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Introduction to Marketing Planning

Marketing planning constituting marketing plan is a type of business document which is made for the purpose of describing current market position of a business organization and its marketing strategy for time period covered under the business plan. It is developed by organization for systematic functioning of business operations in order to achieve goals and objectives. Further, marketing also helps in transfer and exchange of gods and services with the help of different intermediaries. Moreover, the core importance of marketing is that it creates employment for the individuals as role of marketing has been spread within this decade or so. In order to understand marketing planning in a definite manner, organization undertaken for the present study is Argos Company which is a retailer organization having its operation only in UK and Ireland and it is a subsidiary of Home Retail Group. This present report focuses on reviewing the changing perspective in marketing planning. Further, this report will have emphasis on organization auditing for analyzing the internal and external factors. This report will further access on main barriers of marketing planning.

Task 1

1.1 Reviewing changing perspective in marketing planning

Situational analysis

This plays an important role for Argos as sometimes organization own plan can lead themselves into a big problem. Being a trusted retail organization in UK, Argos has to fulfill their customers’ demands by identifying their necessities and wants. Further, this shows that cited company have to determine the market demand, customer's taste and their competitor’s strength and weakness. By analyzing all the above factors, mentioned retail company can now compare their own position in the market place. Further, mentioned company can conduct SWOT, PESTEL, Porter Five Force model in order to see the stability and competence of the cited organization. This will certain help Argos to give tough competition to their major competitors like Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and company can get competitive advantage with it.

Marketing mix element

Marketing mix elements consists of product, price, place, promotion. Apart from these elements, Argos also focuses on excellent features of products and service, packaging and building goodwill. These all elements attract consumers towards organization products. However, price of the product plays a specific role as organization focuses on developing best of the products to their customers at a reasonable price. Furthermore, organization stores are at convenient place and they are easily accessible by customers for shopping.

Market-led strategy

Market-led is a strategy where Argos identifies the needs and wants of consumers and these needs helps mentioned organization to develop and serve products and services to customers. This process is only possible when aforesaid company do a specific market research.

1.2 Evaluating organization capability for planning future activities

Organization capability is considered as ability of company which is generally verbalized in the form of human resource, physical and material resources like machines land as well as building, financial resource as well as different intellectual resources. Argos is considered as one of the recognized brand in UK in retail sector. Corporate is trying their best to give their top competitors a stiff competition by increasing the size of products. Further, mentioned company is focusing on a marketing plan which shows clear stated objectives for coming years. Organization is successful because of their prior concentration on a specific country as Argos having its existence only in UK and Ireland. Cited company can successfully implement their all the major resources especially the human, financial and physical and material resources for getting a competitive advantage as this will help Argos to increase more of the revenue and productivity.

Furthermore, organization has a wide range of products which are categorized in different segments which satisfies individual’s needs up to a great extent. Argos also has many owned and exclusive brands which gives customers lot of confidence when they buy some product from aforesaid company. Moreover, organization is considered as number one in some product categories. Along with their retail outlets, Argos has approx. 900 million websites and app visits by their potential customers. Mentioned company also constitutes more than 53000 products which automatically attracts consumers towards their products.

1.3 Techniques for organizational auditing

There are various ways of organizational auditing which Argos can implement in order to increase their products size as well as revenue and profit with developing their product Portfolio. Argos can do SWOT analysis in order to carry internal analysis of business organization. With the help of SWOT analysis, mentioned organization will come to know that what are the positive elements in them and also what they lack in as compared to their competitors. Moreover, mentioned company strength is there strength of stores in UK as Argos have almost 800 stores in UK. Further, company also seeks there strength in providing online services to the consumers for their comfort and relaxation. However, with all such capabilities cited company have some drawbacks which can affect their brand image and turnover. Controversies like Sunday working affecting the performance of individuals working in the retail stores. Further, with such a stiff competitive, cited organziation si not able to increase their market share. Companies threats can affect the revenue and they have to overcome in quick time period. These are generally related to the international expansion of different brand which will also give tough competition. Further, major changes made by the UK government in the retail industry in terms of policies and regulations.

