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Marketing planning refers to the process of determining one or more interesting marketplace so as to identify opportunities present in the market that firm can grab easily. Marketing is the most important tool used by organization in order to attract customers to buy its products and benefits business enterprise in every possible manner. It takes into consideration all the plans prepared by firm in relations with pricing strategy, promotional tool, segmentation and targeting criteria etc (Christopher and Peck, 2012). In marketing proper planning is necessarily required so as to satisfy need of target market in efficient manner. In the present report organization chosen is Asda that operates in retail sector and well known in the market for range of products it offers to target market. Firm is second largest chain in the market by market share and sells all the products at low price. Various tasks have been covered in the report which includes elements of marketing process, how international marketing differs from domestic one etc.
The process of promoting a service or products or brand to customers for the purpose of selling it is known as marketing. This activity is performed through segmenting appropriate customers, which is followed by customer's targeting and finally products are positioned in between them so that sales can increase rapidly (Bertsch, Busbin and Wright, 2002). Marketing satisfies the needs and requirements of people through exchange of products and services and good relationships between sellers and buyers. Normally there are two types of marketing, one is Business to customers where customers are focused and another one is business to business where one business firm targets other.
Scanning marketing strategy: - Asda is the private retail firm which scans the market first through inspecting changes in marketing environmental factor which are either internal or external. However, environment refers to industries, market, customers, suppliers and new entrants.
Marketing strategy: - This step includes targeting particular group customers to whom products are to be sold directly, after that they are segmented according to their needs, habits, desires and preferences and finally brand positioning is performed through exposing the benefits and essential features of products in segmented customers (Huntington, 2007).
Marketing tactics: - This marketing tools is often used by Asda in order to determine a product's brand with seven Ps that are product, price, place promotion,. Physical evidence, process and people.
Monitoring and control: - Accessing of work planned and controlling any issue involved in it necessary to be followed by the cited firm in order to achieve targets set by the firm.
Marketing orientation is a group of perspectives which includes decision-making, market intelligence, strategies, cultural market and customers orientation (Ferrell and Hartline, 2012). However, benefits and costs of marketing orientation are:
Customer satisfaction: - Through effective market orientation, customer's satisfaction can be gained at high level. Examining their culture and buying behaviour, Asda can alter their marketing process that suits the requirements of customers.
Desired Quality: - Scanning market conditions helps in improving quality of products. Comparing products of other firm helps to understand difference between two organisations. Any deficiency or lack of knowledge in production process can be overcome and quality can be improved through proper market orientation.
Customer retention: - Marketing orientation of Asda retail firm can lead to retaining their customers for long-term (Batista, Smart and Maull, 2008). Reading their minds and overviewing their frequency of purchase aids in understanding their buying behaviour so managers can forecast properly about future needs.
Relationship marketing: - Continuous interaction with customers and their feedbacks aids the firm to create healthy relationship with them so they can give their views regarding products and services freely.
Customer profitability: - Marketing orientation is performed only for the purpose of achieving customer's satisfaction, so it is definite to provide them profitability from cited firm's products and services.
Domestic marketing refers to marketing of products and services to local customers or financial market while international marketing refers to selling goods and services to customers residing in different nations (Hall, 2014). In domestic marketing, there are no barriers of language and marketers find is easy to understand culture and perception of customers, on the other hand customers of different nations are difficult to access and maintaining their social values and preferences is bit typical for Asda's marketing mangers. Local market managers are not aimed at global business while international market managers seeks to do business globally. Requirement of financial resources in domestic marketing is very less while huge amount of financial resources are required to perform international marketing.
Laws and regulation of one country differs from other so while doing international marketing, managers of cited firm must have full knowledge of rules and regulations of other country where they want to market their products (Fillis, 2003). Changes in marketing conditions of local market are less frequent as compared to international markets, therefore marketers must be aware of and flexible enough according to sudden changes in international marketing conditions. Risk involved in domestic marketing is less than that of international marketing. Domestic marketing requires same set of policies and strategies in local markets but international marketing requires different strategies and policies according to differences in markets.
Various factors are present in the external environment of Asda that directly affects the marketing decision of entity and they are discussed below:
Political: It is considered as one of the most effective macro factor affecting marketing decision of company as various laws and regulations are developed by government such as tax laws and payment of other duties that affects overall operations of entity (Johnson, 2006). Furthermore it is necessary for entity to comply with guidelines issued by government and rise in tax rates and other duties such as VAT affects firm and overall marketing decisions.
