HI6006 Competitive Strategy Editing Service
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When an organisation devises aEstablish marketing strategy, it is likely to happen that, the organisation needs to attain clarity in their understanding. This understanding refers to the fact that, the organisation needs to attain a clear understanding regarding the target audience, and needs to understand the extent to which their definite products will be acceptable to that particular target audience. Once the organisation is able to certtingify the target audience, they will be able to develop an appropriation towards pricing and promotionalbusiness strategiesthat will be beneficial for the organisation. Furthermore, the business organisations also need to consider appropriate locations, where they will be able to conduct the business process.
On the other hand, it can also be said that, when an organisation intends to devise effective marketing strategies, it has been found that, the organisations need to prepare a proper marketing mix, which will help them to analyse the key facets, which are essential for conducting business procedures. A marketing mix refers to the combination and promulgation of certain factors, which can be predominantly controlled by a definite company in order to influence consumers to purchase their products.
In order to assess the necessity of marketing mix and its components, the Australian retail company Woolworths has been chosen to conduct the business research. Thus, the primary objective of this study is to locate the key factors that are responsible for the formulation of marketing mix. The study will also locate the environmental factors, which will be beneficial for the propagation of essentiality of a marketing mix.
1. Marketing of the products and services at Woolworths
Woolworths Supermarkets is one of the leading grocery stores in Australia. It is a grocery store chain, which is owned by Woolworths Limited. Alongside, it has been found that, the Coles Supermarkets and Woolworths formed a near duopoly of Australian supermarkets, both of which was founded in the year 1924; these two account together about 80% of the Australian market. The company predominantly is a specialist in selling groceries, which are namely fruits, vegetables, meat along with packaged food and many more. Apart from grocery items, Woolworths also sells health and beauty products, DVD, household products, pet and baby products along with stationery items. At present, the company operates over more than 1000 stores across Australia. Out of these 1000 stores, 968 supermarkets and over 19 stores are carrying the same logo (www.woolworths.com.au, 2017).
Thus, in order to understand the marketing principles that are being followed by the organisation are as follows:
1. Customer priority: in order to attain customer priority, there are certain definite objectives, which are supposedly propagated by the organisation, which are as follows:
2. Working hard for the customers:the organisation has formulated the aspect of the fact that, they need to work hard for the customers in order to attain customer satisfaction.
3. Innovation: with the implementation of innovative ideas, it has become easier for the people of the organisation to achieve the motives that are being propagated by them (www.woolworthsgroup.com.au, 2017).
It is to be noted that, while the customers opt for choosing an effective place to shop grocery, it is important for them to consider the following points while buying, which are as follows:
1. Food safety standards
2. Good value for money products
3. Low prices
4. Convenience in trading hours
5. Cleanliness and hygiene
6. Good range of fruits and vegetables
Thus, it can be said that, in order to attain these variables, it is essential to look at the key identification of the products and services that are provided by Woolworths, which are as follows:
After an initial analysis and assessment on Woolworths, it has been found that, over 95% of the fresh fruits and vegetables are grown in Australia, which are sold at the grocery store. The other fresh supply of fruits, vegetables and meat comes from hundreds of suppliers across the country.
Furthermore, it has been found that, the company abides by the voluntary codes of conduct in relation with the supplier trading relationships. Woolworths is an inaugural member of the Produce and Grocery Industry Code of Conduct. The primary purpose of this code of conduct is to aim at the promotion of fair trading practices in order to build better and healthy business relationships (library.corporateir.net, 2017).
On the other hand, it has also been observed that, since Woolworths is a listed company, it releases fully audited and accounts, which are publicly available. The sales, profit and gross margins of the company are calculated at an interval of six months and can be viewed in their annual reports. Woolworths Limited makes around five cents in the dollar before paying the interests and taxes. The company’s Net Operating Profit is about three cents in the dollars (library.corporateir.net, 2017).
Psychological conditioning:the company has come up with a new marketing strategy, which has been named “psychological conditioning” by the organisation.It refers to a new ‘round numbers’ pricing strategy, which is, as propagated by the organisation will facilitate the customers. However, the entire concept is more than a psychological ploy to a definite retail expert, when they assess the facets of the organisational pricing policy. The grocery company announced that is intending to move the prices of more than 20,000 products to round dollars and no cents.
