Case Study by Experts about Automobile company Nissan Motors
INTRODUCTION to MARKETING PRINCIPLES
Marketing is one of the key areas of focus that enables a company to plan strategies for its product’s success. The following report is based on studying the marketing principles considering the company Nissan motors from the automobile industry (Henley, Raffin and Caemmerer, 2011). The first part of the report carries out an environment analysis of the company that would further enable it to plan the strategies for preparing a marketing plan. The second part of the report is going to emphasize on the marketing elements, marketing mix, etc. The report is also helpful in finding out the various segmenting, targeting and positioning strategies for the company.
Macro and micro environment analysis that influence marketing decisions
For undergoing the macro environment analysis of Nissan motors, PESTLE analysis is used (Simpson, 2005).
Political: As the political conditions are very stable in its domestic country, they provide a reasonable advantage to the company that helps in its unrestricted growth.
Economical: The income per capita is relevantly high in the country that creates favourable economic conditions for the company to operate. This also helps the company in setting a strong customer background. The economic conditions can largely affect the company’s performance by impacting its sales and demand structures (Wilkinson, McAlister and Widmier, 2007).
Social: The behaviour of the people towards the company’s products greatly influences its performance. There has been a positive response by the people towards the company.
Technological: At the international level, today people are largely exposed to technologies and latest trends. The people there are very convenient with internet that helps the company to market using the social media too.
Legal: The laws and regulations where it has its units are very flexible and favourable for the company that helps it in efficient investments.
Environmental: Every company is expected to offer its responsibility towards environment that in turn has enabled the company to formulate new policies related to reuse of the energy and lowering the emissions (Buckley, 2002).
Nissan has been one among the top three motor companies of Japan and stands in top five of the world. The micro environment of the company can be analysed using SWOT analysis:
Strength: Nissan has a strong global brand name that stands among the top car companies (Leonidou and et. al., 2010). The alliance between Renault and Nissan has been a profitable approach to the company.
Weakness: It has comparatively weaker marketing plans and strategies that has not been enabled in the market. The company has comparatively weaker creative and innovation capabilities.
Opportunity: The Company can plan to relocate its units to the overseas market for adopting a cost saving strategy. It can also plan to introduce its products in Asian market (Wu, 2011).
Threat: The increasing prices of the automobiles parts can be a threat to cost that would lead the company to raise the prices of the products. The company has a strategy of lower prices for customers that could be affected.
Further to develop a marketing plan for the company, it can adopt the marketing strategy of entering into a new market through introducing new products. It has a wider scope of new market entries other than its domestic country in order to improve its market position, share and growth.
1: CONCEPT AND PROCESS OF MARKETING
There are a number of activities that are part of the marketing process including design, advertising, pricing etc (Narteh and et. al., 2012). In order to ensure their success, there are four elements that are significant.
1.Research: Before introducing a product, company needs to carefully research about the various factors regarding the customer’s perception, market potential, available products and substitutes etc.
2.Strategy: Once the research is completed, the company needs to frame plans and policies that would enable the company to identify the product’s prospective position and would therefore help it in meeting all the present factors.
3.Planning: This involves the company to identify the next step to move forward. It includes preparing plans, forecasting sales, financial requirements etcthat would ultimately lead to a successful marketing plan (Brooks and Simkin, 2012).
4.Tactics: Creating offers, lowering prices on occasions and discounts etc can be best tactics.
Marketing orientation is useful for the company as it helps in determining the right market. For Nissan motors, marketing orientation would consider a complete marketing research, testing the market suitability and finally focussing on the customers. This would lead the company to know the various factors that can encourage and restrict cars or any product in the market,
The benefits of this marketing orientation can help Nissan in responding to the market demand that eliminates the flaws occurring through forecasting demands and behaviour. The market oriented approach helps in focussing on customers. It can serve as a competitive advantage to the company in creating a brand loyalty through the customers’ oriented approach. There are some costs that adds up in this orientation which includes higher and unwanted costs of research in finding out customer’s choices and market analysis (Jindal, Jee and Thakur, 2011). As the company deals in offering better value, this would also increase the cost as the service quality needs to be improved.
2: USING THE CONCEPTS OF SEGMENTATION, TARGETING AND POSITIONING
The segmentation of Nissan Corporation is based on certain factors like Geographic, Demographic, and Behavioural and Psychographic basis. The company can plan to produce a new hybrid car considering two segments first for the people who prefer electric car and those who live in pollution free countries that allows only zero emission cars (Doole and Lowe, 2008).
Strength: The car would be an electric car that is its distinct advantage. It can be used as a family car in affordable range. Seating capacity for higher number of people and lower requirement of maintenance will be its strengths (Ferrell and Hartline, 2011).
