- Executive Summary
- Apple Inc. and the Launch of iPhone X
- Comparing Amazon and Walmart Based on the Marketing Mix
- How Product Perception and Price Affects Purchase Behavior
- Price-Adjustment Strategies for a Hair Salon
- The Coca-Cola Advertisement and the Market Communication Process
Marketing is generally regarded as “placing the right product in the right place, at the right price and at the right time.” The use of a marketing mix ensures the creation and execution of a successful marketing strategy, and it is usually effected via the 4P’s of marketing, which includes product, price, promotion, and place. These four variables are interdependent and require planning in conjunction with one another to ascertain that the action plans within the 4Ps are complimentary and aligned. This is because, depending on the target market, purchase behavior is influenced by a wide variety of factors that every business should consider. Furthermore, they are of great benefit as they can help corporations achieve their marketing targets, such as profits, sales, customer retention, and satisfaction. Overall, a marketing strategy is ineffective without the 4Ps.
Apple Inc. and the Launch of iPhone X
The iPhone X, an eleventh generation iPhone device, was officially released by Apple Inc. on September 12, 2017 (Gajanan, 2017). The intention of designing the smartphone device was to illustrate what the company regarded as the technology of the future. By 2018, the tech giant had sold over 50 million iPhone X units, thereby generating relatively high revenues for the company (Silver, 2018). This positive trend can be attributed to Apple Inc.’s marketing mix and strategy used to launch the phone. Regarding the first P, product mix, iPhone X was the latest smartphone to be launched by the company in 2017. It was comparatively unique from other past iPhone versions and smartphones developed by other brands because it had several unique specifications. For instance, it has a “bezel-less” design; thus, it lacked a chin, which is dissimilar to other Android phones. It was also the first mobile device to use an OLED screen in that the home button was substituted with a face recognition feature (Apple, 2020). In terms of the price, Apple Inc. utilized a premium pricing strategy, and this was reflected in the launch of the iPhone X as it was being sold at $999 (Gajanan, 2017). This made it by far the most expensive iPhone.
Considering place, Apple Inc. is a global brand and distributes its products via both online and red-brick store platforms. Although it has categorized its market into geographic segments, its chief operating segments comprise the US and China. In these countries, Apple Inc. sold iPhone X directly to customers via online platforms, retail stores, and other third-party cellular carriers. Similar to its unique products, the brand employed a distinct marketing strategy for the promotion of iPhone X. Taking into account that the brand name, iPhone X, was substantial to generate high levels of publicity, the company utilized a combination of online and offline advertising channels to emphasize the device’s unique features. The main online platforms used include Amazon and other e-retailers selling iPhones, several blogs, and websites.
Comparing Amazon and Walmart Based on the Marketing Mix
Amazon and Walmart are among the world’s largest retailers, and their strength lies in their marketing mix. There are four core principles of a marketing mix, and the table below gives a comparison of the 4Ps between the two retail giants.
|Product||It is a multi-brand retail store dealing with an extensive variety of products ranging from hardware, groceries, electrical appliances, furniture and beauty products, among others (Walmart, 2020). The availability of a range of products enables the company offer customers what they require.||Products are divided into four categories (Sadq, Sabir, & Saeed, 2018): |
Amazon websites: It offers online retail services through which it an array of products via Amazon or third-party sellers.
Electronic devices:These include Fire TVs and tablets, Kindle books, and Echo dot.
Media content:It provides cloud-based services, which can be used to produce content.
Amazon Web Services (AWS): This consists of storage, computing and database products and services. AWS is used by developers and companies of all sizes.
|Price||Walmart has majored on the Every Day Low Price (EDLP), which is consistent with the company’s business strategy of cost leadership. These customer-friendly prices enable the company to focus on bulk sales to ensure profitability despite the thin profit margins. |
In addition to the EDLP is the market-oriented pricing strategy, particularly for house-branded products and media content provided in Vudu. Last is the flat-rate subscription pricing technique that is applied to unlimited deliveries, specifically on sales made via Walmart’s website.
|The cost leadership pricing strategy is at the core of Amazon’s pricing strategy as it often reduces its prices until they beat competitors for all products (Sadq et al., 2018). Therefore, this makes it more competitive and attractive to the target market. |
Amazon also applies other alternative pricing strategies in specific segments, such as price discrimination and value-based strategies (Sadq et al., 2018). In the former, prices for similar products are listed differently depending on the geographic location, such as the UK and the US (Amazon, 2020). In the latter, prices are set based on consumers’ perception of a product’s value.
|Promotion||It uses a combination of sales promotions, public relations, personal selling, and advertisements that utilize e-commerce, |
social media, and television platforms. Sales promotions entail the use of special discounts and deals. On the other hand, personal selling involves sales agents trying to convince customers to buy new products or product deals. Lastly, in public relations, Walmart uses initiatives, such as press releases and charity programs to notify consumers of their policies and strategies. Amazon and Walmart are among the world’s largest retailers, and their strength lies in their marketing mix. There are four core principles of a marketing mix, and the table below gives a comparison of the 4Ps between the two retail giants.
|Amazon utilizes a variety of promotional channels, and these include advertisements, public relations, sales promotions, and direct |
marketing. The company employs affiliate websites to display corresponding links to products sold on the Amazon website. Furthermore, public relations strategies such as Amazon Smile, which enhance consumer perception (Sadq et al., 2018). Third, the company uses discounts and special deals to generate more revenue.
|Place||Walmart sells its products and services on both online and physical platforms. Physical stores include Walmart Express Stores, Walmart Discount Stores, Walmart Supercenters and the Walmart Neighborhood Market (Walmart, 2020).||Initially, Amazon lacked physical stores as it regarded itself as an explicit e-commerce retailer. However, in 2015, the company has opened half-dozen bookstores (Amazon, 2020).|
How Product Perception and Price Affects Purchase Behavior
Several factors affect the price that I am willing to pay for particular products; however, overall quality outweighs the price. For instance, when it comes to automobiles, I evaluate the cost of ownership, such as the price of insurance, maintenance, and fuel accumulated over the years. These expenses are not allowed to exceed fifteen-percent of my total monthly budget. Preference is given to fuel-efficient vehicles as they are both cost-saving and environmentally sustainable. Other factors considered are the car features and technology. On the other hand, I am a huge advocate for eating fresh and unpackaged products when it comes to frozen food. Nevertheless, in the few instances that I but frozen food, the purchase decision is primarily based on their nutritional content.
