Strategic Marketing is a strategy that uses a forward looking approach to achieve the objective of competitive advantage (Proctor, 2014). To effectively achieve this, the firm, Bristol Cars Limited is introducing a new model by the name of “Driverless Car” in Argentina. It covers the marketing strategies of the firm whereas application of Customer-Based Brand Equity Model. It also covers Integrated Marketing Communication methods that are crucial for the firm to gain most attention from customers. The report also includes methods by which the firm could measure the success of its Driverless Car.
Marketing Mix of Bristol Cars Limited
After entering a new country successfully, it gets imperative for a company to develop marketing strategies that help the firm to effectively penetrate a new marketplace. The focus of the firm must be on either standardisation or adaptation, both of which could help it establish itself and enhance its business performance. For “Driverless Car”, the marketing mix strategies adopted by Bristol Cars Limited are described below:
- Product: The product introduced by the company is Driverless Car. With enhancement in Artificial Intelligence and Automation Technology, the firm has completely adapted its product strategy. However, with presence of own team of experts, it would be a breakthrough in Argentinian markets with introduction of such advanced technologies. However, it would enhance the demand of the product as this technology is still under wraps in the country. This is because Driverless Car is would be using effective Artificial Intelligence as well as automation in its systems which would be adaptation of new technology by the company for this product (West, Ford and Ibrahim, 2015).
- Price: Recently, the country witnessed a rise in its inflation rates by almost 27%. The pricing strategy of the company must focus on covering the basic cost of establishments and manufacturing of the company. However, high costs are incurred in making this car, the firm would adapt its pricing strategy to premium pricing for its Driverless Car. This way, it could reach the target market as well as create a high scope for profit.
- Place: Since the agenda of Bristol Cars Limited is to successfully penetrate the market and establish itself successfully as a high end auto-mobile company in the country, the firm would shift its distribution channels to online. To fight the cybercrime and win customers trust, the firm is planning to use Virtual Reality for customers to track the location of their cars and for safe delivery. With direct channels of distributions offline, the firm is adapting to online ordering and delivery as well.
- Promotion: It is imperative that the firm promotes its Driverless Car in a way that it reaches a wide variety of customers and create a positive buzz in the marketplace. Since the concept is unique in the country, the firm must adapt its strategy to serve the immediate needs. For this, the firm must host an event with exclusive preview of the product to the customers. To enhance the reach, the firm could use social as well as print media to promote the event to make a success and leave a long-term impression (How to Promote a New Product or Service, 2018).
- People: Since the firm is covering a new marketplace, it is essential for the company to adapt to a new customer market and hire employees who are familiar with the marketplace to support the company in developing competitive strategies. The firm must hire local employees and provide effective training programmes to adapt to the new technology as well as the methods.
- Process: Bristol Cars, to reach wider customers and enhance efficiencies of its operations, must adapt its processes of production, selling as well as distribution. Adaptation is necessary in this case as Driverless Car is very different from the standard cars manufactured and sold in the marketplace. The process must include effective IT systems and the R&D department now must focus on employing efficient technologies that ease the purpose of the firm to manufacture its vehicles. Moreover, Artificial Intelligence could also play a prominent role in ensuring the quality of Driverless Car to make it safe and comfortable for people of Argentina to use.
- Physical Evidence: Reassurance is quite important for the company in case of Driverless Car as this concept is unique and is first being brought to the country by Bristol Cars Limited. The design of the car as well as interior and exterior features must focus on safety of the customers and must employ effective systems and unique and efficient use of Artificial Intelligence in order to present a trend-setting vehicle in the auto-mobile industry of Argentina (Banerjee, 2017).
Customer-Based Brand Equity Model
Bristol Cars Limited is an established brand in the UK. However, in Argentina, the brand needs to build a strong image in order to attract more customers and established long-term customer relationships with them. To enhance its Brand Equity for customers in Argentina, the firm must adopt Keller's Model of Customer-Based Brand Equity Model. It would allow the firm to build a strong brand image and develop a positive perception about the product in front of the customers (What is Customer-Based Brand Equity (And Why Should You Care)?, 2015). It is imperative for the firm to build experiences that are favourable to satisfy the need of the company. This model is divided into 4 stages which are described below:
Since the market is new for Bristol Cars, it is imperative that the company build a strong identity and introduce itself in a way that customers successfully differ the organisation from other similar companies. To build effective brand equity, the firm must communicate its Driverless Car and company values rightfully to the public from the beginning which helps it to create a positive image. The firm must adopt social media as well as exhibitions to enhance knowledge of the customers about the brand and its products. This manner would eliminate the possibility of misinformation about the firm and its products.
After identification, Bristol Cars are required to communicate the customers in a way which clearly conveys their operations, their products and as well as extent to which they are reliable. This requires the company to expose its operations, usage of technology and equipment’s, training it provides to the staff and so forth (Kashmiri and Mahajan, 2014). This stage is divided into two parts which are discussed below:
Brand Performance: The most important aspect of Bristol Cars to present its performance to the customers. This requires them to lay out the performance of their Driverless Cars in the front of buyers. They ways in which it can properly attempt this is:
- Features: Driverless Car would be one of those first models that possess the capability of being fully functional without human intervention. The Artificial Intelligence used would enable the car to perform each and every operation with utmost perfection and without fault.
- Reliability: The safety systems and Automated Technology used in the car makes it reliable for longer use. The car could take real-time actions smoothly with access to the external environment and its safety systems are fully functional to protect the external and internal environment.
- Customer Service: One of the most crucial aspect, the firm would regularly approach its customers through online and offline methods to check the efficiency of the vehicle. Any limitation would be immediately attended to provide a smooth experience to the owners.