Further, Argos can conduct a PESTLE analysis in order to scan the external environment for improving their productivity and it will help Argos in a significant manner. This analysis will help corporate to know what are the factors affecting growth and profit majorly. Further, these are the factors majorly affects Argos plan and strategy and significantly these factors have negative impact on organization growth and revenue.

Moreover, competitors analysis will help mentioned company to know their major competitors. This analysis will broadly help Argos to know competitors objectives along with their strength and weakness. Further, for better productivity and revenue organization can also implement value chain method to develop a valuable product.

1.4 Carrying out organizational auditing and analyzing external factors

Macro environment analysis helps business organization to scan the environment in order to set their new policies as per the norms and regulations of UK body. These factors can increase or decrease the need of product and create entirely new product needs. Macro environmental analysis for Argos is stated below:

Political

These factors having a great impact on mentioned companies products as government is trying their best to give consumers protection by various act, rules and regulations. Further, in order to ave them from eating disorder, government checks each and every food substitutes which tends to consume more time in order to reach towards customers. Argos have to function their business activities by considering the Food Safety Act 1990 and must produce only those goods which are essential and protect the human health.

Economic

Sometimes Argos faces economic changes which literally decreases the demand affects corporate revenue as well as the profit. Cited company also faces some restrictions in relation to various rules and regulations in tax policies, purchase of raw material from suppliers and different aspects.

Social

Argos usually develops products by considering the needs and demands of their potential customers. Argos cannot force customer's to choose their products, the only thing which company can do is the effective advertisement which can attract the minds of individuals towards that product or service. Furthermore, organization faces problems because of customer’s perception, different lifestyles, income level of individuals etc.

Technological

Organization can improve their functional activities and profits by establishing new and updated technologies. Further, with effective design of the website and publishing their new products with the help of SEO can attract the customers which can increase the brand image and revenue of the company. Micro environmental analysis for Argos is done with the help of SWOT...

Quality of products

Organization have more than 53000 products which are categorized in home appliances, electronics, baby care, food products, beauty and personal care, clothing etc. These products satisfy customers need and wants on daily basis. Organization further has well developed goodwill and positive image in the eyes of UK customers.

Innovative label

Argos has a large range of products and these products will be increasing in coming time period. Mentioned company has their major focus on satisfying customer's needs and also to develop a loyal customer base. Modern packaging and design can attract individuals towards their products.

Long working hours

Organization in order to satisfy their customer needs works on Sunday as well. This make employees annoyed as they are not able to maintain their personal and professional life.

Worldwide presence

Argos currently having their operations in UK and Ireland only. Organization has to look forward and set their retail outlets in other countries as well to increase more of their revenue and productivity.

Expansion

Argos has to expand their business ventures throughout the world like their other competitors Tesco, Asda, Walmart, etc.

Revenue

Mentioned Company having more than 25% of sales through online. With all new features and segments organization can increase it in a well definite manner.

Competition

Existing giant competition in retail sector will give tough competition to Argos.

Rules and regulations

Change in government policies might affect the operational activities of mentioned company.

Task 2

2.1 Barriers to marketing planning

Organization has to overcome these barriers in an effectual manner and prepare their plans and policies by considering these elements only as it does not impact the business environment.

Organizational culture

Organizational culture at times affects the functioning of organization as employees comes from different geographical areas and they have their own language to communicate. Sometimes it acts as an obstacle because it leads to miscommunication. Further, not taking feedback from customers can lead to a barrier in coming time period.

Ethical issues

Consequences get arise within Argos when some employee's comes in favor and some against of a specific plan. Further, when plan is implemented those who were in favor of the plan gets more priority and benefits as they have only suggested this. This will also increase salary and other benefits which circumstantially act as a barrier within mentioned company.

Leadership skills

Leaders are the one who develops the gap between employers and employees within company. In organization, leaders who do not have capability to approach their employees will not be able to collect relative suggestions and innovative ideas which will lead towards decline in organization growth.

