Apple Inc. is one of the telecommunication firms specializing in the production of high technological electronic products, computer hardware, and software. The company products include personal computers, media devices, mobile communication, and portable-digital music players.
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Within the mobile communications category, the company has launched into the market variety of iphone and other android Smartphones that has significantly hit the world Smartphones market.
Currently, the Smartphone market share is valued at approximately five billion dollars with Apple products claiming 1.6 billion dollars, second after the Samsung products. The Smartphones market is expected to grow in the next five years, approximately an increase of 0.55% annually. Apple market share is robust with expected growth of 1.67% annually.
Apple Inc. brands are highly welcomed by majority of young generation particularly those between the ages of 16-40 years. The company has adopted social media marketing as the major strategy to reach the target market. However, the market is highly competitive with similar products being introduced into the market by the competitors.
Apple Inc. will focus the delivery of Smartphones to the small businesses as the major market segment. The high-end small businesses that value services, support and knowledge are clearly differentiated in the market segmented. Within the market segment, the objectives of the marketing mix includes
- To ensure sales increase by 40%
- To ensure increase in the sales margin by more than 20%
- To ensure increase in the total Smartphones by 55%
The marketing mix strategies particularly the price and distribution differentiations are aimed at attaining the set objectives. However, the major aim of the company is to increase its market share and the products brand awareness. Social media provides an avenue through which the company can achieve its major objectives (Dobele et al., 2005).
Apples Smartphones positioning
The company will be using various marketing mix strategies to ensure that the new Smartphones are positioned in the market. Included in the market skimming strategies are product and pricing strategies, placing strategies, and promotional strategies (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). The marketing mix strategies will majorly be implemented through the application of social media platforms.
The product strategies
There are varieties of Smartphones that the company has introduced into the market. The innovative capabilities of the firm have enabled the development and manufacture of new Smartphones, offering varied choices for customers. Moreover, the company Smartphones’ auxiliary functions have been improved to suit the customer needs and bring convenience, a mixture of value and quality.
Intense competition in the industry requires that the company enhance the product differentiation through design, timeliness, affordability, form, conformance quality, durability and style. Most importantly, the company has succeeded in becoming pacesetter in the provision of Smartphones in terms of both application and design.
The innovative and well-designed Smartphones fitted with the latest software such as the android continue to appeal and satisfy the customers’ needs. in essence, the company has achieved the competitive advantage through the application of its technological knowhow (Porter, M 2001).
- To increase the availability of the products to the customers by 25%
- To maintain products available in most of the apple outlets at 25%
- To improve product quality by 65%
The objectives will be attained through increasing the varied quantity of Smartphones available to the customers. The product strategy will be attained through increasing the products presence in the website and other social networking sites, increasing the number of online stores as well as enabling the online orders.
|Building a products website with enhanced features||Six months||5500||Information technology department|
|Feeding the company social networking sites with products of enhanced quality||Six months||4900||Information technology department|
|Developing new online stores||Nine months||7700||Information technology department|
However, the contingency plans will ensure that the actions attain the required objectives.
The distribution strategies
The major aim of the distribution of placing strategy is to ensure that the products reach the customers at the right time and place. For the company Smartphones to reach the customers at the right place and time, apple Inc. will utilize the most convenient, fast and less expensive distribution channel (Dziri, 2011).
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Moreover, prior shipment arrangement for overseas markets will be made available, easier and cheaper to increase the movement of the products. In particular, the company will increase the number of stores by opening new stores in strategic places where customers can be served conveniently.
In addition, the number of retail outlets will also be increased to ensure that most of the customers are reached. Significantly, the company should increase its online stores to ensure that online buyers can easily get the products.
Significantly, the company will adopt the business to customer distribution channel in order to directly deal with its customers. Direct interaction with the customers will be critical in knowing the customer needs, which leads to the development of the suitable products that suit the market expectations (Kotler & Armstrong, 2013).
Moreover, the direct sales of the Smartphones will lead to the expanded market share. However, the company stores both physical and online are still limited. Therefore, the company should expand its distribution stores to reach all manner of customers.
Objectives of the distribution strategies
- To increase the availability of the products to the customers
- To increase the market share
- To position the Smartphones into the market
Action plan to attain the pricing objective
|Increasing social media presence||Four months||4500||Sales/IT department|
|Developing new online stores||1 year||10600||Sales/IT department|
As expected, the quality and value addition attract high prices. However, the company Smartphones’ prices are middle-high with some gargets targeting high-end customers while others are made for low and middle incomers. The high-quality low-prices strategy will be applied particularly to outperform the competitors (Solomon, 2012).
In addition, the product and pricing strategy will be aimed at widening the spectrum of customers the company is targeting. Before, the company was targeting customers at high-income level. Nevertheless, with the entry of more competitors the company will be forced to widen its scope and capture middle and low-income clientele.
