Strategic Marketing Plan Part II 1 Essay Example
Strategic Marketing Plan Part II
Strategic Marketing Plan Part II
Case Study: UNE Life
There is no single thing in life that can be achieved without a strategy. This applies to marketing as a factor of all businesses. Marketing cannot be looked at as a single entity but it is a combination of several factors tied together that are aimed at ensuring the success of the business, distribution of products and the technical effort employed in the production. When an appropriate plan is not developed concerning the marketing and all the forces that are related to it, then the business is likely to experience failure. Marketing strategy involves examining all the aspects of the selling, promotion and distribution of goods in the market and involving all the departments in an organization in the process. Marketing strategy therefore entails the deployment of resources in the business to increase the level of sales so that the organization can be in a position to deal with competition.
Marketing strategy involves first determining the objectives of the organization and the direction where the organization wants to go. This is because marketing goals are in line with the mission of the organization and where it wants to reach in the next five years. Marketing strategy is a broad aspect of business management which entails dividing the process into product, pricing promotion and the location of the business.
A strategic marketing plan is a compound element of effective management because it is composed of various factors that are relevant in selling goods and services. There are general strategies and other factors affecting marketing such as the pricing of their products, the distribution of goods and services, and the advertisement and promotion activities to increase the sales and how the market is segmented. In a strategic marketing plan other forces are also applied in the process such forces include how the business is able to penetrate into its marketing niche, the market share that the business enjoys, budgeting, financial consideration, profit sharing, government involvement, the changing business needs and the emerging technology and how it affects marketing. There are other factors in marketing that are also affected by cultural elements and other diverse beliefs. Strategic marketing plan is therefore a comprehensive endeavor with several requirements.
The broad perspectives that are addressed in strategic marketing plan include how the business entity is willing to deal with competition. (Piercy, 2014)For instance, the services offered at UNE Life have massive competition from other enterprises located outside the campus premises whose services and price may be attractive and thus the strategy should be on the ways of dealing with this competition. Another aspect of strategic marketing is based on the management of daily operations tailored at improving production and customer services. Competition is one of the critical aspects in any business enterprise and in order for a business to survive this pressure and emerge the best in meeting customer needs amidst the competition is a huge step of success. Although a working plan is drafted concerning marketing, then there should be a clear outline of the daily activities that are supposed to support the strategic plan.
A strategic plan is very complex and thus for a particular organization or business enterprise, the strategic plan is unique. There are many factors that are addressed as stated above and some factors prove to be more important than others depending on the priorities of the organization and how they plan to conduct the strategy. Although priority matters, there are other factors that are common and should be addressed in any organization. One of the common factors is determining the objectives of the marketing strategic plan. In cases where the enterprise is doing very well in the market which is true in the case of UNE Life, then the best resources are supposed to be deployed to come up with a very good plan. In the situation where the market is appealing but the enterprise is not doing very well, the objective of such an organization is to strengthen the business.(Ferrell & Hartline, 2012)
There are other situations where the market may not be categorized as being attractive but the business is doing well in the environment. The aim of such an enterprise is to devise ways to improve marketing to create some pressure and the other firms are obliged to follow this example. The fourth rule states that if the market is not striking and the enterprise is also not doing well, then such an organization can engage in strategic marketing after weighing options and the management realizes that this is the best approach.
After determining the objective of the strategic plan and categorizing the enterprise depending on its strength in the market in comparison with other players and analyzing the market to determine whether it is attractive or not, the other step involves selecting the generic strategy relevant to the organization. This is following Michael Porter’s writing concerning the “competitive advantage.”
The product life-cycle refers to all the stages a product has to go through from the startup, to the growth stage, maturity stage and finally the declining phase.(Klepper, 1996)
At the introduction phase, the organization is trying to make the product known in the market. Branding is conducted with relevant trademarks being collected. As the product is new in the market, the prices tend to be lower than other products, distribution is not vigorous because the customer base is not fully formed. The aim of promotion at this stage is to build the product’s awareness hence resources are deployed for this task.
The second phase is the growth stage. At this point, the company’s objective is to ensure that the customers will prefer the already introduced product. The product is therefore of high quality with additional features. Since competition is quite low at this stage, pricing is maintained while the distribution networks are enhanced. Promotion is also increased.
At the maturity stage, growth is reducing and competition is likely to be experienced thus at this point, the aim of the company is to conduct market differentiation, reducing prices due to competing products and increasing the rate of distribution while expanding the customer base. At this point, product promotion ensures that the differentiation is discovered by the customers.
The final stage is the declining stage where the sales level is on a downward trend. The company therefore makes the quality of the product better while introducing new features for the customers. The prices are also reduced to increase the demand because of the reducing sales. In extreme cases, the company stops producing the product and sells the stock to other companies or devise ways of reviving the sales.
