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What Is the Role of Marketing in the Company and to What Extent?

Introduction

Before attempts to discuss the role of marketing in the company and to what extent the marketing strategy of the company is effective, it is essential to consider about marketing and marketing process. Satisfying the target customers, behavior facilitating exchange, selling and advertising are the important role of marketing. In order to prepare strategic and business plan, operational plan, positioning statement and action plans marketing play a vital role. In order to assess target market it is significant to consider product mix, price mix, distribution and promotion mix. Determine the target market is one of the most important roles of marketing in the company.

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Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (2008) argued that marketing is the process discipline of today’s business world which provides the ability of exploring, constructing and bringing value to gratify the target profit in a particular market for a business concern. The marketing is science that determines the shape and size of demand and supply of a particular market, set the target and drive to achieve the targeted goal of profit. Positively marketing measures and quantifies the dimension of a target market and planes to profit maximize. It locates the segments of a company that is competent to serving the best and endorses the suitable products and services for the company.

The role of marketing is important because the entire marketing plan of a company is based on the company’s recent position in the global market, its major competitors, several strengths and weaknesses along with opportunities and threats etc. The company should require to fixing up their goal according to the appliances of product line from a number of other products and services. However, the company’s main goals and objectives are to maximize profit through their product items by improving the sales, promotion, advertisement, brand development and by using overall marketing mix elements. It is essential to prepare specific strategies that are suggested by R & D department and it will be applied to achieve those goals, it can be predicted that the company will be ever successful in marketing the desired home appliances with long – run customer satisfaction.

Luther, W. M (2007) argued that in order to maximise profit it is essential to balance between company’s product line and customer design marketing play a significant role. For example, if the Body Shop launches a new product without any planning then company may lose millions of dollars because the product has no acceptability to the customer. On the other hand, if the company set their goals and research on market condition then they can make huge profit. The large companies, like IBM always introduce their product after identified the market situation. It was possible for Apple Computer to made large profit by selling message pad because they had estimation on market.

As a result, a company should have their own planning. Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (2006) argued that a company should identify the unfulfilled desire of the customer. It will help a company to fullil customer needs. The company should monitor the existing strategy to achieve successful outcomes from it. Therefore, the company may consider four methods these are market economics, competitors, consumers and current position of the company. Luther, W. M (2007) said that the rationale to asses the market economics is essential to measure the risk and chance of profit. However, the economic data contains the market factors for instance size and growth of the company, limitations, cost sensitivity, allocation cost, and promptness exposure, brand position of the company and market life cycle. It is also necessary to measure financial condition and barriers to entry a new market.

The companies those who cannot make considerable change to facing crises would fail to sustain. As a consequence their competitors are to a great extent reduced and even after valiant efforts they often cry off. Strategic change offers a diverse perspective of strategy formulation. Strategic Change has two major magnitudes and these are as (1) competitive position and (2) industry maturity.

The main role of marketing in the company is to identify the marketing activities. Hisrich, R. D., (2008) pointed out that marketing activities can be illustrates from marketing mix. Marketing mix consists of four components and these are production, distribution, promotion and price mix. This marketing mix of the company has been discussed as follows:

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  • Kotler, P, and Armstrong, G (2006) stated that the product is the first element of marketing mix which indicates a full description of the company’s products. Products also include services.
  • Hisrich, R. D., (2008) argued that price should be fixed after considering consumer behavior. The good relationship between the customer and the company is essential to determine the price of the product. The company should provide lower and fair price of its products if their target markets are the house wife, female and middle income level people. It will help to generate more profits. The price of new products should fix on as a basis of reasonable as well as affordable for customer. It should provide extra facilities for example gifts and free provision.
  • Thompson, A. et al (2007) stated that the third elements of marketing mix are distribution mix of the product. It is depends on retailers, whole sellers as well as representatives of the company. However, storage and transportation also includes these channels. Many large companies have to maintain international distribution channels because the customer is not limited in one region. Therefore, these companies should have different distribution strategy for different country to generate their profits.
  • Kotler, P, and Armstrong, G (2006) explained that promotion is the fourth elements of marketing mix. Promotion introduces the products to the customer by advertising. The main ingredients of promotions are advertising, publicity, sales sponsorship and personal promotion. Among them advertising is an effective element.
The role of marketing in the company
Figure 1: The role of marketing in the company

