Strategic Marketing Plan
Part A: Environmental Analysis and SWOT Analysis
The chosen organization for this research work is Wal-Mart. It was founded in 1962 in the US. Its mission is to save people’s money and make their life better. Its vision is to make every day easier for busy families. It sells a wide variety of products to its customers that includes apparels, accessories, electronics, consumer goods, convenience products, groceries, vegetables, and many more. According to Michael (2020), Wal-Mart is the larger retailer of the world in terms of size and profits.
Amazon, Costco, Kroger, Tesco, and many more multinational retailers act as direct competitors of Wal-Mart globally. The organization has created a competitive advantage based on low prices. It seeks to reduce its operational cost and provide low prices to the customers (Azad, 2018). Upon applying the BCG matrix, it was found that the stars and cash cows for the company are electronic items and convenience goods respectively. They contribute heavily towards its sales. The organization should further push the sales of these products to gain higher revenues and overpower the competing brands.
Economic forces can affect the purchasing power of the consumers. According to Maheshwari et al (2020), Covid- 19 has affected the consumer’s income, and this resulted in lower sales and profits for the company in the year 2020. The organization experienced low sales in many of its product categories such as home appliances, kitchen appliances, apparels, and others. This was because of the low purchasing power of the consumers. However, the sales of necessity products, convenience products, groceries, and others kept the company going even during the pandemic.
The recent laws created by the government regarding sanitization of retail outlets, maintain social distancing in the outlets and ensure safety for the employees as well as for the customers. This is time and cost consuming for the company.
Legal, Regulatory, and Ethical Issues
The legal and regulatory factors related to the operating hours of the retail outlets during the Covid times is directly affecting its business. Also, the retail stores are shut down for many weeks or months if there is a lockdown in a country. Moreover, the ban on plastic bags is affecting the company’s cost. Also, the society expects the company to operate in an ethical manner. Thus, Wal-Mart must operate very efficiently to live up to the expectations of the government and society.
Wal-Mart uses advanced technologies such as radio frequency identification, auto replenishment systems, and more. Advanced technologies can further help the company in streamlining its business operations. For instance, the organization can use virtual reality in its retail stores as well to make sure that the customers can visualize the home appliances or furniture at their homes. This can add value to its offering. Technology can help in enhancing its productivity and reducing the cost.
The positive perception of consumers towards Wal-Mart is a major advantage for the company. This is mainly because it may help in nurturing positive relations with them in future. In addition, the inclination of consumers towards online shopping is high. They either do not have time to visit retail outlets or are finding it unsafe at present. Thus, the organization must make necessary changes to its business model and make sure that it lives up to the expectations of the customers.
Current Target Markets
The current primary target market of the company can be understood with the help of demographic, geographic and psychographic factors. These are middle income consumers between the age group of 30 – 45 years (Kotler & Armstrong, 2016). These consumers are based in the US and across the globe. The organization mainly targets customers that have a positive psychology towards low prices. Besides this, the organization also targets the young customers and attract them towards the fashion products.
Review Current Marketing
The company undertakes effective marketing tactics. It focuses on social media marketing, internet marketing, print media marketing, direct marketing, and public relations to make sure that the customers can find important information about the company such as its products, prices, discounts, and locations etc. It should be noted that the organization uses the concept of integrated marketing communication or IMC (Kotler & Keller, 2015). This concept focuses on combining different tools of promotion mix to reach out to the customers and attract them.
- Low pricing strategy is a major strength for the company.
- Positive brand image also acts as a strength.
- Detailed product assortment helps it to attract customers.
- Integrated supply chain management assists it in streamlining the operations.
- High employee turnover is a major weakness for the company.
- Employee dissatisfaction and demotivation because of long working hours affects its productivity.
- High concentration on its ecommerce format can open a new market segment for the company.
- It can enter more host countries to further expand its business operations.
- Augmenting competition in the global retailing industry is a major threat for the company.
- Dynamic business environment is yet another threat for the company.
Strengths to Opportunities & Converting Weaknesses and Threats
The organization can focus on maintaining good relations with its employees. This can be done by offering them incentives and bonuses for their hard work. Also, the focus should be on providing career growth to the employees (Azad, 2016). This will keep the employees motivated at work and make sure that they work hard to enhance the organizational productivity. Thus, it can be converted into a major strength for Wal-Mart. The organization can use this strength to expand in the host country and gain success.
Also, the organization can use the dynamics of business environment to gain more strengths. For instance, during the Covid times, the consumers are concerned about visiting retail outlets. The organization can concentrate on its online model to make sure that it serves to the customers at their homes. This will also lift the legal restrictions on sanitizing and social distancing in retail outlets. Hence, it can be transformed in a major opportunity for the company. Moreover, the consumers are very much conscious about their spending during the pandemic times. With the help of its low pricing strategy, the organization can attract more customers and satisfy their needs.
Based on the SWOT analysis, the following objectives can be formulated:
- To enhance its online sales by 15 percent in one year’s time.
- To attain 90 percent employee satisfaction rate.
- To maintain positive relationships with 95 percent of its present customers.
- To enhance the customer loyalty by 25 percent in one year’s time.