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Wal-Mart’s Target Market Selection and Competition


Marketing strategy is the marketing logic applied by firms to accomplish their marketing goals. A marketing strategy takes into account the cost of marketing, marketing mix, and marketing allocations to develop competitive settings. The objectives of marketing must be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound). An effective marketing plan is result-oriented. It defines particular, realistic, measurable objectives within the set time parameters. Wal-Mart has been known as one of the widely acknowledged supermarkets in the global business. The following paper analyzes Wal-Mart’s marketing plan.

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Wal-Mart’s Target Market

Wal-Mart is known to have a large client base. Ferrell (2014) defines a target market as a section of customers that a firm plans to sell its services or products. This is the main agenda of a company to ensure it sells its goods or services to the respective target market making a profit in the process. Any business must have a target market in its marketing strategy. Pahl (2007) argues that the success of any item or service in the market is mostly determined by four variables of the marketing mix, namely: place, price, promotion, and the product. Notably, since its inauguration, Wal-Mart’s marketing strategy has been focused on offering products to clients at favorably lower prices. The selling of goods at low cost has been shaped towards achieving volume sales at a reduced profit margin. Pahl (2007) describes that a target market can be grouped based on customer behavior, product, geography, demographics, and consumers’ attitudes. Wal-Mart’s marketing strategy of offering products at lower prices has been able to capture both the middle and lower class in the society.

When drafting a marketing strategy, it is important to take into consideration the needs of the potential customer. Also, the company should strive toward accomplishing the observed needs. Pahl (2007) attests that there is a big difference between identifying the needs of the clients and meeting these requirements. The mission statement of Wal-Mart indicates that the improvement of the living standards of the customers will be prioritized. The development of the standards of living is supposedly expected to be made live by offering products at low prices.

The primary focus of the supermarket is to reach the diverse markets comprised of the lower, middle, and lower class in the society. This is apparent because these social classes make most of the American population (Doyle, 2008). This is evident since the supermarket has a store in each city in the United States. The importance of taking care of the middle and poor classes of the society has enabled the supermarket to excel since its competitors are not able to address the needs of the respective classes. Pahl (2007) argues that competitors focus on high class. Thus, in terms of market share, Wal-Mart has a larger proportion than its rivals. This is because the company has been able to win the loyalty and confidence of many clients due to the low-cost products and services given.


Wall-mart faces competition from Kroger. Kroger is itself a big enterprise, however, the company is yet to open global stores. Wal-Mart also faces fierce competition from Google. These two competitors are pertinent because they determine the market strategy of Wal-Mart. Google has 30% of the market share while its counterpart Kroger has 16% of it. The strength of Google is that it has a great mechanism to reach its target market. However, the weakness of Google is that its strategy over-estimates the nature of the market such that it focuses on the literates alone. Google uses the internet to market itself while Kroger uses print media to reach its diverse markets.

Wal-Mart can differentiate its products from those of Kroger and Google by price leadership. This will enable the clients to select products from Wal-Mart to become their favorites. However, it can be predicted that the two competitors will adopt other skillful methods of cutting down the brand name of Wal-Mart by offering substitutes. Since there is increased awareness against unhealthy foods, competitors can take this opportunity to offer products believed to be hazard-free (Doyle, 2008). Wal-Mart can address such responses by strengthening its strategy to assure the clients that the products offered are of high quality. The rivals usually sell substitutes in the grocery industry. This makes it hard to weather the storms of competitors when they introduce substitutes in the market by Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart segmentation

Market segmentation indicates how a firm divides its clients into various homogenous groups. Kneer (2009) argues that market segmentation can be best facilitated by carrying out market research. The market study is pertinent to identify the trends and preferences of particular homogenous groups of clients. Market segmentation is relevant to Wal-Mart since enabling it to determine where to institute a retail outlet, as well as the kind of items to feed the stores. Two types of market segmentation are used by Wal-Mart. The first type of market segmentation lies in geography. This kind of segmentation is the oldest form of segmentation. The respective type of segmentation is based on grouping clients based on their physical location. This classification ensures that the company does not stock stores in certain areas with products that will not get customers in the respective position (Pahl, 2007).

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Target Market Selection Process

Wal-Mart engages in targeting marketing using different processes. The company uses seven styles to get the target market. The first stage is to spot the most appropriate targeting method. This step is facilitated by evaluating features such as the resources of the firm, product quality, and the objectives of the market (Doyle, 2008). The second step used by Wal-Mart is to determine the segmentation strategy to apply. The segmentation strategy is defined by the behavior of the target market. The information about the characteristics of the clients is useful in dividing them into groups. At this stage, the company divides the clients based on geography, demographic, psychographic, and behavior characteristics. The third step involves the development of profiles of the market segments. Market segments are pertinent in assisting Wal-Mart to comprehend how they can apply the available resources to serve their end clients (Kneer, 2009). Analyzing the target segments is the fourth step. Methodologies involved in this step are the use of competitive evaluations, cost approximations, and sales estimates. The identification of the particular target market is the final step. Wal-Mart uses this step to determine if there survive enough variations in the demands of target clients to dictate the application of market segmentation (Doyle, 2008).

Once Wal-Mart identifies that the needs of the identified customers are homogenous, it results to adopt the uniform approach to address the respective needs. In the other case, Wal-Mart may find that the target consumer market is heterogeneous, the company applies one, or two markets to address the market demands. However, Wal-Mart addresses the concern of the market taking into account its managerial skills, employee expertise, financial resources, and facilities needed to deal with the needs of the market segments. Herman (2010) argues that a market segment consists of unique features. These features make a segment have advantages and challenges that demand particular inputs to ensure that Wal-Mart succeeds.


Doyle, P. (2008). Value-Based Marketing: Marketing Strategies for Corporate Growth and Shareholder Value. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Faarup, P. K. (2010). The Marketing Framework. Aarhus: Academica.

Ferrell, O. C. (2014). Marketing Strategy: Text and Cases. Mason: South-Western/ Cengage Learning.

Herman, R. P. (2010). The HIP Investor: Make Bigger Profits by Building a Better World. Hoboken: John Wiley.

Kneer, C. (2009). The Wal-Mart Success Story. München: GRIN Verlag.

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Pahl, N. (2007). SWOT Analysis: Idea, Methodology and a Practical Approach. Munchen: GRIN Verlag.

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