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5083Downloads1 I Published: 30 Oct ,2019
Marketing intelligence can be termed as the every day’s information with reference to the markets in which a company operates which is collected and assessed with an aim to make appropriate and effective decision for the purpose of determining several market opportunities existing in the target areas. Marketing intelligence includes confident decision making with the help of which management makes market penetration strategy and evaluates the market development metrics (What is Market Intelligence, 2015). It helps the firms in keeping track of competition and position of business so that accordingly, measures can be taken in such a way that they will gain a competitive advantage over others.
In present report, the organisation, Marks and Spencer (M&S) has been chosen that is a British multinational retailer with having its headquartering in Westminster, London, UK. With reference to the selected firm, main stages of purchase decision making process will be described along with factors that may affect the behaviour of buyers. Further, there will be focus on market research objectives of organisation with assessing the validity and reliability of findings gained from the study. Moreover, competitor analysis for the given firm will be planned and carried along with evaluating the company’s opportunities and threats for a given product or service.
In Marks and Spencer, there are different stages by which customers make decision to buy a product. Main stages of purchase decision making are like:
Major purpose of Marks and Spencer behind doing marketing is to change the perception of customers towards products and services offered by the firm positively. The consumer behavior gets changed in different markets and to understand the same, different theories of consumer buying behaviour have been developed. Among all, there are four major theories by which buying behaviour of consumers can be understood. These are like:
Several factors are there that affect the buying behaviour of consumers in Marks and Spencer. These factors are stated as below:
Brand loyalty refers to the trust of buyer on a particular brand which he/she buys on repeat basis over time from the same manufacturer even when it is available to various others manufacturers as well that fall under the same category. It can be termed as the degree to which customers purchase the product or service of same brand on consistent basis.
Corporate image is the perception and impression of an organisation in the eyes of public which it has maintained by doing interactions with the target people or by presenting itself in front of audience through providing products and services along with satisfying them. In the present scenario, to gain a strong corporate image, firms now-a-days are focusing on public relation (PR) programs to maintain healthy relations with the target customers so as to stay in the competition for longer span of time.
Repeat purchase can be referred as an idea of consumer by which he buys the product from same brand that was earlier also purchased by him on some previous occasion. This notion can also be termed as repurchasing on the basis of which brand loyalty of customers can be calculated. In order to retain the customers and make them purchase offerings again and again, it is important for M&S to offer high quality products and services in comparison to their competitors.
There is a strong relationship in between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchasing as they all ultimately lead to gain competitive advantage over rivalry firms in the market. Trust of customers is the result of brand loyalty that ends at repeat purchasing of products and services by them. However, it cannot be said that repeat purchase is only done due to brand loyalty as there are some other factors too which makes consumers buy a product or service again and again. These factors are like convenience of customers and lack of lack of variables alternatives. Overall, it can be said that if Marks and Spencer will have a strong and positive corporate image, brand loyalty of its customers will automatically increase that will result in repeat purchase.
In Marks and Spencer, there are various objectives behind conducting market research with the help of which it is effectually running business activities with gaining a competitive edge over others in the market. Some of the objectives are mentioned as below:
Market research is mainly conducted to gather information that can be used and implemented in the marketing activities of firm. Majorly, two techniques are there by which market research can be performed in Marks and Spencer, that is, primary and secondary which are stated as below:
Several sources are there which help in making firm able to gather secondary data. These are already published by some authors in the form of journals, online articles, books, company reports, etc. When for some purpose, the information is already present in published sources then data from primary research is not required. In Marks and Spencer, to achieve the market research objectives, information can be gathered from real estates, insurance companies, NGOs and other media representatives. Apart from that, there are some other sources too from which data to attain market research objectives can be gathered like regional organisation, wholesalers, public information centre, trade associations, banks and business publication (Hui-qing, 2012). Therefore, with the help of all these sources, secondary data can be gathered through which M&S will attain the objectives of the research that its marketing team will conduct.
It is not necessary that every research will require high level of explanation and elaboration of study to attain the objectives. But, it is the responsibility of marketing research team in Marks and Spencer that they will conduct minimum level of study so that the actual results can be gained. Whenever there is small and informal research background, it mainly brings either irrelevant or the wrong results that ultimately results in reducing the profits of firm as well as increased marketing costs (Chow, 2015). However, with the help of ethical considerations, data collection methods and the claims which are made while getting prepared for conducting market research, study becomes valid, that is, authentic which will render accurate results to M&S. Apart from that, along with becoming valid, it renders reliable results which means that if the study will be made again on same purpose, it will give the same results as that of the present one (Knoblauch and Bulander, 2014). Therefore, appropriate selection of data gathering techniques results in providing high validity and reliability in the market research findings.
