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The Coca-Cola Company was invented in 1886 by Dr John Styth Pemberton. Nowadays, the company is the word leading producer in the beverage industries trading globally in over 200 nations with its headquarters located in Atlanta, America (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel 1998, pp. 23-46). The company produces over 300 brands of beverages whereby over 1.06 billion drinks are consumed daily all over the world. The company has already venture entered into other regions out of Atlanta to other American states over the 19th century. Although the company developed very fast, and roared into some countries in Europe in the 1900s, the presence global growth was realized after the World War II. Every year, the company has been roaring into new foreign market in order to meet the ultimate obligation and providing consistently together with an attractive return to the promoters of the company, as well as enlarging market share with aim of attaining economics of scale (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel 1998, pp. 23-46). Since the Coca-Cola is facing steep competition from Pepsi-cola, the company wants to minimize the dependence on the domestic American markets, so as to reduce the associated risk and maximize on global market share through entering foreign market. Currently, the company has over 6 billion consumers in about 200 states.
The Coca-Cola Company has highly prospered in its global marketing attempts. Insistent advertising, market segmentation and branding have played a significant role in the triumph. Coca-Cola Company has displayed itself as a fun, free and playful life style. The company embodied a global appeal in 1971 through commercial, a group of youth, who globally accept to buy “the world of coke”. The company has been sponsoring competitions such as sea game, Olympics, International Film Festival and FIFA Cup globally to create credibility, awareness, as well as brand itself. Coca-Cola Company is also participating in charities and community development. These activities have enabled Coca-Cola to develop a positive picture and consumer perception toward the company.
Although the company targets on the world market, segmenting through diverse consumer preferences has enabled the company to better serve the consumers. Since segments of various nations have deferent culture and preferences, Coca-Cola has made efforts to enhance through new flavours, brands or even minimise the sugar contents in the coke to meet the requirements of the various segments. Often, this has improved new drinks acceptance designed specifically for the target population. In addition, Coca-Cola uses various approaches to enter new markets such as licensing, exporting and franchising which are very beneficial to the company.
The term ‘marketing’ has been widely used to a point that it might be taken for granted (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel 1998, pp. 23-46). Though many people can define it, most can only understand the concept of marketing when they enter into real business application. In other words, marketing is broadly accepted by many people but only a few can understand its scope and purpose. However, it is very significant to focus on the meaning and the scope of marketing. Several institutions such as Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defined marketing as the process of management that identifies, anticipates and distributes requirements of the customers profitably and efficiency. An American Marketing Association (AMA) defined marketing as the planning and executing process of conception, promotion, pricing and distribution of ideas, services and goods to develop exchange and meet individual and group objectives. According to Kotler, Armstrong, & Brown (1998, pp. 2-15) marketing is a social managerial procedure through which groups and individuals receive what they require or want by developing and exchanging values and products with each other.
According to definitions given by scholars, marketing is a process and not a destination. Marketing is aimed at satisfying ever changing consumer needs and preferences and, therefore, an effective marketing should create a good relationship between the organization and consumers. Coca-Cola Company, therefore, uses various marketing processes to attract customers such as insistent advertising, market segmentation and branding. The company has been also participating in sponsorship competitions such as sea game, Olympics, International Film Festival and FIFA Cup globally to create credibility, awareness, as well as brand itself. Moreover, Coca-Cola Company is also participating in charities and community development. These activities have enabled Coca-Cola to develop a positive picture and consumer perception toward the company. Coca-Cola company ensures that right products are available when needed and at prices which the customers are willing to pay. These marketing processes have enabled Coca-Cola to remain the most competitive company globally in beverage industry.
An effective marketing activity enables the management to meet the goals and objectives of the organization (Assael, Reed, & Patton 1995, pp. 112-137). These organisation goals are better achieved when the organization is able to fully satisfy the needs and preferences of the consumers. Therefore, the marketing concepts an organization applies greatly determine the affective and efficiency of the organization in terms of cost and other benefits such as consumer satisfaction, market share, and growth of the firm. There are several concepts that an organization can adopt in marketing to realize cost and economical benefits.
