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Marketing is a process of communication between the company and customers with the goal of selling products and services to the ultimate users. It involves various ranges of processes which are concerned with finding out the demand of customers and then fulfilling it for them. Marketing principle is a process to optimize the market performance of existing products and also to successfully launch new products in the new market (Blythe, 2013). To study the marketing principles, Marks and Spencer is considered which is specialized in the selling home products and luxury food products.
This report evaluates various elements of the marketing process, tools and techniques to evaluate the micro and macro environment. Further, it involves segmentation, targeting and selection of products of M&S(Hoffman, 2005).
The marketing process is a procedure which includes strategy formulation, situation analysis and marketing mix decisions along with implementation and control. Elements of the marketing process of M&S are discussed as below:
Analysis- In this, market and environment analysis are done with the help of strategic tools like PESTLE, SWOT analysis and Porter’s five forces model, etc. M&S implements these tools to understand the market and customer's demand (Nwankwo and Gbadamosi, 2010).
Identification- Here, marketing targets are identified. M&S targets specific segments of customers in the UK and other countries where the company operates. To identify the segments, differences in behavior and needs are considered.
Objectives- At this stage, the marketing objectives of M&S are made which includes profit maximization in both short term and long term perspective to increase the value of brand image(Dalgic, 2006).
Marketing Mix- This step deals with the elements of the marketing mix to evaluate the characteristics of specific target customers of M&S.
Control- Marketing management of M&S used this element to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing strategy in internal and external environment(Dooley, Jones and Iverson, 2012).
The marketing orientation is a strategic step to understand the specific needs and wants of customers and also to monitor the brand image and products. This step helps M&S to gain the stronghold on the target market and to find the undiscovered needs of its customers (Kotler and Armstrong, 2010). The costs and benefits of market orientation are discussed as below:
Customer-Centric- M&S business is built on addressing the needs and demand of customers. Firms spend significant time to research the unaddressed needs of customers by conducting surveys and suggestion programs. But, the research process is a long time procedure which takes more time, efforts and money (Young and et. al., 2004).
Competitive Advantage- Customers are always on the top priorities because they are the end users of products. When competitors are putting too much time and efforts on the product engineering without considering customer’s demand, M&S take this opportunity to grow customers and its sales levels (Alam, 2013).
Challenges- Rapid changes in market affects the company's market orientation strategy. Changes are like changing cost of products, raw materials and services, etc. If changes are in favorable condition for company then it will be beneficial (Ghauri and Cateora, 2009).
To develop the market, both micro and macro environment are analyzed from various tools and techniques which are discussed as below:
PEST analysis is implemented to analyze the macro environment of M&S which is discussed as below:
Political- These political factors involve the role of government in setting taxes, rules, policies and regulations. M&S is a retail firm which is concerned with safety, health and environmental regulations and firm has also taken initiatives for animal welfare.
Economic- Economic factors are concerned with the economic growth. Factors like rates, raw material cost and consumer’s spending etc. need to be considered. Further, recession and low per capita income of UK affects the sales and profitability of the cited firm (Armstrong and et. al., 2014).
Social- These factors refer to social and cultural factors of country. People in UK demands trendy and fashionable products which need to be offered by company. M&S focuses in this aspect and offers high-quality fabric along with the trendy touch in apparels. Additionally, it offers a wide range of products to customers at one place that essentially meets the demand and needs of customers.
Technological- Company has to focus on technology. In external environment, if technology is changed then, company has to accept and update their technology to compete with others (Bearden, 2004).
For analysis of the internal environment, SWOT analysis of M&S is considered which is as follows:
For this purpose, the company has to segment their customers in order to boost its sales for both the products. In this, demographic can be used for kids clothes and psycho-graphic can be used for the businessmen. Under demographic, age group can be below 5 years, 5-16 years, 16 to 25 years, 25 to 40 years and above 40 years. On the other side, lifestyle will be focused in which market can be divided as per their interest and personality. With this segmentation criterion, the company can be able to attract more customers towards its products (Jain and Jain, 2014).
Target strategy involves market segmentation of customers to whom M&S wishes to sell its products and also, to select the segments which are appropriate for the product. It is important to target the customers so that sales of both products can be increased. There are two varieties of clothes including kid’s clothes and casuals. In democratic segmentation, company is focused on kids whose age lies in between the range of 5 to 16 years. On the other hand, company is focused on casuals for the business class customers according to their class and interest. In casuals, firm will launch high class quality clothes which are trendy. It will be priced as premium products to attract more customers. With this segmentation, company will increase the awareness and attraction of customers towards its goods (Kotler and Armstrong, 2015).