In the situation where Marks and Spencer wants to operate in a new market, it will require a marketing research plan that will be like:
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For Marks and Spencer, total volume or value of sales in target area help in calculating the market size. However, the number of units sold by the entity to its target areas and amount which customers have spent on consuming the goods sold lead to calculate the total volume. The market of Marks and Spencer is healthy and dynamic which shows that company is having upward size of market (Vrontis and Thrassou, 2013). It can be said that for cited firm, consumers are the main drivers who are playing the most significant role in making the firm successful in market with gaining a competitive edge over others. Company is further expanding in new areas which is increasing its existing market size. It can be said that at present, the firm is having large market size which is helping it to earn higher profits and revenues (Claycomb and Martin, 2013). However, by operating in more nations, the scope of business is getting increased and also, the market size is also enhancing leading to enhance the sustainability of business in the long run.
Marks and Spencer is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the UK with having a large market share. However, firm is facing huge competition due to presence of many competitors in the same market like Tesco, ASDA, Sainsbury, Morrison, etc. In the UK, supermarket and food retail market are considered to be the most heavily consolidated industries which are facing intense competition in the present scenario. The stated competitor firms are having more than 80 percent market share from the entire supermarket sector of UK. However, Marks and Spencer as well as Sainsbury are having string market influence after Tesco (Baker, 2014). These firms come at the second and third position with having 16 and 17 percent market share after Tesco which is at present having 30 percent from the total of entire retail industry of UK. However, Morrison is at the fourth position which is having market share up to 11% after acquiring Safeway. Overall, it can be said that Marks and Spencer is running its business activities in an effectual manner with giving tough competition to other firms present in the same market (Zeng and et.al., 2010). However, Tesco is the biggest rival of M&S and to beat the same, firm needs to give proper emphasis on its marketing activities.
In the competitive environment, it is essential for the organization to carry out the Swot analysis to identify the strong and weak points of the firm. As for the Marks and Spencer, it becomes significant to evaluate the opportunities which are prevailing in the country. In the clothing sector, the company is required to assess the threats which can hamper the profit of the firm.
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There are several techniques and tools which are used for gathering the response of the customers. In the competitive environment it has become important for the company to use different technique so that they can identify the taste and preference and make them satisfied with the product (Jones and Rowley, 2011). The best tool for assessing the customer response is questionnaire, through this, Marks and Spencer will make the questions which they want to ask to the customers. This will help them to identify their responses regarding the services or the products which are sold by the firm.
Another technique is face to face method as the firm can ask the question to their customers. This is beneficial for Marks and Spencer because the firm will be able to gather truthful response from the customers. Besides this, it is the cheapest and the easiest way to get the feedback from the users (Crouch and Housden, 2012). On the other hand, telephonic conversations can also be conducted by the Marks and Spencer in which they can ask their regular customers about the products and the grievances if they are facing any. This will help them to identify the weak points as well as with this, through analyzing their strong points they will be able to maintain it. So it is beneficial as well as advantageous for the firm to take feedback from the customers (Moogan, 2011).
Besides this, another method is the online questionnaire method. The normal questionnaire takes long time. In this case, the effectiveness is that the customers can fill the form by sitting at their home and the time taken is less as compare to the normal method. It is very effective because the customer do not find difficulty in filling in the form (Finch and et.al., 2013).
Questionnaire can be made for evaluating the response of Marks and Spencer customers regarding the services which the company is providing.
More than 4 years
For reviewing the success of the complete survey, it is required by the Marks and Spencer to maintain the data and the summary sheet. This will help the organization in effectively analysing the data which has been gathered from the customers. With the help of this, positive as well as negative responses can be clubbed which will aid the firm in analysing the dis-satisfied customers of the organization (Cheung and Li, 2012). The survey will be successful only when the survey department gives the responses to the top management. According to the customers feedback they can modify the services which are provided to the users. For reviewing the success of the survey, it is also important for the organization to see that the comments which are given by the customers are true. Further, the Marks and Spencer is required to take the customer comment seriously because through this only they will be able to satisfy the users of the firm and create competitive advantage. Further, Marks and Spencer can maintain the data in the computer because it will help the firm at the time of introducing new product or expanding their business in the market (Kitchen and Burgmann, 2010).
From the above report, it can be articulated that through proper information, techniques and research methods, Marks and Spencer can come in the position to know its strengths and weaknesses along with opportunities and threats. It has been assessed from the report that to increase its customer base, it is important to develop an appropriate and strong customer satisfaction system that will help the products of company. Also, it can be concluded that as higher the value firm will provide to customers in against of what they have spent, more improved performance of business will be there. Report has shown that Marks and Spencer need to focus on after sales service so that customers can be made highly satisfied that will result in bringing equity in line with the corporate image. Along with that, by sincere efforts of research and development department of organisation, it can be evaluated that whether the customers are satisfied or not. Keeping customers happy will bring higher profits and sustainability in the firm by which company will survive in the long run.
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