Strategic marketing is the plan and roadmap of an organization which help to fit the marketing objectives with corporate vision. An organization’s ultimate target is to achieve competitive advantage in the market. Strategic marketing assists an organization to implement its marketing strategies to create positioning in the market so it becomes easy to achieve competitive advantage. TechCom Electra, an organization that produces electronic products like TV, refrigerators, CD and DVD players, micro wave, has come in the market and running its commercial operation for two years. The organization wants to develop a strategic marketing plan so it can achieve competitive advantage within few years. To develop strategic marketing plan for the organization it is essential to understand and assess the role of strategic marketing in an organization, analyze relationship between corporate strategies and marketing strategies. It is also important to understand that how marketing strategies be developed. Once the marketing being developed organization needs to understand how to carry out strategic marketing analysis.
It includes evaluation of both internal and external environment and success will derive by a proper integration between these two. Organization also needs to analyze strategic marketing decisions and choices. These include decisions and choices made at corporate level, assessing how these decisions influence marketing at business unit and functional level. To understand how a range of marketing strategies can be implanted to contribute to competitive advantage we need to identify a range of marketing strategies such as segmentation, targeting, branding, service marketing, pricing and distribution. We have to analyze marketing communication strategies also and these include MARCOM strategic process, setting objectives, media choices, the role of public relation. Finally we need to analyze the application and implementation of marketing strategies. These include applicability for organization and environment, implementation, management, implication.
1.0 Principles of Strategic Marketing
Marketing is a set of actions that allows an organization to plan and execute the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services in order to satisfy customer and organization goal. Strategic marketing is more structured approach to achieve the marketing objectives. It is a process by which an organization identifies its resources and opportunities to achieve sustainable competitive advantages. Strategic marketing aims at to achieve all basic and long-term goals of an organization and deal with the analysis and evaluation of the organization and its marketing objectives. 1.1 Role of Marketing Strategy
Like other organization, marketing is a separate but indispensable branch of our organization. It is the way by which we can communicate with our customer. A suitable marketing strategy helps us to have a better understanding about customers need and demand and indicates the way to satisfy them so that the organization can obtain competitive advantage in the market. We can enumerate the role of marketing strategy as follow.
It structures the future direction of the business strategically. It assists to increase revenue and managing organization effectively. It identifies and creates new opportunities for business.
It helps to take decision about customer by considering the voice of them. It helps to create and manage proper marketing structure.
1.1.1 Concept of Product and Customer
Product concept is the philosophy that to create a better market there is no requirement of any marketing expenditure; it is created by a good product. It is the belief of quality product. Before marketing we should look into product concept. Customer concept is the philosophy that concentrates on satisfying client needs. This concept is related with marketing objectives. As our strategy is to obtain competitive advantage we must have to achieve customer satisfaction. Without quality product it will impossible to achieve. So by focusing into customer concept, product concept is also accomplished.
Figure 1: The customer Concept
1.1.2 Resources and Implementation and monitoring control
To achieve the strategic marketing objectives it is important for the organization to utilize and implement its resources appropriately. Resources include both financial (monetary funds, debt/equity ratio, profit earnings capabilities etc.) and non-financial (human, plant, equipment, raw material, technology etc.). It is also important to establish a vigorous controlling and monitoring system. This helps to minimize the chance of wastes and losses and also enhance the degree of work.
1.2 Corporate Strategy and Marketing Strategy
The main objective of organization is to attain sustainable competitive advantage in the market. To achieve objective it has developed a broad strategy and there are other department which has also developed their own strategy. A suitable marketing strategy is the easiest way to attain corporate objective. Marketing strategy emphasizes on the customers more who are the value creators of the organization. The more value will be created the more competitive advantage is achieved. We can relate our corporate strategy with marketing strategy as follow.