Positioning is a process of selecting an appropriate marketing strategy and its main objective is to occupy unique, clear and advantageous position in the customer's mind by considering the factors such as promotion, price, product and place.
It is required for the management of M&S to adopt proper strategy for positioning its casuals in an effective manner in order to attract more customers. In this context, casuals for kids with different patterns and colors are positioned according to the fashion trend and in marketing campaign, kids will be considered. For the advertisement, medium will be related to TV, hoardings or banners. Further, brand endorsement can also be done by signing Daniel Radcliffe as a brand ambassador as he is a famous celebrity among children and more target customers will be attracted towards products (Kotler, 2008). On the other side, casuals with high class look will be positioned as the premium casuals and for this company will be charged premium prices. In this, casuals will be simple but with a designer touch. In order to attract the youth customers, brand endorsement can be done by Robert Pattinson as he is a famous star among youths. For this marketing, posters and banners can be used for the publicity. With all these tactics, casuals can be positioned in an effective manner for attracting target customers. This will helps M&S to boost its sales and creating its distinct image in the marketplace (Kotler, 2010).
Buying behavior describes why customers are buying and using the products or services. Behavior of buyer directly affects the market strategy and also impacts on the customer’s buying situation.
M&S has to consider the above target customer's demand and requirements. In above context, casuals for kids will influence and attract more customers towards it. Customers can purchase these products from stores and they are also available on online because it will be more convenient for customers. On the other side, casuals with designer look products are for the high class customers and these are the premium clothes which are highly charged by the company so only few customers will be able to purchase it. If company charges normal prices for this product then high class customers will not purchase because according to their perspective, high price is the major sign of high quality of products. In this segment, customers want to purchase those products which are different from others. This buying behavior and situation will boost the profitability of company and this will also give advantage to compete with the other rivals available in the industry (Bose, 2010).
There are so many competitors in the retail market. So, it is essential for M&S to develop better quality of products in order to sustain and lead the marketplace. To attain the competitive advantage, it is essential for firm to produce casuals for both kids and businessmen. In this context, designer casuals will be designed by keeping simplicity in the mind but also with new fashion trends. Along worth this, there will also be premium quality products. So, with the help of these products, firm is able to compete with the other rivals. Further, it includes additional features in kid’s casuals such as attracting colors and designs with considering the current fashion trend. Further, it can be also be in an elegant look with different patterns. Premium quality products will be made manually by designers to make it unique for the special occasions. Company also focuses on the country's culture like in India cited firm can launch ethnic clothes with including designer look because these are more famous in India t as compare to western clothes. Hence, above mentioned strategies will help company in gaining competitive advantage and these features also make it different from the other competitors in the market (Donovan and Henley, 2010).
Customers are the end users of company's products and services. So, it is essential to make the product available to all the customers. Distribution strategy is a process which is created by the management of company to specify that how the firm transfers its products to retailers and consumers. Through intensive strategy, cited firm provides casual clothes for kids from its both physical and online outlets. For the convenience of the customers, physical stores are available throughout the UK and firm also distributes its products on retail showrooms to boost its sales. For the distribution of premium quality products, selective strategy is implemented. These premium products are not available at online outlets because they are manually created. To purchase the premium quality clothes, customers want to check its quality, design and size. So, premium clothes are especially available at famous tailors and boutiques throughout the UK (Bearden, 2006). With this, high class customers also feel differentiated from the other regular customers. This distribution strategy will surely help M&S to attract large number of customers.
Pricing strategy identifies the optimum price for a product. It plays a vital role in attracting customers by offering products and services at a competitive price. For this purpose M&S will use two types of pricing strategies which are competitive and premium pricing strategies. These pricing strategies help cited firm to increase its sales as well as number of customers. If company charges high prices for kid’s casuals then customers may be switched to other competitive brands because same product is available at lower price in the market. So, in this situation cited firm will implement the strategy of competitive prices. However, if company charges low prices for premium products then customers will assume that quality of product is not good and they will shift to other brands. So, company has to implement the premium price strategies. With this strategy, premium quality products are charged high because their quality and design of premium products are better and unique (Carr II, 2008). Cited firm focuses on the quality of its products and they are offering value for money. Prices of premium products are set high to maximize the level of profitability.
Promotion of a product is an important process for introducing brand in front of public and it also attracts new customers towards the product. M&S uses few promotional strategies to promote their products which are described as below:
Advertising- This is a form of communication which is designed to communicate with customers in order to attract them towards the products and services. With successful advertisement, customers know about the company's product in a positive manner and they also also focused to purchase that product. For the purpose of advertising, company uses few mediums like press advertising, banners, hoardings, radio and television.
