Dissertation Sample on Market Planning

Detailed Dissertation Sample on Marketing Planning

INTRODUCTION

Marketing planning is a procedure of developing a roadmap for the actions which a company has to perform for carrying out its marketing activities. The marketing activities include branding, packaging, pricing, advertising and so on. Marketing plan is a company's procedure which is carried on for the purpose of understanding prevailing and current position of organization in market. Therefore, in order to achieve the marketing objectives of company in the most efficient and suitable manner, the marketing strategies are prepared. These strategies are prepared only by conducting the marketing and organizational audit by taking the external and internal environmental components in mind which affects the growth of company (Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick, 2012).

Looking at the present scenario of competition in retail sectors, the following assignment is made on developing the marketing plan for Marks and Spencer (M&S). M&S is a UK based company that is constantly facing the situation of competition with companies like ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury etc. In order to overcome this situation, the researcher has focussed on identifying the barriers which affected cited company to attain the sustainable growth. Further, researcher has made a marketing audit for M&S to analyse the external and internal factors which can affect the company' growth. Later, in report, researcher will make a study on certain ethical and legal issues such as consumer rights and so on which also act as an influencing can factor in marketing planning.

TASK 1 : Market Plan for Marks & Spencers

1.1 Changing Marketing Perspectives in Marketing Planning

Marketing is an activity which keeps on changing and demands for more new and innovative ideas to market the products and services. At the time of creating a marketing plan for Marks and Spencer, it is essential to look into the available marketing resources, marketing objectives and techniques used to sell the products. There are different changing marketing perspectives in marketing planning which helps in determining the possibilities for failure and success of marketing plan (Lovelock, 2011). Therefore, the way in which management of M&S understands these viewpoints will give cited company a benefit of gaining marketing position in the crowd of competitors. The certain changing perspectives are discussed below:

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The Production concept

One of the changing perspectives of marketing planning is the production concept. According to this concept, company should produce the goods and services in large amount. This will leave a choice for the consumers to buy commodity at an ease as goods and services are available in abundant. This will give an advantage to company for ensuring the production activity at a low cost. So basically, Marks and Spencer can focus on mainly manufacturing as many units as possible. This concept focuses on achieving high production efficiency, low cost and mass distribution (Hollensen, 2015).

The Product Concept

The other changing perspective of marketing which arises at the time of making marketing planning is giving importance to the product concept, that is, consumers are now a day becoming more product conscious with respect to its quality, performance and uniqueness. This viewpoint can also influence and affect the marketing planning of Marks and Spencer in both positive and negative way (Chowdhury, 2015).

The Selling Concept

Another changing perspective which is taken in consideration in marketing planning is the selling technique which is used by M&S to market its product. This means that company can use aggressive method of selling its goods or different promotional methods can also be used.

Situation Analysis

Further, the other perspective to be considered in marketing planning is situational analysis. This means that once the cited company has tapped the market demand, customer’s tastes and preferences, competitor’s strengths and weaknesses as well as market positioning of products sold by M&S then it can adjust its marketing plan. Thus, company's objectives of becoming the leading brand and providing suitable goods to consumers can be attained in an efficient manner (Johnston, 2015).

Evolution of integrated marketing communications, (IMC)

It is all about the process by which marketers ask ad agencies to coordinate with respect to making use of variety of promotional tools rather than just relying on media advertising. Hence M&S began to coronate the various promotional elements and other marketing activities so as to communicate with firm’s customers.

1.2 Capability of Marks & Spencer in Achieving Market Plan

In order to identify company's capability for planning its future marketing actions and the process which it will initiate to achieve the marketing objectives, it is necessary for management to understand the needs and wants of internal and external market. Therefore, the capability of M&S in achieving marketing plan is essential to identify the strengths of existing company. The main strength of firm lies in the availability of financial resources in right quantity which will help company to execute its functions in proper order. Looking at the scenario of market, it can be observed that it is not constant; it keeps on changing due to change in customer’s expectations. So, cited company can use the innovative and advanced techniques for developing its goods. This will give the firm a cost benefit which will ultimately lead to increase the sale of commodities. Therefore, M&S has the ability to gauge the market in a right manner and provide the customers with right type of product as per their needs and wants (Bitner and Gremler, 2012).