Steve Donohue, the Director of buying and merchandise has declared the fact that, they will increase the simplicity by making it convenient for the customers to compare prices and perform mental arithmetic (www.thenewdaily.com.au, 2017). Furthermore, Dr. Gary Mortimer, a retail expert stated the fact that the real intention behind introducing this policy is to convince the customers about the fact that they are paying less to the company (www.woolworths.com.au, 2017).
a. Methods of promotion:
The methods of promotion, which are predominantly used by Woolworths, are prevalent by the use of social media that is being used by them.With the help of social media interactions, the company has effectively resulted in theemerging popularity of the grocery company. On the other hand, they also provide proper advertisements in the newspapers in order to gather more attraction towards their company (www.newsmediaworks.com.au, 2017).
b. Customer base:
Since Woolworths is agrocery store, thus, it is quite evident that, the customer base of the retail company is very high. Furthermore, it can also be said that, in order to attain the maximum customer base, the organisation needs to solely focus on the ways by which they can attain the most of customers (McCulloch, 2016).
c. Distribution channel:
The company operates with the help of definite Distribution Centers, Primary Freight and the Packaging and barcode in order to ensure smooth and convenient service between the Trade partners and their Stores.
d. Customer service level provided:
The first and foremost priority of the grocery company, is to provide the best level of customer service. This is because; the customers are the backbone of the organisation, the more the organisation is able to attract the customers, the more profits the organisation will attain.
The predominant elements of marketing mix tend to influence each other. They intend to make up business plan for the tenets of a definite organisation in order to handle the business activities with accuracy and perfection. Furthermore, it can also be said that, if the marketing mix elements are not implemented properly, it might lead to disastrous results, and the recovery of the organisation will take a lot of time. Thus, it can be propagated that, the marketing mix needs to have an extensive understanding in order to conduct a proper market research and proper consultation with several people, from the definite usage of trade in order to manufacture with others. Therefore, it can be estimated that, marketing mix plays an important role in the promulgation of the business strategies, which needs proper consideration and formulation(Huang& Sarigöllü, 2014). In the context of customer base, it can be said that, the marketing mix will extensively analyse the key factors and facets that are essential for the formulation of the business processes, which will be beneficial for the retail organisation.
In order to understand the environmental factors and the potential impact of the marketing mix of Woolworths, it is important to analyse the facets of the organisation with PESTLE analysis, which are as follows:
1. Political:the political environment of a definite country is closely linked with the predominant performance of the organisation along with the retail companies. In thecontext ofWoolworths, it can be stated that, the political condition of Australia highly shapes the business environment of the organisation, which tends to provide the organisation with convenient growth opportunities. Furthermore, business sector of the retail company also grows as an outcome of political stability. This is due to the fact that, the foreign investors and the trading partners of the retail company tends to show interest in carrying the predominant business activities of the grocery store (Bartels, 2016).
2. Economic:the predominant economic factors of the retail organisation include recession and unemployment. With over 1000 stores across the glove, the organisation is likely to achieve a huge amount of profit. However, the problems of unemployment prevail, as due to lack of employees, the retail stores will not be able to flourish (Decker et al. 2014).
3. Social:the customers are the foremost priority for Woolworths. Thus, it is essential for the organisation to identify the predominant needs and desires of their customers and produce products in accordance with it. Furthermore, the organisation has been able to identify the leading trends of the change in the perceptions of the eating habits of the people. Thus, the people nowadays are more inclined into healthy food habits. Therefore, it is the duty of the organisational authority to look into the changing trends of the needs and desires of the people (Jain, 2015).
4. Technological:the technological factors include the development of improved facilities in order to meet up with the demands of the customers. With the implementation of developed technological equipments, the organisation will be able to analyse the key facets that are associated with the business process of the organisation. One of the notable technological innovations that the organisation has invented is the aspect of self-checkout, where the customers are required to look for their requirements on their own. However, the aspect of self-checkout brought a negative response within the minds and perceptions of the customers. Thus, it is important for the organisation to properly link the technology with the preferences and needs of their valuable customers (Aithal, 2016).
Figure: PEST analysis of Woolworth
(Source: created by the author)
Mission statement:improvement of stock turns and optimisation of efficiency of network for ensuring the customers is the primary objective of Woolworths Limited (www.woolworths.com.au, 2017).
Vision statement:the mission statement of the retail organisation states the fact that, it intends to be at the heart of the community and needs to be best loved retail store for home, kids and family leisure (www.woolworths.com.au, 2017).
Thus, after assessing the mission and vision statement of the retail organisation, it can be well presumed that, it is essential to identify the customer priorities preferences and needs of them. The foremost priority of customers from a retail store is the food quality. With the health consciousness within the minds of the people increasing, it can be observed that, the organisation needs to be more alert about the preferences of the customers, about food. Furthermore, it can also be said that, with the maintenance of proper hygiene and cleanliness, the organisation can attract more customers. Since most of the supply of fruits and vegetables are grown in Australia itself, the organisation has been successfully producing fresh products (Zalengera et al. 2014).
