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Marketing Essentials - Marks and Spencer

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INTRODUCTION

Marketing is the department which helps to promote sales and profits of a company. Marketing personnel establishes contacts with customers and work according to their demand. They also provide knowledge related to modifications or arrival of new product in market.This department is important as it provides knowledge related toproduct and services which are demanded by customers (Wirtz, 2012). There are various techniques such as feedback, promotional events, hoarding, discount offers, etc. which has to be considered to satisfy demand of customers. There is use of techniques which are specific for growth of business. It helps to produce product which are effective and are able to satisfy customer requirements. Marketing has relations with various departments of organization, this helps to know what can be done through which activities are performed in desired manner. This report is based on Marks and Spencer which is one of the best brand in clothing and accessories sector. This association have headquarters in London, UK and established by Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer. In this report there is discussion about marketing mix and marketing plan.

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PART A

MARKETING MIX

Marketing forms the cornerstone in success of any business organization as it enables firm to communicate benefits of its products and services to its customers. Marketing mix for a company could be defined as the perfect amalgamation of its 7P's comprising product, price, place, promotion, people, process and physical evidence that a firms strives to achieve in order to provide right type of product, at correct price, at exact place where it is been required by using accurate type of promotional strategies (Baker and et. al., 2016). It forms one of the most appropriate tool that every firm adopts for capturing attention of its target audience by communicating them information about its new product, its distinctive features, unique services, efficient process and ensuring thatthey are being persuaded to buy offerings of this enterprise. All this information helps customers to differentiate a particular brand and its products/services from that of its other substitute available in market.

Mark and Spencer is one of the top British multinational retail brand that deals in lifestyle and retail industry comprising clothing, home appliances, furniture, beauty, food and other luxury products. As company have diversified product portfolio which they deliver in market. Managers of Marks and Spencer gives immense attention to its marketing mix in order to cater needs of its target audience spread all around globe. It assists M&S to maintain and enhance its market share and brand position and to take an edge over its leading competitors like John Lewis. Mentioned below is the comparative study of marketing mix of M&S and one of its rival brand John Lewis (Desai, 2013).

Basis

Mark & Spencer

John Lewis

Product

M&S is one of leading British retail chain that offers a wide range of lifestyle and retail products which cater needs of its large target market with customers belonging to all age group. It has a diversified product line that consist of clothing, accessories, furniture, home appliances, cosmetics, footwear, furnitures, food, flowers, wines and other luxury products. M&S mainly deals in its in house brands rather than other multinational brands,

John Lewis is top leading premium retail store brand that deals in variety of products like home and design, technology, electricals, fashion, beauty , baby and child care products, gifts and celebrations, home furnishing etc. Apart from this company also provides an unparallel range of services for [personal styling , nursery advices , technical support and appliance installation to its customers. They also provides facility of on site weaving to create exclusive customised fabric design as per its customer requirement and choice.

Price

M&S follows a competitive pricing strategy for its product portfolio. As company has its own in house brand it keeps price of it at medium to high level because of products premium quality. Besides this, firm also follows dynamic pricing strategy during seasonal time when to induce purchase from its potential customers it offers various discounts. It also organizes various stock clearance sales where customer cam provide branded products at lower price .

John Lewis make use of competitive pricing strategy while deciding price of its products. It has its price monitoring team which keeps on monitoring price of its competing brands online and offline which helps firm to provide competitive products with high quality to its customers.

Promotion

M&S uses a perfect combination of advertising its campaign with digital marketing. It makes use of all appropriate media of communication comprising electronic media, like TV ads, mobile ads , print media , online media such as social media. They extensively uses its website for promoting its products and posts fashion tips and blogs on it to attract its customers. Moreover company also has its special loyalty program based on point system which a customers earns every time he makes a purchase. Managers also promotes its seasonal sales by providing heavy discounts on branded products

John Lewis make use innovative promotional techniques where it extensively promotes its products through special ad campaigns during festivals and special occasions. Besides this company make use of online media like you tube, facebook , twitter etc. to promote it offers, new products and discount schemes. It also have various loyalty program running which give benefits like free purchase after earning certain points etc. to induce its customer to but products. It also sponsors various international vents like London Olympics which provides company an international platform to promote its brand.