Invest best resources
Offer best product
Concentrate on strengthening position
Offer best product
Not Especially Attractive Market
Invest best resources
Continuing earning and holding position
Not Especially Attractive Market
Concentrate on strengthening position
Concentrate on product
Corporate Social Responsibilities and Marketing: Now a day almost every organization is engaging in CSRs activities. Strategic marketing is one of the ways to participate in CSRs activities. Strategic marketing takes into account the customers share and views. It recommends to providing quality goods and services along with customer services in the society which are major CSR of every business. If our organization can implement its marketing strategy properly it will achieve its both strategic objectives and CSR’s.
1.3 Developing a Marketing Strategy
To develop a marketing strategy for our organization we need to go through a series of steps. It is the prime task to analyze environment. Environment plays a significant role for developing any strategy. By analyzing environment we need to understand that to what extent the environment is in our control. Then we need to set some objectives which will be achieved. These objectives may include which product to be delivered, where and how to be delivered, and at what price it will be delivered so that the customers become satisfied. It is the characteristic of an excellent strategy to have the option to change. This feature of a strategy adds more value to the quality of the strategy.
Figure 2: Process of Marketing Strategy Development
2.0 Carry out Strategic Marketing Analysis
Earlier it said that the toughest task of setting a strategy is to analyze the environment. We know that the environment can be classified as internal and external according to the nature of the factors. The way of analysis is
explained below. 2.1 Internal Analysis
Internal environmental factors of an organization include the following forces. Strategy and Structures
Processes and Systems
These internal factors of an organization can be under control or not. The more efficiently an organization can manage its internal environmental factors the more strength and opportunities are created for the organization. As these factors are within the organization, it is easy to identify and evaluate. The identification and evaluation process can be done by proper internal investigation and monitoring.
2.2 External Analysis
External factors are the outside factors that are not under the control of the organization. The degree of influence of this environment has a severe impact in the operation of the organization. It is important for the organization to cope up with the external environmental factors. External factors of environment can be classified into two broad categories. Micro Environment
Customers, Competitors, Suppliers, Intermediaries
Economic Factors, Social and Cultural Factors, Political and Legal Factors, Technological Factors Organization can manage the micro environment to some extent but any changes of macro element of external environment may have positive or negative effects. The external environment can be analyzed by following approach.
Figure 3: Approaches to External Environment Analysis
2.3 Integration of Internal and External Environmental Factors Both the internal and external environmental factors are needed to be emphasized evenly. The best way is to integrate between them. The best way of integration is SOWT analysis; acronym of strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats. By using SOWT analysis an organization can identify itsstrengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats. The internal environmental factors are strengths and weaknesses for an organization and opportunities and threats arise from the external factors influence.
Figure 4: SWOT Analysis
SWOT analysis suggests us to focus on our strengths, shore up our weaknesses, capitalize on our opportunities and recognize our threats.
3.0 Analyze Strategic Marketing Decision
The key aspect of analyzing strategic marketing decision is to understand the corporate vision and mission. Strategy is the art of achieving the goals by means of implementation of some policies. It is often referred as the roadmap, by which organization plow towards vision. 3.1 Corporate Decision
Vision is the outline of what an organization wants to be. It concentrates on the future and a source of inspiration. Our organization’s vision is to be a leading organization of delivering sustainable value to all stakeholders. Organization should take some decisions at corporate level about strategic marketing plan. Decision about Market
Who are existing and potential customers?
What is happening in the world?
Who are the main competitors?
How organizational strengths be applied to be successful in the market Decision about the Company
What to do to be best?
What are the capabilities of our company?
What are resources of our company and how to be utilized?
Who will perform the resource management activities?
Decision about Competition
How are we different from our competitors?
What are the market conditions of our business?
What are there for our products and services?
3.1.1 Porter Generic Strategies
Michael E. Porter has described three general types of strategies to achieve and maintain competitive advantage. The three strategies can be defined along two dimensions: Strategic Scope and Strategic Strength. Strategic scope is a dimension that arises from the side of demand and suggests the organization to focus at the size of the market we wan to target. On the other hand strategic strength is a dimension that arises from supply side and suggests the organization to focus at the core competence of the firm. Porter identified two competencies; Product Differentiation and Product Cost Efficiency.
