Marketing plan incorporates the use of a tactical marketing tool referred to as marketing mix. Companies use this tool to produce a desired response from its target market. When marketing their products companies need to come up with a successful mix of the right product, sold at the right price, at the right place and using the most appropriate promotion (Needham, 1996).
Each of the four variables of marketing mix has its own tools to contribute to the marketing mix. The first variable of marketing mix, the product has: variety, quality, design, features, brand name, services and packaging. The second variable of marketing mix, the price has: list price, allowances, credit terms, discounts and payment periods. The third variable, the place has: channels, locations, logistics, inventory coverage, assortments and transportation. The fourth variable, the promotion, has: advertising, sales promotion, personal selling and public relation (Needham, 1996).
An appropriate marketing strategy is needed by a company to survive the competition. The company will need to pay attention to competition price and quality and make appropriate decision on how to win customers (Borden & Neil H., 1965).
The initial focus of any company is to come up with a marketing strategy that considers the opportunities and the threats in each and every potential market alongside with the company’s own strength and weaknesses. This is referred to as a SWOT analysis which is a marketing tool. After choosing the target market, the product and the specific goals, the rest of the marketing mix should be fleshed out around the central target of the marketing strategy. Usually a marketing strategy is based on solid marketing research and not on mare assumptions (Borden & Neil H., 1965).
Marketing mix and strategy are interrelated such that one without the other will not make a strong business. A business uses marketing strategy to implement decisions utilizing the variables of the marketing mix and to ensure greater sales and profits in the long run.
The marketing mix strategy
The Product Strategy
Weczeria Food and Wine offers two sets of products: food and wine. It considers in designing its products, the customer needs and satisfaction. Appropriate features required to meet the customer needs have also been taken into consideration and are less costly because of the levels of competition in the market. For the case of its product Weczeria has a clear statement of how and where the customers will use the products. The products appearances, sizes and colors are in a way that appeals to the customers. Branding has adequately been done to distinguish the food and wine products from those available in the market and are being offered by their competitors in the same line of business.
The Price Strategy
Weczeria Food and Wine designs products whose values are equal to the consumer utility. In case of established price points for similar products in the same area, the firm remains within the price limits so as to maximize sales. Depending on the differentiation of the product, analytical price adjustments to determine price sensitivity has been conducted to see whether an increase or decrease in price will affect the marginal profits. Trade discounts to customers and other specific segments of the market have been determined so as to maintain the market relevance due to competition. To remain competitive, the firm has initiated price wars with competitors while maintaining the economic profits.
The Place Strategy
Weczeria Food and Wine knows the market for its products, that is, where buyers look for the products. The firm is to design an appropriate location for its business operations which is easily accessible to customers. The distribution channel chosen by the firm is simple and appropriate and customer accessibility is of more concern. The firm has also analyzed how competitors maximize their sales while selling at the right place to enable it survives the market competition.
The Promotion Strategy
This is the most crucial variable of the marketing mix because it involves primarily maximizing the sales through various ways including them advertising. The actual information about the food and wine products is already in the market and attracts customers. The information is targeted and not general. Using various advertising outlets like the print, visual and audio is advisable to extend the market for the product. The most appropriate time for promotion is under review and that will be considered depending on the seasonality in the market and other wider environmental issues which dictate the timing of the market launch or the timing of subsequent promotions. Because there is a lot of competition in the market the firm has learnt how competitors do their promotions and has chosen a more advanced promotion methods. Weczeria Food and Wine, sales representatives visit warehouse a number of times and offer in-store training on various features of the product for new retailers and others who want a refresher. It also participates in annual trade fairs to gain wider recognition and to gain exposure for their services.
Needham, Dave (1996). Business for Higher Awards. Oxford, England: Heinemann.
Borden, Neil. The Concept of the Marketing Mix. Neil Borden. Retrieved 14 November 2013
Borden, Neil H. (1965). The concept of the Marketing Mix In Scwartz, George. Science in Marketing Wiley marketing series. Wiley. P 286ff. Retrived 2013-11-14
Banting, Peter; Ross, Randolph E. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Retrieved from http://www.springerlink.com/content/mn58860185200184/