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In current scenario competition is on its highest level. Companies are trying to attract customers and other stakeholders with their new and innovative ideas. Changing social and technological trends are vastly affecting marketing campaign of organizations. Most of the organizations are taking advantages by these changes by introducing their innovative ideas into real life practises. Effective marketing campaign has become an essential element for business growth. In order to attract potential customers companies are putting their efforts and huge money. Current marketing world has become such place where thousands of innovative ideas come into practises every day. The competition level is so high that an organization can not suffer in marketplace without help of a strong strategic marketing.
In order to take competitive advantage it has become must for the organizations to make strong plan for their each resources so that the optimum utilization of resources can be taken. Marketing is defined in Oxford as the action of promoting and selling services or products that also include research of the market and advertising (Piercy, 2009). In common words the purpose of marketing is to cut down the sales cycle of the organization. All the organization is current scenario known the importance of marketing but very few of them understand that what actually required for a successful strategic marketing campaign. Strategic marketing is the process of identifying the sustainable competitive advantages of the organization and assign resources to develop them.
This trend of strategic marketing can be found in every industry. This present study is going to discuss the strategic marketing campaign of KFC that is a world known fast-food restaurant chain. This report will analyse the role of strategic marketing for KFC and will provide a range of marketing strategies that can provide competitive advantage this organization. The aim of this study is to provide comprehensive understanding strategic marketing plan to develop competitive advantage in the market place. This report will be divided into four different parts where each of them will provide in-depth study of the topic. The very first part will provide the understanding of principles of strategic marketing. The next will include the understanding of strategic marketing analysis. Third will analyse the strategic marketing decisions and choice and the last will indicate that how a range of marketing strategies can provide competitive advantage in market place.
About KFC: Headquartered in Kentucky US, this is the largest chicken restaurant chain in world providing their delicious fried chicken in more than 115 countries. It was founded in 1930 by Harland Sanders (About KFC, 2013). CFC has been the target of an ongoing campaign by PATA an animal rights organization. Along with this in present scenario a serious issue has become major concern for KFC and that is their junk food which is responsible for unhealthy lifestyle of people.
As discussed above that marketing has become an essential part for organization success and every company need to focus on their marketing campaign for finding the competitive advantage. Marketing strategy helps in creating a brand image in mind of the customers as well as attracts them for using the products and services. In relation to KFC strategic marketing played a comprehensive role in their business success. The marketing strategy of KFC identifies the strengths of their products. In current world a big part of populations knows about KFC and their chicken products either they are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, due to marketing campaign. The marketing strategy helped KFC promoting their products (Toney, 2000). By the help of a comprehensive strategic marketing plan KFC came know the demand of customers and provide verity of products for accordingly. For example through their marketing campaign company came to know that a big part population is vegetarian and do not eat chicken. Based on that marketing campaign, KFC included vegetation food products in their menu. So ultimately strategic marketing played the key role in developing the business assignment strategy.
The strategic marketing identifies the available marketing media options for the KFC and provides the best option that can effectively achieve the marketing objectives. By the help of strategic marketing KFC can easily communicate their innovative ideas and offers with their potential customers and other stakeholders. Strategic marketing includes the long term marketing objectives of the organization that help in employing the effective plan for each of the objective, for example promotion, pricing and place (Jagersma, 2006). Ultimately the strategic marketing plays the key role in taking the effective use of resource and generating revenue.
Corporate strategy includes the direction and scope of the corporation along with the way of operating different business operations together to achieve organizational goals. The ultimate goal of corporate strategy is to define long term objective of the organization so that effective plans can be formulated. Corporate strategies define the key objectives of the organization and on the basis of those objectives marketing strategies are formulated. In other words corporate strategy defines the track for marketing strategy. Every strategy is formulated in order to achieve some particular goal and so as marketing strategy (David and Damien, 2007). The top management of the organization defines the long term and ultimate business objectives either that can be profit making or customer satisfaction and on basis of those objective marketing strategies are formulated.
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A number of changes occurred at the corporate level of KFC one of them was changing the name from Kentucky Fried Chicken to KFC. The reason behind doing so was to give a different image rather than being seen as a fried chicken restaurant. In making this major change the marketing strategy played a major role. Different advertising and promotional campaign helped in making this big change. The objectives of the organization determine their strategies. Corporate level strategies define the long term objectives of the organization and that determines the marketing strategies (Jackson, 2008). So ultimately, corporate strategy is a broader term that includes marketing strategy in it. Marketing strategy plays a key role in strategic planning by making the link between the business and the environment. Strategic marketing includes the study and analysis of external environment that provides the base for strategic planning.
