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Issues affecting the Automobile sales industry adversely

The final stage of the marketing audit is for you to evaluate how well the marketing mix of the organisation is performing for your chosen organisation. NB: as before, if you have a large range of product offerings, it is a good idea to focus on just one. discuss the following:

1. Outline and describe the 8 marketing mix concepts theoretically and apply the components to one of your products offerings. As part of your application be sure to explain and evaluate all of the 8ps’ of marketing (product, prices, promotion, distribution, partnerships, people, processes and physical evidence).

2. Given your evaluation of your overall marketing strategies, the competition and broader contemporary issues facing marketers today, provide recommendations for your organisation. Your recommendations should focus on each of the 8ps and illustrate how contemporary issues may impact on your organisation and its marketing strategy.
 

The Australian automobiles manufacturing company GM Holden Ltd dates back its establishment as early as the mid-19th century when its chief business operations focused on manufacturing saddles. In the year 1908, they moved into the automobiles manufacturing field. Later on in the year 1931 it became a subsidiary of United States of America's General Motor and became the General Motors-Holden's Ltd. The current name of the company i.e. GM Holden Ltd was taken in the year 2005.

This essay aims to analyze the company and to recommend marketing strategies for the Holden cars company. At present, Holden cars are responsible for all the vehicular operations of General Motors in Australasia. As a result of this Holden held a partial ownership of the General Motors Daewoo and their operations in South Korea from 2002 to 2009. The company's expertise lies in the production of vehicles in its on a base of operations, and also the distribution of imported General Motors vehicles. As per the recent reports Holden cars have been reported to have to sell its productions like the Caprice, Commodore, and Ute along with, imported General Motors models like the Isuzu, Chevrolet, Opel, Nissan, Toyota, Suzuki, and Vauxhall Motors.

The company has been in the business of exporting vehicles since the 1950s. However, there have been fluctuations in their exports over the years. With the decline in the number of sales in the country the company seeks to adopt new marketing strategies that will help it in increasing its sales rates. Furthermore, on December 11th, 2013 leaders of Holden Cars announced that the company will cease its automobile manufacturing operations and will focus more on the imports, exports and domestic sales of its vehicles. Therefore, a recommendation for this future endeavor of theirs is also included in this essay.

Marketing strategy and recommendations

Before stressing on the marketing ideas and the recommendations, it is necessary to analyze a few issues that directly affect the automobile sales industry. Lists of issues that are at present considered to play a crucial role in the recent downfall in the automobile sales industry are present as under: 

The automobile companies are now facing challenges to get to the highest peak of profits, and thus, they are pushing themselves forward by recruiting the best automobiles engineers around along with some of the most qualified managers with such area of expertise(Armstrong & Kotler, 2000).

To attain some achievements in this particular sector, a company has to go through different stages and stepping forward without any flaws. Several competitors in the automobile industries are making a follow up to the previous versions of the vehicles produced by that company or might be some other company too. This may come in handy for some reasons, but they fail to surprise the buyers. In such cases, innovations play a key role to promote their presentation and to grab a buyer's attention quickly. That may not necessarily be new inventions to put through, but could be a modification of certain parts. Each member of the organization should come up with good innovative ideas to implement on their productionsBrambilla, I. (2005). A customs union with multinational firms. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research.

A rising automobile company will probably come with more difficult situations such as management of demand issues. As mention above, with the rise of industries and development in technology, people’s demands have also made a vast growth from the past few years. Companies will always come up with a complexity to forecast and meet public’s demand. Without proper management and overlooking what people demand, buyers may ignore the brand and move on to others. To avoid such failure in marketing their goods, the company has to make a proper estimation of the demand. New cars with upgraded features which might take years to get built could be a complex matter. That is why a company should make good estimations of the demands before the launch. This may bring a good hope to the company that they will get a hold of demographic, technological, and most importantly, the economic assumptions (Dencic-Mihajlov, 2013).

Cost price of the vehicles also matters a lot for the buyers who make them compare prizes of the models through various sources. In such cases, an automobile company has to put in mind that they should price tag their productions at a negotiable value but that certainly does not mean to make their cars cheaper and attain a loss. It should vary on the vehicles parts and features they are putting through. Some of the markets take the price value a little more seriously and stretch it as far as it can go. They have to make an observation of the mindset of the buyers and also their choices on the technological aspects so that the company should work it through depending on their budget. The buyers should not be put through the economic burden which makes them vulnerable. Cutting off the price a little should not be a problem for the markets.

Promotional activities before the launch of new products

The issues presented above illustrate the dilemma manufactures and retailers face these days in the Automobile sales industry. The solution is to promote marketing strategies that would attract buyers and overseas clients for the large business operations Holden Cars run. In addition, as already mentioned in the introductory part of this article that the company is looking forward to ceasing its manufacturing business and focus all its attention on the automobile sales in near future, it is essential to incorporate marketing strategies that would help the Holden cars to gain a firm ground on the automobile sales business (Dholakia, 2015). 

