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As consumers change so must the retail industry and the retail sector that emerges over the next 5 to 10 years will likely be far different than at the beginning of the century – it will be marked by greater innovation, integration and responsiveness to consumer needs. Yet getting there is no easy task and signs of recent challenges include high profile bankruptcies such as British Home Stores in the UK and Circuit city in the USA. The result is a sharp reappraisal of the traditional retail industry business model – with disruptive innovation comes systemic shifts e.g. those taking place in the retail sector reached deep into the industry’s structural foundation, rocking everything from how the industry sources its products, to how it markets them, dealing with an increasingly fragmented demographic consumer base, which is rapidly embracing technology and innovation. Whilst the dust has not fully settled, the outlines of the 21st-century retail model are beginning to take shape, and the picture that is emerging is that whilst many retailers are embracing and welcoming change, many others are delaying making the changes that are necessary.
Newspaper accounts bring daily banner headlines about an industry in the throes of change. For some, business models and financial practices that have stood the test of time for many decades are now under siege. Even the most resilient retailers have felt the strain of rapidly deteriorating market conditions, and have worked to find new ways of satisfying an ever more fragmented and the value conscious consumer base. Among the most pivotal economic challenges affecting the industry today are weakened consumer spending, cautious consumer attitudes, suffering retail sales as consumers pull back on spending and a volatile economic environment, combined with increasing expenditure by consumers online.
2.2. Your brief:
You are to take on the role of a marketing consultant for a retailer of your choice. You can choose any retailer, from any country, just so long as there is sufficient data available in the public domain. It does not have to be a physical retailer and it does not necessarily have to be in decline – for instance there are many retailers that might benefit from a professional marketing strategy.
Your task is to provide an analysis of the marketing environment and identify the key issues/challenges facing the retailer, to set marketing objectives and develop a marketing strategy for the retailer. You have been asked to specifically address the targeting and positioning of your chosen retailer and the way in which it utilises its marketing mix to achieve this. The strategic marketing plan should cover the next 3 to 5 years.
In your strategic marketing plan you need to address the following tasks:
Task 1: The Audit (10 marks) - you should provide a thorough, logically structured analysis of the market and your chosen retailer, using a variety of information sources to support your analysis. You will need to consider internal and external influences (including competition) and use facts and figures, where appropriate, to provide evidence to support your analysis. The analysis should use at least three different audit tools for example TOWS, PESTLE, STP analysis, Five Forces Analysis and the models should be attached as an appendix at the end of the report
Task 2: Key Issues and challenges (10 marks)- based on your audit, you should identify what the key challenges and barriers to success are, including the key issues surrounding its approach to STP, which should be supported by credible and up-to-date sources.
Task 3: Marketing objectives (10 marks) - Your objectives must include sales or market-share forecasts and may also relate to other goals such as satisfaction, repeat custom, branding etc. They should be formulated in a specific and measurable manner (SMART). The marketing objectives should be linked to the key issues and challenges identified in the marketing audit (Task 1).
Task 4: Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP) (20 marks) – you need to summarise your retailer’s approach to STP and make appropriate recommendations e.g. indicate how to target different types of consumers, perhaps to reposition itself in the market place, make recommendations how to improve the organisations approach to branding ….. You should base your proposals on tools and theory discussed in this module and provide a clear rationale to support your recommendations, a rationale supported by concepts and theories from the syllabus.
Task 5: Marketing Mix (30 marks) - provide detailed recommendations for THREE of the marketing mix elements which will enable the company to achieve its desired targeting and positioning. Recommendations need to be fully justified using concepts, theories and frameworks from the syllabus
Task 6: Controls and measurements (10 marks) – you are required to provide controls and measurements that will enable the organisation to monitor its recommended marketing mix and thereby help ensure it achieves its plans with an appropriate timescale. These should include:
Presentation (10 marks) – a clear structure and presentation of the report, with a professional writing style, correct application of Harvard referencing style and evidence of wider reading
Prepare a strategic marketing plan, using academic theory to support your plan, applying the following structure:
Assessment Marking Scheme (For Students)
Marketing audit including external, internal and competitor analysis
External and internal analysis:
Key Issues and challenges
Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (word count guideline is 500-600):
Marketing Mix Recommendations
Controls and Measurement