A marketing plan is a strategic approach through which an organization seeks to attain a competitive advantage in the market by appealing to more consumers. The marketing plan outlines the tactics and strategy that an organization will use to woe more customers as well as the related costs, actions, and the individual goals. Apple Inc. marketing is dependent on aggressive media campaigns and there is need to expand the organization marketing mix to increase the overall market coverage and consumer awareness of the organization products. The current target on the high end customers is unsustainable in the long term and there is need for a change. Using the organization superior brand image, innovative technology and low to no compatibility with other brands gives Apple Inc. a competitive advantage and the ability to sell in the market amidst stiff competition from low end telecommunication devices brands like Samsung which threaten the organization market share. This paper will create a competitive marketing plan for Apple Inc. to increase the organization sales and overall market representation by changing the belief that its products are only for upper social class which has reduced the organization penetration in some markets especially in the developing countries and markets dominated by low end products.
The Marketing Environment
The environment plays a crucial role in the survival of any business, organization and even a company. Changes in environment whether external or internal may cause drastic drifts on the company’s operational, managerial and marketing activities. For instance, in order for Apple Inc. Company to sustain its operations, which are dictated by the marketing field, it must be able to respond promptly to changes in the environment. The external environment includes the outside factors which impact the operations of the company. This includes the micro and macro environments. For instance, examples of factors which may change the external environment include the economic, sociocultural, political, legal, technical, and environmental considerations. Apple Inc. conducts a SWOT analysis in order to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Once the company has identified its strengths and weaknesses, it sets to conduct a marketing plan. Marketing plan mainly aims to specify the company’s target customers and how they will be reached. This is therefore a forecast of the anticipated results. For instance, the company sets to understand how customers will respond to its marketing efforts, how much the plan will cost and finally how its competitors will respond. The company thereafter develops a marketing mix decision. This mix is based on the 4 Ps of marketing. These are Product, Price, Promotion and Place. For instance, the company sets to identify which type of products are appropriate at which price in different markets and the appropriate strategies to convince customers to purchase them. Finally, the company gets out to implementing the strategic plan. This is done by getting resources which entails cash and staff to market Apple products, organizing for the respective people who will conduct marketing, set dates and calendars and manage every detail for the common end goal. This process is usually dynamic and changes basing on the changing environment.
Apple Inc. Company’s external environment is prone to experience changes in external environment which gradually affects its marketing strategy. Political factors for instance include laws, they limit business and organizations in one way or the other. Political and legal forces are highly vital and cover many aspects of a company policy, marketing being one of them. Therefore the policies that the government employs, or passes through amendments, which are usually revised each and every time, can affect marketing strategy a company uses. Trading restrictions passed by the law will restrict marketing activities and all other activities and strategies used by a company. In the same manner, economic factors, which include the trends in demand and supply, will always affect a company’s strategy. For example, markets usually have different seasons which include boom when the demand for products is high and the low season when there is less demand for apple products of the company. This implies that the companies marketing strategies during the boom season have to be adjusted in order to cope up with the current market demand. Similarly, during the low season, the company must lessen its marketing activities, failure to which will lead to run of losses.
Positioning and Targeting
The environment entails many company’s which compete for the limited customers, each company strives to give its customers the best products. Therefore, when it happens that other companies produce high quality apple gadgets, Apple Inc. Company is likely to lose its market base regardless of the strategies used to market its products. The marketing strategies therefore need to change depending on technological changes and globalization. Additionally, a change in customer service within the company or customer service used by the company’s competitors is likely to influence customers’ decisions when purchasing the company’s products irrespective of its marketing technique.
Globalization being a factor that affects greatly the company’s marketing strategy, the company ought to conduct research on the current technologies in order to adapt the changing technologies. This can be done by assessing other competitors’ trend in terms of their products. Also, Apple needs to identify the strengths and weaknesses of its competitors. This helps the company to utilize efforts on the competitors’ weaknesses in order to grab their market share. The company must always change and respond to changes in legal law and legal requirements. For instance, when the amended laws prohibit certain marketing strategy or product, the company needs to adhere and create and alternative means. This can be done by having a variety of products or marketing strategies. Since the state of the economy is also unpredictable, the company has to keep records on market trends so that the marketing department can know the appropriate time to market the company’s products, this is when the demand for Apple products are high.
Apple Inc. Company employs five major steps in the strategic marketing of its products. These steps include Mission, Situation analysis, Marketing plan, Developing marketing mix decisions and implementation and control strategy. Firstly, the company identifies and understands its mission. This is written down in a statement which is supposed to be promoted throughout the organization. This is followed by evaluating the internal and external factors which affect the company and its market. This step is called situation analysis. The step illuminates the company’s strength providing a clear objective view of the health of the business, the company’s current and perspective customers.
Apple Inc. has to employ various marketing techniques which oversee the efficiency of the marketing strategic plan. With this regard, the company needs to set marketing objectives, this will act as a mirror and direct its marketing activities .The objectives must go hand in hand with the company’s goals and objectives. For instance, the company may opt to increase sale, bring more new customers or introduce a new product in order to increase its market share with competitors. By introducing another product, the company will be targeting more markets and a variety of customers. This will increase customer base giving them a variety of products. Additionally, the company ought to segment the markets based on various aspects. For example geographically, based on economic classes such as the lower, middle and upper class. This ensures that the company gathers customers of all class. The company can also conduct mass marketing campaigns and road shows to respective target customers. This will increase the company’s direct and indirect sales since it will create awareness and at the same time conduct actual sales.