In this era of competition, organizations need to present themselves as different from their competitors. They can do so by taking advantage of their marketing strategies. Marketing strategies are important to the organizations to understand the needs of customers and provide them with the goods and services that satisfy those needs. It is a win-win situation for both the consumers and the company. The company benefits from this by attaining a larger market share and huge profits. The aim of this study is to understand the relevance and applicability of marketing strategies, evaluate the concepts of segmentation, targeting, and positioning. The second part focuses on the opportunities and challenges and in implementation across various organizations. For the study, three organizations are selected namely; Coca Cola, Volkswagen, and Cadbury dairy milk. In the end, the study emphasizes the usage of logistics along with marketing strategies to provide maximum satisfaction to the consumers.
Table of Contents
Target Marketing Strategy.
STP marketing strategies of Coca Cola.
STP marketing strategies of Volkswagen.
STP marketing strategies of Cadbury’s Dairy milk.
Conclusion and recommendations.
In this dynamic world, organizations are switching from traditional marketing practices to target marketing strategies. The target marketing strategies emphasize addressing the needs and want of the customers. Customer satisfaction is the key to attain the retention of customers. For an organization to develop the customer-centric marketing approach, the managers need to determine the market first, and then they will divide the market into groups or segments and aims at the profitable segment, and then accordingly accommodate their marketing mix elements (Camilleri 2018). Thus, for an organization to conduct its marketing it needs to go through three stages of marketing; these are market segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP). Organizations need to carefully work on these three disciplines, mistakes in these areas will prove to be very costly, and hence, following the right practices is necessary for the success of the organization.
The marketing planning process begins from establishing a mission and vision, and then a short listing of the target market and then accordingly instituting the requisite marketing mix and positioning plans. The main aim of this paper is to understand the relevance and applicability of marketing strategies, examine the concepts of segmentation, targeting, and positioning. The second part focuses on the opportunities and challenges and in implementation across various organizations. For the study, three organizations are selected namely; Coca Cola, Volkswagen, and Cadbury dairy milk. In the end, the study specifies the recommendation for best practices that can be adopted by organizations.
Market segmentation is associated with identifying and defining the market segments, these market segments well then become the respective targets of the market plans for the organization. The marketing segmentation strategy is associated with identifying a heterogeneous market that comprises of a small number of homogenous markets. The heterogeneity pertains to changes in preferences, attributes, or desires of the consumers (Gichuru and Limiri 2017). There are various ways in which a market can be segmented. However, it is imperative for an organization to select the right strategy that is suitable for its product or services. In order to better segment markets effectively, cultural differences must be perceived. Culture influences the buying habits of the consumers (Gichuru and Limiri 2017). One of the most important decisions that the manager practicing the marketing strategy needs to make, is choosing the criteria on which the market will be divided. These can be based on geographic, demographic, usage, image, situation, behavioral criteria, psychographic, and loyalty (Gichuru and Limiri 2017).
When the managers divide the market into segments, they can attain a better understanding of the requirements of the customers; hence, they can customize the marketing activities accordingly. Further, it allows the company to analyze the strengths as well as the weakness of its competitors. As a result, they can target that market that has potential and was not served well (Camilleri 2018). According to Andaleeb (2016), the marketing managers are now understanding that there is a trade-off between a standardized price-value proposition and customers' desired exclusiveness-distinctiveness ethos, this has lead to the emergence of micromarketing. In the same study, the author discussed that the micromarketing helps the mangers to formulate an offering that streamlines their marketing program in alignment with a certain set of attributes the grouping is done at the point where the offerings by the organization are unique and the uniqueness can be safeguarded so as to serve a particular market segment.
When the organization has developed the market segment strategies then it must decide on which segment to give preference to and nurture and which to be given low or no priority (Andaleeb 2016). It needs to focus on taking the market targeting decision. The market targeting decision deals with locating the people or organization in a product-based market for which the organization governs its positioning strategies (Nadub and Didia 2018). Also, selling different products in one market or selling one product in a different market has a great impact on the revenue and profits of the organization.
It is a challenge for the organization to choose a good market, it needs whether to serve all people who demand this product or it will be beneficial for the organization to serve only a small group. Hence, it has become important for the organization to analyze the product –market, the types of buyers, the resources with the organization, and its competitors in order to make the right decision (Nadub and Didia 2018).
