In the current multifarious and very competitive environment, most businesses are striving to secure a favorable global market share in order to survive in their respective industry. In all organizations, marketing has long ceased to be a subsidiary department. Instead, it is now a frontline independent department. In addition to this, firms have been seen to capitalize on globalization and the advances in technology as they expand to take every opportunity presented to it. In the past, most businesses understood the concept of marketing as the advertising and selling of products and services. However, it has now been viewed as a fundamental discipline which empowers firms and industries to conceptualize and comprehend on the needs and wants of customers and potential clients within the correct time frames. The concept of globalization has made the world seem like a global village and economic transactions are now very mobile beyond borders. This has forced marketers and large scale producers of goods and services to strategize on different ways of approaching untapped markets. In this paper, we will discuss the marketing opportunities of apple products such as the iPhone and MacBook in a foreign market.
Four utilities of competition
Before reaching out to customers, business and marketers have to understand the level of value that most customers look for when purchasing products. The concept of customer value can easily be understood through the four utilities of customer values that eventually give the right perspective of their needs. People are generally rational and they tend to judge goods and services on the benefit they expect to get from their purchases. In the United States, Apple.inc has managed to establish their marketing strategies within and in other foreign markets using the four utilities of customer value. The first form of utility that is considered by most customers is the functionality utility. It includes the tangible aspect of apple products such as their durability and comfort. Apple products have managed to meet the requirements of this utility through production of high tensile covers for their digital gadgets.
The other utility is time utility where products are manufactured within the right time frame for customer use. Apple.inc has proven to be a reliable firm. This fact can be evidenced by consistent innovations in their products and their conversance with the ever changing and volatile technology landscape. Their advanced products tend to accommodate their customers immediate need to suit their purpose. In the case of place utility, this includes the how and where the products are delivered. The logistic channels within the firm has proven to be reliable for easy delivery of their products. The integration of E-commerce in their service delivery has shown its significance particularly in areas with geographic barriers. In the United States, the company has established control centers and headquarters in every state hence making it easy for customers to access their products. This has added value to their products as they are differentiated from those of competitors on availability grounds and surety in product delivery on the online markets.
Lastly on customer value is the ease of possession. This utility which includes the customer’s payments and their product’s warrant. The goal of any business is to ensure that their products get to the hands of their customers as this will ensure their existence in the market. Products within our firm are at times given on credit to loyal customers with a stable record. This promotional strategy ensures that our customers get them as fast as possible. Most of our products have been criticized for being exorbitantly priced when compared to other competitive products. But this has been met by their reliability in service giving and the hi-tech products whose value equates to their high prices.
Global marketing is a global objective by firms to take advantage of the opportunities that are present globally. Our products such as iPad and iPhone have been one of the easily tracked product categories with global competition. We have identified domestic, international and global markets for our products. In terms of domestic marketing, Apple Inc will have to identify a target market that exists within its boundaries. When identifying the target market for the company’s products. The firm’s marketers will also have to examine its viability. In addition, the company’s marketers also have to keen to identify the areas of interest that the members of such a target market have when looking for the products sold by the company. In this market, we have managed to identify our target market that has made us retain our relevance in the volatile economy. Teenagers are a viable market for our products. Products such as iPod and iPhone are used by teenagers for various purposes. One of the main reason why this age group uses the iPod and the iPad is to socialize with other people through social sites such as Facebook and twitter, communications via phone calls or they can have some fun time through listening to music or watch movies on these portable electronic devices.
Another target market for Apple Inc is entails business people and children. Their quality in business processing with business related applications has been very useful for entrepreneurs. As for the children, their touch screen quality option has made operation of the products become very easy. This has increased the ability of parents to download gaming apps which their children can use to enhance their learning. In the international and global market, particularly in liberal countries where technology has been acknowledged and integrated by all (such as Asia and Europe), similar needs have prompted our marketing team to strategize on different localities. The uniformity in needs has forced our firm to produce similar products for similar markets particularly in well-established societies. Market separation of apple products has basically been based on the divergent needs of people and the level of technology advancements in different countries. Other target markets in the global market are the middle and high income earners who appreciate technology and have a taste for sophisticated products. Some are the professionals in media and graphic designers who want to give a different interface in their presentation.