Figure 5: Porter Generic Strategies
3.1.2 Ansoff Matrix
Another strategic marketing tool that helps us to determine product and growth strategy is Ansoff Matrix. This matrix suggests us that whether we should focus to grow in existing or new market and with existing or new product.
Figure 6: Ansoff Matrix
Market Penetration is the strategy of growth by means of focus in existing market with existing product. When organization seeks to increase its share of current market products, to be dominance in the market this strategy can
be applied. It needs to have good information about competitors and customer needs. Market Development is the strategy of growth by means of sell organization existing product to a new market. It is more risky than market penetration because to implement this strategy it needs to target new customers, create new distribution channel, pricing policy to attract customers. Product Development is the strategy of growth by means of sell organization new product to its existing market. This strategy is suitable for organization where customer needs differentiated product in the market. To implement this strategy organization needs to have a strong capability in research and development and innovation. Diversification is the most risky strategy of growth by means of sell a new product to a new market. It requires a clear idea about market and customer needs and risk assessment procedure. If the organization can balance between risk and reward diversification may highly rewarding for the organization
3.2 Business Unit and Functional Level
Organization engages in marketing analysis, planning implementation and control to identify the best strategies and mix so that it can be put into action. Marketing plan includes executive summary, current marketing situation, threats, opportunities, objectives and issues, marketing strategies, action programs, budget and controls. The responsibility of marketing implementation lies on marketing department manager. We can organize our marketing department in modern way that will include the following things. Functional Marketing Organization
Product Management Organization
Market Management Organization
Market Management Organizations carry out marketing control, operating control, and strategic control. They determine marketing opportunities and problems and recommend short-run and long-run action to improve overall performance by using marketing audit.
3.3 Competitive Positioning
The main objective of strategic marketing is to achieve competitive
positioning which is the process by which our organization tries to create an image or identity in the customer’s mind for its product, brand or organization. We can achieve competitive positioning by the way of brand positioning process and product positioning process. Brand Positioning Process: Effective brand positioning depends on identification of a brand’s uniqueness.
Figure 7: Brand Positioning Process
Product Positioning Process: Effective product positioning process depends on quality of the organization.
Figure 8: Product Positioning Process
4.0 Implementation of Marketing Strategy to Contribute to Competitive Advantage We develop marketing strategy to contribute to competitive advantage. Marketing strategies is designed such a way so that marketing objectives are reached and market needs are filled. These strategies are dynamic and interactive which involve the environmental factors analysis to fit between marketing objectives with organization’s vision. 4.1 Marketing Strategies
Strategic marketing plan can be constructed by identifying business alternatives, establishing challenging goals, determining the optimal marketing mix to attain these goals and detail implementation. The final step of a marketing strategy is to create a monitoring process to have a defense against any contingencies arise in the implementation of plan. Market Segmentation: It is the idea of dividing the whole market into subsets of customers who have common need. Market is segmented in terms of age and gender, size of income, choice of product or other criteria. The most popular basis of market segmenting is as follow. Segment market in terms of nations, states, regions, countries, cities is geographic segmentation. This type of segmentation helps us to take decision about in which area we are to market our goods and services. Segment market in terms of group based variables like age and gender, race and religion, education,
family size, occupation and income is known as demographic segmentation. Demographic segmentation suggests us to whom we are to provide goods and services for their satisfaction. Psychographic segmentation segments the market in terms of customer’s lifestyle, values and social class. It is the science that uses both psychology and demographic characteristics of the customer. Behavioral segmentation is the way of segmenting market in terms of customer’s knowledge of product, attitude towards product and response to a product. Targeting: In marketing strategy targeting means select the segmented area to goods and services to be delivered. It is very important because the appropriate targeting helps organization to increase its value where incorrect targeting may result to a great loss for the organization. Positioning: In marketing positioning is a process by which an organization tries to create an identity or image about the product or organization in customer mind. Positioning may achieve by providing benefits to the customers, creating self image enhancement, ego identification, affective fulfillment. Service Marketing: Services are economic activities that are offered by one party to other. Service marketing is a field of marketing which refers to both business to customer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) including marketing of services such as telecommunication, financial and all types of hospitality services, professional services. Pricing Strategy: Pricing is the most important element in marketing strategy because it is only marketing mix that generates revenue for the organization. Price should be fixed such a way so that it is reflected by supply and demand. Pricing should take into account fixed and variable cost, organization’ objectives, competition, proposed positioning strategies and willingness to pay off target group.