The capability of Marks and Spencer also lies in the fact that company has established a well-known brand image of its products in the eyes of customers. This strong brand image will help cited firm to enhance the sale of products in future also. Also, Marks and Spencer has recruited highly talented and professionalised workforce who are capable of implement the marketing strategies and activities in the most effective manner. This talent pool of staff assists the cited company to maintain a sustainable competitive position in market by continuously bringing innovation in ideas and techniques of marketing the goods and services (Mooij, 2013). Therefore, it can be said that M&S is highly capable for planning its future resources as it has all the essential requirements as discussed above such as finance, technology, market standing and personal resources etc. in the right order.

1.3 Porter Five Force Analysis

Techniques for conducting organizational audit

Porters five force

porter five force model

Marketing manager of Marks and Spencer can make use of porter’s five forces to analyse the organizational audit in company. Porter developed his Five Forces analysis in reaction to the then-popular SWOT analysis. The model defines industry’s structure as well as forces that shape the nature of competitive interaction within an industry. It can thus be used by Marks and Spencer to identify what kind of substitutes can act as a threat for its product and service range. Bargain power of buyer and suppliers can further be assessed with the help of this model.

There are two types of methods which were used by marketing manager of Marks and Spencer to conduct organizational audit in company. These are:

Setting Standard

The first and foremost work which company does in order to start the organizational audit is developing benchmarks and targets for each and every activity which is to be taken place with respect to market of new product and for establishing the marketing plan. Setting standards will help the managers to compare the actual position and performance of employees with the set standards. This comparison will help him to identify the loopholes and gaps between actual and established performance. As a result, the activities can be performed with respect to the identified gaps to overcome them. For example, a benchmark is set for the performance of employees which will help the cited firm to determine workers who have underperformed (Gafurov, Kalenskaya and Novenkova, 2012).

Observation

This is another technique by which marketing manager M&S can perform the organizational audit. It is a technique through which the managers can keep an eye on the ongoing activity in organization and performance of employees can also be monitored. This is achieved by looking into the cameras and web cams which has been established at store of M&S. However, the data which has been recorded in digital recorders such as cameras can be used by the managers to conduct marketing audit.

External factors that affect marketing planning

The external factors which affect the marketing planning can be studied with the help of PESTLE analysis. The PESTEL analysis of Marks and Spencer:

Political Factors

  • Interference of government authorities.
  • Politica lstability and instability.
  • Taxation policies (Foxall, 2014).

Economic Factors

  • Economic growth.
  • Affect due to economic recessions

Social Factors

  • Changing preferences of the customers.
  • Strong positive brand image by setting policies for developing societies.
  • Conducting corporate social responsibilities (CSR).
  • Changing life styles of users.
  • Demographic changes.

Technological Factors

  • Innovative techniques for production and operations.
  • Online marketing strategy (ZhouandCci, 2012).
  • New inventions and developments

Legal Factors

  • Rights of consumers.
  • Safety regulations.
  • Competition laws

Environmental Factors

  • Taking out toxic chemicals out of production process.
  • First carbon neutral major retailer (Marks & Spencer business environment analysis, 2014).

1.4 PESTEL Analysis

The marketing team at Marks and Spencer has continuously indulged themselves in carrying out the organizational examination. This audit takes place to determine the external factors which are affecting marketing planning activities and helps in the execution of marketing plan in a smooth and efficient manner (Cruceru and Rădulescu, 2014). The method which has been adopted by M&S to conduct external marketing audit consists of PESTEL analysis. It is as follows:

PESTEL analysis

Political Environment

The actions which are taking place at M&S for carrying out the marketing activity are highly affected by political interferences of government. These activities are largely subjected to intervention of political pressure which local authorities put on company. The firm’s market is spread not only in UK but in different parts of the world and every country has different ruling party and has their own rules and regulations. The political factors include things like political pressure of controlling authorities, trade restrictions, trade barriers and so on (Rikhtegar, 2013).