The effectiveness of the marketing strategy in the company

Marketing effectiveness is the excellence of a marketer how he drives to market with the aspiration of maximizing his expenditure to accomplish brilliant outcomes for within immediate and durable period. It is as well linked with ROMI. There are four dimensions of marketing effectiveness i.e. Corporate, Competitive, Customer and Exogenous Factors. Companies drive in its target market with full efforts to achieve the organisational objectives. Thus, marketing effectiveness is measured to determine the result achieved and making decision for renovation of further target. To carry out of marketing effectiveness it is frequently censure for the reason that it purportedly merely centered on immediate revenue gains rather then durable. According to Kotler, P, and Armstrong, G (2006), Marketing effectiveness is a process by dividing a market into distinct groups of buyers with different needs, characteristics, or behavior who might require separate products or marketing mix and the process of evaluating each marketing segments attractive and selecting one or more segments to enter. Market positioning is the process of formulating competitive positioning for a product and a detailed marketing mix. Marketing mix are product, price, place, promotion. Depending on these elements the entire marketing plan is established. Marketing audit is a study to analysis the external and internal factors. Here in this report 7p model has been analysed. According to Taylor.S (2007) CRM stands for customer relationship management and helps the management and customer service staffs cope with customer concerns and issues. B2B refers to business to business with fully ecommerce supported.

According to Doyle P. D, (2004) the available cash resources to satisfy the current obligations must come primarily from cash or the conversation to cash from of other current asset. For interpreting the liquidity of the firm, several types of ratios have been depicted. Current ratio, quick ratio, cash flow liquidity measures the firms short term solvency. Firm’s ability to meet the current obligations can be judged. Liquidity position or effects of using debt can be evaluated. The available cash resources to satisfy the current obligations must come primarily from cash or the conversation to cash from of other current asset that construct marketing effectiveness of a firm.

In order to judge the long term financial position of the company, financial leverage ratios are used. Stoner, J. A. F., Freeman, R. E., and Gilbert, D. R. (2006) mentioned that these ratios indicate mix of funds provided by owner and lender. According to Stoner, J. A. F., Freeman, R. E., and Gilbert, D. R. (2006), the amount and proportion of debt in a company’s capital structure is extremely important because of the trade off between risk and return. Gross profit margin, operating profit margin, and net profit margin represent the company’s ability to translate sales dollars into profits as different stages of measurement. Administrative efficiency can be judged through this. Brigham, E. & Houston, J. (2007) assessed the fixed asset turnover ratio measures how effectively the firm uses its fixed assets and total asset turnover measures the turnover of the entire Company’s asset. So, Debt ratio, debt to equity ratio, long tem debt to total capitalization ratio have been drawn to conceptualizing marketing effectiveness.

Company overview

In 1976 Anita Roddick had been started one small shop in Brighton which is known as The Body Shop International PLC. At the very beginning, she had sold only 25 hand-mixed cosmetics products. However, its business has expanded rapidly around the world. The Body Shop is a successful skin and hair care retailer. From the company profile, it has been seen that in 2008, it has above 2,500 stores in more than 60 markets all over the world sell skin and hair care. Nowadays 60% of The Body Shop’s products are produced through Community Trade partners. The Body Shop offers fair price for all people who are working for it. At least 25,000 employees are benefited from here because they get fair wage. It has developed the sector of the niche market. It has always considered the customer choice as a result it has best seller of cosmetics products. For example it sells from Vitamin E Moisture Cream to palm oil, Aloe Vera Body Lotion. Most the products are made with natural ingredients. This company also takes numerous steps to protect the human rights. In 1978, The Body Shop has first time started franchise with kiosk in Brussels and from 1982 the Body Shop was rapidly expanded its business and per month it was opened at least two stores per month. In 1985 it was registered as a public limited company. Every year The Body Shop introduced lots of new products for example buyer recycled PET bottles. Their Human rights movement to stop domestic violence is admirable. In 2007, The Body Shop has been awarded both the Royal Society. They get this award for protect of animal and people form the immoral treatment.

