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Role Of Strategic Marketing In An Organisation Marketing Essay

Strategic marketing involves putting together a plan for the best use of the organization’s resources and developing tactics to meet its corporate objectives. To do this the managers need to consider the markets or market segments which they intend to target and identify the most appropriate marketing mix to satisfy those people in each of the target markets or market segments (Blythe, Coxhead, Lashwood, Partridge, Reed & Simms 2005)

Strategic marketing is actually a strategy development of the product according to the changes in the market and the consumer preferences. This also includes the changes in the business environment and the overall economic changes locally and internationally. Strategic marketing is more concerned about the company’s performance rather than the increase of the sales. It also takes into account the service and quality of the product or service that is provided to the customer. According to the Strategic marketing, it is more important to create a long lasting relationship with the customer rather than make a one time sale. This not only ensures the customer’s lasting loyalty but also encourages more business for the company which ultimately brings it profits (Cravens & Nigel 2009).

Developing A Strategic Marketing Plan:

According to Pride, William & Ferrell (2010), a marketing strategic plan is essentially a statement of how the organization plans to compete for business in its particular market and most marketing strategies will be presented in the form of an overall marketing plan. Every organization has its own approach to preparing marketing plans and there is no single correct approach that can prove to be successful for all companies. However a good plan does have a number of important features. It should:

Have a logical structure.

Contain explicit marketing objectives which link to corporate objectives.

Analyze the environment (both internal and external) and the current position of the organization.

Based on this analysis, identify which combinations or products and markets the organization will serve and how it will compete (segmentation, targeting and positioning)

Contain specific decisions relating to key marketing variables such as product, price promotion and place (marketing mix)

Conclude with an outline of the appropriate methods for implementing the identified strategy, including issues relating to budget, accountability and evaluation.

Although the plan needs to provide clear guidelines as to how marketing activities are to be managed, it should have some flexibility to allow the organization to adapt and respond to unexpected changes (Ennew & Waite 2006)

Customer benefits include anything a buyer receives in an exchange. Hotels and motels, for example provide a room with a bed and a bathroom but each firm provides a different level of service, amenities and atmosphere to satisfy its guests. Hampton inn offers the minimum services necessary to maintain the quality, efficient, low priced overnight accommodation. In contrast, Ritz Carlton provides every imaginable service a guest might desire and strives to ensure that all services are of the highest quality. Ritz Carlton uses customer information and own technology to give their customers the exclusive service that they desire. They feed customer preference information to their systems and without the customer asking, give the customer the exact kind of service that they want (Pride, William & Ferrell 2010).

Links Between Strategic Marketing And Corporate Strategy:

Enz (2010) has argued on his earlier observations on corporate and competitive strategies and makes a distinction between the two streams of thought which have substantial implications for strategic marketing management. Corporate strategy, he argues, concerns two different questions: what business the corporation should be in and how the corporate office should manage the array of business units. Competitive strategies on the other hand concern how to create competitive advantage in each of the businesses in which a company operates. Since strategic marketing management falls firmly in the latter category it seems clear that the performance level s in achieving competitive advantage through implementing competitive strategies will have their limiting factors determined by strategic decisions made by senior management regarding corporate strategy. Indeed, in profiling the distinctive characteristics of competitive and corporate strategies, porter found that the latter presented the most serious cause for concern, demonstrating that the corporate strategies of most of the companies he studied had dissipated rather than create shareholder value (Egan, Colin & Michael 1998)

Links Between Strategic Positioning And Marketing Tactics

The positioning concept describes how management wants buyers to position the brand. The concept used to position the brand may be based on the functions provided by the product, the experience it offers or the symbol it conveys. Importantly, buyers’ position brands whereas companies seek to influence how buyers position brands. Success depends on how well the organizations distinctive capabilities correspond to the value requirement of each targeted segment (Payne, Christopher, Peck & Clark 1995).

Developing the positioning strategy requires integrating the product, value chain, price, and promotion strategies to focus them on the market target. The result is an integrated strategy designed to achieve the managements positioning objectives while gaining the largest possible competitive advantage. Shaping this bundle of strategies is a major challenge to marketing strategies decision makers. Since the strategies span different functional areas and responsibilities, close cross-functional coordination is essential. The factors that affect marketing program strategy include the target market, competition, resource constrains, management’s priorities, and the products life cycle. The positioning strategy describes the desired positioning relative to the competition (Johnson 2004).