Marketing and other promotional aspects can always help a company to make a wide presentation of their cars. People at home who read newspapers and magazines will take a good look at the cars which they can afford to buy and will certainly get their attention at once. Presenting some of the best features along with the price will be a big deal; the people will be able to assess the amount they are going to spend and the features they will be availing from that expense. Some bright offers might make the buyers get a quick view of the cars and get knowledge of what they are going to buy. Other than that, televisions and leaflets also play a vital role in promoting a company's automobiles (Grewal & Levy, 2010).

These are some of the textbook marketing concepts that the company has followed till date. However, to attain its target i.e. a leading enterprise in automobile sales, there are a few more recommendations along with their critical analysis on the ways these were effective and the ways these will be effective when adopted and executed by Holden cars (Jovanovic, 2004).

Promotional activities are undoubtedly the best possible way to get a new product acquainted with the people. In this case, as well promotional activities will certainly help the company in getting their new products acquainted with the people targeted for the marketing purpose. This will help the people develop an understanding of the product that company is about to launch, which in turn will enhance the probability of them to ‘want' the product. This is the actual purpose of a promotional activity i.e. to let the people know about the product in a manner that they feel the urge to purchase the product. As based on Steve Jobs’s theory that the people do not know the kind of products they wanted until the product has been brought in front of them.  Therefore, promotional activities in generating a demand in the market for a new product will certainly be a good marketing approach (Kerin, 2006).

Customer relationship management

Considering the 1992 case study of Renault Clio, it has been established that promotional activities before the launch of a new product or model are a great strategy.  In this inauspicious scenario the automobile company, Renault faced a great challenge in the decline in their sales of new vehicles by 21% with each passing year. At that time, the British economy was in a state of despair, and being a major purchaser of imported vehicles, the UK buyers showed their reluctance when it came for the automobile sales companies to make their sales to them. Approximate figures of 29% of the buyers from the UK were refusing to purchase new cars. Therefore, in a cataclysmic scenario (for automobile sales industries) the upcoming Renault model Clio, which was estimated to cost a figure that would have been 20% more than the previous models, seemed a bit over-burdening. As the economy was in the state of despair, and being an import oriented economy, the nation was in no state of taking such risk at that moment. However, the dilemma regarding Clio's launch in the market was resolved with a unique promotional campaign model known as the "Nicole and Papa." The promotional activity consisted of a television advertisement, which gave a brief yet an attractive presentation on the new product (Kotler, 2000). The advertisement did not bear any technical information about the product; it just presented to the people a something that they would love to possess. The results were unexpected as the promotional activity defied all recessionary blues prevailing in the then UK economy and went on to achieve 1.5% more than what had been targeted from the standing start. 

It is highly recommend adopting marketing strategies that would extend the product cycle. However, a product that is genuinely adored in the market will automatically have an extending product life. This is due to two factors:

  1. The overall quality and price of the product:

Quality in the automobile vehicles is an essential thing. The better the quality and the more adoration it receives, and thus, extending its product cycle. The price of the product affects this concept as well, since, people always desire to purchase a commodity that has an assured quality and also comes within their affordability. Therefore, keeping a balance between these two aspects will certainly make the product a popular one in the market and further, extend the product cycle (Wooliscroft, 2011).

  1. The promotional and marketing activity:

Studying the case of Renault Clio it has been observed that although the vehicle was launched in the early 1990s, it had an extremely extensive product cycle that lasted until the end of the millennium. The strategy was to promote the same strategies over and over again and at different stages of time. The same advertisement i.e. the phenomenal "Nicole and Papa" advertisement was broadcasted to remind the people of the quality product that Renault Clio was (Midgley, 2002).

Digital marketing and online presence

Holden Cars should also focus on such initiatives for the products, after making an analysis of their products, and assessing the quality and capability of the product on which this market campaign can be implemented on. Furthermore, they can repeat the promotional campaign on different overseas markets, depending on the type of economy the country has. This would require carefully planned steps as, the company will have to keep an eye on the deteriorating value of the product and the overseas market that help them to score profit from the targeted sales (Milisavljevic, 2013).

Also, as the company already possesses the tools that were used in the very first promotional activity of the product, they would not need to expend further costs on developing those again. The company can implement the marketing strategy as per their market analysis in the domestic market as well. If they observe a pattern which indicates that the product will be able to generate further revenue from the domestic market, then they can use the domestic market again. This analysis can be done by:

  • Using a survey process, both on field and telecommunication based survey would help (Planit, 2007).
  • Using using the existing customer database, the company can use their existing customer database to create a returning customer. For instance, the company can offer them an exchange offer based on a discount on the same product. This will not only be satisfactory to the customer, but also the company will be able to retain its product, which then can be serviced thoroughly and can put up for sale again. This would help the company in cutting out their production costs as well.

