Introduction to Marketing Principles
In modern era rationality among consumers have increased significantly. This in turn affected their preferences and demand pattern. Increasing competition and presence of specific preference among consumers lead to development of various marketing concepts. In order to achieve success in present scenario; the business units are required to plan promotion of its products (McDonald, 2012). It is by creation of positive brand image and increasing consumer preferences that the business unit is able to gain significant market share. In order to demonstrate manner in which marketing principles are adopted in the organization; the strategies for Sony corporation is taken into consideration. The business unit is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with its presence in major parts across the world. The report provide a deep understanding of ways in which new product is developed and promoted within the organization.
Assignment Number 1
Macro and Micro environmental factors
The business operations and its position within industry is affected by range of internal and external factors. The organization is effected by various factors at macro and micro environment level. The range of factors that affects organization's performance and decision making process are described underneath through PESTEL and SWOT analysis.
It is the methodology that helps in studying influence of following factors on the business operations in short and long run. The word is a mnemonic that defines following factors when expanded.
Political: The political circumstances within which company is operating affects its operation. Sony corporation, being a multinational business unit has its operations in various parts of world (Kotler, 2009). The organization should abide by all laws and legislations prevailing within the country so that it is capable of conducting all operations smoothly.
Economic: The economic factors such as country's Gross domestic product, inflation, growth opportunity and foreign exchange rate also affects business operations. Sony needs to evaluate market efficiency of each foreign country so as to identify most profitable market place.
Social: These factors comprise of consumers taste and preferences and change in their demand pattern. In present world consumer's rationality is increasing on continuous basis. This in turn results in increasing demand for more of the consumer oriented products. Sony is one of the leading mobile manufacturer. The company is operating in the industry whereby competition is increasing on continuous basis. In order to gain competitive advantage the business unit needs to identify consumer preferences and accordingly develop products.
Technological: The technology is growing at a rapid pace in the modern era; which in turn makes every company within industry standing on toes (Pride and Ferrell, 2004). Sony corporation henceforth should also invest sufficient money and time into research and development activities. This in turn helps in identifying all technological developments and support business activities for long term success.
Legal: It is necessary that the company should be abided by laws and legislations of each country in which its operations are expanded. The legal framework within the country establishes a path and direction for the business unit. Henceforth, country's laws and legislations often play a significant role in determining its strategies for growth and development.
Environmental: The factors such as utilization of natural resources, controlling pollution etc. should also be ensured by the business unit. It is the responsibility of business unit to protect and preserve the environment and surroundings of the country in which it has its manufacturing unit (Smith, 2011). Moreover, through environmental protection the company will be applicable various grants and benefits offered by government.
The evaluation helps in identifying four important element of the business unit. These elements include: Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats. It is the responsibility of management to identify its respective Strengths and weaknesses. The Same is conducted for Sony Corporation and its outcomes are described below.
Strengths: Sony has created a specific brand image around the world over a period of time. It has occupied leading position within the industry in Asian markets; this is due to high experience and expertise available with the business unit (Gurau, 2008). Henceforth, its historical presence and experience in technological world is considered to be its strengths. The business unit has high expertise in field that it can materialize for long term benefits.
Weaknesses: The business unit is operating in technology industry whereby high cost is incurred for manufacturing of products. It is responsibility of management to design the system that is able to generate sufficient return on investment made by the business unit.
Opportunities: The business unit can take benefit of growing preferences among consumers about developing technology. It can take advantage of high market share available in domestic and foreign countries. Consumers now-a- days tends to be highly dependent on technology that in turn provides lot of opportunities to the business unit.
Threats: Every business unit is exposed to certain risks and threats while operating in the industry framework. Sony corporation is facing risk of increasing competition within industry (Freytag and Munksgaard, 2011). In the upper segment of market the company is facing high competition from Apple and Samsung. However, in lower end markets new entrants are trying to create their specific position by offering substitutes at low cost.
Assignment Number 2
Elements of marketing process
Marketing strategy is planned through series of activities and sequential steps. It includes range of elements that are described below in brief.
Market research: One of the basic element to formulate marketing strategy is conducting in-depth marketing research. Market research forms the basis for developing an appropriate plan for promoting its product and increasing market share.
Target Market: It is one of the important marketing element that suggests identification of various market segments. The management is also responsible for selecting and targeting an appropriate market segment (Boone, 2012). This is due to reason that targeting right market will help in achieving sufficient profitability.
Marketing Mix: There are 5 elements of marketing mix; namely Product, Price, Place and Promotion. In order to achieve success the marketing manager has to appropriately decide these elements for its target market. It is through proper customization of products, reasonable pricing, distributing at right place and adopting appropriate marketing strategies that the organization is able to achieve long term growth and success (Dent, 2011).
