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Task 1 – Understand the Principles of Strategic Marketing
Analyse the Relationship Between Corporate Strategy and Marketing Strategy
Analyse the Development of Marketing Strategies
Explain, Using Examples, How Different Marketing Strategies Contribute To Competitive Advantage
Relationship between strategic intent, strategic assessment, strategic choice and their impact on the formulation of marketing strategy
Task 2 – Understand How to Carry Out Strategic Environmental Analysis
Evaluate Different Approaches to Conducting an Internal Environmental Analysis
Evaluate Different Approaches to Conducting an External Environmental Analysis
Assess the Integration of Internal and External Analyses
Task 3 – Understand the Role of Customer Behaviour in Marketing Strategies
Analyse the Role of Marketing Research Process and Its Relationship to Consumer Behaviour
Evaluate the Role of Relationship Marketing In Customer Behaviour Analysis
Task 4 – Understand How to Develop an Implementable Strategic Marketing Plan
Analyse the Factors to Be Taken Into Account in the Development of a Marketing Plan
Marketing Plan for Tesco Plc.
Market Division and Segmentation
Unique Selling Proposition
Needs and Requirements
Design Monitoring Systems That Are Capable of Identifying Performance Deviations from the Plan’s Original Objectives
Anticipate the Need for Contingency Plans
Task 5 – Understand How to Create a Marketing Strategy to Meet Business Objectives
Evaluate the Requirements of a Marketing Strategy
Explain the Relationship between a Marketing Strategy and a Corporate Strategy
Explain How the Marketing Strategy Should Address Competitive Forces and Their Likely Impact
Design a Dissemination Process to Ensure Internal Stakeholders Are Informed and Committed To the Marketing Strategy
Corporate strategy comprises of defined measures that the organisation should take to achieve its long term goals while marketing strategies is a business level document defining how a company will target, position, market, and sell its products. By definition, the corporate strategy focuses on the business’ high-level objectives which are geared towards the long term growth of the company. This implies that corporate strategy does not directly translate into concrete tasks or what members of the organisation can do on a day to day basis. On the other hand, a marketing strategy is a functional level strategy that highlights specific actions that can be implemented to attain a specific objective (Thompson, 2019). For instance, if the corporate strategy is to enhance the company’s product range, the marketing strategy will lay down specific actions that the company should undertake to create a product range that responds to specific needs of the customers in a particular target market.
Corporate strategy also enables an organisation to analyse its strength and weaknesses with regard to those of the competitors, which are fundamental components of a marketing strategy. Strength, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) is used by the organisation to focus on various aspects of marketing and gain competitive advantage (Kotler, 2001). Corporate strategy also aids marketing strategy to understand the business environment. Analysing opportunities and threats enable the company to identify available marketing opportunities as well as threats that can destroy the company. In this regard, a business needs both marketing strategy and corporate strategy as a framework to guide how, when, why and where it intends to attain its short term, medium term and long term objectives. In general, a corporate strategy highlights the vision for the company whether it offers a premium product or service, competitive advantages and ensuring the satisfaction of its customers. On the other hand, marketing strategy highlights how a company can achieve its corporate objectives through finding the best customers, offering the product and promoting the product (Thompson, 2019).
Corporate strategy lays out the foundation and provides the direction that marketing activities should take in order to realise long term marketing objectives (Blythe and Megicks, 2010). Therefore, there is a significant relationship between corporate strategy and marketing strategy since they can both be coordinated to attract, retain and enhance value for customers. In other words, corporate strategy are laid down goals that help an organisation to carry out its vision and mission statement towards achieving a particular goal, such as marketing goals (Kotler, 2001). For example, if the company marketing objective is to gain market share, the corporate strategy must be centred towards building brand reputation and marketing budget.
Finally, the main aspect of the marketing strategy is the marketing mix. The four main pillars of the marketing mix include product, price, place and promotion. Under the product policy, the company should recognise that customers will only purchase the product if it meets their expectations. That is, the marketing strategy should make the product or service attractive to the target market. Pricing strategy should be based on the argument that the price of the product should not be higher than the customer group can bear otherwise the product will not gain traction among consumers. The price of the product should be a balancing act among several variables (Thompson, 2019). For example, is the product of a luxury brand or a low-cost competitor? Do customers perceive the product as the great-value-for-money brand or the cutting-edge innovator? Finally, placement policy communicates where the product can be found while the promotion policy highlights various ways of reaching the targeted customers.
