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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, people, processes and physical evidence, partnerships).

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.

Introduction to marketing mix and its importance for contemporary businesses

Marketing plays an important role in gaining competitive advantages for the contemporary business organizations. Thus, in order to gain the competitive advantages in the market, contemporary business organizations initiate effective marketing strategies. This also helps them in staying ahead in the competition. In the process of initiation of effective marketing strategies, one of the key aspects being considered is the marketing mix (Leonidou, Katsikeas & Morgan, 2013). Marketing mix refers to the various mediums of the business organizations, with the help of which, they can gain competitiveness in the market. Moreover, marketing mix refers to the factors, which helps the organizations in attracting the customers. Thus, initiation of the effective marketing strategies in adhering to the marketing mix of the organization will help the organization in having holistic approach in targeting the customers.

Traditional approach to the marketing mix consist of four elements namely, price, place, promotion and place, which are to be considered by the business organizations in operating effectively in the market. However, in the current business scenario, the aspects for the business organizations are rapidly emerging and the existing 4Ps of marketing mix is not enough to cover all the emerging aspects (Singh, 2012). Thus, for the contemporary business organizations, the existing 4Ps of marketing are being modified to 8Ps of marketing. In 8Ps of marketing, the added elements are the physical evidence, process, people and partnership.

This report will discuss about the effective implementation of marketing strategies in adherence to the 8Ps of marketing for the Tesla Inc. all the 8Ps of marketing mix for Tesla will be discussed here in this report. In addition, recommendations will be provided in accordance to the identified issues.

In the current business scenario, organizations having innovative approach and having the access to the latest and futuristic technologies are having more market potential compared to the organizations incorporating traditional and conventional approach. This phenomenon made Tesla an overnight sensation in the existing automobile market. Tesla was being founded in 2003 in view to change the existing business scenario with the use of renewable energy ("About Tesla | Tesla", 2017). Currently, they are having vast and diverse product portfolio ranging from solar chargers, super chargers batteries to electric vehicles. However, the introduction of electric vehicles made Tesla hugely popular in the global market ("Tesla’s Competitive Advantages — 5 Big Ones", 2017). This is due to the reason that, they had able to change the common perception of the market around the electric cars. The models namely model S, model X and Model 3 can be compared and are superiors in few aspects compared to the conventional vehicles. Moreover, the future proposed offering from Tesla such as electric semi truck will help them to create huge opportunities in the global market.

Traditional and modified approach to the marketing mix

As discussed earlier, for the contemporary business organizations such as Tesla, it is important to determine their 8Ps of marketing mix. In this case, the model S will be taken to evaluate the marketing mix. The following sections will discuss about the different elements of the marketing mix for model S.

Products of Tesla are their key source of gaining competitive advantages in the market. This is due to the reason that, model S is electric sedan with having features as par or superior to its conventional competitors. According to the business principle of Tesla, their vision is to change the perception of the customers regarding the electric vehicles. Hence, they have introduced model S with having all the relevant features being required by the target market. Moreover, the model S is being designed to give it a sporty stance. In addition, the engine is also being tuned to have superior acceleration compared to the conventional competitors. The range to be covered in a single charge is also being enhanced. Thus, model S is racier, sporty and luxurious even being an electric car (Team, 2017). This is helping Tesla in promoting their product as a worthy competitor in the market along with being a vehicle running on renewable energy (Mangram, 2012).

In terms of initiating pricing strategy, Tesla involved an innovative approach. This is due to the fact that, model S and model X are being touted as premium offerings. It helped them to gain an exclusivity among the customers by operating in the niche market (Wood, 2017). Moreover, the premium pricing of model S helped them to gain the capital needed for further development of the model 3. Thus, the one the one hand, premium pricing helped them to gain the required customer awareness about the product and on the other hand, it helped them to raise the fund for further development (Keller, 2017).

The innovative marketing approach is visible in their distribution policy also. According to the business policy of Tesla, the new products such as model S are in the requirement of mode market exposure and awareness (Kanagal, 2015). Thus, unlike their competitors, they have opted for small stores in various shopping malls for displaying their products along with having conventional automobile showrooms (Lowry, 2017). This approach helped them in catering to more number of potential customers. It is being seen in various reports that, in the case of having their showrooms in the shopping malls, various people not aware about the model S got the in hand impression and decided to have one. Moreover, model S is also being available from the official website of Tesla. Thus, customers have the convenience of booking their car according to their choice online.