In the case of UNE Life, the product may be categorized under the growth face. This is because the products are already known and the objective is to differentiate the products while introducing product varieties from the same category.
New Market Entry
The market entry refers to the ways through which a company or a business enterprise is willing to use in venturing into a new market. This may be in terms of introducing a new product of adding features of an existing product. The new market entry idea for UNE Life is to expand the market by venturing into other customers that is the community residing outside campus. In addition to this, new product lines are to be introduced such as the past papers aimed at drawing more customers to the enterprise. In terms of entertainment, varieties of specific arts are being introduced although the entire classification is not going to be changed, varieties are going to be introduced without necessarily affecting the prices of the existing products.
Market Entry Strategy
The entry strategy that is suitable for UNE Life is the pioneer strategy. (Avlonitis & Papastathopoulou, 2006)This is because basically the enterprise is very popular and close to a monopoly in the institution in terms of the products that are produced. This means that the entity does not need to wait for other entities to establish before moving into the market. This implies that UNE Life is ready to undertake this risky endeavor. Being pioneers, UNE Life is likely to experience more power than it already possesses and this is a powerful tool for dealing with competition in future. Since the resources are limited, the method that will be adapted is niche penetration. This method will ensure that distribution is made intense, purchasing is made online and the customers will always prefer the produced items. In order to increase the number of customers, promotion and advertisement will be conducted by placing these adverts on the commonly visited sites and the school website.
A common objective of marketing is to realize growth. This is along other objectives such as increasing the sales turnover, maintaining the customers, reducing the cost of production and improving the products that they offer.
Growth can be either internal or external.(Zhou & Li, 2012) Internal growth is also referred to as the organic growth. External growth is also referred to as inorganic growth but it is quick and risky because it involves the business joining with other businesses. There are four strategies that can be used by an organization for market growth. (Sharifi, Ismail, Qiu, & Najafi Tavani, 2013)The first strategy is market penetration. This strategy entails producing better products in the market through increasing advertisement procedures, reducing the prices which will attract many customers and increasing the marketing channels such as using online marketing strategy. This method has been used by UNE Life because online promotion is evident in the website.
The other strategy suggested by matrix is the product development procedure. This process involves producing new products and selling them in the already existing market share. For instance, UNE Life can study the customers and determine the new product that they start offering such as proving the students with past papers as opposed to searching for them in the library.
The third approach is market development that involves using the existing products and changing the market and distributing them to another market share. For instance, UNE Life should start supplying their products to the neighboring community which will expand their market and thus bring about growth.
The fourth growth strategy is market diversification. This is complicated and risky at the beginning because it involves producing new items and selling them in a new market. This may entail UNE Life studying the needs of the neighboring community and supplying the products that they need. The business is deemed to move to unexploited areas and in some cases it may lead to losses but if the research is done correctly, then the process may be a very successful strategy for market growth.
UNE Life can be considered as a market leader because of the advantage of a wide customer base. When the following strategies are followed, then the enterprise is likely to grow widely and this is beneficial due to the advantages accompanied with these activities. The relevance of these strategies is that the enterprise is capable of handling the needs of their customers under one roof and if they can serve the outside people, then this is more beneficial because returns are increased.
Strategies for Enhancing Competitive Advantage
According to Michael Porter, it is very essential for an organization to maintain competitive advantage so that it can be successful. One business slogan is that the customers are always right. This means that meeting the customers’ needs is a very important endeavor. However, there are other factors that contribute to the success of the business apart from the customers. Such factors include competition, government rules and regulations and evolving technology. Most companies concentrate on pleasing the customers and paying much attention on the operational part of the business while neglecting the important sectors that are relevant in the competitive environment. They hence focus on obsolete technologies while not considering the changes in the market that reflect the direction of the organization. The organization may experience failure because of being oriented on one side of the coin rather than looking at all the aspects that control and determine the success of the organization.(Marchi, Maria, & Micelli, 2013)
A shakeout is a situation in the market or business environment where investors are leaving their activities or duties due to failure of the market to function as expected or due to continued losses in their line of operation. A mature market can be defined as a situation where the industries are not growing meaning that the players in such a market are operating with minimum changes if any and innovation is not experienced in such a case. A declining market on the other side refers to a stage in the market lifecycle where the returns in that particular industry are continuously reducing significantly. The causes of such a decline may be a reduction in the size of the market, new introduction of technology or a new product that is used as a substitute. The UNE life’s business activities may be categorized in a declining market because we would like to bring about changes in the market.(Hartono & Sulistiawan, 2014)
UNE Life can apply the following strategies to maintain a competitive advantage. One of the strategies is cost advantage that comes from efficiency. Efficiency can be defined as the ratio of inputs and outputs. A firm with the highest efficiency is likely to have a great gap between cost of production and the expected returns. There are various ways through which an organization can increase its efficiency. It can be increased in the following scenarios. If outputs remain constant while the inputs are minimized and the second scenario is when inputs are maintained constant while the outputs are minimized.
