Global marketing is the marketing on a worldwide scale taking commercial advantage of global operational differences, similarities and opportunities in order to meet global objectives. Marks and Spencer, a British multinational retailer engaged in the business of selling of clothing, home products and luxury food products. It was founded in 1884 and its headquarters are located in the City of Westminster, London. The present report focuses on formulation of a global marketing plan for M&S. To be successful in the today's globalised economy, it is essential to for the companies to be responsive to both local as well as global market conditions and varying aspect related to the international market.
1. Global marketing within Marks and Spencer
Global marketing is a marketing on a world wide scale reconciling or taking commercial advantage of global differences and differences, similarities and opportunities in order to meet global objectives of company. To be successful in the today's globalised economy, it is essential to for the companies to be responsive to both local as well as global market conditions and varying aspect related to the international market (Vendrell-Herrero and et. al., 2017). Marks and Spencer, a British multinational retailer engaged in the business of selling of clothing, home products and luxury food products. The company also began to sell Kellogg's corn flakes. Marks and spencer has has 852 stores in UK and have many international stores across the world. The management of company is of opinion to expand its business across the world by global marketing strategies (Eck and Uebernickel, 2014). The company have many stores in Canada, France , India and many more . Marks and Spencer has adopted various marketing strategies to expand its business globally.
Past issues related to M&S in global market are:
- It entered the global market by targeting Hong Kong and South Africa by exporting its products to these countries. After this, it targeted Canadian market by opening 275 stores in the country.
- It then entered US market and was not successful because of tough competitors.
- M&S also entered the European market without any strategy to be adopted and started its business operations without a rationale strategic approach to it.
Its current international strategy-
- The company wants to retain the capabilities, reach , knowledge , staff skills , insights and expertise to deliver value to customers worldwide.
- M&S has decided to stabilize itself from the recession period and build its market share in the UK for the next three years. And working on a rationale international business .
- M&S has changed its marketing style from product driven to market driven. This helps company to understand the regional demand of their products.
- Franchising is a great option rather than opening its own store (Taylor, 2013). it will improve market sales and capturing.
- The company should also promote its business through online media so that it can create its own brand image on the minds of customers.
2. Critically evaluate the current online business marketing plan
It refers to a collection of methods that managers of Marks and Spencer uses to analyse its internal and external environment to understand its capabilities, customers and business environment.
It is a method by which M&S can examines its strength, weakness, opportunities and threats within market.
- Its is known through 1.382 stores worldwide. its international expansion gives it a strong competitive advantage compared with other UK business (Sarkar, 2016).
- Its an iconic brand which has been trading since 1884 and is still considered as one of the UK's top ten brands today. Its decision to maintain innovations and brand building strategy has strengthen its brand positioning.
- The company's strong food business managed to growth in every quarter in last financial year and outperformed the market by 3.5%due to its distinct and differentiated specialist strategy.
- A shift from products to more consumer focussed strategy has benefited the company (Sivan, 2016). The company's new focus is to provide the customers services through online sector has ensured its growth more
- The company's clothing sales have been fallen in the second quarter of 2016 .
- The company is losing its key employees to its main competitors, including food product developers, food technologists and general merchandise team members.
- The company has become a latecomer in the digital user centred retail space . Its own M&S.com has been launched in 2014 after 3 years of development.
- The company has also experienced technical difficulties and privacy breaches on its website.
- The company has expanding its trend of network of food business and clothing business with a successful specialists strategy leading to an increase in sales (Salehi, 2012) .
- The M&S website has six million online customers and has yet to reach, engage and convert 14.5 million customers.
- M&S has been affected by the recession and has seen a major fall in 2016. macroeconomic factors and weakening Euro are still a challenge in the Middle East.
- It has been dropped out at 3rd position after Primark and Asda .
- Unstable political and economic conditions in several international franchise markets in which company operates pose a threats to both franchise receivables and on the company's development.
