We have selected Marks and Spencer Plc for the study purpose : Marks & Spencer Plc is a British retailer, with several branches outside of the UK. It is one of the most widely recognised chain stores in the UK and is the largest clothing retailer in the UK, as well as being a multi-billion pound food retailer. Most of its shops sell both of these categories. It also has a third line of business selling homewares such as bedlinen, but this is far smaller than the other two. Marks & Spencer is one of the UK’s leading retailers of clothing, foods, home-ware and financial services, serving 10 million customers a week in over 300 UK stores. The Group has a turnover in excess of £8 thousand million. Also, up until late 2002, the Company also traded in 30 countries worldwide. In 1998 it became the first British retailer to make a profit before tax of over £1 billion, As of 2007 it is growing again, and rapidly increasing profitability. The origin of Marks and Spencer was a chain of “Penny Bazaars”, founded in 1884 by a Russian-born Polish-Jewish immigrant, Michael Marks in Leeds with a loan of £5 from Issac Dewhirst, a wholesaler. The site of the first stall is marked with a green and gold commemorative clock in Leeds Kirkgate Market. One of the original Penny Bazaars – in the Grainger Market, Newcastle upon Tyne – remains open to this day, and is now the smallest Marks ; Spencer store in operation.
Marks’ first full store was opened in 1894 at Stretford Road, Hulme, in Manchester. Marks entered into a partnership with Thomas Spencer who was working as Dewhirst cashier. Dewhirst went into manufacturing and remains the biggest supplier to M&S. The official first Marks and Spencer store opened in 1904. Then when founders Michael Marks and Thomas Spencer passed away, the title of Chairman went to Marks’ son Simon Marks. Simon Marks started to work with his friend Israel Sieff and thanks to their joint efforts, Marks and Spencer grew to become a household name. Marks and Spencer became a Limited Company after adopting the revolutionary policy of buying directly from manufacturers. In 1926 the company then started selling textiles and in 1928 the St Michael Trade Mark was registered. In 1930 M&S opened a flagship store at Marble Arch, London. Then Café Bars were introduced in many stores. These provided cheap, hygienic and nutritious mass catering. This was a valuable resource during the war, making efficient use of scarce food. In 1931, a food department was introduced selling produce and canned goods. By 1956, all goods were sold under the St Michael label. In 1964, Simon Marks died after 56 years’ service to the Company, and Israel Sieff took over as Chairman. In 1974, Asian food was introduced into the stores. M;S opened up stores in continental Europe in 1975, then four years later in The Republic of Ireland. By 1999, Online Shopping was brought in, and the company grew with new sales of fashion clothing.
M;S made its reputation in the 20th century on a policy of only selling British-made goods. It entered into long term relationships with British manufacturers, and sold the goods under the “St Michael” brand (trademark registered in 1928), which was used for both clothes and food. It also accepted the return of unwanted goods, giving a full cash refund if the receipt was shown, no matter how long ago the product was purchased. It has now adopted a 90-day returns policy. The company put its main emphasis on quality, but for most of its history, it also had a reputation for offering fair value for money.
When Stuart Rose took charge of the business in 2004 he was appointed as ‘Chief Executive but not Chairman. Paul Myners was appointed Chairman in 2004 and was replaced by Lord Burns, a prominent figure in the City and a former permanent secretary to the Treasury.
In 2006 the Look Behind the Label marketing Campaign was introduced. The aim of this campaign was to highlight to customers, particularly the upper middle class society, the various ethical and environmentally friendly aspects, of the production and sourcing methods engaged in by M&S. When Steve Sharp joined as marketing director in 2004, after being hired by new Chief Executive Stuart Rose, he introduced a new promotional brand under the Your M&S banner, with a corresponding logo. This has now become the company’s main brand in its advertising, online presence and in-store merchandising.
The three smart objevtives for raising awareness is for bringing in knowledge for customers, Brand Development, and thereby added sales output.
