Marketing can be described as a matching process between the needs and expectations of customers, and the company’s ability and capacity to satisfy them. For this matching process to take place successfully, the company must understand who the customer is and what value is required, and how best to deliver this value on a sustainable basis in line with the organization’s overall corporate objectives. The purpose of marketing planning and its principal focus are the identification and creation of competitive advantage. Following Bennet (1995): “Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, services, organizations, and events to create and maintain relationships that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives.” (166).
The Asprey Transport (Logistics) company proposes a wide range of logistics solutions and transport facilities. The company underlines that: “Our Network of depots throughout the country linked to our national hub in the West Midlands ensures we can provide Next Day delivery to all locations within the United Kingdom and Ireland” (Asprey Logistics, 2007). Asprey Logistics’s business activity is based on marketing strategies including all transactions and physical flows in a given marketing channel of distribution. Similar to other marketing oriented companies, Asprey Logistics directly participate in marketing practices. According to Bennet’s term, marketing involves planning and executing the conception. “Our hands on approach at all levels of the management structure complements our state of the art IT systems, to ensure that we deliver on our company mission statement” (Asprey Logistics, 2007). Strategic marketing planning is one of the main tools used by Asprey Logistics to ensure long-term success, customer satisfaction and competitiveness. Marketing planning is one of the most important and complicated area which requires knowledge and expertise of top management. In general, marketing planning is enhanced by implementing it within the integrated functions of: coordination, communication and cooperation within the company (Paley, 2006).
Pricing and promotion strategies are used as strategies tools in order to respond to the changing environment and customers needs. Taking into account the costs and benefits, it is possible to say that Asprey Logistics considers the selling price from several points of view. The first is the highest price at which the number of units sold will not be significantly reduced. This pricing strategy results in optimum revenue and the greatest unit profitability. Planning the selling price is a direct responsibility of the marketing channel manager. The aim of the strategy is to meet market demands and potential to grow (Kotler, 199; Asprey Logistics, 2007).
The company employs flexible cost-plus pricing. This approach is effective because it results in severe price escalation. To ensure stable market position and stable prices, the company uses an estimated future cost method to establish the future cost for all services. This strategy ensures that the selling price they set enables the company to cover all costs.
Following Bennet’s term, marketing involves “promotion, and distribution of ideas”. In this case, Asprey Logistics follows ‘marketing mix’ approach which means the strategies adopted and implemented by the firm including product, price, promotion and distribution issues. Recent years, Asprey Logistics implements and develops new strategy based on web services. It is not a unique and a new form of strategy but still it is one of the most beneficial area for attracting wide target audience. The unique service which benefits both customers and the company is customer services and customer information system. “This is achieved using our online track ; trace facility (customer information system) via secure private internet connection. We provide our customers with personalized secure access which gives them 24 hour information and scanned signed proof of delivery notes” (Asprey Logistics, 2007). Asprey Logistics uses immediate benefit promotions to attract the customers. A consumer is rewarded for purchasing is immediate, and, as with most incentives, the sooner the reward can be expected and received after the qualifying action, the greater will be the positive effects of that incentive in stimulating purchase action. Included in this promotion category are: discounts.
“Maintain relationships that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives” is a crucial factor of marking (Bennet 1995, 166). In terms of benefits and costs, Asprey Logistics’ customer service relies on reputation and trustworthiness and this no less true in the new forms of system-service. “This system not only saves our customers time and money but also saves on resources such as paper which decreases our demand on the environment” (Asprey Logistics, 2007). Excellent customer service provided by Asprey Logistics plays an essential role in assuaging the fears of consumers by projecting an image of trustworthiness and expertise. It implements a unique service, claims management, in order to meet requirements and expectations of the customers. Asprey proposes a wide range of services to ensure customer satisfaction. Most of the proposals for budgets needed for the advertising programs are supported by a benefit analysis projecting the results that are expected for the money requested. The managers work with the advertising manager and the advertising agency in developing the programs and calculating the cost that they will generate (Paley, 2006). The planning activity is a direct responsibility for the channel manager, and the profit it yields is an indirect responsibility which is shared with the advertising experts (McDonald, Christopher 2003).
One of the cost consuming areas involves advertising and promotion. The company places advertisements in national Press, on TV and radio, in order to cover wide target audience of potential consumers. This strategy helps the customer to know about new services and discounts proposed by Asprey Logistics, and allow the company to attract potential clients. PR campaigns include press releases and conferences aimed to familiarize consumers with new services and their advantages.
These facts and analysis shows that Asprey Logistics adopts a marketing oriented approach which helps it to achieve strategic goals and objectives. The company tries to meet social responsibility policies intruding free services which benefit its consumers. The approach employed by Asprey Logistics benefits both the company and its customers, because they can choose service level and budget according to their income, needs and personal preferences (Crawford 2003). A customized approach helps Asprey Logistics to reduce costs and increase benefits for every customer. “All Aspray vehicles have state of the art ‘in Cab communications’ ensuring that all of our drivers can be contacted by any member of our Customer services or Traffic teams at any time to respond to customer queries” (Asprey Logistics, 2007). This success is measured by the company producing most profit from a mix of the following variables: product planning, pricing, branding and channels of distribution, selling, advertising and promotion, servicing, fact-finding and analysis.