Economic: Presently entire economy is facing issue of inflation and financial crisis. This has also affected purchasing power of consumers and they prefer to spend less on costly items due to which firm has to keep prices lower so that more customers can be attracted easily. So the marketing decisions taken such as pricing policy etc are affected by economic factors.
Social: This factor is linked with taste and preferences of target market as every consumer buys products on the basis of religion, age, culture etc. So the marketing decisions are taken by firm keeping in view the taste and preferences of its target market so that its food and non food items can be sold easily.
Customers: They are the target market of entity and before taking any decision firm has to identify their requirement, taste, preferences (Purvis and Long, 2011). Furthermore in the market where Asda operates is full of competition so prices are set keeping in view purchasing power of target market. So marketing decision is affected by overall requirement of target market and it is necessary to consider factors such as demographic one etc.
Competitors: Competition level is very high in market where Asda carries out its operations. So firm has to take every marketing decision keeping in view other firms such as sainsbury, Tesco etc. Prices are determined by company after considering its competitors price and generally it is kept low (Oplatka, 2004).
Suppliers: They also affect marketing decision of company as in the market very less number of suppliers are present so their bargaining power is high and this directly affects marketing decision as they have capability to charge own price for the products supplied to firm.
The chosen product is Watch for which market is young people and business class. On the basis of this demographic segmentation criteria product can be easily offered to target market (Friesner, 2014). For young people different watch will be offered to them as they prefer to buy products that are unique and highly advanced like chronograph series. On the other hand in case of business class people they prefer to buy different watch like Analog series. So same product can satisfy need of different market but their requirement differs from each other. With the help of demographic segmentation Asda can easily offer watches to different market and in turn can help to increase profitability and market share (Lukenbill, 2003).
For the target market chosen product category is watch and appropriate targeting strategy for the same is concentrated one. With the help of help of this targeting strategy Asda can concentrate on particular market segment like young people and business class. Furthermore it can help organization in understanding the taste and preferences of this market as full concentration is on particular market rather than different markets are selected (McIntyre, Hite and Rickard, 2003). This can support firm in increasing sale of the watches as Asda fully concentrates on understand the preference of young and business class people. This can help organization to increase sale of its products and in turn helps to gain competitive advantage. Through concentrated targeting entity can increase satisfaction level of its customers easily.
For Asda best positioning strategy is on the basis of price where company can highlight that al its products are offered at low price and this can have positive impact on the brand image of organization (Gainer and Padanyi, 2002). Firm can position all its products as high quality and low price and this can support in changing the perception of its target market. Furthermore it is considered as one of the effective way to encourage customers to buy the products as they are easily affordable and this is beneficial for firm also as through this firm can increase its profitability. For instance if company wants to position watch in the market then its prices and other attractive features can be highlighted in front of customers so that they can be easily influenced to buy it. Furthermore it is necessary for management to ensure that product can easily satisfy need of target market and then only commodities must be positioned (Hand, Mannila and Smyth, 2001). So in this way this positioning strategy is appropriate for the firm and through this large number of customers can be attracted easily and can support in strengthening customer base.
To develop any new product various steps are followed by Asda that helps to gain competitive advantage and helps to increase overall profitability (Niedermeyer and da Silva, 2005). Stages in new product development are discussed below:
Idea generation: It is the first stage where company sources idea regarding new product and appropriate sources present for the firm is business customers, competitors, employees and suppliers. This stage is crucial for the organization as product development totally depends on the idea and it is decided whether product will be able to sustain in the market or not. For instance from the requirement of customers management got idea to introduce air conditioner with heater of 9 star rating that consumers very less electricity and saves cost (Bevan-Dye and Venter, 2008). So this idea is unique.
Screening: It is the next stage where idea generated has to undergo screening process and company take opinion from staff members, suppliers etc. In this stage Asda can know whether the idea is feasible or not and what benefit can be derived after implementing this idea.
Concept development: It is the third stage where Asda can determine cost, revenue and profits from the new products which is 9 star air conditioner. Furthermore management carries out SWOT for internal analysis and this supports in implementation.