In concept of selling, the organizations fully focus on the selling activities with the aim of maximizing the sales. The efforts of selling are upheld by aggressive advertising and promotional activities. The organisations do not bother about the demand in the market, but are only concerned on maximizing sale of their products. The selling concept is most effective when the organization is selling new products or when selling existing products in new markets. Moreover, selling concept does not create relationships between the organization and the consumers, and therefore, the concept is very significant to marketing in developing profitable long term relationships.
The product and the production concepts are aimed at improving the performance of the products in terms of innovation and quality (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel 1998, pp. 23-46). Though this concept is challenged by the availability of substitute goods, it advocates for future predictions on consumer preferences and taste to overcome the challenge. With this concept, the organisations believe in efficient production of goods and market their products at reasonable prices, which are affordable to the consumers. Therefore, the concept advocates for mass production and better means of distribution which reduce the production cost. The concept also supports continuous enhancement of the products’ quality.
Marketing concept is one of the key factors to be considered for effective marketing system (Assael, Reed, & Patton 1995, pp. 112-137). An effective marketing system must satisfy consumer needs and preferences at all times. Therefore, the marketing concept urges for the identification of the needs of consumers, so as to produce products that fully satisfy the consumers. Marketing concept helps the firm to out compete the competitors through availing better products and services, compared to those of the competitors. Under this concept, the firm main target is to maintain their customers, as well as attract new ones. Therefore, this concept helps the firm to develop a customer centred marketing approach which satisfies customer needs.
The societal concept appears to be the marketing approach for the firms which apply it. Besides, focusing on the profits, customer needs and preferences, the societal concept seeks to develop a healthy social welfare within the society it is operating in. Creation of social welfare helps to improve the image of the firm in the society. In societal concept, the company is mandated to address environmental challenges, as well as participate in the community development matters.
The Coca-Cola Company being the leading company in production and marketing of non-alcoholic beverages has widely applied marketing concepts and as a result become the world champion in beverage industry. Coca-Cola has effectively applied selling concept which has really helped the organization remain competitive in the market and outcompete their competitors such as Pepsi-cola. Selling concept has actually helped Coca-Cola Company create a competitive advantage compared to other beverage producers. The Coca-Cola Company has developed a well structured marketing concept which has helped the organization to satisfy the needs of customers. The concept has benefited the Coca-Cola Company to maximize its sales through retaining the existing consumer and attract new ones (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel 1998, pp. 23-46). Production and product concept have been very significant for Coca-Cola Company. The concept has benefited the Coca-Cola Company to improve the quality of their products and reduction of production cost, hence provides products at reasonable prices which are affordable to the consumers. The societal concept has enabled the Coca-Cola Company to be accepted as a global organization. This concept has enabled the company to penetrate into foreign markets easily. Adoption of marketing concepts has enabled Coca-Cola Company to improve its efficiency and effectiveness in general performance in the market, hence resulted to be the leading company in beverage industry.
The micro-environment involves the organisation itself, marketing intermediaries, the suppliers, customer markets, as well as the competitors (Assael, Reed, & Patton 1995, pp. 112-137). The aspect of the company of micro-environment refers to the company’s internal environment. Every internal environment has an effect on marketing decisions. The slightest mistake in receiving supplies from the supplier can result into dissatisfaction of the customer. Marketing intermediaries involve people who help the organization to distribute its products to the customer. The market intermediaries can as well impact the consumer satisfaction if they fail to perform their duties. Customer markets involve individuals who buy products for their personal consumptions (Kotler, Armstrong, & Brown 1998, pp. 2-15). They influence the decisions made by organization through behaviour of the consumers, as well as preferences and needs. Competitors are the major micro-environments that influence the business decisions. For the business to sustain competitive advantage over the competitor has to consider what the competitors are doing and implement better strategies than the competitors (Assael, Reed, & Patton 1995, pp. 112-137).
