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  • You should aim to keep the plan brief and succinct; whilst supplementary information may be included within appendices these should not be used to subvert the word limit.
  • Due credit, weightage and marks will be awarded to students who display traits of creativity and innovation in their business ideas and marketing strategies.
  • You should briefly present the supporting market information and rationale for your marketing decisions, citing relevant theory. However, theory without application to your business opportunity and its market(s) will not receive a high mark.
  • You should reference a minimum of 10 sources (theory and/or market information: not lecture material or general websites). Referencing needs to abide by Harvard Standards. assessment and/or module and/or exclusion from the University.

Work not correctly referenced (including data sources) will be capped.

Work must be submitted to TurnItIn as required or your marks will be withheld.

  • Apply and evaluate the principles of organisational and environmental audits to inform marketing strategies, decisions and objectives.
  • Develop and justify a marketing plan and mix for a given target market.
SWOT Analysis

Introducing a business to a market, needs a proper planning before implementation. A marketing plan is a portion of the total business plan. Under a marketing plan, a marketing strategy is formulated, which becomes the foundation of most relevant marketing plan.

A marketing plan included business foundation, operation, and nature of the business. Moreover, to analyses, the business, SWOT analysis of the proposed business is conducted. Vision, mission, and objectives of the business are decided and set. After these, a most important part of planning is analyzing the market, which is to analyze the USP of the business, target customers, rivalry firms, industry analysis, and marketing strategy. Lastly, another relevant step is to analyses and decide on financial aspect, that is the sales forecast, marketing budget, and pricing method.

In this report, a summary of a marketing plan will be created for a company that wishes to establish an E-commerce business in Morocco. Therefore, all the relevant stages of the marketing plan will be included in the report further.

It is an E-commerce business, which likes to establish in Morocco, for which the company will trade a wide variety of consumer goods online, with a service of delivery. The company will be able to reach to the customers at their doorstep with products ordered by the customer with a click of a mouse or through an application on mobile or tablets. The applications will be available for apple and android users or the customers can even visit the website to order.

S.W.O.T. analysis

While analysis the business, the strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats will be known which can be used while planning business in the future. That is to decide how strengths can be used to gain opportunities, or how a company overcomes their weakness to avoid threats to the company.

S.W.O.T. activity sheet

Strength 

Ease of reach

Skilled workforce

Effective communication

Shipping and delivery

Products wide range

Weakness 

System maintenance

No physical availability

Brand image

E-commerce leaders

Opportunity 

Delivery options

Physical stores

Brand association

Own products

Threats 

Competition

Customer loyalty

Transportation costs

Logistics

Seasonal products

Strength 

  • Ease of reach – reaching to the customer is easy by targeting or approaching them online, or through the internet, therefore reaching physically is not necessary
  • Skilled workforce – the workforce, for the business planed is skilled personnel, which is one of the strength for the company and will be responsible for the growth of the form.  
  • Effective communication – communication is conducted online that is through emails, or social media platforms, which will be effective and reaching out to the maximum customers at the same time
  • Shipping and delivery – the delivery strategy of the company is to reach to the customers on or before time or providing a quick delivery option, as the initial target of the company in Morocco
  • Products wide range – the products to be served to the customers are wide in range along with the service option to make the goods available at the doorstep and beautician service(Cooper, 2016)

Weakness 

  • System maintenance – since the large product and service rage is there, the maintenance of the system becomes crucial and problematic
  • No physical availability – there is no physical stores available to create better customer relationship, or understand the customer more closely
  • Brand image – creating brand image becomes very difficult in case of e-commerce, because of no personal touch with the customers
  • E-commerce leaders – there are already existing global leaders like Amazon in this industry, which make new entrant companies a bit challenging

Opportunity 

  • Delivery options – the delivery options can be enhanced and increased, like one-day delivery, and same day delivery for the beautician services
  • Physical stores – the opportunity in future would make e-commerce business into the traditional brick and motor business
  • Brand association – associated with more and more brands to offer customers a wide variety of products
  • Own products – this to manufacture own products and sell online, this could include either a particular category of goods or all categories offered by the company under its own brand name

Threats 

  • Competition – one of the major threat while entrancing into online business is the competition and the existing companies in the market. Some of them are global leaders and others are entering every day
  • Customer loyalty – the loyalty towards the existing brands online can be a threat to the company
  • Transportation costs – since the major operating function is the transportation of goods from the manufacturer to the warehouse and to the customer
  • Logistics – logistics consist of many partners, and the threat is in case
  • Seasonal products – some of the products are seasonal, whose sales are gone down at the unseasonal time (Milah, 2015)

Considering the products of the company, it will be trading a wide range of consumer goods including the category of apparels, electronics, books, and cosmetics of authorized brands.

