Marketing refers to the process of business which help in creating relation with customers and satisfy them. It also include strategies relate to promotion and selling of products and services in effective manner which leads business forward by enhancing market share and profitability (Armstrong and et.al., 2015). This report is based on Marks and Spencer which is founded by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer in year 1884. It is a British multinational retail organization whose headquarter is in Westminster, London. They offer variety of product range related to clothing, home products and luxury food items. Topics include in this report are company marketing audit, current marketing strategy and position, market segmentation and identify customer group. Along with this it explain behaviour of customers and marketing strategy to move business forward.
Marketing audit of current business performance
Marks and Spencer is a one the most popular clothing and accessories retail brand which headquarter is in London, United Kingdom. They are serving number of categories such as formal wear, casual wear, swimming wear, party dress, casual dress, eyes wear, hosiery and so on. The target audiences of Marks and Spenser are men, women and kids and high and middle income group peoples. The respective company operating their business through more than 300 full line stores and approx 900 stores are in UK (Malhotra and Malhotra, 2012). To understand their marketing audit Marks and Spencer conduct SWOT Analysis by which they able to analysis their current business performance and position. Through this respective company able to understand their internal strength which help them in achieving goal in effective manner and they also able to know there weakness that they can improve to get successful. Along with this respective company can identify their external opportunities and threats. Explanation of SWOT analysis in context of Marks and Spencer are mentioned below:-
Strength- It refers to the business or project characteristics which gives advantage to a company form its competitors or separates them form rival. Strength of Mark and Spencer are mentioned below-
- Clear brand image: The respective company create itself as a high end goods that targeting to premium segment of market. Clothing products which are offer by Marks and Spencer are stylish, modern and sophisticated. Hence this refers as clear branding and their customers know what they are expecting and get from respective company stores.
- Innovations: Marks and Spencer is approx 150 years old company and they are in race of one of the best retail clothing store, this become possible due to their innovation spirit. The respective company always come up with new design and ideas which is out of box and creative.
Weakness- It refers to the areas on which a company need to work on or improve so that they get succeeded at marketplace in effective manner. Some major weakness of Marks and Spencer are -
- Inability to penetrate successfully in foreign market: Marks and Spencer is opening their stores in various foreign location but in some places they are facing unsuccessful situation (Wright and De Hert, 2012). This happen because they not able to understand demand and need of customers, respective company almost all designs are western not traditional which seems as weakness.
- Misuse of brand name: Marks and Spencer is one of popular brand and there is availability of fake products on their name. So they need to take action to protect their brand name and image.
Opportunities- It refers to external factors which an organization can take or use to get effective competitive advantage. Some of key opportunities of Marks and Spencer are given below-
- New segments: The respective company can introduce or launch new segment such as ethnic and traditional wear which is not available in respective company. Through this segment they able to attract more audiences.
Threats- These factors are consider as those element which seem as barriers or detrimental in growth of company business. Some threats of Marks and Spencer are mentioned below-
- Competition: Marks and Spencer is one of the leading clothing retail store and they have numerous of competitors such as Uniqlo, Gap, Zara, United colors of Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger and so on.
Evaluate organization current marketing strategy and market position
It is very essential for every organization to do evaluation of their marketing strategy and market position because by this they get outline or guideline for developing strategies in effective and appropriate manner (Nufer, 2013). Marketing strategy refers to the portion of outline or guideline of business plan of overall plan of action which help a company in identifying clients and customers of their business. It focus on the goal and objective which a company want to achieve and marketing efforts done by them for achieving goal. Marks and Spencer conduct marketing strategy evaluation by using marketing mix.
Marketing mix- It refers to the combination of plan of action which is use by a business to promote and sell their products and services at marketplace. These plan of action start with developing products and services, deciding price of products, place products at there where it can be sold easily (Burns, Bush and Sinha, 2014). It also help a company in deciding its promotional and communication strategies. This plan of action further classified into 4 P's- product, price, place and promotion but now a days it include other 3p's that is process, people and physical evidence. Marks and Spencer use 4 P's for analysing marketing strategy, which is explain below:-
Product- The respective company believes in offering eco- friendly products which is trendy, skin friendly and comfortable. For achieving this objective they give there full efforts in working process. They provide variety of products for women, men and kids such as apparel, accessories, footwear, lingeries, night wear, formal wear, apparel, school uniform, dresses, swimwear, tights and so on. They are also offering beauty and skin care products, home products, furnitures, wine, food and flowers.
Price- The respective company has it own brand for clothing and they mainly focus on upper and uppers middle class peoples of market or society. Their products are consider as value for money because they serve diversified ranges, high quality products and convenience. The respective company follow competitive pricing strategy for its goods portfolio. They follow a dynamic pricing strategy during seasonal time, they offer discount and offers to attract customers.