People

M&S has a proficient team of more than 83000 employees that manages its operations in more than 50 nations . To retain its talented and highly competitive staff and to attract new potential talent M&S uses competitive payment policy . It organizes various training and development programs for enhancing capabilities of its staff and provide them with flexible working conditions to its staff. Moreover company provides various employees benefit schemes like pension benefits, health and life insurance, share buy etc. All these strategies reap positive results for firm as it is able to maintain a loyal, professional and job satisfied workforce. M&S is also a big promoter of women employee and implements and keep on formulating various female oriented policies to encourage and support its staff.

John Lewis has a team of more than 38000 employees that is well trained in assisting its costumers. It has a devoted team which assists customers by handling their queries, clearing their doubts by providing them viable solutions to enhance their shopping experience.

Process

M&S has a very systematic store and process layout. Company also provides its customers with an option of online purchase wherein they can order and earn points under various M&S loyalty programs.

 

John Lewis manges several business processes that involves delivery of goods and services from manufacturing plant to its warehouse and from its retail stores to its final customers. It has a efficient supply chain that helps in smooth running of its operations. Company also maintain its website portals where customer can browse various products and shop online.

Physicalevidence

M&S manages more than 1000 stores world wide in over 50 nations. It stores are divided into various floors having separate sections for its diversified product line comprising clothing, flowers , home accessories etc. and sub sections for female and male products.

John Lewis is distinctive by its unique and customer friendly store design, its ambience which make its customers feel comfortable giving them valuable shopping experience. Company has more than 50 stores in UK each providing wide variety of products, various loyalty cards and schemes for its consumers, systematic stores layouts etc. that add to its physical presence. Friendly store helps to attract customers and this helps to promote sales. They serve various home décor items, furniture, gifts, etc. are part of physical evidence and it helps to catch more and more customers.

PART B

MARKETING PLAN

Marketing plan is a methodology which works to achieve targets in appropriate manner. It is important to work according to marketing plan as it provides foot steps to work according to set benchmarks. As Marks and Spencer is working in clothing sector so there is need of innovation in product and service (Baker and et. al., 2016). This is important as it helps to achieve targets on time. Planning is performed by top level management but at the same time it must be delivered to subordinates so they have knowledge regarding reason for performing specific activities. This plans to promote brand in market and satisfy customers. There are many activities which has to be performed by workers so through this plan workers are war of their roles and responsibilities. As working according to plan helps to get positive results and in case of negative results area of flaws can be used.

Marks and Spenser is thinking to come with some innovation in their clothes. So they are planning according to it. Managers of Marks and Spencer to open an outlet in Romania which is a new place for dealing. This is effective for growth of business. But through marketing planning there will use of factors which are compatible for performing operations. It is essential to know about factors which affects business operations and measures are taken to reduce them. Managers of Marks and Spencer is thinking to come with approaches which is effective for every employees and customer satisfaction is possible (Desai, 2013).

Marketing plan has various components which helps to work in current environment and positive results can be analysed with the help of which modifications can be made in operations. Marketing plan has various components such as internal, external analysis, controlling, planning,. Etc. these factors are discussed as under-

Executive: As per this increasing demand, there is requirement of new outlet which is working to open new outlet. This helps to know about changes which are happening in market. In clothing sectors there is change in trend very frequently, so this is effective for making changes in operations. Managers has to select approaches through which strength can be used effectively and weaknesses has to be reduced. There is proper planning required when managers are thinking to come with new outlet in Romania (Dibb and Simkin, 2013).

Company Overview: Marks and Spencer was established in 1884. It is a British multinational retailer having headquarter in London. This company is listed in London Stock Exchange. They serve society with clothing, home products and luxury food items. This association operates in various countries of world. They have 84,939 employees. Founder of this company was Sir Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer. £115.7 million is net income of Marks and Spencer as in 2017.