The structure of the Body Shop
Figure 2: the structure of the Body Shop

In 2006, The Body Shop has announced the acquisition with the L’Oreal, run as a separate company within the group. Both companies have assurance to stakeholders that they will wholly uphold their own values.

The marketing environment of The Body shop

The Body shop’s products are most popular all over the world. The Body Shop has designed for attracting and deriving the talent human resource for successful strategic implementation that focuses on base rate of pay, competitive compensation package over time, balance of gifts etc. Personnel committee is important for using outsider consultant for tracking market trends, CRM, evaluation of strategic direction etc. As a multi-national company the environmental issues are too crucial for its development. The Body Shop’s environmental condition is required to consider by PEST analysis which is as following:

Political Factors

From 1982, the Body Shop is operating in many countries in the world and the earning a significant amount of profits from them; it has been affected by the local rules and regulations of imports of those. There also exists a chance of political spoilage on sales by such nations. Doyle P. D, (2004), argued that investment, investment policy, device supply, operation and growth as well as network development materials can be an important topic of risk, over taxation, rate of exchange, savings of personal intelligence, recession, ups and downs of currencies and the other uncertainties. Now it had business in 60 countries, therefore its political environment is different from one another.

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Economic factors

After the acquisition with the L’Oreal, the Body shop’s profit have been increased about 14% per year. In 1991 the Body Shop’s market price was about $591 million. Now its growth rate is 9.5% per year. In 2006, for raising consciousness among the general people the Body Shop has started a campaign for local agencies. It has designed two special products for this campaign. However, The Body Shop has generated £580,000 from the sale these special products.

Socio-cultural factors

Its culture influences on quick and relax decision formulation on a plain, formulated network though it is characterized by huge bureaucracy. Officially, it uses English in speaking, documentation and the overall electronic communication. Value refinement has been occurred in 2007 may focused on employee offerings as a zest of involvement, achievement, innovative looks and human support. For this, a larger assistance has been provided for help for customers along with picking up 25,000 employees from 49 regions for ultra valuation concerning on customers, group wins, communication, motivation and innovation under development campaign. It has developed the training and leadership to buildup practical leadership skills.

Technological factors

For the Body Shop technology is most important factor among other factors. Since 1976, it has been manufacturing hand-mixed product as well as commercial product using technology. Sensor technologies offer huge consciousness about the environment. To prevent global warming, the Body Shop has taken few steps. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main reason of this problem and this noxious gas has produced by every day activities. The Body Shop has fight against global warming. Therefore, technology is important for The Body Shop to manufacture their product without producing this harmful gas. It’s mission to become a carbon neutral retailer within 2010.

How buyer behaviour is influencing the Body Shop

Kotler, P. & Armstrong, G. (2006) mentioned that to analyze the customer behavior it should consider four thinks for example Cultural, social structure, characteristics, and psychological factor. It influences the marketing policy of The Body Shop. The Body Shop is has worldwide market as a result the choice are different from one another. Thompson, A. et al (2007) argued that cultural and sub-cultural issues are influence companies production and sells. The Body Shop’s R & D department researches their market culture to introduce its new products. They identified the answer of few questions that why will a customer purchase their and the reason to choose their products. Moreover, it also judges the customer’s intention or mental condition.

The buyer behaviour which is influencing the Body Shop
Figure 3: the buyer behaviour which is influencing the Body Shop

Kotler, P. and Armstrong, G. (2006) expressed that consumer behaviour includes both simple &complex psychological processes. However, social factors also important to discuss here. The Body Shop’s has target customer and they are the preference group of this company. Family structure, social status and rules change the customer choice, therefore these factors influencing the Body Shop. Upper income level people do not worry about the purchase price but for middle and lower income level can’t effort to much for beauty products. Therefore, economical condition of buyer influence the Body Shop sells.

Market segmentation

Kotler, P and Armstrong, G (2006) states that segmentation is the procedure by dividing a market into distinct groups of buyers with considering different needs, characteristics, or behavior. This strategy and action decision respond to the question that how does The Body Shop achieve there goals. Some possible decisions that would be made for each variable are as following.

