Introduction to Marketing Management
In the global corporate world, creating a successful corporation faces several challenges. These obstacles often influence their rate of long term planning, even the firms that are well established, globally known and set the standards of the market have to put maximum of efforts daily to maintain their status quo. Marketing is a significant process in any business as it contributes largely to the success of the firm. In the prosperity of an organization, marketing is a vital component and while designing strategies, focus should be given to obtain new clients, branding and making effective public relations (Tinson, 2004). The goal of marketing should be to promote the product or service widely so as to be recognized in the market.
In this competitive global market with several businesses, getting the product noticed is not easy and requires suitable strategies to acquire a competitive position in the market. According to author Philip Kotler (2008) – “Marketing is a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups acquire what they want and need by creating and exchanging goods and value with others”. Marketing in a business organization is all about understanding the wants, needs and demands of customers. In order to understand the concepts and nature of marketing in an evocative manner, the organization selected is a multinational corporation British Telecom. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom it is one of the biggest telecommunications services firms all around the world and has its operations in more than 170 nations. It was found in 1980 and privatized in 1984 with more than 50% of its shares sold to investors (British Telecom, 2012).
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British Telecom is a major supplier of telecom services to government customers and corporate clients globally. The major activities of this organization are related to the provisions of fixed line services, TV product and services and mobile services. The aim of the firm is to help customers in the ever changing world and marketing mix and strategies are adopted by the firm as per the objectives as well as the requirements of consumers. The company employs efficient marketing strategies in order to acquire a distinguished position in the market and fulfill the anticipations of customers (BT Group, 2013). In order to manage the global competition, marketing strategies are designed in a manner that it meets the demand of the market. Marketing is explained mainly as the process through which firms create value for customers and build a strong relationship to acquire value from them in return. British Telecom takes this factor into consideration and responds accordingly as without it buyers would not be able to function. It follows the concept of innovative marketing as it is a service provider and needs to offer appropriate value according to the customers’ needs. The nature of marketing for British Telecom is designed to provide high quality service with maintaining strong customer relationships. The main components of it are product, price, place and promotional strategies. British Telecom (BT) effectively utilizes all the four components of marketing, prices are set to acquire a competitive advantage and value to potential customers. The promotional tools used by the firm are focused vividly towards advertising, personal selling, sales promotion and public relations (BT Group, 2013).
Every business is involved in the marketing process making it centre of the business and it is essential for companies to build goodwill with buyers and acquire loyalty for their goods. Marketing is responsible for comprehending the needs and wants of customers as it stands to fulfill the requirements by making available the goods that suits preferences of market. In this context, an assessment of the marketing environment is very much vital as it will aid in designing a marketing information system for the organization. BT group operates in a different external environment both at international and local level. There are various competitors available in the external environment, and it needs to enforce proper technological policies in order to attain success. The marketing environment for BT group mainly includes four principal areas that are political, economical, social and technological (Brassington and Pettit, 2010). The strategic political relationship between UK and the rest of the world is successful, and many of the nations have a keen eye to ensure political stability with its strategic partners. BT has an advantage of political stability in UK; other than this in the economic environment globalization is on the rise and transforming economy of business. As more and more organizations are entering into international business, there would be an increased demand for effective communication and novel products.
The BT group have major areas to be developed because the government and many international corporations are in the process of transformation from paper based operations to modern technology which will certainly require the need for a credible service provider. The increased earning capacity and changing lifestyle of people are making the demand for products like BT have a high probability to grow; since people are now becoming more adaptable towards technological products (Herstein and Gamliel, 2006). In technology, there not only new inventions, but also there are many areas to grow hence in BT gets maximum chance to diversify and grow. BT group need to assess the external environment of business while enforcing marketing strategies, but prior to this it is very much essential for the company to analyze the nature of buying behavior (Parsons and MacLaran, 2009).
Consumer buying behavior is often changing as well as their needs and wants differ according to the area. It includes how do people think and perceive things between diverse alternatives such as a product, brand and actions they undertake in purchasing and consumption process. According to author Schiffman (2000) – “The needs and goals are continuously changing and rising in business in response to an individual’s physical condition, experience, environment and interaction with others”. Needs of customers mostly change with numerous factors and due to this organizations should recognize various issues to analyze customers’ needs.
