1.2 Objective and scope
Margaret Mead (1970) reiterated: “We are living in times of change without precedent”. For the rapid change in international and global business, it's the challenge of managing in time of change without precedent.
Melvin Hurni: “Recent trends in global operations towards lean manufacturing and lean business practices define introspection about business process themselves.”
The marketing planning process involves environmental scanning and reasoned projection to ascertain the most promising opportunities for the business entity to position it for future profitable growth. It is utilized to provide for the identification of the firm's future products and product market scope to meet real, assumed, or potential demand, and keep pace with competitive threats.
The purpose of this report is to evaluate the role of marketing and marketing planning in responding to a change in the external marketing environment. The report presents a blend of concepts, theory, and current practice illustrated by selected example from Toyota. And the report will have four sectors as following.
The first sector is marketing audit, identifying challenges by analyzing competitive threats and opportunities and management response to environmental change by analysis of external factors affecting marketing planning.
The second sector marketing strategy shows how segmentation influences the selection of strategy and how market mix achieves the effective implementation of plans.
The third sector problem encountered identify potential issues that may be encountered when implementation the plan.
Final sector is to recommend suitable processes for setting performance standards and measurement to evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing plan.
2. External Audit
2.1 Analyzing competitive threats and opportunities
2.1.1 Competitive threats
Lack of public charging infrastructure network
Large scale of recall
2.1.2 New opportunities
Online activities, online buying
2.2 Management response to environmental change:
Analysis of external factors affecting marketing planning
The potential impact on the organization of environment will determine its future course and always involve uncertainty and a calculated degree of risk taking. Searching the environment and identifying possible potential effects on the operations of marketing plan to cope with projected external threats or opportunities is a difficult task, so it's need to monitor external environment by following factors.
Francis J. Aguilar (1967) : “The earliest know reference to tools and techniques for Scanning the Business Environment who discusses ‘ETPS' - a mnemonic for the four sectors of his taxonomy of the environment: Economic, Technical, Political, and Social.”
The economy is undergoing a serious recession, the worsening of the real economy spread in the whole market in 2009,consumer purchasing slowing down, car sales fell again in 2009.
Petrol and diesel prices have fallen back sharply but customers still worried about the unstable fuel price.
Political and social
The car scrappage scheme effectively gives retail buyers of new cars £2,000 off the purchase of a small low-emission car if they offer for scrap a car that is ten or more years old.
EU adopting a target of 95g/km of CO2 emission by 2020.
3. Marketing strategy
In today's highly competitive words, few companies can afford to be all things to all people. The main aim of market segmentation as part of the planning process is to enable a firm to target its effort on the most promising opportunities. It means that we have to find some way of differentiating ourselves from the competition and the answer lies in market segmentation. All of this should come to the fore as a result of the market audit referred to previously and should be summarized in SWOT analyses. According to Professor Michael Porter (1986), industry segmentation is the division of an industry into sections for the purpose of developing competitive strategy. Segmentation can be based on a combination of customer behaviour and customer characteristic, providing information about consumer wants and needs and its likely ability to obtain a satisfactory return from supporting or continuing to support the offering. Segmentation can not only help to determine marketing direction through the analysis of buyer behaviour but also can help to improve decision-making by forcing managers to consider in depth the options ahead. All of this influence the selection of strategy.
For Toyota Prius, they segmentation consumers by Demographic, Psychographic and Geographic
The consumer is between 30 and 50 years old (mid-life). They are likely to be married and with family responsibilities. They are affluent and well-informed and educated adults, classed in the AB socioeconomic segment. Therefore they are in higher managerial, administrative or professional occupations and of upper middle class. Hence they are not only prepared to purchase environmentally-friendly but also able to pay more for it (higher disposable income). They are either their own property owner or rent privately.
Technology pioneers those who are interested in the latest technology/ innovation, and must be the first on the block to own this technology and embrace it.
Environmentally Friendly people those who are recognising the environmental impact of motoring and would like to do something about it and those seeking to express their concern and ease their conscience without causing themselves too much inconvenience. The socially aware mainstream, but more hesitant to buy new technology.
Value Conscious those who are looking for the ideal combination of high fuel economy and low maintenance cost in long run at an affordable price.
The target buyer is more likely to come from an urban area or a large city.
We can summarize the competitive advantages have green technology, environmental product which can reduce CO2 emission and save petrol
3.2 Marketing Mix
Two important factors have to be considered when selecting the communication for the Prius: The type of product (high involvement) and its stage in the product life cycle (introduction). These two factors influence the consumer/customer buying behaviour and therefore the mix has to be adjusted to fit these conditions.
Public relations, “the development and maintenance of good relationships with different publics”
(Smith, 1997), are essentially information within an independent medium (e.g. magazine, newspaper) that occurred because a company provided them with those (e.g. press release). Public relations are useful because they enjoy a high credibility at a low cost, but the exact message cannot be controlled.
This communication form will be of major importance for the Prius campaign as many buyers draw their information from the media. Being represented, talked about in those will be an essential step in at least being considered as a choice.
Personal selling is very important because a car is a high involvement product and affords more conviction for purchase which is given by PS. Personal selling will be carried out by the local dealers who in advance should have been trained to be familiar with the Prius car (dealership launch material, conferences) and its advantages and how to overcome objections.
Personal selling will also be of major importance when targeting the corporate/ fleet buying segment, because these customers buy in bulk they expect to be given a presentation by a Toyota's representative to convince them that Prius is suitable for their fleet.
The cost of training and personal selling are assumed to be covered in dealer's and Toyota's overheads.
Sales promotion, monetary incentives to buy, is most effective to trigger a decision or purchase. SP is useful at the beginning of the product life cycle to increase acceptance or provoke a trial. Toyota is already selling the Prius beneath its production cost. However an additional third party sales promotion mechanism has been put into place: Powershift, a government backed agency, charged with encouraging cleaner fuels, will refund a £1000 to the first 200 buyers of the Prius. To get the biggest benefit out of this Toyota should advertise this fact. Otherwise SP should be used spontaneously once a slow down in sales can be detected (PLC).
Advertising, a paid form of non-personal mass communication from an identified sponsor, should be the major communication mix ingredient for this campaign. Advertising is controllable, but expensive esp TV. Advertising can be used to increase awareness, create interest and inform about Prius USPs.
Customers or consumer are reached by placing adverts in their target media.
Direct mail in the form of newsletters can useful for this campaign to create awareness (pre launch) and inform or offer of opportunity to book a test drive. Toyota has already a database in place but can
also buy further data. Direct mail is also important when targeting the corporate buyers and provides them with detailed information about the Prius. People who receive direct mail in error or those who are not interested in the offers might feel annoyed and lower their image of Toyota.