Order Description;

Aligned to
Course Learning
Outcomes:
2. Apply marketing principles to analyse problems and propose
solutions;
3. Identify and explain the elements of a marketing plan;
4. Discuss strategic and marketing planning, and apply a strategic
framework to marketing issues and decisions, and
5. Effectively communicate marketing knowledge in a written
context
Purpose and Description The reflective report tests students’ integrated marketing
understanding and creative problem solving and decision
making.
A marketing plan is an essential tool for any marketer, providing
direction for a brand, product or organization. A marketing plan
describes the marketing environment, marketing objectives and
marketing strategies.
In Assignment 1, you, with others in your group, developed a
situation analysis for a selected company culminating in a SWOT
analysis. This is the current situation that company is in from a
marketing perspective. Assignment 1 also provides you an
established segmentation profile of each segment that might be
targeted.
Purpose and Description
On the basis of that analysis and the situation the company is
therefore in and the established segmentation profile, you are
required to individually reflect on how you would conclude that
plan relative to selected key issues from the SWOT by analysing
it, on the basis of that setting marketing objectives, deciding on
which markets to target based on the segmentation analysis
conducted as part of the external analysis and how to position the
product/company and an outlining overall approach to an
appropriate marketing mix.
You need to illustrate the links between the various elements of the
marketing plan during this reflection. You must incorporate
academic literature to support / justify your discussion.
Unsubstantiated statements will not provide credibility to your
discussion.
Assessment Criteria 1. Issues resulting from the Situation Analysis
Description: A clear description of the selected main issues that
come out of the situation analysis – the current situation of the
company that you have analysed in Assignment 1. Provide a
concise justification for identified issues as a basis of this report.
Weighting: 5%
2. Marketing Objectives
Description: Based on the selected issues regarding the current
situation of the company you have analysed in Assignment 1,
clearly state up to three objectives for the forthcoming 12 months
using S.M.A.R.T goal setting criteria. Explain how these goals link
to the identified issues.
Weighting: 20%
3. Target Market(s) and Positioning
Description: State and justify which segment(s) you intend to target
and how will you position the product/service for the target
market(s)?
Weighting: 20%
4. Overall Approach to an Appropriate Marketing Mix
Description: On the basis of your knowledge to this point of the
marketing mix elements, reflect on the overall approach to the
marketing mix. Outline some detail on the elements and tools you
think would be best used and the links and/or independence
between the marketing mix elements in your plan.
Weighting: 40%
5. Conclusion – Role of the Marketing Plan
Description: Clear discussion of how you see your marketing plan
will assist the company. How should it be used both tactically and
strategically by the company?
Weighting: 10%
6. Report Format
Description: Suitable structure and headings
Format (12pt font, 1.5 spacing, 2.5cm margins)
In text citations and reference list (APA Style)
Writing – clear, easily read
Language – spelling, grammar, punctuation
Required length – 2000 words)
Weighting: 5%
TOTAL 100%
Referencing Style: NBS Students

Answer;

Individual Reflective Report

Introduction

Problem solving is an important component in the business world today. With the business world being very dynamic, decisions have to constantly be made in order to keep organizations in speed with the changing times. There are different ways to approach a problem and the success of in selecting the best approach is only seen by the results of the solution. Problem solving is not an easy task especially because it requires first the identification of the problems and selecting which problem to tackle first (Wood, 2011). There are various constrains that characterize marketing problem solving. To best understand these problems, it is first necessary to familiarize with the theory of constrains. This theory purports that every business process has its own challenges. Isolating the problems is the first step to solving these problems.

The current analysis of Bunnings Warehouse reveals that the organization is at a good position in the industry. However, a keen look at the analysis reveals a number of problems that need to be solved. Complacency in Bunnings may have jet in as a result of being the leader in their industry. This is a wrong call as its competitors continue growing in market share as well as in total sales in a year. The current analysis reveals some problems that need to be solved and some need to be solved urgently. The problems include:

Complacency with the statistics

There has been complacency in Bunnings Warehouse and this can be attributed to the fact that it is the leader in the retail hardware industry. This can be seen in the fact that while most of its competitors, for example, Woolworths Ltd, have been coming up with new ways to win the trust of consumers and hence increase the market share, Bunnings has just stayed and watched contented with the status quo. While being the leader, very steps have been done especially to build on its services and on its customer relations (Woolworths Ltd, 2013).

Poor market target choice

The business world constantly changes. Good organizations and management constantly make changes to fit in with the new environment.  For a long time, Bunnings have relied on homeowners, DIY’s and gardeners (Wesfarmers Strategy Briefing, 2012).  Even when targeting homeowners and gardeners, it has failed to go for a specific group. A good example is the strategy used by Woolworths Ltd. They target the female customers and this has seen them grow with an alarming rate.

Old promotional strategies

One of the biggest problems identified in the current analysis of Bunnings is the fact that it has totally failed in its promotional strategy. The 21st generation is characterized by fast communication. If s business is to be successful, there is no doubt that it has to be fast in communicating both internally and externally. Bunnings have not been able to adapt the e-commerce strategy. This is a worrying fact considering the trend in marketing today. Most companies have found it cheaper, faster, more effective and very convenient to use the internet to promote its products.