Central to the positioning decision is examining the relationship between the marketing effort and the market response. Positioning analysis is useful in estimating the market response as well as in evaluating competition and buyer preferences. The analysis methods include customer/competitor research, market testing, and positioning models (Cravens & Nigel 2009).

Merits Of Relationship Marketing:

Relationship marketing is not in itself a new concept; rather it is an old concept but has a greater and more enhanced emphasis on the value of the customer. The main idea of Relationship marketing is that the better the relationship with the customer personally, rather than the product, the more is the customer loyalty. The importance of retaining customers is that there is strong evidence that customer retention and profitability are directly related. It is evident that if the customer is completely satisfied with a certain service, then and only then will he continues to give that company more business. Not only that, he will also refer it to his own friends and acquaintances’. In the relationship marketing paradigm they are very closely related to each other. That is due to the fact that relations are built upon service and quality (Payne, Christopher, Peck & Clark 1995).

Marketing Techniques To Ascertain Growth Opportunities In A Market:

In this day and age of fierce competition, developing excellent marketing techniques is extremely important for any company. Since nowadays almost all the companies are providing similar products, the only thing that can give a company strategic advantage and edge is the quality of service that they provide to their customers. A company needs to be extremely careful while choosing their marketing techniques so that they represent and depict their company’s image and goals carefully and are also relatable and likeable to the customer at the same time (Graeme, Ensor & Ashford 2007). Below are a few of the marketing techniques that Ritz-Carlton has applied to ascertain growth opportunities.

Product Name:

The product/ service shall be marketed under the name of Ritz-Carlton Hotels. The reason for choosing such name is:

The name is easy to remember for the customer. That is extremely important as a customer will never want to revisit a place that’s name he cannot even remember.

The name has a timeless quality.

The name is preemptive and proprietorship in that it can be trademarked for exceptional service in the hotel industry.

The name has the ability to provoke customer interest in the product.

Branding:

The brand of Ritz-Carlton has been designed for the following advantages:

It offers unique and readily identifiable service in the hotel industry.

It reinforces customer’s beliefs that their stay at the hotel shall be a memorable one.

Consumer Staregies And Plans:

A discount offer can be made initially in magazines and newspapers on special occasions like Christmas and vacations.

The hotel can sponsor charity events to reinforce the customer’s trust in its corporate social responsibility.

Create existence on internet for customer convenience so that the customers can make reservations and ask queries through the internet (Johnson 2004).

How To Use Marketing Strategy Options In A Market:

Market introduction requires a complete marketing strategy that is spelled out in the marketing plan. The plan should be coordinated with the people and business functions responsible for the introduction, including sales people, sales, marketing managers and managers in other functional areas such as operations, distribution, finance and human resource. Responsibility for the new product launch is normally assigned to the marketing manager or product manager. Alternatively companies may assign responsibility to product planning and market introduction teams (Cravens & Nigel 2009).

The timings and geographical scope of the launch are important decisions. The options range from a national market introduction to an area-by-area rollout. In some instances the scope of the introduction may extend to international markets. The national introduction is a major endeavor, requiring a comprehensive implementation effort. A rollout reduces the scope of the introduction and enables management to adjust marketing strategy based on experience gained in the early stages of the launch. Of course, the rollout approach, like market testing, gives competition more time to react (Bonita 2006)

Real-time tracking of new product performance at the market entry stage is also extremely important. Standardized information services are available for monitoring sales of products such as foods, health and beauty etc. information of these services are collected through audits, consumer diary panel and scanner services. Special tracking studies may be necessary for products that are not included in standardized information services. The internet is also rapidly becoming an essential new-product information gathering and monitoring capability (Stephen 2010).

Strategic Marketing Objectives For A Hotel:

Becoming the market leader in luxury hotels with 25 percent share.

Provide the best standards of service that a hotel in the industry can provide.

Creating or increasing customer’s awareness of the hotel.

Expand hotel branches into different countries.

Influencing customers’ attitudes towards the hotel.

Achieving sales and market share increases for specific customers or prospect targets.

Generating repeated visits from the customers.

Attracting new customers.

Encouraging long term relationships and encouraging new services at the hotel like separate shopping area, advanced spas etc (Cravens & Nigel 2009).

