BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries

Assignment Sample BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries

Introduction

Marketing is the most crucial function of a business enterprise (Kotler, 2021). http://BU7402 Marketing Across BoundariesIt is vital in attaining the success and growth of the company. Marketing management helps identify, attract, and retain customers by meeting their expectancy level and satisfying them. Marketing is often confused or used interchangeably with sales, but these two terminologies are pretty different. The process of sales begins with selling the product to the buyer, while marketing starts by determining the consumer’s needs.

The present assessment is based on assessing the marketing objectives and strategies of one of the leading consumer goods companies, Unilever. The company was founded in 1929 in London, United Kingdom, and is selling its products in over 190 countries. Unilever is a well-renowned name when it comes to buying FMCG products.

STP model

This strategy is segmented into three categories including segmentation, targeting, and positioning. The need for this categorization emerged as no product is preferable for everyone and can target every customer. Every individual has different needs and demands and based on that, and a product is offered to a particular customer segment. Unilever owns more than 400 brands, and therefore the company effectively uses this strategy.

Segmentation

The first part of the STP model segments the market depending based on several forces (Sheth, 2019). http://BU7402 Marketing Across BoundariesIt can be defined as an activity of sub-categorizing the market into homogenous or similar groups. The segmentation of the market can be done based on:

  • Demographics
  • Geographic region
  • Behavioral aspects
  • Psychographic factors

The segmentation of demographics is done on aspects including education, income, gender, marital status, and occupation (Appel et. al. 2020).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries On the other side, behavioral aspects can be brand loyalty, benefits, and features. Apart from this, psychographic segmentation is done by Unilever on the basis of opinions, lifestyles, and attitudes of the consumers. State, region, and area, bifurcation is the segmentation of geographic region. In a nutshell, segmentation answers the “why” question of the customers.

In the context of the cited company, Unilever the company segments the market in order to understand its diversity. Segmentation is the approach used by Unilever to determine the needs of buyers and link them with the features of the product (Crosno et. al. 2021).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries This can be illustrated by the shampoo brand of Unilever, Sunsilk launched by the company for women. Various celebrities advertise this to influence the purchasing decision of the buyers. This is an example of a demographic segmentation strategy. This strategy identifies the base for segmentation and analyses the crucial features of every market segment.

Targeting 

Targeting is the crucial decision to select a suitable market segment and find the right customer for the product (Mothersbaugh, Hawkin & Kleiser, 2019). Unilever adopts SWOT and PESTLE analysis to determine the opportunities and threats that can affect the target market. In this way, it can be said that Sunsilk is the brand that targets female buyers, and women are targeted after examining their needs and choices. Unilever embraces a targeting strategy as it helps in understanding consumer demands and developing an appropriate marketing mix. Targeting is the process of examining the attractiveness of each segment.

Positioning

This is the strategy of positioning the brand value or value proposition in the minds of customers. This is developing a unique product and brand image in the market compared to the rivals. The three main ways by which Unilever can position its brands are experiential, symbolic, and functional (Moorman et. al. 2019).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries Functional positioning refers to identifying the solution to the problem of consumers, while experiential positioning is done with a view to meeting the emotional need of the buyers. Besides these, symbolic positioning is a way of satisfying the egoistic needs of people and offering them a product that can prove as a status symbol. With the use of the STP model, Unilever can enhance its sales volume, maximize its revenue, and compete with its rivals.

Further, it can be said that this STP tool is a valuable concept for Unilever as it enhances the competitive position of the company and identifies market growth opportunities (Morgan et. al. 2019). http://BU7402 Marketing Across BoundariesMoreover, this strategic tool helps provide direction to the company and focus on marketing strategies.

Marketing mix

A marketing mix is the combination of tactics and actions that a business organization adopts to promote the brand or product in the competitive market (Rust, 2019).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries In the context of a company that offers products to its consumers uses 4 P’s, and a company offering services to its clients uses an extended version of the marketing mix; 7P’s.

Product

It is a commodity or item that is sold in the marketplace in exchange for monetary value. Further, a product can be interpreted by its features, characteristics, functions, quality, and design (Hollensen, 2018).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries Unilever is offering various products to consumers in several nations and provides categories including food, refreshment, home care, and personal care. The key elements for a product strategy are market needs, differentiators, and business goals. PLC or product life cycle has four stages: the introductory stage, growth stage, maturity stage, and decline phase. The introduction is the stage of launching the product to the market, and during the growth stage, the product gets famous, and the sales performance increases (Chernev, 2020).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries In the maturity period of the stage, the product competes with the rival company. In the last phase or decline stage, the commodity has remained with few rivals.

