A marketing plan is a strategic approach through which an organisation seeks to attain a competitive advantage in the market by appealing to more consumers. The marketing plan outlines the tactics and strategy that an organisation will use to woe more customers as well as the related costs, actions, and the individual goals (Johnson, Phan, Singer, & Trinh, 2012). Apple Inc. marketing is dependent on aggressive media campaigns, and there is a need to expand the organisation marketing mix to increase the overall market coverage and consumer awareness of the organisation products. The current target on high-end customers is unsustainable in the long term, and there is a need for a change. Using the organisation superior brand image, innovative technology and low to no compatibility with other brands give Apple Inc. (Johnson, Phan, Singer, & Trinh, 2012). Competitive advantage and the ability to sell in the market amidst stiff competition from low-end telecommunication devices brands like Samsung which threaten the organisation market share. This paper will create a competitive marketing plan for Apple Inc. to increase the organisation sales and overall market representation by changing the belief that its products are only for the upper social class which has reduced the organisation penetration in some markets primarily in the developing countries and markets dominated by low-end products.
The Marketing Environment
The environment plays a crucial role in the survival of any business, organisation and even a company. Changes in environment whether external or internal may cause drastic drifts on the company's operational, managerial and marketing activities. For instance, for Apple Inc. Company to sustain its operations, which are dictated by the marketing field, it must be able to respond promptly to changes in the environment. The external environment includes the outside factors which impact the operations of the company. This consists of micro and macro settings. For instance, examples of factors which may change the external environment include the economic, sociocultural, political, legal, technical, and environmental considerations. Apple Inc. conducts a SWOT analysis to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (Johnson, Phan, Singer, & Trinh, 2012). Once the company has identified its strengths and weaknesses, it sets to conduct a marketing plan. Marketing plan mainly aims to specify the company's target customers and how they will be reached. This is, therefore, a forecast of the anticipated results. For instance, the company sets to understand how customers will respond to its marketing efforts, how much the plan will cost and finally how its competitors will react. The company after that develops a marketing mix decision (Johnson, Phan, Singer, & Trinh, 2012). This mix is based on the 4 Ps of marketing. These are Product, Price, Promotion and Place. For instance, the company sets to identify which type of products are appropriate at which price in different markets and the proper strategies to convince customers to purchase them. Finally, the company gets out to implementing the strategic plan. This is done by getting resources which entails cash and staff to market Apple products, organising for the respective people who will conduct marketing, set dates and calendars and manage every detail for the typical end goal. This process is usually dynamic and changes based on the changing environment.
Apple Inc. Company's external environment is prone to experience changes in the external environment which gradually affects its marketing strategy. Political factors, for instance, include laws, they limit business and organisations in one way or the other. Political and legal forces are highly vital and cover many aspects of company policy, marketing being one of them. Therefore the policies that the government employs, or passes through amendments, which are usually revised every time, can affect marketing strategy a company uses. Trading restrictions passed by the law will restrict marketing activities and all other activities and procedures used by a company. In the same manner, economic factors, which include the trends in demand and supply, will always affect a company's strategy. For example, markets usually have different seasons which include boom when the need for products is high and the low season when there is less demand for Apple products. This implies that the companies marketing strategies during the boom season have to be adjusted to cope up with the current market demand. Similarly, during the low season, the company must lessen its marketing activities, failure to which will lead to a run of losses.
Positioning and Targeting
The environment entails many company's which compete for limited customers; each company strives to give its customers the best products. Therefore, when it happens that other companies produce high-quality apple gadgets, Apple Inc. company is likely to lose its market base regardless of the strategies used to market its products. The marketing strategies, therefore, need to change depending on technological changes and globalisation (Dibbn & Simkin, 2008). Additionally, a shift in customer service within the company or customer service used by the company's competitors are likely to influence customers' decisions when purchasing the company's products irrespective of its marketing technique.
