Marketing strategy is a tool or method used frequently in the organisation to get success. It includes competitive advantage, market positioning and links corporate strategy to marketing strategy. It defines a clear concept about the product and customer. The external and internal environment is based on the SWOT analysis, which summarises the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. An organisation that is a new one might have powers in product quality, and also the main disadvantages are lack of accessible product and inadequate capital. Opportunities create advantages for the organisation, and threats may create trouble or obstacles in the path of development. It also analyses marketing communication strategies for the business and how they can be applied and implemented by the organisation. It makes internal communication and competitive positioning in the market. The new clients have potential interest in total Marketing Solutions (TMS) and running a training session to develop them in the marketing strategy. It includes cost decisions and frequency, operations and management to achieve the goal and creates public relations. Strategic marketing segments the target market and controls it.
Strategic marketing analyses activities such as segmenting, targeting and positioning, relationship strategies, product innovation and development, branding, service marketing, pricing and distribution. It helps to get more significant competitive advantages and raises awareness among the competitors. It also helps develop a marketing mix to attract customers, evaluate their purchasing power, and mention the best way to achieve the organisation’s goal. Strategic marketing discusses the external and internal environment, attracts customers, and persuades them to purchase their product. Its main target is the sales department which earns sales revenue from the market and measures the organisation efficiency.
2. The principles of marketing strategy
2.1 Role of strategic marketing in the organisation
The basic role of marketing in an organisation satisfies and triumphs the trusty support of their customers by adopting different types of strategy. Planning, product development, packaging, pricing, and distribution are the marketing strategies that increase products’ sales and fulfil the target markets (Michaluk, 2007).
Marketing strategy permits an organisation to focus its resources on increasing sales by the sales mechanism and to get more significant competitive advantages. It includes all activities in the area of marketing that deal with the research and analysis of the strategic starting conditions of a company and develop market mix to attract customers, evaluate and select market-based strategies, and describe the best way to achieve the organisation’s goals (Cadogan, 2009).
- Marketing planning and activities:
The marketing plan is designed for the widespread blueprints that indicate the total marketing efforts of the business firm. The marketing plan function denotes corporate mission related to marketing activities and pays reinforcement and motivation to the staff for increasing sales through customer satisfaction. It raises awareness to the expected customers by providing product-related information (McDonald and Mouncey, 2009). Marketing activities ensure desirable products to the customers for earning a profit which is the organisation’. To complete such a job, they prepare the pleasing effect, promote it, fix the price, and make it available for the customers.
- Concept of product and customer in different organisations:
Product is something that sells in the market to the customer to meet up their demand or want or need. Different types of organisations produce different types of product according to the needs of the customers. The product concept’s primary purpose is to provide a better quality product with more excellent performance and features. On the other hand, the customer concept is not like the consumer concept, which tells the ultimate receiver of goods and services (Ulrich and Eppinger, 2000). But to define the customer concept, we can say that a customer is a person who receives goods, services and products from the seller or vendor or supplier in exchange for money or other precious consideration. A consumer is always a customer, but a customer is not always a consumer because he is not involved in the products and services’ re-selling process.
- Resources and implementation:
The marketing department identifies the valuable resources, including tangible and intangible resources that can be used to create products and goods. The firm sustains several heterogeneous resources to get a competitive advantage in the market. The term implementation is used to form strategies and plan into action to achieve the strategic goals and objectives. A recent survey shows that 95% of the employees do not understand the organisation’s strategic plan (Cadogan, 2009).
According to the set goal, the marketing manager monitors the sales department’s activities and other marketing activities, such as maintaining product quality, getting a competitive advantage, and supervising the salesperson’s actions.
Control is completed according to the set goals and standard, measuring the deviations in respect of the plan. If the result is harmful and undesirable, the organisation takes corrective actions or avoids it, or if it is positive and desirable, then the organisation should follow and repeat it (Cadogan, 2009).
2.2 Relationship between corporate strategy and marketing strategy:
Corporate strategy is what that the organisation uses to achieve the desired goal and target because the whole activities run in the business firm based on corporate strategy. It follows competitor analysis, establishes new brands, faces challenges in favourable situations, and gets an advantage in the market. On the other hand, marketing strategy is used to increase sales and attract new customers and persuade them that the product we offer is the best among all competitive products available in the market (Podnar and Balmer, 2010).
- Linking marketing strategy to corporate mission and vision:
The corporate mission is the overall function that directs the activities like decision-making, preparing the road map, and guiding goals to achieve most easily. Vision gives the direction on how to handle the expected customers, and it also determines the organisation’s culture. Corporate strategy is the method that links to achieve the company’s mission and vision, including target market share, profit maximisation and creating brand awareness (Dess, 2012).
- Meeting corporate objectives with marketing strategy:
Marketing strategy is regulated to achieve corporate purposes, including sales revenue, profit, return on investment, growth, market share, cash flows, shareholder value, corporate image and reputation.
- Corporate social responsibility and marketing:
Nowadays, the company focuses on getting corporate social responsibility which increases its reputation and undoubtedly conveys value. To offer a better quality product for society is the responsibility of marketing departments. In this respect, they enhance product quality and brand image, continuing honest communication, and avoiding turgid language (Paetzold, 2010).