It is a framework that investigate M&S's non controllable factors that are existing in the external environment. For instance to enhance the online presence in the Spain M&S has conducted its PESTEL analysis it basically include different factors such as -
Political factors- It includes the factors of government rules and regulations regarding expansion of online business of company. It has been due to lack of clarity in the Government's flagship energy efficiency scheme. The company has to abide by the norms in respect to advertising its brand through social media and other networking sites (Salehi, M and et. al., 2012). The company has to follow the rules and regulations of the government of Spain so as to promote its brand there in.
Economical factors- In Spain the company has followed the strategy of discounted pricing and emphasised on better quality products and consumer satisfaction. Various macroeconomic issues, falling commodity prices and pound fluctuations have also affects the brand image and online marketing of M&S in Spain.
Socio- cultural factors- there are two factors which affects the online marketing business of company is changing values in the population and a generational shift in Spain. Different generations bring perceptible shifts in consumer behaviour, like young generations in Spain only prefers online shopping as they are advanced (Nguyet, 2011). They want to buy online. so the company, is expanding its global marketing network In Spain. The company aims to promote its clothing brand according to the cultures of people in Spain so as to increase its sales via online marketing.
Technological factors – In global marketing , technology plays the most important role in developing the business. M&S is in a good strategic position to enjoy the benefits of an altering media landscape , the proliferation of social networks and a rising mobile wave. Also, As regards its fashion business in Spain, latest trends are communicated to designers as has the speed of transportation. The company has launched its mobile application so as to make shopping so easy for customers.
Economical factors- M&S has adopted an ethical and environmental plan to serve as the backbone in expansion in online business in Spain. Company has adopted the necessary and lucrative strategy, to promote and expand its business globally and especially in Spain. Online business does not harm any economical aspect of the country. It saves time and there is a need to examine the life cycle of product from the suppliers to end usage and disposal (Ng, 2013).
Legal factors- one of the company's initiatives, “Behind the Barcode” gives the customers of Spain, an omni channel experience by enabling them to order items online for home delivery. This is an example of high standards by which company abides. M&s has to ensure that while operating its online business in Spain, it does not obstruct any laws or regulations of Spain. It should provide transparency to its stakeholders.
A competitor analysis is a critical part of your marketing plan. With this evaluation, company can establish the aspect which can make a product unique and attractive. Mark & Spencer is the company engaged in the business of clothing and food products, across the world. It is expanding its business globally through online marketing strategies. Its competitor, Primark is also a company engaged in the business of fashion retail store (Mirzaei, h and et. al., 2012). It also deals in clothing, accessories and confectionery. Both the companies are expanding their business in Spain via online marketing strategies. The markets share of Mark & Spencer is 11.3%, while market share of 20%. the past strategies of Mark and Spencer includes that the company has been opened a store in Spain, but it failed due to less brand image and promotions (MARKET, 2015). Now company has planned to promote its business through online marketing which is being liked by young generations. While primark has opened its stores in Spain to attract its customers by advertising with a slogan “ look good, pay less”. While M&S adopts promotion through social media and networking sites, on the other hand Primark advertises its opening of stores through advertisements in newspapers etc.
The objectives of the company are the desired goals and a specific results that a person aims to achieve within time frame and with available resources. Objectives are more specific and easier to understand than goals.
The objectives of M&S in Spain are as follows:
- To promote online shopping in Spain among young generation by paying in Euros and delivering the product to their home in just 2-4 days (Karjaluoto, Mustonen and Ulkuniemi, 2015).
- To establish a brand image in Spain in the cloth and food products of M&S, among all generations
online strategies are the medium through which company can plan out and make success. Strategies are the medium by which company can attain their desired goals. Mars and Spencer aims to have a digitalised business so that customers across the world can access to its products and services.
The online strategies of M&S are as:
- The company is planning to promote its brand through social networking sites like facebook etc., as young generation has become tech- savvy, they want everything to be easily available (Johnson and Ashford, 2013).
- Another strategy includes that company wants to optimize the search engine, so that customers can find products and services according to their needs and requirements.
