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Question :

Discuss about the Strategic Marketing Tools ?
 
 

Answer :

Introduction

The goal of every business is to realize the highest possible revenue. This objective is only achievable if the company has well-planned and established marketing strategies. Besides, a good marketing strategy should be supplemented by the appropriate strategic marketing tools that suit the operations of the company. Lane (2009) defined strategic marketing as the as a technique of coming up with a plan, developing and putting it into action to achieve a competitive advantage in a particular market niche. Strategic marketing gives a crucial direction on how the company can achieve its objectives. Therefore, it is fundamental for the organization to streamline its mission and vision objectives with the marketing strategy (Mattsson, 2008). This should be accompanied by carrying the analysis of the industry, defining the specific goals and with a guarantee that the company will offer the customers with the products and services they need (DeTienne & DeTienne, 2015). This paper purposes to explore the strategic marketing approach of Amazona.Com.

Amazon’s Strategic Marketing Approach

Amazon, a leading E-commerce uses segmentation, psychographic and demographic to address the needs of its customers. The company’s segmentation approach is based on its customers’ purchasing behavior. Segmentation approach analyzes an individual customer with an effort of converting the low turn up customers into high-value buyers in the long run. Alternatively, the segmentation of customers involves grouping them according to the products they purchase. In position aspect, Amazon has positioned itself by as global-local leader in the retail industry. This strategy enables the customers to receive the company products at their local destinations in different regions of the world.

The Importance of Identifying and Selecting among a Series of Strategic Marketing Tools

From the analysis of the above discussed Amazon marketing approach, it is important to note organizations the choice marketing tools are very crucial for the success of any marketing strategy.  Amazon has adapted to the strategic marketing tools that are aimed meeting the need of each customer. In the event of the development of the new marketing strategy, it is important to identify and select the most suitable marketing tools (Johnston, 2009). Well defined strategic tools help the organization in addressing the following issues:

 

Rationalizes Product Development

Strategic marketing tools help in making the products and services that provide the company with the best opportunity of making revenue (Truong & Simmons, 2010). This is because the application of the tools is determined by the results of the market research hence giving the information about the optimal target customers. Again, the used marketing tools should be able to withstand the threats portrayed by the competitors as well as meeting the emerging trends in the market. Using the market research information a marketing manager will determine which tools to use to meet address the clients’ wants and how to promote the company products against the company competitors.

Helps in Setting Maximum Prices

The company will set the optimal price of various products and services based on the strategic marketing tools used (Ashill, 2007).  For example, if from the marketing research a marketer finds that customers want high-end products then it will be appropriate to use a strategic marketing tool that creates a high-end value product from the perception of the customers. On another side, for the bargain-conscious customers who wants low priced products, it will be wise to adopt a strategic marketing tool that will suit their demands.

Sets up Effective Distribution

Once a marketer establishes a marketing tool, target customers and the price of the product helps in determining how the products will be distributed. This entails selecting the distribution channels as well as the location to sell the products (Chapman & Sadd, 2014). For example, in the modern world young people are likely to appreciate the existence of technology and therefore they are likely to pay for their purchases using credit cards or PayPal. Alternatively, order people may prefer to go shopping at retail outlets.

Aids Marketing Communication

Strategic marketing tools communicate the company's products and services to the target audience. Marketing tools will help in disseminating messages that suit the products of the company (Sandhusen, 2008). Again, it will help the company on the right promotional strategy to use including websites, radio stations or magazines whichever suits the selling plans of the company.

Overall Organizational Impact

According to Shank (2009), good strategic marketing tools facilitates to the conductive relationship of the organizational departments. Departments within the organization can work with each well as they are all working on the same marketing plan (Percy, 2014). For example, the products promotional team will work together with product development team to determine what message be sent the customers. Similarly, the sales person will in unison with company’s public image development team ascertain what they can offer in terms of rebates, coupons or discounts to enable brand development (Richardson, 2010). 

Assessment of the Value of Models used in Strategic Marketing Planning

Marketing strategic models are very valuable when designing a strategic marketing plan for a company. They provide a foundation where the company discusses its marketing strategies (Milisavljevic, 2013).  A reliable marketing model facilitates the application of the all strategic tools as it has been agreed by the company management. Additionally, a marketing model provides a reference point (O'Cass, Ngo, & Siahtiri, 2012). The company will always check whether the implementation of the marketing strategies is in line with the established marketing model. Strategy model offers the management with information of what is happening and perhaps how will be the marketing trends in future. During the strategic marketing analysis and planning of Amazon Company, the following marketing tools were suitable.

