Marking planning is one of the main functions of marketing department of an organization (Kotler, 2003). This coursework will focus on marketing strategy and plan of ASDA. The main points of discussion in this coursework are internal and external analysis, SWOT analysis, market targeting and marketing mix.
Vision Statement of Asda
According to Asda (2009) the main aim of the organization is to serve the customers by offering them lower prices and giving their customers respect for which they deserve. They want to achieve this goal through their staff called colleagues. They are developing their skills. So they can satisfy their customers' expectation and make their visit to store more pleasant and joyful.
When an organization works in the competitive market, it has two main types of environment.
To formulate, implement and execute a successful marketing strategy, ASDA management and marketing decision makers have to understand these two types of environments. (ASDA, 2009)
The internal environment of an organization is inside of organization. Most of the processes and procedures working in the organization are part of internal environment of organization. Internal environment of an organization contains most of the controllable variables (Sadler and Craig, (2003).
Following are the main elements of internal environment of ASDA.
The employees of an organization are most important part of organization as they participate in almost all the processes and produces of the organization. Even highly technological intensive organizations, the role of human resources is extremely important to get optimal benefit from that technology. The human resources of ASDA are 150000 of which 90000 are casual and remaining 60000 are full time. The company is managing casual and part timers to save the employees expenses. The marketing employees of organization include customer relation staff, people who work in general market and do surveys to collect market data and executives and managers work in the head office. (ASDA, 2009)
ASDA is selling large range of products and services to their organization. Before its merger with the Wal-Mart the organization was under performing. As soon as they get the specialized help for their parent company, they started to grow. As a result, in 2003 they have taken over Sainsbury's. They are selling their customers grocery, clothes, electronic products and many other type of products through their store based retailing and online retailing. In the online business, customers can get access to the store through ASDA website. The goods are delivered next day to customers at their door step. They are also providing financial services through their stores and website. (ASDA, 2009)
Communication within the organization and with the external world is mostly done through company own services. They are using modern technology for this purpose as well to establish social networking and get benefit for the experience and information of other. The internal structure is well defined and all the members know who is reporting to whom. For marketing communication same channels of communication are used. The market research data, different sort of analysis are available to all the people working in organization at the central local on services. (ASDA, 2009)
ASDA is occupying 16% of United Kingdom Retail market. Out of these 16% nearly 50.30% people are visiting to their favorite stores everyday and nearly 14.60% people are visit the store two or three times daily. In the busy cities, the organization is continuously losing their customers' base due to congestion in the cities. It takes time to go to ASDA and buy the goods. People prefer the corner shop for buying the product of casual use. (ASDA, 2009)
The UK market is very mature market and all the key players in the retail industry have their constant market share. It is very hard to increase the market share. To increase the market share organization has to spend more on the marketing expenses. The cost of marketing campaign is also reducing the profit margin of the owners/shareholders. Same is the problem for the marketing personnel of ASDA. (ASDA, 2009)
UK and whole world is passing through a world worse economic depression. This economic depression has reduced the purchasing power of the people. Same time it is hard for the organization to get access to the financial resources for their development projects. The per capital income is reducing due to reduction in per capital income. Organizations are facing more pressure from the government in terms of tax as their national deficient are increasing in larger extent. The United Kingdom recently has national deficient nearly 63% of their total GDP. This also has limited the organization marketing activities. They are cutting down the expenses and adopting more pessimistic approach. Though credit crisis has less impact on the retail industry like ASDA, Tesco as they are selling the products of basic needs but still economic impact is visible in their different marketing and business activities. (ASDA, 2009)
Social and cultural environment
The most of operations of ASDA are in United Kingdom. The society of UK is multicultural society. Keeping the nature of society in mind, ASDA marketing people do not ignore this fact. They have good range of products for different type of people belonging to different countries, religions and cultures. They are serving such customers in their world food department. (ASDA, 2009)
Hitt, et al (2008) critically examined that the life style of the people in United Kingdom has changed in during last two decades. They prefer to buy bulk of goods from their favourite stores. This gives them benefit of time saving and less hassle. This also has developed the loyalty culture. The marketers are trying to understand the changing in thinking and taste of people and developing products to satisfy their changed needs.