Price

This is the monetary value that a buyer pays for the product that has been purchased. Price is the main factor in the shopper’s purchasing decision (Bala & Verma, 2018).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries  A customer wants to buy a product that is affordable and of superior quality. Pricing strategies are of several types, including premium pricing, skimming pricing, competitive pricing, and penetration pricing. Unilever adopts a penetration pricing strategy that is low priced and of high quality. This attracts various consumers to the market. On the other side, Unilever also adopts competitive pricing strategies for some products (Kumar, Shankar & Aljohani, 2020). http://BU7402 Marketing Across BoundariesThis strategy is decided based on analyzing competitors’ pricing. Considering a premium pricing policy, the business sets a high price as per the competitors and the quality.

Place

Unilever is a consumer goods company with a global reach, and thus the company’s distribution network is quite vast. The products of Unilever are readily available at any store or supermarket as it uses an extensive distribution channel (Vassileva, 2017). http://BU7402 Marketing Across BoundariesTransportation, assortment, and logistics are the main aspects of the distribution of Unilever Plc. Distribution strategy is the plan of action of Unilever that depicts the techniques of making the product globally available. A well-designed and suitable distribution strategy minimizes the business or operational cost of the company and increases the customer base.

The easy availability of the product makes consumer purchases the product (Sokolova & Titova, 2018). http://BU7402 Marketing Across BoundariesTherefore, Unilever aims at using a comprehensive distribution strategy where the product is easily accessible to everyone.

Promotion

Promotion is the critical component of the marketing mix that communicates the features and advantages of the product to the audience intending to attract them and influence their buying behavior (Krizanova et. al. 2019).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries As the competition in this industry is increasing, the need for promotional efforts is also enhancing. Unilever adopts various promotional strategies to market its products and is direct marketing, public relations, sales promotion, and advertisement. Unilever’s primary promotional tool is advertisements.

This is done by online ads and television advertisements (Sharma & Syam, 2018).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries Advertisement is the best way to market and promote the products of Unilever as the advertisement has the capability to spread the information about the product to a broad audience. Apart from this, sales promotion is another method of promoting the product which uses vouchers, cashback, or discounts (Kannan, 2017). http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries This can be said that the pack of three soaps of the dove is often available at deals, and the buyers who are willing to buy one soap end up buying three. In the service context, there are people, physical evidence, and processes.

Elements of marketing planning

Company background

Unilever plc is a leading global brand that deals in fast-moving consumer goods to meet people’s everyday needs (Taylor et. al. 2020). http://BU7402 Marketing Across BoundariesThe R&D facilities of the company are in the UK, US, China, Netherland, and India. Unilever’s main products are food, energy drinks, personal care, beauty products, and many more products.

Vision and mission statements

These statements are the foundation for the success of the company. The vision of Unilever is to make the living place sustainable. In order to grow the business in the long term, this is the best way to practice (Kayumovich & Annamuradovna, 2020).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries The vision statement of Unilever emphasizes consumers and sustainability. On the other hand, the mission statement sets focus on adding vitality to life. The mission of Unilever is concerned with satisfying the customers and helping people feel good and look good.

Objectives

·       To help people improve their well-being and health

·       Enhance the livelihood

·       Reducing the environmental footprints of the products

 

SWOT analysis

Strengths:

·       Wide variety of portfolio of products and brands

·       Global presence in almost every country

·       Economies of scale

Weaknesses:

·       Products of Unilever are easily imitable by other companies

·       The sale of the company is highly dependent on retailers

·       Easy availability of substitutes

Opportunities

·       The growing platform of online channels and social media for advertisement and promotion

·       Changing the lifestyle of people toward health-conscious food

·       Extensive and diversified customer base

 

Threats

·       Cut-throat competition in the industry (Chaney, Touzani & Ben Slimane, 2017).

·       The popularity of private labeled brands is increasing

·       Continuous changing demands and choices of consumers

STEP

·       The basis and need for segmentation are enhancing the value of customers. Segmenting the market helps in identifying the customers. It is done on the basis of demographic, behavioral, psychographic, and geographic segmentation.

·       Unilever uses a targeting strategy to determine which consumer segment to concentrate on for marketing efforts.

·       Unilever ensures that the product or brand must occupy the right spot in the target buyers’ minds. Positioning helps in differentiating the products from rivals.