The Body Shop must decide first which segments offer the best opportunity for achieving its objectives to increase sales and profit by creating long- run customer relationship. Its market segments will also consist of the buyers with different needs, characteristics, or behavior who might require separate products or marketing program. In this regard, The Body Shop can prepare market segmentation in terms of:

  • Consumers who want products considering their skin and hair
  • Consumers who care mainly about price.
  • Consumers who think to get high quality at a reasonable price.
  • Consumers does only consider quality products

Among all the options, the Body Shop will have to decide of going forward a single or more market segments.

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Target market

The Body Shop’s main target markets for its cosmetic items mainly female buyers, teenagers, and housewife. However, its all products are also available for male and there are some products only for male. It is important to say that in overseas market, males are the main customer. Comparing to the overseas market and home market it can be found that male are interested to purchase The Body Shop’s products.

Market positioning

The Body Shop can position its items in a clear, distinctive and particular way in the target customers mind relative to the competitors, by using perfect positioning module. Thus, it should express the distinct benefits and features of the items in the target markets. Thus it can position the cosmetics goods as the best quality and reliable appliances. According to the Financial Times report The Body Shop holds the 27th position among the whole world.

Product line

The product as the first element of marketing mix indicates a full description of the Body Shop’s products including Vitamin E Moisture Cream, beauty shops using palm oil, nail polish, Shampoos, cleansing gels, deodorants, hair spray and perfumes. It also produces personal lubricants, shaving gels, and topical pharmaceuticals. Every year it produce 400 million tones palm oil. From 1993, The Body Shop never uses chemicals to produce their products and for packaging purpose, it completely implements a preventive approach in case of chemical. To make differentiation, The Body Shop now provide social service all over the world.

Price

The Body Shop offers £5 free if some one spend £25 to purchases its products. It also provides lower and fair price of its products. In order to attract more customers or maximize its profits it offers gifts for all who spend £30 to buy its products. However, its price is fixed on value for most of the products and this mostly reasonable as well as affordable. That means, the Body Shop offers just the right combination of quality and good service at a fair price. It may also introduce less expensive versions of its established brand name. This can be shown as-

The pricing strategy of The Body Shop
Figure: The pricing strategy of The Body Shop

Distribution Channels

All over the World it has above 2,500 stores in more than 60 markets. The Body Shop’s distribution channel expanded rapidly for example- India to USA its products are available in its stores and in markets. Too many company wanted to franchises with The Body Shop. In 1990, more than 2450 applicants apply for franchise with this company. As The Body Shop is operating and distributing the products in Europe, USA, Middle East and Africa, Asia- Pacific, China, North and Latin America, Australia specific international strategy for being successful in each of those regions are required. As a result it should have different distribution strategy for different country.

Service

The Body Shop provides quick and broad customer service by ensuring the following:

  • It provides fair wages which encourage employees to provide quality service.
  • In order to provide better services it has developed training programs for the employees.
  • In UK, a customer can order for products if he has only £20.
  • It provides online shopping facilities for the customer.
  • The Body Shop not only consider about customer service. It has introduced new products which are good for animal and environment and these products are good for health.
  • The Body shop should follow – up registration cards or telephone calls to provide feedback.
  • Rewarding effective employees.
  • Regular contact with target customers with newsletters, telephone call, e –e mail or fax has improves the customer relationship.
  • The Body Shop’s movement against domestic violence is admirable. It always struggle to protect human rights and it helps poor women. In order to develop values and raise consciousness on HIV and AIDS, the Body Shop’s NGOS plays vital role. It raises funds by selling specific product to help these people (who suffered on HIV/AIDS).

Promotion

  • Advertising: Advertising plays a fundamental role to maximize the profit. The Body Shop has concerned in this issue. As a result, it started new advertising campaign. Develop a new advertising campaign that supports the positioning strategy, emphasize higher – price units in the ads, increase the advertising budget by 20%. Moreover, it has includes some social issues in their advertisement policy which demonstrates their values on society. It also helps to raise their profits. The Body Shop is 100% Vegetarian that means it avoids animal slaughter and it has been loyal to animal protection.
  • Research and development: The Body Shop believes that research can play significant role for its development. As a result they were finding out new way to provide healthy products for customer. However, it should increase expenditure by 25% to develop better styling. It has R & D department.
  • Marketing research: market research is important to analyze customer behavior. Customers are different culture may prefer different product. It should increase expenditures by 20% to improve knowledge of the consumer – decision process and to monitor competitor moves. Before lunch a new product market research is important.

