Marketing Audit And Marketing Plan Management Essay
This brief report highlights the Marketing audit and marketing plan performed for the BT Group PLC. At the initial part of the report it gives the back ground information about the BT group PLC.
Firstly it will focus on the marketing audit. In which macro environment is analyzed by using the PESTL analysis, competitors analysis is performed on the basis of the Porters five forces and analysis of internal environment is based on the SWOT analysis applicable to the BT group’s business operations..
Secondly the emphasis will be given to marketing plan. In which it expels the target segments, positioning strategy and marketing mix in relation to the business operations of Bt Group.
Finally the attention will be given towards the control mechanism and problems associates with application of marketing plan.
a.) Company Background
BT is one of the world’s leading communications services companies, serving the needs of customers in the UK and in more than 170 countries worldwide.
BT group’s main activities are the provision of fixed lines, broadband, mobile and TV products and services as well as networked IT services. In the UK BT Group is the largest communications services provider, serving the consumer, business and public sector markets. Globally, BT Group supplies networked IT services to multinational corporations, domestic businesses and government departments. It also provides access to network and services to more than 1,000 communications providers in the UK and others worldwide.
BT group provides wide range of products and services to their customers.
- Global networked IT services
- Worldwide virtual private network via our multi-protocol label
- switching service
- State-of-the-art videoconferencing and telepresence services
Small and medium enterprises
- Fixed line and mobile call and broadband packages
- IT and communications solutions
- Fixed line calls and broadband packages
- Largest video-on-demand service in the UK
- Biggest wi-fi network, with more than 1.5m hotspots
- A new fiber-based access network
Wholesale and carrier
- Local loop unbundling, allowing communications providers to
- install their equipment in BT exchanges, and use these lines to
- connect to end users
- White label managed services for customers who want to enter the
- communications market without the need to invest
- Managed network solutions for communications providers
BT group is a well known company in London which practicing good marketing strategies in their business operation and achieved success in their industry. It is the main reason behind the selection of this company. Further BT group will develop better future through five strategic priorities. Such as Broad band based consumer service, The brands for business for UK small and medium enterprises, Bt global services -a global leader, The wholesaler of choice and the best network provider.
Marketing audit is a comprehensive, systematic, independent and periodic examination of a company’s marketing environment, objectives, strategies and activities with a view to determine problem areas and opportunities and recommending a plan of actions to improve the company’s marketing performance. It includes marketing environment audit (both macro and task environment), marketing strategy audit, marketing organization audit, marketing system audit and marketing function audit.
Macro environment consists of larger forces that affect the company’s micro environment.
- Political Forces
- Economic forces
- Social and cultural forces
- Technological forces
- Legal Forces
These forces are out of control of the business. Scanning these macro environmental forces allow marketers to identify unmet needs and pertaining trends, which raise opportunities for marketers. Trend can be defined as a direction or sequence of events which have some momentum and durability by which marketers can increase sales or profits of BT group.
Marketing decisions are strongly affected by developments in the political environment. This environment is composed with government policies and bodies, pressure groups that influence and limit the behavior of individuals and organizations. BT group continues to work with government and regulators which facilitate hem to fair whole sale access to telecom networks whether fixed or mobile. Premiums imposed by government on TV content which avoid inequalities and excessive pricing in the broad band market. Hence UK has on e of the most competitive and vibrant telecoms market.
Changes in economic environment directly affect the purchasing power of customers and hence business policies, approaches and strategies. Thus market should track these changes by analyzing the gross domestic products, interst rates and inflation rate prevail in the economy.
Social and Cultural Forces
Social and cultural impact on business is a major factor to which marketers have to pay greater concern. Social organizations such as family, school and temple and culture of the society shape, beliefs, norms, values and behavior of people.
The phase of population growth and changes in the age structure are of important to marketers when planning programmes. It reflects changes in the demand pattern of products. Hence demand for fixed line calls and broad band packages will increase. Further increasing urbanization has changed the demand pattern of urban areas which affect the marketers marketing programs. Increasing interest in better education has created good opportunities in the education industry. In addition to that continuous tendency of increasing women in the work force too have affected marketers largely. As a result of the BT group an increase their demand for fiber based access network.