The next step after deciding about the market segmentation and selection of suitable target customers is to make people aware of the product that is being offered and the brand. Successful application of positioning strategy is important for an organization as through this the consumers will associate with the brand and the company (Andaleeb 2016). The market positioning helps the origination to effectively promote their trademarks, expand their market share, increase the volume of sales, creates brand value. The image of the organization as well as the marketing offers must be unique and valued by the customers targeted by the organization. The formulation and the development of positioning marketing strategies comprise of 9 stages (Fayvishenko 2018). These are the evaluation of external and internal environmental conditions, designing of trademarks, analyzing differential positioning features, establishing positioning strategy, detailing the targets, constructing implementation of the strategic plan, implementing the plan, monitoring the results, and at last taking the corrective actions.
An organization can take effective positioning strategies by emphasizing on its key features, thee features must be unique, good quality, affordable as well as easy to communicate. The issue here is to highlight these unique and distinctive features through the marketing mix practices. The organization has to wisely choose the right mix of 4 P's that includes the product, price, promotion, and place (Thabit and Raewf 2018). The product can be understood as the goods and services in which the organization deals. It is the main element on which the marketing ix is based. The next element is the price; price is the value that the customer needs to pay in order to consume that good or services. The setting up of the price of a particular good is a difficult task as there are multiple factors that affect it. These factors are the need and usage of the product, cost, ability of the consumers to pay, competitors' price, etc. The next factor is place; the goods produced must be supplied to the customers. In order to make a deal, the product should reach the market, hence the selection of distribution channels is done in this step. The last element is Promotion, making people aware of the qualities of products and encouraging them to buy the product. (Thabit and Raewf 2018).The 4 P's of the marketing mix needs to be integrated and adjusted continuously on the basis of the research and development in order to find out whether the organization has achieved the desired position (Andaleeb 2016).
Coca Cola is a renowned company known for its beverages; it is a big name in the soft drink industry. It was established in the year 1886 by Dr. John S. Pemberton. Since its inception it has built a unique place among its consumers, this can be attributed to its marketing strategies. Coca Cola marketing strategies are based on reaching a connecting to a maximum number of people by establishing itself in every nook and corner, thus leading to the creation of monopoly (Mayureshnikam and Patil 2018).
The segmentation is based on the level of development in various markets. The markets are segmented into three categories; the emerging markets, developing markets, and the developed markets (Mayureshnikam and Patil 2018). In emerging markets the emphasis was on expanding the sales so as to increase the customer base as well as build a foundation for the future, thus the bottles were sold at an economical price. In the developing markets the emphasis was on maintain the balance between the sales and profits whereas, in the developed markets, the focus was on augmenting the profits by providing small and premium packages.
In the developed markets, the emphasis was on providing low calorie and diet drinks. Coca Cola has launched itself as the product which is the healthy drink, without calories with the same taste. In developing markets like India, the focus was on the diversification of products. It took over the local brands and provided diversified products. In the underdeveloped markets, the price was kept as low as possible to attract people. Since the education level is low sophisticated marketing was of no use so the emphasis was on presenting them in different regions through Coke Studio in which the new artist was given a chance to perform (Mayureshnikam and Patil 2018).
The company uses ads and different products for different segments. The positioning was based on the establishment of the brand and improving customer relationships. The first global marketing campaign of Coca Cola was a success; it aims at bringing all the sub-products under the Coca Cola brand name. This was 'one-brand strategy'. Moreover, in 2016, the slogan 'Taste the Feeling' was presented that focuses on the refreshing taste and uplifting mood and establishing a personal connection (Mayureshnikam and Patil 2018).
Volkswagen is a German automobile brand that was established in 1937. Volkswagen aims to make mobility affordable for people (Volkswagen n.d). The segmentation, positioning, and targeting tools are effective tools used by the organization to reach the level it attained today.
The focus of the company is on extending the personal auto-mobile into new segments of the population. The segmentation is undertaken based on the income levels (Kumar 2019). There is a visible difference between the two product lines. Flexibility combined with the individually customized solution is used for differentiating customers in segments. The two segments are the people-carrier line and the transporters.
