The financial Times is one of the leading newspapers in UK. The Financial News was established by Harry Markes in the year 1884, However Actually the Financial Times was launched as “The friend of the Honest Financier and the Respectable Broker” in 1888. The Financial Times was first printed on Pink paper in 1893.In 1928 Brendan Bracken became the chairman of financial news and buys financial times in 1945 and merged with Financial News. Later in 1957,The Financial Times was taken over by Pearson. On January 4, 1993, the FT was printed on white paper to celebrate 100 years "in the pink".
With all the hard work and efforts by 2009 The Financial Times has become world's most prominent Business news organization and it is Globally recognized for its authority, integrity and accuracy .The news paper is printed at 23 sites world wide, It has a daily circulation of 397,600 as per the ABC figures in July 2009 and a readership of 1.3 people across the globe in print & online.
The website www.ft.com is one of the world's leading Business information website which provides an essential source of news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. As per ABCe figures, march 2009,FT.com has 11.4 unique users who generates 82.2 million page view and now has more than 1.2 million registered users.
The Financial Times has 4 editions to serve the needs of its readers in the Americas, UK,
Continental Europe and Asia with the Vision to be the best business newspaper in the world mission statement: The FT, high in ambition, consistent in values .The paper's slogan is, "Without fear and without favour "The Financial Times newspaper is an indispensable source of information for senior executives and decision-makers throughout the world.
The marketing strategy is the source of achieving the corporate objectives. As such it lays down longer-term goals and targets for the marketing personnel to follow.
The marketing strategy gives measurements which can be used as controls, but it also gives messages to the stakeholders, or public.
Types of marketing strategy:
Following diagram will give a clear difference between these 3 marketing strategies:
It includes standard, unchanged product and a standard, unchanged marketing effort. The product will be aimed at the large sector of the market.
In this the company segments its market and offers modified products to different segments.
In this type of marketing the total marketing effort is aimed at one market segment. It is “niche marketing” by another name.
Michael Porter's Five Forces Analysis:
Five Forces Analysis helps the marketer to contrast a competitive environment.
Five forces analyses looks at five key areas namely the threat of entry, the power of buyers, the power of suppliers, the threat of substitutes, and competitive rivalry.
1) The threat of entry.
2) The power of buyers.
3) The power of suppliers.
4) The threat of substitutes
5) Competitive Rivalry
THE MARKETING MIX:
Many factors are involved in taking major marketing management decisions which can be define in one of the following 4 categories:
These 4p's are known as Marketing Mix.
The product could be any Tangible product or services offered to the customers.
Pricing decisions should take into account profit margins and the pricing response of competitors.
Place (or placement) decisions are those which are related with the channels of distribution that caters as the source for getting the product to the target audience.
Promotion decisions are communicating and selling to potential consumers.
(Ref - http://www.quickmba.com/marketing/mix/ )
Porter's Generic Strategy Model:
This model claims that there are only three main strategies which a business can follow:
1) Cost Leadership
A business which followed none of these strategies would become “stuck in the middle” and be unlikely to succeed in the long term.
MARKETING STRATEGY OF FINANCIAL TIMES:
In the present world of globalization the need for timely and quality information about the changing and rapidly growing financial market is increasing day by day. The Financial Times caters to the business class and the corporates around the world. The news in The FT is highly sophisticated in nature and is tailored to suit the business and financial needs. It has become highly imperative for any company to choose the right marketing strategy to sustain in this highly competitive newspaper market.
The FT has been consistently following NICHE MARKETING STRATEGY in which it has been continuously differentiating its product from its competitors. The target market of FT is all those people who follow business and financial news on daily basis (corporate and business professionals).
The marketing efforts of the FT is aimed at only one segment which is Business and corporate. They believe in concentrated marketing because they provide highly specialized service.
SWOT ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL TIMES:
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, and is an important tool often used to highlight where a business or organisation is, and where it could be in the future. It looks at internal factors, the strengths and weaknesses of a business, and external factors, the opportunities and threats facing the business.
* Riding high in the niche market in Newspaper industry has helped boost Financial Times and raised reputation and turnover
* Financial Times's international operations mean a wider customer base, a stronger brand and a bigger chunk of the global market.
* Financial Times's position in the market is high and strong - a major strength in this industry as they are ahead of their rival (wall street journal).
* Having little competition, being one of very few companies providing this service/product is a major factor in Financial Times's performance.
* The online presence of Financial Times is strong, meaning it is ahead of many competitors.
* Over pricing, setting too high prices for Financial Times products/services makes them uncompetitive, which is a major weakness.
