Section 1: Marketing Organization
The Director of Marketing Communications oversees the following departments: public relations, advertisement, creative services and marketing sales force. The organization structure connects with marketing in a number of ways. Recently, the Director of Marketing Communications has made launched a campaign to effectively advertise the company online (Drumheller, 2011). AT & T ensures that it reaches out to numerous websites so that it can look for opportunities to advertise. Another strategy in advertisement includes broadcasting about the Company in TV especially in the prime time (Drumheller, 2011). This helps the company to reach out a wide target market.
Under the Director of Product Marketing, there is a product manager and a research and competitive analysis. The Product Manager has a big role to play in marketing. He ensures that he supports the channel that is composed of product information and demos. He offers support to product developers and provides the marketing communications with technical copywriting as well as screen shots. Research and competitive analysis ensures that it highlights the trends that points out the demand and supply of AT & T products (Drumheller, 2011). The trends helps the Vice President of Marketing to make evidence based decision concerning the ready market of the company’s product.
The Vice President of marketing is the top executive in marketing organization. He is charged with the responsibility of solution positioning; this is where all decisions are made (AT&T, 2011). The programs are also marketed so that they can support the sales growth of the company. The organization chart has promoted the marketplace success and this has made the company expands its market and generate more profits.
Section 2: Distribution Marketing channels being used by AT&T
AT&T primarily utilizes direct marketing also known as zero level channel. It consists of the manufacturer selling directly to the final consumer. AT&T provides networking services and delivers them directly to its customers. AT&T also operates retail stores for the distribution of the various devices it produces.
The retail stores offer U-verse internet service and home services. The method is cost effective enabling AT&T to reach the bottom line. The customers also reap outstandingly from it since they receive the highest quality of services and products due to the fact that the series of middlemen that would otherwise have made the process time consuming or compromise its quality are eliminated. Products are directly delivered to the AT&T stores at a reasonable price of $30.90 for each featured service that has been included in the bundle package or 45.50 if ordered separately (Drumheller, 2011).
This method of distribution has continuously proved to be effective thus making the company’s performance to be above average. This marketing channel has enabled the company to compete effectively in the global market and is among the companies that dominate the networking industry.
Section 3: How the marketing mix information is communicated
AT&T is well recognized for its extraordinarily high standard in providing the best quality in products and services across the globe. To uphold this status, AT&T does not take for granted customers who knock at their doors inquiring for their services: it shows them appreciation. They create a marketing mix that will reach their target audience. To come up with the suitable marketing mix, an extensive market research is done after which the company’s management conducts several meetings in which thorough consultation is done so as to come up with a suitable product or service.
The marketing mix information is communicated through Medias such as: word of mouth (referral programs), radio, television and the internet (Green, 2011). The internet majorly utilizes Facebook and twitter in addition to the website of the company. On the internet and TV, targeted customers can envisage the market mix of the company (Green, 2011). The media used is appropriate since it is the best and easiest way of reaching the youths who make a great portion of the customers that AT & T expects to buy its products. Through the aforementioned Medias, customer can obtain lots of beneficial information regarding the products and services offered by AT &T. the information obtained from the media include:
- Features of product
- Prices of its products and services
- Functions of a product
- Compositions of a product.
Considering the company’s performance, it therefore appears that the media it utilizes in communicating the information about the marketing mix is therefore average. It still has room to device new and better ways of communicating the information to cover a wider geographical area.
Section 4: Is there a marketing plan?
AT&T has a comprehensive marketing plan to market its Internet, TV and Voice bundle service. The goal of it marketing plan is to fuel growth to eventually increase the customer base by 20%-25% while holding the current customer base and to increase market share by 1% by the end of 2014 (Plunkett, 2011). It targets people between the ages of 30-55 with an annual income of 40,000-90,000. More specifically their target is customers residing in the top ten MSAs of the United States.
AT&T is quite aware of the potential that its close competitors have (Green, 2011). AT&T keep on altering its marketing plan to ensure that the marketing activities are in line with the needs of the markets as may be required from time to time. Its short term and long term objectives are also considered whenever the marketing plan is being formulated. To ensure the success of its marketing plan, AT & T has developed a referral program that allows its current customers to refer new customers to an AT & T service. They are in exchange given valuable rewards such as a $50 gas card, 10% off or no taxes added to one’s one month’s bill.
AT & T has a mission clearly stated as “exploit technical innovations for the benefit of AT&T and its customers by implementing next-generation technologies and network advancements in AT&T's services and operations”. AT & T strives to fulfill this mission by providing new solutions to businesses and customers when it comes to communication and entertainment. Their vision is “to design and create new global network, processes and service platforms that maximize systematization, allowing for a reorganization of human capitals to more intricate and fruitful work”. The company has several goals among them:
- Create standard handset devices boxes that reduce the current box size by 230% across majority of handsets (AT&T, 2011).
The marketing function of AT & T is consistent with the vision, mission and goals of the company. Apparently, its marketing function was formulated with the mission, vision and goals of the company in mind. This consistency also allows the smooth flow of activities since everything is directed towards a common object. Interestingly, there are no news indicating illegal or unethical behaviors related to the marketing function of AT & T.
Section 5: marketing control
Over the past few years the AT & T has experienced some fluctuations in its sales. Contrary to this, AT & T desired an increasing growth in sales and profits (Drumheller, 2011). However, this has not always been the case. Although the firm prices its services slightly high as compared to its close competitors, it has still been able to record a growth in sales due to the fact that its customer base is strong and many people trust its products. Its products availability has also boosted customers’ confidence in the company. Although the economy was slightly unstable in 2008, AT & T was able to record some slight improvements in its sales (Plunket, 2011).
2010 Sales: $124,280,000.00 2009 Profits: $12,535,000.00
2009 Sales: $123,018,000.00 2008 Profits: $11,867,000.00
2008 Sales: $123,028,000.00 2007 Profits: $10,951,000.00
2007 Sales: $117,928,000.00 2006 Profits: $6,356,000.00
2006 Sales: $63,055,000
2010 Profits: $19,864,000
The increase is slightly above the growth that was witnessed in the industry in the aforementioned period. This clearly indicates that the marketing function.
- Diversify its markets and products.
- AT & T logo on its products will be made more visible to make it easy for customer to differentiate the products and also minimize the possibility of imitation by competitors.
- Reduce its operational and administrative expenses by avoiding unnecessary expenditures (Drumheller, 2011).
- Reinforce its promotion activities by allocating more funds to marketing related practices.
- Restructure its marketing mix to fit the needs, preferences and tastes of its various consumers worldwide.
Section 6: Experience & Perceptions- Is the firm gaining or losing market share relative to its closest competitors?
AT&T operates in an industry where competition is very stiff majorly due to the changes in ICT and technology in general. Currently, the communication industry remains saturated. The wireless service subscriptions have grown from 4.0 billion in 2008 to approximately 5.3 in 2013 (Plunkett, 2011). The top two companies in the wireless industry that compete with AT & T are Sprint and Verizon.
The wireless services offered by AT & T in 2008 took 24.6% of market share in 2008 and 26.2% in 2012. For sprint its market share was 22.32% in 2008 and 21.64% in 2012. Verizon’s market share in 2008 was 18.05% and 19.34% in 2012 (Plunkett, 2011). A close analysis of the figures reveals that AT&T has gained market share as compared to its two close competitors. However, the gaining is small due to the high competition in the industry. With its current strategies, AT&T is expected to gain more market shares and become a global service provider (Drumheller, 2011). Its marketing plan will particularly be of great significance in increasing its customer base and attracting more customers.
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