Sample Essay on Evaluation of company situation and marketing strategy

Evaluation of company situation and marketing strategy

Executive summary

This paper evaluates the situation and marketing strategy of Company A that operates in the Markstrat world. The company sells two products, SAMA and SALT in the Sonite market. To evaluate the situation of the company, the paper carries out an analysis of the customers, industry, competitors, internal and distribution aspects.  The SWOT analysis described in the paper is also useful in showing the situation of the company. Using the BCG matrix, the paper explains the product portfolio, making the company situation easier to understand. The marketing strategy of Company A is determined by the target market and product positioning and marketing objectives. The paper concludes by highlighting the methods that can be applied in implementing the marketing strategies using the marketing mix.

Introduction

Stiff competition characterizes the business environment in the modern days, making it necessary for companies to formulate and implement marketing strategies that are way better than the competitors’. To design the best marketing strategies, the marketers have to be fully aware of the situation of the company in terms of strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats within the business environment. This entails carrying out both internal and external analysis of the environment within which the business operates. It is crucial to ensure that the company analysis is accurate so as to define the best marketing strategies. To come up with the best situational analysis, it is important to consider factors such as the competitors, customers, distributors, employees, management and the economic climate of the industry.

Formulating marketing strategies without implementing them is meaningless because they do not serve the intended purpose. It is therefore important to define the most suitable tactics to apply the marketing mix elements for the benefit of the company. The company’s marketing strategies must also be consistent with the company’s objectives that are defined by its mission and vision. For company A to sell SAMA and SALT in the Sonite market, it requires to define sound marketing strategies that make it possible to have the largest market share. The features of the two products are fixed thus the marketing strategies may not focus much on the product development in the company. Instead, the company has to look into other areas that can improve its performance such as product positioning.

The company’s mission

A company’s mission is important in communicating the purpose of the company to the outsiders including the potential investors and customers. The mission for Company A is to increase the wealth of the company through revenue generated from the sale of its main products, SAMA and SALT. An increase in the company’s wealth will increase the wealth of the shareholders thus resulting to a positive image for the company that is likely to increase the market share. The high number of customers further increase the amount of revenue collected from sales.

The company objectives and SBU objectives

In formulating the objectives of company A, one must consider the markets and the products in question. The Sonite market deals with products that have been around for some thus are well established.  This implies that the brand of SAMA and SALT products sold on the Sonite market is popular thus easily noticeable to the customers. The Vodite market on the other hand deals with products that are quite new in the market thus there is need for the company to carry out extensive marketing campaign. For company A, the main objectives are centered on maximizing the sales of SAMA and SALT in the Sonite market so as to generate adequate income to penetrate the Vodite market. The first objective of the company would be to strengthen brand awareness among the Buffs and Professionals market segment, which has the least market share compared to the other target markets. The company aims at increasing the current market share from 13.5% to 19.98%, which is the industry’s average. This is likely to increase its sales revenue from the current 56801 to 84406, which is the average sales revenue in the Sonite market. This can be attained within six months of intensive marketing campaign. The company also aims at maximizing the amount of revenue generated from Singles, its largest market segment. This can be achieved by placing the products in the specialty stores and departmental stores where the clients have a 39% probability of shopping. Within six months, the company can collect sales data before the aggressive marketing and after to see if there is any increase in sales.  The company also aims at increasing the awareness of the products’ use to enhance the purchase intentions of the target market, especially the HiEarners and Professionals, who have the least purchase intentions. It is expected that the purchase intentions of the two customer groups will increase from 0.1% and 0.3% respectively to 0.5% and 0.6% for the HiEarners and Professionals within three months.

The SBU objectives of company A are aimed at enhancing the growth of the company through increased sales volume. The company aims at positioning its products in the specialty stores, where most of the target customers shop. The company also aims at increasing the return on investments by 0.25 from the current 0.75 so as to attract more investors and increase the market share of the products in the Sonite market, making it easy to penetrate the Vodite market in future. The company aims at achieving the largest market share through price and quality leadership.

Situation analysis

Customer analysis

The company has five major groups of customers, each with distinct features and needs. The characteristics of the customers play a major role in defining the best marketing strategies to employ to attract new customers while retaining the existing ones. The Buffs are among the primary customers who have very little purchase intentions. To capture the attention of the customers, one must convince them that they really need the products in question. Most of these customers shop at the specialty stores thus it is wise to position the products at the stores. The other group of customers is the Singles who show a high demand for SAMA product but they do not purchase the SALT as much. The brand awareness in this customer group is very indicating that their buying behavior is influenced by other factors apart from brand awareness.             Professionals is the other customer group that shows low brand awareness relative to other customers, indicating the need to employ more promotional strategies targeting the customers. The customers have the lowest purchase intentions compared to the other customer groups. They mostly shop at specialty stores. The other customer group is the HiEarners, who mostly shop at the departmental stores and show very little brand awareness for SAMA product in the market, indicating the need for marketers to promote the products further. There is also another category of customers known as others, who have the highest purchase intentions relative to other customers. They also have the highest brand awareness for the two products of the company.

