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SWOT Analysis

Question:

Develop a Marketing Plan.

The report is prepared to focus on the development of a marketing plan considering the business organisation Houzit in Australia. The business organisation offers wide range of house wares that are required for bathroom fittings, bedroom fittings, mirrors and for various decoration purposes within houses. There are more than 15 stores all over Brisbane, Australia, all of which are managed by the head office located at Milton. Presently, I have been appointed as a marketing manager to review the organisation and analyse the most important aspects to design a proper marketing plan and then implement strategies for moving towards the strategic goals and objectives with ease and effectiveness (Ahi and Searcy 2013). The report will include the various market opportunities that are required for achieving the business aims and objectives and then make suitable recommendations for producing the desired positive outcomes. This not only ensures successful business functioning, but will also allow the company to gain enhanced level of profit and competitive advantage in business (houzitfurniture.co.uk 2017).

The SWOT analysis is an effective tool for obtaining relevant information about the market by assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the company, furthermore determine the most suitable opportunities too. This would help in developing several marketing strategies and take advantage of these for sustaining in the marketplace with ease. The determining of opportunities would also help to move in the right strategic direction and accomplish the goals and objectives properly (Akgün, Keskin and Ayar 2014).

The SWOT analysis would help in identifying the major strengths of Houzit, its weaknesses, opportunities and threats faced by the company too.

Strengths

The strengths of the company included skilled workers and staffs who have relevant knowledge and expertise to manage the house wares. The company, being one of the major home ware retail chains in Australia has maintained a great retail space, which is bright, attractive and has remained functional for a commercial urban district (Yu-Jia 2012). The customers are loyal and trustworthy, because of which, they have kept on purchasing the products and services of Houzit on a consistent basis. The products and services offered by the company are far better than the other company products in terms of quality, accessibility and range (Armstrong et al. 2014). Other strengths of the organisation included good brand image and name, which had allowed Houzit to create a sustainable place in the market.

Market Opportunities

Weaknesses

The budget for managing the marketing activities is limited, which has deteriorated the ability to enhance brand awareness and thus customers have also decreased. It has become difficult for Houzit to provide sufficient amount of fund for the re-payments that have been taken by the customers (Valipour, Birjandi and Honarbakhsh 2012). There are sales performance issues too along with high traffic, which has deprived many of the customers to get the best quality services like others. The warehouses are located near the capacity, because of which, there are service, inventory and issues related to distribution of products and services (Armstrong et al. 2015).

Opportunities

With the growth in population and local economy, the local market has been dominant. The sales and transactions are managed both offline and online, which has created enough scopes for the organisation to enhance brand awareness. There is growth of production and with the growing market, the demands have also increased, furthermore making many people not aware of the offers made by Houzit. The sales scopes and opportunities increased outside the target area in Brisbane (Elgazzar et al. 2012).

Threats

The most important threat could be the presence of competitive rivalries in business. There were certain cases where the competition from the local retailers resulted in lowering the prices of products. Due to the economic crisis, the spending of customers decreased largely with amounts of disposable income  spent. The company though manages an online shopping website; still the sales have decreased largely, because of the customers’ preferences over purchasing products and services from the retail shop (Fearne, Garcia Martinez and Dent 2012).

The objectives of marketing are to fulfill the needs and requirements of the customers and deliver them with an unique range of good quality home wares. It is also part of the marketing activities to ensure that the payment plans are managed properly and establish itself as one of the major retail chains in every cities of Australia. The objectives also included enhancement of sales from $15 million per year to more than $20 million for the few upcoming years (Helm and Gritsch 2014). There are more than 10,000 loyal customers and the company wants to increase its customers to over 15,000. Another marketing objective is to develop brand recognition in Brisbane, make people aware of the brand for generating more traffic flow, and increase the level of productivity and profit as well. Nowadays, customers’ needs are changing from time to time and it has become essential for Houzit to adopt sustainable approaches for preventing environmental issues through management of wastes and conserve energy. The retail chain also wants to improve its infrastructure, though without creating any negative impacts on the environment, which is another important objective too (Hollensen 2015).