Marketing mix

·       Product is the first and foremost element of the marketing mix, and the company offers numerous brands and products to its customers (Philip, 2017).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries The key categories are home care, personal care, and food and refreshment. The most famous and well-known brands are Dove, Lipton, Vaseline, and Persil.

·       FMCG market is highly competitive, and Unilever generally adopts a competitive pricing strategy.

·       Unilever adopts a range of distribution channels as it has a global existence. The key channels are supermarkets, hypermarkets, e-commerce sites, wholesalers, and small convenience stores.

·       Unilever adopts several advertising and promotional strategies and spends a large sum of money on promotional activities every year. Mainly it uses advertisements and sales promotional techniques.

Marketing strategies

·       The generic strategies of Unilever build a competitive advantage by meeting consumer preferences and needs. Also, the company can maintain growth and development with the help of intensive strategies (Dzwigol, 2020).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries The combination of these two strategies is the main reason for the success of the business globally.

·       The generic strategies are differentiation or developing the product in a way so that it can stand out against the rival’s offerings.

·       Intensive growth strategies are market penetration, product development, diversification, and market development.

·       Unilever is very concerned about its planet and society. Sustainability is the essential component of its strategy of Unilever. Unilever’s primary sustainability practice is protecting nature, a waste-free world, positive nutrition, equity, and diversity. Apart from these, some others are respecting human rights and creating a responsible business.

Budget and Control

·       $8 billion spending on the marketing of Unilever

·       The company levies control by continuously keeping track of the marketing activities with the budget aligned. Also, marketing practices are strategically performed and managed by Unilever.

 

Relationship marketing

Relationship marketing is a process of building the trust and confidence of the consumer in the brand (Kotler, 2021). http://BU7402 Marketing Across BoundariesThis marketing function is a beneficial tool to strengthen relationships with buyers as they add value to the business. Considering relationship marketing, the 5 E’s that Unilever takes into account are:

  • Ethics
  • Enthusiasm
  • Enjoyment
  • Effectiveness, and
  • Efficiency

This can be illustrated by sending text messages to its customers on different occasions, including birthdays and festivals. Such gestures of a company enhance the value of the organization in the eyes of consumers (Nargundkar, 2020).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries Unilever also embraces this concept of relationship marketing in several ways.

Delivering efficient customer service is also a tactic to enhance the value of a relationship with buyers. Also, Unilever provides training to its employees for providing reliable and effective services to the people. Further, providing the best services is the company’s motive, and to ensure the same, Unilever resolves the queries and complaints of consumers within time. Customers prefer to shop with a brand that delivers reliable information and keeps a sense of transparency and honesty with the consumers. Unilever proficiently adopts this relationship marketing strategy by communicating the essential and reliable features of the product.

Besides this, developing and creating a brand identity is also a practice of relationships. Unilever always tries to build a brand name and image in the market so that customers can attract to it and gain a positive shopping experience (Sheth, 2019).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries A buyer wants to shop from a brand with a corporate reputation and goodwill, and Unilever implements every such practice. Unilever introduces a product in the market after conducting proper research. A product that can satisfy the buyers’ needs is a vital way to strengthen the relationship.

Recommendations

Unilever uses numerous strategic marketing techniques and tools to achieve pre-determined marketing objectives. However, there is some recommendation that can enhance the effectiveness of the company’s marketing practices.

  • It is recommended that Unilever focus on developing a unique selling proposition that differentiates the offering from the rival’s products and helps to attain a competitive profile in the industry. Also, to develop a unique selling proposition, many dimensions are taken into account including inimitable, and unique. This will be beneficial for creating a loyal market and improving the profitability structure of the enterprise.
  • Unilever can adopt various digital platforms, including social media, to build healthy relationships with its customers. This is the digital era, and every other person is on the social media application, and it will be easy for Unilever to connect with a broad audience (Rust, 2019).http://BU7402 Marketing Across Boundaries Digital channels can persuade the buyer’s spending decisions.
  • The FMCG industry is very competitive, and customers have various alternatives and substitutes. Therefore, Unilever’s challenging situation is to focus on retaining customers by providing them with quality products and services. Employees play a lead role in offering valuable products to customers.

Conclusion

The report concludes that the company’s marketing function has a variety of roles and responsibilities that contribute to increasing sales performance and thus revenue. The marketing objectives of Unilever can be achieved by emphasizing creating an effective STP model, building a proficient marketing mix, and drafting a well-designed marketing plan. Marketing tools and techniques ensure the timely attainment of the goals and objectives of the company. Further, relationship marketing is also a strategic tool to generate a strong and healthy bond with the people that aid in establishing brand value.

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