Objectives of the pricing strategy
- To attract and retain customers
- To attain at least 5% net margin
The actions in the pricing strategies are aimed at attaining both the objectives particularly price discrimination in terms of place and class or the target market. Essentially, pricing strategies are aimed at increasing the products’ competitiveness as well as widening the customer base (Dibb & Simkin, 2008). In other words, the pricing strategies are aimed at increasing the market share as well as profit margins.
The promotion strategies
The company will be most active in its promotional undertakings. The aim of the promotional strategy is to enable the Smartphones brands become a worldwide recognizable logo. In the promotional strategy, apple will utilize various basic techniques to reach the customers. The promotion techniques the company will be utilizing include advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotions (Muniz & Schau, 2007).
However, the company will majorly utilize innovative advertising to attract and inform the customers about the company products both in mass and digital media. Apple Inc. will be investing in both mainstream and social media advertising to increase awareness of the products to many customers.
Besides social media, the brand awareness will also be improved through innovative advertising in mass media particularly in television and technology magazines (Nijssen & Frambach, 2000). Most of the company products will also be advertised in the company websites as well as the sites of collaborative companies. The major objective of advertising is to increase brand awareness of the company products to the target users.
Besides, the company will uses corporate social responsibility to appeal to many people as a method of maintaining its public relations. The success of the company on public relations improves the company goodwill and attracts the public attention (Bradley, 2013).
Further, the company provides special offers as a good way to stimulate and retain its customer’s loyalty. The company will also extensively apply personal selling. The apple store sales representatives fully trained on the company’s product information will be responsible for the provision of excellent customer services.
- To increase brand awareness of the company products to the target users
- To attract and inform its customers about the company products
- To make the company appealing to many people and attract the public attention
- To stimulate and retain the customer loyalty
The action plan to achieve the objectives
|Advertising||3 years||7900||Sales department|
|Sales promotion||3 years||8400||Sales department|
|Social responsibility||3 years||10200||Sales department|
|Personal selling||3 years||6800||Sales department|
Most of the promotional actions results in the achievement of several objectives. For instance, sales promotion will result in increasing the product awareness as well as maintaining the customer’s loyalty. In essence, the promotional mix techniques will result in the attainment of several objectives.
Recommendations regarding the marketing mix strategies
Even though the company is utilizing appropriate marketing mix, the activities should be within the stated budgets. In addition, all the marketing mix strategies should be aimed at achieving the stated goals and objectives. The company should also be innovative and cost effective while implementing the pricing, place, communication and product strategies (Loudon & Wrenn, 2006).
While recognizing the budgeted costs and the set objectives, the company should ensure the utilization of the technological capabilities to develop unique products that meet the needs of the market. In essence, the product mix should ensure that the company differentiates its products in terms of augmented value, placing and pricing (McDonald & Wilson, 2011).
In other words, the company should ensure that the products have additional value beyond the expectations of the customers. Moreover, the products should be placed at the customers’ convenience. Generally, product differentiation in terms of form, features, performance quality, durability, reliability, style and design are critical for the company amid intense competition (Payne & McDonald, 2012).
Time-lines and contingency plans
The marketing mix strategies should be implemented within three years. However, some of the elements in the marketing plan will be implemented regularly. The attainment of the specific marketing objectives will tracked through the percentage changes in the general objectives of the plan.
|Marketing mix strategies||Duration||Budget ($)||Implementation Department|
As indicated the results of the strategies will be evaluated carefully within specific period. In case the set objectives are not attained, new strategies will be created to enable the attainment of the set objectives. However, the company will ensure that the products are positioned as number one it the Smartphones market.
Customer retention, loyalty and repeat business
As indicated, Apple Inc. faces stiff competition from various technology firms as well as search engines such as Google that are currently producing Smartphones. Therefore, pricing differentiation strategy provides critical competitive advantage.
Apart from the product range, the firm should also have the right price for the Smartphones to encourage the purchase of products so that the company can realize increased profits (Cole, 2013). In essence, price is a critical element in the marketing mix since it creates sales revenue. Price is not only used in the marketing mix but also in the product development as well as customer maintenance.
Further, the firm marketing management should realize that creating right marketing mix also involves offering the products at the right place and time (Vollmer & Precourt, 2008). In other words, clients should get the products when are in need and at the most convenient place. Since customers are very sensitive to the prices, the company should adopt the business to customer distribution channel.
Business to customer distribution channel enhances direct contacts with clientele and reduces the distribution costs that would negatively affect prices of products (Wernerfelt, 2004). In other words, the company should open stores near their target customers to ensure direct distribution of the products (Zikmund & Babin, 2010).
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