Marketing is a long trail of processes which range from drawing a raw strategy, setting the value of goods and services, creating consumer awareness to spreading out of different available concepts (DuBrin, 2010). The hallmark of this process is to enhance the supply of goods and services in order to meet the demand of consumers as well as achieving both the specific and general goals of a business enterprise. In reality, virtually all organizations need rigorous marketing strategies in place in order to survive in the liberal market which is highly dynamic. Marketing is an old practice but which has equally withstood the test of time. Its genesis can be traced back when there was dire need to specialize and divide labour. This paper is a reflection of how a marketing director of an upcoming manufacturing company can effectively tackle the challenge of price competition from other firms which are willing to sell similar products at lower prices (Marke, Sloane & Ryan, 2005). In the analysis, desirable marketing objectives as well as the SWOT approach are intensively discussed.
Managing a competitive market
As a marketing director of this small company, I will start by studying the market dynamics of the present time. It is evident that the price of products is the key determining factor in either capturing or losing out the market potential. Therefore, I will direct fruitful efforts towards counteracting this phenomenon by first of all adopting certain workable policies and well known marketing philosophies. Under this initiative, the following will be important:
Demand and Supply
The market forces of demand and supply are crucial elements in setting the price of goods and services. In a case whereby the competitor is willing to sell the same product at a much lower price, my company product is more likely to have less demand. In order to maintain or improve the profit margin, I will propose to the Finance department to embrace the economies of scale by producing on large scale (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2009). This move will eventually reduce production cost. Nevertheless, the concern will be if all the supply will be sold out bearing in mind that the immediate competitor is selling at a lower rate. This concern, however, is sufficiently addressed by the production philosophy which states that through economies of scale, it will be possible to simultaneously reduce price of commodities due to low operating costs.
Even with reduced price commodity by the competitor, my company can engage in thorough promotional activities of the competing product. One way of achieving this is through advertising. Moreover, reaching out the consumers of the product through special offers over some period of time will equally ensure a sustainable client base (Paley, 1999).
It is more likely that there will be surplus production with economies of scale. In such a scenario, the demand may go down leading to even stiffer competition between the two companies. To begin with, my department will facilitate a simple marketing research. In this survey, the main investigation will be the actual need of the customers in the market in regard to the products being offered (Paley, 1999). After identifying their needs, I will suggest to the production department to shift the line of production in order to meet the consumer preference. The overall goal should be towards supplying the market with the most desired product. On the same note, the market survey should establish the best mode of satisfying the end user of the product. It is imperative to give an attentive ear to the customers and attempt to implement their desires.
There are specific resources and methodology that are needed to attain the broader objectives of a company within a given market domain. A systematic plan of these requirements is all under the umbrella of strategic market planning. Price competition as evident in this case requires a strategic market plan to see the company through. The market survey exercise proposed earlier in this paper can be extended further so that a clear path that will be taken by the company is established (Lamb, Hair & McDaniel, 2009). For instance, competent distribution of available resources as the company adopts economies of scale is vital and any underlying intrigues need to be established in advance. There will be need to consider the overall market dynamics contrary to myopic orientation. A strategic market plan will deliver the right path as well as enlighten the company on the needs of the current market (Nash, 2000). It will also ascertain that the different departments within the company co-exist, coordinate, and work as a team in achieving the set goals.
This is seen when the verdict from the market research survey conducted by marketing division is deliberated upon by the other departments like finance and human resource. In due time, strategic market planning will assist in evaluating the SWOT analysis. Moreover, other optional lines of action can be explored through strategic market planning. Finally, through strategic market planning, the values of the company as described by the mission and vision statements will be pursued to the latter (Paley, 1999). For the case of similar products competing in the same market environment, strategic planning will be able to re-allocate resources and perhaps consider other alternatives like geographic expansion of the business enterprise (Kurtz, 2009). Besides, the art of competing effectively will be perfected if the marketing department revisits the mission of the company. As a matter of fact, the company cannot at any one time bow out of entrepreneurship due to price wars with its market rivals.
This analysis is more concerned with the well being of a company in regard to issues affecting its operations especially within the internal domain (Kaynak, 1993). To begin with, the Strength of the company is a local attribute which is independent of external factors. In addition, Weaknesses and Opportunities are mainly as a result of the core functioning of the company. Nonetheless, Threats are its external derivatives. The SWOT analysis will ensure that the company in question optimizes on its strengths, improves on its weaknesses, seeks more entrepreneurial opportunities and diagnoses as well as the emerging threats.
As mentioned earlier, the strength of this company will undoubtedly be engineered by its internal managerial mechanisms. In order to have a competitive edge in selling its product, it will be advisable for the company to take advantage of its ability to compete favourably with equal players in the market. A strategic marketing plan is the only way out. Through this arrangement, the company will be able to adopt different modalities and outreach programs of reaching out for its consumers (Nash, 2000). A definite course of action that the marketing department can propose is improving the quality of the product. In a market mostly controlled by price levels rather than quality, it will be an open strength for the company to explore more on quality than price. In retrospect, strategic marketing plan should be in a position to explicitly document the various channels that can be used by the company to allocate more resources towards improving quality (Nash, 2000).