Moreover considering services, the company is forward to deliver goods to the customer at their doorstep and would like to add beautician services at the customer doorstep (Oral, 2014) 

Sales/marketing personnel

Sales or marketing team is a separate team working for the research and development, and marketing objectives for the company. Their job role is to research for new product development, search for marketing need, influence sales in the market, and get feedback from the customer (Garland, 2015).

The vision statement of the company will be providing the best of products with the best experience of shopping online.

Mission statement

The mission of the company is to become the most customer-centric company and a one-stop destination for customers to find any customer good they wish to purchase at the lowest possible price

Goals/objectives

  • Satisfaction amongst the customer after shopping from the company
  • Provide authenticated and best quality products and services
  • Make goods available at a minimum price as compare to competitors
  • Availability of a Wide variety of products, with quickest delivery possible through sellers
  • Use of upgraded technology, for the best experience of the customers
  • Adding new styles, design, and updating products according to change in fashion rapidly (Misra, 2017)

The unique selling proposition of the company will be providing certified products and delivered as quickly as possible. Moreover, one of the competitive advantages is that other than consumer goods various services would also available to customers like beautician. There are various other activities that the company will adopt, which could result into unique selling proposition like making goods available to the customer which is not possible by the customer personally, like goods imported from other countries, which are not available at brick and motor shop usually. Like electronics from China, and makeup products from Korea  (Petersen, 2015) 

Products/Services

.Your customers/clients

The company will be trying to target the widest groups of customer all over the country because the products and services offered are wide in range for all men and women, old age, and kids. Nevertheless, one of the thing here matter is the use of technology, those people who are very active while using technical devices like smartphones are targeted more. Moreover, particularly for beautician services, women with the high-income group are targeted more  (Scicluna, 2018).

Your competitors

The competitor's list is very long in this industry in Morocco, although some of the top companies that are major competitor would be Amazon, eBay, Payoneer, globalsources.com, rebubble.com, prestashop.com and many more. Moreover other than the direct competition, some of the indirect competition would be the brands directly serving the nation through stores or online, which are associated with the company. Moreover, brick and motor business like malls, complex, and various departmental stores, which are physically available for the customers, can be major competitors as well.

Market research

Market research is a very crucial stage while establishing a business, or in case a company likes to grow the business. The benefits of market research include avoiding unnecessary expense, actual trends of the industry are analyzed, and customer’s needs are assessed through market research. This step to conduct is essential and wise to conduct.  This included evaluation of market demand, this could be a bit time consuming, but result into better business and marketing plan, with no vague information, and the findings are in terms of facts and figure, making it more relevant. Moreover, this could result in a better business decision to be taken in future as well.  

Some of the appropriate online business tools can be utilized to conduct this research, and since the industry is E-commerce, a most approachable method is online market research.  Some of the ideas related to market research are

  • Keyword research – Google keyword planner can be a helpful tool to view how many audience searching or awaiting for the company or product range the company is deciding to offer to the customers. This will clearly indicate the interested audience in any product or to purchase from the company (Hudson & Roth, 2016)
  • Search for trends – this is the way company can take help of Google trends, according to this tool, the company can compare search volumes from last few years between various terms, a search of a similar business idea or how is any marketing event affect the audience (Hutt & Ferrell, 2016).
  • Social media examine – one can search for the trends, likes dislikes, and needs of the customer from the social media platform (West, 2011)

The target market would be residents of Morocco and expanding the business globally in various other countries. Moreover, the customer segment to target will be young age people, who are influenced by shopping online, or are more towards the use of social media, online sites, and believe in online trading. Both male and females can be a target as the products included both the gender’s interest goods and services. Although, the middle and upper class is targeted, and lower income groups are not to be intensively targeted  (VanBelle, 2014).

Environmental/industry analysis

For the industry analysis, porter five force model can be helpful, for the e-commerce industry in Morocco the five forces are as follows:

  1. Bargaining power of buyers

The buyers are in a state of negotiation due to high competition in the industry. Although the payment system is not so strong in Morocco, but still due to various options to purchase from and the shifting cost for the customer is not so high, they can switch to any other company for purchase. The bargaining power is in hands of customers, and the company needs to provide less price for the products (Armstrong & Giardina, 2016).

  1. Bargaining power of suppliers

Sales/Marketing Personnel

The suppliers in this industry are also in the powerful position, because the company is associated with a brand for the sale, and it cannot afford to lose any brand for the selling purpose, therefore the brand supplying goods have the power to negotiate. Moreover, the delivery partners are also in a state of negotiation, due to a limited number of companies working as delivery agents in Morocco (Calboli, 2015).

  1. Rivalry companies

This is the major issue of this industry that is competition. In this industry, competition is very high, as the competitors already discussed above. This could be taken into opportunity and with product differentiation, or by cost leadership, the company can be a competitor to major global leaders, particularly in this market (Bhave & Mishra, 2014).