2.3 Developing marketing strategy
Marketing strategy must be developed to fix vision, mission and organisation goals and build a strong relationship between customers and sellers. The marketing development strategy focuses on target customers, buyer motivation, partners and allies, pricing, positioning, economics competition, and distribution channels (Hsu and Powers, 2002).
- Setting objectives:
Setting objectives and goals are the organisation’s primary job and working to achieve them within a short period, like three days or two weeks and an extended period, i.e. six months or five years. If the organisation has no set objectives, it cannot succeed in its lifetime.
- Dynamic strategy:
The dynamic strategy includes choices, policies, and initiatives to improve product quality and performance and valuable technologies to reach the target point. To implement an active marketing strategy, the organisation needs to define a purpose and business model, gather critical intelligence, conduct a competitive and organisational assessment, set strategic decision, develop a balanced strategic plan, design a performance dashboard and implementation plan, create marketing and communications plan (Cragin and Daly, 2004).
- Flexibility for changes:
Suppose any changes occur in the organisation’s plan, such as cost-effective-manner, cultural and technological changes and product offering process in the market. In that case, the changes must be acceptable by adopting flexibility.
3. Decisions and choices made at a corporate level
3.1 Decisions and choices
Corporate decisions refer to the conclusions which come from the corporate philosophy and help to earn corporate benefits. Corporate choices include how much capital the company needs, how to organise the plan and finally, how to achieve it (Chatard and Teyssié, 2012).
- Vision and mission of the organisation:
organisation’s mission is the overall function indicating decision-making, preparing road map, guiding goal to achieve most easily. Vision gives the direction on how to handle the expected customers and determines the organisation’s cultural environment. It specifies the values, beliefs, norms of the organisation and dictates the attitude of the employees to maintain profitable customer relationships (Svelmoe, 2008).
- Directional strategy for marketing:
The game plan to grow business operations and profit maximisation and achieve objectives is called directional strategy. The directional strategy provides direction about budget and planning to the managers and other staff (Dibb and Simkin, 2013).
- Porter’s generic strategies:
Michael Porter has defined three strategies: segmentation strategy, differentiation strategy, and cost leadership, which helps get a competitive business advantage. We notify that segmentation strategy falls in the narrow market scope and differentiation strategy and cost leadership fall in the broad market scope.
- Corporate activities:
The marketing strategy informs corporate activities such as competitor analysis, establishing brands, facing challenges in unfavourable conditions and getting opportunities in the market.
3.2 Business unit and functional level
organisational subset forms the business unit that must be flexible, inter-related and independent concerning a functional level.
- Setting objectives for unit and functional level:
Setting goals for the business unit and practical level is to be completed to reach the top level of success with efficiency
- Corporate strategies translate to unit and function level:
Corporate systems combine the business unit and functional status of activities to get more significant advantages in the market.
- Decisions in the business unit and function level:
The decision-making process is to be done at this level according to the roadmap of the organisation.
- Marketing and other functions: Finance, Human resources, Research:
The marketing department analyses the sales volume to increase it, communicate with customers, motivate employees, and make a better position in the market. In this regard, they collect capital from the capital market through the financing process and research their human resources.
3.3 Competitive positioning
Taking a position in the competitive market is a more challenging job for a company. Here, the company supplies quality goods, makes attractive advertisements, and gives after-sales services to get competitive positioning in the market.
Risks are the uncertainties and threats of a company’s external environment that create obstacles to achieve set goals.
- Market leader
The market leader is a company that holds the maximum market share in a particular industry such as coca-cola.
- Market challenger
A market challenger is a company that is continuously trying to be in the position of the market leader. There may be only one or several market challengers in an industry.
- Market follower
The market follower is a company that simply follows the marketing strategies and tactics of the market’s leader and market challenger.
- Niche marketer
A niche marketer refers to a company that targets a specific group of customers having distinguished needs and preferences and then designs products or services to meet their particular demand.
4. How to carry out strategic marketing analysis
4.1 Internal environmental analysis
To initiate the strategic marketing analysis, managers are compelled to conduct the internal environment analysis, including the business’s strengths and weaknesses, which are the SWOT analysis components. An organisation with a new one might have powers in product quality and having professional and active employees. The main weaknesses are lack of accessible product and inadequate financial resources to get a competitive advantage.
- Resource-based analysis
- Competitive advantage and capabilities
The first step of resource-based analysis is to classify resources that are terminated in identification resources and make adjustments between strategy and resources.
- Performance-based analysis
Marketing performance-based analysis is to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing in selling systems and advertisements. Performance depends on the employees’ efficiencies and the point of manufacturing and optimises individual and group objectives.
- Value chain
A value chain describes a chain of activities that the organisation operates to complete to provide valuable products and services. The prominent writer Porter’s value chain, defines these activities: inbound distribution, manufacturing operations, outbound distribution, marketing and selling, and after-sales service. Finally, the value chain’s supported activities are R & D, procurement, HRM and organisation infrastructure.