Economic Environment

The economic environment is highly affected by the economic crisis which can impact the company’s overall functioning. Say for instance, the rate of inflation goes up and also there is situation of highly unemployment in country due to recession period. This will negatively affect the cited company as the sales will get reduce because of which company will not be able to generate revenues. Similarly, the change in currency rates will also affect the pricing of goods and services (Dibb and Simkin, 2008).

Social environmental factor

There are certain social and environmental factors which affect the functioning of existing firm, that is, Marks and Spencer. The social factors like change in living style of people in community and change in customers’ needs and wants can affect the marketing planning of M&S. For example, the increasing standard of living will automatically lead to increase in the sales for company as customers will buy standardised clothes. Also, there are environmental factors like increasing CSR activities and adopting the environmental friendly and renewable resources for manufacturing of goods.

Legal and technological factors

The legal cases and lawsuits filed by many competitors like ASDA and Tesco will affect the brand image of company. Therefore, planning has to be done for M&S in such a way that company can overcome all legal barriers. Further, several new techniques are available which are highly advanced and the major benefit of using those techniques will be achievement of low cost (Gilligan and Wilson, 2012).

TASK 2 : Barriers in Marketing Planning

2.1 Barriers Observed by Marketing Manager

After preparing the marketing plan, senior marketing manager observed that there were certain barriers which were affecting at the time of preparing marketing plan. Marketing planning is a sequence which is adopted by the planner of events which company has to adopt to define the marketing goals. This is an activity which requires drawing a plan to attain those goals. There are certain barriers which were observed by marketing manager at the time of making plan. These barriers are discussed below:

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Obstruction related with changed consumer behaviour

The consumers generally have capacity to react in different manner in any situation. Therefore, marketing manager of M&S has to make the correct investigation with respect to the needs and wants of customers so that in accordance with their desires, company can develop their marketing strategies and also, decisions regarding new product can be taken.

Barrier in relation to Non-Availability of then funds

The development of marketing plan incurs huge cost because of which cited company has to bear heavy expenses. Therefore, it may happen that company may lack in available funds with them which can act as a barrier in the development and execution of plan. The cost is required in hiring the highly expert professional who has the complete knowledge of making plan. Also, the cost is incurred in conducting the marketing research and in providing training to existing staff to adopt changes which has been implemented because of new plan (Thimothy, 2015).

Obstruction related to getting marketing professional

For the effective and efficient development of marketing plan, it is necessary to hire the professional staff in company who can correctly develop the plan based on his/her experience. Therefore, this can act as a hurdle as getting expertise in less time is not possible sometimes.

Barriers related Technology

It has been observed that frequently the technologies are changing at a fast pace. As a result, various new techniques have been evolved for creating the marketing plan. It is also possible that every technique is having its own positive and negative points. So, choosing the best method for making marketing plan is also another barrier for designing marketing plan.

2.2 Barriers during Implementation of Market Plan

Marketing planning has been regarded as a complex exercise by companies as they face several barriers during implementation.

There are several barriers that affect the formulation and implementation on marketing plan. It is the responsibility of senior managers to evaluate all the implications associated with plan before executing it in the corporate world. However, the factors which were acting as the hurdles in making plan can be overcome by M&S. Therefore, to surmount the barrier to know the customer preferences, company can hire agencies that can help them by conducting proper market research (McDonald, 2009).