Benefits and costs of marketing orientation
Each of the business strategy and development activities has certain benefits and cost associated with it. Directing business efforts to marketing and promoting products in market place also has certain advantages and disadvantages as mentioned below.
Increasing consumer's demand: The products and services developed by business unit gets visible by consumers in today's scenario through business promotional activities. The marketing oriented approach helps in increasing customer base (Pride and et. al., 2012). This is due to reason that it is the positioning of product in consumer's mind that affects its sales in long run.
Constant improvement: The companies with marketing orientation approach tends to have continuous improvement process within the organization. The rational behind same is that efforts of business units are diverted towards satisfaction of consumer demand. This in turn leads to improvements in products developed and services offered by the organization. Henceforth, the marketing oriented approach results in achieving sustainable growth through including concept of continuous improvement.
High investment: The approach involved conducting of marketing research on regular basis. The research and development activities in turn results in huge outflow of funds due to heavy investment made. Although huge outlay incurred on one time will results in generating return for large duration of time; it tends to increase cost of operations for the business unit.
Cost for customization: In order to satisfy consumer's demand the business unit is entitled to manufacture customized products. The process of customization in turn involves large amount of cost for production and delivery of goods and services (Ferrell, 2012). Therefore, the marketing approach due to its highly consumer focused nature tends to prove costly for the business unit.
Product/ service for specific market segments
Sony corporation is planning to launch 3G smart phone cum digital camera; the device is having all features' embed of smart phone and digital camera. It is an innovative device that helps in satisfying demand of both mobile phones and digital camera. The business unit needs to identify different market segments for selling its products and services. The market segments that can be targeted by Sony Corporation are identified below.
Demographic Segments: The business unit can classify market on the basis of income level of an individual. These classification includes following market segments.
- High class Section
- Upper middle class
- Middle class
- Lower Class
In order to establish its new product the Sony Corporation can target High class and upper middle class section of the society. Another segment on the basis of demographic segment is customers in different age group (Buckley, 2002). These include teenagers, youngsters and old people. Sony corporation is targeting the teenagers belonging to upper section of society and employed youngsters earning sufficient income. The high-tech device may not attract attention of old age people.
Psychographic Segmentation: The segments are classified on the basis of human psychology of belonging to certain group. In present case the company can target market segment that wants to buy product for status symbol and one who wants to take additional benefits of combination of mobile phones and camera. Moreover, individuals with specific interests for photography and is highly technical can be targeted (Drejer, 2000). This is due to reason that device provides them an opportunity to shoot and upload pictures on real time basis.
The analysis helps in identifying various market segments and target market for the new products developed. Sony corporation needs to adopt strategy of attracting customers within existing market through new and innovative product (Barschel, 2007). The marketing strategy is to position product in a way that it creates a specific and distinct image in consumer's mind. The business unit should promote product by various benefits associated with it. Moreover, the additional benefits that a customer gets through combination of smart phone and camera should be communicated and promoted efficiently.
The organization strategy to increase its market share by way of new product development will be successful when its benefits are communicated in an efficient manner. The business unit should position its device in a manner that it provides a competitive edge to the organization. In addition, the elements of marketing mix should be designed in manner that it suits to requirement of target markets.
Buyer behavior in different buying scenarios
One of the most difficult task that any marketer face is to predict consumer behavior; since customer's attitude and behavior changes from time to time. In different scenarios consumers tend to behave in different making them unpredictable in nature. It is the responsibility of marketing manger to identify consumer's taste and preferences. Moreover, the products and services should be modified and customized in a manner that it helps in satisfying consumers demand.
Marketer activities tend to change with change in buying behavior of consumers. As an illustration, as an effect of increasing demand of post delivery services every organization has established their customer care centre. This in turn helps in providing feasible solutions for consumer queries after purchase of product (Craig and Campbell, 2012). The marketing team within an organization is highly consumer centric in nature. Henceforth, the department tends to formulate strategies and create products based on consumer's feedback and preferences. This in turn leads to change in direction of business activities with change in taste and preferences of consumers.
The Sony corporation is introducing an innovative and novel product in the market place. It has to position same in a creative manner so as to attract customer's attention. The business unit can position the product in a following manner.
- A product with dual benefit that caters to need for both smart phone and digital camera.
- It is a product that provides a status symbol to its owners.
- High class technology embedded in a device to make it suitable dual application.
The company can position its product before its launch in the manner that it tends to attract large consumer base. It can create a positioning on the basis of various features embedded in device, Moreover, the company's brand image and products quality offered should be materialized by way of effective positioning strategy (Smith, 2011).