Sales Promotion- Cited Company mostly uses this promotional activity to increase the sales in a short term. For this purpose, company offers some coupons, special offers and discounts on the products at their physical outlets (Darley and Blankson, 2008).
Internet Marketing- Company is focused on using various online marketing techniques such as social media, videos and advertisement for promoting and selling its products on online. Casuals for kids can be purchased online but premium clothes are not available there. Further, cited firm develops a video to promote kids casuals in which kids are wearing company's clothes and doing some activities.
Marketing mix refers to the set of actions and activities which are used to promote both brand and the product in the market place. Extended marketing mix elements which are used by M&S for organizational growth are discussed below:
Physical layout- Physical layout refers to both physical and online outlets. If structure of company’s stores is managed in a well-mannered form then it puts positive impact on customers. Both infrastructure and internal environment develop a positive impact on customer’s perception (Henley,Raffin and Caemmerer, 2011). Customers expect cooperative environment, good presentation and physical evidence of available products. Physical evidence is not only relevant to stores but also to company's websites.
People- Staff people are the face of a company because they directly serve products and services to customers and also interact with them. If staff of M&S is well developed, groomed and trained in their work then it will develop a positive impact on customer's mind and also attract more customers (Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2012).
Process- All the processes should be managed in an effective and efficient way. Processes refer to handle the customer complaints, identifying needs and requirements of customers as well as handling bills at billing counter. M&S handles all these processes in a fast and effective way because fast processes attract people and also save the time of customers (Kubacki and et. al., 2015).
As per the above context, the company has segmented its customers according to demographic and psychographic segmentation. Process of planning for the marketing mixe for two different segments is discussed below:
|Marketing Mix||Kids Wear||Business casual for men|
|Product||Casuals for kids with attractive colors and designs are delivered to the customers according to the current fashion trend. Company will focus on offering premium product quality in order to develop favorable psychological impact on parents.||Casuals for business will emphasize on product simplicity with a designer look. Premium quality of products will help in developing brand image of the company.|
|Price||Competitive and premium pricing strategies will be implemented in this segment.||Competitive and psychological pricing strategies are implemented in this segment.|
|Place||It is available at the Physical & online stores as well as on the dedicated retail showrooms throughout the UK.||It is available at physical outlets, boutiques, specific tailors and dedicated retail showrooms.|
|Promotion||Promotion of product is done through using sales promotion, internet marketing and advertising. In this, mediums like hoardings, radio, TV and magazines are used.||Promotion of this product is done by aggressive marketing. In this advertising of product has been done through using banners and hoarding at different fashion and business related events.|
The company needs to develop plans and strategies for the proper analysis of market place and also to identify the use of the marketing mix in the respect of both businesses to business and business to customers.
Size of the consignment will be big and clients are purchasing products for the business purpose.
|In this business, consignment size is small and customers are purchasing products for their personal usage. They are focused on the benefits and usage of products.|
|Price||In B2B, products are sold on a very low margin. In this business, quotation prices are made and the company takes a decision on bidding (Lees-Marshment, 2009).||Competitive prices are implemented here. All customers pay the same prices.|
|Place||To approach at business level websites, headquarters and authorized agents are available.||Customers can purchase from both physical and online outlets.|
|Promotion||In this, promotion can be done by offering trade discounts and sales promotion.||Promotion of product can be done by advertisement on radio & TV, sales & discounts on products and through internet marketing.|
Differences between the international market and the domestic market are as follows:
|Basic||International Market||Domestic Market|
|Culture||If M&S is doing international marketing then the firm will consider the different cultures and languages.||In the home country, the cited firm is well known about their country's culture.|
|Control||Controlling of marketing activities is complex because different types of factors are present like regional, cultural, etc.||In this, controlling marketing activities is easy for the cited firm because they are familiar to the regional and cultural factors.|
|Product Mix||It is decided according to the nature of the foreign market.||M&S will decide product mix according to the level of sales and customer satisfaction.|
|Focus||In international marketing, the cited firm will focus on the international market and competitors.||In this marketing, the cited firm will focus on customer's demands and requirements of the home country.|
Under international marketing M&S has to focus on social and cultural factors of different countries in order to attract the large number of customers. Company has to plan different marketing strategies for the various different countries and they have to research foreign market to reduce the risk level and also to compete with competitors (Wang, 2007).
With the help of this research, it is easy to understand that marketing principles play an important role in increasing profitability and sales of the company. Strategies related to segmentation, targeting and positioning of the market are very important for a business to understand the nature of the market and customers. With the help of the marketing mix, the company attracts more customers towards its product or services.
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