Industry analysis

The company operates in an industry with four more companies an indication that there is competition in the industry. In terms of the sales revenue, company A is not performing well as it is only able to generate $ 38,177 annually, which is the second least amount in the industry. The company’s revenue is slam compared to the other companies in the industry despite the fact that it has the highest advertising expenditure. The high advertising expenditure may be attributed to the little market research that the company carries out.  The amount of retail sales that company A achieves is also little compared to the other companies, except company I.

Competitors’ analysis

The company operates in a highly competitive industry with four competitors namely company E, I, O and U. Company E generates the highest amount of retail sales as well as sales revenue, despite incurring the highest cost of goods sold. The company also incurs the highest costs in advertising expenditure and this explains the high sales revenue it generates. Company I generates the least sales revenue and amount of retail sales but it also incurs the least in terms of cost of goods sold. The amount of revenue generated by the companies indicates an evenly distributed market share among the competitors since their earnings range within the same range. Company O and U are most likely to be more aggressive in their marketing strategies due to the fact that they have invested heavily on market research studies.

Distribution analysis

For the products to reach the target market, it is important to ensure effective distribution channels are put in place. The convenience by which the customers access the products influences their buying behavior and it is highly dependent on the distribution channels. Company A can use three major outlets to sell its products, that is, the specialty stores, departmental stores and mass merchandize. The most effective mode generating high numbers of sales volume for SAMA product is the departmental stores while SALT is best sold through specialty stores. With regard to the convenience of marketing channels, the mass merchandise is the best for the SAMA products while SALT is best distributed through specialty stores.

Internal analysis

The company has a current return on investment value of 0.75, the lowest in the market. Company A also has one of the least market shares in the Sonite market.

Analysis

SWOT analysis

The table below shows the SWOT analysis of the company

Strengths

  1. Strong brand awareness
  2. High purchase intentions by the main target market
  3. Accurate market research
Weaknesses

  1. Low rate of return on investments
  2. Limited market share
  3. High advertising expenditure
Opportunities

  1. Large number of customers who shop at the specialty stores
  2. Increased market share from the market research
  3. Increased market share due to marketing activities such as advertising
  4. Established outlets in the market
Threats

  1. Stiff competition from firm such as E that have large market share
  2. Uncertainty in the economic climate
  3. Uncertainty of the competitor’s actions

 

Company A can use its SWOT analysis to make the most out of the market. Among the company’s strengths is the strong brand awareness by the target market especially the Singles who have high purchase intentions. The company can use the outcomes of the market research to develop new markets and generate more sales revenue from the existing customers. Through the market research it is able to identify the factors that may lead to success of the company.  The company is faced with a lot of weaknesses that may weaken its value with time. Having the lowest rate of return on investments is unhealthy for the business in terms shareholder’s wealth. The investors may start withdrawing their resources from the company for fear that the company may run bankrupt. The other weakness is its limited market share in the company is a threat to its success because most consumers buy from the competing firms. The high advertising expenditure is also a weakness presented to the company.

The threats faced by the company mainly relate to competitors such as Company E, which has a large market hare thus able to generate more revenue from retail sales. The economic situation of the business environment may change due to factors such as inflation and this is likely to adversely affect the success of the company due to low aggregate demand. The actions of the competitors in response to the market pressure may be too aggressive for the company to keep up.  However, despite the weaknesses and threats faced by the company, it has opportunities that it can use to make the current situation better. Most of the Buff customers shop more at the specialty stores thus presenting the company with an opportunity to sell more of its products by making sure they are in the stores. The company also has well established markets where it can distribute its products including the specialty stores, departmental stores and mass merchandise. Through the channels, it is easier to make it products accessible to the customers.

 

Portfolio analysis

 

  High market share Low market share
High market growth Star Question mark
Low market growth Cash cow dogs

 

From the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix above, it is possible to understand the contribution of SAMA and SALT to the company’s revenue and define the best strategies to improve the market. SAMA product is both a cash cow and a star. It is star due to the high potential to grow and its large market share.  It is a cash cow because the company does not require investing highly to make the brand known since its brand awareness among the Singles is high. This group of customers have high intentions of shopping thus it is likely that the company will generate high revenue from its sale. SALT product can said to be a question mark due to its high market growth and low market share. It can also be categorized as a dog due to its low brand awareness that may affect its performance in future. Even if the company withdrew the product from the market, it would not suffer major loss.