Volkswagen emphasizes on producing a car for mass markets, it practices an undifferentiated target approach so as to specifically target the consumers on specific circles. The undifferentiated marketing strategy allows the offering of the only type of product that serves the entire market (Ridwan 2019). As per the undifferentiated marketing practice, the organization considers the overall market share without targeting certain markets. The product is targeted to a very narrow market specifically the market that has not been exploited (Kumar 2019).
Volkswagen has used innovative marketing strategies to achieve a greater market share. Product marketing and sales strategy can now be witnessed exclusively in the brand's premium range (Volkswagen n.d.). The campaigns’ are aimed at young, educated, ambitious with moderate income and who prefer a sporty yet feasible mode of transportation. The perceptual mapping demonstrates a graphical representation of competing brands that are operating in the same industry. This is undertaken to show the comparison using graphical tools (Baldassarre, Calabretta, Bocken, and Jaskiewicz 2017). However, as per the perceptual mapping positioned on the prices, the Volkswagen comes under the category of low quality and low prices (Kumar 2019). The perceptual mapping positioned on car types, Volkswagen comes under the less sporty and practical car (Kumar 2019).
Cadbury's dairy milk was produced in Bourneville in the year 1905. Since then it has achieved success in the chocolate market. John Cadbury presented the original business operation that constitutes what, where, and how to sell the product; this became the philosophy of the business and the branding heritage (Khan n.d.).
Cadbury uses behavioral segmentation, in this type of segmentation the grouping is done on the actions and behaviors of the consumers (Khan n.d.). The specific behavioral pattern that is common among a group is taken into consideration. The behavioral segmentation is based on the main idea’ Celebrating the occasion and dessert after dinner. It has associated itself with different occasions and moments (Khan n.d.).
The target audience mainly is the impulse segment people who purchase the chocolates as they a temptation, these are small packets while the other category is of the people buying chocolates for celebration occasions and gifting. These are big celebration packs (Kaul 2019). Initially, the targets were children, although chocolates are seen as indulgent for children, however, to increase the customer base, Cadbury released a campaign The real taste of Life, that is associated with changing the outlook from just for kids to the kids in all of us. This resulted in the setting up of ideologies of spontaneity and the shared good feels (Kaul 2019).
Cadbury invests huge amounts to ensure the effective promotion of the products. The company uses innovative and heartening tag line so that people can relate it to a particular occasion (Bharucha 2016). Through advertisements, the company tries to connect with the consumers on emotional levels. The brand has established itself for moments. Cadbury is known as a sweet for happiness, festivities, and family time (Bharucha 2016).
As per a study by Sondhi and Chawla (2017), Psychographic segmentation should be undertaken for segmenting the target customers and this produces better results especially in the case of chocolates since its an indulgence product. The psychographic segmentation involves segregating the market on the basis of social class, personality, lifestyle (Sondhi and Chawla 2017). Different social groups have different indulgence thus the segmentation will be more effective.
The marketing strategies are an essential tool that significantly impacts the profits of the organization. Customer satisfaction is necessary to retain customers, thus the customer-centric, marketing approach is rapidly being used by the organizations. Targeting marketing practices are designed specifically to meet the needs of customers. The target marketing strategies are associated with effective segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning are beneficial business tools that aid the business to analyze the market conditions and as a result, the organization can gain a competitive edge over the other market players. Segmentation deals with effective identification of market segments, hence it becomes easier for marketers to understand the needs of the customers. Targeting allows an organization to locate who to serve within the segments. Positioning helps the organization to make people aware of the brand and the product. This helps to increase the customer base and hence profits for the company. The STP marketing strategies and analysis of three renowned companies; Coca Cola, famous for its beverages, Volkswagen famous for cars, and Cadbury Dairy Milk, known for chocolates is presented. Each company has different segmentation, targeting, and positioning strategies, and depending on the type of product they deal with and the type of market. It is important to combine the logistics with the marketing strategies, the amalgamation of these two components is important so as to provide the best customer service (Madhani 2017). The right product, priced accurately, advertised through proper promotional channels, right packaging should be made available at the relevant place. Thus, efficient logistics is necessary for ensuring customer satisfaction.
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