- Company has integrated the editorial hub with social media channels that reflects a commitment to a channel strategy that firmly establishes social media within the multichannel mix.
Marketing through social media
Social media marketing is the form of internet marketing that implements various social media networks in order to achieve marketing communication and branding goals. Social media marketing primarily covers activities involving social sharing of content, videos and images for marketing purpose. M&S has adopted to marketing of its goods and services through social media marketing as it is accessible anywhere. Now in today's world everyone is becoming tech- savvy, they do not have enough time for going stores and shop, so they prefer online shopping so that it would be easy for customers to have variety of choices at a reasonable prices (Holleman, 2011). Purpose of M&S's social media marketing in Spain so as to help its business reach more to customers. secondly, it also provides a valuable venue for better understanding and learning from target audiences. Social media marketing provides a base for efficient and effective advertisement by the company so as to have its customers come to know about its brands and products.
Pay per click (PPC)
Its an internet advertising model used to direct traffic to websites in which an advertiser pays publisher, when the ad is clicked. It is used by M&S to display its ad on the website so that people come to know about their brand. The company has adopted Pay -per- click as one of their advertising models. It is basically attached with first tier search engines (Carson and Springer, 2012). It has been adopted by the company to advertise its brand name with cost per impression and cost per order that are used to assess the cost effectiveness and profitability of internet marketing.
After advertising, next task is tracking responses or gaining feedback of the customers of the company. As, Marks and Spencer have advertised its brand on various social media and pay per click so as to enable its brand and offers accessible to customers. It is basically a tool for evaluating responses of people who have visited the site or advertisement of company. It shows whether there is a positive or negative response about the company in the minds of consumers. Pay per click is having an advantage that it tells the company about how effective its advertisement was. Clicks are major way to measure attention, interest and also tracking feedback from the customers who have visited the advertisement (Ebrahim, 2016).
3. Weaknesses and areas for improvement
Marks and Spencer is the major British multinational company engaged in the business of clothing, home products and also luxury food products. The company also began to sell branded goods like Kellogg's corn flakes. Earlier, The company was first British retailer to make profit of over 1 billion pounds but it took a sudden slump. M&S have 852 stores throughout UK and also across world. Company has its strengths and weakness too (Bommakanti, 2012). The major weakness of Marks and Spencer in Spain includes:
1.Clothing lack segmentation- the clothing market in of M&S has many segments. In fact the merchandise, especially ladies wear has been cut out. Young generations are preferring brand levels.
2.Internet technology- internet technology has developed so fast and it offers an opportunity to increase the demand for online products. In terms of circumstances,buying products online has become a new trend. Customers are getting used to accept the model and adapt it to their daily life and also demand for these kind of products will increase In future (Butler and Gibson, 2011). The major weakness of the cited company is that the company has not much developed technology, due to this company cannot offers and promote its products and services to customers in Spain through online methods. Company is not able to upgrade its technology to sustain in the corporate world.
3.Research and development- research and development is also a major weakness of the cited company. The company lacks a good and efficient team of research and development, which is responsible for research for innovation in process and product formation. it is also responsible for identifying new and latest fashion trend according to the customers of Spain. Company lacks new ideas, opinions and views of its team which would have helped the company in building a good brand image among customers.
4.Manual working increases the costs- the company namely, Marks and Spencer has a drawback of following old techniques which increases the different aspects such as money time etc. its very important that now a days, the companies are preferring both merchandised and automated material handling alternatives for various types of logistics operations.
5.Poor advertising techniques – it is one of the major draw back of company that it has not adopted good advertising techniques in Spain, in order to promote the brand of company (Al Izki and Weir, 2014). The company should advertises its name and little description so that people come to know about the company. It is obvious if the people are not aware about the brands and their specification, they will not go fir that particular company.
4. Develop on the weaknesses
It is normal that company have its weakness, but in order to sustain in the corporate world it is necessary to overcome the weaknesses so that company can achieve success and attain the desired goals. Marks and Spencer has various weakness in its business operations, the management wants to overcome its weakness so that it could create a goodwill among its respective customers.
