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Discussion

In this report on marketing planning of Apple Inc., the aim is to critical evaluate the role and nature of e-commerce within the contemporary marketing planning. An integrated marketing plan will be developed through using marketing mix and combining the estimation for the potential value generation which will consist of an overview for the company, their target audience, environment analysis, SWOT analysis, marketing objectives, marketing mix using 4P’s model, marketing implementation as well as evaluation and control after which recommendations will be provided for efficient implementation of the plan, where the aim will be to evaluate the core marketing principles as well as address the issues present for the company (Aghazadeh 2015). 

Apple Inc., which was previously known as Apple Computer, Inc. is a manufacturer of smartphones, personal computers, tablets, computer software and computer peripherals, who are based in the United States, Cupertino, California. They are the first successful manufacturer of the personal computer organisation and is popular for their graphical user interface. Apple Inc. was founded in the year 1976 by Ronald Wayne, Steve Jobs and Steve Woznaik and today it is one of the largest company within the information technology industry in terms of revenue with US $365.8 billion in the year 2021 and it is also one of the highly valuable company in the world as well as the fourth largest vendor for personal computer in terms of unit sales along with second largest manufacturer of smartphones. Apple Inc. belongs to one of the Big Five American Information Technology businesses, along with Amazon, Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft (Malfona 2018).

Apple Inc. targets various customer bases among with their first priority is targeting the youth, individuals whose age is in between 10 to 25 years old where they utilise the devices offered by the company for their work as well as leisure purposes. There are several other software and applications provided by the company which can be utilised. There second market lies with the business individuals who utilise these devices in order to communicate with the clients for sharing information or sending data to the customers. Apple Inc.’s customer profile consist of affluent individuals as well as technology enthusiasts, where their primary audience are technology enamoured and young individuals, who utilise their smartphones for the purpose of entertainment, work as well as socialisation. Usually the devices offered by the brand as usually utilised by the tech-savvy individuals and the individuals who are highly concerned of the security aspect of their devices (Marrero 2018).

  • Political– Apple Inc. is one of the high revenue generating company and the political challenges present between the United States and China has the potential to impact their sales revenue and market shares along with threatening their potential growth in the Chinese market, as China might impose heavy taxes on their products (Liu 2021).
  • Economic– Apple Inc. is heavily impacted by the economic stability of the United States along with the rapid economic growth taking place in developing companies as well as the disposable earnings with the target audience. Since, Apple Inc. offers premium products, they have opted a premium pricing policy which might hamper their penetration into the Asian market (Gleiss, Kohlhagen and Pousttchi 2021).
  • Social– Apple Inc. is highly subjected to socio-cultural trends and effects where the positive factor for the brand has been the increase in the utilisation of smartphones which is a major opportunity for the business to enhance their sales and revenue. Apple’s devices has become a major status symbol in several societies which can prove to be another opportunity as it will result in increase of sales.
  • Technological– The recent technological advancement is becoming both an opportunity and threat for the brand because with increase in technological integration, the business is receiving growth opportunities, however, the lifespan of it is small due to the fact that the technology is getting obsolete at a faster rate (Thao and Tsanthaiwo 2017).
  • Legal– There are certain legal factors which can result in threat for the company, if not followed and agreements are necessary for avoiding lawsuits. The brand is required to adhere to the privacy regulations in this digital age, which will cost the brand expensive supervisory requirement in order to protect the users’ private information (Zhang et al. 2020).
  • Environment– Apple Inc. manufactures most of their products in China where there are several environmental side effects which can impact the regulations and manufacturing cost. Although, Apple Inc. is opting for higher energy efficiency products as well as business sustainability which are offering them with several opportunities.
  • Strengths– The strengths which Apple Inc. possess are innovativeness which is also their core competencies and competitive advantage against their competitors, along with the quality they offer for their products and value for the money which customer spends on it, as well as easy to use devices and brand awareness as they are known to be one of the popular brands globally (Deepak and Jeyakumar 2019).
  • Weaknesses– Among the weaknesses which Apple Inc. has, high prices products is one of them as they provide premium pricing for their products, along with limited promotion and advertisement, entering the business area which are non-competent, incompatibility with other operative software, allegation for tracking, unfair business practices, and a strong parental controlled software (Kotler and Keller 2016).
  • Opportunities– The opportunities which lies ahead for Apple Inc. are constant customer growth, having a human resource which consist of qualified professionals, having an expansive distribution network, inclusion of green technology within their organisation, offering smart wearable technology, utilisation of artificial intelligence, expanding their music streaming services, and chip manufacturing unit (Kotabe and Helsen 2020).
  • Threats– The major threat which Apple faces presently is the after effect of the COVID-19 outbreak, not developing effective countermeasures for their Air Tags, gaining bad publicity and negative reviews, increasing competition from brands such as Google, Samsung and Dell, lack of market penetration and imposition of tariff by China (Czinkota et al. 2021).