Further, it has been discussed that Marks and Spencer was facing a problem with availability of funds. So, company can make some estimation related to cost which would incur during marketing plan. These estimations will give an idea to managers about the requirements of capital to develop the action plan. Another point of barrier which has been discussed above is related with the selection of technology for developing the best marketing plan. This problem can be solved by identifying the pros and cons of each method. The technique which has maximum positive points can be selected.

Socio political, Legal, Economic and technological scenario may limit the business interactions with the external environment. This happens as while marketing planning companies has to adhere with Ethical norms and regulations. Regulations may lead to avoidance of comparison marketing by the companies. This is an issue as market surveys are regarded as best form of marketing. This has majorly helped M and S in comparing the product with the competitors.

TASK 3: Implemetation of Marketing Plan to Develop New Product

3.1 5 Steps Marketing Plan

Marketing plan for chosen product being stylish clothes in market is as follows:

marketing plan

Situational analysis

3.2 Significance of Marketing Planning

The significance of Marketing planning in strategic planning process for M&S is discussed below:

For enhancing brand knowingness

The proper and well marketing plan will assist the organization to create a strong image of brand name in the eyes of customers. This will help the firm to make its goods and services acknowledged by the users.

For distinguishing merchandise from competitors

Developing marketing planning in the most effective and efficient manner will help M&S to make its product look different and unique from its competitors like ASDA, Tesco and so on.

To know the market perceptions

Marketing planning tells company in advance about its current market position and areas where it is required to grow. In simple terms, it provides a roadmap to employees and management of company to work and perform its operations in the same manner as required by the plan (Strauss, 2010).

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3.3 Different Techniques Used by Marks & Spencers to Develop New Product

On the basis of given situation, Marks and Spencer is interested in expanding their business and in increasing the marketing share by introducing a new product in company. This decision will help the firm to increase the profit ratio and to develop a strong competitive edge. Therefore, there are various methods and techniques available which can help the cited company in introducing new commodity. There is a series of stages which are followed at Marks and Spencer in order to develop the new product. The steps include idea generation for developing product at first; feature development for product in the second phase; thirdly the development of product and in last, product testing is there (Hartley and Claycomb, 2013). The different techniques which can be used by M&S to develop the new product are discussed below:

Brainstorming

The technique which is used by M&S to develop new product is by conducting brainstorming session in the organization. Here, the groups and teams are formed in the cited company for determining creative and different ideas for developing the product. Through this session, every employee tries to find out several new and innovative ideas and strategies which will help the firm to generate a new product (Mohr, 2013).

Expert Opinion Survey

For the purpose of developing new product in company, the management of M&S can take opinions from the experts who are highly experienced person. This will help the organization to generate more technically and feasible ideas and strategies. This survey will aid the firm to come up with new product in the market.

Market Scanning

Another technique which can be used by M&S to develop new product for its customers is by conducting the market research. As it is obvious that for coming up with the decision related with launching new product in market, analysis plays a very crucial role in determining the trends, preferences, current market standing of business and types of market strategies adopted by competitors such as ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury and Next Plc.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is the technique which can also be used by the cited company in order to develop a new product. With the help of this tool, firm can be able to determine the strengths and available opportunities in order to enter with new products. Also, threats and weaknesses can be identified by company which will help them to remove such threats and to overcome the weaknesses (Mullin, Hardy and Sutton, 2014). Further, it will assist in finding out the strengths which will help the cited firm to successfully launch the new product in market.

Scenario Analysis

The assessment of condition of market and opportunities will be done by capitalising on planned future demand or trends and the related user's needs. Company will get the advantage to provide goods and services in accordance with the needs and preferences of its targeted customers. This is an effective technique which Marks and Spencer can adopt while developing the new product in market.

3.4 Methods to Promote Developed Product

Positioning

For the purpose of making existence of stylish clothes in market, Marks and Spencer can make a strong position in the market by providing highly fashionable clothes. The clothes which will be now produced and manufactured will be of superior quality of material and would be in different attractive and sober colours according to the latest fashion which is prevailing in the market. Also, the products are being manufactured by keeping the consideration of targeted customers (Turnbull and Valla, 2013).