Developing an effective marketing strategy includes five step processes. By using this step KFC as well as other organizations can easily develop an effective marketing strategy that can support their business objectives and boost their revenue.
The very first step includes the identification of company’s unique selling proposition. The next step includes the identification of target market. It indicates the market place where organization can find their potential customers. It also includes the analysis of market and SWOT analysis that defines the strengths and weaknesses of the organization as well as possible threats and weaknesses of the market (Porter, 2001). On the basis of this analysis marketing plan is drafted. It includes the marketing objectives and issues that determine the track of the succession of plan. This is the most important step of marketing strategy development because the effectiveness of objectives determines the entire process of marketing so while making the marketing plan well defined objectives should be there. After drafting the plan the next step is implementation of strategy. It includes the adoption of drafted plan into real life practises. All marketing activities should be performed according to plan by focusing on objectives. The last step is control and monitoring where managers need to control the activities according to pre determined measures and remove the errors. The effective control keep the focus of activities on ultimate goals determines the succession of strategy.
The analysis of internal environment helps in defying the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. The internal analysis vastly focuses on organization’s vision, mission, strategic objectives and strategies to achieve that objective. It also includes the analysis of various resources such as financial resources, human resources, different assets and technological advancement (Richard and Colin, 2005). All these resources majorly contribute in achieving organizational objectives. But on the other hand lack of any of them becomes the weakness for the organization. One of the major approaches of internal analysis is SWOT. It indicates the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Value chain analysis: other than SWOT analysis value chain analysis is an effective tool for examining the internal environment. It defines the various activities of the business in order to deliver products to the market. It includes the analysis of two types of activities, one is primary activities that include inbound logistics, operations, outbound logistics, Marketing and sales and services (Arit and James, 2011). Secondary activities include infrastructure, human resource management, procurement and technology.
Figure 1 Value chain analysis
KFC is the market leader in chicken restaurant due to their strong primary activities. Their primary activities strongly contribute in providing the KFC food items in different parts of the world. Company is having sound relations with their all key suppliers that facilitate timely delivery of raw materials for the products (Casciaro and Lobo, 2008). Huge force employees with latest technology effectively manage operations and products are delivered at right time and at right place. Company has attacking marketing strategies that attract the customers towards the resultant.
External approaches are used to identify key external factors that cannot be controlled by the company management. Most of the external factors affect the entire industry rather than an individual firm. The best approach for external analysis is PESTEL.
Figure 2 PESTEL Analysis
Political factors: This part of analysis includes all those changes in government policies that could affect the business performance. The key political factors for KFC are Health and Safety Guidelines, Labelling of GM foods and Animal rights campaign.
Economic factors: these factors are concerned with inflation, exchange rates, interest rates and economic growth. The major economic factors for KFC are growing market, increasing disposable income and perceived value for money (UK Food Retail Industry, 2013).
Social Factor: these factors are related to lifestyle, knowledge and beliefs of the society. In current scenario busy lifestyle of people, increasing healthy eating habits of people, increasing vegetarianism and social activities are major social factors for KFC (French, 2009).
Technological Factors: in currently these factors are vastly affecting the marketing campaign of every organization as innovative technologies are being introduced day by day. Increasing use of online ordering, increasing trend of social networking and online marketing campaign are the key technological factors for KFC.
Legal factors: such factors various from a country from another country. As KFC is operating their business activities in so many countries it has to manage the legal obligations of various governments. Different laws and legal boundaries are the major legal factors (Grant, 2008).
Environmental factors: these factors are vastly affecting the business operations especially KFC due to animal rights campaign. Factors such as earthquake and tsunami are the other environmental factors.
On the basis of internal and external analysis strategies are formulated. Strategies are formulated so that company can attend the upcoming opportunism, remover their weaknesses and threats and use their strengths to achieve organizational objectives. Internal factors can be controlled by the management of the organization but external factors cannot be controlled. Strengths and weaknesses are determined by internal analysis and opportunities and threats are defined from external analysis (Daellenbach and Cummings, 2009). By taking the best use of their resources an organization can easily survive in upcoming threats. Four different types of strategies can be formulated with the integration of internal and external analysis.
As above table indicates the four different strategies that can be formulated by the help of integrating the internal and external analysis. Organization’s strengths that are the internal factors can be use for attending the opportunities, survive from threats or both. On the other hand opportunities that are the external factors can also be used for removing the organizational weakness (French, 2009). By making the best interrogation of internal and external analysis an organization can make effective strategies.
The shape and direction of entire business can be affected by strategic decisions. The highest level of strategic decision making is occupied by the corporate level strategy. Such decisions have long term impacts and directly related to ultimate objectives of the organization. Such decisions are generally made by the senior management of the organization. The nature of such decisions tends to be conceptual, value-oriented and less concrete compare to other level decisions. There are three major strategic decisions are made at corporate. One is developing the mission statement; another is directional strategy and third is resource allocation (Sengupta, 2005).