- Functional analysis
The functional analysis runs on the organisation’s different functions, such as accounting, marketing, and manufacturing. To complete the strategic marketing analysis, the organisation must do the mentioned activities included in the functional analysis. The sometimes available study discusses research projects and attention to customers, developing products and increasing which grow products and increase sales volume.
4.2 External environment analysis
To begin the strategic marketing analysis, managers need to conduct the external environment analysis that involves the business’ opportunities and threats which are the components of SWOT analysis. Options create advantages for the organisation, and threats may create trouble or obstacles in the path of development.
The macro-environment refers to the external factors or forces that directly or indirectly affect the organisation’s goal and micro-environment. The factors that fall in the macro-environment are natural forces, demography, technology, culture, politics, and the economy. Demography points to the population regarding size, density, gender, age, race and occupation. The organisation collects their raw materials from the natural environment; significant positive changes in technology increase its production capacity. The economic environment refers to the customer’s purchasing power, and the total macro-environment is interrelated with this environment.
The micro-environment is the near environments that face challenges arising in the firm and control them efficiently. It refers to the factors near the company affecting the customer serving ability, including marketing intermediaries, suppliers and the public. Management, finance, accounting, purchasing, R & D, operations, and other relevant departments form the micro-environment.
- Competitor analysis
Nowadays, competition is available in the market with the same product supplier. To survive such a competitive market, the organisation adopts different strategies to sustain existing customers and attract new customers. In this regard, the company offers better quality products than available in the market provided by competitors.
- Wider external factors including Government
Broader external factors such as politics, natural resources, demography including government are interrelated. The government has the authority to control all other elements in the environment, which is undesirable, unlawful and detrimental to the country.
4.3 Integration between the external and internal environment
The whole factors accumulate in a bundle to achieve the business goals and objectives. If the integration is done perfectly, then the organisation’s target goals will be easily fulfilled.
The external and internal environment is based on the SWOT analysis, which summarises the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. At first, the organisation needs to find out the flaws and how to overcome them to use the strengths, which are the elements of the internal environment. The organisation uses better opportunities to avoid threats which are the components of the external environment.
5. Using marketing strategies to get a more significant competitive advantage
5.1 Range of strategies
Marketing strategies refer to all activities in the area of marketing that deal with the research and analysis of the conditions of a company and develop market mixes such as product, price, promotion, and place to attract customers. These strategies are discussed below:
- Market segmentation
Market segmentation means dividing the market according to the needs, behaviours and characteristics of customers under different marketing strategies and mixes.
Targeting refers to evaluating each market segmentation’s weakness and attractiveness and entering the selected segments that increase customer value and firm’s value.
Positioning means occupying a clear and distinctive place in the mind of the target customer in comparison with the competitor’s products and services.
- Product innovation and development
It is creating and developing a new product with distinctive characteristics offered in the market for the customers.
A brand is a name or symbol, or distinctive feature of a product that can add specific value to the product. Branding helps the desirable customers to identify the producer or sellers of the product (2014).
- Pricing and distribution
Pricing is the system that is charged on the products and goods to earn revenue. In this regard, the organisation considers production costs and other costs. The producing products are distributed among the customers who live in different parts of the world.
5.2 Marketing communication strategies
Strategic marketing tells the easy ways to convince customers through regular communications and tries to influence them to purchase products (Grewal and Levy, 2010).
- MARCOMS strategic process and setting objectives
MARCOMS is sometimes defined as marketing communication that focuses on clients and viewpoints using media like television, radio, internet, newspapers, magazines and many others media. The main objective of MACROM is to send information to people all over the world.
- Media choices and the role of Public Relations
To achieve organisational targets and goals through building relationships with the public, the organisation needs to choose available media. For example, television is seen, and newspapers are read by the general people.
- Cost decisions and frequency
Cost is defined in monetary value, which is paid up to purchase effort, material and resources. Cost decisions mean how much cost will be kept for each division of media. Sometimes the organisation uses the press again and again.
- Operations and measurement
Strategic marketing measures the operations such as supervising, manages employees of the organisation in a systematic way.
- International communications
To run an international trade, international communications are needed among international business people and customers. Frequently the term MARCOM is used here to get information through the media.
Electronic marketing is the system that combines a group of businesspeople to communicate with each other via email. Through E-marketing, the customer can give the buying order to the supplier (Harris and Dennis, 2008).
5.3 Implementation of marketing strategies
Strategic marketing sets a plan, and according to the set plan, the organisation tries to implement and control it. The supervisors monitor all activities of different departments and evaluate them. If they find deviations, they take corrective action or not; they repeat it.
To drive strategic marketing is a more arduous but not impossible task. Applying strategic analysis, the organisations do their work tactfully and achieve the target quickly. It analyses the value chain, competitors, macro environment and microenvironment. Finally, the main objective surrounded by marketing strategy is profit maximisation. The whole work of marketing strategy is to increase sales volume, which helps to earn profit. Depending on the strategic marketing, the organisation makes a game plan that includes preparing a pleasing product, promoting it and selecting the price that the competitors price in the market. So, the idea of strategic marketing is inevitable to introduce a new product in the market.
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