Place- Marks and Spencer is international brand and they sell their products through their retail stores. They have approx more than 1000 stores operating their business in more then 50 countries (Smith and Wong, 2016). In United Kingdom they have around 850 stores. Some countries in which respective company operating their business are Turkey, Spain, France, Ireland, Hungry and so on. They also offer their products online and customers can buy it in local currency.
Promotion- For promotion of products and services Marks and Spencer use various channel such as print media, TV ads, mobile ads, social media campaigns and many more. They also use several programs such as loyalty program in this points are added to customers account when they do shopping from respective company. Marks and Spencer also use celebrity face for promotional activity.
Market position is refers to perception of consumers on a brand and products and services offer by them . This also related to strategies which help in creating positive image or identity of a brand in mind of consumers. For analysing market position the Marks and Spencer conduct Segmentation, targeting and positioning strategy, which is explain below:-
Segmentation- Through segmentation a company can identify their target market according to their specific demand and need. An organization can segment or bifurcate their audiences on the basis of demographic, psycho-graphic, lifestyle, belief and values, life stages, geography, behaviour and benefits (Cooper, 2012). The segmentation which is selected by Marks and Spencer is demographic and lifestyle basis because they are design their products by considering target audience age, income, status and so on. The respective company focus on women, men and kids of age group till 45 years and high and middle income group.
Targeting- It refers to process of identifying attractive segments from above stage of segmentation which is seem to be most profitable for business. There are major three type of market on which a company can focus that is undifferentiated, differentiated and niche marketing. The Marks and Spencer select undifferentiated market by which they able to focus and reach to wide target segment.
Positioning- It is last and final process and it is most business oriented. In this company can evaluate their competitive advancement and create positive image in customer's mind that they are most appropriate option for purchasing (Isaenko and Tarasov, 2014). Positioning strategy selected by Marks and Spencer is that they mainly focus on quality of products which they are offering in international marketplace.
Market segmentation and explain how these market segmentation help in growing business within retail marketplace
Market segmentation refers to the procedure of bifurcating market of potential users or customers into group or segment which is based on various features. Segment which is created by a company are based on consumers who react same to marketing strategies and share same traits like interest, needs and location. Conducting a market segment help a company in making strategies according to need and demand of there target customers. The segmentation is divided into four categories that are demographic, behavioural segmentation, psycho-graphic segmentation and geographic segmentation. The Mark and Spencer conduct evaluation of all four segmentation and then decide best out of it. Evaluation is explained below:-
Demographic segmentation- This section is most simple and widest type of segment use by an organisation. This is use a company to identify right and appropriate audiences for their products and services, here audiences are divided on the basis of variables (Morrison, 2013). There are various variables of demographic segmentation that are age, gender, family size, income, occupation, religion, race and nationality. If Marks and Spencer select demographic segment they have to identify their audiences on basis of various factors like age, gender and so on.
Behavioural segmentation- In this market segment the population or audiences are divided on the basis of behaviour, usage, lifestyle, consumption and pattern of decision making. In this company make or design their products on the basis of behaviour of target audiences. If respective company select behavioural segmentation they have to design products according to lifestyle, usage etc. of target audiences.
Psycho-graphic segmentation- This segment of market segment is based on interest and lifestyle of their consumers. It is quite same to the behavioural segmentation. It also consider consumer buying behaviour and its interest, lifestyle options. If Marks and Spencer select this segmentation they design their products on basis of consumers lifestyle options and current trends.
Geographic segmentation- In this segmentation audiences or consumers are divided on the basis of geography (Hamper, 2014). Potential customers of different geographical location have different demand and needs and company has to design products accordingly. If respective company select geographic segmentation they have to design products according to the location such as for cool place they design warm cloth and so on.
The Marks and Spencer select two set of segmentation which are demographic segmentation and psycho-graphic segmentation. They design and develop their products and services according to audiences of these two segmentation. On the basis of this target audiences of respective company are men, women and kids who age is till 45 years. They are focusing on high and middle income group people. The clothing, accessories and other things offer by respective company are of western style.
Now a day most of population is young peoples and they are mostly attracted towards the western culture. So if Mark and Spencer offer products and services of western style they able to attract more more peoples through which they increase their sell which directly enhance respective company profitability and market shares. By both segment respective company able to identify appropriate customers and able to design products according to their need and demand. These segments help this company in growing business within retail marketplace because Marks and Spencer offer quality products which is comfortable, stylish and worth of money. Through these segmentation they able to attract major portion of population which is more attracted towards western culture (Lees-Marshment, 2014). By selecting this segment company able to focus audiences according to their products specification. They also design products which are trending and quality which help them Marks and Spencer being up to date which attract customers and enhance market shares.