In sum, Asprey Logistics is one of the companies which successfully adopted marketing process. It is the company which offers a combination of superior product, distribution, or promotion benefits and low prices; it enjoys an extremely advantageous position. The implementation of rigorous marketing methods and procedures lies at the heart of the successful marketing performance. These methods and procedures evolve over time and are fashioned from experience. The attainment of an appropriate match between an organization’s environment and its strategy, structure, and processes will have positive effects on sales. With the changing economic environment, successful company’s performance depends upon its flexibility and marketing strategy it follows.
In marketing, targeting and segmentation are the basic concepts which help determine market potential, its size, demand patterns and conditions. Cadbury Dairy Milk employs segmentation and targeting strategies in order to identify potential target markets, their needs and expectations. The Cadbury Company is considered as number one confectionary. Following report analysis, “Confectionary is very much a part of everyday life, having universal appeal to consumes who purchase and eat confectionaries on a regular basis” (Confectionary is a part of Everyday life, 2000). The Cadbury Company needs specific strategies to compete on the market and meet changing life patterns of consumers (Joines et al 2003).
Using segmentation strategy means the process of identifying specific segments—whether they be country groups or individual consumer groups—of potential customers with homogeneous attributes who are likely to exhibit similar responses to a company’s marketing mix. The segments selected by Cadbury include seasonal (9%), gift (15%), kids (17%), immediate eat (24 %) and home stock (35%) (Confectionary is a part of Everyday life, 2000). This segmentation allows Cadbury to organize its activities in such a way that determine its ability to outperform competitors (Kit Cat, Mars Bars, Laltesers Large Bags, etc). In addition, Cadbury has begun to follow a strategy of withdrawing from small markets with limited potential for its core products and to look for markets in countries with a major growth potential for confectionary products. For instance, “Per capita confectionery consumption in the UK is among the highest in the world, exceeded only by Ireland and Denmark. Chocolate confectionery accounts for around 70% of sales value in the UK market, with sales of sweets (sugar confectionery) at around 30%” (Cadbury Dairy Milk. 2007). According to the case study, Cadbury follows psychographic segmentation. This strategy helps to group people in terms of their attitudes, values, and lifestyles. Most of the customers are brand loyal who value good taste and unique social image (Joines et al 2003). Behavior segmentation analysis shows that “Cadbury has two targets for its products – trade customers who stock the product and consumers who buy it” (Cadbury Dairy Milk. 2007).
Following Kotler (1991)” Marketers do not create needs, needs pre-exist marketers. Marketers, along with other influential in the society, influence wants” (Kotler 1991, 23). In order to introduce Cadbury Dairy Milk, the company selected specific targeting strategy based on preferences and demands of potential consumers. In general, following explanation proposed by Fill (1999) targeting can be described as the act of evaluating and comparing the identified groups and then selecting one or more of them as the prospects with the highest potential. A marketing mix is then devised that will provide the organization with the best return on sales while simultaneously creating the maximum amount of value to consumers.
For Cadbury, “before consumers could try the product it was important to gain the support of its trade customers” (Cadbury Dairy Milk. 2007). Cadbury evaluate and compares the identified groups and then selects one of them as the prospect with the highest potential. In this case, Cadbury use unique packaging and brand names which ensures the success of a product. Also, “any new product in the snacking sector must establish points of difference from existing products within the market – thus creating a unique selling proposition (USP) i.e. a product with unique appeal which is not shared by any of its competitors” (Cadbury Dairy Milk. 2007). Current size of segment, its potential to growth and compatibility with the company’s overall objectives were also important indicators for targeting (McDonald, Christopher 2003). The launch of Cadbury Dairy Milk went through several tests. The results allowed the company to identify repeat purchase and purchase frequency. Personal values are considered an important consumer behavior element because they serve as determinants of attitudes and have manifested themselves in the formation of buying motives and brand attitudes.
The organization, like Cadbury, is usually affected by the factors in this environment often and it may be able to have an influence upon it. The micro environment comprises the industry in which the business competes. The organization is usually affected by the factors in this environment often and it may be able to have an influence upon it. The micro environment involves such factors as organizational structure, HR, technology and resource location. The macro environment includes influences that affect both the company and the industry. These factors include economic, political and legal regulations, inflation and GDP, social/demographic changes, rate of unemployment, age differences, resources that determine the ways to implement decision-making strategy (McDonald, Christopher 2003).
The main factors which would impact the marketing of chocolate bars are resource allocation and HR and technology. In a time of rapidly changing technologies companies should fasten product development processes. Also, the industry needs high qualifies professionals and new technological innovations in order to resist competition. Inflation, unemployment and social-demographic changes can reduce number of buying from the main segments, immediate eat and home stock.
The facts mentioned above how that marketing strategy is a power toll which helps companies to manipulate consumption patterns and product image in favor of health-related products and profit maximization. Living by this principle, companies can maintain its competitiveness today and tomorrow and pursue long-term strategic goals. The macro- and micro environment factors contain a range of influences which should be taken into account before marketing planning and implementation phases.
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