There are several ways through which inputs can be reduced. In terms of labor inputs, they can be reduced if the employees are highly skilled meaning that the time for training is reduced significantly. Outputs can be enhanced by ensuring that the machines are functional and that their down time is reduced. Ways should be formulated to ensure that the machines are operational most of the time.
In a declining market, UNE Life can apply the strategy of product differentiation. This is where there will be production of different products in the market that are more attractive to the customers than the existing ones. This activity will increase the value of the products that are already existing therefore there is a probability that returns will be increased. The products that are supplied can be modified to meet the customer’s needs. This will ensure that the declining market is resolved and other players will also come up with strategies to participate in this competition.
Another strategy is service differentiation (Gebauer, Gustafsson, & Witell, 2011)where the enterprise can change the services that are accompanied with the distribution of goods that are offered. For instance at UNE Life, there can be free advice accompanied with various facilities at UNE Sport or in the production of other products, free delivery may be introduced which is very appealing to the customers a healthy way of dealing with competition.
Furthermore, people differentiation is another approach that can be used to enhance competitive advantage. This method refers to acquiring better and trained individuals to work in the enterprise as compared to the competitive business entities. When the enterprise adopts this method, the returns are very high and this is a strategy that the competitors cannot emulate because they may have no idea of what the enterprise is doing to lead in the market. There are no external indicators for the reasons for this change and therefore this fulfills the business slogan that “the intangibles are always better than the tangibles because the competitors will have no clue on the changed operation”.
Innovation differentiation is also relevant in this particular case study. Innovation differentiation refers to the differentiation of particular products as well as the process of production. Product differentiation alone can be important but the disadvantage is that it is very easy for the competitors to realize and mimic these products. Process differentiation however is very effective for a business and the main advantage is that it is very difficult for the competitors to determine the exact point of change and thus more returns are likely to be observed.
Sometimes the achievement of a competitive advantage is not always permanent or long lasting. This is because other firms in the industry are also working towards competition. When a firm establishes an idea that can make its products stand out, then it is likely that other businesses will come up with the same idea or a better idea to counter the former one. This is to say that the competitive advantage is not permanent. However, there is a situation in the business environment known as the sustainable competitive advantage. When an enterprise or a business entity is in such a situation, other competitors cannot copy the contributions of the enterprise to success. (Spira, Tappeser, & Meyer, 2013)
For a firm to attain a sustainable competitive advantage, (Chaston, 2015)the products being produced should be valuable to the customers, the products and services are supposed to be unique and thus not many businesses can produce the same products, the products are supposed to be inimitable meaning that other firms have no capability of copying the products because the production is not clear and obvious. Lastly, the products are expected to be exclusive meaning they cannot be substituted. The customers will not go for other products because the ones being produced by this particular entity are the only ones in the market that fit their needs. Selecting a competitive advantage therefore should be aimed at realizing the four characteristics of a sustainable environment.
Marketing Strategies for the New Economy Markets
The new economy is composed of a combination of businesses in an industry that have automated their services. This means that they participate in electronic operations and online functioning. Basically a new economy is a computerized one with an increment of telecommunications services. New economy is an aspect that all the companies are aiming to achieve. This is because the success of any business is connected with how the organization is applying new technologies in tits operations.
In addition to this, it is more likely that the competitors will copy this strategy hence the need to apply the technology further. A new economy is very beneficial to an organization because it increases the quality of production process of products as opposed to the goods themselves. Syndication process can also be automated and used over the internet. A new economy can be developed through enhancing product promotion and ensuring that these products can be accessed online. This can be achieved by participating in promotional sites, advertising and mobile applications usage.(Lewis & Bridger, 2011)
In order to participate in the new economy, UNE Life may adopt the following methods in conducting its operations. One of the methods is dynamic pricing. This refers to the approach where price is determined at the point of contact with the customers. This price may be determined based on the customer’s willingness to buy the particular product, then determine the means of the customer and later determine the price. Although is procedure is risky because customers may feel that it is unfair not to charge a similar price for all the buyers, it is a successful method in dealing with a new economy. Another approach is on simplifying the payment method for the customers. One technique would be to introduce online payment methods that ensures that the customer does not have to carry bulky cash and at the same time they do not have to wait in long queues to complete their transactions. This approach is very helpful to the customers.