8. Considering product, pricing, distribution channels, promotional activities and service variations
1. Product:As Woolworth is the leading company belonging to Australian Retailers, this company provides all kinds of grocery items as the part of their strategy based on marketing mix. Their product range varies from fruits, meats, vegetables and packaged products. Woolworths has also started selling DVDs, Stationary items, and magazines. With each of the categories, they provide large varieties of choices regarding international cuisine, brand, and local produce (Berthon, Pitt, Plangger & Shapiro, 2012).
2. Price:This company attempts at maintaining a similar or slightly higher prices than the other companies maintain offer their customers working in the same industry. It has been found that the chosen company offers varieties of premium brands in the food chain; the pricing list is kept competitive in the market of food and retail industry. In addition, Woolworths serve their consumer segment that prefers the low prices along with premium prices.
3. Distribution channel:The supply chain of the chosen company can operate centers of distribution, Primary Freight along with packaging and requirements of Barcode for ensuring a smooth service between the stores of the chosen company and Trade partners (Ferrell & Hartline, 2012). According to a finding, it has been found that more than 75% of every grocery dollar in Australia has been spending in the chosen company. In addition, at the same time, Coles have indicated that Coles and Woolworths have controlled almost all the grocery retail-based distribution channels of Australia, making the manufacturers of grocery having no other choice, however, beg Woolworths along with Coles for selling their products.
4. Promotional Activities:Promotions have always been given an importance and preferences by Woolworths Company. This company has constantly been bringing innovation in their promotional activities. The company offers different loyalty schemes for their customers, which include discounts in the petrol pump.
5. Service Variations:Woolworths provides specific features within their service, which is a set out within the terms of services that can apply to their offers and services (Perreault Jr, Cannon & McCarthy, 2013). This company can provide the service using the network of Mobile; they often provide their services to the standards that are required by the law including all required under the guarantees of the consumer in the consumer law of Australia.
For analysing an effective marketing mix of Woolworths, it is important to evaluate the current market trends in the Australian Food and retail industry. According to the situation of Woolworths, they need to implement the 7Ps' of marketing mix within their marketing mix, so that they need to start few new services such as "everyday reward cards", recognition of opportunity and understanding the demands of their customers. Their 7Ps of the Establish marketing mix is given there. They need to offer a wide range of products that can cater to many groceries along with food needs of their potential customers (Baker, 2014). This company should add options for diverse food such as healthy food, staples, cultural food, occasional food, convenience food and many others. They need to include exclusive brand. They need to bring few changes within their pricing strategy, as they need to be customer-centric, thus they should compromise with their price range of their products. They must sell few products as well, which will be of lower price as compared to other grocery companies, they can do it occasionally (Eggers, Hansen & Davis, 2012).
Metrics based on marketing performance or the KPIs (Key Performance Indicator) can be useful not only for the marketing professionals of the chosen company, however, this can be beneficial for the non-marketing executives (Armstrong, Kotler, Harker & Brennan, 2015). In addition, from the CEO to the VP (Vice-President) of Woolworths along with the senior management need to know the KPIs for gauging that how the marketing activities along with spending affect the bottom line of this company. Furthermore, it is an important aspect of the chosen company since this company is prone to reducing the marketing budgets during the downsizing, mergers, and downturns of the economy.
As the marketer of the chosen company needs to face more pressures for showing ROI (Return on Investment) over their activities, metrics based on marketing process can further help to measure the degree up to which the spending on marketing activities can contribute to the overall profit of the chosen organization (Mullins, Walker & Boyd Jr, 2012). According to the marketing mix developed and implemented by the chosen company, the products, and services that this company deals with, they do not need to work on the quality of their product; however, they need to work within their pricing strategy of their respective products (Morgan, Katsikeas & Vorhies, 2012). In addition, they need to improve the services as well; such as the customer service agent needs to be trained a bit more for communicating with the customer's cum consumers. It is due to that the customer service agent of this company has not performed well yet, this has been reviewed by analysing the feedback given by this company’s potential users.
