Marketing is one of the key practice that supports organizations in gaining high amount of attention from their target audiences through which they able to attain their objectives in an effective manner. This aids in boosting awareness of company among target customers so that overall sales of organization can be incased along with rise in market share (Chernev, 2006). In this regard, present report is prepared with a motive to gain insight of the marketing principles and its scope in present business context. For this, Ben Sharman is taken into account which is a firm that deals in apparel. Areas that are covered in this research are marketing elements, segmentation, targeting, positioning, and marketing mix and other related areas.
With respect to Ben Sherman the elements of marketing process are given below:
Setting up the objectives: It is major step which gains huge priority by any organization. It is essential for them to establish concrete objectives in front of employees or marketing department so that they can undertake further steps accordingly. Broadly the mission vision statement of company also affects the marketing process (Freytag and Munksgaard, 2011).
Situation analysis: It includes the study or assessment of the internal situation of company. Here at this stage the organization is concerned towards the proper assessment of identifying their strength and weakness and all other aspects which can help in formulating the appropriate marketing strategies.
Environmental analysis and market research: It has wide scope as it includes the complete assessment of various business environment factors which can put its positive or negative impact at marketing activities. The policies of government, socio cultural issues, economic aspects etc. all these aspects gains huge consideration in the marketing process.
Segmentation, targeting, position: once organization is familiar with all the above mentioned strategic aspects they can lead towards the segmentation and targeting process. Positioning strategy can also prepared at same juncture (Harker, 2009).
Marketing mix: It is very significant stage of marketing process as it involves the complete marketing trajectory which can affect the whole marketing process. Product, place, promotion and price are major components of marketing mix.
Implementation and control: Afterwards at last stage company is committed towards the implementation of entire process in well organized manner and putting the control measures to ensure the success of plan.
Marketing orientation is comparatively new concept and it includes the explanation of various marketing trajectories and objectives which an organization is adopting, to its employees. The major benefit of this element is that employees can make proper alignment with individual goals and can envisage their development accordingly (Loe and Ferrell, 2001). They will be familiar with the company’s marketing culture and it will help them to contribute immensely in the achievement of marketing goals. Ahead the benefits can be availed on the ground of improving the customer retention ratio and improving the quality of services or product. The employees will be trained as per the need of company and they will behave accordingly so it will put positive impact at the relationship marketing. Ben Sherman can explain the nature and behavior of their segmented market and it will automatically improve the performance level of employees. Other than this the cost of market orientation for Ben Sherman is providing the appropriate training sessions to their employees. Setting up the complete training infrastructure which must be compatible to with training objectives could be treated as cost for company (Nason, 2011).
The marketing environment of Ben Sherman is highly influenced by the micro environment. The major factor which has affected their decision making is their customer range. The company is dealing with various segments people and this factor allows them to keep medium prices and force them to bring regular innovation within their product range. Further due to luxury range of products the company has adopted such promotional campaigns and branding strategy which could put positive impact at the mindset of people and could be connected to the status quo. In 2004 the cited organization was acquired by any other company so it automatically brought some operational and technical changes. The diversified business portfolio and expanded business territories could be consider as major strength for the company (Nicholas and et. Al. 2003). The combination of balanced marketing mix is huge factor which has affected the business decision making process of company in positive manner. On the ground of distribution channel also company is having strong strategy. They are placing their products in fashion stores or departmental stores. Cited company is having a approach of market oriented.
As cited in case study is that the company is active in 35 countries thus it suggests that political environment must be favorable for them which are allowing the company to run their operations smoothly. Further legal environment is also positive for the company. On the ground of socio cultural environment company has successfully represent the British culture on international platform and disseminating the British culture all around the globe. Other than this socially the organization has matched the rapidly changing taste and preferences of customers which is also strength of company (Ries, 2003).
Here in this scenario the segmentation has been done on the basis of demographic which involves the segmentation on the basis of age and gender. The company should make their marketing strategies which enable them to attract the young age people and the one who love lifestyle and fashion. In order to gain attention from such people company should improve their product range and must adopt the reasonable pricing band (Layton, 2011).