Macro-environment involves concepts like demography, natural forces, economy, technology, culture and politics. Demography depicts human populace study in terms of density, size, location, gender, age, occupation and race. Demography helps in segmentation of the market populace into divisions which are very helpful in marketing decision making. The economic environment depicts the potential of the consumers to purchase products and how people use their money. The purchasing power and population expenditure are very significant environmental factors in marketing decision making such as the quantity to be supplied. The natural environment implies the natural resources that a company utilises as inputs. The more scarce the resources, the more difficult it is for an organization to manufacture goods. Technology is another macro-environmental factor that influences the marketing decisions. Technology provides a competitive edge for the organization. The political environment incorporates governmental agencies, laws and groups that limit individuals or organizations within a community. Marketers should be aware of these political environments, as they are dynamic in nature (Kotler, Armstrong, & Brown 1998, pp. 2-15). The cultural environment includes the fundamental beliefs and values of a society. Marketers should be able to recognize and appreciate cultural values of the society in the marketing decisions.
The concept of segmentation involves dividing market area into small groups. The customers are grouped according to similarities founded on their needs and preferences. Each division is unique in one way or other. It is cheap to satisfy the needs of smaller division than when dealing with larger group in the market (Assael, Reed, & Patton 1995, pp. 112-137). The segmentation criteria for marketing should be creatively selected, targeting the needs and preferences of the customers. Therefore, segmentation criteria should be selected with the help of the target population and the products.
Coca-Cola Company has been able to successively market variety of its products through market segmentation. However, much needs to be done to ensure that the company remains competitive in the market, especially to maintain its position in beverage industry in changing preferences of the consumer (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel 1998, pp. 23-46). Though Coca-Cola beverages target all consumers in general, some brands target specific customers. Coca-Cola’s diet non-alcoholic beverage targets older consumers and, therefore, Coca-Cola Company should adopt behavioural segmentation in marketing Coca-Cola diet, so as to satisfy the needs of the population. The Coca-Cola beverages and Dasani refreshments should adopt occasion segmentation to satisfy the needs of consumers in various occasions, as well as boost the marketing activities of the company. Generally, benefit segmentation should be implemented since most Coca-Cola products target the entire populace.
Consumers’ behaviour and decisions to procure highly influence factors such as social, cultural, psychological and personal traits. Understanding these factors is very significant for the marketers in developing effective strategies (Assael, Reed, & Patton 1995, pp. 112-137). Cultural factors incorporate the culture of the consumers, social class, as well as sub-cultural issues while the social factors involve group aspirations, family roles and status. In general, social and cultural factors depict the external influence (peer pressure) to procure items. Personal factors like age, occupation, economic status, and lifestyle influences of the consumer. This highlights how preference influences buying behaviour of the consumer. On the other hand, psychological factors as highlighted in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs influence purchasing behaviour of the consumer.
The product positioning that marketers utilize to evaluate the best way of advertising products to the target population on the basis of the needs of the consumer, pressures of the competition and the available channels of communication (Kotler, Armstrong, & Brown 1998, pp. 2-15). Therefore, organisations use new positioning strategies to improve their competitive edge through satisfying the needs and preferences of the consumers. Product positioning is, therefore, very significant factor in the marketing plan. Effective positioning of the product or service makes sure that marketing adverts resonate with the consumers targeted in the advert.
Product development is done through various ways. Anyway, in case of Coca-Cola Company, product development is carried out through changing ingredients, colour and flavour. The company reduces the content of sugar in the drinks to make it healthier for human consumption, while it retains the great taste. In response to demand of the customers, Coca-Cola Company has developed its products through substituting artificial flavours and colours with ordinary extracts. Product development has enabled Coca-Cola Company to remain competitive in market.
