UK's government are majorly responsible to implement the laws and organisation have to adhere them accurately. In relevance with Marks and Spencer, the managers comply all policies, acts and legislations such as consumer protection laws, discrimination law, ethical consideration in activities of marketing that are imposed by political parties that helps in executing operational activities in set criteria that impacts positively on improving performance of company.
Environmental factor: Factors that have emerged in recent relative years are environmental factors (Dodson, 2016). In UK, all companies have to focus on environmental factors while making plans for actions. Factors including environment offsets, ecological aspects and climatic changes generally impacts performance of company in present scenario. Marks and Spencer managers focus on utilising scarce resources optimally, reducing carbon footprint targets as well as implements all environmental laws in their manufacturing process that impacts positively on fulfilling corporate social responsibilities. Moreover, the managers performs activities for ensuring that the products sold by them are environment friendly addition to do not harm people and environment.
Internal environment: Within this audit, all internal elements are considered that are controlled by organisational authorities. It comprises those factors that influences performance of internal operations (East and Et. Al., 2016). For conducting internal environment auditing, SWOT analysis is suitable tool that marketing team of Marks and Spencer can choose. With this, they will be able to evaluate opportunities, weaknesses, threats and strengths for assessing performance of business together with developing plan of action to move forward. The analysed elements are discussed underneath:
Evaluating current marketing strategy along with position of company in market.
Marketing strategy is mentioned to the tactic that is designed for purpose of promoting products along with making revenues. Business concerns formulates marketing strategy for promotions of offerings in market. Through this, all determined objectives are achieved promptly by institutions. Effective marketing strategy assist members of companies in identifying best audiences and understanding their needs. Moreover, with the help of good marketing strategy, it becomes easy to implement effective marketing methods. Marketing department of Marks and Spencer uses various marketing strategies including business to business marketing and business to customer marketing. Among the both, marketers of selected retailers implements activities related to marketing commodities (Marketing strategies, 2019). Following are the evaluation of few marketing strategies of Marks and Spencer:
Social media marketing: In present era, it is considered as effective marketing strategy that is undertaken through social media platforms addition to websites fro promotional aspects. In context to Marks and Spencer, marketing team uses social media platform such as Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook so to connect with huge customers for building the brand image, driving website traffic along with increasing sales. Marketing products with the social media marketing benefits the company in reaching to mass population, making direct connections with potential client, creating organic and viral content, evaluating performance and uncovering valuable insights. In contrary, the limitations of using this marketing strategy is that various negative feedbacks are analysed, need huge investment for social media campaigns and company have to wait for long time so to see outcomes.
Relationship marketing: The other marketing strategy in which major emphasis is on customer building. In this marketing strategy, company majorly focuses to retain customer and providing huge satisfaction levels to them despite of sales transactions (King, 2019). In present scenario, one of difficult task for any company is to acquire new customers. For such purpose, marketers of Marks and Spencer uses relationship marketing strategy for making long term relationships with huge market population despite of encourage sales of commodities. They fosters customer loyalty for the brand through offering exemplary commodities and services. Through this strategy, an entity is benefited as it enhances communication levels, customer satisfaction, and creates positive experiences. At same time, few of its disadvantages are that for making relationships huge time is required and with change sin value propositions, marketing efforts are also to be change than becomes difficult for entity.
Transactional marketing: The other strategy of marketing which focuses towards point of sale along with single transactions (Hastings and Stead, 2017). It is related to traditional marketing approaches that are product, promotion, pricing and placement that emphasis for increasing efficiency and individual sales volume despite of creating relationship with purchaser. At Marks and Spencer, marketers follows transactional marketing strategy for increasing sales transactions. Advantages to use this marketing strategy are that it benefits in clearing seasonal merchandise and increases profits of entity. In contrary, it limits emotional attachments, reduced profit margins and requires huge time and efforts for promoting products.
From above evaluated marketing strategies of Marks and Spencer, it can be said that marketing strategies are required for gaining market shares, making relationships, increasing sales transactions and many more. Through these strategies, Marks and Spencer has achieved top position. The retailer has itself made effective position as premium brand with retailing and supermarket industry. The entity has achieved around 10337 million GBP in last year through which has achieved top position in UK's retailing sector. Moreover, it split 62.5% of food, 37.5% of clothings and home and employs around 79 thousand people among which 71% are females.