Marketing Objectives

Marketing mix strategy is one of the most effective strategies that has been implemented for successful running of the business and gaining of good amounts of revenue in business with ease and effectiveness. Based on the scopes and opportunities including the growing market area, increased sales opportunities and fifth successful year of functioning, the organisation has delivered good quality house wares along with easy to manage payment terms and conditions. The high quality products and services have made customers prefer the house wares to other company products and services (houzitfurniture.co.uk 2017). The location of the organisation is commercial, suburban neighborhood and few of the retail chains are also located at urban retail districts. The size of the company is quite good and each of the stores has over 20 full time staffs. The transactions are managed by cash and can be done through long term repayment plans too. There are other opportunities like signing the customers to the loyalty program and ensuring that they are provided with the right kinds of products and services. Marketing mix strategy is implemented by Houzit to identify the products, price, place and promotions done (Järvinen et al. 2012).

Products

The products of the organisation are the home ware items, furniture products and other items that are used for decorating homes. It is a retail chain and so it serves most of the cities in Australia, because of which, the wide range of products are considered as a major part of the marketing mix. The outdoor furniture items, bathroom stages, desks, mirrors, bedroom furnishing items, bathroom fittings, etc. fall under the product category of the marketing mix strategy (Kumar and Mirchandani 2012).

Price

Houzit competes with various other retail chains, because of which, the prices are kept competitive. The low prices that are set for the products and services of Houzit constitute the vision, concept, idea and strategy of the business. The products are offered at lower prices, though without compromising on the good quality of the products and services delivered. The controlling of cost and business operations have been assessed consistently to keep the prices of products and services lower and ensure successful global expansion too (McDaniel and Gates 2012).

Place

Houzit has placed its stores in good places that are well populated and the strategy of distribution has ensured that the products and services are distributed at the right places to attract more customers. The place where the company is situated has helped in managing the product distribution and increase the volumes of products too. With the help of the global distribution network, the organisation has managed to enhance its business operations and processes and the materials have been procured in proximity with the supply chains too (McDonald and Wilson 2016). This has decreased the costs of transportation and enhanced the efficiency of the strategies that have been implemented at Houzit. The placement of products has also allowed the company to decrease the carbon footprints and products manufactured by the company are directly transferred to the retail chain stores from the suppliers (Morgan 2012). 

Marketing Mix Strategy

Promotion

Houzit focused on the marketing activities by utilizing various promotional tools such as TV, prints, online advertisements and billboards, which are considered as major components of the promotion of marketing mix strategy adopted. Social media involvement also helped in creating brand awareness and ensured that the products and services delivered could result in word of mouth promotions too. Online advertising and promotional campaigns were also used to promote the brand and target various market segments for attracting new customers and make them know about the offerings (Salar and Salar 2014). This could influence their buying behaviours and make them purchase the products and services consistently, rather than purchasing those from any other companies.

The process of implementation helps in implementing the most suitable strategies and ensures that the products and services are delivered to the targeted mark segments properly. The marketing mix strategy is implemented to identify the products, prices, place and promotion along with the communication procedures that are followed manage good relationship between the various business stakeholders. The business stakeholders are customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and managers (Singh 2012). The cost leadership strategy is implemented to manage manufacturing and production of products at lower prices when compared with the competitors while the differentiation strategy has helped in differentiating the products and services of Houzit from the other company products and services. The customization strategy is customer oriented and has helped in maintaining flexible production to adapt to the needs and requirements of the customers and keep them satisfied properly. The global expansion strategy has helped in embracing the new culture of global market places and ensures that the global market opportunities are grabbed and more revenue generation is possible for Houzit, Australia (Solomon 2014).