Components Of The Macro Environment:

The external environment that affects marketing can be divided into the macro environment and the micro environment. The factors that need to be analyzed on the macro level include the current level of economic growth, demographic changes, and social changes in how people live and travel. What is occurring in these areas is fundamental for hotel officials to understand before a successful marketing plan can be developed. Unfortunately this task is often neglected, because the process of obtaining information can be difficult, while those working in marketing rarely receive any public praise for such research (Blythe, Coxhead, Lashwood, Partridge, Reed & Simms 2005).

Many businessmen, community members, government officeholders who will be involved in developing the marketing plan suppose that marketing is just promotion and sales. As a result, they may not understand why it is necessary for the hotel marketers to take the time to analyze the external environment. For example, local government leaders may support hotel officials when they request funds to target new segment. These types of marketing tasks may receive support. However, these targeting and promotional efforts may be wasted if an analysis of the external environment is not conducted first (Bonita 2006).

Components Of The Micro Environment:

The micro environment includes such important stakeholders groups as businesses, civic associations, and government officeholders. Because the continuing support of these groups is critical to the success of any hotel marketing effort, it is essential that the hotel officials assess an ongoing basis their level of support for hotel industry (Bonita 2006).

Strengths:

At Ritz-Carlton successful internal marketing has as its goal the building of successful service strategies which can serve the external customer. Being able to deliver consistent, high-quality service requires the effort of everyone in the organization. That is why listening to the internal customers is as important as listening to the external customers. Strategies for Marketing your Fire Department Today and Beyond by US Fire Administration, United States Fire Administration (Stephen 2010)

Ritz-Carlton is committed to treating its guests like royalty. It is one of the most distinctive corporate cultures in the lodging industry, and employees are referred to as ‘ladies and gentlemen’. And these ladies and gentlemen of Ritz have been trained in very precise standards and specifications for treating customers. Ritz employees are continually schooled in company lore and company values. And these values are the basis for all employee training and reward. Nothing is left to chance when it comes to providing exemplary customer service. Ritz goal is a happy customer who is wowed by the services received. However, under the new approach, staff interaction with the guests is more natural, relaxed and authentic instead rather than sounding like they’re recited lines from a manual (Pride, William & Ferrell 2010).

Weakness:

Ritz-Carlton’s one weakness is its high-price which makes it unapproachable to the masses and limits its target audience. Yes, I do believe that the price of the services that are offered at Ritz is quite high too but one way to overcome that is to provide economic rooms at the hotel with minimal level of services offered there. Since all the countries where Ritz is located have a huge middle-class market, it has a very feasible option to make the middle class people their new target market. Due to the recession that is going on nowadays, it will give Ritz a good strategic advantage if it chooses to expand its market and target the middle class as well as the upper class.

Strategic Marketing Responses To Key Emerging Themes In A Marketing Strategy

Below mentioned are the responses to some key emerging themes in a marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing:

Digital marketing is the future of all advertisement. Since most of the people are now computer educated; so it is essential for any product or service to have an existence on the internet so that they may be able to approach the customer more easily. It is also convenient for the customer as he can sit at home and interact with the company and get his queries and complaints resolves without going through the hassle of an actual visit. For the hotel industry, it is essential to use digital marketing as they can also get business through it. They customers can also log into the website to make reservations for their rooms and schedule visit accordingly.

Product Customization:

Another emerging trend is product customization. The earlier notion “one size fits all” is quite obsolete now. More and more companies are nowadays resorting to exclusive customization according to the customers’ preferences. Earlier, this was a trait only used by expensive and exclusive products. The hotel industry can also use room customization according to the customers’ preferences and offer service that may appeal to that individual customer.

Globalization:

Since the world is a global village, and is getting smaller and smaller, it is getting easier and easier for a customer to interact with a company that is halfway across the world. For this a company needs to be tech-savvy and should be able to accept and apply all new technology to its company to gain a strategic edge over others.

Social Sites:

Social networking sites like Facebook, twitter etc are the new rage in the communication world. Posting an ad on Facebook can advertise a product to millions of customers in a single day. For a company to be successful in this day and age, it needs to advertise via social networks as well. The advantage of posting advertisements on social sites is that it is cheaper than many other modes of advertisement. A company can also post blogs and public forums to interact with its customers and entertain suggestions and queries.


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