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Importance of Marketing to Grow a Business

Organization Selected : Marks and Spencer

INTRODUCTION

Marketing is a crucial activity for any business and thus it has become even more important for organizations around the world to take care of their marketing strategies in an effective way, Through this, an organization will be able to cater to various segments of customers within the market. Thus it is essential that the top management of an organization makes necessary specific strategies to overcome the issues of marketing communication among people. Marketing is also necessary to overcome the tough competition that prevails within the market, and this can be achieved in the long run in an effective manner. Marks and Spencer is a big company engaged within the retail clothing sector, established in 1884, and is growing quite rapidly (Babin and Zikmund, 2015). The company is having a revenue of around 11 billion pounds with a net income of 116 million Pound. The employee base of the company stood at 85,000 employees and

MAIN BODY

MARKETING AUDIT OF MARKS AND SPENCER

In order to evaluate where the business stands, it is highly essential to make sure that proper research is done to assess the current scenario within the market and what suitable measures are needed to be taken to overcome different marketing issues. The current marketing strategies that are being followed by the company and its current position within the market will are being discussed as follows:

Current marketing Strategy

The company is quite huge in size, and thus will have to aggressively operate in the market by applying different marketing strategies. The company's 4P's strategy allows it to focus on different aspect of marketing in an effective manner, which will allow it to compete effectively within the market in the longer run. The company also follows a competitive pricing strategy for its products as well as services that allows the company to effectively target consumers from every region and income section. The company is also making necessary innovation in various business of it to capture a even higher market share by offering high quality goods as well as services at quite competitive prices in the longer run (Perreault, 2010).

Marketing Mix Strategy

  • Product: The company's product portfolio is quite huge enough and is covering various items for all age groups in an effective manner. The company offers various kinds of clothing products for women like blazers, skirts, jeans, etc. The company also offers footwear, handbags as well as different types of sunglasses for them. The well known brands of marks and Spencer for women is Indigo, Autograph, Classic etc. The company is aiming towards women, as they are quite frequent shoppers and do like to spend on clothing and accessories in an effective manner (Baker, 2014). The company is also engaged in various other section like providing furniture for home, and various home accessories. Thus the scope of the company's product and services is quite big enough which allows it to have pricing power over these wide range of products and services.
  • Price: The company is following a competitive pricing strategy, which allows it capture market share and develop a a higher customer bases, because of the competitive prices that it offers along with variety in products offered. This is the primary reason that company is able to grow substantially so far. The company is facing competition from various online retailers which is posing difficulties for the company in market and thus, there is a need to follow an effective marketing strategy to reach to consumers in an effective manner.
  • Place: As far as having stores in location is concerned, The company is having around 1000 stores in around 50 countries. Out of 1000 around 850 stores are primarily in United Kingdom. The company is having presence in various countries like Hungary, Finland, India etc. The company is also making necessary policies to expand its business effectively among some of the emerging countries like India, china and Indonesia. The company is aggressively looking for opening its branches and stores in various other regions like souther Asia and Western Europe. This will give company an access to various consumers that will allow it to capture a higher market share in the longer run effectively (Batt, 2013).
  • Promotion: The company is also having right kind of growth strategies in place for promoting its goods and services among different types of countries and regions. The company is following aggressive promotional strategies through which it will be able to reach to a large customer base in a shorter span of time in the longer run. The company is planning to promote its business and its products as well as services through various sources of communication like websites, social media etc. which will not only help to increase the overall reputation of the company but at the same time will aid in reaching to a larger customer base effectively.

Position in the Market

Marks and Spencer is a very reputed organization in UK as well as in some other countries also. The company is quite opened up with its policies and has employed majority of its employees from women Fraternity. 72% of people who have been employed within the company are female and it is expected that the number will grow going forward. The company's revenue in 2018 stood at 10.7 billion British pounds, which is quite good enough in comparison to its competitors. Half of this revenue comes from food segment. The company's online business has also seen a substantial growth and has contributed around 370 million pounds in the year's revenue of the organisation. The average footfall in stores of the company has seen a decline, primarily because of a surge in online shopping. The weekly average footfall for the company was 19.5 million consumers. Recent survey conducted on company shows that around 37 percent of the people are giving a five star rating to the company and is expecting a more better services from the company in the future (Chinn, 2017).

