EVALUATION OF MARKETING STRATEGY OF A MOBILE PHONE MANUFACTURER
The Case of NOKIA
Marketing is typically seen as the task of creating, promoting, and delivering goods and services to consumers and businesses (Kortler, 2005). Marketing is about stimulating demand for a company's products. Is this sense, marketing can be defined as 'the art of selling products'. However in the modern economies, marketing is more than selling. According to Peter Drucker, a leading management theorist, the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or the service fits him and sells itself. In this respect, the focus of marketing shifts from convincing people to buy a company's products to discovering the needs of the people and designing products that satisfy these needs. Thus marketing activities should result in customer who is ready to buy. At this point all that is needed is to make the right product available to consumers. A company that is going to be successful in the market place will be that company that will correctly discover the needs of consumers and produce products that satisfy them. This is what is called 'right' product based on careful marketing research. Based on the above, marketing is well explained by the definition provided by the American Marketing Association. Thus marketing is defined as "the process of planning and executing conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational goals. Marketing deals with identifying and meeting human and social needs. Indeed marketing can be defined as simply 'meeting needs profitably'.
Marketing is an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating, and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders. It is the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping
Marketing management is the art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value. It is the conscious effort to achieve desired exchange outcomes with target markets.
A company's marketing strategy will be influenced by the chosen target market and the marketing philosophy being practiced by the management.
A single company or product can rarely satisfy everyone in a market. People have different tastes and preferences. People differ in terms of age, gender, beliefs, income, religion, and location. All these factors have a bearing on the products that appeal to them. Therefore, marketers must start by dividing or segmenting the market. A company must identify and profile distinct groups of buyers who might prefer or require varying product and services mixes. A company's marketing strategy should target that segment that promises the greatest opportunity. The developed market offering is then positioned in the minds of the target buyers as delivering some central benefits.
Marketing Orientations or philosophies
A marketing philosophy is an orientation or principle that guides a company's marketing activities or efforts. It defines the relative weights that are given to the interests of the organization, the customers, and the society. It is imperative that marketing activities be carried out under well thought out philosophy of efficiency, effectiveness, and social responsibility (Kortler, 2005). Organizations can conduct their marketing activities under different marketing philosophies. They include: the production concept, the product concept, the selling concept, the marketing concept, and holistic marketing concept.
- Production concept
- Product concept
- Selling concept
- Marketing concept
- Customer concept
- Societal marketing concept
This concept holds that consumers will prefer products that are widely available and inexpensive. Such a business will concentrate on achieving high production efficiency, low costs, and mass distribution. The assumption is that consumers are primarily interested in product availability and low prices. This orientation is more often applied in developing countries, where it is assumed, consumers are more interested in obtaining the product than its features. However with the rapid globalization and more informed consumers, this philosophy is rapidly loosing its meaning.
Product concept holds that consumers will favor those products that offer the most quality, performance, or innovative features. Managers in these organizations focus on making superior products and improving them over time. The assumption is that buyers admire well made products and can evaluate quality and performance. Companies that are product oriented believe that their engineers exceptional products that will meet customer expectations. Normally no customer input is sought and competition is not a consideration. This is a 'make and sell' philosophy that does not focus on the customer.
The selling concept holds that consumers and businesses, if left alone, will not buy enough of the organization's products. Aggressive selling and promotion effort is needed to make sales. According to this concept, consumers typically show buying inertia or resistance and therefore must be coaxed into buying. Money is spent on television and radio advertising, posters, mailings. The selling concept is ideal for unsought goods, goods that buyers normally do not think of buying. Companies that are experiencing overcapacity also engage in aggressive marketing techniques. Their aim is to sell what they make rather than make what the market wants.
This is a 'customer centered' philosophy. Instead of hunting for customers, marketing is seen as 'gardening'. The task is not to find the right customers for the company products but the right products for the target customers. According to this concept, the key to achieving organizational goals consists of the company being more effective than competitors in creating, delivering, and communicating superior customer value to its chosen target markets. The marketing philosophy is preoccupied with the idea of satisfying the needs of the customer by means of the product and the whole cluster of things associated with creating, delivering and finally consuming it. The customer is the king. The marketing concept rests on four pillars: target market, customer needs, integrated marketing, and profitability.