BCG Matrix

Just like any other company, Amazon has businesses segments which are question marks, stars, dogs and cash cows.  Movies and E-books are the Amazon's cash cows as they contribute to the largest percentage of the company's revenue. Amazon question marks are attributable to the company web services. This is because with rapidly growth of technology these services have been rendered absolute and hence they demand very low. Other consumable products and electronics form the Amazon's stars. These products and services have a high growth rate. Also, the Amazon's market share is growing rapidly for the star products. The application of the BCG matrix helps the company in availing to the new markets the products are high income generating.

Distribution Strategy

Impressive marketing models and tools will be of no use without an appropriate distribution strategy (McCamley & Gilmore, 2016). Amazon is done perfectly well in this aspect. The company operates on the slogan that the most fundamental thing that a customer anticipates is the quick delivery of the product. This aggressive strategy of products and services distribution will be very beneficial in the penetration of the new markets.

 

Competitive Analysis

Companies operate in a very a competitive environment. Therefore, it is important to scrutinize the company's competitive environment before determining which market strategy use in the new market. For the Amazon case, its competitors can be categorized based on the different business segments of the company.  Therefore, before the determining the new market strategy, it will be appropriate for the company to carry out an evaluation its current and potential business rivals.

Customer Analysis

The customer is the most critical stakeholder in any company. It is through the purchasing power of the customers whereby businesses can generate revenue. Amazon customers comprise of the middle class and upper-class social groups which can use E-commerce portals and can comfortably transact business online. Therefore, it will be crucial for the company to consider these customers in the development of the marketing strategy.

SWOT Analysis

The evaluation of company's internal environment in terms of strengths and opportunities and external environment in terms of weaknesses and threats is very helpful during strategic marketing planning. The company should use its strengths and opportunities to establish a strong marketing strategy. On the other side, it will try to come up with a new marketing strategy that overcomes the company weaknesses and at the same time avoids the threats attributable to its external environment.

The Links between Strategic Positioning and Marketing Tactics

Positioning is directly proportional to the marketing strategy because it ends up creating the target customers (Burke, 2011). Positioning entails defining the company products in terms of the buyers’ traits and needs of the people who will purchase the product. It also involves tracing the marketing venue where the marketer will reach the target group. The choice of positioning chosen by the company will be very impactful on its strategic marketing tactics. According to Siebers, Zhang, & Li (2013), positioning serves as the pivot for the development of marketing strategies and promotional objectives. The choice of positioning adopted by Amazon will have the following impacts on the available strategic marketing avenues.

Target Market Strategy

Target markets involve the group of customers that the company aims to sell its products at (McCamley & Gilmore, 2016). This group comprises of people who share certain qualities that separate from the rest of the population. An effective positioning should understand the typical customers who are the consumers of a certain product. Therefore, it becomes crucial to come with a positioning and marketing strategies helps in meeting the needs of the target market. For Amazon to be successful in marketing strategies, it has to understand the demographics and psychographics of the target audience. This will help in applying the right market strategy for customers in a given market segment.

Segmentation Tactic

Segmentation involves identifying the group of people with similar characteristics (Milisavljevic, 2013). These people may be sharing same demographics, buying habits or needs. Therefore, during product positioning, it is not appropriate to establish a marketing strategy that addresses the needs of all people in the population. Instead, a marketer should define his or her customers first, then create a strategy that will suit them.  Amazon should focus on its core middle-class and upper-class people when positioning its products. 

 

Message Strategy

A message strategy entails the procedures and techniques applied by marketers to avail the value proposition of the company products to the target customers (Johnston, 2009). This how the company provides the benefits of the products and services as of best value. There are several approaches to consider in this case. However, each approach should be based on the positioning created. For example, in the scenario of the low income earning customers, it will be most suitable to use low-cost strategy. Alternatively, where the company wants to express the high value of the products, it must put emphasis on quality and other distinguishing beneficial aspects. The use of testimonials, demonstrations, hard selling, anxiety or fear, selling propositions, drama and humor are other messaging strategies even the choice of its depends on the product positioning. Provided that Amazon offers a variety of products a mixture of message strategy will make a right decision to ensure that all the market segments are reached.

Media Selection

Promotion of the company products would not work without the selection of the right media channel.  Therefore, a marketer should identify which channel is used by the target audience. Additionally, the marketer should ascertain how effectively the choice of media will reach the target market. For example, Television may offer a broad coverage of capturing the attention of the target market, but it might be too expensive for the small companies. Apart from Television, a marketer can use Newspapers, Magazines or radio stations. However, the usage of various media channels will depend on how the persuasiveness of the message and the number of the people to be capture consistently to express a strong position.  Amazon being a global company Television and magazines can work best for the company’s product position strategy.