Defining the corporate mission: A brief description of the unique purpose of the organization is provided by the mission statement. Along with briefing the objectives mission statement also determines the boundaries for organizational operations. The corporate mission defines the primary direction of the organization along with the key fundaments for the base of strategies and objectives.
Choosing the directional strategy: there are two fundament questions that help corporation in deciding its orientation and intention towards growth, that are:
The corporate level executives have three general directional orientations for chose a directional strategy; these orientations are called grand strategy:
Allocating Resource: KFC is a multinational and there are many SBU’s help in operating their operations worldwide. In such circumstances decisions regarding resources allocation are taken by the corporate level.
Corporate level strategies are formulated by the top management of the organization. These strategies indicate the ultimate goals of the business and other business activities are planned according to those objectives. The major objectives are defined by the corporate level strategies and all other level strategies play a supportive role in achieving those objectives (Findlay and Sparks, 2002).
As like corporate level strategies business level strategies also focus on the overall performance of the organization. But it only focuses on one rather than range of business units. Business units are individual enterprises their strategies are particularly concerned with:
Functional areas of the organization such as product development, marketing and sales, human resource, production, research and development all are concerned to the functional level strategies. The contribution to individual business unit strategies is holed by the each function so as in corporate level strategy too. The functional level strategies are concerned with:
Activities of the business can be divided into different business units and functional unit but the ultimate goal of all activities remains common for all and that is determined by the corporate level. So any change in corporate level strategy directly affects the business and functional level activities.
In order to get competitive advantage thorough positioning the best approach for KFC is porter’s five force model. This is the one of the most effective tool for completive positing given by Michal Porter. This model indicates the competiveness of market by analyzing five key factors such as bargaining power of customers, bargaining power of suppliers, rivalry among existing competitors, threat of new entries and threat of substitute products.
Bargaining Power of buyers: the bargaining power of buyer is low in food industry especially for KFC due its brand image and quality of products. But on the other hand the number of competitors is higher so there is lack of customer loyalty.
Bargaining power of Suppliers: The bargaining power of suppliers is higher in this industry as there are number of competitors offering the same product and requires the same raw material (Beer and Eisenstat, 2000). In such circumstances organization has no choice other than accepting the demanded prices of suppliers. But again sound and old relationship with supplier vastly solves the problem of supplier’s loyalty.
Threat of new entry: the threat of new entry is higher. Several small companies coming into market place with their innovative concepts and one successful concept of any of them can vastly affect the market position of KFC. The requirement of fund and other resources is lower than other industries so the chances of new entries are higher (Roy, 2009).
Thereat of substitute products: KFC is well known for their fries chicken but the increasing healthy eating habits are forcing people towards vegetarian food. So ultimately the place of chicken is being taken by vegetarian food items. So the threat of substitute products is higher.
Rivalry among existing competitors: the high degree of completion can be seen in food industry. Major fighters such as McDonalds, Burger king and KFC are trying their best to attract customers with their innovative inventions in food products. Organizations are changing their segmentation for attracting customers KFC vegetation food items are the best example for this (Ferrel and Hartline, 2008)
For the purpose of achieving a competitive edge over the firms in the market, KFC can adopt various strategies, which are consistent with the aims and objectives of the firm (Callon, 1996). These strategies will provide a competitive advantage to KFC. Some of the strategies are as follows:
Seeking help from the marketing communication, company try to develop brand awareness among the potential customers in the market. In other words, marketing communication strategies renders supporting hands to the customers by translating the product information into the perception in regards with the attributes and position of the products and services in the larger market. There are various types of marketing strategies, which can be adopted by KFC in order to build brand awareness among the valuable customers in the target market. Some of these strategies are described beneath:
It is important on the part of every organization to adopt such marketing strategies, which helps the KFC in developing a brand image of its products and services in the market. By employing effective marketing strategies and promotional plans, KFC will be able to gain a competitive edge over the firms in the market. Under the present research study, certain cases were discussed, which possess a negative impact on the brand image of the company (Ambler, Kokkinaki and Puntoni, 2004). All these issues will be overcome by KFC through formulating and implementing certain marketing strategies. The marketing strategies are explained below:
Marketing has become an essential factor for organization succession. Every organization has to attract customers by their innovative promotional schemes and aggressive marketing campaign. Strategic marketing defines the best possible use of available resources in order to get competitive advantage. On the basis of this study it can be concluded that strategic marketing is vital for every organization in order to survive in current competitive market. The effective strategic market plan can vastly provide comprehensive competitive advantage.
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