Cochlear: Marketing Strategies for the Overseas Market
Cochlear: Marketing Strategies for the Overseas Market
Cochlear Limited: Marketing Strategies
Cochlear is an international biotechnology company that is based in Sydney Australia and it is best known for its technology in ear implants. The main products that cochlear limited designs, manufactures as well as distribute are the nucleus cochlear implants, the hybrid electro-acoustic implant and also the conduction implants. Since its formation in 1981 Cochlear Limited has gained a market share of two thirds in the industry of ear implants technology, however, the company would like to market its products in the overseas market and the board has to consider the various micro and macro factors that will influence the choice of target market and market mix that will be both efficient and effective for the company. It should be noted that the operations of Cochlear Limited will continue to be held in Australia and Sweden Cochlear Limited, (2014).
The market environment refers to factors within and beyond the company’s control that have an influence in how the company can relate to its customers. These factors have been categorized as either micro factors or macro factors. Micro factors are the forces or issue within the company that influence the company’s ability to relate well with its customers while macro factors are more intimidating factors within the society in which the company operates that influence the company’s operations and its relationships with its customers (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006).
Micro factors affecting marketing strategies
Micro factors arise from the business itself and the challenges that the company faces which include their suppliers, their marketing intermediaries and also its customers among others. Micro factors that Cochlear Limited is likely to face in its efforts to market its products overseas include; the efficiency and effectiveness of the management team of the company, its ability to finance the overseas marketing goals, the ability of the various departments in the company to work well to meet the company’s objectives, the quality of research and development of the company, purchases of the company and purchases of their products by consumers, the complexity of the company’s operations and also the company’s ability to keep good records among others. Another internal or micro factor that will help Cochlear Limited to market its product overseas is the ability for the company to impact the public and raise the public’s interest in their product. The company will also have to be able to deal with groups of people such as activists who are capable of hindering the company from obtaining funds and new clients for their products (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006).
Macro factors affecting marketing strategies
These are forces generated from the society and outside the confines of the company. These macro factors cannot be controlled by the company although they influence how the company operates and markets its products both domestically as well as overseas. They include; composition of the demography, the state of the economy, natural forces or calamities, social factors, cultural factors, rules and regulations, the level of technology and also the stability of the country’s politics among others.
Demographical factors study how the population is distributed in a specific region of interest for the company such as how many people are located in certain areas, their age groups as well as their gender, their races, their density and their types of professions among other factors about the population that may influence how the company will market the product overseas (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006).
The state of the economy will influence the purchasing power of potential customers in the overseas market. It studies how the populations in the overseas spend their money. The natural environment or natural calamities refer to resources produced by nature and used in the production of the ear implants and natural forces that influence the production, marketing and distribution of the products made by Cochlear Limited. These may include; raw materials, level of pollution, natural disasters such as earthquakes.
The level of technology is continuously changing and Cochlear Limited is a company that uses biotechnology to produce its implants therefore the company has to ensure that its production and marketing is at par with the changing technology or even ahead of the current technology being used by other companies producing the same products (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006).
The political state of the country (Australia) has to be stable to encourage people based overseas to believe in Cochlear implants and even invest in the company. The political state of the country includes the laws and policies established by parliament and other government agencies that have direct and indirect influence over the production and marketing of the implants. The laws and regulations should also be favorable and flexible enough for the company to enable it market its products overseas.
Another factor that may influence the marketing strategies of Cochlear Limited in the overseas market is the culture of the people in the overseas. Their values and beliefs in their target market may or may not encourage the company to sell its products overseas (Kotler & Armstrong, 2006).
Target market for Cochlear Limited in the overseas market
The state of the economy worldwide is continuously changing and this means that businesses will have to know and understand the market well before releasing their products otherwise their marketing efforts will have been wasted. A target market refers to a group of persons or potential customers that are likely to buy the products you are offering in the market. It is therefore very vital for Cochlear Limited to determine its target market since not everyone is going to be their client and it is difficult and expensive for a business to target everyone. Establishing a target market for the Cochlear Limited products is important because it allows the company to concentrate its resources and marketing efforts on the group of persons likely to purchase the products (Aaker, Brumbaugh, Grier & Trickle, 2010).
There are many factors that one needs to consider when establishing a target market and some of these factors are within the control of the company while others are beyond the control of the company although both factors influence the marketability of the product. Some of them include; age of the target market, the sex of the clients, their different professions, their marital status, their geographical locations, their levels of education, their level of income, their level of interaction with technology and the influence from members of their families. These factors can be categorized into different segments such as based on demographics or socio economic factors which look at the potential clients’ gender, ages, levels of income, their professions, their levels of education and their family compositions among others. Another category is the psychographic segmentation which looks at the attitudes of the clients towards the products being offered, the values of the potential clients as well as their types of lifestyles. While selecting a target market the company has to also look at the behaviors of the customers that are their level of loyalty towards a product or a brand. The company can also select its customers based on the relationship of the clients to the product and also the needs of the clients for the product (Aaker, Brumbaugh, Grier, &Trickle, 2010).
Therefore Cochlear Limited has various factors that it should consider when selecting its target market in the overseas and this can be achieved by conducting a marketing research in the areas the company wishes to introduce its products to.