  1. The threat of new entrants – the entry to this industry is not too restricted or difficult, in today’s time, most of the sellers are becoming online sellers. The threat here involved is that the company coming up afterward could come up with better and upgraded technology, and more innovative offers for the customers, and can result in a threat to the company (Mura & Mariani, 2016)
  2. Threat of substitutes

Substitutes in this industry are not so prominent, but still the brick and motor showrooms, the store can be a threat to the online companies, because still many people believe that the purchase must be made after seeing the goods and after selling the goods are tangibly present. Moreover, the customers are loyal towards the store they use to visit, which can be a threat to the e-commerce company (Chung & Fiore, 2017).

Marketing strategy

The marketing strategy for the e-commerce company includes:

  • Product range – the range and variety of the products will be available in large scale, this will attract more customer group and company will be able to target a large market
  • Interface availability that is user-friendly – the use of website must be customer friendly, as this is the major reason for the failure of many companies as the customer does not easily understand from where to purchase and all the system.
  • Strong communication system – the communication system of the company need to be good inside out. The communication inside the organization leads to more coordinated work, and more efficient work done, that is on time (Jawoski, 2018).
  • Authenticated brands – the brands served by the company must be authentically linked to the website, moreover, the certificate of the official certificate must be inserted with the product image on the website as this will eventually increase the customer trust and loyalty
  • Search engine optimization – this is the words that the customer is searching and reaching the page quickly. In case the whole name of the product is to be written by the customer, then the customer would not able to reach to that product page quickly. With the use of SEO, in case the customer is searching with a single term of the product, they can reach the page easily.
  • Application use and layout – the use of the application in phone must be handy and updated according to the mobile software, and the layout must be attractive and customer friendly
  • Technology up gradation – the upgraded technology is to use by the company to gain competitive advantage, and avoid the threat of new entrants.
  • Delivery system – the delivery partner and system must be efficient enough to reach to the customers on time, and as quick as possible.
  • Optimized checkout procedure – the checkout process, and the payment partner must be optimized so that the customer is not irritated and do not change mind before making the order. Therefore, the checkout process must be effective and optimum.
  • Product descriptions and images – the description of the product should be very attractive for the customer to read, that is it must include the characteristics of the product, USP, ingredients, and expiry in case of beauty products(Dahl & Solomon, 2014).
  • Advertising & sales

To make the customer aware about the company and enhanced sale, one of the best method is promotion through advertisement. There could be various advertising methods that can be used to promote company and influence sale. Some of them are:

  • Audiovisual methods – these include advertising through television advertisement with some of the popular faces of Morocco, which can be an influencer to increase customer loyalty for the company, and increase the trust of customers. Moreover, the advertisement can be done through social media, and email marketing.
  • Printing form – the printed advertising will include ads in magazines and journals, and newspaper to make the customer aware of the company(Day, 2014).

Pricing strategy for this e-commerce company is price penetration or competitive pricing strategies. The reason being that the price more than the competitors, as the switching cost is not as such for the customers. And in today’s world, customers are becoming smart, they go through various platforms online before making a purchase (Finne, 2017).

Expected sales/ sales forecast 

The sales forecast is based on assumptions, and will be conducted for next five years

Cost-Volume-Profit Relationships - Breakeven

 

Per Unit Amounts

Selling price

 $              200.00

Variable costs

 $                35.00

Contribution margin

 $              165.00

 

 

Total fixed costs*

 $        500,000.00

Breakeven in units

3030.30

Breakeven in dollars

 $        606,060.61

Fiscal year ends in December. EUR in millions except per share data.

2019-12

2020-12

2021-12

2022-12

2023-12

Revenue

14492

14634

16815

19491

21518

Cost of revenue

7352

7670

8788

9982

10814

Calculations of Sales growth rate

Fiscal year ends in December. EUR in millions except per share data.

2020-18

2021-18

2022-18

2023-18

Average growth rate

Revenue growth rate

0.98%

14.90%

15.91%

10.40%

10.55%

Calculations of total expenses growth rate

Fiscal year ends in December. EUR in millions except per share data.