The biggest contributory for marks and Spencer has been its food business within UK, which contributes to around 5.9 billion pounds out of 10 billion pounds of revenue. The clothing and Home furnishing sector contributes to around 3.8 billion, whereas internationally owned businesses has contributed around 0.727 billion pound and franchisee operations .361 billion pounds.

The company stands at no. 2 position in the retail market segment and the company is making strategies to improve the same and regain the top position in the market again within the stipulated time period given by the top management of the company to managers and its business people (Papasolomou and Melanthiou, 2012).

MARKET SEGMENTATION

Target Market Segment

Market segmentation refers to segmenting the market on the basis of various factors like age, culture, religion etc. and then making necessary policies as well as strategies on that basis. The company is expected to grow and develop a different kinds of strategies for serving different segments in an effective manner. Specifically talking, The company has chosen 2 Market Segment which can be pursued for the purpose of growing their business substantially in the future, these includes:

  • Demographic Segmentation:Under this, Marks and Spencer has decided to segment its customer base on the basis of their age, race, religion etc. By using this strategy company will be able to know its customers well and thus will be able to serve them better in the market place. The company will frame necessary policies to include certain products and services that will fulfil the overall demand of these different types of consumers in an effective as well as efficient manner. The company has launched various products keeping in mind the different cultures that are being followed by these peoples, thus it is expected that company will be able to capture a higher market share in the future, because there is a higher growth and development within these demographic regions. Every big company has made demographic segmentation an essential part for growing globally (Desai, 2013).
  • Geographic Segmentation:Under this kind of strategy, The organisation will try to segment its consumers on the basis of the geographical location of consumers. For example, The company is having most of its revenue from United Kingdom and thus it is expected that company's most of the products and services would have a reflection of British culture. The company may also decide to change its business's product portfolio based on the various types geographies in which it operates. For example, The company is planning to open stores related to food in some of the emerging countries like India and china where the level of consumption of food is quite high. The company is planning to develop these strategies, which will allow it to grow and prosper going forward. The geographical segmentation is expected to impact the revenue of the organisation in the range of 1 to 3 percent (Durand and Barlow, 2012).

For the purpose of effectively backing this strategy of segmentation, it is quite necessary to have opinions as well as views of different types of people. For this purpose, data has been gathered from primary method which is a questionnaire, through this questions were raised in front of respondents to get their opinions about company and how they see company and its products as well as services. This will give a better view of company's overall growth pattern in the longer run. The number of respondents chosen for the purpose of this research is 20 respondents.

Questionnaire

Q1. What is the reason for selecting Marks and Spencer Brand for your purchases?

Frequency

  • High quality of products

15

  • Reputation of the organisation

05

Q2. Which specific products are more frequently purchased by you from Marks and Spencer Store?

Frequency

  • Apparels

09

  • Food and Restaurant Segment

09

  • Footwear

02

Q3. Which segment is more targeted by the company ?

Frequency

  • Demographic

08

  • Geographic

10

  • Behavioural

02

Q4. What specific things are being considered by you before buying products from marks and Spencer?

Frequency

  • Quality of product

08

  • Pricing

09

  • After sales services offered by the organisation

03

Q5. What is the impact of market segmentation on Growth of revenue of Marks and Spencer?

Frequency

  • Positive Growth

13

  • Negative Growth

07

DATA ANALYSIS

Theme1: The reason for selecting Marks and Spencer Brand for purchases.

Theme2: Thespecific products that are more frequently purchased from Marks and Spencer Store.Interpretation: The above graph clearly depicts the view point of respondents on the question that what are the reason for selecting marks and Spencer brand for the purpose of making purchases of their products as well as services, in reply of the same around 15 people said because it offerers high quality of products and only 5 people said that because the brand reputation of the organisation is quite good. Thus the products and services of the company will be in demand, if their quality as well as reputation will be maintained by the company in the longer run.


Interpretation:
When asked from respondents that what products are being specifically purchased by you from marks and Spencer, then 9 people out of 20 said that they purchase apparel quite often, 9 people said that food offered by the company is often purchased by them and only 2 people were interested in footwear that are being offered by the company. Thus, it clearly depicts that consumers are more interested in apparel and food segment business of the company. Thus, it is quite clear that there are certain products which are being more specifically favoured by the consumers and thus company shall focus on the same.