Weakness: It cannot be available in varied ranges and has only one option of being operated and there would be no options for gas as a fuel.
Opportunities: It can be considered as environment friendly. It can also be an option for the customers for electric car due to rising fuel prices.
Threats: May have to face unexpected perceptions of public being an electric car. Till 2015, it is expected to face more competitors and may require upgrading due to changing technologies (Shankar and Carpenter, 2012).
Nissan’s new car would basically have two target areas; one is people that prefer eco- friendly car and the other who prefer technology enhanced car. The target market is selecting a group of customers for which the promotional and advertising would be aimed at. It is important to decide a target market that would help in finding correct strategies for pricing and promotion. It involves deeply analysing the demographics and psychographics of the customers that are targeted (Adcock, Halborg and Ross, 2001). Strategies that can be adopted for target marketing are mass marketing, differentiated and concentrated marketing.
Mass marketing that involves marketing for the whole group and no particular segment. Differentiated marketing strategy involves deciding different product ranges for different segments. It deals in providing multiple and unique benefits for the people (Kotler, 2008). Concentrated marketing is further aimed at products for particular segments of people and another strategy can be the direct marketing that is finding the customer database and marketing individually Nissan can adopt a concentrated marketing as their target strategy to introduce its new Hybrid electric car.
There are certain factors or buyer’s behaviour that affects marketing activities. Nissan selects the concentrated marketing strategy for the consumers who prefers eco friendly cars and fuel efficient cars (Havaldar, 2010). The factors include stimulus, process and response. Stimulus involves the culture of the customers, social or influence through the society, the reference groups and the marketing mix of the product that is the car which may affect the buyer’s behaviour. There are certain psychological and physiological factors that means the perceptions and feelings of the people considered for the car, their requirements and demand structures etc.All these factors greatly influence the attitude and beliefs of the people towards purchasing and the trend that is prevalent in people in buying such a car (Dibb andSimkin, 2013).
If the customer desires to buy a car, he would surely be doing a brief market research on the available ranges and prices for the cars. Further, the customer would consider the brand name and value and off course the functionalities compared to the competitors.
Particular products or brands can be positioned in the market in different ways in the market place. The positioning can be done in different ways such as Positioning by product’s features, users, class, competition, use and its quality (Cant and et. al., 2009). Nissan would use its positioning strategies by focussing on its competitive advantage that is its driving range and the price that is moderate. It is an affordable priced car range that is useful for family. It can also face strong competition from other hybrid and customized vehicles. It can be well positioned due to its zero emission and eco friendly features. It has distinctive features of being an electric car that has been an excellent experience beyond the imagination of the customers. It would be comparatively quick and provides smooth riding to the customers that are the features which can t help the company in positioning it. The target market of the car would be almost all age groups and people loving eco friendly cars and technology (Hunt, 2014).
3: UNDERSTANDING ELEMENTS OF MARKETING MIX
Nissan has developed distinct competitive advantages for all its cars. The competitive advantage of the company may depend on several factors:
Assets: The assets of the company are its loyal customers, suppliers, and efficient processes. The technology and the employees contribute to the prosperity of the company and thus help in building a sustainable competitive advantage for the product (Lister, 2014).
Not possible to imitate: The best sustainable competitive advantage is that which cannot be copied by others. Nissan’s new car will be offering the best fuel efficiency and eco friendly nature and the best part of it will be being an electric car.
Branding: The efficient advertising and campaigns developed by Nissan are the best examples of its promotions and branding that would help the company to earn a better advantage for its new car.
The effect of technology transfers: The world class technology of Nissan and the alliance with Renault made it to multiply its advancements of technology that serves as a base to competitive advantage (Riley, 2010).
Better strategies to enter into the market: The Company needs to adopt an appropriate strategy for the market that would help Nissan to build up a better competitive advantage.
There are a number of distribution channels that Nissan can use in order to make its new car easily available to the customers. Basically, Nissan does not involve numerous intermediaries in its distribution chain. It does not involve wholesalers in the chain. It can either use a direct channel that is selling directly from manufacturer to consumer but this cannot be possible as Nissan has an international market that makes it impossible to distribute the products directly (Carr, 2013).
The indirect channel is relatively appropriate for the company as it provides better options to Nissan to reach its potential customer base. The company must not attempt to involve wholesalers and distributors in the distribution channel as they are just costs to the company. The customers can be familiar with the retailers that means it can use a producer- retailer- consumer channel that would help its car to the consumer, without much cost and time being involved (Buckley, 2002).
The organization’s pricing decisions are favoured by various factors that involve certain organizational objectives and marketing conditions to be considered. These factors include:
1.Profit: There are three different criterias that relates to the firm’s profit which includeslong-run profits, maximizing the current profitability and setting target returns. All these are calculated on the basis of Return on Investments Nissan may consider margins for its profits (Wu, 2011).
