Wal-Mart is one of the biggest corporations in the world and is known as an organization which changed the way retail industry operated with its phenomenal and path breaking modus operandi based on cost effectiveness.
The success and growth of Wal-Mart is a thing of folklore, however as said in Spiderman ‘With great power’s comes great responsibilities’, and thus Wal-Mart success is testament to the strategic planning and its subsequent execution and keeping in perspective the magnitude of Wal-Mart operations and its efficiency.
However, things seems to have gone sour for Wal-Mart, there are multiple reasons however in this report we will be answering the following questions with regards to Maich, S. (2004) case study Wal-Mart's mid-life crisis.
- Is it “mid-life crisis” or “mid-life laziness” that this article communicates about Wal-Mart’s marketing? Did management “lose its way” and forget the concepts and tenets that made the company successful?
Wal-Mart is a victim of its own astounding success, being able to draw billions of dollars in revenues annually which is akin to competition with one of the biggest economies of the world, however Wal-Mart has not been showing any growth and is in a state if mid life crisis both from the information in the case study and also in the current scenario.
Wal-Mart as the primary option for grocery has not been the same for American consumers, in view of the changing trends and also operating in a globalized economy Wal-Mart’s options have been hit by a variety of competition offering better quality in the same price range (Matthew Yglesias, 2013).
Everyday Low prices was the pillar on which Wal-Mart created its dynasty, however with years of success the formula gets monotonous and requires a fresh outlook in view of continued success.
- How might Wal-Mart use holistic marketing to address its mid-life crisis?
The main issue which springs out in Wal-Mart’s mid-life crisis is its public image and hence Wal-Mart needs to work on the public image as the number of cases filed with regards to numerous instances ranging from expansion, illegal immigrants cleaning, sexual discrimination and wages and so on needs to be countered with holistic marketing.
In this regards Wal-Mart produced a television commercial showcasing a bunch of happy employees, also an 8 point plan was unveiled by the CEO Lee Scott, with an eye on taking care of all the issues which affected the image of the company.
Diversity, employee relations, pay structure and also taking care of illegal immigrant issues are some of the pointers which needed to be addressed.
- Match the facts of this case (poor growth by Wal-Mart, etc.) to the appropriate marketing management tasks.
The globalized economy and the technological advancement have made the online space a key factor to be utilized by organizations to get new business and also strengthen their business competitiveness.
Wal-Mart have a strong online presence, one of the biggest benefits that Wal-Mart enjoys is that besides the grocery business, it has a huge chunk in non-grocery business which showed increased business with a 30% hike in the business (Matthew Yglesias, 2013).
Wal-Mart is one such example as an organization keeping pace with technology and is regarded as a leading entity in ecommerce technology (Wal-Mart Global ecommerce, 2013).
Experiencing a personalized shopping experience digitally at the Wal-Mart website, the customers feel satisfied and involved when making transactions online and hence, the investment that the organization made on the digital space seems to be working in the right direction.
- Can you see a relationship between Wal-Mart's symptoms and how well marketing management performed its tasks? Why or why not?
The symptoms as diagnosed from the case study are twofold, primarily Wal-Mart is facing a sever image issue and secondly it is a victim of its own success as its rapid growth and massive accumulation of wealth conjured up severe public resentment in view of its operational tactics.
The marketing techniques to come with campaigns and sustained efforts in terms of workplace benefits and also supporting the business and community and according to the author are not enough to create positive PR instantly.
- A bar code with a slanting arrow depicting downfall.
One of the primary elements which need to be taken into account is the bar code in view of its capacity to track the sales and while the arrow depicts the downfall, for Wal-Mart the ascension to the top really started with its control over information technology and hence understanding the power in bar code.
Even though the bar codes do depict a downward spiral, but, whoever utilizes it effectively will move forward both in a profitable way.
The technological aspect has been embraced by Wal-Mart and as a result the systems of checking inventory, restocking shelves, cost cuts and also passing the savings along to customers has made Wal-Mart an entity with successful and innovative supply chain mechanism which all started with adoption of the bar code.
It should be recognized that every failure is based on a series of bad decisions, hence at Wal-Mart the decisions should be taken in view of a analysis which help the organization take a leap in terms of both solving its public image and operational issues in an effective manner.
Beth, L. (2004). Wal-Mart & The Bar Code. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/walmart/secrets/barcode.html
Matthew, Y. (2013). Is Wal-Mart In Trouble? Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/05/wal_mart_sales_decline_america_s_largest_retailer_is_slipping_as_customers.html
Maich, S. (2004). Wal-Mart's mid-life crisis. Maclean's, 117(34), 45. Retrieved from https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/tvxuniversity/conversations/topics/57811
Wal-Mart (2013). Wal-Mart Global eCommerce. Retrieved from http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/our-business/global-ecommerce