Strategic marketing according to Philip Kotler is the ability of an organization to explore, create and deliver value to meet the needs of the consumers at a profit. The most important element of strategic marketing is the ability of an organization to identify the existing needs in the market that have not been met and creating products that aligns with the market needs. Strategic marketing can be a significant source of competitive market advantage and promotes organization innovation (Kotler and Keller, 2013). The strategic marketing approach ensures that an organization can be able to identify certain market segments that Apple Inc. can best exploit due to their profit potential.
Strategic marketing can help Apple Inc. to separate itself from the other players in the market and also ensures that the scarce organization resources are put into proper use for maximum organization benefit. This is possible because strategic marketing ensures that only the right materials are availed for production. Besides, strategic marketing can helps Apple Inc. to tailor products to meet the customer needs which minimizes wastages. The market activities in strategic marketing are well scheduled which gives Apple an element of surprise before other competing firms are able to create similar products. Proper sequencing of activities and time scaling are important elements of strategic marketing and will benefit Apple Inc. by increasing market certainty which helps in monitoring and control of the organization products and prices to ensure optimum gains (Kotler and Keller, 2013). Therefore, strategic marketing will be instrumental in Apple Inc. future sales by increasing the organization capability and market competitiveness. The approach ensures that an organization can capitalize on the existing resources and potential and at the same time ensuring that the products are of value to the consumers.
Processes Involved in Strategic Marketing in Apple Inc. Company
Apple Inc. Company employs five major 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 organization. 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 perspective customers.
In this regard, the company conducts a SWOT analysis in order to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Once the company has identified its strengths and weaknesses, it sets to conduct a marketing plan. Keller, Parameswaran and Jacob, (2011) elude that 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 respond. The company thereafter develops a marketing mix decision. 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 appropriate 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, organizing for the respective people who will conduct marketing, set dates and calendars and manage every detail for the common end goal. This process is usually dynamic and changes basing on the changing environment.
Links Between Strategic Marketing and Corporate Strategy in Apple Inc. Company
Both corporate strategy and strategic marketing are important instruments that an organization uses to gain greater competitive advantage in the market. In Apple Inc. it is important to align the corporate strategy and strategic marketing to ensure that they complement each other. Corporate strategy refers to the goal of achieving profitability such as ensuring that Apple Inc. has the right structure to ensure easy decision making and management accountability, market diversification, innovation and reduction of overhead costs. Whereas strategic marketing involves the identification of a market needs and creating a product to meet the market need (McDonald, 2007). The strategic marketing activities and new products should ensure that Apple Inc. corporate strategy of corporate responsibility and ethics is maintained by ensuring that the new products are not a deception but they are truly going to benefit the consumers while ensuring that the products are friendly to the environment to align with Apple's corporate strategy. Although both strategies are unique they need to be aligned for an organization to be able to succeed.
The link between the strategic marketing and the corporate strategy can be found in the organization mission statement. The mission statement which defines an organization overall goal should inform the type of strategic marketing approach that Apple Inc. has adopted. If the organization mission is to create consumer value strategic marketing should establish a need in the market where the organization can exceedingly increase consumer value (McDonald, 2007). Strategic marketing cannot be achieved if Apple Inc. maintains a rigid organization structure that makes it difficult to make decisions or issue commands. Further, if Apple's corporate strategy is product diversification the strategic marketing goals should ensure that the organization can identify needs in new markets and create products tailored for such markets (McDonald, 2007). Apple's executive management play a significant role in aligning the strategic marketing and the corporate strategy by maintaining constant communication with the marketing department to assess the strategies that are pursued and ensure they align with the organization strategy.
Value of Models Used in Strategic Marketing Planning of Apple Inc. Company
Strategic marketing planning requires the establishment of value to assess the impact of the decisions on an organization and at the same time to assess the industry and the market environment where an organization operates.
Porter's Five Analysis
For the strategic marketing efforts of an organization to be successful, it is important to measure and assess the competition in the market. Porter's five analysis has significant value by analyzing competitive rivalry which assess the strength of the products that other organizations are making. Being aware of the strength of the competitor's products makes it possible to create products that are superior and tailored to meet the needs of the consumers (Chernev, 2009). Similarly, assessing the supplier power and the buyer power ensures that an organization can be able to ascertain the resources required to ensure that they are within the investment ability of the organization as well as the potential price of the products to estimate the possible organization gain by setting prices that are friendly to the buyers while ensuring Apple Inc. gets the value of the invested capital. In the case of Apple Inc. Porter's five forces analysis will be used to help the organization to adjust its strategy to be in alignment with the competitive environment which has the potential of increasing the profit margin.
A SWOT analysis is an important tool in strategic marketing because it promotes business environment understanding. Apple Inc. can use this tool to assess the performance of the existing products in the market which helps to derive the consumer needs which is very important in developing strategic marketing for an organization (Kotler & Armstrong, 2008). As such, Apple Inc. can benefit by regularly carrying out a SWOT analysis to assess any market place opportunities and trends in the consumer needs.
STEEPLE Analysis and PEST Analysis
STEEPLE and PEST analysis are tools that are used to assess the macro environment factors some of which should be considered when developing strategic marketing such as technology, economic factors, ethics and the environment. The macro-environment is increasingly becoming a major consideration in strategic marketing such as ethics, environmental factors and the state of the economy (Kotler & Armstrong, 2008). Failure to consult the macro environment before creating strategic marketing can lead to the failure of the organization in terms of failing to observe ethical requirements and impacts of the new products the environment which equally can affect overall demand even in the presence of needs in the market.
Marketing audit plays a significant role in the strategic marketing process by helping an organization to review and plan how an organization communicate its products to the consumers by reviewing current strategies and the market trends. The product life cycle plays a significant role in the marketing strategy because the product at different stages requires different marketing efforts. In the beginning of the product lifecycle, an organization should invest more on marketing and the investment should decline towards the end of the product lifecycle. Ansoff marketing involves creating a framework created to help the marketers and managers to plan for future market growth and this will be important for Apple Inc. by helping the organization to identify key areas of concern such as market development, diversification, market penetration opportunities and product development (Kotler & Armstrong, 2008).
Links Between Strategic Positioning and Marketing Tactics of Apple Inc. Company.
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 strategies namely empathy, focus and impute. The firm uses empathy to capture potential customers while retaining the exciting. Their focus is firmly on the opportunities available while eliminating any matters not relevant. Many customers judge the appearance of a product before they purchase it. Apple imputes their products to high-quality levels (Winer and Dhar, 2010. P92). The branding of Apple products surpass most of is competition.
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 maximizes the price that the customer can pay while they eventually receive a product with utmost quality (Mullins, 2009. P214). This, therefore, reflects the quality of their products. The effectiveness of their market penetration matches the strategy used in product development. For example, the laptops by Apple have a beaming logo. The firm believes the logo was not made for the customer but for 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 a...
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