The buying behavior today has changed a lot and people try to seek for products that are needed and make a decision after assessing it from several different perspectives. After viewing that, there are ample of products and services with different brands are available in the market, consumers sometimes gets confused and it is the need of marketers to influence them to purchase the company’s product (Walley and et. al., 2007). The level of competition is high in this industry that has forced BT group to indulge in both price and non-price competition. Mobile retail is the leading factor in industry’s revenue stream and new technologies such as 3G that has further increased competition in the market. In order to capture maximum number of customers it is essential to segment the according to consumers class and their demands.
Market segmentation refers to the process of creation of small groups within a larger market to bring in consumers together who have similar requirements, needs and interest. In this approach one market segment is entirely different from the other and is comprised up of individuals who think on a similar line and have same interests. The individuals from similar segment respond in a similar way with the fluctuations in market. Once the marketer creates distinguished segments within the market, organizations them enforce various marketing and promotional strategies according to the taste and preferences of individual in a particular segment (Competitive Advantage, 2012). This process is known as targeting, once the market is segmented firms then targets the customers. In this process, the last stage is positioning of target market, here firms strive in to create an image of its product in the minds of buyers. Marketers create a first impression of goods in the minds of buyers through suitable positioning strategy. It helps firms to build a perception about the product in the minds of target customers (Oxenfeldt, 1982).
Market segmentation, targeting and positioning carries a huge significance in the area of designing marketing strategies and developing effectual plans. Through this approach, BT group divide the market into different segments related to their individual needs and then targets each of the segment. It helps in to understand about different needs of consumers and wants, through this organization can also lead from its competitors and compete with the big organizations in the market (Zachariah, 1996). This process is given due significance in the area of marketing strategy because it helps in cultural, religious and personal needs if the firm is not operating in it homeland. In designing marketing strategies, due importance is given because it also helps in to build a strong relationship between the firm and consumers. BT group need to analyze the marketing mix factors, so that it can more efficiently set up the segmentation process (The truth behind a niche market, 2011).
Marketing mix is a business tool used in marketing strategies to determine brands offering in the market. It mainly includes the four P’s of the marketing mix that is product, price, place and promotion. It is primarily an element that must be attended in order to market a good or service properly (Chernatony and McDonald, 2010). Here, BT group offers a range of prices to suit different needs. For customers, the spectrum goes from a basic high speed accessibility product with no additional services up to 1 MB connection with numerous content and services such as internet security and email facility. In the process of segmentation, place is a crucial factor means the area where it is operating. BT group wholesale services aims towards setting up broadband technology available to 90% of business and homes. Promotion is a factor associated with advertising technique of firm (British Telecom, 2012).
The promotional techniques of BT group includes various activities, in this manner television advertisement played an important role that promoted its broadband products. Promotional campaign of BT group is focused specifically towards two major areas i.e. the marketing media and gaming and technology media. Promotional events were organized so that the maximum number of people could be informed about the product and consumers can take hands on experience (Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwich, 2012). The last significant factor in the marketing mix tool is product, BT group introduced many kind of online console gaming and acquired huge growth in the UK market. This organization also offered a broadband solution that provides one stop shop for customers who want to take their consoles online.
Elements of the marketing mix need to be promoted firstly from within the organization, any of the corporation prior to entering into the external market, it is very much crucial that the product and services are initially marketed internally. Internal organizational marketing is the process of involving the workforce from all level in effective marketing campaigns by enabling them to understand their roles and responsibilities in the marketing process (Rosenstreich and Wooliscroft, 2012). An internal marketing program contains training and development of staff through suitable internal communication and integration schemes mainly designed to enhance wisdom and understanding of the overall marketing within the corporation (Beller, Weiss and Patler, 2007). The main aim of internal marketing is to participate actively in achieving organizational goals and create a potential for long term success. BT group utilizes the internal marketing concept to empower employees and give them accountability and responsibility.
The organization BT enforces several corporate branding strategies in order to acquire a competitive advantage in the market. Corporate branding is an attempt to use brand equity of organization. It is mainly done to create product brand recognition and facilitates new product acceptance because potential customers are already familiar with the brand name. BT group uses its corporate brand name in order to introduce any of its new product in the market and informs target customer by using the brand name (McDonald and Wilson, 2011). It offers services to the customers in the area of telecommunication and mobile, services are intangible in nature and company need to influence buyers and should explain the services clearly before purchasing it. In order to achieve a mass of customers, it is very much essential that the product and services are of high quality because it will help in building a corporate brand image and will lead into positive word of mouth for the organization (British Telecom, 2012).
