Marketing For Managers

  • Category:
    Marketing
  • Document type:
    Assignment
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    3
  • Words:
    2019

Introduction

The contemporary business environment is characterized by divergent forces that directly or indirectly influence a company. As such, in order to maintain competiveness in any market, it is imperative that managers understand the marketing dynamics for specific industries. One such company, Telstra Company, demonstrates clear understanding of such marketing dynamics. Whereas such dynamics determine the success and failure of accompany, a strategic approach is instrumental to this effect. This retrospect paper seeks to delve into the marketing elements and how influential they are to the success of a business. By applying various ingredients of the marketing scope, we learn the dos and don’ts in order to maintain a competitive advantage like Telstra.

Telstra’s Aspects of Marketing

Any business that wants to succeed in marketing must incorporate the 4Ps (Product, price, place and promotion). Creating a product that a given group of people need or want, strategically locating it in a place frequented by that group of people and selecting a price level that matches the value the same group feels they are deriving from the product summarizes the 4Ps strategy. In the case of Telstra, mobile services being the major revenue earner and taking up almost half of the market share, will be our main focus.

Telstra claimed ownership of majority of public telephones but in 2006, many of these phones were removed due to the rising cases of theft and vandalism. It is then that adoption of mobile telephones was announced. As of 2007, 9.3 million people were subscribed to Telstra. The cases of theft and vandalism although negative sent a message to Telstra that the telephones were in demand only that they needed to be more accessible and secure to the customer. By introducing mobile telephones, they were responding to the needs and wants of the customers and this proved to be successful given the large number of subscribers just one year into the launch of the mobile telephones. Telstra provides mobile services in postpaid and prepaid payments. With the prepaid services, SMS services and 3G network, Telstra has been able to maintain its position as the leading telecommunication provider.

For Telstra to maintain a steady market share, the prices of the products availed to the customers must be creating value to the customer. A customer must feel that the price exchanged for the product or service matches the value derived from the purchase. The current price policy increases the perceived value to customers which fulfills the setting of the price level. The additional value added services keeps the customer base such as the free trial subscription to given SMS downloads such as ringtones and games. The reduction of price structures based on usage is also a marketing strategy.

The availing of distribution networks where low usage consumers frequent will enhance the possibilities of repurchase. Telstra has been able to create strategic places that allow the consumers to recharge their prepaid cards such as vending machines, bus stops and supermarkets will increase the purchase of the mobile services. Customers want to find easily accessible and convenient places and this has been fulfilled by Telstra.

Promotion

Promoting their products to increase awareness will increase the customer base. This can be done by addition of extra value adding services. For Telstra, this will increase revenue from the commission generated from advertising. For example, in order to retain the existing customers, Telstra credit can be purchased by sending SMS notifications and encourage users to recharge their cards within a given period of time by visiting the nearest Telstra outlet and if done, a 10% discount will be awarded to any purchase made within the shop before the given time expires.

Understanding Telstra’s Market

It has been noted that the Australians have the need to communicate with each other using different forms of telecommunication. It could be in the form of messaging, mobile telephone or the internet. Majority have embraced the large variety of technological forms to keep in touch. Being the pioneers of the 3G and 4G services, a strong foundation in trust by their customers was laid. 99% of the population is covered by their 3G services. Due to their wide variety of mobile services, they are able to capture majority of the market and with their continued introduction of new digital strategies, their market share is set to keep on increasing. With the growing needs of the customers and changing technology, demand is expected to rise and Telstra plans to explore new technologies such as the LTE- Broadcast and spectrum aggregation techniques. This is aimed at delivering a 98% coverage in population by 2016 end year (Budde & Lancaster, par. 12).

A retail business unit branded ‘Telstra Shop’ located in shopping centers with high traffic and easily accessible provide consumers with the need to purchase mobile handsets or services. The trained sales representatives are experienced and are readily available to assist in the purchase process. This sets apart the company from others as it differentiates itself by delivering high quality customer service and their promotion activities. In today’s dynamic environment, customers’ expectations and behavior has changed and they no longer want products and services but a more personalized experience. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, organizations need to understand the changing needs and wants of their consumers. This will require the organization to categorize their customers into groups with their differentiated needs in order to anticipate their needs and respond appropriately. Telstra has embarked on a customer centricity in the way they structure their business activities. By ensuring that the correct practices are there to address the customer’s concerns will make the experience unforgettable. A team has been formed that deals with online customer queries at all times.