* A limited customer base is a major weakness for Financial Times as it means they have less people to sell or market to eg businesss sector.
* Financial Times is behind its competitors with a low share of the market, which in turn leads to lower turnover.
* Financial Times is in good financial position, which is an opportunity for them to explore in terms of investment in new projects.
* Grasping the opportunity to expand the customer base is something Financial Times can aim for, either geographically or through new products.
* Expanding into other markets could be a possibility for Financial Times.
* The actions of a competitor could be a major threat against Financial Times, for instance, if they bring in new technology or increase their workforce to meet demand.
* Price wars between competitors, price cuts and so on could damage profits for Financial Times.
* A slow economy or financial slowdown could have a major impact on Financial Times business and profits.
* Substitute products available on the market present a major threat to Financial Times.
Marketing Mix of Financial Times:
It is highly essential for any organisation to have the right and optimum marketing mix in order to sustain in this highly competitive business environment.
The FT has an optimal marketing mix and the details are discussed as below:
The organisation should have a right product mix in order to suit the needs of the target market. The FT is a financial newspaper providing quality business and financial news. It offers highly specialised services in the field of finance and business. The newspaper also contains industry specific news along with technical and critical analysis of financial reports. It takes the global context of marketing into consideration by covering and providing international business news. The FT has not restricted itself only the financial and business news but it has also diversified itself to other aspects of information i.e. political news, property news, style and fashion, entertainment and sports.
Different organisations follow different pricing strategies as per their marketing competitive objectives. Similarly the FT follows the premium pricing strategy which means setting high price for the product reflecting the exclusiveness of the product/service. The Ft charges premium prices which is part of its NECHE MARKETING strategy and thereby establishing itself as a cost/price leader in its particular segment. The target segment is aware of the highly quality service that the FT provides and are least bothered about the price.
The FT newspaper sales involve distributing highly perishable products under severe time constraints as the business and financial news are rapidly changing in nature.The printed newspapers have to be dispatched to various distributors across the region. Transportation is normally through private contract carriers within local area, public transport in case of longer distances and through couriers in other cases.
The local FT newspaper distributor has the rights to distribute the newspaper in his area. The revenue of the newspaper distributor is based on a commission on the sale of every newspaper. The circulation is normally through salesmen appointed and salaried by the distributors, who in turn pass it on to hawkers.
Hawkers, vendors and book stall owners are the last link of the supply chain before newspaper reaches readers. The hawker's remuneration is also normally based on the commission system and is generally the highest in the entire supply chain.
Responsiveness and efficiency play an important role in newspaper distribution channel. Responsiveness includes supply chain's ability to respond to a wide range of quantity demanded (due to demand fluctuations) and meet short lead times. On the other hand efficiency is the cost of making and delivering the newspaper to the readers.
In 1893 it changed the colour of paper from white to pink. That worked as an advertising tool for it as well. In 1945 it was merged with Financial News but name and the specific colour of the paper was kept same. After merger increased circulation of the newspaper was recorded. FT continued its product differentiation and created an image for its coverage, expertise, relevance and performance by establishing correspondences in different cities of the world. As according to Baker (2008), marketing strategy is the method that can let a company to focus on its limited reserves on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and attain a sustainable competitive advantage.
According to Kotler (1994) Companies remake their marketing strategy quite a few times during a product's life cycle due to financial circumstances change, opponents launch new products and the product passes through new stages of consumer concern and desires. Consequently, an organisation must plan strategies appropriate to each stage of the product's life cycle.
As the product of FT is highly specified for global business community. It is easy to identify the targeted business class and market knowledge is improved.
PORTER'S FIVE FORCES EFFECTIVENESS:
E-Business Strategy of Financial Times:
The E-Business Strategy of The FT can be assessed by looking at the contribution of its e-business strategy towards the achievement of its goals.
According to Chaffey (2006) the five e-marketing objectives are
In recent years The FT has shifted its attention towards the digital and subscription revenue. FT.com is a source of information, analysis, reports, data and news. It has over 1.2 million registered users. The FT has been successful in retaining its existing customers as well as acquiring new customers. At the end of year 2008 its subscribers grew 966,000 from 150,000 in 2007 (person.com).
In the global context FT follows a customization strategy in which the newspaper is tailored to suit the regional needs. For example in china FT has launched a website in chinese version to meet the needs of the chinese business elite. The website has been launched in 2005.
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6. (Ref - http://www.quickmba.com/marketing/mix/ )
7. (Ref- http://www.quickmba.com/strategy/generic.shtml)
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