Effective implementation of the 8Ps of marketing for Tesla

Unlike its conventional competitors, Tesla does not follow extensive marketing strategy. There are various reasons being given by Tesla regarding not initiating extensive marketing policy. One of the key reasons is the cost being incurred in involving extensive marketing. Thus, Tesla is saving a good amount of money from their limited marketing activities. In addition, according to Tesla, earned media is more effective compared to the paid media (referralcandy.com, 2017). Thus, the positive word of mouth being generated from the existing users will help them to reach out to more number of potential customers. However, the promotions being done for model S are mainly targeted in its utility. The product is being positioned as greener version compared to the conventional vehicles.

For the contemporary business organizations, people hold an important area in gaining competitive advantages. Tor Tesla, the key people are their employees and customers. Leadership style being followed by Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla motors is more of transformational and visionary (Avolio & Yammarino, 2013). This has positive impact on the effectiveness of the employees. Moreover, the customers are being treated as the key stakeholders for their business. Thus, customer satisfaction of Tesla is being maintained effectively and positively. Organizational culture in Tesla is also being enhanced with having the transformational leadership Elon Musk (Alvesson, 2012). This in turn helps to enhance the level of motivation of the employees. Eventually, the motivated employees help them in providing effective customer service.

As discussed earlier, customer service is being given the most preference and concentration by Tesla. Accordingly, they are designing the service delivery (Wilson et al., 2012). To handle the customer grievances, they have a designated portal in their official website. However, there is one issue being originated from their process and it is the huge waiting period for all of their models. Moreover, with the introduction of affordable model 3, the waiting period is increasing rapidly. Thus, it is of urgent requirement of them to enhance their process in order to reduce the waiting period.

Physical evidence is favorable and positive for Tesla due to the fact that they are offering cars to their customers. Moreover, the buzz being generated around their products is enough to promote to new markets and to reach out to more number of customers. The designs of their showrooms are also being designed to create positive impression among the customers (Das, 2014). Moreover, as being earlier discussed, the earned media is being more preferred by them. Thus, the positive physical evidence of them also contributes in creating the positive user reviews. In the case of the model S, physical evidence includes faster acceleration, sporty design and the brand value.

Product of Tesla and its competitive advantages

Partnership is the extended form of 8Ps of marketing. It is being added in the existing form of marketing mix due to the reason that for the contemporary business scenario, strategic partnership plays key role in gaining market share in the global market scenario along with effectively catering to the target market (Mahoney, 2012). In the case of Tesla, still now they are not in the need of strategic partnership due to the fact that, the global market presence of Tesla is limited till now. However, in the future, they might be in the need of strategic partnership to extend their market across the globe (Prajogo & Olhager, 2012). In the recent time, Daimler AG bought 10 percent of stake in Tesla. Thus, it will help Tesla in acquiring the expertise in automobile engineering of Daimler AG by Tesla. One the other hand, Daimler AG will gain the market presence in the electric vehicle market.

The product portfolio of Tesla consists of model S, model X and model 3. However, as per the strategy of Tesla, model S and X are the premium offerings and model 3 is affordable targeted for mass market. However, model 3 is being priced at $35000 and model S is priced at $70000. Thus, though Tesla is promoting the model 3 as a mass-market model. However, the pricing of model 3 is not affordable compared to its competitors. Thus, it is being recommended that, Tesla should come up with more affordable models in order to cater to the mass-market. Only then, their market area will get extended along with their brand value.

The products portfolio of Tesla consists of a SUV and two sedans. Thus, in order to cater to diversified taste and preference pattern of the customers, they should introduce models in other genres also. An affordable hatchback will be effective and suitable for them to target the mass-market. This is due to the reason that, the market scenario can get changed at any time and thus, it will be helpful for Tesla to have presence in every automobile genre.

In terms of distribution of model S, it is being made available through every medium possible. However, involvement of third party automobile retailers will help them to target more number of audiences effectively. Moreover, the brand exposure will also get increased with the involvement of third party vendors.

They have involved all the possible means of promotional channels in order to cater to the target customers. However, in this case of promoting model S, Tesla can follow the footsteps of its competitors regarding the steps to follow in promoting the products. One of the key steps can be sponsoring any events. Event sponsorship or celebrity endorsements will help them to enhance their brand value along with effectively penetrating in the potential market.

Pricing strategy of Tesla and its effectiveness

As discussed earlier, Tesla is already having effective people management in their internal organization along with providing favorable service quality to the customers. However, it is also to be considered by Tesla that, the present business scenario is much more fluctuating and rapid change is taking place regarding the taste and preference pattern of the customers. Thus, the organizational culture of Tesla should be made flexible in order to cope up with the change in the business scenario.

The existing process of Tesla is facing issues due to the huge demand of their cars. However, still now they cannot able to enhance the productivity of their process. This will have negative impact on their business potential due to the reason that customers will wait for more time, rather they will opt for other brands also. Thus, the business process should be enhanced by starting new assembly line and more shifts. This will help them to reduce the waiting period.