One of the most dramatic force shaping people’s lives is technology. People have seen a number of wonders like television and mobile communication and etc. Every technology obsolete old technology and the products based on it. Further it affect the entire business process of BT group and create new opportunities to reach new customers, satisfy them with better solutions and provide higher convenience for customers specially in potential investment of fiber based broad band by BT group Therefore no doubt that review of these technological improvements in an ongoing basis helps BT group to survive in the market place. Accelerating pace of change, increasing research and development expenditures by BT group, increasing regulations on technological change and focus on minor improvements are some trends accruing in this environment.
Legislations affecting the business has increased over the years. Companies have to face emerging new legislations always. Therefore they must have a good working knowledge of the new major laws protecting competitions, consumers and society. Government tends to change their policies over the years, establish new agencies and bodies, which regulate business activities. Hence it is important to review those influence and response properly. Provision in Enterprise act of 2002 will highly affects on the open arc operations of BT group. Hence compliance with those provisions will ensure the continuous business operation in future.
Scanning of the above environment in an going basis and review their current strategies, activities helps BT gropu to match them to the changing environment and enable to improve business performance. As such BT Group is going to do the largest private sector investment in Europe, spending £ 1.5 to bring fiber to at least 40% of the UK in 2012.
In addition to the above PESTL analysis it is an important to perform industry and competitor analysis before adopting on new strategy. In order to that company can apply Porters five forces model of competition.
Rivalry among existing firms
Rivalry among existing firms of the five competitive forces, the most powerful is usually the rivalry among existing forms. In this case its determined by following factors.
Rate of industry Growth – competition is more than the broad band market. is very high.
- High Fixed Cost- BT group is going to make one of the largest private sector investments in Europe spending £1.5 Bn to bring fiber based telecommunication reflecting high cost involved in this kind of industry.
- High Exist Cost – Investment in telecommunication sector is very high, which induce firms to remain in the industry and compete. Further non transferable capital assets and emotional attachment to an industry give rise to high exist barriers.
Threats of New Entrants
This relates to the height of entry barriers. A barrier to entry exists when it is difficult for a newcomer to break in to the market. This governed by several factors as shown in below.
- Economies of scale – Since the scalar of economies reaped, new comer will be discouraged.
- Brand Loyalty -Since strong brands such as Siemens, Home serve, PepsiCo and etcetera new entry.
Threat of substitute
This depends on below factors.
Relative price and performance of substitute
Though many substitute ate exists in the market BT offers more features to the broad band service that their competitors.
Power of Buyers
IT deepens on number of factors.
- Concentration of buyers -Since BT offers their product to the four main customer segments such as BT global service, BT retail, BT wholesale and Openreach.
- Switching Cost – Buyers gain power when their costs of switching to substitute are relatively law.
Power of Suppliers
This depends on market conditions in the suppliers industry and the importance of the item they supply.
Company has its registered suppliers over 11,0000 therefore supplier concentration is very less in this company.
Along with the environmental appraisal, it has to undertake an appraisal of internal environment of the organization. Opportunities and threat faced by the organization and strengths and weakness of the organization both together yield the SWOT analysis.
The company is in imminent danger of losing its existing market and must diversify its products and markets. The new market opportunities exist to be exploited. A strategic plan could be developed to use existing production and marketing enter new markets, with a view to rapid expansion. Careful planning of man power, equipment facilities, research and development would be required and there would be an objective to meet threat of competition so as to obtain substantial share of growing market.
Effective SWOT analysis does not simply requires categorization of information, it also requires some evaluation of the relative importance of various factors under consideration. In addition to that SWOT can be used as guiding strategy formulation. Hence it is required to develop strategies in a manner to convert weakness in to strengths or converting threats in to opportunities which can then be matched by existing strengths. Hence recommendation on such analysis is as follows.
- In the short run current strengths must be exploited to continue to increase market shares and product development programmes should also be continued.
- In the long run company must diversify in to new markets or in to new products and new markets. Diversification opportunities should be sought with a view to exploiting any competitive advantage or synergy that might be achievable.
- The company should use its strengths in exploiting identifiable opportunities.
The marketing plan is one of the most important outputs of the marketing management process. Each product level ( Product line such as BT global services, BT retail, BT wholesale and Openreach) must develop a marketing plan for archiving its goals.