2.Sales: If Nissan wants to focus on increasing its sales it can involve cutting prices. This would lead the product to improve the sales but can also reduce the profits.
3.Market share: When the sales are relatively less in the industry, Nissan can choose the option of selecting market share as the objective of deciding the prices.
4.Surviving: A company to survive in the industry and the market requires setting prices that may not involve considering its sales, profits, market share etc. Just to survive is important and may affect the pricing. But as Nissan is launching its car based on segments, it must not adopt such a strategy of pricing (Jindal, Jee and Thakur, 2011).
5.Social responsibility: Nissan is also involved in fulfilling this responsibility and might consider it as an option to set prices.
The company can use the various elements of marketing mix for defining the two segments that is families and people loving fuel efficient and eco friendly cars. The company needs to follow the marketing mix as follows:
Product: It will be an electric car that is expected to offer 100 mile range that can travel up to 100 miles after being charged once. It is better for both the families and the people loving fuel- efficient cars (Brooks and Simkin, 2012).
Price: It can easily decide the prices according to the customer’s demands that would further help it in earning profits. The price tag of Nissan’s new car is expected to be in between 25,000 to 33,000 dollars that can be suitable to both the segment areas.
Place: Nissan can plan to launch its car in selected markets at the first level. This is done by selecting the markets for potential customers and would focus on both the segment areas.
Promotion: It can promote its car to all the target markets and customers making it better available for them (Leonidou and et. al., 2010).
The two different segments that are being selected by Nissan is to promote its new car and the eco- friendly car lovers. This can help the company to effectively design its promotional activities (Lister, 2014). Nissan must aim at establishing its car as the green car that would be the best alternative for the potential car buyers. This car would be fuel efficient car and would help the company to attract the customers on the basis of this competitive advantage. The car would be based on promoting its zero emission functionality.
The promotional activities would be focussed on advertising on the basis of age and demographics, lifestyles of the people etc. It can use a variety of media including the internet, social websites, television and hoardings etc (Carr, 2013).
The additional elements of the extended marketing mix are People, processes and physical evidence.
People: Focussing on this element will lead the company to differentiate its product on the basis of its cost effectiveness, customer orientation and creating effective customer relationships. As this element is focussed, customers experience a better engagement of the company (Kotler, 2008).
Processes: These are the most important elements for the success of a product as it is the effective manufacturing process that would help in retaining the customers. The information, better production, effective delivery and the after sales service are all important as a process and requires coordination.
Physical evidence is the factor that allows the customer to trust on the product. Nissan must provide better quality, packaging, design etc that in turn would prove to be the evidence that would help the company to sustain its position and success of its new product (Frank, 2005).
4: USING MARKETING MIX IN DIFFERENT CONTEXT
Nissan can also plan to market its new car not only to the potential customers but seeing the enormous competition in the market. It can also adopt the strategy of marketing it and making particular organizations as the targets. There are several organizations and industry like tourism and hotel industry that require cars for their work (Wilkinson, McAlister and Widmier, 2007). These organizations are looking forward for suitable and better options of vehicles that would provide luxury as well as would be feasible for the organizations.
As this new car is focussed on its customers that are families and those who are eco- friendly car lovers, it can also make strategies to focus on such organizations. This car can be one of the best options for five star hotels and tourism industry as it is an electric car and provides fuel efficiency (Narteh and et. al., 2012). Also it is based on zero emission that would make it a good example for the tourists and help in serving the corporate social responsibility too.
The company may adopt numerous strategies to market its product so does Nissan could. Apart from its suitability for the targeted customers and an option for the organizations, can decide to market it internationally too (Frank, 2005). Nissan’s hybrid car has distinct features that make it available for the competition as it is a electric and compact car. Still it is expected to face competition from Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Honda Civic Hybrid and Chevrolet Volt.
For marketing, it is difficult to depend just on the people in the domestic market. Therefore the company must adopt to market its car to international market as it may find numerous potential customers as compared to its host country (Bradley, 2002). It may earn more due to currency differences, legal and monetary systems that would help it to earn higher profits and revenues. Nissan can target the working women and the eco- friendly car lovers throughout the world to adopt the international marketing. This would surely benefit the company to create worldwide brand awareness and a global network with different countries. It is a best option that helps in opening the ways for future prospects.
The marketing principles are meant to understand the marketing objectives and strategies of a company. The undertaken report is focussed on understanding the various strategies that are adopted by Nissan to introduce its new car in the market (Cant and et. al., 2009). The report carries out an environment analysis of the company in the industry and further helps in framing plans for it. The report also includes the importance of different marketing mixes that are available to the company and the benefits of marketing the products to any organization or going into international marketing.
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