Apple Inc. has been committed to draw out the best user experience for their customers through the utilisation of innovative software, hardware and services, where their marketing strategies are concentrated on developing a premium brand for the consumers present in the market. This strategy will support the distinguishing the brand from their close competitors in the marketplace. Apple Inc. is also highly focused on the simplicity factor in their products, services and processes as it is a crucial part of their marketing strategy and one of the major driving forces for the company. The marketing objectives of Apple Inc. consist of positioning the company in such a manner that it becomes a premium brand, increasing the market share of the brand globally and the brand value in the marketplace, along with manufacturing as well as selling the products directly to the consumers and lastly, investing their funds in research and development faciliti0es in order to design and manufacture new technologies and products (Iacobucci 2021).

Overview of The Company

Apple Inc. offers both products as well as services to their customers where with references to the products, the company produces smartphones, personal computers, televisions, tablets, wireless headphones and smart watches. Hey even develop their own operating system which is known as iOS on which their devices are operated upon. With references to the services, Apple Inc. enables the consumers to download and purchase or stream their TV shows and music, where they can purchase or rent movies or even download podcasts. Apple Inc. even offers a cashless payment services with the name of Apple Pay which is provided in certain countries and offers a secure, easy and private manner of payment. Apple Care is also one of their service which is provided by the brand that is fee-based services given to the users for the repairing and technical assistance of their devices. Apple Inc. consistently includes technology and product development which enables them to allow the company to dominate the particular markets with their unique products and services (Kotler et al. 2019).

The place or distribution mix is referred to the region where the company will offer their products and services. Apple Inc. offers their products through various distribution channels as they sell their products through different retail stores, direct sales forces and online stores as well as through third-party cellular network carriers, retailers, wholesalers and resellers. Considering the higher demands for the brand’s products, they have increased their retail store count, especially in the African and Asian region. Through their e-commerce platforms, the customers can purchase their products directly through official websites and other online portals, like Amazon, Flipkart and so on which is one of their biggest point of sale for the brand (Chernev 2018).

Pricing mix is one of the crucial factor within the marketing mix strategy where the Apple provide such a pricing because they aim to provide the highest value to their users for their investment into their devices by offering their quality products and services. The success of any brand is highly dependent on the pricing policy that they have adopted for their products and services because it will determine the profit margin of the company. Apple Inc. has a reputable position within the market because of their higher quality of products and services which they offer as well as their innovative nature of the business. This enable the brand to charge a higher price for their services and products and regardless of the expensive nature of their products, consumers are willing to purchase them. Apple Inc. has adopted premium pricing strategy for their products for the generation of higher profit margin along with increasing the value of brand. It is highly possible for the brand to generate a higher revenue through manufacturing the cheaper versions of their offering for the lower income consumers (Visconti, Peñaloza and Toulouse 2020).

Promotion mix is referred to generating awareness for the brand’s products and services to the consumers. Apple Inc. has promoted their products and services through various channel which consist of personal selling and public relations. As per the personal selling, Apple Inc. has energetic, well-mannered and highly informative sales representative in their Apple Stores which provides the consumers with the necessary information relating to their products and services. In order to increase the brand awareness, Apple Inc. partners with brand influencers as well as celebrities who establish their products and services to their audience and conducts promotion at another level (Bagozzi et al. 2018).

Target Audience

Apple Inc. is required is focus on building an attractive value proposition where they can emphasise on their packaging and designing. Since, they are one of the largest information technology company, they have the means to avoid the price war with their competitors by focusing on the unique value proposition through adopting marketing communication messages for targeting their desired customer segment in a cost effective manner. They can further effectively utilise their product placement technique through which they can opt for pay per click (PPC) online advertisement with Facebook or Google. They can majorly rely upon two of their pillars, namely product placement through celebrities and popular shows as well as buzz creation through positive reviews by the customers on the social media channels (Hutt and Speh 2021).

Further they can opt for positive reviews in the media channel where the brand can systematically benefit from the buzz being created through positive reviews being posted in the media, both through tradition means and social media channels. Due to their advanced features, specialisation and high quality, the brand can easily achieve the positive reviews. They can also proactively contribute on the creation of positive reviews on the social media channels as well. Lastly, the brand can adopt the storytelling method of videography as well as viral marketing which is an essential element within the marketing strategy (Zimmerman and Blythe 2017).

Being financially sound, Apple Inc. can help in the generation of marketing message through an aspirational storytelling means which will resonate their message to the target customer segment. Apple Inc. can implement these marketing strategies because they have a higher acceptance among the competitors, have a strong competitive position in the market, is flourishing rapidly and having market growth, they can even adopt diversification strategy. In addition to that, the brand has an excellent strategic position, concentrating on their current products where they have adopted the strategy for product development and possess a higher reputation among the customers because of their higher brand image and value of the company (Brockmann, Stieglitz and Cvetkovic 2015).