When buying a pair of jeans, my purchase is affected by the quality of the fabric, in which preference is given to blended natural material as compared to synthetics. Second is the brand, in which inclination is granted to Levi’s as it is a veteran jean brand. Although there are several other jean brands, such as Calvin Klein, the former offers better quality at a lower price. Lastly, when purchasing athletic shoes, preference is given to Adidas and Nike; however, Adidas is a favorite. This is because although both brands are associated with high-quality athletic shoes, the former is cheaper (Mahdi, Abbas, & Mazar, 2015). In all product categories, there are differences in terms of the brand among members of my group, and this is based on the variation of style and finances among individuals.
Price-Adjustment Strategies for a Hair Salon
Increasing the customer base is one of the critical strategies for operating a successful salon business. Industry-customized marketing practices can enable a salon to recruit clients and connect with them; hence, maximizing profits. Some of the price-adjustment strategies that Alicia can implement comprise initiating referral and loyalty programs, creating complimentary services, and providing calendar-based price promotions (López-Jáuregui, Martos-Partal, & Labeaga, 2019). By offering add-ons to the present fee-based services, Alicia can make clients believe that clients are getting more than that which they are paying for. For instance, complementing a deluxe package with cheaper services such as a foot exfoliation or massage. This might compel customers to purchase high-end treatments.
With regard to loyalty and referral programs, Alicia can use this platform to act as brand ambassadors by communicating to others regarding the service quality offered. For loyalty programs, customers should be rewarded by giving a free haircut after the purchase of five haircuts. On the other hand, for referrals, Alicia could consider offering a free hairstyling or facial when a customer recommends a friend. This technique will enable the salon to expand its customer base as well as increase loyalty. Lastly, Alicia can utilize calendar-based price promotions, such as providing Saturday specials like giving a ten-percent off to services offered that day. These also include seasonal specials, such as discounts on pedicures for summer, hair conditioning treatments for winter, and massages or facials for spring.
The Coca-Cola Advertisement and the Market Communication Process
Marketing communication comprises all media, messages, and activities used by companies to persuade the target clients to purchase their products or services. Integrated marketing communication is a marketing communication strategy in which different modes (sales promotion, direct marketing, advertising, public relations, social media, personal selling, and online communications) are merged to create a seamless customer experience. Coca-Cola is the world’s renowned beverage manufacturer. With the valid selection and use of integrated marketing communication components, the company became one of the most successful global corporations. Campaigns initiated and done by Coca-Cola have several objectives to achieve. They include forming the buying behavior, encouraging the liking for Coca-Cola beverages, and increasing revenue, among others (Takalani, 2015). This can be reflected in the images used by Coca-Cola for marketing campaigns, as that shown in the image below:
An analysis of the image above illustrates the three types of messages intended to be communicated by marketing campaigns conducted by Coca-Cola. First is the message that the beverage is the best solution to quench thirst. Second is that drinking Coca-Cola is allied to being trendy, “cool” and stylish. Third is that Coca-Cola is part of a lifestyle.
Overall, marketing, specifically the marketing mix and communication process, is an essential component that every business should keenly consider regardless of its size. Marketing mix entails the product, place, promotion, and price that influence the consumers’ decisions to purchase a product or service. A business can control these factors to a certain degree, and when strategically blended, the result in desired behaviors in the target audience. On the other hand, an effective integrated marketing communications strategy that constitutes all communication components enables a business to get its intended message to the target audience.
Amazon. (2020). Amazon. Web.
Apple. (2020). iPhone X – Technical specifications. Web.
Coca-Cola. (2016). Coca-Cola photographers share their favorite ‘Taste the Feeling’ images. Coca-Cola Australia, Web.
Gajanan, M. (2017). The iPhone X is the most expensive smartphone Apple’s ever made. Time, Web.
López-Jáuregui, Á., Martos-Partal, M., & Labeaga, J.M. (2019). Impact of SMEs strategy on loyalty: The hairdresser case. Spanish Journal of Marketing – ESIC, 23(2), pp. 273-293.
Mahdi, H., Abbas, M., & Mazar, T. (2015). A comparative analysis of strategies and business models of Nike, Inc. and Adidas Group with special reference to competitive advantage in the context of a dynamic and competitive environment. International Journal of Business Management and Economic Research, 6(3), pp. 167-177.
Sadq, Z.M., Sabir, H.N., & Saeed, V.S. (2018). Analyzing the Amazon success strategies. Journal of Process Management – New Technologies, 6(4), pp.65-70.
Silver, S. (2018). iPhone X was world’s best-selling smartphone model in first quarter. Apple Insider, Web.
Takalani, M. (2015). A review and analysis of the role of integrated marketing communication message typology in the development of communication strategies. African Journal of Marketing, 7(8), pp. 90-97.
Walmart. (2020). Walmart. Web.