The suggested paper is a marketing plan designed for SPAR International, Oman. There is the current situational analysis of the company and the conditions under which it functions. This section includes SWOT and PESTEL analysis to improve the understanding of all factors that might impact SPAR and its further development. Segmentation of the market and customers’ behaviors are also analyzed. The paper outlines relevant goals for the development of the brand along with the marketing mix strategic recommendations. Finally, evaluation and control tools are offered.
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SPAR International was created about 80 years ago and is now the world’s biggest food retailer that promotes its concept of fresh food. It has about 12,000 stores in 40 states across the globe (SPAR n.d). There are multiple international partners that engage in cooperation with the brand. SPAR also entered the agreement with Khimji Ramdas which means that new stores will appear in Oman – a minimum of 21 stores will be opened by the end of 2018 in the country (SPAR n.d).
The company boasts its strategy focused on the provision of fresh and high-quality products to customers regardless of the region where they live. It helps to remain attractive and generates a competitive advantage that is used to win the rivalry which is high in the sector (SPAR n.d). This strategy can be successful and contribute to the growing interest of the company.
The paper has several objectives regarding SPAR international. First, to assess the functioning of the company, the market’s peculiarities, and perform the situational analysis of the existing environment. Second, to outline goals that should be achieved by the company to guarantee its further growth. Third, to provide recommendations for the realization of all planned actions. Fourth, to suggest effective evaluation techniques that will help to determine the character of all recommendations and alterations.
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|The high level of rivalry in the sector. Many global supermarket chains such as Walmart.||Low probability of new entrants because of the global character of the firm and the scale of operations.||A high number of suppliers (SPAR 2015). They are not concentrated. Low pressure on the company.||Comparatively low pressure because of the limited number of companies providing healthy foods.||High bargaining power of buyers living in Oman.|
|A world known company with a developed infrastructure. Over 12,000 stores across the globe (SPAR 2015). A popular brand that attracts customers. New locations for the development. Focus on popular tendencies such as healthy food.||Lack of experience in the given area. A low number of stores are located mainly in Muscat. Need to attract customers through new promotions.|
|Entry to the new potentially beneficial market. Growing popularity in Oman and the Gulf region. Increase in the number of consumers and their devotion levels. Further popularisation of the brand. Generation of the competitive advantage.||The entry of other popular supermarket chains in the area. Failure of the new international project in Oman. Decreased attention of customers to the comparatively expensive products suggested by the brand.|
At the moment, consumer behavior in Oman is characterized by the increased attention to the basic aspects of a healthy lifestyle (SPAR 2015). There is a trend of buying health products that can promote the improvement of health. Additionally, there is a focus on fresh and high-quality nutrients that are popular (Perreault, Cannon & McCarthy 2014). Buyers are characterized by high bargaining power which means that there are multiple opportunities for buying the types of products mentioned above to satisfy individuals’ demands.
It occupies the niche of health and high-quality products that have not been previously considered by other companies. SPAR functions in the products’ segment which implies a high level of rivalry (Gamble, Thompson Jr & Williams 2016). The majority of new stores are located in Muscat, Oman. The business is focused on the creation of neighborhood convenience stores (SPAR 2015). These peculiarities of the geographic location precondition the increased convenience for customers.
SPAR also introduces new segments that help it to compete and attract new consumers. It offers such appealing categories of foods as diabetic, vegan, gluten-free, and specific Lacto products (SPAR 2015). The introduction of these groups helps to minimize the threat of new entry and satisfy customer’s diversified needs. At the same time, SPAR offers nutrients for various diet plans to meet new individuals’ demands and guarantee their devotion to the brand.
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The rise in sales should be achieved in two ways – new stores and revenue growth. New locations will guarantee the development of infrastructure and more potent positions of the company (Armstrong & Kotler 2016). A SMART goal can be set to “increase the retails sales in the year 2019 by 20% with the help of new stores and growth of revenue.” The specific level for retail sales and its measurability, as well as the set date, will help to set short-term goals. It is without a doubt that growth is a realistic and desired prospect for SPAR.