Lack of product dynamics

Change has been described by many as a necessity in life. For organizations, constant improvements of products and addition of more related products is crucial. Masters, the number one competitor has a variety of product lines. This gives consumers a variety from which to choose from. This is a very important and effective concept in that it makes the customers believe that they have selected the best of products from many good products. Few products do not give consumers the chance to select. This in some cases leads to a customer not trusting the quality of the product that he or she buys. Bunnings have remained with the same products for a long time without adding value or rebranding the products to attract more buyers.

Poor customer service and relations

Communication between customers and the organization is very poor. In fact, Bunnings disregards any promotional tool that offers two-way communication. Promotions done are one way with the organization communicating to the consumers. Channels for the consumers to reach the organization for complaints, compliments or any other issues are very lean.  This ends up damaging the organizations-customer relations which is detrimental and can result in reduced sales and reduced market share.

Objectives

With the problems identified above, changes need to be done in the organization so as to incorporate strategies that will see the problems solved. In this respect, the following objectives should be met in the next 12 months so as to generally improve Bunnings current market situation and specifically the marketing situation. The objectives include:

  • To establish and maintain a fully transactional company’s website that allows communication between the management and employees on one end with customers and critics on the other end.
  • To introduce new products that meet the needs of a new target group
  • Introduce an online payment services
  • Introduce a delivery program where online customers can have their products delivered to their desired destination.
  • Introduce a program that helps customers rate services offered to them by specific employees.
  • Open accounts in different social media sites where the sites will be kept active 24 hours a day.

The first and last objective helps the company create a good relationship between it and its customers. They also open it up to both negative and positive critics. From here, complaints, compliments and suggestions will be launched by the customers and critics. This will be very helpful as it will help reduce if not terminate complacency in the company. The company will try and correct the mistakes identified while as living to the challenge posed by customers and critics when they suggest new ideas to the company. The second objective will ensure that the company increases the variety of its product hence increasing the number of choices customers have to choose from (Kotler & Keller, 2006). It will it also ensure that a new group of customers is taken care of hence increasing the total market share. Introduction of an online payment program will boost the organization-customers relations. It will also reduce the burden for consumers to handover a cheque in person. Combined with the fourth objective, it will ensure that customers are served with their favourite product at the comfort of their homes or offices. This way, customer service will have improved and the sales will definitely increase as well. Ratings by customers will also lead to the employees treating the customers professionally. The overall result is more profits and an increase in total market share (Darroch, 2014).

Appropriate Segment

To successfully implement the above objective, segment 2 in the Marketing plan will be most appropriate. This segment targets families as the primary target. The age bracket is between 35 and 50 and mainly goes for generation X. It also specifies the target income group which is middle to high income. The segment also advocates for homeowners living in suburban areas. With this segment, the target population is well educated and are regulars on the internet. They will, therefore, be available to place suggestions, compliments or complaints on the company’s website as well as in the social media (Koichi Shimizu, 2009). Introduction of a new product will favour this segment more than the other two. This is so because the group is involved in repairs and improvements of their houses. A new product that would improve the current status of their homes would hence be welcomed with open arms. Most people in this category are very busy. By offering a website where they can view the various products then using the online payment program to pay for their product of choice and this complimented by the delivery program, most of them would automatically buy from Bunnings. This would result to a larger customer base and hence an increase in total market shares as well as profits.

Approach to marketing mix

It has been the company’s policy and strategy to offer their products at low prices. This has brought huge success to the company and can be termed as the main cause for the company’s lead in the market. Good managers recognize their strongholds and protect them while working on the weak areas. To protect this advantage, more price friendly programs should be introduced. One of them is in the objective which seeks to introduce an online payment service. This program will cut costs incurred by customers in transport as well as save them time. Discounts can also be used to motivate customers to buy more products. For example, a 10% discount on products bought online can be introduced. This would ensure more goods are bought and at the same time going for a new target market in the name of online-shoppers. While maintaining the current channels where customers access these products, the online market should be stressed upon more. This will help more customers have access to the products anytime. This would also counter the steps taken by competitors in building bond with customers (Kotler & Keller, 2006).

The second objective calls for the introduction of a new product to the market. This is in line with the dynamic nature of the market. The environment keeps on changing while taste and preference also keep changing. E-commerce option will help in determining what product is needed and the manner in which it is needed. This will be made possible by engaging the public in talks via the social media. The website will also help the customers see how the product looks like (Richter, 2012). Modes can also be made and posted in the website so that customers can see how the finished product appears. This will also show consumers the difference between these products and those of other competitors. The promotion strategies being used currently should continue being used. This is so because there are people especially the generation X who have not fully accepted the concept of online shopping. Many people in the primary target market read newspapers. It is hence prudent to continue advertising in them. However, advertisements should be done more online. This include in various business blogs and in other social media, for example Facebook.

Conclusion

Bunnings need to change its approach to marketing. By implementing the six objectives in 12 months, the company will pride in being not only the leader in the industry, but also in customer service delivery in the country. This will lead to, more clients and more profits and housing cementing its leadership position. It will also have reached out to markets such as that in segment one which is characterized by high acceptance of technology and hence more frequent visits to the internet. Online payment services will ease the work done by the accountants as money will be deposited directly to the bank accounts. With internet advertising and communication, there will always be compliments complains and suggestions (Darroch, 2014). This will see to it that the company does not go to a complacency state as it will work to meet the standards and demands of its customers. This plan should start with promotions online then establishment of new products to meet the demand of the online shoppers (Luther, 2011). Customer service should then be improved in the current sales location and in the internet as well. When this is done, the online payment and delivery program should be introduced

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