After the company has established its target market it should create a strategy that will allow it to popularize and sell its products in the overseas market. The best market mix will integrate the price, the product, promotion of the product and also the place (Kotler, 2012).
This is the item that is meant to satisfy the need of the consumer and in our case the ear implants. While developing a marketing mix one should consider that the product has its own lifecycle which includes the following phases; growth, maturity and then the decline phase. The marketing department of Cochlear Limited should conduct research on the lifecycle of the product and concentrate their efforts in ensuring that they can overcome challenges that may arise in the different stages of the product’s lifecycle. The department should also develop a great marketing mix of tangible and intangible products for the company which will complement each other (Banting and Ross, 2010).
This is the amount of money that the company charges for each unit of their product. The marketing department alongside the production department should ensure that the prices reflect the quality of the product and also it has to create control measures that will allow the product hence the company to survive in the process of adjusting their prices. Changes in the prices of the product will definitely have an effect on the demand of the product being offered by the company. However, the company should also be aware that customers also have their own perceptions on the price of the products and the marketing team should be well armed because they will compare the prices with the prices of competing firms or industries. The company therefore should skim the available prices for the products and set their price at a level that will allow them to penetrate the market and also allow them to make profits hence the company’s survival. When it comes to prices of products customers look at the pries of competing products and also compare the traits of the products with those form competing firms (Kotler, 2012).
Promotion of a product refers to efforts the company especially the marketing department of a company puts to popularize their products. This can be achieved through written or media advertisements, conducting public relations, organizing sales and also through sales promotions among other means. The purpose of promotion is to communicate the existence of the product in the market. The use of advertisements involves paying for radio or television commercials, using the internet to promote the products, promotion through newspaper and magazines, use of billboards, organizing exhibitions, trade fairs, seminars, press releases, word of mouth and seminars among other ways. These efforts will ensure that people know of the existence of the product thus raising their interests which eventually leads to purchases of the products (Banting and Ross, 2010).
However, given the nature of the products (implants) there are specific places that the company can market their products to such as hospitals and also industrial work places which involve a lot of noises that could harm the hearing of a person.
Place or distribution
This involves bringing the product to a place that will ensure accessibility for the users. Cochlear Limited can achieve this by using various strategies such as intensive distribution, exclusive distribution, selective distribution and also franchising their products (Banting and Ross, 2010).
The Overseas Market
The overseas market is a platform that allows individuals, businesses and also organizations to sell their products in different continents. It offers expertise, links, and reports and also advises on how to penetrate the global market across the world. There are platforms that make the process of overseas marketing easier by identifying, assessing and making contact with potential partners or distributors of Cochlear Limited products. They also conduct overviews of the market and analyze it for better understanding of the overseas market. The platform also helps with translation and understanding of the culture to make the process of easing into new markets easier.
The platforms also help familiarize with the trade laws and regulations of the overseas markets and arrange for meeting and seminars which will allow Cochlear Limited to present their products to potential buyers or partners. They also help with the delivery and distribution of the products.
How to enter the overseas market
There are various ways in which a company can enter the overseas market and some of these ways include; selling the products directly from our own country, setting up an operation in the countries that we have identified or we can use intermediaries to sell our products in the overseas market.
There are various factors that Cochlear Limited should consider before choosing the way to enter the overseas market and these factors include; costs that is direct and indirect costs that will be incurred in the venture, the level of control Cochlear Limited will have over the operation that is how the products are sold and how to delegate the new intermediary parties. There are also the risks associated with exports of goods and services and some of them include; exchange rate risks, trading cycle’s risks, shipping risks and warehousing risks for the products among others.
Theoretical aspects based on research articles
Articles have been written about the factors that influence a company’s marketing strategies into the overseas market and they have identified micro and macro factors as the main factors that influence a company’s ability to market their products and penetrate the overseas market. Marketing products overseas require the company to develop marketing strategies such as identifying a target market and also developing the right marketing mix that is using the right marketing tools to ensure that the company’s products are popularized and sold in the overseas market.
Companies are able to sell their products in overseas markets successfully if they use the right marketing strategies and this can be achieved by conducting thorough research on the potential target markets and then developing the right marketing mix to take advantage of the market niches that will be provided in the research.
List of References
Kotler, Philip. (2012). Marketing Management. Pearson Education: New Jersey.
Banting, Peter and Ross, Randolph, E. (2010). Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 1 no. 1.
Aaker, J, Brumbaugh, A, Grier, S, & Dick Trickle. (2010). Nontarget Markets and Viewer Distinctiveness: The Impact of Target Marketing on Advertising. Journal of Consumer Psychology (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), vol. 9, no.3, pp. 127.
Kotler, Phillip and Armstrong Gary, (2006), Principles of Marketing.
Pearson Education Inc.: New Jersey.
Porta, Mandy. (2010). How to Define your Target Market. Retrieved on 25th August, 2014 from http://www.inc.com/guides/2010/06/defining-your-target-market.html
Cochlear Limited, (2014). Cochlear. Retrieved on 25th August, 2014 from http://www.cochlear.com/wps/wcm/connect/au/home