The marketing is a process of creating, communicating, delivering products from manufacture to consumer. In other words, it is a procedure by which individuals and groups satisfy their needs and wants through creating, and exchanging valued products with others (Kotler, 2010). The marketers or marketing managers must coordinate all the activities and processes, to satisfy their target customers and gain the share in market. The strategies discussed in this assignment will be used by the marketing managers for identification, satisfaction, and retention of their customers. The main goals achieved by the marketers through the under mentioned processes are strategic planning and customer satisfaction. These processes will be discussed in this assignment.
1.1 Evaluation of Marketing Mix Principles:
The marketing mix comprises of four key elements i.e., product, place, price, promotion. These elements are utilized to satisfy the target market and potential customers. These principles help the business to achieve its predefined goals. These principles are controlled and manipulated to meet the demands of end user or target customer. These principles are essential elements of the organizational planning and evaluate and analyze the strategies regarding product, pricing, placement and promotion. The marketing mix also plays its role with management accountants in order to formulate the internal policies and activities in a manner that helps the organization in achieving corporate goals. Despite of how perfect is the product, it is critical to have a profitable and successful marketing mix followed by a marketing plan (Gilligan, 1999).
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It is regarding the product company manufactures or provides in tangible form and in form of intangibles as services. The strategies for both product and service must be different. It is vital to develop a strategy according to the product or service you are dealing. These strategies are also influenced by demands of the customers. The quality and quantity of the product or service is formulated on its demand basis. Every business differs from other in designing strategies of its product or service. For instance, the strategy opted by star bucks will be different from that of next, and they both contrast from the strategies of Qatar airways.
It describes about the location where the product or service will be accessible to the end user. This can be online, inform of vending machines, Atm, or any other location where product is being placed in the market. The placement should be done by focusing on the user of particular product or service. The place refers to the distribution channels for the product, such as stores, catalogs, websites or any other means. The placement strategies are also varied for every business category. For example, the placing of FMCG brands such as body shop, Johnson & Johnson will be different from that of clothing brands like Newport etc.
The price refers to the amount of money a consumer is willing to pay for the product or seller will charge from customers. The cost should be wide enough to cover the operating costs, but it should also be in the affordability of the customer. In its initial stages, the company sets a bit low price for its product, and then increases it gradually when the market share is increased. For example, a television satellite company initially sets a low price to acquire subscribers and then amplifies the price as their customer share increases. In some cases, companies set extraordinary prices for their products to show the exclusiveness of their customers and products as well. The best example of this is Harrods. That is why companies should work on flexible pricing strategy for its product or service.
This refers to the concept that how organization is going to promote its product or service. It is how you communicate with your customers. The best product can be failed if not communicated properly, so it is essential to successfully promote the product to reach your customers. The promotional strategies should also be designed according to the target market. For instance, the target market for dew will be else than that of Nescafe coffee. The promotion involves advertising in electronic and print media, public relations, event sponsor, personal selling etc.
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Companies adopt different marketing mixes for their products from a word of mouth advertisement to an exclusive television ad. This is the task of marketing managers to formulate an effective mix of the product, price, place, and promotion to for their company's goods and services.
1.2 Benefit of Market Segmentation
The division of general market into the homogenous groups sharing similar needs is known as market segmentation, also referred as micro-marketing. The segmentation is done in order to indentify the key groups in one large market which share particular preferences towards products and services. Instead of making a single advertising strategy, companies develop different advertisements to cater each segment of the market. The segmentation is done on several basis such as preferences, demographics, age, gender, occupations, lifecycle etc. some key benefits which marketers achieve from market segmentation are as follows:
- Simplifies the marketing procedures by allowing marketers to work on specific advertising strategy.
- More effective and efficient than traditional marketing.
- Helps the marketers to assess the response of each segment, and customize the advertising program on it.
- Helps in finding market segments which are more profitable than others.
- Helps businesses in efficient utilization of resources.
These are some key benefits attained by marketers from proper market segmentation. In this era of corporate competition, companies must focus on segmentation strategies to acquire competitive edge over others (Kotler, 2010).
2.1 Branding and its Advantages
The most efficient way to target and retain your customers is to provide them more and charge less (Kotler, 2010). The brand is referred to adesign,sign,symbol,words, or acombinationof these,intended to distinguish the products and services of one company from that of other. The branding is a process of empowering the products with power of brand. The branding provides value to the product and services in a form of customer attitude, feelings, how they think about particular brand (Aaker, 2009). The branding gives multiple benefits to the company.
- The main benefit is that customers are more likely to remember your business. For instance whenever the word Coca Cola comes, a person can easily tell that it is a beverage company. This is the remembrance which coke people built in the minds of their customers.
- The trust of a customer for particular brand helps the company to build trust for their new products. For instance, the trust of customers in coca cola helps the company to launch kenley, a mineral water brand.
- The branding will help the company to build much larger image of business in customer's mind than it is in reality.
- The strong brand will establish the image of excellent quality, reliability of its product. For example, the coca cola has built an image of brand with highest quality and reliability in view of customers.
2.2 Design a SWOT analysis for a company
The swot analysis of the company is procedure for analyzing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. The swot analysis of the coca cola is as under:
The Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola) is a leading manufacturing company of Non-alcoholic beverages in the world. The company owns more than 400 brands under its cover, which includes diet and light beverages, waters, juice and juice drinks, teas, coffees, and energy and sports drinks. The company operates in more than 200 countries.
The strengths of coca cola are:
- World's leading brand
- Large scale of operations
- Mega-budget Company.
- Robust revenue growth in three segment
- Brand awareness in the world.
- Huge brand loyalty globally
- Strong marketing strategies.