These refer to stumbling blocks that may deter the company from progressing towards a particular direction. In attempting to counteract the market forces of demand and supply brought about by lower commodity prices of a competing company, a myriad of challenges may be encountered on the way (Moschis, 1994). When discussing the concept of strategic market planning, we discover that resources are vital for an organization to effect significant changes. For example, economies of scale which is geared towards producing on large scale is a brilliant strategic plan. Nevertheless, if this organization is still in the process of growing and therefore has not gained sound financial bases, it may not be able to implement its expansion plan which is being deemed necessary so that it can also reduce the price of the said product.
Another area of inevitable weakness is an expansion plan which entails diversifying the level of the company activities (Hill & Jones, 2010). This may take different forms. A critical look at geographical expansion depicts a glaring possibility of other stringent market uncertainties. Right at the onset, strategic planning will demand strategic resources, both human and financial, to make any significant move. Besides, implementation of the proposed market research will require mutual consent from all the affected divisions in the company. This will not only consume time as decisions are being made, but a lot of uncertainties abound especially on the verdict of the company.
Opportunities and Threats
Opportunities for the company are dependent on both the internal and external assessment criteria of the company’s profile of operation. Similar to the weaknesses discussed above, the company can still optimize on the various opportunities available to bring about sustainable growth through effective competition. Some of the underlying opportunities for this company in regard to the macro environment are the diversification of its activities (McCorkell, 1997). The company may opt to not only run on large scale, but also produce variety of products. This concept of variety may be approached from different angles like design and suitability.
In striking for the right opportunities, the company will have to analyze its main market rival (Paley, 1999). The strategies being employed by the competitor should be critically assessed and evaluated for necessary counter action. In addition, the general plan of the competitor in a bid to control the market is a vital toolkit which this company can use to estimate the competitive edge of the market. Similarly, the product being offered to the market at lower price should be investigated to determine its type and nature (Griffin, 2008). Why, for instance, is the company lowering the price of this commodity? Do they have access to cheaper raw materials or is it that quality of the product has been compromised and can be offered at a lower price than normal market value? Finally on opportunities, the marketing department will have to investigate the company’s managerial structure both current and in the past and give a detailed finding as well as possible conclusions on the same (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2008).
Other attributes that will be important in this analysis include the historical context or culture of the market rival. What are some of the company’s values and believes as contained in its vision and vision statements. In the analysis, it is imperative to establish the objectives of the competitor. What are some of the strategies the competitor is using? Are these objectives sounder than for our company? If so, what are some of the adjustments that can be put in place to address our weakness? These are valid assessment questions which can be used during the analysis.
In addition, there are some reasons why the competitor has reached this level of success over time (Gladstone & Gladstone 2004). This could be a striking point in relating the activities of both companies. In the same line of thought, the nature of the rival’s weak points should be compared to that of this organization. Eventually, the future prospects of the competitor judged against the current levels of operation is crucial as part of the opportunity for this company.
Goals and objectives
A goal in this case refers to long term targets which cannot necessarily be measured. Equally, we cannot stipulate specific time over goals; it is a parameter that can infinitely extend into the future.
On the other hand, objectives are direct derivatives of goals and usually can be quantified and set to be achieved within a given period of time. Achieving specifically set goals require properly executed plans over some length of time. For this company to compete favourably, it will have to draw a long term plan which will be configured as goals (Fifield, 2004). This will aid the company develop a firm base in its operations regardless of turbulence in the market. From the goals, the specific objectives will include but not limited to consumer satisfaction, high volume of sales, expansion, high quality and maximum returns. When both the goals and objectives are incorporated, it will be easier for the company to capture the market in the near future due to viable marketing strategies that will have been developed. Some of the marketing objectives are exploring new markets so as to boost the volume of sales as well as venturing the market with new types of products to challenge the existing ones. Moreover, an extensive promotional crusade which aims at increasing the utility of goods in the market is desirable (DuBrin, 2010). In cases where the competitor insists on low price commodities as a competition tool, this company can equally opt for a similar approach. This, however, should be executed with much caution not to compromise standards.
The main rationale behind entrepreneurship is generating revenue. In any organizational set up, the marketing division plays a crucial role of marketing a company’s goods and services. In spite of this noble role of marketing, it is one of the departments in an organization which has a myriad of challenges on a day-to-day basis. One of the challenges of marketing is competition. For the case of this essay paper, the lowering of price of a similar product manufactured by two different companies may require versatile and strategic market planning. This can only be possible if the marketing department critically explores the existing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The marketing strategy should entail both goals and specific objectives like introducing new products for the target market and diversifying the level of operation
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