According to Masi (2008), Apple.inc is well known for coming up with outstanding products that meet the technology challenges of this era. This has enabled the company to maintain a competitive advantage over other competitors. Our products, particularly the MacBook and iPhone are faced with stiff competition from other established phone and P.C manufacturers. The big players such as Nokia, Samsung and dell have forced us to constantly invest in innovations. Samsung is also quite innovative in their techno products and are striving to completely highjack the market in the United States through production of sophisticated products at affordable rates way below the our price tags. In regards to personal computers, dell has for long dominated the market as it was one of the pioneers in the computer industry but there are several innovations that have been made by new players such as our firm. Other companies that produce notebooks and netbooks have also joined the market making it a perfectly competitive market. As for our firm, our innovativeness in high quality products such as the MacBook, iPad and iPhone has made us become distinguished players in such a competitive market. Our ability to always be in the lead on advancements has made us stay aggressive in the technology platform and have a competitive advantage over other competitors. In foreign markets, particularly in low income societies, our products do not seem to dominate market that are characterized by low income earners who would vouch for other low priced products rather than the highly priced sophisticated products from Apple Inc. Most of the company’s products only manage to dominate high income societies like the United States and other well established economies in Europe and Asia.
Segmentation, targeting and positioning
Segmentation, targeting and positioning approach is aimed at increasing marketing campaign performance while making money in terms of results. The approach used here by firms is that they segment their markets to identify potential clients and customers. Thereafter, firms target those segments for customized products and specific market communications before positioning their brands at positions that are more advantageous to those of their competitors. Since we produce sophisticated products with whose value correspond to their price, I as the marketing manager would identify the different segments in the market through a primary research on their needs. I will focus on high income and middle income consumers who appreciate value and quality of our products. It will be prudent to select a market segment that is easily identified and readily available for the sake of profitability. As for my sake, an interested segment in technology with interest in high-tech products is a market that would be easily identified particularly from the various changes and advancement in technology. Many customers would wish to be conversant with technological changes and I as the marketing manager would prove to be a reliable asset in the firm if I am in a position to identify that segment and meet their needs. I would identify a segment based on behavioral segmentation where the motives and attitudes of my segment would be my central focus. With the segmentation strategy and the target market identified, I would strive to create an identity in the minds of my target group. This will be done through the advertisement of these products to the global market either through target statements such as “simplicity and sophistication.” I will market these products through plotting the dimension of competition of products from competitors particularly on aspects such as product assortment and quality, i.e. use of perceptual maps that comprises of multiple brands and product lines.
The existence of multidimensionality and complexities in international markets may affect the products in these new localities. The environmental analysis model shows the possibility of products being affected either positively or negatively. Social and cultural environment will influence international marketing of these products. The differences in material culture and social conditions affects consumer’s behavioral patterns on purchasing of goods. These differences within the social environment accentuates the significance of global branding of our products to suit the needs of different groups. The social perception on brand and quality of products have to be factored by my team before tapping a different market. The divergent social perceptions on quality would eventually affect the demand of our products. Another factor of concern is the legal environment. Not only will our products be governed by the laws of United States but also the international laws. The acceptability of the product in certain countries can be affected by very minor regulations either on their attributes or quality. In many countries, a product should pass the Safety test before it is allowed in a foreign country. It is, therefore, very necessary for us to understand the legal environment of a foreign country before we decided to venture into such markets. This is because the legal environment always proves to be very complicated and thus necessary measures have to be taken as this would affect the existence of the product abroad. Within our framework, the economic environment is very important. It is vital for my team to understand the economic developments in our target countries. Economic developments such as trade agreements between countries or economic growth would affect our general sales. The divergent levels of economic integration and development would be very important information to us.
As a marketing manager, in order to develop, execute and measure a campaign for these Apple.inc products, I would need to consider the four p’s that is product, price, promotion and place. To help target markets and other potential consumers get a hold of information concerning the MacBook and iPhone products, promotional activities have to be done. Most of the advertisement will focus on the quality of the product and the sophistication behind its simple look. This will make consumers get a corresponding value for their money. To make it accessible to various localities, several firm branches will have to be opened in the different regions for accessibility of it. The online transactions will prove their significance in logistic information’s as well as delivery of products and goods to clients. Consumer survey reports will have to be taken to measure on customer satisfaction on the products. To help in this campaign is the customer relationship management which is used to manage detailed information about individual clients and customers and it is also used to identify the most prospective customers.
U.S and international ethic in marketing
As far as marketing is concerned, there are several ethical issues that should be of concern to the marketing manager. The increase in international marketing has given rise to several social and ethical issues that have raised to be a concern in our market world. Intellectual property rights, responsibility, corruption and corporate governance all fall under ethical obligations. All multinational enterprises should comply with specified ethics within different countries. These ethical considerations in the international marketing are similar to what the United States stands for as far as marketing is concerned. A stand against corruption by the United States is a principle that the international marketing is bound to follow as many countries if not all are against this vice. The United States tend to enforce all the named ethical issues above.
Globalization and international marketing is a process that will progress forever. All business which participate in this global market have to strategize their activities to help them stand out and have a fair share of the global market. Apple.inc is determined to stay competitively stable in this volatile market.
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