The aim of the marketing plan prepared for Apple Inc. is to support the company to move in the appropriate direction. They have monthly meetings in order to discuss their progress on their marketing plan and relating to the areas, which are under a systematic review in order to track the performance of the company are revenue, expenses, customer satisfaction as well as new product development. When there will be slow sales, the company can offer discount through their retail outlets to the loyal customers or easily exchange offers for the new models (Park 2021).

In addition to that they have increase the number of Apple Inc. stores, in the Asian and African region where they have only few and scattered outlets present in order to increase their visibility and also to develop a strong brand and customer relationship with their potential and existing customer base. The brand can also provide better working condition to the employees in China and additional benefits as well as invest in their research and development for being in-sync with the latest technological and marketing trends. There are high difficulties and risks present in the form of high competition as well as rapid technology which keeps changing and putting the brand under constant pressure, there is also consistent stimulation within the consumer demand and successful management of frequent development of their products and services.

Environment Analysis – PESTLE Analysis

Conclusion

Therefore, in order to conclude this report of Marketing Plan on Apple Inc. it can be deduced that the business utilised a varieties of business strategies such as diversification and differentiation strategy for broadening their customer base, creation of an ecosystem of products as well as drive innovation. The brand is one of the most valuable technological company in today’s world where their growth is highly dependent on innovation and marketing of their products. Through this integrated marketing plan, the marketing mix of the company has been highlighted and it has been combined with the estimation for the potential value generation. The company is making constant improvement within their product range in order to match with their other accessories and expanding their customer base which will help them increase their sales margin as well as receive a higher profit margin. They have maintained their price margin in such a manner that even though it caters to the premium and luxury market, consumers from upper middle class invests in the same in exchange for the value which they receive for the product or service. 

References

Aghazadeh, H., 2015. Strategic marketing management: Achieving superior business performance through intelligent marketing strategy. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 207, pp.125-134.

Bagozzi, R.P., Rosa, J.A., Celly, K.S. and Coronel, F., 2018. Marketing-Management. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.

Brockmann, T., Stieglitz, S. and Cvetkovic, A., 2015. Prevalent business models for the apple app store.

Chernev, A., 2018. Strategic marketing management. Cerebellum Press.

Czinkota, M.R., Kotabe, M., Vrontis, D. and Shams, S.R., 2021. Marketing Management: Past, Present and Future. Springer Nature.

Deepak, R.K.A. and Jeyakumar, S., 2019. Marketing management. Educreation Publishing.

Gleiss, A., Kohlhagen, M. and Pousttchi, K., 2021. An apple a day–how the platform economy impacts value creation in the healthcare market. Electronic Markets, 31(4), pp.849-876.

Hutt, M.D. and Speh, T.W., 2021. Business marketing management: B2B. South-Western, Cengage Learning.

Iacobucci, D., 2021. Marketing management. Cengage Learning.

Kotabe, M.M. and Helsen, K., 2020. Global marketing management. John Wiley & Sons.

Kotler, P. and Keller, K.L., 2016. A framework for marketing management (p. 352). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Kotler, P., Keller, K., Brady, M., Goodman, M. and Hansen, T., 2019. Marketing Management: 4th European Edition. Pearson UK.

Liu, Z., 2021, January. Analysis of Apple Inc.'s Innovation Dilemma From the Perspective of Leadership. In 6th Annual International Conference on Social Science and Contemporary Humanity Development (SSCHD 2020) (pp. 551-554). Atlantis Press.

Malfona, L., 2018. The Apple Case. Architecture, Global Market, and Information Technology in the Digital Age. Ardeth. A magazine on the power of the project, (3), pp.52-72.

Marrero, A.G., 2018. The Rise of Apple Inc. Journal for Global Business and Community, 9(1).

Park, C., 2021. Different determinants affecting first mover advantage and late mover advantage in a smartphone market: a comparative analysis of Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, pp.1-16.

Thao, T. and Tsanthaiwo, S., 2017. Apple Inc. In the Years to Come. the Years to Come (June 20, 2017).

Visconti, L.M., Peñaloza, L. and Toulouse, N. eds., 2020. Marketing management: A cultural perspective. Routledge.

Zhang, Q., Shi, F., Abdullahi, N.M., Shao, L. and Huo, X., 2020. An empirical study on spatial–temporal dynamics and influencing factors of apple production in China. Plos one, 15(10), p.e0240140.

Zimmerman, A. and Blythe, J., 2017. Business to business marketing management: A global perspective. Routledge.

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