The marketing plan below forms a basis for the introduction of a very innovative product by Barclays PLC. This product, dubbed ‘M-Barclays’ will enable the banks customers to access their bank accounts straight from their mobile phones, it will also enable customers to withdraw and send money directly from their mobile phones and lastly, the customers will be able to borrow/ request for loans directly from their mobile phones, without actually having to visit the bank. This product is therefore a one stop shop for the modern Barclays customer, and is expected to be received very positively.
The analysis below will allow us to outline the strategies to be followed for the achievement of the company’s strategic goals.
M-Barclays or mobile Barclays will be marketed as an innovative tool that will reinforce the banks position as a global leader in financial and services innovation, and will initially be rolled out in the UK alone, with projections of global introduction in the next 6 years.
The strategy is projected to reach a market size of approximately 1 million people (targeted) with estimated forecast revenues of £2,000,000 in the next 3 years. It is also expected that the new innovative product will be a pillar in ensuring that Barclays increases her customer base, as more people join the bank as a result of the revolutionary banking service that will ease the process of banking. Global roll out of the product will be considered after successful implementation in the UK.
The launch of the ‘m-Barclays’ product is centered on 5 major objectives that Barclays PLC intends to achieve. These are explained hereunder.
In this section, we shall address both internal and external environment that affects the successful launch of this product. In the internal environment, we address the company’s resource capabilities, management support, employee capacity, company’s security and IT policies as well as the relationship of the new product with the existing ones. It’s notable that Barclays has the capacity and resources to implement this new innovation. First and foremost, the top management is in the forefront in pushing for the successful implementation of this product, and has therefore deployed the required resources to ensure it’s a success.
The company also boasts of a well experienced and motivated workforce that would ensure an expeditious implementation of this innovation without any accident. The company’s tight security mechanism will also be important in ensuring that client money is safe from any losses or money laundering.
The new product will use more or less, the same infrastructure that has been in use for the internet banking where customers are able to access banking services online. This therefore means that the bank has adequate capacity to handle the new product.
The company will have to seek and get approval from the various regulatory bodies for them to be able to roll out this new product. Other factors that may be important to warrant consideration are the customers and their needs, motivation as well as segmentation; competition, and competitive products from other leading banks such as the giant HSBC;key success factors in the industry as well as environmental factors as embodied in the economic, technological, cultural, legal and political environment in the UK (Kotler P., Armstrong G.,Wong V. and Saunders J. (2010).
Of very important consideration is the mobile service provider, who will enable her subscribers to access the mobile banking menu on their phones. Successful management of this relationship is very key to the implementation of this product
M-Barclays is a product that will enable the working class, and busy people in the UK to access all the banking services without having to visit the banking halls. This product is expected to be embraced, especially by the urban middle class who spend most of their time at work, and have little time for attending to banks.
It will also target university, and college students who always have urgent banking needs. The beautiful thing about this service is the speed of transactions. Withdrawing or even banking money will only take a few seconds on the mobile phone.
After his work out, Mark leaves for work at exactly 8, arriving at 8.30AM. Mark is busy at work, for the better part of the day. A lunch time, mark realizes that he has not carried his wallet, he therefore takes his Samsung phone and withdraws some money from his Barclays bank account straight to his phone, then heads to the nearest ‘M-Barclays’ dealer to withdraw his money and off he goes to his favorite pizza joint.
Later in the day, mark receives some money he had loaned to Philip, his training partner at the gym. Since the ‘M-barclays’ shops are all over around his work station, mark deposits the money in his ‘M-barclays’ account and then forwards it straight to his bank.
In the evening, mark realizes that the exams registration deadline is nearing. He remembers that his parents did not have much to pay for him this time and so through his phone, Mark requests for a loan advance from Barclays bank which he intends to pay in three months time. He hopes to receive the money in his ‘m-barclays’ account on his phone in the nest two days as he has been a faithful and loyal customer at Barclays.
The above example depicts the particular market segment for this product. The character in this example does not have all the time to travel to the nearest Barclays bank branch, either to withdraw, deposit or even to borrow money, but is able to do everything on phone. This is the customer that this product is aiming at.
The marketing of this product will be done in a manner that is likely to influence its success. We have identified the particular segment of the market for this product, who include the busy, working banker. The objectives of marketing this product to this particular segment of the market are to be able to make it easy for them to increase the frequency of the use of banking services which means revenues for the bank (Kotler, Philip; Gary Armstrong, 1989).
The reduction in congestion in the banking halls, as well as significant decrease in the banks wage bill as a result of the increased use of mobile banking are some of the smart goals and objectives of targeting this particular market segment.
The success or otherwise of this product will be evaluated in an initial period of three months, as well as longer term evaluation after 1 year. This will be a good gauge of the successful implementation of this product. The flexibility of the above objective is anchored in the fact that after successful implementation, people in different occupations, even stay at home people will be able to embrace this form of innovation as its revolutionary and one of its kind in the industry (Aaker & Joachimsthaler E. 2000).