General Public awareness is a must on the product being sold. Thus, inherently, marketing is a collaborative effort involving the Center’s policymakers, researchers, developers, knowledge transfer agents, and customers in the entire effort of creating and disseminating quality knowledge. In addition, this marketing includes planning and managing of the Center’s products and services for many differing customer groups. At bottom, the Dissemination Program believes marketing is the responsibility of all players involved in the effort of generating ideas and moving these ideas into practice. Such a marketing philosophy means that any marketing strategy must include a process whereby all outcomes–from the moment they are a gleam in the eye onwards–are designed with “quality” in mind–that is, designed to be useful, usable, and accessible to the customer for whom they are meant.
In the context of achieving this objective we have to select medias suitable for this venture and can be used jointly as marketing is always a collaborative effort. Following are a few of the commonly used medias – newspaper, magazines, television, radio, outdoor media, cinema and internet.
Marketing impact can be greatly improved by using multiple marketing channels. Prospects will likely become buyers if they read about the company in the newspaper, attend a seminar, take home a brochure, and visit business website. We can further “stretch the marketing dollars” to reach target market in multiple channels, the higher the impact of the marketing message. This will have high impact and following is observed meticulously and is a time tested method –
Find The Right Target: A critical part of your marketing plan is targeting the right customer. For a low-budget high-impact marketing plan to work, find customers who are easy to identify and affordable to reach. Forget the mass market and go for small niche markets.
For example, local, large breed dog enthusiasts can be reached by clubs, special shows, and targeted publications. Reaching all dog owners will be ineffective because of limited exposure combined with higher costs of marketing in mass publications.
Make Yourself News Worthy: A mention of the company in the right media can help deliver the marketing message in a low cost manner. An ideal example is – A local plumber has mastered the art of self-promotion. When a child’s red wagon was stolen, “Pete The Plumber” showed up in his Super-Hero painted van to bring a brand new wagon to the child. It was a good deed; resulting in plenty of media talk.
Form a Joint Venture: Joint ventures are too powerful for small business to ignore. Forging an alliance with a group of small companies or a large corporation can give the marketing plan the ultimate “bang for the buck.” A joint venture will lower costs, enabling to enter into new markets and create new distribution opportunities.
Maximize Referrals: The most cost-effective method of reaching new customers is by referrals from satisfied customers. A satisfied customer telling others about small business is more effective than any fancy ad campaign. Spend time to get customer referrals on a weekly basis.
These are just a few of many tactics and strategies used by small business to create a high-impact marketing plan on a low-budget. Marketing success comes from creativity; not from having the biggest budget.
An annual marketing plan will assist you in figuring out what it is that you need to do, how to do it, and when to do it. This marketing plan should go hand-in-hand with your business plan and development.
The secret to creating a high-impact marketing plan is to optimize the limited budget. A one-time radio ad blitz, glossy brochure, or flash-enabled website will quickly erode the budget and derail the marketing plans. Use low-budget marketing to get message across to customers on a regular basis, and watch sales revenue grow. There are several reasons why a low-budget marketing plan is a must for small business in today’s advertising bloated society: · Expensive ad exposure does not necessarily translate to increased sales. Every marketing dollar spent should produce a good return in sales. The targeted customers need to hear the marketing messages at least 7 times to influence a buying decision. Using marketing ; sales strategies outside the budget, does not allow to repeat the message often enough to make an impact. · Marketing impact can be greatly improved by using multiple marketing channels.
The five commonly used time tested, affordable and effective internet marketing plan are as follows – Firstly is Defining the customer, this is as important as defining product or naming a business. Secondly to Choose the targets, A coordinated effort across several sites and venues commonly frequented by your customers is the most effective marketing campaign. If you are seen in several places your visibility and retained message is much stronger. Thirdly to have a proper – Budget, While some folks think this should be the first step, realistically one can better create the budget for the marketing plan when you have a good idea of the costs involved. That can only be done once the targets are figured out. Fourth is to create an advertising account, and fifth is to track and monitor the advertisements in the internet.