- Style and Design: To enhance the driving experience, the style and design has been modified for the car to be able to adapt with the requirements of speed, comfort and safety of the users.
- Pricing: The firm would follow premium pricing strategy to target high end customers in Argentina.
Brand Imagery: This requires Bristol Cars Limited to build a strong image in front of customers. To achieve this, the firm must market Driverless Car in a way that it reaches its target customers effectively. Target Marketing could be used by the firm with the use of social media and other forms of print media that enhance its image locally.
This directly relates to the usage of the products and services of the company. This stage would be created after the customers use Driverless Car of Bristol Cars Limited. It depends upon the performance of the car that would ultimately develop the “judgements” and “feelings” about the brand in minds of consumers (Giannakis and Harker, 2014).
In case Bristol Cars Limited reaches this level, it would become Brand Advocate. However, it is quite challenging and crucial for the firm and its Driverless Car to reach the product. This stage could be reached by the company if its car connects the customers both psychologically and socially. Bristol Cars Limited through Driverless Car must engage its customers by reaching and communicating them about their feelings and expectations from the company. This stage could ultimately be achieved by fulfilling these expectations.
Integrated marketing communications (IMC)
Integrated Marketing Communication refers to a method that is employed by the company in order to link all the communication forms as well as messages. Basically, this refers to integration of the promotional tools. It could be a very important aspect of Bristol Cars Limited as it has quite extensive benefits to offer to the firm:
- Strong communication with customers and Relationship Marketing would allow the firm to boost its sales as it would create long-term customer engagement with the company.
- A unified message within the company would allow better conveying of information and effective achievement of target (Kim, Shin and Min, 2016).
here are various marketing communication methods that could be effectively used by Bristol Cars Limited (What Are the Six Major Modes of Communication in Marketing?, 2018). These are described below:
- Social Media: The most evident example of rise in promotion process is through social media. Users from all over the world witness each prominent event unanimously over one single portal like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and so forth. The biggest advantage for Bristol Cars Limited in using this method for marketing communication is that the concept as well as the popularity of Driverless Car could reach to a whole new level in Argentina. However, one disadvantage of this tool is that social media has been subjected to major security breaches and infringements. The concept and the technology used in Driverless Car could be stolen and claimed by other organisations which could be negative for the firm's relationships with its managers.
- Sponsorship: Another major method of communication by which Bristol Cars Limited could market its Driverless Car is sponsorship. It could approach the football clubs of Argentina like Boca Juniours, River Plate, Independiente and so forth to provide them with sponsorships (ARGENTINA FOOTBALL TEAMS, 2018). Football is quite extensively played and watched in the country and sponsorships to local clubs would help the firm in better communicate with the local audience and could build a perception that the company is supporting culture of the country. However, it requires a huge cost, time as well as effort for a company to establish itself as a sponsor of these clubs. Moreover, it is also uncertain as there could arise much better sponsors for these clubs in the future.
- Direct Marketing: This is another prominent way of communicating with the customers. Bristol Cars Limited could directly communicate its target audience through online advertisements, text messages, websites, emails, etc. The biggest advantage that the firm could gain from Direct Marketing is that it could reach its target customers effectively through direct channels that could gain their attention. However, it is not necessary that the customers pay attention to such push notifications, messages and websites. This could cause more expense and wastage of resources which could be ineffective for Driverless Car.
The firm could use Social Media as an effective marketing communication method to communicate with its customers and it could effectively protect the design and technology after acquiring patents and copyrights.
Measurement of Marketing Success
It is very important for a company to measure success of the new products and services There are various methods by which Bristol Cars Limited could measure the success of its Driverless Car in Argentina. These methods are assessed below:
- Sales Target: This refer to a certain amount of sales that are required to be achieved within a specific time period. For instance, Bristol Cars Limited could be to sell at least 350 cars in a period of 6 months. The biggest advantage for setting up a sales target is that employees would be clear of what their responsibilities are as well as what's expected from them. The firm could also employ aggressive strategies to achieve this target. This however might have a disadvantage too. In case this target remains unachieved post the due period, it would cause demotivation in the company. To improve, the firm might provide personalised service to enhance the sales of its cars.
- Profitability: This is another success measure that could be used by the company. As an example if the profit of the firm is targeted at 4% in a year, the success could be measured by achievement of that percentage. Even the deviation could be measured as the extent to which the car is successful. To improve the percentage, the firm could provide various offers associated with the car to establish better relationships with customers in Argentina.
- Return on Investment: Bristol Cars Limited could use Return on Investment as a critical method to measure the success of Driverless Car in Argentina. For instance, if the company is investing £ 5,00,000 in overall manufacture and distribution of their car, the return must be more than the amount. The biggest advantage of using this method would be that company could determine the overall range of its success and could measure it by numbers. However, money may not be the only success factor and other aspects like brand loyalty, popularity and expansion might also be gathered through this car These might not be considered in this method.
Out of these three, Profitability seems to be the most appropriate and effective method to measure success for Bristol Cars Company for its Driverless Car. This is because, this method could help the firm in determining the overall success of its product and rather not with just few elements. Moreover, the company could measure the success in a wide range which could not be covered in other cases.
Thus, it could be effectively concluded that strategic marketing is necessary for a company to successfully enter a foreign market. These firms could use adaptation as a viable technique to differentiate its marketing strategies and make it more competent. It could also apply the Customer-Based Brand Equity Model to successfully enhance its brand image in the public. Social Media could be used as an effective method to communicate to a wider range of audience and present the product there to gain more popularity and enhance sales. Lastly, the firm could use Profitability as an appropriate method to measure its overall success and could rely on the method for long run.
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