Marketing strategies and marketing mix
In discussing the marketing strategies, we discuss the four P’s of marketing as they shall all be put into consideration in the successful marketing of this product (Clancy and Kriegafsd,2000)
Product- as described above, this product will be marketed as a revolutionary product that will shake the banking industry. The specific capabilities of the mobile phone will be brought out and embraced by the UK working citizens.
The product will be rolled out as a package that represents an all stop solution provider for banking services. Intensive research that has gone into the unveiling of this product will stand out as the product will surpass all attempts to offer these services by other institutions in the past.
The pricing strategy to be put in place should be able to consider the following
- Customer demand
The projected demand for the product should be one of the important factors for consideration. This should be based on the anticipated uptake of the product by the clients and especially analysis of the client’s occupations. This should guide the bank in anticipating demand, as there is official information that could be used to project the customer’s likely need for this product as a result of work commitments that would limit their access to the banks (Chekitan and Schultz, 2005).
- Potential substitutes
The availability of more or less similar product should guide the pricing strategies as the bank would not want to overprice her products and risk low uptake, or charge very low service fees at the expense of profitability
- Product usability and preference
The projected ability of the targeted clients to comfortably use the product should also guide the marketing team in their decision on the charges that should be applicable for each of the services rendered. A survey of the amount of money that customers would be willing to pay for the service, should however, be very useful in determining the pricing strategy to be adopted.
The objective of this strategy is to initiate a very strong awareness about the launch of ‘m-barclays’ throughout the target market as well as to win a greater market share as a result of increased numbers of customer transactions as well as reduced costs.
The promotional outputs will convey a very clear message that ‘m-barclays’ is an innovative and revolutionary service that allows you, to use your mobile phone, for all banking service’
Choice of media
Notably, this target audience gives very partial attention to the media. This therefore means that only an integrated program would be successful in reaching out to them. This is because, these guys are using more than one media at a time, they could be browsing the internet while at the same time listening to the radio, a tendency called ‘multi tasking’ (Banting, and Randolph, 2012).
Marketers can therefore use integrated promotional tools, such as advertising in popular websites such as the BBC WebPages, company website as well as conventional media. One very effective method that shall be used would be the use of discounts where a customer will be charged less for large volume transactions or more transactions in a day.
This product, as earlier stated, will undergo a trial in the UK for a couple of years before its rolled out in all Barclay’s operations outside of the UK.
In order to roll out this product, the management will need to come up with a taskforce that will evaluate the various aspects of the intended product as well as the specific requirements for its successful implementation.
Such a taskforce will be formed during the product development stages and will comprise members from the IT department, marketing, finance, research and development, as well as at least one member from the management.
This team is expected to spearhead the process of the development of this product as well as its launch. Specifically the team is expected to adequately market the product, way before its launch so as to create adequate awareness of the same as well as stimulate demand.
The IT department will then ensure that the product is foolproof, and cannot be hacked by cyber criminals leading to loss of clients moneys. Of great importance is ensuring the safety of money being send or withdrawn from the bank using the mobile phone, as well as measures to secure the phone personal identification numbers (PIN) or password to ensure logical security.
The marketing budget
For the marketing of this product, a minimum of £500,000 is expected to be used and spread over a period of two years. This amount will be sufficient in ensuring that pre product launch marketing campaigns are successful, as well as continuing market awareness. In terms of allocation, 40% of this is expected to be taken by media promotions and advertisements, 50% of this will go to the remuneration of the marketing team as the company will be required to hire additional staff as well as temporary promotional staff, while the remaining 10% will be utilized for miscellaneous expenditures as well as contingent expenditures that may come up in the budgeted period.
Monitoring and evaluation
The success or otherwise of this product as well as the marketing efforts expended in the same, will be gauged by the extent to which the revenues from this product match the projected figures. The closer the results to the projected revenues, the more successful the product is (Adcock D., Al Halborg and Ross C, 2001).
The performance of the same will also be gauged on the basis of the number of additional customers who join the bank by the virtue of the new innovative product.
Also known as critical success factors, these are the issues or factors that would hinder the successful implementation of this product. These can also be said to be the factors that if well managed, would guarantee the success of the product.
Key among them is the mobile service provider. As earlier explained, this product will be based on a mobile platform and therefore, a mobile service provider must be identifies, and with capacity to handle this product. A fruitful management of this relationship would be good for the success of the product.
Another critical issue is the budget- an inadequate budget for the marketing and implementation of this product would mean that the company does not create sufficient awareness thus a lesser amount of uptake of the product.
Lastly, the legal requirements that abide in the implementation of this product could be a great hindrance to the success of the same.
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