Having a physical product, Tesla is having the advantage of providing physical evidence to their customers. It is being earlier discussed that, there are various unique features such as auto pilot mode, which enhances the providence of physical evidence for the customers. However, it should be noted by Tesla that, the physical evidences being offered by them should not have any negative implication. According to various reports, the auto pilot mode of Tesla has caused accidents for the owners. Thus, this type of incidents will reduce the satisfaction level for the customers.

As already discussed, Tesla has not involved in extensive strategic partnership due to their limited market area. However, in the recent time they have went to strategic relationship with Daimler AG. Moreover, in the future, Tesla will obviously extend their global presence and at that time, strategic partnership with various domestic organizations will be beneficial for them. The current issues that they are facing in reducing the customer wait period can be solved by entering in strategic partnership with other organizations having similar expertise.

Conclusion

This report discussed about the 8Ps of marketing mix of Tesla. Various issues are being identified in discussing the marketing mix. However, apart from these issues, various other issues may also have negative impact on the performance of the organization and their marketing strategy. These issues are the environment, social media, technology and corporate social responsibilities.

For the automotive industry, environmental issues are one of the key issues being faced in effectively operating in the market. The emission being generated by the vehicles is on of the key sources of pollution and thus governments of different countries to counter it are initiating various stringent regulations (De Santiago et al., 2012). This legislations will prove challenging for the automobile businesses due to the reason that, the market potentiality will get reduced. However, in the case of Tesla, it will act as competitive advantage due to the reason that, Tesla vehicles operates in electric. Thus, the suitable marketing strategy for Tesla will be to promote their products as environment friendly and green, which will in turn help to create a distinctive image in the market.

Distribution policy and marketing strategy of Tesla

Social media is one of the most potential and effective medium for the business organizations to engage with the customers and market their products. However, social media can also have negative impact on the marketing activities of Tesla (Kumar & Mirchandani , 2012). This is due to the reason that, social media also contributes in generating negative word of mouth. In this case of the auto pilot accidents of Tesla, involvement of social media will communicate it to the larger sections. It will affect the earned promotion of Tesla. Thus, in Tesla should not only rely on earned media only, rather than they should involves other conventional mediums also.

As of now, Tesla does not maintain sustainability report or being involved in any social responsibilities. However, one of the key advantages being for Tesla in this case is that their business profile is based on the sustainability. They promote their products as the sustainable options over the conventional vehicles (Tai & Chuang, 2014). Thus, the perception of Tesla is being created as an ethical, sustainable and socially responsible organization. However, it is required for them to have some presence in the social responsibility. This will help them in gaining more social goodwill and reputation in the market.

Thus from the above discussion, it can be concluded that, Tesla is having huge potential in the global market. However, there are some issues being identified, which may affect their business activities. Effective implementation of the discussed recommendations will help them in overcome the issues and enhance their potentiality. 

Reference

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Das, G. (2014). Store personality and consumer store choice behaviour: an empirical examination. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 32(3), 375-394.

De Santiago, J., Bernhoff, H., Ekergård, B., Eriksson, S., Ferhatovic, S., Waters, R., & Leijon, M. (2012). Electrical motor drivelines in commercial all-electric vehicles: A review. IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology, 61(2), 475-484.

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

Leonidou, C. N., Katsikeas, C. S., & Morgan, N. A. (2013). “Greening” the marketing mix: do firms do it and does it pay off?. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 41(2), 151-170.

Lowry, W. (2017). Why Tesla's distribution model differs from competitors - Market Realist. Marketrealist.com. Retrieved 12 October 2017, from https://marketrealist.com/2014/06/teslas-distribution-model-differs-competitors/

Mahoney, J. T. (2012). Towards a stakeholder theory of strategic management. Towards a New Theory of the Firm. Barcelona: IESE Research Unit, forthcoming, 110.

Mangram, M. E. (2012). The globalization of Tesla Motors: a strategic marketing plan analysis. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 20(4), 289-312.

Prajogo, D., & Olhager, J. (2012). Supply chain integration and performance: The effects of long-term relationships, information technology and sharing, and logistics integration. International Journal of Production Economics, 135(1), 514-522.

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Tai, F. M., & Chuang, S. H. (2014). Corporate social responsibility. Ibusiness, 6(03), 117.

Team, T. (2017). Forbes Welcome. Forbes.com. Retrieved 12 October 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/01/04/should-tesla-be-worried-of-competition/#561b3b764ebe

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Wood, R. (2017). Elon Musk - Tesla's Pricing Strategy | Pricing Insight. Pricing Insight. Retrieved 12 October 2017, from https://pricinginsight.com.au/whitepapers/teslas-elon-musk-handles-pricing-strategy/

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