Theme3: The segment is more targeted by the company.

Interpretation: When asked from respondents that which segment has been targeted by the company, around 10 out of 20 people said that geographical segment is mostly targeted by the company, 8 people said that demographic segmentation and only 2 people said that behavioural segmentation is more targeted by the organisation. The segment that is essential for the growth and development of the company is geographical segment. There are different types of segment that are being formed by the company and it is quite important to make sure that those segment and their needs as well as demands are effectively fulfilled.

Theme4: The specific things that are being considered by customers before buying products from Mark and Spencer.

Interpretation: There are certain products that are being purchased more frequently by the consumers, when asked from respondents that what specific things that they look for in products and services, around 9 people said that pricing of a product or service is a primary matter that needs to be considered, while 8 people said that overall quality of the products matters them most then anything else. However, only 3 people said that after sales services that are being offered by the company is considered by customers.

Theme5: The impact of market segmentation on Growth of revenue of Marks and Spencer.

Interpretation: When asked from respondents that what is the overall impact of market segmentation on the overall growth as well as development of the revenue of organisation, then majority of people, around 13 out of 20 said that it has impacted positively. However, only 7 people said that it has resulted in overall negative growth for the company and its business in the longer run.

Buyer's Behaviour and meeting the demands of different segments

Before introducing any new goods or services within the market it is highly essential that right kind of goods as well as services are being offered to consumers as per their wants as well as needs. If there will be any mismatch then it will affect company and its overall growth in the longer run (Forrester, 2010). Thus it is quite essential to assess the behaviour of individual consumers and then make a plan for different products and services that company offers and how the same can be improved to increase the overall sales in the longer run. The process of understanding buyer behaviour is quite lengthy and is discussed as follows:

  • Need Recognition:The very first step that is important for understanding the consumers is recognising their needs effectively, if the same will be done in appropriate manner then company will be able to make necessary changes in its goods as well as services, which will spur the demand of consumers and thus higher sales and profitability can be achieved.
  • Information Search: The consumer usually searches for the best possible product and services that can be offered to them by various companies. They will search for information around to make a purchase, The reliance is on the company to make sure that it represent itself in a manner that it offers a perfect solution to consumers for their purchases in an effective manner, so that consumers can get attracted towards brand and its products as well as services (ones and Rowley, 2011).
  • Purchase and Experiences:Once the purchase is made by the consumer, it is highly essential that they derive a right kind of experience from the same. If their experience from the purchase will be good, this would ensures publicity of company's products as well as services from word of mouth and thus higher growth can be attained in an effective as well as efficient manner.

The company has chosen the strategy of Geographical segmentation and demographic segmentation. The company's strategy of competitive pricing will allow it to penetrate into various geographical segments very easily, because pricing of a product is usually a concern for almost every customers belonging from any region, be it emerging markets or developing markets. Marks and Spencer offers high quality products and services to its customers, which gives it an edge over other competitors. If the company will keep the same level of quality for its products along with offering competitive prices, then this would mean higher level of profits can be achieved and business growth can be attained (Mitchell, 2012).

Demographic segmentation, basically means segmenting people on the basis of demographics of the consumers like race, religions etc. The company operates in various business segments around the world and thus for the purpose of increasing the overall growth of the company in the longer run. It is highly essential that the R&ampD Department of the company shall make necessary innovation in its current products as well as services to ensure that the overall demand of consumers can be met, which belongs to different demographics. Countries like India and china has diverse cultures and religions within it and its consumers are having a dynamic taste, thus in order to meet their demand, proper strategy shall be made by the company in the longer run that will ensure growth and development in the longer run.

For moving the business forward, it is essential that geographical and demographic segmentation of the consumers is done effectively by the policy makers of the company, which will aid in overall development of business as well as framing effective strategy going forward (Ogunmokun and Tang, 2012).

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CONCLUSION

Thus, from the above discussion it can be said that marketing is essential for any organization to grow and prosper beyond a point, be it small organisation or big. It has to select its target segment effectively and shall make necessary policies as well as procedures to overcome the issues of these consumers and offer them best possible services as well as products in the longer run. It is equally important to analyse the behaviour of consumers and amend the products as well as services accordingly.

You may also like: Role Or Importance Of Marketing Management In Business

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