The value chain analysis strategy was successful for Houzit because of the distribution of products in many retail chain stores all over Australia. The outbound logistics enabled to transfer the products by the customers whereas the operations included vast range of business operations that were managed in Australia and other countries. The marketing and sales helped in targeting the families with lower level income and the prices were kept competitive. The services included information provided on the basis of catalogues and displays, self help services, support activities and skilled staffs to improve the organisation’s productivity and gain profit too (Sørensen 2012).

Conclusion

The report was developed to focus on the preparing of an effective marketing plan for Houzit, Australia. The strategic objectives of the organisation were to increase the sales revenue, increase customer loyalty and establish a positive brand name and image to increase profit level and ensure customer satisfaction too. Based on the case study, the vision was to fulfill the needs and preferences of the customers and enable business growth and development. The SWOT analysis tool showed the strengths of the company including the good quality products at lower prices, loyal customers, etc whereas the weaknesses included the limited budget, lack of brand awareness, etc. The marketing mix strategy components helped in making the business successful while the implementation of various strategies such as cost leadership strategy and value chain analysis further helped the company to gain profit and competitive advantage in business.

References

Ahi, P. and Searcy, C., 2013. A comparative literature analysis of definitions for green and sustainable supply chain management. Journal of Cleaner Production, 52, pp.329-341.

Akgün, A.E., Keskin, H. and Ayar, H., 2014. Standardization and adaptation of international marketing mix activities: A case study. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 150, pp.609-618.

Armstrong, G., Adam, S., Denize, S. and Kotler, P., 2014. Principles of marketing. Pearson Australia.

Armstrong, G., Kotler, P., Harker, M. and Brennan, R., 2015. Marketing: an introduction. Pearson Education.

Elgazzar, S.H., Tipi, N.S., Hubbard, N.J. and Leach, D.Z., 2012. Linking supply chain processes’ performance to a company’s financial strategic objectives. European Journal of Operational Research, 223(1), pp.276-289.

Fearne, A., Garcia Martinez, M. and Dent, B., 2012. Dimensions of sustainable value chains: implications for value chain analysis. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 17(6), pp.575-581.

Helm, R. and Gritsch, S., 2014. Examining the influence of uncertainty on marketing mix strategy elements in emerging business to business export-markets. International Business Review, 23(2), pp.418-428.

Hollensen, S., 2015. Marketing management: A relationship approach. Pearson Education.

houzitfurniture.co.uk. (2017). houzit furniture - Quality home furniture in the UK. [online] Available at: https://www.houzitfurniture.co.uk/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2017].

Järvinen, J., Tollinen, A., Karjaluoto, H. and Jayawardhena, C., 2012. DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING USAGE IN B2B INDUSTRIAL SECTION. Marketing Management Journal, 22(2).

Kumar, V. and Mirchandani, R., 2012. Increasing the ROI of social media marketing. MIT Sloan Management Review, 54(1), p.55.

McDaniel, C. and Gates, R., 2012. Marketing research essentials. Wiley Global Education.

McDonald, M. and Wilson, H., 2016. Marketing Plans: How to prepare them, how to profit from them. John Wiley & Sons.

Morgan, N.A., 2012. Marketing and business performance. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40(1), pp.102-119.

Salar, M. and Salar, O., 2014. Determining pros and cons of franchising by using SWOT analysis. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 122, pp.515-519.

Singh, M., 2012. Marketing mix of 4P’s for competitive advantage. Journal of Business and Management, 3(6), pp.40-45.

Solomon, M.R., 2014. Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being (Vol. 10). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Sørensen, H.E., 2012. Business development. In Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management. Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

Valipour, H., Birjandi, H. and Honarbakhsh, S., 2012. The effects of cost leadership strategy and product differentiation strategy on the performance of firms. Journal of Asian Business Strategy, 2(1), p.14.

Yu-Jia, H., 2012. The moderating effect of brand equity and the mediating effect of marketing mix strategy on the relationship between service quality and customer loyalty: The case of retail chain stores in Taiwan. International Journal of Organizational Innovation (Online), 5(1), p.155.

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