Globalisation is a factor that affects significantly the company's marketing strategy; the company ought to research the current technologies to adapt the changing techniques. This can be done by assessing other competitors' trend in terms of their products. Also, Apple needs to identify the strengths and weaknesses of its competitors. This helps the company to utilise efforts on the competitors' weaknesses to grab their market share. The company must always change and respond to changes in legal law and legal requirements. For instance, when the amended laws prohibit certain marketing strategy or product, the company needs to adhere to and create an alternative means (Dibbn & Simkin, 2008). This can be done by having a variety of products or marketing strategies. Since the state of the economy is also unpredictable, the company has to keep records on market trends so that the marketing department can know the appropriate time to market the company's products, and this is when the demand for Apple products are high.
Strategies for Growth and Marketing Objectives
Apple Inc. employs five significant steps in the strategic marketing of its products. These steps include Mission, Situation analysis, Marketing plan, Developing marketing mix decisions and implementation and control strategy. Firstly, the company identifies and understands its mission. This is written down in a statement which is supposed to be promoted throughout the organisation. This is followed by evaluating the internal and external factors which affect the company and its market. This step is called situation analysis. The step illuminates the company's strength providing a clear objective view of the health of the business, the company's current and prospective customers (Doyle, 2009).
Apple Inc. has to employ various marketing techniques which oversee the efficiency of the strategic marketing plan. With this regard, the company needs to set marketing objectives; this will act as a mirror and direct its marketing activities. The targets must go hand in hand with the company's goals and objectives. For instance, the company may opt to increase sale, bring more new customers or introduce a new product to increase its market share with competitors. By adding another product, the company will be targeting more markets and a variety of customers. This will improve customer base giving them a range of products.
Additionally, the company ought to segment the markets based on various aspects. For example geographically, based on economic classes such as the lower, middle and upper class. This ensures that the company gathers customers of all quality. The company can also conduct mass marketing campaigns and road shows to respective target customers. This will increase the company's direct and indirect sales since it will create awareness and at the same time conduct actual sales (Doyle, 2009).
Strategic position and marketing tactics are often used to sell the products to the target market effectively but at the least cost. Apple choice of strategy and implementation involve three philosophical approaches namely empathy, focus and impute. The firm uses insight to capture potential customers while retaining the exciting. Their focus on the opportunities available while eliminating any matters not relevant. Many customers judge the appearance of a product before they purchase it. Apple imputes its products to high-quality levels. The branding of Apple products surpasses most of its competitors (Doyle, 2009).
The firm has been able to make the brand exciting to the market at every launch. Its vision is to make the customers lives better through innovative products. Moreover, they often engage in face-to-face campaigns with customers. Their pricing strategy maximises the price that the customer can pay while they eventually receive a product with utmost quality. This, therefore, reflects the variety of their products. The effectiveness of their market penetration matches the strategy used in product development (Doyle, 2009). For example, the laptops by Apple have a beaming logo. The firm believes the logo was not made for the customer but the potential customer. The most effective promotional tactic that Apple has employed is to keep the marketing strategy simple. With little to no advertising, the firm has been able to capture a large market. Moreover, the customer experience is top notch. The firm has successfully been apple to appeal to the emotions of the customers. This has been possible by collecting information about their customers and relaying the message in the language they understand.
Direct response marketing strategies used by Apple is meant to satisfy the customer with quality products and non-forgettable customer experience. Based on Payne and Ballantyne's six markets model, Apple has been able to achieve its objectives. Internal markets refer to the markets within the organisation specifically the employees. As such, personalised marketing in the relationship marketing at this level should be able to understand the needs, the support system and the conflicts should be resolved accordingly. At Apple, the employees are the ambassadors of the product. The suppliers are partners to the firm. A good relationship with the supplier is a plus to the firm. At Apple, the suppliers enjoy a good relationship. The recruitment markets refer to an employee of a firm, who play a crucial role. At Apple, the best employees are the most innovative, productive and highly efficient. This often translates to direct profits to the firm. The recruitment market, therefore, helps Apple to source only the best individuals with the right skill and efficiency. The referral markets are often reefed to through the use of word of mouth. It is a cheap strategy to promote a product. Apple products have effectively led to loyal customers who spread the gospel of the products through word of mouth. Whereas many would be customers, some non-customers eventually end up promoting the product by engaging in discussions. The world is full of people and organisations that hold sway; this describes the influence markets. Such can develop a product through their use and feedback. The competitors also act as an influence in some adverts. Eventually, the customer markets this category include the final user of the product, the retailer and intermediar...
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