Questions- This assessment will cover the following questions:
- Evaluate the role of marketing and how it interrelates with other functional units of Marks and Spencer.
- Compare different ways in which Marks and Spencer use elements of the marketing mix (7Ps) to achieve overall business objectives
- Marks and Spencer are the clothing brand. Build and evaluate a basic marketing plan.
Marketing is considered as creating an interest among people to buy an organisation's products through the use of various activities such as advertising, distributing sample products etc. Marketing can also be referred to as a combination of all those activities that persuade a buyer to purchase a product (Baker and Magnini, 2016). This aid an organisations in conducting activities related to promotion and launching of products in potential marketplace. The organisation chosen for this report is Marks and Spencer which is a leading British clothing and food brand headquartered in London, United Kingdom. This report compares the different ways in which Marks and Spencer and one of its competitors apply the marketing mix for attaining its desire goal as well as target. Moreover it will also describe about basic plan of marketing for a company.
Marketing mix comprises of a group of actions (7Ps) that help the companies in promoting their goods as well as services at potential marketplace (Baker and Saren, 2016). The Ps are Products or services, Price of offering, Place to display offering, Promotion activities, People of company, Physical evidence of store as well as process. With the times changes packaging, positioning and politics are also counted among the Ps of marketing mix. Marks and Spencer have strong marketing mix strategy so that the company is able to attain its predetermined goals as well as target for sustaining at potential marketplace. Zara is the chosen competitor of Marks and Spencer. The main objective of M&S is to develop business that is sustainable by profitable as well as consistent growth and make sure that it meets the accountability of its shareholders responsibly. Whereas, the main objective of Zara is to safeguard the environment as much as possible by implementing practices like generating less waste, using environment friendly fabrics, recycling etc. A list of comparison of different strategies related to marketing mix that are use by for achieving their goals and objectives is described below-
Marks and Spencer
M&S is a famous and high end retail chain providing products in food and clothing for men, women and children. The brand also offers products in home segment like furniture, gifts, flowers etc (Brychkov and Domegan, 2017).
Zara is considered as a fast brand in the fashion industry selling the latest trends in the market at affordable prices. The brand is known for selling products that match the taste and culture of the people in a particular region.
Marks and Spencer follows the strategy of competitive pricing for its products. The company has it own in house product brands for clothing which are priced from moderate to high categories because of the high quality of the products.
Zara focuses on an average shopper who is looking for latest fashion clothes at affordable prices while pricing its products. This strategy has helped the brand in addressing the needs of a large segment of customers and in creating a special brand name (Campbell, Martin and Fabos, 2018).
Marks and Spencer is an international brand which has operations worldwide through approximately 1000 offline stores. The brand has its presence in France, Spain etc. and also offers the option of delivering internationally for specific products. Since, Marks and Spencer is a more giant brand, it is more diverse in terms of its presence across the world.
Zara has a wide presence across markets in different countries with approximately more than 7000 stores across the globe. Besides having physical stores, Zara also sell its products through its website. The brand is now looking for expansion online. Zara came into being much later than M&S and is still in the expansion phase with not a very diverse presence.
Marks and Spencer focuses on spreading the same message on all the media where it operates. The company promotes itself and its products through various media and at various platforms like television advertisements, running various campaigns, blogs, magazines, reward points etc.
Zara does not market itself very aggressively as its competitors. Instead the brand markets itself through word of mouth as the products are priced at affordable rates and therefore has high customer loyalty. Zara uses channels social media to effectively promote its products effectively.
Marks and Spencer has a strong employee strength of approximately 83000. The company offers various benefits to its employees based on their performance in order to increase productivity (Perreault, 2018). Also, the employees of the company are given special benefits like discounts on M&S products purchased online or in stores.
Being a widespread brand, Zara also has a large strength of employees. The brand conducts various learning and development programs for new hires and already existing employees to boost their performance and the overall productivity of the company.
Marks and Spencer lays special attention on making the buying process of the customers easier at its stores. Therefore, the stores are organized in a simple yet beautiful manner as compared to other clothing brands' stores. Although Marks and Spencer has big stores, the products are observed to be displayed in various sections.
Zara usually has stores that are spread over a large area and are mostly found within malls. The brand has sections for men, women as well as children that are easy to locate. The store design is very minimalistic and the main attention is given to the clothes making the customers' shopping process simple yet classic (Rowley, 2016). Also, the stores are big and it can be observed that the products are mostly organised based on their colours.
Marks and Spencer has a wide presence globally with more than 1000 physical stores in approximately 50 countries. The company has its major operations in the UK and the products of the company ranging in different sections can also be accounted for physical evidence.
Zara uses its stores as a physical evidence since the customers can provide feedback based on their overall experience at the store. Zara has been able to create a nice ambience through the use of colours, layout and background music.
A marketing plan is considered as a document that describes how will the organization attain its overall goals and objectives through the set objectives (Uncles, 2018). A marketing plan comprises of a situation analysis, a forecast of the sales, the budget, different activities of promotions, programs and so on. Thus, a marketing plan helps a company by guiding it to improve its performance and achieve desire goals as well as targets in an effective as well as efficient manner.