In order to prove to the customers that their payment is secure, it is important to introduce digital signatures to prevent fraud. Security is a key aspect because there will be eavesdropping individuals whose aim is to hack and gain confidential information concerning a person which may be malicious. All the strategies outlined above are relevant to UNE Life. This is because as it was mentioned earlier, automation is one factor that contributes to growth of a business. In this section, this particular business is being made to participate in a new economy which is basically automation and use of online resources. For instance, customers are supposed to make their transactions online where they can select the items and buy them online. This is a convenient approach because they are served independently without waiting and this increases the number of sales made.
Designing Organizational Structures and Marketing Plans
If an organization desires to thrive well in any environment, then it has to develop ways of enhancing its competitive advantage so that it can be better than other competitors and increase returns. However, in order to apply the strategies for increasing the competitive advantage, the design of the organizational structures is relevant and applicable in realizing this change. In addition to this, another factor that has to be considered is marketing plans. This means that achieving competitive advantage depends on the organization of internal operations and the plans geared at being the best in the market or expanding the market.(Heiko Gebauer & Christian Kowalkowski, 2012)
A good organization design as well as its structure are contributors of success. The organization design is a complex process beyond the structure of the particular organization. Organization design refers to a set of activities that are aimed at ensuring that the organization is operating in line with the mission and vision of the business. This implies that an organization design consists of means of enhancing good communication, increasing the productivity and looking for ways to enhance innovation. The design is a blue print through which people can work effectively.(Spira et al., 2013)
The organization structure on the other hand refers to the way the actions are realized in the organization. Such actions are connected to the distribution of tasks, coordination of activities and how the conducting of these tasks is managed so that the organization can achieve its goals and objectives. It refers to ways through which the employees and other stakeholders view the organization. The way the operations are conducted in an enterprise contribute to the competitive advantage of that enterprise. For instance, in order to apply the various strategies of achieving competitive advantage, it is important that the employees are made aware of the needed changes.
If the plan of the organization is on product differentiation, then the employees are supposed to be involved in the production of these items. This means that the actions are going to change to meet the needs of the enterprise. This is a clear illustration that the organizational structure and the organization design have a very crucial role to play in allowing the organization to realize its goals in terms of competition.
Marketing plans on other hand have a part to play in the competitive advantage goals. Competition as a factor is an element of the market in which an organization thrives in. This means that all the operations that an organization participates in are directed towards the success of the competitive advantage strategies. The other component of marketing analysis refers to SWOT analysis. The strengths of the new idea being introduced is that being the market leader ensures that there are no substitutes and customers will always prefer the produced items. This is also empowered by the pioneer strategy. The weaknesses are that it is not guaranteed that the neighboring community is willing to adapt the new products that will be introduced to them hence it may be a loss. There are opportunities for growth because UNE Life dictates the market in this scenario and through customer feedback, relevant changes can be made. The major threat in this endeavor is that competitive entities will always arise and dealing with this may be costly.
Role of Marketing Metrics and Marketing Audit
Various firms conduct marketing audit so that they can develop ways of increasing their returns and profits. One type of auditing is the digital marketing audit that is aimed at a comprehensive study of the organization based on their online activities and levels of automation. This level of auditing involves a careful analysis of the website and the efforts that are aimed at improving sales and marketing. For instance, in the case of UNE Life, the website should be evaluated to ensure that the information contained in it is associated with what the customers want. The sales and marketing strategies can also be analyzed to help in determining loopholes and improving the weak areas.(Baker & Hart, 2008)
The information obtained from this analysis is used to determine the improvements that need have to be made. For instance, the search ability can be improved to make it easy for the users to access the information that is relevant to the market. When an external marketing is conducted, an organization is allowed to switch from the bias and subjectivity of activities into and venture into strategies that increase revenue. It also helps in creating a level of knowledge that is helpful for an organization to thrive in the competitive world. Marketing audit helps an organization to determine a strategic direction to enhance planning and credibility.(Morgan, Clark, & Gooner, 2002)
Strategic planning is the backbone of the success in the marketing strategy of an organization. When UNE Life applies the relevant strategies based on the market structure and the condition of the market, it is likely that it will improve from the current position. Meeting the customer’s needs is important but this is not the only reason that an entity needs for its success. Other factors need to be considered to ensure that the business is able to handle any market changes. Such factors entail the forces in the market that determine the changes in business which influence the direction of operations. Marketing strategy is very important because it helps the organizations to maintain peace and harmony. This is because since all the sectors of the organization are involved in the decision making. Marketing strategies help in the distribution which becomes more informed and efficient, it helps in creating the image brand and creating the products that are marketable in the business environment.
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