Branding Strategies:Branding is the process by which an organization differentiates its goods and services name, term, sign, combination from competitors intended to identify. For branding our goods and services we will go through the following process.
Figure 9: Branding Strategy
Distribution Strategy: This strategy refers to how organization distributes
its products and services to the end user. The organization must distribute its product at right time in at the right place to the ultimate users. It is important for the organization to develop an effective and efficient distribution channel so that the organization can fulfill the demand of the customer and maximize values.
Figure 10: Distribution Strategies
E-marketing: Now it is the age of internet and e-marketing. Organization needs to develop a website so that customer can make order online. It will help the organization to increase turnover. Organization also needs to ensure that they will be able to collect money on internet sales.
4.2 Marketing Communication
Marketing Communication (MARCOM), the promotion part of marketing mix, means communicate with the market by using related media. Those who practice communicating activities like advertizing, branding, graphic design, packaging, publicity, promotion are referred as marketing communicators. Communication is to be made in order to satisfy customer. 4Ps of marketing mix so that converted to 4Cs. Not Product, But Consumer: We have to understand the consumer wants and needs and then design product in such a way so that it matches to the consumer. Not Price, But Cost: We need to understand the cost of consumer to satisfy their wants and then fix price for the product. Not Place, But Convenience: We design our distribution system such away so that consumer gets easy access to make transaction with available products. Not Promotion, But Communication: We need to adopt promotional activities of our goods and services so that the customer can make a position in the organization and organization considers their voices.
4.3 Application and Implementation of Marketing Strategies
Implementation of marketing strategy involves putting the marketing design for execution and schedule into development. We need organization employee to gather resources to execute marketing strategies. The policies and procedures of strategic marketing transform into implementation phase such as marketing, information and production systems, human resources, research
and development. Necessary steps for implementation should be taken at the top level and it needs to communicate effectively. A strategic marketing plan acts as a map that identifies the key ingredients to direct organization performance. According to this strategic plan the following phase of implementation are identified. Strategic plan is finalized by taking input from all invested parties. For each group there are separate plan.
A tracking system is established for monitoring the strategy. A performance and reward system is established.
This plan is for the entire organization.
Establish a method of reporting system by calling meeting at a regular interval of time. There may be some sort of mistakes in the plan which can create some problems in implementation of strategies. These may include lack of ownership and reliable communication, non-specific and insubstantial plan. The problems need to be handled carefully in order to successful implementation of marketing strategy.
Figure 11: The Relationship between Analysis, Planning, Implementation and Control 5.0 Conclusion
The marketing strategy developed for TechCom Electra aims at to assist the organzation in achieving competitive advantage within few years. It is developed in lies with the corporate vision and fitted with the corporate strategies. While developing it, the environmental factors both internal and external are analyzed and the opportunistic and threat factors are identified. The whole market is segmented in best possibble ways so that the most value creator customer can be targeted. The strategies also include the pricing and distribution system so that the organization can positioning in the market quickly. It also includes the best communication way to the customers and the mediators. The most challenging part of strategic marketing is to implement it in practically. In this development of marketing strategies, it is suggested to th e organization that how it can be implemented. There may some drawbacks which are also identified. The whole marketing strategies that developed fo TechCom Electra become successful if is is understand and implemented properly.it will assist the
organaization to become market leader.
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