Development of an effective marketing strategy is a step-by-step process that encompasses determining the business goals, identifying marketing goals, market research, customer profile, competitor analysis, development of goal-oriented strategy, 7P’s of marketing and testing of the strategy (Blythe and Megicks, 2010).
In the development of business goals, a simple SMART criterion is used. That is, the business goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (Blythe and Megicks, 2010). The business goals can, therefore, include
- increasing awareness of your products and services
- selling more products from a certain supplier
- Reaching a new customer segment.
After setting the business goals, the marketer must state specific marketing goals based on business goals. Just like business goals, marketing goals are long term, clear, measurable and have specific time frames. Examples of marketing goals include increased market penetration (selling more existing products to existing customers) or market development (selling existing products to new target markets). Since marketing and business goals are long terms, a good marketing strategy should not be changed frequently but can be revised once a marketing goal has been met.
Next, the marketer must conduct market research as an essential part of the marketing strategy. Market research refers to gathering information about the market, such as its size, growth, social trends and demographics. Marketing research also helps the marketer to keep an eye on the market so that one can be aware of any changes over time so that the adopted strategy will remain relevant and targeted (Kotler, & Armstrong, 2014). Apart from the market research, the marketer should also assess the target customers to identify their needs. Customer profile should reveal their buying patterns, including how they buy, where they buy and what they buy.
Profiling the competitors is another important step in marketing strategy development as it helps the company to know competitors’ products, supply chains, pricing and marketing tactics. As a result, the competitors’ profile can help the company to identify its competitive advantage and what sets the business apart from its competitors (Thompson, 2019). The profile also identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the competitors thus providing valuable information that can be used by the company to improve its performance.
Consequently, the marketer develops a strategy that supports its marketing goals. In this strategy, the marketer lists target markets and devises a set of strategies to attract and retain them. An example of a goal could be to increase young people's awareness of the company’s products. The corresponding strategy to such a goal could be to enhance online social media presence by posting regular updates about the product on Twitter and Facebook, advertising in local magazines targeted to young people; and offering discounts for students (Thompson, 2019). Besides, the company should identify its tactical marketing mix using the 7Ps of marketing. Here, the marketer chooses an appropriate combination of marketing across product, price, promotion, place, people, process and physical evidence which will likely be a success (Kotler, & Armstrong, 2014). Finally, the marketer should be able to test the ideas on whether they are successful or not.
According to Michael Porter, a company can gain a competitive advantage in the market by pursuing a differentiation, low cost or focus strategy. To gain competitive advantage through differentiation strategy, the company the marketing strategy should be able to communicate the superiority of the product compared to those of the competitors. The strategy should highlight the special features of the product that makes it unique and sometimes expensive. In market targeting and positioning, the strategy is usually used to target the luxury or premium segments (Shaw, 2012). On the other hand, a company can gain advantage through low-cost strategy by using the most efficient means of production. Here, the marketer must indicate that low-cost production has not comprised the product quality. Finally, the company can gain a competitive advantage by focusing on a particular market.
Market segmentation and targeting strategies help in identifying a certain market segment and designing products according to customers need (Shaw, 2012). For example, behavioural segmentation identifies the behaviours of customers and developing a product that meets their behavioural needs and this contributes to gaining a competitive advantage by attracting customer to that particular product. To effectively reach the intended market segment, the company can adopt the traditional forms of marketing to penetrate or develop new markets. These marketing strategy examples include advertisements carried on channels, such as TV, billboards, or print media also contributes to competitive advantage by familiarising customers with the unique future of the product. Relationship marketing strategy focuses on building a relationship with clients and this is essential in gaining a competitive advantage since customers will remain loyal to the product irrespective of new entry (Shaw, 2012).
Nonetheless, there are new marketing forms that can also help the company to attain a competitive advantage, such as interactive, internet and/digital marketing forms. Interactive marketing is a marketing strategy that encourages active participation between the consumer and the marketing campaign (Shaw, 2012). This term often refers to a fast-growing shift from one-sided customer interaction to a two-sided conversation. Interactive marketing is becoming a trend because of customers’ demand for a better online experience and improved internet technology. On the other hand, internet marketing encompasses a marketing campaign that is facilitated over the internet to promote the company’s message. Finally, digital marketing is a marketing campaign that takes place using a digital platform. Digital defines the medium used to deliver the campaign. Digital marketing could easily be considered and explained as a “push/pull” marketing technique. The “push” part allows the company to get in touch with consumers and inspire them to buy your service or product (Shaw, 2012). There are a lot of ways to achieve the push—technologies, such as instant messaging, text messaging, content marketing, podcasting, mobile marketing, and email.