Proposal of two sets of market segmentation criteria
The directorial team of Marks and Spencer have asked marketing department to prepare sets of proposal related to two marketing segmentation sets that can be targeted for attaining upcoming growth. For this, first market segmentation sets are analyses and then two proposals are presented below:
Market segmentation: It is described to the activity in which marketers divides entire market on different groups that have similar characteristics or as per some common choices (Kolb, 2016). With this, entities are able to determine distinct customers types that are willing to purchase its goods that are offered in market. For choosing best segment for the purpose of introducing organisational valuables in market, marketers are required to conduct market research, collecting data about interest, choices and preferences that will assist in introducing products as per the collected data or elements. Market segments are classified into diverse types that can be targetted by Marks and Spencer for growing the business in the retail marketplace. The segment types are discussed underneath:
Demographic segmentation: When the whole market is segregated in terms of income, family size, education level and so on variable it is termed to demographic segmentation. This segmentation form can be opted by marketers of chosen entity for catering specific commodities to obvious needs of people in context to one demographic element (Layton, 2019).
Geographical segmentation: the other segmentation type in which market is segregated as per predefined geographical borders. Elements of geographical segmentation includes differences in values, choices and demands vary within cities, regions and nations. It can be used when Marks and Spencer is planning to introduce commodities in new geographical area.
Psycho-graphic segmentation: In this segmentation, dividation of market is done accordance with traits, conscious, lifestyle, interest and opinions of customers. Selected retailer can target the segment so to move forward by building effective strategy.
Behavioural segmentation: The segmentation type that majorly emphasis on particular reactions along with how customers makes decision and gets involve in buying processes (Lumsdon, 2016). Through this, segmentation are done as per buying pattern such as brand loyalty, purchasing behaviour and usage frequency.
According to above analysis, it is proposed to directors of Marks and Spencer to emphasis towards demographic along with geographic segmentation and both could be targeted by marketers as they will assist in achieving business growth and moving business forward. The proposals for two market segmentation set criteria are provides below:
First set: Geographic segmentation: It is proposed to Marks and Spencer to target geographical segmentation through business expansion in new area of location. Through this, organisational market shares will be increased that will further lead in enhancement of level of sales and revenues. As Marks and Spencer in present scenario is not working in Latvia nation so expanding the legs in this country will be biggest opportunity for moving business forward. Opening new store at new location area is not easy as it needs huge research about customer behaviour and preferences for the products in order to formulate best marketing and business strategies for product, price and many more aspects. When an enterprise introduces new product in different country no customer gives attention on it because of lack of trust for new company and its product. Being a top positioned retailed, Marks and Spencer have made good image and because of it, this challenge will not impact too much on it. For marketers of the retailer, it is essential to frame marketing strategies by considering variables of culture, belief and interest of Latvia nation so to make good image in population mindset. When marketers will select this segmentation type then they will achieve success for expanding business through opening new store in the new nation (Terech, 2018) . Its current marketing strategies will also play import role in attaining competing benefits and meeting choices of targetted population through delivering quality commodities.
Second set: Demographic segmentation is other market segmentation criteria which can be emphasised by Marks and Spencer to target people as per education level, age factor, income level and many more. Within the segment, directors of the retailers could introduce new product that is Gym essentials for particular segment of people that is population between 16 to 30 years of age as they emphasis more on their health and fitness aspects. For introducing the new clothing product, marketers of chosen retailer needs to determine customer buying behaviour for fulfilling demands and establishing positive image in targeted audience eyes. When the company will select this segmentation type then it will increase its customer base. With this, the business of supermarket can be moved forward success through making more profits and maximising customer base. Moreover, the segment will benefit the company to reach huge population and satisfy their all needs for Gym essentials. At the time of devising suitable marketing strategy, marketers focus towards aspects related to place for selling the new product and favourable price of product that suits customer purchase behaviour (Vietoris, 2017). By using its current marketing strategies and business position, marks and Spencer could meet all customer requirements in demographic segment through providing them guidances to reach stores and influencing them to implement purchase decision that will help in growing business at successful heights within retail marketplace.
The above report concludes that marketing is mentioned to discipline that includes actions for drawing attention of customers together with creating networks with them. It helps companies in transferring and exchange of goods, raising and maintaining living standards of society, creating employment, making decisions, generating revenues, sourcing new ideas and developing economy. For market auditing, tools such as PESTLE analysis as well as SWOT analysis are used for getting insights about current performance of company. Current marketing strategy that is opted by companies includes relationship marketing, transactional marketing and social media marketing strategy for achieving top positions through increasing satisfaction of customer base by making relationships and influencing sales transactions. Market segmentation set that can help in growing business forward are demographic segmentation and geographical segmentation in the pertaining sector.