A Budget is a plan that outlines an organization’s financial and operational goals. So a budget may be thought of as an action plan; planning a budget helps a business allocate resources, evaluate performance, and formulate plans. While planning a budget can occur at any time, for many businesses, planning a budget is an annual task, where the past year’s budget is reviewed and budget projections are made for the next three or even five years.The basic process of planning a budget involves listing the business’s fixed and variable costs on a monthly basis and then deciding on an allocation of funds to reflect the business’s goals. Planning a Budget plays an important role in determining your start up and operating costs. Cash Flow statements are to be prepared and got to have a clear idea about what and where he money is spend.
A company has an annual budget of 2% for scheduling a media campaign for a three month period , following cash flow shall be considered under the head of expenditures mentioned below.
Cash Revenues – Revenue from Product Sales, Revenue from Service Sales, Total of Cash Revenues.
Cash Disbursements – Cash Payments to Trade Suppliers, Management Draws, Salaries and Wages Promotion Expense Paid, Professional Fees Paid, Rent/Mortgage payments Insurance Paid, Telecommunications Payments, Utilities Payments. Total of Cash Disbursements.
Reconciliation of Cash Flow, Opening cash balance, and add up the total cash revenues, Deduct the Total Cash Disbursements, and then finally is the Closing Cash Balance.
Model of Media Schedule for three months period based on the lean budget mentioned above; then the next step is to identify the target of media ad then prepare a schedule. Sample of a schedule for a company who has 2% revenue for media in their annual budget, this media schedule is for a period of three months –
When we have decided that the schedule is for three months next step is to check the return on investment, typically get the greatest returns during the launch and diminishing returns thereafter If the later returns still meet your minimum ROI requirements, and you have the budget, then you should continue the investment.
Following is a sample schedule for an idea of how a “media schedule” will look like
PC Magazine, Circ: 1 million, Target: General, Pub: 24x/yr
CRM, Circ: 103,000, Target: VARs, Pub: Weekly
Internet World, Circ: 100,000, Target: Internet users
Software Marketing Journal, Circ: 3,000, Target: Executives, Pub: 12/yr
Computer World, Circ: 800,000, Target: General, Pub: 12/yr
Total $ Cost
So the plan is to be finalized, budget is to be set, select the media, finalise the target and then the system can be kept moving.
The success on any marketing campaign depends on the collective effort. As said earlier Marketing does not occur only once an outcome is conceptualized. Rather, marketing shares its seed with those of priority-setting, research, and development to conceptualize, produce, and disseminate quality products and services. Thus, inherently, marketing is a collaborative effort involving the Center’s policymakers, researchers, developers, knowledge transfer agents, and customers in the entire effort of creating and disseminating quality knowledge. In addition, this marketing includes planning and managing of the Center’s products and services for many differing customer groups.
At bottom, the Dissemination Program believes marketing is the responsibility of all players involved in the effort of generating ideas and moving these ideas into practice. Such a marketing philosophy means that any marketing strategy must include a process whereby all outcomes–from the moment they are a gleam in the eye onwards–are designed with “quality” in mind–that is, designed to be useful, usable, and accessible to the customer for whom they are meant. A good marketing strategy will include all the activities mentioned hereby : that is Preparation of mission statement and vision for the upcoming year , Discover and define your niche markets, Describe and identify your services , Develop and plan your marketing strategy, Explore and identify your competition, Create quantifiable marketing goals, Create a marketing calendar that contains a month-by-month schedule of marketing activities and events for the upcoming year, Learn how to monitor the results of your marketing efforts.
A planned, organized marketing campaign with rotation through a variety of targeted sites, directories and venues is not hard to coordinate, does not need to cost a great deal of money and can generate traffic and sales faster than search engine submissions alone. It takes a bit of research and a solid knowledge of target customer, but can easily plan and implement a simple marketing campaign in the space of a dedicated day.
Marketing function gets into intense scrutiny by the Senior Management. Marketing gets on trial when it fails to deliver what it is expected to. Part of the failure can be attributed to the marketer’s focus on the market rather than the customer. So customer focus always is the high impact region in marketing, main focus have to be on it. Marketing is all about winning the first or second position. Marketing is about satisfying the customer. The key to marketing effectiveness lies in defining goals rather than controlling the monetary aspect.
References : Articles in internet about Marks and Spencers and Marketing .