Since the products of Coca-Cola target the entire population in the society, the distribution channel focuses on meeting demands and needs of every consumer. Coca-Cola Company uses retail stores such as supermarkets to distribute their products at convenient areas which are easily accessible by the consumers. Self service slot machines are also used in schools and other various businesses to increase accessibility of Coca-Cola products. The company also uses mobile carts to distribute their products close to their consumers, specifically in urban areas. During occasions such as entertainments activities, the Coca-Cola Company provides their refreshments and this way the company is able to meet the target consumers and satisfy their needs.
Price determination is a great challenge to every organization (Kotler, Armstrong, & Brown 1998, pp. 2-15). Many firms determine their prices out of the pressure of competition. Though this concept may work in short run, the concept is not suitable for organizations in long term. Therefore, organisations can determine price through pricing methods such as cost plus, value pricing, psychology pricing and the targeted return pricing. Cost plus method includes the total cost of production and distribution and the profit margin targeted. Under the value pricing, the price is determined according to the value customers receive. In targeted return, the price is established in accordance to targeted rate of return on investment cost. The emotional or psychological effects are used to determine the price of a commodity under the psychological pricing method. This implies the way people perceive things.
The Coca-Cola Company is one of the fastest growing companies in the world, having invested in over 200 countries. The company uses penetration pricing strategy to enter into foreign markets (Assael, Reed, & Patton 1995, pp. 112-137). This pricing strategy has enabled the company to easily penetrate and triumph in foreign market due to the flexibility of the method to drastically lower the prices below its competitors. However, once the company realizes targeted market share, it switches to psychological pricing to avoid eliminating other local firms which are working hard to develop but ensures it does not lose its market share.
The integrated marketing communication concept is an approach that seeks to realize the objectives of the marketing campaign through a well coordinated application of various methods which are made to reinforce one another (Assael, Reed, & Patton 1995, pp. 112-137). The integrated market communication accepts the value of an inclusive plan which evaluates the roles of the strategy in a different discipline of communication advert, personal selling, public relations and sale promotion. The concept combines different communication disciplines to offer clarity, consistency and full communication effects.
The Coca-Cola Company has adopted promotional mix such as adverts, corporate image, as well as publicity to market their products. The company uses non personal media or channel such as televisions, newspapers, journals and radios to advertise their products. Additionally, the Coca-Cola Company has created a good image in the society through participation in societal issues such as sports, community development and social welfare activities. This has enabled the company to be highly accepted in the community. Besides the company having a good image within the community, has gained more publicity through generating significant commercial news above the company over the media. Publicity has developed trust and acceptance of the company in the society.
The nature of marketing mix is quite dynamic. Extended marketing mix, therefore, needs to be modified as per the requirements of the business. Alterations are anticipated before the necessary modifications are done in the variables. The firm strategy of marketing relies on conditions of the market. Extended mix incorporates three extra P’s: people, processes and physical appearance in addition to 4 P’s of marketing mix (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel 1998, pp. 23-46). The extended marketing mix helps the organization to enhance services through encouraging face to face interactions, identifying needs of customers as well as improve physical appearance of the products.
Marketing mix variables involves price, product, place and promotion. These various are the key factors considered in market segmentation. These variables enable the marketers to determine the target group for their products, mode of promotion and the prices of the products. In fact, marketing mix variables are targeted consumers of the product. However, business to business services in corporate extended marketing mix which targets other businesses, unlike the marketing mix variables which target the consumers of products. In contrast to business to business services marketing mix variables refer to products.
Domestic marketing implies selling of goods and services within the bounders of the nation whereas international marketing depicts selling of goods and services in two or more countries. The more marketers enter foreign markets, the more complex the marketing challenges become. This implies that, international marketing has got more challenges as compared to domestic marketing. In addition, international marketing is highly faced with uncertainties’ factors unlike in domestic marketing where the marketer has better understanding of the market. Centrally to domestic marketing, international marketing requires more market researches due to these uncertainty factors of the markets. In general, international marketing is more complex besides the challenging environments factor and diverse risks involved unlike in domestic marketing where the marketer has good knowledge on the domestic environment and limited risks involved (Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel 1998, pp. 23-46).