Marketing objectives

Based on the external and internal analysis, Company A needs to formulate effective marketing strategies that are specific to certain areas and measurable so as to determine their effectiveness. The marketing objectives must also be achievable and realistic based on the available resources, both financial and non-financial. To achieve the best marketing objectives results, it is important to set them within a specified period of time. For Company A to be successful in its activities it must focus on attaining a high market share. This can be done through carrying out product promotion campaigns, especially for SALT products among the Buffs and Professionals who are not familiar with the products. The amount of money used in the campaign should be minimal so as to achieve the company objective in the most efficient way.

The campaign should be carried out for three months after which the sales volume should be compared with the initial sales to determine if the campaign was successful. This is a specific objective because it addresses a particular issue of market share. It is within a specified period and the results are measurable through comparing the difference in market share before and after the campaign. It is attainable because other companies have used the strategy in the past and succeeded.  The other marketing objective that the company can use relates to the channels of distribution. The products should be availed at the specialty stores specifically targeting the professionals whose shopping habits show their high preference for the stores. The professionals are not very well aware of the company brands especially SAMA thus it should be placed in the stores at a convenient place to target the customers. The effectiveness of this marketing objective should be assessed by carrying out a market research to show the brand awareness of SAMA among the professionals after a period of six months. This is a SMART objective because it is set to be achieved within a specified time limit and it aims at solving the issue of limited market share. It is measurable through qualitative and quantitative research and achievable as well.

Marketing strategy

Target market

The company ought to formulate sound marketing strategies with regard to the target market so as to enlarge its market share. All the four major target markets have unique characteristics that influence their customer experience and buying behavior. To increase the amount of revenue generated from the buffs, the company may need to create more brand awareness among the customers through activities such as advertising.  The buffs are not much concerned about convenience if the products but the ability of the products to perform. The fact that they are not a high-income population indicates that pricing the products cheaply may appeal to them. The company can do this by selling smaller quantities of the products so that they are affordable. To encourage the existing loyal customers such as the singles, the company may resort to giving them discounts based on the frequency of the customers. The singles are price sensitive thus pricing the products too high may lead to loss of this market share.  To attract attention of the professionals, the company may use product promotion methods such as advertising through bill boards.

The buying behavior of these consumers is influenced by the quality of the products because they purchase them both for personal and professional use. The company must therefore ensure that the products are of high quality by encouraging the customers to give feedback about their experience with the products. The HiEarners are the other group of customers that the company needs to sell its products to. The HiEarners have a high level of income thus marketing strategies related to price may not be effective because they are not sensitive to prices. Similar to the professionals, the HiEarners demand high quality products thus it is the duty of the company to ensure that the customer experience derived from the products will exceed the consumer’s expectations. The group of customers categorized as others demand low priced products that are convenient to find thus the company may reach the target market through distributing low priced goods to the mass merchandise where the customers shop.

Product positioning

The marketing strategy is meant to make a company’s products sell more by creating a brand that is stronger than the competitors’.  To achieve this, Company A should carry out market campaigns and promotions that particularly emphasize the special features of SAMA and SALT that one cannot find in similar products offered by other companies. The company should set aside a considerable amount of money to be used in the marketing activities. Company A must carry out a market research first to identify the most desirable attributes of the products that the customers like. This should form the basis of the marketing campaign thus achieving the objecting of creating a stronger brand name than the competing firms. The company should also consider the suitability of the communication channels so as to select the channel that appeals to the largest number of customers. The other factor to consider in product positioning is the competitive pressure. The company should use the marketing channels that the competitors use since they target the same market.

Marketing implementation

Regardless of the quality of the marketing strategies that a company may have, the failure to implement them effectively affects its performance negatively. The ability of accompany to use the available resources to implement the marketing strategies guarantees its success. Marketing strategies are defined within the concept of marketing mix that includes the product, price, sales force and advertising. One of the attributes that attract the HiEarners and professional customers in the company is product quality. It is thus important for the company to ensure that it offers products with the highest quality compared to the competitors. This is also a way of creating a strong brand that is identified by high quality. The buffs and the singles are most attracted by products that are lowly-priced. This implies that the company should avail lower priced products to these market segments but it does not imply that quality should be compromised. The company should change the quantities available rather than quality.

The sales force of the company must be efficient in their work as their activities influence the level of demand of the company’s products. They should sell the products and ask for feedback from the customers to identify the areas that may need improvement. The role of advertising is also important in marketing the products since it is through the adverts that most customers are likely to know about the products. The company should select the advertising channel wisely bearing in mind the target market. The content of the adverts should focus on the most important customer needs.