2020-18

2021-18

2022-18

2023-18

Average growth rate

Total COGS

4.33%

14.58%

13.59%

8.34%

10.21%

Total operating expenses

1.31%

18.60%

12.11%

8.88%

10.22%

Marketing budget (in millions dollars)

Particulars

1st 

2nd 

3rd 

Direct marketing

11000

10000

11000

Traditional advertisement

4000

6000

8000

Social Media marketing

4800

6000

7000

Sales

18000

13000

15000

Total

37,800

35,000

41,000

Monitoring/measurement activities

The last stage comes is monitoring the marketing plan. While evaluating the marketing intiatives, four aspects is to be considered:

  • External factors – since the environement is dynamic, and changing verey rapidly, one must analyze the external factors constantly, and bring changes to the marketing plan whenever required
  • Cost benefits – this consideration, means that the result of any initiative taken must be observed, that is to evaluate if the const spend on promotion or initiatives are resulting into sales increment, or change in customer perception, whatever expected while making plan
  • Feedback – from the initiative taken, the customer feedback mujst be take, that the initative have implemented positively, ort negative according to the customer
  • Long term perspective – whenever the marketing plan is made, the long term perpective must be considered instaed of short term perspect, so that the resul of any intiative is permanement or for long time(Fan & Lau, 2015).

Conclusion 

To conclude the report, it can be said that the marketing plan for e-commerce business to be conducted in Morocco, is part of a business plan, where the focus is over marketing activities. This plan is to be conducted in particular stages that is initially the business analysis was done, according to which some of the strength of the business were ease of reach, skilled workforce, and effective communication which can used to gain opportunities like delivery options, brand association, and physical stores.

The market stage of the plan included the USP of the company that would be serving large variety of goods and services, with quickest delivery. The target market was Morocco residents, and the customer group who are more influenced with technological devices. Moreover, marketing strategies were created like search engine optimization, and technology up gradation.

References

Armstrong, C. & Giardina, M., 2016. Embracing the social in social media: An analysis of the social media marketing strategies of the Los Angeles Kings. Communication & Sport, 4(2), p. 145.

Bhave, A. & Mishra, A., 2014. A combined bottom-up and top-down approach for assessment of climate change adaptation options. Journal of Hydrology, Volume 518, p. 150.

Calboli, I., 2015. Geographical indications of origin at the crossroads of local development, consumer protection and marketing strategies. IIC-International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law, 46(7), p. 760.

Chung, J. & Fiore, A., 2017. The Effects of Shopping Motivation and an Experiential Marketing Approach on Consumer Responses toward Small Apparel Retailers. Fashion, Industry and Education, 15(2), p. 11.

Cooper, R., 2016. The Next Stage for Product Development Blending Agile and Stage-Gate methods can provide flexibility, speed, and improved communication in new-product development. Research-Technology Management,, 59(1), pp. 21-29.

Dahl, D. & Solomon, M., 2014. Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being. 10 ed. London: Pearson.

Day, G., 2014. An outside-in approach to resource-based theories. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 42(1), p. 27.

Fan, S. & Lau, R., 2015. Demystifying big data analytics for business intelligence through the lens of marketing mix. Big Data Research, 2(1), p. 28.

Finne, A., 2017. Communication-in-use: customer-integrated marketing communication. European Journal of Marketing, 51(3), p. 445.

Garland, R., 2015. The impact of the family, Church and State on the aspirations of young people with disability in Malta: a cultural perspective.. Master's thesis, University of Malta.

Hudson, S. & Roth, M., 2016. The influence of social media interactions on consumer–brand relationships: A three-country study of brand perceptions and marketing behaviors. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 33(1), p. 27.

Hutt, G. & Ferrell, O., 2016. A stakeholder marketing approach to sustainable business. In Marketing in and for a Sustainable Society, p. 61.

Jawoski, B., 2018. Commentary: advancing marketing strategy in the marketing discipline and beyond. Journal of Marketing Management, 34(1), p. 63.

Milah, R., 2015. Marketing audit-a systematic and comprehensive marketing examination. Int J Sci Technol Res, 4(7), pp. 215-221.

Misra, P., 2017. Brick and mortar store vs. online shopping experience: a study,. International Journal of Information Technology and Management, 16(2), pp. 133-146.

Mura , M. & Mariani, M., 2016. Facebook as a destination marketing tool: Evidence from Italian regional Destination Management Organizations. Tourism Management, Volume 54, p. 321.

Oral, C., 2014. Auditing Marketing Strategy Implementation Success. Marketing Review St. Gallen,, 31(3), pp. 55-65.

Petersen, J., 2015. Marketing communication strategies and consumer financial decision making: The role of national culture. Journal of Marketing, 79(1), pp. 44-63.

Scicluna, M., 2018. Demographic trends. [Online]
Available at: https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160601/opinion/Demographic-trends.613908
[Accessed 1 june 2016].

sidiqqa, A., 2018. How to find the USP of your business. [Online]
Available at: https://services.amazon.in/resources/seller-blog/how-to-find-the-usp-of-your-business.html
[Accessed 2017].

VanBelle, J., 2014. Factors affecting the organizational adoption of service-oriented architecture (SOA).. Information Systems and e-Business Management,, 12(1), pp. 71-100.

West, R., 2011. Trading Technologies International Inc, 2011. System and method for group positioning of market information in a graphical user interface. U.S. Patent, p. 414.

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