Page 2: Marketing strategy
To grow, a business needs to give consumers what they want, at a price they are satisfied with, when they want it and make a profit for the company. Wilkinson commissioned market research which identified key potential for growth in the student sector. It had to develop a strategy for growth that not only covered the specific requirements of this target group, but also linked closely with the company's overall aims and objectives.
The key elements that need to be in place for business planning are:
- aims - describe the overall goals of a business
- objectives - are steps which managers decide need to be taken in order to achieve the overall aims
- strategy - is a plan which outlines all the medium and long-term steps that need to be taken in order to achieve a given target
- tactics - are what the business does in the short-term - these respond to opportunities and threats identified when preparing the original strategy
Strategies may be to combat competition, to improve the position of the company in the market or to grow the business.
The type of strategy required will depend upon several factors but the main influences include:
- number and power of competitors
- company strengths
- size of business
- financial position
- government influences
Marketing strategy aims to communicate to customers the added-value of products and services. This considers the right mix of design, function, image or service to improve customer awareness of the business' products and ultimately to encourage them to buy.
An important tool for helping develop an appropriate marketing strategy is Ansoff's Matrix. This model looks at the options for developing a marketing strategy and helps to assess the levels of risk involved with each option.
Marketing strategies may focus on the development of products or markets. Doing more of what a business already does carries least risk; developing a completely new product for a new audience carries the highest risk both in terms of time and costs.
Based on its research, Wilkinson committed to a market development strategy to sell its products to a new audience of students. This is a medium risk strategy as it requires the business to find and develop new customers. It also carries costs of the marketing campaigns to reach this new group.
The main focus of the strategy was to increase awareness of the brand among students and encourage them to shop regularly at Wilkinson stores.