Isolating marketing functions

To perform operations effectively, Argos needs its teams to operate and work in a unified group as it includes working towards common business goals, sharing information about the business, customers and markets, etc.

2.2 Solutions for overcoming the barriers

Argos can overcome these barriers so explained above by having a proper market analysis of their products which will further help them to understand segmentation, targeting and positioning strategy. Further, for having a proper communication skills, HR manager of Argos can conduct a training and development session in order to have effectual communication both with employee's as well as with customers. Further, Argos have to look over all the major functions within organization such as operational, financial, sales and marketing in order to generate more of the revenue and productivity.

Further, in order to overcome the problem, cited company can implement some above mentioned points in order to increase their productivity and revenue for getting stiff competition. Implementing effective leadership sklls will lead individuals to work with more of the dedication and concentration.

On the contrary, Tesco also faces identical barrier but being a reputed retailer around the globe, they have efficient and effective techniques to overcome them. Organization focuses on analyzing cultural and market situation along with the customers’ demands. Organization further has effective leaders who guide employee's and divide all the task and responsibilities in a fluent manner. Organization further focuses on low price products as more and more customers get attracted towards it and this is the only reason of Tesco's revenue and profits.

Task 3

3.1 Marketing plan for a new service

Effective planning is a crucial aspect of any marketing plan because it assures that a profitable supermarket realizes its marketing goals for present and future time period. Representative of Argos have a new service plan for mentioned company as they have to expand their retail business in Dubai. For this, approx. £500,000 investment is required from Dragons by the cited company. For this organization have a marketing plan:

Target market

Argos will open their retail store at a convenient place where mentioned company will be the center of attraction. Further, organization has a wide range of products in different categories which will satisfy the needs of all potential customers.

Marketing strategy

Argos focus is to deliver quality of products at a reasonable cost and also within specific time period. The main motto to open a retail store in Dubai is to give customers a brand new experience as they do not have to even go out to buy a product and significantly it will reach to their place. The product will be delivered within 2-3 hours of the purchase. This guarantee is taken by the Chief Executive of Argos.

3.2 Marketing planning is essential in strategic planning process

Marketing plan is a written document that details necessary actions to achieve one or more marketing objectives. It can be for a product or service, a brand, or a product line. Further, these marketing plans cover from one to five years. Strategic planning process is undertaken by Argos in order to provide a plan to achieve specific goals and objectives of organization with the help of their talented employees. Further, strategic planning for Argos identifies all the internal and external strength and opportunities in order to prepare strategies and tactics. Objective of a strategic planning process is to set and develop a new way for organization and create its shape and structure so that the products and services which Argos is producing helps them to achieve their corporate objective.

On the other hand, marketing planning have to assess on developing a suitable plan for the mentioned company which helps them in achieving those goals. Further, marketing planning has a key role to play for strategic planning because it is the priority of every department in Argos to understand and manage important links between environment and business.

3.3 Examining techniques for new product development

Argos has opted following techniques in order to attract Dragons minds towards their new concept.

Product development Schedule

Aforesaid Company in order to attract the mind of Dragons explained their product development concept. Under this method, Argos first designs the structure for their project and establishment. Further, they will take initiative to run selected products at an initial level. This is because organization has to identify the distance and the traffic in Dubai. After the initiation, test will be conducted by having a dummy example. Further, if they got succeed organization will start having full development of the business there. Within a specific time period organization will be able to study the concept and they will start having their production process there. Organization in the starting period will sell only those products which consumers needs in significant manner and after that they will start growing their business.

3.4 Recommendations for pricing policy distribution and communication mix

In order to settle retail business in Dubai, organization will focus on to have customer’s attraction towards their products. For this, pricing strategy for Argos will be based on following elements.

Skimming pricing policy

This pricing policy will help Argos to recover all the expenses which is incurred while setting a business in Dubai. This policy has a drawback as price of the products are high and they will not be able to attract more of the customer's.

Penetration pricing strategy

Mentioned Company can implement this strategy where price of the products will be low with a significant low profit margin. For starting period, mentioned company will be able to increase sale with relative low profit margin (Arena and Azzone, 2009).