With relevance to Ben Sherman they should show their adherence towards the niche or concentrated marketing. According to this strategy they will put some serious efforts to target single segmentation of the market and their entire marketing mix plans will be based on that segment. Here in current perspective the company is targeting only young age people and specifically those who are highly possessive for the lifestyle and fashion or style. Therefore niche marketing could be more suitable in current scenario (Kotler, 2008).
There could be different buying situations in which a customer can behave in different manner and force an organization to formulate different strategies. The assessment of two buying behavior situation are as follows:
Consumer and organizational buying represents the B2C and B2C respectively. In industrial market company has to adopt flexible pricing strategy in order to affect their mood in positive manner and direct marketing is effective in business to business market scenario as it is convenient to convince the clients to buy a product. Further it is also clear that if industrial clients are not showing positive response then they need to bring appropriate change in their distribution strategies (Ivy, 2008).
Another situation could be environmental influences. For instance if there is any festive season and people have tendency to buy new clothes then at that time Ben Sherman can get the privilege of sudden increment in shopping pattern. If customers are showing response towards buying the products or clothes then company need not to bring any change within their marketing strategies. On the contrary of company is registering cold response then there is strong requirement of focusing on bringing such changes which allows them to gain the competitive advantage and allure the customers. Thus these are two marketing situations in which customer behave differently and there is requirement of different marketing strategies (Roetzer, 2011).
New positioning strategy here could be the product differentiation. It will bring huge changes in the marketing mix elements and other aspects of marketing will also influenced by product differentiation. The company will provide unique product range and will approach to wide market. With the help of product differentiation the company can definitely ensure the value positioning and meet out their commitments which they have made to customers. here the company can launch the positioning statement that there product are different than others in terms of quality, materials which they have used and more importantly positioning statement must include the tag line which must be different than others. It will be flow from value proposition and will be having strong impact at the mindset of customers (Sutherland and Sylvester, 2000).
As, mentioned above that Ben Sherman has adopted the market oriented approach where they create a product on the basis of taste and preferences of customers. But to get leading edge over the competitors the group has shown their reliability on the product oriented approach as well. Herein this approach the company is focused towards the development of new product. The T-shirts of the company are highly popular among the youngsters and attracting the young age people (Sirgy and Lee, 2008). The company has used research and development in appropriate manner. On the basis of segmentation and competitor’s analysis the cited group has done remarkable job on developing their product range and has gained competitive advantage. For new product development the company identifies the need of new product (after assessing the product life cycle stage of existing product) and they design the layout which suggests the designing and branding of a new product. The innovation and type of product also comes at various product development stages. They focused highly on disseminating the utility and unique features of product along with the arrangement of all the required resources which can help in the product development process (Sashi and. Kudpi, 2001).
Place or distribution strategy is one of the major factors which can put its impact at the marketing activities of company. Other than this it is also clear that in order to increase the market reach company has to have proper distribution channels else they will found them into troubles to get in touch with company. Here in this scenario the company is using the appropriate distribution strategy which is allowing them to get hold on entire process of distribution. Further the places where company sold their products are independent stores, fashion stores and departmental stores etc. Other than this the company is having their own stores where they sold the variety of products (Gandy, 2002). These are the distribution channels on which company relies at very large scale. Apart from this online platform is also something which can show its expediency in improving the distribution channels of company. With the help of online shopping the company can attract more number of customers and can avail more benefits as it is more easy and convenient to approach.
There are different pricing strategies which are completely dependent on the objectives and product range of company. It is clear that market penetration is also one of the major pricing strategies which are adopted by cited organization. Here new product is generally offered to the customers at very low prices and it helps in attracting the customers. In market skimming company adopts the strategy of premium pricing as the product is very unique in the market. Mostly company is having the medium range prices. The pricing of product is completely dependent on the product of company. While deciding the price of any product the company has to focus on two aspects first they need to adopt the fix pricing there should not be any sort of discrimination on the ground of charging the prices to customers (Drejer, 2000). It can lead towards the low level of customer satisfaction. Further eradication of fraudulent activities in pricing strategy is another factor which must gain huge priority by companies. They should not take undue advantage of their brand and need not to put extra burden on the customers.