Marketing mix of the company

The Body Shop should evaluate each market segment’s attractiveness and selecting one or more segments to enter. Running through an equal speed with the major competitors, the company can also expand their niche marketing by remaking its distinguished TV, stereo set or other compact disks for specific markets. Furthermore, the Body Shop can develop niche marketing by offering its exclusive TV, audio or stereo set to the specific market segments where many other companies have not served yet.

The Body Shop’s target market for the skin and hair consists of the general income level buyers who are aware of quality and make a better sense of fair price. To select the target marketing strategy, it should consider a number of ideas:

  • Position of product in the product life cycle (PLC) and its product position in light of the Matrix or the functional structure.
  • The Body Shop allocates their resources in right way and each year it raises funds for social developments projects.
  • Variability is an important factor for marketing mix.
  • The Body Shop consider the competitor’s marketing strategies.

After considering all these relevant aspects, differentiated marketing strategy will be better for the Body Shop since it has the matured product categories. By using this strategy, the Body Shop will target the specific customer segment and design separate product according to the needs and wants. It can adopt functional structure to design their strategy. Thus, it can make itself a customized company.

Recommendation of use of the marketing mix

  • Product: it has already been discussed that The Body Shop’s product list includes skin and hair care products such as lotion, palm oil, cream, perfumes, beauty shops, shampoo, gels etc. It should always consider the ingredients of the products. They spend more than £6 million for natural ingredients every year.
  • Price: the price should be reasonable for middle income level person. It will be fixed on value basis including discounts, trade- in- allowances and credit terms. Those actions adjust prices, for the current competitive situation and bring them into line with the buyer’s perception of the good’s value. Credit provision may increase sells to maximize profits. It already has free and gift provision.
  • Place: Place includes having a large body of independent dealers and company retail outlets and showrooms. The Body Shop has two thousand and five hundreds stores. Its business has expanded from 1982.
  • Promotion: For The Body Shop’s advertising is one of the vital tools. Promotion includes increase the sales- promotion budget by 15% to develop a point- of- purchase display and to participate to a greater extent in dealer trade shows and sales force expanded by 10% and introduce a national account management system.

Person involves the use of efficient human and managerial resource. Process involves technological background, performance of R & D and organizational structure. Physical ability indicates The Body Shop’s resource availability to produce desired customized skin and health products appliances. All the marketing mix variables will be blended to promise a better positioning of the product in the marketplace while The Body Shop can introduce more for the same strategy for offering the consumers more benefit with same price.

Bibliography

Doyle P. D, (2004), Adding value to marketing: the role of marketing in today’s profit-driven organization, 2nd Editions, London: Kogan Page, ISBN: 9780749421755.

Hisrich, R. D., (2008), Marketing, Web.

Kotler, P., Armstrong, G. (2006), Principles of Marketing, 11th Edition, Prentice-Hall of India Private Limited, New Delhi, ISBN: 81-203-2825-6.

Kotler Marketing Group (2008), Dr. Philip Kotler Answers Your Questions on Marketing, Web.

Luther, W. M., The Marketing Plan, 2008. Web.

Maklan, S., Knox, S. & Ryals, L., Extending The Marketing Concept, 2008. Web.

MMC Learning (2008), Buyer Behaviour: Introduction to Consumer Behaviour, Web.

Stoner, J. A. F., Freeman, R. E., and Gilbert, D. R. (2006), Management, 6th Edition, Prentice Hall of India Private Limited, ISBN: 81-203-0981-2

The Body Shop (2007), Company Profile, Web.

The Body Shop (2008), Values Report 2007, Web.

Thompson, A. et al (2007), Strategic Management, 13th edition, Tata McGraw- Hill Publishing Company limited, New Delhi, India.

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