Further, distribution policy will have its own significance as aforesaid company will be at its initial stage in Dubai. Therefore, Argos will only focus on intense distribution policy, this is a policy where customers will get product at organization retail store only. Moreover, to communicate with their customers in Dubai, mentioned company have to opt various communication policies. These are...

Advertisement

Argos has to advertise their new establishment of retail in Dubai's national newspaper. This will lead to more of the customer's attraction. Further, cited company can advertise on radio channels, banners, hoardings, etc.

Social media

Argos can promote their new venture with the help of social media as corporate have its official Facebook page which has millions of likes. Further, updates on Twitter, Instagram will make significant difference again (Mohaghegh, Kazemi and Mosleh, 2009).

Task 4

4.1 Ethical issues which affects marketing activities

Ethical issues are those which can affect the marketing activities for mentioned company. If Argos makes false advertisement relating to their products and services, then they will not be able to make potential customer base and also loose the existing ones. For Argos, negative advertisement might affect their sales, productivity and profits. This highlights the disadvantage of the Argos services and customer will see the bad effect of it.

However, Marks and Spencer (M&S) is a popular brand for retail and clothing sector in the UK. With increase in complexity and trust of customers, M&S not operating any false activities in their organization as they know this will harm their goodwill in a significant way. Further, there are various incidents and cases of commercial frauds are pending in UK Courts.

Further, children are attracted towards fast food products which at times lead to obesity and digestion problem. Walmart by considering all these facts into consideration checks each and every product in order to see any side effect of it. This is the only reason why Walmart is considered as a king of retail sector around the globe.

However, in order to solve all these ethical issues in their firm, Argos have to take some necessary steps. Argos having a dominating position in UK and Ireland but now it is the time for them to explore their business globally. Cited company has to make some potential customers in order to increase their sale for starting months. Home delivery of the product need to be specific and also should be delivered at particular time. Being a Muslim culture in Dubai, mentioned company should not follow any type of advertisement which affects their lifestyles or thinking. This will have a major impact on individuals living in Dubai and Argos will lose their set market. Further, they have to classify their products by marking symbols for vegetarian and non-vegetarians as there are some individuals who do not eat non-veg. Mentioned company can further implement the tactics used by the other retailers in order to expand their market share and goodwill.

4.2 Consumers ethics affecting marketing planning

Customers are the king of market place and they are generally the backbone of marketing plan in retail sector. Argos focusing on delivering products to customer's home as they do not need to travel a single step and they can either order it by online or by calling to retail organization. Customers should must not take this service as a advantage and must not play any pranks to service provider. By telling them wrong address for delivering the product will be hectic for organization and this will increase functional and operational cost for organization.

Another example for this can be in electronics sector, as customers gets warranty for the phone which they have purchased, they should not take advantage of this service by damaging the phone of their own and blaming electronic organization for the mishappening. Consumers have to understand this point and do not take any illegal advantage of facilities provided by the company. Individuals will be affected if organizations and government started taking strict actions against them.

Conclusion

From the above report it is clearly stated that Argos is a dominant leader of retail market in UK and Ireland and now trying to mark its presence in other countries as well. Further this report shows that mentioned company have a large product size and are differentiated in different categories which satisfies customers’ needs and wants in a positive way. Moreover, this report is also evident of different ethical practices opted by Argos in order to increase their customer base and market base without affecting the environment.

References

  • Aaker, D. A., 2008. Strategic market management. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Arena, M. and Azzone, G., 2009. Identifying organizational drivers of internal audit effectiveness. International Journal of Auditing.
  • Constantinides, E., 2006. The marketing mix revisited: towards the 21st century marketing. Journal of marketing management.
  • Dibb, S. and Carrigan, M., 2013. Social marketing transformed: Kotler, Polonsky and Hastings reflect on social marketing in a period of social change. European Journal of Marketing.
  • Hollensen, S., 2015. Marketing management: A relationship approach. Pearson Education.
  • Huang, R. and Sarigöllü, E., 2012. How brand awareness relates to market outcome, brand equity, and the marketing mix. Journal of Business Research.

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