Price policy

The Apparels manufactured and sold at M&S will have the starting price of £150. Marks and Spencer has the rules and norms with respect to increase and decrease the prices of its commodities in accordance with several occasion periods. As a result, this policy will assist the cited company to remain away from price conflicts. The pricing policy of Marks and Spencer is premium pricing policy and price skimming (Mohammad. and Seyed, 2013). This gives an advantage to the cited firm in earning huge profits without damaging the brand image. The marketing planner has suggested that company offer special discounts and offers to increase the sale of its products to targeted group of audience.

Distribution

Communication Mix

The marketing manager of store of Marks and Spencer along with the research team will investigate on the methods and techniques of media to promote the product. This research will help in determining the correct and feasible source to promote the product. A large Television campaign will be a right source for gathering the attention of large audience of users for company's products (Kokemuller, 2015). Thereafter, flashing the advertisements in magazines and television on regular basis will help the firm to communicate the message of its new product in an effective manner. However, to draw attention, to hold them and to incite the transmission channel partners for showing the products on their channels, an executive staff member can be sent to communicate them the methods of marketing new arrival in products along with the discounts and offers.

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3.5 Factors Affecting Implementation of Marketing Plan

There are certain factors and elements prevailing which can affect company at the time of putting marketing plan into action. These factors can have positive as well as negative influence on the marketing plan. These elements can be available within organization as well as outside the firm. Some of the factors which affect the effective implementation of marketing plan have been discussed below:

Environmental factors

There are number of external factors which might affect in effective implementation of marketing plan. These environmental elements include the expectations of customers which are continuously changing and that can badly influence the existing marketing plan, if not identified properly (Factors that Affect Your Marketing Plan, 2015).

Employee's resistance

The employees at Marks and Spencer play a crucial role at the time of bringing marketing plan into action. Therefore, if they refuse to accept the changes which are to be taken place in accordance to plan then the effectiveness can be reduced. However, it is important to make the employees agree upon the plan which is to be brought in company. As a result, resistance level towards the plan can be minimised. This can be achieved by giving training to staff for adopting new methods and equipments (Halinen, 2012).

Financial resources

Non availability of financial resources also acts as a barrier in effective implementation of marketing strategies and plan into action. Further, it can be said that due to lack of funds, company will not be able to purchase required resources for implementing the plan. As a result, production and marketing activity will suffer.

Hiring expert personnel

If company is not having the right type of personnel then this will affect M&S to implement its marketing plan in the most effective and efficient manner. Therefore, it is necessary that cited firm has the right type of personnel at right place so that proper execution of marketing plan can take place (O'Donnell, 2014).

Social factors

There are certain social factors like changing needs and wants of consumers, their attitudes, preferences and changing standard of living can affect the market plan at the time of its execution. This affect can be seen in the way that company will again have to modify its plan according to the changed pattern of users for the products of Marks and Spencer (Root, 2015).

TASK 4: Ethical Issues

4.1 Ethical Issues to Keep in Mind while Developing New Market Plan

Ethical issues are related with the moral rights and duties which Marks and Spencer has to keep in mind at the time of conducting marketing activities and while developing new marketing plan. There may be cases which have made company to perform its operations with respect to rights and legal laws. The actions which company has taken are all with respect to keep ethical issues in mind. There are certain consumer rights and acts prevailing in market which can influence and have an impact on marketing planning of M&S. These rights of consumers are like right to fair price, right to superior quality and so on. However, these rights can also have impact on marketing planning as company has to consider the consumer’s rights (Murphy, Laczniak and Wood, 2007).

Similarly, unethical behaviour like price conflicts, aggressive selling techniques and cheap quality might affect the firm negatively. In addition to this, there are certain ethical rights which firm has to consider and that are related with the existing staff. The moral duty of company towards employees pertains to fair and equal treatment of every worker and employees in company. Unfair treatment of staff may lead to dissatisfaction among workers. As a result, employees can show resistance in making plans.