Analyzing market opportunities
The first step in the market planning process is analyzing the market. As stated in above information gather from PESTL analysis, Porters five forces and SWOT analysis enables BT group to identify their current position in the market.
Developing Market strategies
The second step is developing marketing strategies to achieve objectives in each market segments. It consists of indentifying the market and develops positioning strategy. Further the positioning strategy must initiate new product development testing and launching. After launching positioning strategy should be modified at the different stage in the product life cycle.
BT group has already operate several markets segments and marketing offers for each segment. With this approach the company can increase both sales and customer satisfaction. However this strategy tend to increase cost of doing the business also.
After selecting a target market to enter, next the company must think how to differentiate and positioning its market offer in relation to its competitors. The company will be in a better positioning to earn profits unless there are competitors serving the same target market. however since there are strong competitors in the market segment, BT group has to offer something different and of higher value to customers with a view to attract customers o the company’s offer. This is achieved by differentiation and positioning the marketing offer.
BT group can differentiate its marketing offer either product differentiation and image differentiation rather than going for service differentiation or personal differentiation. BT group can differentiate its physical product in terms of features, performance and reliability can be identified.
Ex. Increasing access speed over existing copper infrastructure
Super fast speed to run multiple band width
Further Bt group creates a different image to the company and brand, it will gain a valuable competitive advantage. However differs brand personality will not come to the product or company by itself. A creative and hardworking identity buildup effort is needed to active this. Hence BT groups values such as trust worthy, helpful, inspiring, straight forward and hart enable the company to create this image differentiation.
All above ways of diiferentiators are not meaningful for a brand as each difference tend ot create cost to the company as well as benefit to the customers. As such BT fropu selects product and image ideffrentiate which are distinctive and valued by customers.
Positioning is the act of designing the company’s offer and image so that it occupies a distinct and valued place in the target customer’s mind. In this case it is better to try double benefit positioning. Hence the company can adopts on following positioning strategies.
Attribute positioning – Promoting one or more attributes of the product
Eg. Super fast fiber based broad band
Benefit positioning – Promoting a benefits directly
Eg. Increasing up load speed from 10 Mb/s to 15 Mb/s
Developing a clear and valued positioning strategy is not adequate at all. The marketing mix designed accordingly to offer what was promised to customer in the positioning strategy and positioning strategy must be effectively communicated. Marketing mix is the set of marketing tools That the firm uses to pursue its marketing objectives in the target market. Product, price, place and promotion are some of the ingredients which are under the control of marketing managers of any business organization. Not all marketing mix variable can be adjusted in the short run. Basically the firm can change its price, sales force size and advertising expenditure in the short run, It can develop new product and modify its distribution channel only in the long run. Therefore the firm typically makes and adjusts marketing mix variables according to the changing Customer preferences and environmental influences.
Marketing Budget and Control mechanism for the plan
Strategic control is the final element of the strategic planning process. The review of actual performance in the light of planned performances. Monitoring of the strategy supports organizational learning enabling the organization to improve its performance and it provides basis for rewards since rewards are based on strategic issues not just performance in any one year. In addition to that it helps to identify and communicate the drivers of success. Further it focused on what matters in the long term. Hence monitoring of the strategy after implantation is required to derive benefits from the strategy as planned.BT group can follow the following systems perform the strategic control over the newly developed strategies.
- Strategy review – Review the progress the of the strategy
- Identify milestone of performance ( Strategic objectives, both quantitative and qualitative, market share, quality, innovations and customer satisfactions)
- Miles stones are identifies after the business critical success factors have been out lines.
- Milestones are short term steps towards long term goals
- Miles stones enables mangers to monitor achievements( Ex. Success of the products with ne features such as super fast fiber base broad band)
- targets must be reasonably precise
- Targets should suggest and tactics
- Competitive benchmark is targets set relative to the competition.
There are some problems with relying solely on budgetary controls.
- Financial results après to provide proof that strategy is working. But it is possible to overlook important indicators of strategic success.
- Too much emphasis on budgetary control and short term profit can disguise strategic problems.
- Strategic controls measures might require complicated tradeoff between current financial performance and long term competitive position and between different desirable ways of building competitive strengths.