Having a marketing plan is necessary for Marks and Spencer as firm management is planning to introduced its products in Monaco market in next 6 months. In order to this, respective organization will have to opt several promotional strategies for increasing its reach among the people in Monaco (Baker and Magnini, 2016). The marketing plan for respective company is described below -
- To introduce its existing products and services in Monaco in 6 months in order to upgrade its current market share by 20%.
- To implement various promotional strategies within 3 months in order to increase its customer base as well as overall sales by 35%.
The situation of Marks and Spencer is mentioned below -
- Strengths – Marks and Spencer is a globally recognized brand with high quality products. This will help the customers in associating themselves with the brand.
- Weaknesses – The company has been facing serious competition and new brands imitating its designs. Hence, the company should work on its weaknesses by adopting various strategies.
- Opportunities – The brand is widely known and has people who are willing to be its customers. Therefore, the company has an opportunity to expand itself in the untapped markets.
- Threats – The company has a threat of its personal information and data being getting stolen. Therefore, rules and regulations set by the government must be adopted (Baker and Saren, 2016).
Also Read:- Scope and key Element of International Market
An analysis of the macro environment factors for Marks and Spencer is described below -
- Political – Monaco is among the most political stable regions in the world which can prove to be a positive aspect for Marks and Spenser as it is considering to expand its business there.
- Economic – One of the most important factors of the retail industry is price, but several small retailers who offer products similar to the respective company have come up who are playing a major role in stealing the market. Thus, although Monaco is considered to be the most economically stable and expensive place worldwide, M&S may still face some tough competition.
- Social – Since Marks and Spencer also sells its products in the food segment in the UK, it can also manage to build a name in Monaco.
- Technological – The company can set up stores in Monaco that offer the facility of self check-out as well as online shopping. Thus, the company should offer these facilities in order to increase its overall customer base and attract new potential customers in Monaco.
Porter's 5 Forces Model
Organisations in the retail sector face fierce competition from their rivals. The Porter's 5 Forces model in context to Marks and Spencer is explained below -
- Threat of Substitutes – Overall, there are not many substitutes that can exist for food and clothes which makes this force less powerful. How ever, there are chances that the products of Marks and Spencer including clothes and food can be substituted by new budget retailers in Monaco, which makes this force high in this case.
- Threat of New Entrants – This force is considerably low as if anyone will consider making an entrance in the market, it will require a huge amount of investment which is not easy. Also, the brands that are already set up and have experience the market like Marks and Spencer can act as a barrier for new entrants.
- Bargaining Power of Buyers – This force is high as the number of buyers in the market is high which gives them a high power of bargaining for the products. Also, since Monaco has people who have high incomes, they can shop more.
- Bargaining Power of Suppliers – This force is comparatively low as M&S is a giant brand and has a number of suppliers from across various regions in the world. Also, the brand is not dependent on a single supplier as compared to other brands.
Various strategies that can be opted by Marks and Spencer are -
- Segmentation – The company is planning to expand its business in Monaco. Therefore, factors like demographics, behaviour of the people there etc. should be considered.
- Targetting – Once the segmentation is done, the market has to be targetted based on this. Marks and Spencer will have to target people belonging to high to premium class having high income.
- Positioning – The company has positioned itself as a brand offering products of high and finest quality. To position itself in the minds of people in Monaco, the company can use various channels like TV, magazines etc.
The action plan of the company has been made considering the 4Ps which is as follows -
- Product – M&S deals with a vast product portfolio with products ranging from clothing items to food. The company has similar products in the stores as well as on its website.
- Price – The pricing strategy will be set as affordable pricing as the company is launching in Monaco for the first time (Brychkov and Domegan, 2017).
- Place – The company should open stores at places that are selected after a thorough research on various factors. Also, the delivery time of the products should be less.
- Promotion - Marks and Spencer is going to launch in a new region, therefore it should make use of various channels like social media and a user friendly website in order to earn more customers and therefore increase profitability.
It is necessary for Marks and Spencer to forecast their plans before launching themselves in Monaco. This will enable them to be aware of different situations like availability of resources etc. there as well as gather information. During this stage, a budget should be prepared which will be as follows -
Control is the last stage of a marketing plan where the evaluation has to be performed by a professional appropriately (Perreault, 2018). If any mistakes are discovered, they should be addressed and corrected so that they do not rise again in the future. Marks and Spencer should set a standard as to when a particular task is to be completed.
From the above report it can be concluded that, the company needs to work on different aspects in order to reach the objectives. It has to use different strategies to do so and stand out in the market against its competitors. Also, a marketing plan needs to be prepared which will include the situation, action plan, forecast and control strategy of the company. And the company will have to constantly revise the same in order to sustain in the marketplace. Thus, in order to expand their business in different regions organisations should have a concrete market plan that can help and guide them to conduct their operations systematically to ensure that the overall output is effective.
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