Moreover, as Holden cars have already announced that they are going cease all of their production operations and focus on being an automobile sales company, they would certainly benefit from incorporating this particular idea. Since they will not be engaging in the production procedure, they can retain some of their products those were originally manufactured by them and put them up for sale again thus, extending the product cycle (Plunkett, 2003).

Marketing to analyze the market demands:

Analyzing the market demands is one of the crucial aspects the company should keep in mind. At present the company Holden Cars is engaged in both:

  • The sales of self-produced vehicles
  • The sales of imported vehicle models (Stark, 2005).

Analyzing the market demand is going to be fruitful for both the sales processes. To start with, the company can use marketing activities that would incorporate a pre-order facility to its targeted market. Before the production the company certainly had a figure on a number of products they will be producing at the beginning (Sandhusen, 2000). The number of pre-orders they will be receiving from this marketing strategy will ascertain the figure of the total sales they are assured to expect at the very start. This will help them minimize the risk factors that most of the products face at their launch. Apart from this, if the company has not yet decided on a number of products they will be producing before heading to the market, the company will get an estimation of the market demand they will be facing with the launch of their product. This, in turn, will not only help them stipulate the amount of products which are to be manufactured but also if need be cancellation of the manufacturing of a product, based on the market analysis and if it reflects adversely(Richter, 2002).

Focus on branding

As presented in the paragraph above, estimating market demands will be helpful in the importation process of the products. Holden Cars import vehicles manufactured by General Motors with the view to make sales in the Australasian market. Prior estimation on the number of products that they will be importing for their sales purpose can be achieved using implementing this concept. Since, the company is going to focus on the automobile import, and export sales for the same brand they are doing now, they will be able to avoid unnecessary risk factors, and minimize the unavoidable ones. The marketing strategy will attract the prospective customers, who in turn will be asked to make pre-orders on their desired products. This will guarantee the company with an absolute amount of sale and will also create a prospective market for that particular product. The prospective market will have its foundation on the marketing activity. As the target of the marketing endeavor was to generate pre-orders, the marketing activity will be approaching people and seek to implant in their minds the seed of desire for possessing the product. Those who will succumb to this desire will place their pre-orders and become prospective customers, and those who did not succumb will not go to waste but will consist to be the prospective market. As these people had the desire to purchase the product but did not want to make a pre-order will certainly look forward to making their purchases as soon as the product is available for purchase in the market. 

Conclusion

Holden Cars Ltd has been a leading and heavyweight name in the automobile manufacturing and selling business. Having decades of experience in peddling automotive products the company wishes to focus on the sales trade only shortly. The future of automobiles is taking turns and is running hand in hand with technology nowadays. Markets are flourishing with vehicles with their upgraded parts and highly appreciated technical aspects. With the rise of demands for cars and other vehicles, consumers are looking forward to buying the best one, and the vehicles' brand is the first thing they set their eyes on. In this era of fast growing economy, markets and some of the greatest automobile companies are competing to satisfy needs of the buyers. To fulfill consumer needs, the automobile companies are now rushing forward to come up with some great strategies and marketing methods. This was the purpose of this essay to provide an in-depth analysis that Holden Cars Ltd can incorporate in their marketing endeavors to achieve their entrepreneurial goals in the future. 

References

Armstrong, G. & Kotler, P. (2000). Marketing. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Brambilla, I. (2005). A customs union with multinational firms. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Dencic-Mihajlov, K. (2013). Marketing of initial public offering. Marketing, 44(2), 137-148.

Grewal, D. & Levy, M. (2010). Marketing. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Jovanovic, B. (2004). The product cycle and inequality. Cambridge, Mass.: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Kerin, R. (2006). Marketing. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Kotler, P. (2000). Marketing management. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

Midgley, D. (2002). What to Codify: Marketing Science or Marketing Engineering?. Marketing Theory, 2(4), 363-368.

Midgley, D. (2002). What to Codify: Marketing Science or Marketing Engineering?. Marketing Theory, 2(4), 363-368. 

Milisavljevic, M. (2013). Value oriented strategic marketing. Marketing, 44(4), 299-309.

Plunkett, J. (2003). Plunkett's automobile industry almanac. Houston, TX.: Plunkett Research.

Richter, T. (2002). Marketing mix standardisation in international marketing. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Sandhusen, R. (2000). Marketing. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's.

Stark, J. (2005). Product lifecycle management. London: Springer.

Wooliscroft, B. (2011). Marketing theory as history. Marketing Theory, 11(4), 499-501. 

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