Efficient audit department should be set up ao as to ensure consistency and reliability in service offering in any of the organizations. A product and service quality audit is a process through which review can be made and elements of a business could be evaluated to ensure that standards of goods and services are met (Smith, 2005). The standards differ from industry to industry and organization to organization. Product and service quality audit ensure that the business is offering value to its customers and is also useful for promoting any business, informing target consumers about the brand commitment towards quality standards. BT group focuses a lot to manage consistency in its service and provide value for money to buyers. BT offers sufficient amount of training to its workforce to manage the queries of customers and ensures that suppliers can continuously provide products and services to clients, all these has aided in to increase the confidence of customers on the company.
If products and services are delivered with appropriate consistency, value for money and time to time quality is monitored, all these aids in building a strong brand image for the corporation. The American Marketing Association (2000) defines the brand as a “name, sign, term, design or symbol or factor with a combination of them integrated to recognize the products and services of one individual seller or a group of the seller and to differentiate them from others” (Gough and Scott, 2000). Branding is one of the numerous concepts in marketing any business and provides an increased amount of understanding to an organization to its products and name. Through branding companies add on emotional appeal and gives the message with the help of which a company can differentiate it from its competitors.
There are several techniques available for branding of an organization, while designing branding techniques it is crucial to analyze why the customer believes on the brand and what are the factors that drive them towards the brand. The techniques will mainly include identify reasons to believe on a brand, assess customer touch points, determine the most influential touch points, design the optimal experience and associate the firm to deliver consistently the optimal service (Svensson, 2008). BT group is having string brand image as it is operating since years into this, it implies suitable branding techniques to assess the factors through which it can acquire potential customers and retain the existing one in business. BT group manages its brand proficiently as it analyzes and plans on how the brand is positioned in the market and to maintain the desired reputation of the brand. It also aims to build a strong relationship with target customers which are essential for brand management (Clowe and Becke 2013).
Here, in it could be stated that analysis of the market is very much essential for an organization to become a market leader. Assessment of the market includes evaluation of external market and government intervention in the different marketing process of a product or service. An environmental analysis helps in brand building and also in future developments of organization. Nowadays companies not only focus on marketing its products but also give attention to the surrounding environment in which it is operating. In this context implication of green marketing has become an essential factor, lays attention on marketing of products and services that are environmentally safe (Lodziak, 2011). Thus, green marketing integrates a wide range of activities including product modification and changes in packaging.
Green marketing concept is part of new marketing approaches which refocuses, adjust, augment existing marketing practices and provide a substantial different perspective to promote the products. BT group also gives significance to green marketing and undertakes several campaigns and programs under its corporate social responsibility activity to safeguard the environment and has also brought changes in packaging of products so that goods marketing could be done by safeguarding the environment (Brocke, 2012). Other than this approach organizations today are also focusing on adhering ethical values rather than simply offering product and services. Ethics are accumulation of principles of right conduct that shapes the decision people or organizations undertake. Ethical marketing means deliberately implementing standards of fairness, decision making in right or wrong and behavior and practice in the organizations (Christopher, Payne and Ballantyne, 2002).
Through this approach a firm can attain maximum of advantage when it undertakes a better job than its competitors and are capable to satisfy needs of buyers and organization. When a company behaves in an ethical manner consumers develop more of positive attitude about the company and its services and relies on it, which ultimately leads into increased amount of production and high market share (Jansses and et. al., 2010). Here, in it has been observed that some of the organizations is also achieving success through cyber marketing process, which is a method to attract potential consumers by promoting the product through online techniques i.e. websites, emails, online advertisements etc (Evans, Jamal and Foxall, 2009). Cyber marketing is a blend of internet technology and direct marketing principle is applied in it to reach a large number of customers. Numerous kind of activities are included in cyber marketing approach such as fax direct marketing, canvassing, online marketing, call center and mobile phone marketing.
Hence, it could be concluded from the above discussions that marketing is a vast concept and includes distinguished factors within that need to be given consideration while designing any marketing strategy (LaPlaca and Johnston, 2006). It can be attributed that in order to acquire a leading position in the market it is quite essential that strategies should be framed after analyzing the external environment and focus should be given on every issue related to market. Here, in a detailed assessment on BT group has been made and it has been observed that the firm is performing in a well organized manner, but organization much by giving attention more on innovation and introduction of novel products and services in the market. Furthermore, it is also essential for BT group to concentrate on several aspects on marketing tools prior to entering into different market as it will aid in acquiring maximum of potential and growth for future development of the organization.
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