Political and legal environment
The government of United Kingdom is thinking about out of town policy for the supermarket. This is negative for the supermarket and they will lose significant part of their sales due to this reason. The people will not come to store for the casual products. The control over the inflection is also function of government. The government of United Kingdom have taken number of quantitative measures after credit crisis. These enable the government to keep rate of inflation under 3%. Fiscal policy, monitory policy, employment policy or taxes are main part of government of United Kingdom. (Hitt, et al 2008)
Technology is used in many functions of business but use of technology in the marketing is really getting more importance. Marketing data is flowing from marketing personnel working in the field in real time basis. ASDA marketing personnel are using modern tools like mobile computer terminal at different places. The data generated by these machines straightaway comes to the central location. These tools are also helping the marketing managers to analyze the marketing data and give analytical reports. (ASDA, 2009)
ASDA is well known brand. Their financial strength is also higher due to support of their parent country. They have improved their managerial skills and developed number of best practices which they get from Mal-Mart. The organization is adopting lower price strategy which is best tool to attract more customers in current economic environment. (Lee and Lin, 2008)
ASDA is lacking in smaller stores while their competitor Tesco is getting huge sum of money for smaller stores. It is not possible for the company to build bigger stores at shorter distance. The market share of ASDA is constant from number of years. This shows that there is no growth opportunity for the organization in future if conditions remain same. (Lee and Lin, 2008)
The organization has greater chances to diversify their business to India, China and other emerging economies. There are number of smaller and local chains which are struggling. ASDA can take over these stores and re-structure them to increase their customer base. (Lee and Lin, 2008)
the obvious threat of ASDA is its close competitor Sainsbury's. If economy goes in further recession then organization is not in the position to reduce further prices as they are selling already at lower prices. (Lee and Lin, 2008)
The main objective of ASDA is to provide more modern services to their customer. They are aiming to increase their customer base by provision of better services, adding more products in their product range and lastly the development of new channels of distribution. (ASDA, 2009)
Through, more control over the prices, they have reduced their cost while quality of services is same. The 30% of the queues have been reduced due to application of more advanced technology at the checkouts. In this way they are willing the customer satisfaction. The organization is successfully implemented the policy of lower prices successfully. They want to carry on executing same policy in future. (ASDA, 2009)
According to ASDA, (2009) The organization is targeting almost all the segments of UK society. However most general customers of ASDA are women of age 20s and 30s. These women buy the goods of day to day use for themselves and their families. The second group of market segment of ASDA are males. They also buy for themselves or for their families. It is showing that marketing campaign of ASDA is not specified on a particular group.
Marketing Mix Strategies
ASDA is enabling their customers to go get access to their favourite products at the cheaper prices. In addition, they are also offering the customers to give their valuable suggestion for the better product development. When new products are launched they are encouraging their customer to participate in the product launching ceremony. When customers get such a care and freedom of suggestion then probability to get loyal is much more. ASDA is giving option to their customers that the person will come with the brightest ideas will get 5% of first year saving. (ASDA, 2009)
The organization is mainly focusing on the lower prices of their products. They are successfully running this policy from last 12 years. However during this time they could only win 0.50% market share from Tesco. (ASDA, 2009)
ASDA marketing people are always curious to adopt new and innovative promotional techniques. They are offering their customers like two for two pound, one for 1.99 and similarly many other techniques. The roll back tags of ASDA are visible to every visitor. The stores are instructed to display reduced price products in front of store so these can catch the attention of customers immediately when they enter into store. (ASDA, 2009)
ASDA have 25 bigger depots national wide scattered around at different strategic locations. In 2008, ASDA came into contract with Gazelle Company Limited who took the responsibility of management of its warehouse and its international marketing. ASDA stores also have their own production and manufacturing stores. (ASDA, 2009)
The marketing strategy of ASDA is successful especially inspiring the customers through their lower prices strategy. However, more innovation and new ideas are needed to catch the market leader Tesco. They should develop the team of marketing people who take care of their customers at more professional basis. More they will get success to make the customer loyal more they will grab the market share.