Every organization is having a business plan and so as a marketing plan which is a part of it. For this plan, proper strategy is formulated and then implemented so as to achieve a particular objective (Whalen and Boush, 2014). Without planning, the marketing plan is of no use. To make a company successful, it plays a vital role. In each firm, it is being made but its size depends on the project.
In this report, the main objective is to study the marketing environment with its SMART objective of Apple. Segmentation, targeting and positioning will also be done for one of its product with some suggestions. A project plan and cost and benefit analysis is one more important topic for discussion in this report (Quintal and Phau, 2014).
The micro and macro environment in which Apple has operated its business plays a significant role in its success. Both the external and internal environment of it determines its present as well as future position in market. In order to analyze its external situation, PESTEL analysis proves to be very useful. According to this, the political environment affects this organization a lot as due to wars and terrorism, the international relation of it with other nations is not so good. It influences Apple in a huge way and these factors cannot be controlled. Economical environment also plays a crucial role in earning high profits (McKay-Nesbitt and et.al, 2012). With superior quality and design, Apple fulfils all its social responsibilities in a well manner. It has done large investment for getting innovation in products through latest technology. A due consideration is given by this firm on research and development for making it technologically well built. All the functions performed by this company are done in an ethical manner which makes its ethical environment strong. Apple follows all rules and regulations imposed by government in its legal environment so as to make it protected by any penalty (Oliya and et.al, 2012).
For having a look on its internal environment, the help of SWOT analysis can be taken. Company is enjoying the main strength of it, that is, the excellent quality and high brand image. Firm gets competitive advantage over other organizations through this. The foremost weakness of this company is that its products are having very short life cycle. Apple is having various opportunities in market but the one from which it can earn maximum profits is to introduce more and more PC viruses. Dell, Sony, HP and Toshiba are some of its competitors from which it is having threat (Tadajewski, 2012).
With the help of Porter’s Five Force Model, micro environment of Apple can be explained. Organization is having threat from its substitute products offered from competitors as well as from new entrants in industry. As firms are earning high profits in this industry and that is why attracting many new organizations to operate their business. Company is having a threat of losing its market share because of this reason. As its suppliers and customers, both are having various options in market, they are enjoying the advantage of high bargaining power. Organization has to make many initiatives so as to make them stay with the firm and not to switch over on other business entities (Eisele, 2013). Apple has to continuously work on getting innovation in its products to sustain its business as it is having so many competitors in market.
As SMART stands for specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic and timely, Apple has set all its objectives in this manner only. There are various short and long term goals of this firm which it aspires to achieve in an effective and efficient way. For the new product, major one objective for next three years is as follows:
By 2016, Apple wants to increase its market share by 40% (Siebert and Costley, 2013).
For the new product offered by Apple, that is, Apple TV, segmentation can be done psychographic so as to match with the life styles of people. Suitable strategies are being made for satisfying the needs of this segment keeping. As this product is of higher range and is specially designed for those people who do not bother about the price and are status conscious, it is highly expensive (Luther, 2001). By keeping in mind the goal of the organization, marketing strategies are formulated for the respective customer groups. For them, this TV is manufactured by using latest technologies in it as well as innovative features are also there. For this segment, people belong to rich class in which especially the business men are targeted. A deep research is being conducted for this purpose. In order to position this product, the use of heavy advertisements as promotional tool can be taken. Through this, people at larger scale can be captured with showing the particular message regarding Apple TV. It would help organization to grab a new market and also to earn high profits (McDonald and Keegan,2002).
For the chosen product, that is, Apple TV, there are various suggestions based on its marketing mix which will help it to get success in market. On the basis of seven P’s, following recommendations are there:
Product – Apple must use the latest technology with highly innovative features so as to give a tough competition to its competitors. In order to increase its goodwill in market, company has to provide higher quality in their products. It must be designed in such a way that along with the quality, it should be attractive too. The design, features, colour, shape, etc must be different from that of competitors so as to show differentiation in product (Westwood, 2002). It will provide competitive advantage and profits by capturing the attention of people as well.
Price – As the product is of higher technology which involves high cost in manufacturing, it is required to charge high prices from target customers so as to cover its cost. Organization should use value based pricing in this in which prices are set according to value they are provided to the customer. Apple also needs to focus on the cost offered by competitors as if it is ignored; company may have to lead huge losses. There cannot be very much difference in the similar products offered by the firm (Ferrell and Hartline, 2012).
Place – As the product is for psychographic segment, at some particular stores of the organization, product must be available. This is because; it is one of the luxury products and especially designed for a specific target market. Apple has its own showrooms on which this product must be available at anytime. There must be the store in the area which is targeted for the respective product. It should not be too far as if it happens, consumer can switch over to another brand which is available (Bradley, 2005). It is because of the reason that the people of selected segment do not have much time to spend on shopping.