M&S can work in following areas so as to improve its weaknesses:
- The company need to improve its clothing segmentation so as to attract its customers. In Spain, as the company is not having much amount of stores , it should focus to have source of online shopping so as to maintain its line of customers (Akhtar, 2016). It should produce good quality clothes and also healthy and hygienic food products.
- In this era of advanced technology, company have to work to increase its technical efficiency. Technology plays an important role in developing business online. Company should timely upgrade its website so as it will enable the customers to have more products and more variety. Customers of Spain mostly includes young generation, which is more crazy about latest and new fashion trends. They expects from company to provide better results. The website of company should also be more optimized so it can be user friendly for its respective customers.
- The company should adopt good advertising techniques like Pay per click and social media marketing which are the best sources to promote the company's brand name. Today's Young generation is so fascinated and obsessed with social media, so they can easily come to know about the advertisements placed on the media (Belal, Shirahada and Kosaka, 2013).
- The company should have proper research and development team, which guides the management of Marks and Spencer about the new sources of innovation and production techniques so it will be able to fulfil the requirements of customers.
5. Justify the proposed marketing plan
As per the above marketing plan, it can be assessed that the online strategies adopted by M&S – marketing through social media and pay per click are feasible for the organization. These would enable the company to expand its business and ensure customer satisfaction across the globe. Social media has become part & parcel of people's life especially the young generation. Websites like Face book, MySpace or Twitter provide social networking services and bring people together all over the world by allowing them to get to know each other (Colley, 2015). As the young generation is constantly in touch with social media sites, it is beneficial for the company to use such platform for marketing of its products. They are more interested in buying things online rather than visiting a retail store for purchasing. The need of the time is to provide goods and services at the door step of the consumers on just one click.
Following are other reasons that proves use of social media and online shopping is beneficial for M&S :
Convenience : People feel more comfortable in online shopping as they can shop anytime and there are no lines to wait. Online shops give us the opportunity to shop 24/7, and also reward us with a ‘no pollution’ shopping experience.
Better prices : Cheap deals and better prices are available online. People can compare the prices of various products and then, buy products which meets their price specification.
More variety : M&S can provide various varieties online. The younger generation is attracted as it gets the latest international trends and fashion. There are variety of sizes and colors available.
No crowds which saves time : The young generation has become tech-savvy and they don't have time to go to stores for purchasing. There is no crowd in online shopping which saves a lot of time and energy.
The main target of M&S is young generation of Spain where it already has a few stores (Caudron and Van Peteghem, 2014). In today's world of emerging technology, digital business and e-commerce have become an integral part of global marketing strategies. The young generation has become addicted to social media and wants to perform every activity using online means. Thus, the proposed marketing plan of M&S to use social media as a marketing platform is quite justified. This will ensure more young customers are attracted and retained by offering quality products online. It will help the company in gaining competitive advantage and economies of scale.
After summing up the above report it can be concluded that global marketing is very essential to sustain and survive in the corporate world. Global marketing is a concept which involves reconciling and taking advantage of global operations differences, similarities and opportunities in order to meet global objectives. In today's economy, every company aims to expand its business globally and commercially wide. The diversity of the globalized situations has been matched by the variety of enterprises that has a vital role to play in the marketing exploration process. The report also discussed about the marketing plan of the Marks and Spencer, one of the British multinational clothing and food products brand, and its promotion in Spain. SWOT and PESTEL analysis of the company has been done it has been assessed that company should advertises its ad on social media sites or through Pay per click techniques. There are many weaknesses of company and the ways are also mentioned to over come it. Competitor analysis has been assessed of Marks and Spencer with its competitor namely Primark, which is also a company engaged in the retail business of clothing, accessories and confectionery. The marketing plan should be ethical in nature and it should be abide by all rules and regulations. Along with justification of proposed online marketing plan has been also provided. This will ensure more young customers are attracted and retained by offering quality products online.
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