The second objective is the attainment of a higher level of consumers’ satisfaction. It can be achieved through the support of the quality and nutritional balance of the products to ensure that the customers are satisfied with the services. The SMART goal, “grow a returning customer base and increase the level of satisfaction in the next fiscal year,” can be measured through surveys and stores’ records. Stakeholders agree that consumer satisfaction is a vital part of the business. Happy clients return, making additional or recurring purchases, and promote the stores, thus contributing to the growth of the customer base (DuBrin 2016). The increase in quality over a year should be enough to determine future goals.
Finally, customers’ loyalty should also be increased as it will help to preserve leading positions in the sphere. One can formulate the goal to “create a program that includes personal offers, discounts, and other advantages in order to reach a stable customer base by 2021.” This objective’s time frame is wider than that of others because customer acquisition requires significant effort. Similar to the previous goal, surveys and records can be used to document the existence of returning clients. Customer loyalty, as discussed above, can benefit the company; thus, it requires attention.
In order to further analyze the opportunities of SPAR Oman, one should consider the business’ Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are values that show the effectiveness of a firm’s activities to reach set goals (Parmenter 2015). By choosing and measuring them, a business can examine its productivity as well as find problems that require solving. These indicators should be derived from realistic goals and have a specific purpose. For example, the discussed plan objectives indicate that profit, expenses, and revenue are among the major KPIs. Others may include customer satisfaction, client retention, and customer acquisition cost (Parmenter 2015). To increase the number of loyal customers, the business can monitor the number and demographics of “Very Satisfied” clients or the number of repeat site visits.
Marketing Mix Recommendations
|Product||A wide range of fresh and high-quality products should remain the main distinctive feature of SPAR. The focus on healthy eating is popular, which means that it will attract new customers and ensure the brand’s popularity (Dens et al. 2016).|
|Price||The current company’s strategy should be preserved as it offers products at good and competitive prices. The use of this model will help to preserve the high level of customers’ interest.|
|Promotion||Effective advertising campaigns using the local media should be started. At the same time, in stores, special offerings such as ‘fresh price’ should be created to keep the level of customers’ interest at a high level (Cummings & Worley 2014). Social media, as a potent modern tool, should also be utilized to popularise the brand.|
|Place||The current location (Muscat) should be given special attention because of the high concentration of the population. However, there is also the need to enter other areas to ensure growth (Kotler & Keller 2015).|
Evaluation and Budget
Implementation of the given plan and monitoring of main stages and results can be performed via cost centers. As for the budget, the cost of every of the suggested marketing mix strategies can be considered comparatively low (Mukherjee & Shivani 2016). Product and price domains will not demand additional spending as these are part of the current company’s functioning. Therefore, there is no need to alter the next year’s budget to adjust for these goals.
The recommendation for marketing, on the other hand, shows that additional resources are necessary. Companies can allocate about 10% of their overall budget to advertising (Barton & Behe 2017). From this 10%, more than 30% are now being used to promote businesses on the internet (Barton & Behe 2017). Therefore, if the company decides to put $1 million towards promotion, $300 thousand will be used for digital advertising. The recommendation for entering other areas also implies that the business will spend money on new stores, equipment, employees, and products. One can expect to add another $300 thousand to $1 million to the budget (Das Nair & Dube 2015). These costs, while approximate, show how SPAR can plan its budget to achieve new objectives.
Altogether, SPAR International has good options for the development and growth in Oman. Being one of the leaders in the provision of fresh products, it occupies a specific market segment that guarantees high income to it. SWOT, PESTEL, and 5 Forces analyses prove the existence of a positive environment for the company’s rise. KPIs include cost-related indicators such as profit, revenue, and expenses as well as customer-based measures of satisfaction and retention. The plan offers specific marketing mix strategies that can help to achieve the goal of expanding and continue the firm’s growth.
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Cummings, T & Worley, C 2014, Organization development and change,10th edn, Cengage Learning, Thousand Oaks, CA.
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Mukherjee, S & Shivani, S 2016, ‘Marketing mix influence on service brand equity and its dimensions’, Vision, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 9–23. Web.
Parmenter, D 2015, Key performance indicators: developing, implementing, and using winning KPIs, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY.
Perreault, W, Cannon, J & McCarthy, J 2014, Essentials of marketing: a marketing strategy planning approach, 14th edn, McGraw-Hill Education, London.
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