The promotional strategy of company is something which is very strong and well systematic. It is clear that with the help of promotional tools none of the organization can create their appropriate branding strategy. Here in current scenario the company is using both above the line promotion and below the line promotional strategy. The information and awareness of the customers through these promotional layers can be increased very immensely. Above the line promotional tools are those in which company don’t have very much control like publicity or word of mouth. The content of magazine can also include into it. Further below the line promotional tools are somehow in the control of company like advertising or direct mailing. But most probably advertising is something which provides real benefit to them. Sales promotion and discount are most common promotional tools for any company (Cravens, 2006). Through this the company can increase their sales with immediate effect and customer awareness can also increase. Online marketing is something which can bring revolution in the promotional and communication strategies of company.
The extended marketing mix of any company includes the process, physical evidence and people. In case of people the expediency of human resource is very high. They have to showcase their talent while designing the product and assessing the needs and wants of customers. Further they need to focus on the front staff which is directly dealing with the customers. They also put their huge impact at the company’s marketing objectives. Physical evidence is something which strikes at customer’s mind immediately. It is to acknowledge that branding strategy is completely dependent on the physical evidence. It includes the packaging, logo, trade mark and sign mark of the product. Sometime customers show their adherence towards the logo of product. In order to make product more appealing and attractive the company have to have hold on physical evidence. Ahead process is also required to be strong because default in this factor can create lots of troubles for them (Collin, 2003). Process can play its major role in designing the strategies, arranging the distribution channels, and most importantly handling the operations management. Therefore it was the complete analysis of extended marketing mix along with their benefits and significant aspects.
Basically company has variety of options where they can sell their product but on the major basis business to business and businesses to customers are something which helps them to increase their sales volume and foster them to achieve their business objectives. In business to business market company can prepare the flexible marketing mix which surely helps them to convince the industrial clients. In this process an organization can have pricing strategy which could be vary as per the quantity of product. Other than this in business to customer market the company can gain the benefit of fix pricing strategy. It is to acknowledge that on the ground of promotional tools direct marketing will be most suitable for the company. Through this they can convince the clients in more strategic way whereas in customer market due to its nature advertising is more suitable (Bhumik, 2012). In consumer market the number of customers is very high as compare to industrial market where the market is not very scattered. Therefore these are certain differences which could be experienced while dealing with business to business or business to customers market.
In international marketing the level of complexities is comparatively high as compare to the domestic marketing. In international marketing the company has a privilege to cater the huge mass but in domestic marketing they have very concentrated and limited market range. In international marketing the segmentation process is also comparatively very tough as the nature of people is very different. In domestic marketing the company is already aware with the nature of people residing at different areas or regions (Boone, 2012). International marketing involves the thorough research on the ground of understanding the needs and wants of customers. But in domestic market this process doesn’t comes on the loop again and again. Further it is to acknowledge that international marketing is based on the outcomes of research or data which any company has gathered from different sources. While promoting the product in domestic marketing company can focus on the advertising and other tools of promotion (if they are already established) but in international marketing the scenario is completely different. The branding through organizing an international event or sponsoring any event can promote the name of company at international level (Gilmore, 2010). Thus these are certain difference which a company is supposed to undertake while marketing in domestic market or international market.
With the help of above report it can be concluded that without designing the appropriate marketing strategies none of the organization can ensure their sustainability or profitability as it is helpful in ensuring the dissemination of product or brand. Ahead it is to acknowledge that proper construction of marketing mix could be helpful for them with respect to gain the competitive advantage. In case of Ben Sherman the company has done remarkable job in the field of adopting the pricing or promotional strategy. Overall the various concepts of marketing like market orientation, above the line, below the line promotions etc. are also clear through this report.
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