Evaluate behaviour of buyers according to segmentation and justify marketing strategy to meet requirement and move business forwards
Buyer behaviour refers to the process how an individual customer, group or organisation select a product,services or ides, buy and use it and after that dispose it to fulfil there wants and need. Marketer conduct regular evaluation and analysis of consumer behaviours and how it get affect, after this they develop strategy accordingly (DAILY, KIEFF and WILMARTH, 2014). In other words it refer to behaviour of consumers in decision and action process of purchasing goods and services for self consumption. The behaviour of a consumer get affected in various situation like increase in price of products and services, change in treads, get same products in less price and many others. There are various factors which influence buyers behaviour, which is mentioned below:-
- Cultural factor include role of society, behaviour of society, values and tradition of society and if there is change occur in these element there is fluctuation in consumers behaviours.
- If there is any change occur in personal factors such as age, income, occupations, economical status, lifestyle so on their will change conduct in the buyer behaviour of particular products and services.
The consumer behaviour of Marks and Spencer get influence according to segmentation which they are selected for targeting audiences in effective and appropriate basis :-
Consumer behaviour at demographic segmentation:-
- At this stage buyers behaviours get affected when there is change occur in price of products and services of Marks and Spencer. Such as if price of products increase there is reduction in purchasing of product from consumer who belong to middle income. Whereas if the respective company reduce product price high status group this that they reduce quality of products which also affect sell of products and services.
- Demand of the product change according to change in age of person or consumers because when age of a consumer increase, change will occur in their dressing style. Which directly and indirectly affect sell of products and services of Mark and Spencer.
- If a person who consume products and services of Mark and Spencer change nationality or shift from one country to another, then it will directly and indirectly affect the sell of respective company. Such as it can be possible that he/ she get substitute of products in more price effective this will decrease sell of Marks and Spencer.
Consumer behaviour at psycho-graphic segmentation:-
- If there is change occur in lifestyle or trends demand of Marks and Spencer products get also affected according to consumers need (Morgan, 2012). Such as if trends get change then demand of products get change so it is responsibilities of research and development team of respective company to do research on regular basis. Then design products according to demand and need of consumers.
- The behaviour of consumers also get affected if there is change occur in the interest of consumers clothing. Such as Marks and Spencer majorly focus on western culture clothing and if the interest of consumer get change into traditional dresses it will directly affect the sell of Marks and Spencer.
Marketing strategies which company take to move business foreword are:-
Their are various marketing strategies which a company use to fulfil need and demand of there consumers in effective manner. These strategies help them in achieving goal in effective manner and move business operation foreword (Proctor, 2014). Some major marketing strategies which Marks and Spencer use are mentioned below:-
- The respective company can offer various offers or discounts which attract customers and encourage them for purchase products. Such as if they offer discount on their products they able to attract more customer and also catch attention of middle income group peoples.
- They can develop scheme which attract more peoples such as they can develop scheme of happy Saturday offer in this they can offer 50 % additional discounts to their first 10 customers (Gibbs and Knapp, 2012). By this they able to increase footfall at the stores and this will also enhance sell and profitability of the Marks and Spencer.
- To retain and attract customers they can offer loyalty cards in which respective company add points when particular customer do shopping to their stores and he/ she can redeem the amount when they want.
Form the above discussed point it can be conclude and evaluate that every organisation has to conduct marketing analysis to develop effective strategies and plans and this help a company in grow a business in appropriate manner. For conducting marketing audit a company can conduct SWOT analysis and through it they able to know current performance of a company business. A company evaluate marketing strategy by using marketing mix and through it they get to develop business plan in effective manner and for analysing market position a company conduct Segmentation, targeting and promotional method. For identifying appropriate target audiences a company examine market segmentation which is divided into four type demographic, behavioural, psycho-graphic and geographic segmentation. If a company select appropriate segment they able to enhance profit and market shares. The buyers behaviour get affected according to the situation and segmentation.
- Armstrong, G., and et.al., 2015. Marketing: an introduction.
- Malhotra, N.K. and Malhotra, N.K., 2012.Basic marketing research: Integration of social media. Boston, MA: Pearson.
- Wright, D. and De Hert, P., 2012. Introduction to privacy impact assessment. InPrivacy Impact Assessment(pp. 3-32). Springer, Dordrecht.
- Nufer, G., 2013.Ambush marketing in sports. Routledge.
- Burns, A.C., Bush, R.F. and Sinha, N., 2014.Marketing research(Vol. 7). Harlow: Pearson.
- Smith, L.C. and Wong, M.A. eds., 2016.Reference and Information Services: An Introduction: An Introduction. ABC-CLIO.
- Cooper, C., 2012.Essentials of tourism. Pearson Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
- Isaenko, E.V. and Tarasov, A.S., 2014. Automobiles selling organizations’ marketing communications assessment directions.Life Sci J.11(9s). pp.239-242.
- Morrison, A.M., 2013.Marketing and managing tourism destinations. Routledge.