Product development and commercialization: It is the last stage where Asda can start manufacturing product after gathering crucial data (O'Loughlin and Szmigin, 2005). Furthermore by selling the new product firm can take feedback from the customers in order to know whether idea was unique or not.
Pricing is considered as the most important factor on the basis of which customers buy product and it is considered as one of the effective way to attract target market. Different pricing strategies are present that can be used by company such as competitive, skimming, penetration etc. But in case of Asda penetration pricing is adopted by firm where prices of all the products are kept lower with the main objective to increase market share and overall profitability (BLYTHE, 2005). This reflects organization objective as main aim of company is to increase its market share which is supported by penetration pricing. Furthermore market conditions are not favourable as consumers does not prefer to buy costly items. So in this case prices are kept low so as to attract large number of customers. Furthermore in some case when product is highly differentiated and not sold by other firms then in such case skimming pricing strategy is adopted where prices are kept high and still no substitutes are present then consumer prefers to buy the products. This also reflects the marketing objectives and market condition where Asda operates (Roberts-Lombard and Steyn, 2008). Both pricing strategy are effective but firm must use penetration pricing so as to attract customers and this can support firm in future also.
In marketing promotional activities plays significant role and helps in attracting large number of customers. Asda can integrate promotional activities such as advertising, sales promotion and personal selling for the accomplishment of marketing objectives. Through advertising with the help of social media firm can highlight all the unique features of its products and how they can satisfy need of its target market. Furthermore through advertisement firm can influence their purchase behaviour and this can lead to rise in satisfaction level. Whereas sales promotion is also effective where firm can offer discount and other offers on range of products and through this sales can be increased easily (Helgesen, Nesset and Voldsund, 2009). Through personal selling firm can determine taste and preference of its target market and on the basis of this products can be offered to customers. So in this way promotional activities are beneficial for the company and can support in achieving the market objectives set by management.
Distribution refers to the process with the help of which products reaches from manufacturer to the ultimate consumer with the main objective to provide convenience to customers. All the products are sold by Asda with the help of its physical stores that are present in every market where products are purchased from suppliers and sold to ultimate consumers with the help of stores. This helps in providing more convenience to customers as in single store they gets all the products and it is not required to visit different places for specific product (Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner and Gremler, 2002). In short by selling products through stores firm promotes its products and in turn attracts customers to buy the products. On the other hand another distribution strategy adopted by Asda is online where customer sitting at home can purchase the products and in this regard free home delivery services are rendered to the target market. So this shows the convenience provided by Asda to its customers and helps in increasing brand loyalty. In the present era majority of the customers prefer to buy products online as it is convenient for them and provides base to compare products with one another (Hill, O'Sullivan and O'Sullivan, 2012). Furthermore another distribution strategy appropriate for the company is that products can be sold with the help of shopping malls and departmental stores.
Marketing mix comprises of 7 Ps namely product, price, place, promotion, people, process and physical evidence (Kyriakopoulos and Moorman, 2004). The last three Ps (people, process and promotion) are extended elements and explained below:
People: - People are those customers that comes in direct contact with employees of Asda. Their satisfaction can be influenced either positively or negatively that depends upon the nature of employee or marketer. So it is important for cited firm to employee right candidate who is fit for this job. After sale service to customers is an important part to add value in this service (Wood, 2008). It leads to remain stable in competitive market.
Process: - Delivering products and services to customers is an important process that should be handled carefully to attain their satisfaction. Providing timely services and disclosing facts and information about products is crucial for Asda employees that makes their customers happy and think positively.
Physical evidence: - Providing products and services to customers of Asda intangibly is risky therefore presence of both buyers and sellers is necessary to confirm customers about characteristics of products (Peñaloza and Venkatesh, 2006). Experiencing product's utility of product by customers is essential for the cited firm to know and their feedbacks of consumption of products also play vital role making future plans.
From the above report it has become easy to understand the important of appropriate marketing planning as with the help of this company can easily attract target market. Furthermore the pricing and promotional strategies adopted by entity are effective and in turn influences purchase behaviour of customers. Furthermore through effective distribution channel firm is providing more comfort and convenience to its target market which is necessarily required in the modern era to sustain in the market. Whereas it is necessary for firm to focus on micro and macro factors at the time of taking marketing decisions so that overall operations of firm cannot be affected through this.
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