Companies do best when they choose their target markets carefully and prepare tailored marketing programs. Nokia has segmented its market in six regions; Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and North America. Each region has unique needs addressed by the company in terms of product quality, features, pricing, and durability.
This involves shaping separate offers, services, and messages to individual customers. The company is forced to collect information on each customer's past transactions, demographics, psychographics, and media and distribution preferences. They hope to achieve profitable growth through capturing a larger share of each customer's expenditures by building a higher customer loyalty and focusing on customer lifetime value.
This concept holds that the organization's task is to determine the needs, wants, and interests of target markets and to deliver the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than competitors in a way that preserves or enhances the consumer's and the society's well being. It requires marketers to build social and ethical considerations into their marketing practices. In the modern world that is faced with environmental deterioration, water pollution, resource shortages, hunger, poverty, explosive population, and mushrooming slums, marketing practices should consider the long term benefit of the society or public.
Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging internet and communications industries. The company has operations in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and North America. In brief the company has a world wide presence.
Nokia began as a paper mill company dealing in paper, rubber, and cables in 1865 in South Western, Finland. The company changed to Nokia Corporation in 1968 and positioned itself for a pioneering role in the early evolution of mobile communications. The period 1992 to 2000 experienced a boom in mobile phone use. Nokia made this sector as its core business. By the turn of the century, Nokia had become the world leader in mobile phones.
- Corporate Business Development
- Marketing strategy in place
- Advertising Program
Nokia is a consumer led company. There is a progressive and continuous increase in consumer involvement with technology and communications globally. People are broadening their modes of communication to include the web and, social networks are becoming central to how people communicate. People want to be truly connected, independent of time and place, in a way that is very personal to them. And Nokia's promise is to connect people in new and better ways.
Nokia's strategy is to build trusted consumer relationships by offering compelling and valued consumer solutions that combine beautiful devices with context enriched services.
The Nokia Corporate Business Development has the responsibility to manage Nokia's Strategic growth areas. Their aim is to look for breakthrough ideas that are industry shakers. These are innovative business concepts and technologies that integrate with and expand beyond Nokia core business.
Nokia aims to connect people with new services that are meaningful to them and offer greater benefits by enabling more transactions on the device. New services stem from the local needs of consumers and local expertise.
The company heavily depends on advertising and promotion activities to popularize its products. In addition, the company through its research unit is continuously involved in searching for product features that meet the evolving needs of diverse customers. There are different types of Nokia phones in the market ranging from a cheaper to expensive models. The aim is to satisfy the needs of diverse markets.
Advertising is any paid form of non personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods, or services by an identified sponsor. It is important to start by identifying the target market and buyer motives. An advertising program has five components: mission, money, message, media, and measurement. Advertising objectives must flow from prior decisions on target market, market positioning, and marketing mix. Advertising objectives may be to inform, persuade, remind, or reinforce.
OVERAL BUSINESS STRATEGY
A strategy is the direction and scope of an organization over a long term, which achieves advantage for the organization through its configuration of resources within a changing environment to the needs of markets and fulfill stakeholder expectations.
This is the highest strategy level. It is concerned with overall purpose and scope of the firm (Jelassi and Enders, 2009). Corporate strategy addresses issues such as allocation of resources, acquisition, and products to produce. Marketing strategies of the firm are meant to contribute to the realization of the corporate objectives.
Incorporating the global environment into marketing planning
Business and competition is increasingly taking a global perspective. Goods manufactured in foreign countries are easily finding markets in distant countries thanks to the improved means of communication and transport.
Use of e-business in marketing management
Marketing activities can now be conducted online. Customers are able to determine the type of merchadize they require on the internet. Communication between suppliers and customers can be done via the internet.
Nokia has adopted the Marketing philosophy or orientation in its marketing activities. The company has also produced a variety of cell phones to meet the diverse market needs. The company has a strong research department that is charged with the responsibility of determining the consumer needs and finding innovative products to meet those needs.
- Jelassi and Ender (2009), 'Strategies for E-Business' Prentice Hall, Essex, England.
- Kortler P (2005), 'Marketing Management', 7th ed, India, New Delhi, Pearson Education