According to the consumer feedback, as the chosen company has been bringing changes to their pricing strategy that will definitely be going to hit the market factors along with the responses of their consumer. In addition, when the price of some products, which is similar or more than the price that other food and retail company offers, goes down a bit, then the market of food retail industry is going to get a challenge (Kumar, Bhaskaran, Mirchandani & Shah, 2013). It is because this company with no compromise in their pricing strategy had already been so popular amongst the Australian public, then after decreasing the price of their product, how much popular will be the Woolworths Company in front of the public cum customer. Furthermore, the responses of their customer towards this company will definitely give a threat to the competitors of the same company. The customers will enjoy the products that they will buy from their choice of the market at an inexpensive rate. In addition, this company has decided to make some changes within their promotional activities, which they are going to introduce a new marketing team along with sales team, within which all the members need to be so effective that they can attract the non-users of this company for becoming the customers of the same company (Fifield, 2012). After analysis based on the price range of Woolworths done by their competitors can force them to reduce their price range of the products so that they can retain their customer as well. Moreover, the Woolworths can further retain their employees, as well as the company will give a training session to their existing employees for promoting their products within the competitive markets.
After bringing the changes within the marketing strategy of the chosen company, the marketer notices the results of the test along with it they evaluate the market response. In addition, the test has been conducted before implementing the planned changes within their strategy; the marketing team of Woolworths has achieved the results (Leonidou, Leonidou, Fotiadis & Zeriti, 2013). The results of the test are better than the expected results, moreover, the responses that they have obtained after bringing the sample of the test in the market, they achieve a better response as compared to their expected one. The result of the test describes the successful implementation of the strategy and indicates that this changes if maintaining and manage timely can definitely work for the growth of this company. The changes can help the company for maintaining their sustainable competitive advantages, which this company already do have. In addition, the test also states that the company is not going to gain more profit but at the same time, the company does not need to make any kind of loss. Thus, the test needs to get an approval (Kumar & Rajan, 2012). Furthermore, the responses collected from the users and non-users both, of this company have fully like this change, as this change grabs the attention and interest of their customers and the non-customer as well.
For adopting the framed changes within the marketing mix of the chosen company’s marketing strategy, the company needs to make a budget. For making the budget, they require few things such as the new products for which the chosen company is going to reduce the price, the staffs involved in the making process of the strategy as well budgeting. In addition, they need to focus on maintaining the brand image while making the budget for the resources in order to develop the new strategy (Kim, Jeon, Jung, Lu & Jones, 2012). For making the budget, the marketers of the company need spend time on market research, planning, and development of the product, the final projection for helping to set the objectives of the pricing and production. In addition to it, the budget-making process includes distribution methods, public relation, and promotion. Budgeting money for the customer's surveys along with focused groups, along with evaluating their competition, purchasing the research based on given industry, developing the profile for the customer, testing and marketing their initial products of low cost. In addition to the list of the budget resources, the list includes the cost of demonstrations along with the free samples; they need to frame the budget while considering the pricing strategy of their competitors (Papadopoulos & Heslop, 2014).
Conducting market research
Testing their initial low-cost products
Developing the profile of the targeted customer
Distributing the free-cost sample
Conducting the survey
Collecting the feedback
Marketing their newly strategized product
Table 1: Budget
(Source: Created by author)
Meeting the objectives of this company’s strategy, they can achieve their targeted market by implementing the effective change cum strategy (Lusch & Vargo, 2014). Thus, the objectives of this company are providing a bit inexpensive products to their potential customers, providing best services to their customers as well, while communicating with the service agents, as they need to communicate with the customers in a very polite way, so that the chosen company can retain their customers for a very long time. For achieving this objective, the company needs to provide a training session to their employees, who indulge themselves in providing services based on calling to the potential and loyal customers of the chosen company (Hawkins, Mothersbaugh & Best, 2013).
For maintaining the marketing objectives of the operation along with the desired position in the market, the company’s marketing, finance and sales team need to set the correct objectives, which is a crucial job for building awareness, attracting the leads, and turning the leads into the customers (Sheth & Sisodia, 2015). As their marketing objectives based on operation is a breakdown of either a week, month or a year, thus, the marketing objective needs to be quantifiable along with specific, however, having a narrower focus. Moreover, the developing the promotional plan, the plan needs to include the effective marketing tools including various tactics, this business can use for accomplishing the marketing objectives of the chosen organization. Measuring the effectiveness of the objectives, it is important for setting the parameters to measure the achievements (Kumar, Rahman, Kazmi & Goyal, 2012). Furthermore, the manager who will target the customers and lead their team need to assign the objectives to the team, persons, and business until responsible to carry out each of the objectives along with the tasks.
Thus, it can be propagated by stating the fact that, marketing mix plays an important role in the propagation of effective business objectives. This is because, a proper marketing mix is essential for the promulgation of the strategic management of the business processes. Thus, after an extensive assessment, it can be well presumed that, Woolworths need to apply these essential aspects of marketing mix in order to attain sustainable profits in their business markets. Furthermore, in the context of global market shares, by the application of the marketing mix, it will be easier for them to conduct their business procedures and will be able to maintain their position in the global retail market.