The product developed will help in gaining competitive advantage for the business unit. A marketing plan provides a framework to carry marketing activities in the manner that product launch proves to be successful for the business unit.
Sustaining competitive advantage
Although the product designed by the business unit tends to provide competitive advantage within an industry. It is the responsibility of marketing manger to promote product in a way that it supports sustainable growth objectives of the business unit. In order to have sustainable competitive advantage the organization communicate product's core competencies in an efficient manner. The marketing plan should foremost focuses on effective communication developed between the company and customers (Boone, 2012). The business unit can promote and communicate additional features of device through proper advertising methods. The organization can advertise its products through print media, television and social media marketing. It should be ensured that all features and additional benefits offered by the device are communicated efficiently. Once consumer gets satisfied with product specification company can achieve competitive advantage for long term.
Effective distribution channels
Another important aspect that marketing plan includes is a distribution channel through which products can be marketed easily. It is the easy availability of product that motivates consumers for final purchase. The business unit can distribute its product through direct and indirect channels. In order to make product available directly to consumers the organization should sell it through online portals. The organization can provide directly to online selling sites such as flip kart, myntra and so on to distribute the product. In order to establish indirect channel the organization will take assistance from wholesalers and retailers. It should be ensured that device is available to mobile selling units within an economy (Ferrell, 2012). The seller should be taught and trained about its application, usage and specifications so as to promote selling of the product.
Pricing of the product
It is essential for the organization to fix an adequate price for the product to be launched. The business unit is majorly targeting high class and upper middle class section of the society. Although prices for the product does not matter for these class of the section, it should be price as per the industry competition and benefits offered (Freytag and Munksgaard, 2011). The business unit should price it product that it is competitive in nature and at same time suits to the requirement of target consumers.
It is the combination of 4 P's that helps in effectively launching and promoting products at market place.
Product: The product to be launched by the business unit is innovative in nature. The Sony corporation is launching device that is the combination of both the smart phone and digital camera. The product since is launched for the first time and is offering double benefit to the target group of consumers.
Price: The product although will be expensive due to additional benefits offered, it should be competitively priced (Drejer, 2000). The business unit should ensure that the prices charged should create certain value for its users.
Place: As per the business strategy product should be launched in all of its existing market. The company can plan initially to launch in Asian markets due to high consumer preferences. Gradually, the company can increase product's presence in more of the foreign markets.
Promotion: The product should be promoted by way of continuous advertisements and other promotional strategies. The business unit can advertise its product by way of effective audio-visual effects. It can also promoted through social media marketing that has gained huge significance in recent past. Moreover, the benefits such as in-built games and other applications should be provided so as to motivate customers for purchase of products.
Extended marketing mix
The elements of marketing mix are extended to 3 more Ps; namely physical evidence, people and process. In this case the customer will be not be in direct contact with the company; instead it is in contact with its service centre. The company should therefore design service centre in the manner that it provides sense of comfort to its customers. People offering product and handling queries at customer care should be trained effectively so as to satisfy the demand of all consumers (Buckley, 2002). The company since is dealing with manufacturing of products the process comes into existence post delivery. In case customers face issue with the product post purchase the queries should be handled effectively; this in turn results in creating customers satisfaction.
B2B Marketing strategy and International marketing
Business to Business marketing strategy differs from the Business to consumers marketing. In case of B2B marketing both of the business units tend to operate for purpose of earning high profits. In case of B2B marketing strategy the organization need not to advertise its products highly. Moreover, it is just through professional meeting that deals are finalized in Business to Business marketing.
International marketing helps in promoting the products in foreign markets by way of identifying the respective preferences (Gurau, 2008). The taste and preferences of consumers vary in different markets due to distinct culture and traditions. It is the responsibility of marketing manger to identify the preferences and promote products accordingly.
The report is an attempt made to determine marketing strategies through which Sony Corporation can launch its new product. The business should effectively plan all its product development and growth strategies. Moreover, all marketing mix elements should be defined efficiently in order to derive successful launch of the products.
- Barschel, H., 2007. B2B versus B2C Marketing – Major Differences Along the Supply Chain of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). GRIN Verlag.
- Boone, E, L., 2012. Contemporary Marketing. 16th ed. Cengage Learning.
- Buckley, P., 2002. International Business versus International Marketing. International Marketing Review.
- Craig, T, and Campbell, D., 2012. Organisations and the Business Environment. 2nd ed. Routledge.
- Dent, J., 2011. Distribution Channels: Understanding and Managing Channels to Market. Kogan Page Publishers.