Strategic intent simply refers to the means by which an organisation intends to attain its vision and create a desirable future. Simply put, strategic intent is the company’s vision of what it wants to achieve in the long run (Prahalad & Hamel, 2005). In the formulation of a strategy, strategic intent is the starting point. That is, a statement of strategic intent becomes the statement of strategy and later the statement of strategic design that consists of the principles, processes and practices of an organisation are developed. These statements must represent the whole as seen from any location in the organisation. In addition, the strategic intent should specify the competitive factors, the factors critical to success in the future. Strategic intent usually incorporates stretch targets, which force companies to compete in innovative ways. Using the statement of strategic intent, marketing managers can be able to build layers of advantage, search for ‘loose bricks’, influence terms of engagement and compete within the market effectively (Prahalad & Hamel, 2005).
Meanwhile, strategy assessment models help to decompose the strategic problem into clearly defined components of alternatives, factors, measurements, and probabilities. During strategic assessments, the subjective judgments of experts are integrated with other methods of problem definition and information processing to come up with appropriate solutions. In this regard, strategic assessments is the second step in the formulation of marketing strategy after strategic intend. Strategic assessments help to generate strategic alternatives, identify relevant opportunities and threats, define environmental weights, and calculate the risk-adjusted strategic value for each alternative (Prahalad & Hamel, 2005). On the other hand, strategy choice refers to a process through which decision is made to select a particular option from various alternatives. When narrowing down on the strategic choice, managers and decision makers should keep in mind both external and internal environmental factors. In coming up with the strategic choice, the marketer must first identify the problem completely and have a clear picture of what the problem is about. After strategic assessments, the marketer can list various solutions that can be undertaken. Finally, the decision for final choice is taken considering various parameters in mind, such as feasibility, prudence, consensus, and acceptability, and so on.
Internal environment analysis is used in the identification of the strengths and weakness that are important in strategic decision making. The approaches include Resource-Based View considers the assets, skills, knowledge, processes, and competencies that are controlled by the organisation as well as the capability of the organisation to exploit the resources they have. RBV framework is important as it helps an organisation to identify and classify the resources they have into weaknesses and strengths. Without the consideration of the RBS, the organisation may not be able to understand the core competencies, distinctive competencies thus preventing the organisation from using the competencies and capabilities to exploit the external opportunities (Kotler and Armstrong, 2014). Through the RBV, the framework also helps the organisation to identify the gaps in resources thus allowing the organisation to make upgrades.
The value chain analysis, which refers to the activities that create value for the customers. The value chain analysis is important in the achievement of competitive advantage, for instance, through cost-leadership, or differentiation in the manufacturing, acquisition of materials, customer service, and support services (Kotler and Armstrong, 2014). The value chain analysis allows the firm to be able to develop the competitive strategies thus without the consideration of the value chain, the firm may not be able to develop or even maintain a competitive advantage. The value chain is important in that it allows for the examination of the synergies of the value chains of the business units and the diverse products thus leading to greater success. It can be stated that the value chain is important for organisational success.
Thirdly, there is the element of scanning the functional resources in terms of the cultures. The cultural intensity and cultural integration need to be considered. The scan of the culture helps in establishing the norms, cultural contents and values that are acceptable in the organisation (Kotler and Armstrong, 2014). Without that, the organisation can suffer challenges in decision making and communication. The scan also entails the consideration of the management, marketing issues, financial issues, research and development, operations and human resource issues. The management is important in that it helps in coordinating the various activities, such as planning, motivation, control, staffing, and organising. Without the consideration of the management, the organisation may have good staff who are not motivated thus leading to poor service and productivity. Strategic marketing issues entail the consideration of the position and segmentation thus helping in determining the type of markets, the locations and the products based on the profiles of the customers. The marketing mix is also an element of marketing issues. The marketing mix is important as it helps and also allows firms to gain a competitive advantage. The product life cycle allows the firm to determine the growth stage thus helping in determining whether it would be profitable to enter a given sector.
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