The things which coca cola lacks are:
- Negative publicity
- Sluggish performance in North America
- Decline in cash from operating activities
- Lack of understanding in new brands i.e. Coca Cola diet and zero.
Few market opportunities that Coca Cola can avail are:
- Intense Acquisitions with beverage companies.
- Increase in bottled water market.
- Incremental growth of Hispanics in US
- Innovation in strategies
- Launch sub brands in all untouched regions
- Improvements in economic conditions.
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The threats which Coca-Cola have or will experience are:
- Extreme competition with Pepsi.
- New entrants in beverage industry.
- Economic stress especially in third world.
- Political unrest in Arab countries.
By developing strategies on this SWOT basis, Coca-Cola can increase its market share and maximize its profits to the greater extent.
3.1 Role of External Factors in Product Promotion:
The promotion of a product means how the company is communicating with its target market. Promotion includes electronic and print advertising, personal selling, events, endorsers, and via internet. The main element of promotion mix includes advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, personal selling and public relations. These promotional strategies are influenced by both internal and external factors. The internal factors includes marketing strategy of a company, finances available for promotion, product placement, coordination of marketers to make product successful in market (Kotler, 2010).
In addition, several external factors also influence the promotion of a particular product. It means that they can impact the type of promotional activity used by marketers. These external factors can be product image in the market, product positioning, and competitor's marketing strategies, consumer preferences, economic conditions etc. Some others are market size, price of competitor's product; distribution channels also have profound effects on promotion of a product. For instance while launching a luxury car as BMW; we need to focus on the market, competitor such as Mercedes, image of BMW in minds of consumer etc. These things will decide what type of promotion needs to be done. If target market is small, then personal selling will be appropriate in this case.
3.2 Marketing Objectives of Promotion:
Before formulating a promotional strategy, marketer must keep in mind the objectives or outcomes of the marketing activity. These marketing campaigns and promotional activities are conducted to achieve some goals and targets. These targets can be ranging from increase in sales, good will of brand to gain in market share. These objectives also include attaining competitive edge, enhanced product positioning as well. The marketers should analyze the objectives of their promotional activity, which will lead them towards developing successful and profitable marketing strategy. For instance, the objectives set by the McDonald's for UK were to be the UK's best fast food restaurant, sustaining and developing the best products in the UK's quick service restaurant market, providing nutritious and safe food. On basis of these set objectives, marketers at McDonalds devised a promotion mix, to cater the target market of UK. (Gilligan, 1999).
4.1 Marketing Research:
The marketing research is a systematic design collection, analysis, and reporting of a data for a problem company is currently facing. The main purpose of conducting research is finding solutions for a problem. The research will aid in the decision making process of a company. Companies all over the globe has started the department for research, to carry out business in a more efficient way. The research process start off with the problem identification and end up at a decision making step (David A. Aaker 2009). Some main benefits of research are as under.
- It provides marketer with relevant, valid, accurate and reliable information for decision making.
- Allows the marketer to link different marketing variables such as technology, economic policies, and pricing and placement of product with consumer needs.
- Helps in analyzing consumer needs and devising strategies on it.
The data collected for the research is either primary or secondary data. The primary data is one collected for a problem at hand. It can be collected via interviews, questionnaires, surveys etc. the primary data is collected and analyzed on different levels such as demographics, lifestyle, age, occupation, attitudes and etc. the primary data can be qualitative and quantitative in nature. While secondary data is a data collected for some previous similar problem. It can be collected from books, internet, published reports company's databases etc. The authenticity and credibility of primary data is far more than that of secondary data. But the draw-back is that it utilizes more resources and is much expensive and time consuming than secondary data. So that is why it is essential for businesses to incorporate research in order to gain competitive advantage and maximum sales (Kotler, 2010).
4.2 Sources of Information:
The firms require accurate information to conduct research on specific problem. Marketing information system is an automated system designed to provide an organized flow of accurate and timely information to enable and support organizational function. The MIS includes people, procedures, and equipments to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate and distribute accurate and timely information to management (Kotler, 2010). This information will help the management in two main perspectives i.e. strategic planning and decision making. The information can be collected from both inside and outside of the organization (Gilligan, 1999).
Internally, the information can be collected from sheets or report of orders, sales, prices, expenses, inventories, debts, receivables etc. these reports will provide the information of company's internal records, which help the managers in identifying and predicting future trends and opportunities. There exists a concept of data warehousing and data mining in organizations. These both come under the internal sources of the information. The data warehousing will enable the company to analyze the customer preferences, frequency to order etc. managers can mine data from these databases and predict the future patterns of customers.
External sources of the information include data purchased from research companies like Ac-Nielsen and Gallup. Some other external sources are population surveys, government data, demographics, economic changes. They all help the managers in planning for further expansion of their business. The information in print media and on internet will help the management in planning for expanding their business (Kotler, 2010).
The assignment is a brief summary of all core concepts of the marketing. It covers the essential processes which a marketer must undergo, while devising a strategy for products and services of the company. The first main process is evaluating and understanding the worth of marketing mix, and its role in strategic planning. It explains clearly about the value of segmentation while marketing your products and what are the potential benefits marketer can achieve from segmenting the target market. The assignment clearly explains that branding is necessary for products and it is done to empower the products of one's company. Furthermore, the SWOT analysis of Coca-Cola was done to get understanding of marketing objectives and internal and external influences on product. In end, it was examined that how marketing research is helpful in business and what are its benefits in decision making. Additionally the sources of information were evaluated that how they are helpful in conducting research. It is essential for a company to coordinate the all above mentioned processes, to get maximum outputs and greater market share.