Current Marketing Situation Analysis: Managers of Marks and Spencer has to work according to demand and need of consumers so they can improve their brand image in industry. As changes are taking place in market very frequently, so in this case there is need of policies which are effective for significant for growth of business.

SMART objectives: SMART objectives is one of the best technique through which manager can about relevance of working. There are various goals and objectives set by managers of company. This helps to know what changes can be made which affects business operations. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reliable, Time bound (Hsu, 2011).

Specific: As managers of Marks and Spencer is thinking to launch new outlet at Romania, so this target is specific and achievable. This can be performed by managers through proper planning, research and development.

Measurable: By opening new outlet there is increment in production, sales and profits of enterprise. This helps to set some specific targets and it can be achieved with market analysis.

Achievable: Set targets must be achievable. If goals are not achievable then this affects business operations (Jones and Rowley, 2011). It is important to analyse what can be done through which changes are turned for growth of business.

Reliable: Reliabilityis one of the important component which works for making image of Marks and Spencer in positive way. Opening new outlet is significant for growth of business.

Time bound: Managers are thinking to open new outlet after 6 months. This objective is time specific and there is need of 6 months because of proper planning and analysis of market.

Internal analysis: As changes ate taking place in market, but it has impact on operations of company too. But not only external factors affects business. There are many parties associated with achievement of targets, so in this case cooperation from them also required. Employees, top level personnel, etc. So they also affects business operations whether in positive or negative way. While managers are thinking to open new outlet in Romania employees views must be taken. This helps to get positive result out of it (Karasar and Öztürk, 2014).

External analysis: External analysis can be understood with the help of PESTLE analysis, so this affects business operations. These factors are not in control of managers but policies must be framed so they can be altered.

Political- There is involvement of governmental parties in country they are working. As managers are thinking to open outlet at Romania, so they have to analyse governmental policies and frame policies accordingly. In case political party gets changed then there is requirement of alteration in business operations.

Economical- Economic factors means finance related services. This is effective for growth of business. Thee are many sources through which funds can be raised but best must be selected.

Social- Marks and Spencer operates in various parts of country. It is important to work according to need of customers of Romania which helps to provide satisfaction and improves sales of country (Kennedy and Parsons, 2014).

Technological- There is requirement of machinery to manufacture clothes, billing, tagging, etc. so this helps to perform business operations more easily and appropriately. Technology up-gradation in Romania are taking place very frequently, so proper planning must be there (Lane, 2016).

Legal- In legal factors laws related factors are considered. There are many laws which has to be followed by managers of Marks and Spencer. This provides satisfaction and confidence to employees at work place. Romania has strict rules and regulations so this has to be considered by managers.

Environmental- There is change in environment of Romania, so this factor musty be considered while working in society.

SWOT analysis: SWOT analysis helps to analysis internal factors of business. This helps to frame policies which are effective for improving operations of company (Mihart, 2012).

Strengths

  • This brand is highly recognisable by customers. They serve varieties of products which helps to satisfy demand of every customer. They have around 900 stores in different parts of world.

Weaknesses

  • They have less promotional events as compared to competitors. They do not renovate their stores as per current market.
  • They believe in manual work more, so cost gets increased.

Opportunities

  • They can promote their brand in countries which have growing economy.
  • They must revitalize their outlets. They can promote their brand more through online sources.

Threats

  • Government interference while working is one of the biggest threat which affects business operations.
  • Promotional events of competitive brand affects business operations.

Objectives: Marks and Spencer is the company which has good name in market. This is because they work according to need and demand of customers. As new outlet is opening at Romania, so this objective is effective for business growth. This must be shard with workers so they also perform actions accordingly (Mittal, 2014). There are various benchmarks which are working to analyse market and take actions which are significant for growth of business. It is important to alter strategies which are effective for cooping up with changes happening in business environment. Policies which are farmed must be flexible so changes can be made easily this helps to work according to customer demand.

Strategy: PORTER'S FIVE FORCES MODEL

There is discussion about some technique which are effective for making changes in business operations. There is competition in field of clothing, so it is important to consider marketing approaches (Mueller and et. al., 2015). In this technique there are five elements in this technique-

Level of competition: There is much competition in the field of clothing, so it is important to make changes in strategies which are significant for growth of business in Romania. Cost must be low so it will be in reach of every person.