Promotion – From various promotional techniques, advertising will be the most effective tool in order to promote Apple TV. Through this, the features of this product can be shown in a better way than any other tool. There are some other medias too which can be also be used for promoting Apple TV in market. Advertising through online basis will prove to be very beneficial for the organization as customers of selected segment usually do their shopping from online websites due to the shortage of time with them (Rad and Anantatmula, 2005).
People - Creating public relation will proves to be very beneficial for organization. As they are the customers who bring the organization to get success, satisfying them is one of the major tasks for company. Healthy relations have to be maintained with them so as to make the product a success. For this, feedbacks can be taken and their problems can be solved. Apple can take various measures for making their people connected with the firm. It needs to fulfil all its social responsibilities for increasing its brand image in the eyes of society (Kerzner, 2002).
Process – The process by which the product is manufactured should be in this way that it saves the cost and time both. An effective process is useful so as to maximise profits at minimum costs. Along with this, use of latest technologies also helps in saving the time and efforts. Sufficient financial, physical and human resources must be there in organization to make processing efficient and to complete it on time (Marketing Plan Template: Exactly What To Include. 2013.).
Physical evidence – Apple should provide a healthy environment to its employees so as to make them happy and satisfied as it will ultimately lead to increase in production. A positive atmosphere in organization is helpful to retain its employees for a long term and in using their skills and knowledge (How to write a marketing plan. 2014).
In Apple, planning of a project is done with the help of Gantt chart. It is one of the types of bar chart which shows the activities that needs to be completed for ending a project. In this, a schedule is being made from the initial day to the end date. Generally it is used in project management. It is one of the very common tools being used in organizations to show the tasks that have to be accomplished within specifies time periods.
As this Gantt chart is being made for the duration of six months, the initial first two months are taken for the market research so as to know about the needs, desires, tastes and preferences of people Another objective behind this is to know about the competitor’s presence and their strategies in market (What is Gantt chart?, 2012). For this purpose, two months are being allotted in Apple. For the next one month, objectives have been formulated according to the researched judgements. In order to match with the goals of the project, strategies are made so that it can be implemented to perform the decided events. For execution of these plans, duration of two months is taken in which the results are also matched with the standards. In fifth month, along with implementation, Apple plans on the basis of marketing mix. At the end, in the sixth month, cost benefit analysis is being made so as to know the expenses and returns on the project. It helps organization to know about the highest returns which it can get on its investment (Category P.E.S.T Factors, 2013).
In Apple, cost benefit analysis is used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of various available alternatives and choose the beat on among them from which the highest returns can be earned. The benefits in terms of time, labour and cost is determined through this. For making comparison among many options in terms of its costs and benefits can be gained through this. In Apple, various business decisions are taken by this method (The Company Store. 2014).
There are many strategic marketing issues which Apple is facing. In present scenario, because of the presence of various competitors, company is facing problem to sustain itself. In order to save organization, it should fulfil all its corporate social responsibility so as to make people satisfied. It will help it to gain their trust and loyalty. Apple also faces sometimes problem in its marketing department (Oliya and et.al, 2012). For this purpose, it should skilled human resources for its firm and creates team spirit in them. Sometimes, issue also arises due to stage of business cycle in economy. Like, it can be said that if economy is facing recession, business cannot do well because of the low aggregate demand. It will have its impact on marketing department as there will be issues related on cost incurred by this division. International markets, that is globalisation which is an economic factor has its affect on Apple in many aspects. As doing business in other countries involves various barriers which are based on language, culture, beliefs, trend etc, strategies has to be formulated accordingly. Political environment of other countries impacts the working of this organization as it has to follow all rules and restrictions and mould its plans in that order (Eisele and 2013).
Both the strategic issue and economic factors are related to each other and have their impact on the working of Apple. If all these issues are being solves in an effective way, it can create a rich brand image in the market and so as increase its market share too. Government policies, taxes etc comes under economic factors of the country. If strategies are made in accordance of these laws, it can protect itself from any risk imposed by government. Making plans in order to fulfil social responsibilities creates a high reputation in the eyes of customers. So if Apple formulates all its strategies in accordance with economic factors such as labour cost, interest rates etc, it will be helpful to built high goodwill in market and so as develops its brand image (Luther, 2001).
Some other issues are also there based on economic conditions like age and gender issues. Sometimes policies do not suit the age and gender of the target market and that is why fail with a huge loss becomes. To make the product successful in decided area, these things need to keep in mind as the commodity must match with the age and gender of the customer. If it would not so, consumer will not purchase that and company has to bear losses. Apple is required to make its marketing strategies by giving due consideration to all these factors so as to create its image in minds of consumers as it desires. By fulfilling various corporate social responsibilities and then taking feedbacks from people on that will make customer connected with organization. It will create positive impact on them and hence sales of the company would ultimately increase (Teare, 2011).
In the report, it can be concluded that Apple required doing regular evaluation for their marketing environment for achieving objective and gain desired result. In the next part it produced the SMART objective to set goals for future and plan to obtain them. It also explained the marketing strategies for segmentation, targeting and positioning of Apple’s products. In the end it provided the recommendation for marketing mix, project plan and cost benefits analysis for the organization.