Telstra’s Orientation towards the Market Place

This has to deal with the concepts that a company applies when targeting a market. There are different orientations that a company may exhibit towards the market place. In the case of Telstra, it is seen to be applying the marketing concept. They identified a target market and their needs; the low usage and technologically conscious users. Having identified their needs, a product or service was created to cater for those needs and add value. This is quite evident in Telstra’s case given that there are different plans for both users. After the creation of the service, promotion of the product is carried out to make the potential customers aware of the product or service and make a purchase. The low usage consumers who are not financially stable, have their needs and wants catered for in a plan that is cost friendly at the same time satisfying their needs. The same also applies to the technologically conscious group who are able and willing to spend a considerable amount of their disposable income on the services offered. The price range for the two groups generally range from $29-$89 cheapest to the most expensive.

Major competitive issues facing Telstra

One major issue that faces Telstra in terms of competition is its price compared to its major competitors; Optus and Vodafone. Although it is currently at the forefront, this position is threatened given that the rival companies are not so far off. With the constant changes in the economy, a revision of prices may have to be looked into to appeal to customers. It is however not favorable for Telstra to lower their prices as customers would have doubts to the quality of the services. Telstra’s competitors launched complaints with the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission that Telstra was against the amount of hardware to be installed due to inadequacy in space. The competitors claim that Telstra is against the provision of ADSL2+ services. This has led to the ACCC to limit the feud between Telstra and competitors by forcing Telstra to record and report their exchange practices.

Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

The STP model is instrumental in helping marketers prioritize the most important needs of their particular audience and tailor personalized messages suitable for the different audiences (Hanlon, par 1).

Segmentation

Telstra operates in segmented markets based on age, gender and income. This will help in the identification of customers sharing similar needs and wants (Kotler & Keller, p. 214). This is aimed at satisfying all the communication and all the technology requirements of all age groups. This can be seen in their flexible SMS plan that is more suitable and appealing to the younger generation who tend to exchange messages often. Based on the income, the core segment market is the private sector made up of personal consumers of the mobile services. The segmentation of this market was done using the behavioral product related descriptors. The behaviors are portrayed by the low usage customers and the big spender customers known for being technologically conscious. The low usage customers are mostly affected by cost fluctuations of the products and services but enjoy the convenience and security that comes with the services. They make part of the prepaid consumers and the high SMS usage consumers.

Targeting

Telstra identifies and chooses a group so as to create a detailed and specific program can be tailored to their needs. Differentiating customers according to their needs and wants makes a unique selling point (Londre, p.6). Telstra has done this by targeting the low usage consumers and the technologically conscious consumers. They target the low usage customers and those who are yet to be financially stable by the SMS services and prepaid services. The technologically conscious group are being targeted by the introduction of attractive 3G services as they tend to spend a considerable amount of their disposable income on mobile products and services. These services are meant to provide customers with the ability to transfer voice calls via data and the non-voice data such as downloading games and exchanging e-mails.

Positioning

A successfully positioned product is one that allows the consumers and potential customers to form positive perceptions about the brand before thinking of any other (Karadeniz, p. 99). Telstra has been able to apply this marketing strategy using public relation strategies and aggressive advertising techniques. This was quite clear as in 2011 an image captioned with a slogan ‘ Australian’s connection to the future’ was launched in a bid for the company to position itself as a leading telecommunication and media company able to provide world class 3G services. A strategy that offers lower rates at certain times of the day in some routes helped Telstra maintain its position higher than that of its rivals.

Conclusion

To be able to successfully carry out a marketing plan, it is evident that several variables need to be considered. In the case of Telstra, they were quite particular in every step consciously putting into consideration the needs of the customers. Strategic positioning of stores, segmentation of markets according to their needs so as to adequately and effectively cater for the segments was a success given the market share that it has. The marketing concept that was adopted by Telstra to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs of the market was able to discover the services that were needed and tailored to the different users to suit each group. It is however impossible to operate a business without a few drawbacks and in the case of Telstra it was the price. Having relatively high prices for their services may have caused loss in some customers but given the value that is derived from their products and services, loyal customers are willing to pay extra to continue enjoying the value added benefits derived from the products and services.

Work Cited

Budde Paul and Lancaster Henry. Telecoms Industry- Statistics and Forecasts. BuddeComm 2014 Web.

Hanlon Annmarie. How to Use Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP) to Develop Marketing Strategies. Smart Insights (Marketing Intelligence) Ltd. 2013 Web.

Karadeniz Mustafa. Product Positioning Strategy in Marketing Management.Journal of Naval Science and Engineering. Tuzla, Istanbul, Turkiye. 2009 Vol. 5, No 2, pp. 98-110. Print.

Kotler Philip & Keller Kevin Lane. Marketing Management. New York: Northwestern University, Dartmouth College. 2012 Print.

Londre Larry Steven. Marketing, IMC, Advertising, Promotion, Media and More. South Para Way, Los Angeles. 2016 Print.