Threat of substitutes: Marks and Spencer if does not come with some new techniques which are significant for satisfaction of customer. If consumer does not get satisfied then they switch to other brand. This affects sales and profits of company.

Threat of new entrance: In Romania raw material are easily available, so clothing sector industry are setting there frequently. There is leniency in laws of Romania so business can be operated significantly (Nguyen and Simkin, 2012).

Bargaining power of suppliers: There is use of few suppliers which serve raw material to Marks and Spencer. So this makes supplier's position strong and there are possibilities of increment in cost.

Bargaining power of buyer: As Marks and Spencer is thinking to start working at Romania so the must serve product which is in demand. In case customers are regularly visiting outlet then this provides power to buyer to bargain.

Segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP): STP is the technique which is used by managers of Marks and Spencer to bifurcate consumers on different basis. This helps to make use of resources which are significant for growth of business. This helps to satisfy demand of customers and this is effective for promoting changes in business (Ogunmokun and Tang, 2012).

Segmentation- This is the first step in STP technique which works to divide customers on different basis. This basis can be gender, income, size, etc. This helps to make changes in working style and this is effective for serve customers as per their demand.

Targeting- Managers of Marks and Spencer are working to open new outlet at Romania. They serve according to need of customers. In Romania there is more demand for corporate and formal wear so manager can serve accordingly.

Positioning- There is use of some techniques which are effective for promoting their brand in market. There are some events, advertisements, etc. Which are helpful to position brand in industry (Papasolomou and Melanthiou, 2012).

Tactics & Action: There is requirement of numerous people to achieve set targets. As there are many workers working. So actions are taken to achieve targets. Manager must communicate to workers and tell them about actions to be taken. This helps to deliver some roles and responsibilities to workers and they are aware to whom they are liable. While framing teams it helps Manager to assign work according to skills and qualities of workers.

Budget: Budget is the factors which is benchmark for expending money in market. It is important to know what has to be done through which cost gets reduced and profits improves. Marketing manager has to contract with finance department which has to work according to it. In marketing department there is use of various techniques through which they can communicate to workers about new opening of outlet. So activities are within set targets this helps to reduce cost and increase profits (Pappas, 2017).

Control: This is the major step which has to be taken by managers of Marks and Spencer when they are opening new outlet. There is use of some techniques through which activities are performed in set targets. This helps to achieve targets ion time. When outcomes are not positive then marketing manager will check area of flaws and corrective measures are taken.

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CONCLUSION

Marketing is the sector which works to according to demand of customer. As these days demand of customer is changing very frequently on different basis. So this affects business operations. To avoid negative impact of this marketing persons have contact with customers, this helps to avoid misuse of resources and wastage of time. There is discussion of Marks and Spencer and John Lewis in marketing mix. This helps to know about competitors polices through which they can satisfy customer and get edge over competitors (Swenson, Rhoads and Whitlark, 2014). Marketing plan helps to know about internal and external forces which have negative or positive impact on business operations. In marketing mix there is discussion about 7 P's which is effective for analysing changes happening in roles and responsibilities. This help to know what can be done through which company can work in industry and resources can be utilized optimally.

You May Also Read: Business Environment of Unilever

REFERENCES

  • Baker, M.A. And et. al., 2016. The evolution of services marketing, hospitality marketing and building the constituency model for hospitality marketing. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 28(8). pp.1510-1534.
  • Desai, S. S., 2013. An analysis of the competitive marketing strategies of the hospitality industry in UAE. IUP Journal of Management Research. 12(1). p.22.
  • Dibb, S. and Simkin, L., 2013. Marketing essentials. Cengage Learning.
  • Hsu, W., 2011. The vocabulary thresholds of business textbooks and business research articles for EFL learners. English for Specific Purposes. 30(4). pp.247-257.
  • Jones, R. and Rowley, J., 2011. Entrepreneurial marketing in small businesses: A conceptual exploration. International Small Business Journal. 29(1). pp.25-36.
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