Merits of Relationship Marketing in a Given Strategic Marketing Strategy

The goals of any company are to retain the existing customers as it strives to acquire the new ones (Mattsson, 2008). Therefore, the relationship can be defined as a form of marketing strategy that focuses on customer retention. From the analysis of Amazon marketing strategies, there are several circumstances at which relationship marketing can be integrated.

Online Transactions

Amazon being an E-Commerce Company can make its online business transactions convenient by responding promptly to the customers' requests. This will make buying process is made convenient, and the customer's as well reduce the time the customers spend online.

Customers’ Feedback

Customer's feedback is very important as it helps to rectify the mistakes if the product did not meet the client's expectations. Once a customer provides a negative feedback the company uses it make the necessary changes to a particular product. If a customer responds to the positive feedback, the company will focus on maintaining and developing the positive aspects of the product.

The adoption of relationship marketing by Amazon can result in the following advantages;

Contributes to Profit Maximization

Positive customer experience resulting needs satisfying brands leads to positive compliments on company products. In return, the customers who feel satisfied will continue paying the company products and hence leading the increase of profits over time.

Where a company adopts a culture of open communication, a customer will feel free to offer his or her feedback after consuming a certain product. In the case of customer's complaints and other concerns, they will be quickly addressed. By analyzing both the customers' positive and negative feedbacks, the company will be able to make the necessary adjustments.

The customer being rational his or her important goal of purchasing a product is derived the maximum possible benefit from the consumption of the product. In the situation where there is a close relationship between the buyer and the seller, a customer can raise the alarm when he or she is experiencing a challenge with a certain product and the concern will be resolved quickly. This will contribute to consistency customer satisfaction.

Consumers enjoy continuous experience consistently. If this happens, this happens they will share information about the company products with one another. As results, more customers will turn to the company products through suggestions and recommendations of other buyers.

Customers are endowed but lack the opportunity to advise the companies on how they can improve their products. However, with a relationship marketing customers can be invited to give their views on company products. The company should put consumers’ ideas into consideration and implement them if appropriate.

 

Conclusion

The strategic marketing is a considerate aspect that a company should emphasize in the strategic marketing. They are part of the strategic marketing plan they will enable a company avails its products to the target market. Therefore, it is a responsibility of each company to create suitable marketing tools that will help the company to address the needs of the target audience. For this to be successful, the company should consider the positioning of its products as well the qualities of the target market.

 

References

Ashill, N. (2007). Return on marketing investment: the new marketing paradigm. Journal of

 Strategic Marketing, 15(5), 375-376. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09652540701726744

Burke, S. (2011). Competitive positioning strength: market measurement. Journal of Strategic

Marketing, 19(5), 421-428. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0965254x.2011.581385

Chapman, L. & Sadd, D. (2014). Events as Strategic Marketing Tools in Shopping Centers.

Event Management, 18(3), 357-367. https://dx.doi.org/10.3727/152599514x13989500765925

DeTienne, K. & DeTienne, D. (2015). Neural networks in strategic marketing: exploring the

Possibilities. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 1-12. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0965254x.2015.1076881

Johnston, K. (2009). Extending the marketing myopia concept to promote strategic agility.

Journal of Strategic Marketing, 17(2), 139-148. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09652540902879292

Lane, N. (2009). Special issue: strategic sales and strategic marketing. Journal of Strategic

Marketing, 17(3-4), 189-190. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09652540903064621 

Mattsson, J. (2008). True Marketing: A Value Based Philosophy for Strategic Marketing.

Journal of Strategic Marketing, 16(3), 175-188. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09652540802117132

McCamley, C. & Gilmore, A. (2016). Strategic marketing planning for heritage tourism:

A conceptual model and empirical findings from two emerging heritage regions. Journal 0f Strategic Marketing, 1-18. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0965254x.2016.1195859

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

. https://dx.doi.org/10.5937/markt1304299m

O'Cass, A., Ngo, L., & Siahtiri, V. (2012). Examining the marketing planning–marketing

Capability interface and customer-centric performance in SMEs. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 20(6), 463-481. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0965254x.2012.707675

Percy, L. (2014). Strategic integrated marketing communications. Abingdon (Oxon): Routledge.

Richardson, N. (2010). A quick start guide to mobile marketing. London: Kogan Page.

Sandhusen, R. (2008). Marketing. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's Educational Series.

Shank, M. (2009). Sports marketing. Upper Saddle River (N.J.): Pearson Prentice Hall.

Siebers, L., Zhang, T., & Li, F. (2013). Retail positioning through customer satisfaction: an

An alternative explanation for the resource-based view. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 21(7), 559-587. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0965254x.2013.817478

Truong, Y. & Simmons, G. (2010). Perceived Intrusiveness in digital advertising: strategic

Marketing implications. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 18(3), 239-256. https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09652540903511308

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