4.2 Examples of Ethical Issues

As discussed above, there are some of the ethical and moral rights which company has to keep in mind which influences the marketing planning at M&S. Therefore, there can be several examples that can be quoted here and which can provide the evidence for response of Marks and Spencer towards these ethical issues. To begin with few examples, the first instance is; according to a survey report, it was analysed that cited firm has become first carbon neutral major retailer in UK. Another example which can be quoted with respect to ethical concern is that company has made arrangements for recycling its waste to hundred percent (Siegle, 2013).

One more example of M&S towards ethical responsibility is that cited company has no longer using Indian leather for making production of clothes. This step is initiated by company by keeping the diminishing rate of animals and through keeping animal rights in mind. One more example for ethical concern of company is adopting the “Plan A strategy” which has made company to make several modifications and global consciousness to rescue the surroundings.

The most common example ethical issue which influence marketing planning of Dove Soap. From the last few years, it has considered that beauty is only getting from the mackup and other cosmetic things. The beautiful ladies only can used them for explored herself more beautiful. But Dove has change the following perceptions of people (ETHICS OF THE DOVE BEAUTY CAMPAIGN. 2014). To responds in the against of following ethical issue, company has started a campaigning. Everyone has heard about Dove Campaign which redefines beauty standards for all women in the world. It does not matter that whether the company is doing good marketing or not for promoting Dove in the marketplace. But the thing is, the firm is getting success in promoting the actual beauty and develop a concern for women. During the campaigning, Dove has created three phases: average women, mom's and their daughters and older women. The purpose behind the small documentary is to show that real beauty is having no age to explore. For promoting the real beauty of women, company has not selected any kind of actress or super model. They have cast 6 average looking women to implement this idea in to reality (ETHICS OF THE DOVE BEAUTY CAMPAIGN. 2014).

4.3 Impact of Ethics on Marketing Plan

There are different and various instances of user morality and impact of these ethics on making the marketing plan of Marks and Spencer are being studied here. Company has shown a tremendous and a remarkable response towards ethical issues and has constantly changing its practices to fully protect the rights of every consumer. However, adoption of Plan A has made Marks and Spencer to develop loyalty among customers and to sustain the brand image. This has also given a benefit to the cited firm in remaining a step ahead of its competitors (Shammari and Hussein, 2008).

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Now days, consumers are becoming more conscious towards protecting the environment and are attracted towards those organizations who make an attempt in saving the natural resources. As a result, company's step towards recycling and greening its operations has made the consumers to like its products and services. This situation has given rise to increase in revenue for company and developing the image for longer period. The effect of this step which is taken by the cited firm has a greater influence on conducting the marketing planning as it has reduced the cost for company to perform marketing planning. The reason is simple, that is, customers are now more inclined towards products and services of Marks and Spencer (Ethical Consumer issue, 2007).

For example, most of the customers do not like to buy to the music or movies from the store. They directly download it from the internet by visiting the different websites. In the present time, there are many website which are copying the music and movies without taking the permission from the respective people and published them their sites. This thing affects the marketing planning of M&S and decreases the sales of musics (Rikhtegar, 2013).

CONCLUSION

From the above marketing dissertation project report, it can be concluded that doing the planning of marketing activities in advance will help M&S to attain success and to become the leading producer in retail sector. With the help of this assignment, researcher has identified certain changing marketing viewpoints like product concept which has made M&S to plan for its future marketing activities. Also, it is evaluated that developing a marketing plan for more fashionable apparels will help them to increase the sales and satisfaction level of customers. Further, it has been analysed that barriers were found like fund lacking and non-availability of professional staff at the time of making marketing plan. Later, it is concluded that M&S has become the first carbon neutral major retailer. Lastly, researcher assessed that marketing planning is a vital tool for the success of marketing activity.

REFERENCES

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