Unit 19 Marketing planning

 


Marketing Planning
Unit 19




Table of Contents












Introduction
Marketing planning can be defined as the process of developing comprehensive blueprint for the organization in order to attain the overall marketing efforts. Different steps would be developed as a part of the marketing planning process so as to develop different elements of marketing such as marketing mix, situational analysis, developing STP elements and monitoring of the marketing efforts made by the organization. Present paper would evaluate the marketing planning process for Easyjet (Best, 2014). Present paper would attain below mentioned four learning outcomes:
LO1: Be able to compile marketing audit
LO2: Understand the main barriers to marketing planning
LO3: Be able to formulate a marketing plan for a product or service
LO4: Understand ethical issues in marketing







TASK 1
Marketing planning is an important aspect for the overall marketing strategy of an organization and necessity of the marketing planning can be considered looking into the increasing competitive environment wherein an organization need to maintain loyal customer base. In context to service marketing traditional marketing mix elements i.e. product, price, place and promotion are complemented by three more elements i.e. people, processes and physical evidence. With changing demand and need for consumers marketing planning process are also undergoing considerable shift (Blas, 2012). Change in the consumer demand is driven through the technological developments and change in lifestyle for the consumers.
One of the recent examples for change in marketing planning process is due to emergence of social media tools as with increasing social media promotional tools such as Facebook and Twitter marketers are adopting these tools for promotion of their products & services. Availability of information for the consumers is playing an important role wherein consumers are searching and analyzing information so as to make final decision for the purchase of particular product or service. Some of the key trends in marketing planning process include re-engineering, outsourcing, e-commerce, benchmarking, alliance, partner-supplier, market centered and global & local scenario etc (Jobber, 2010).
Shift in the global airline marketing domain was experienced in last decade with the survey in the European context wherein consumers were asked to give their preference between a low cost airline such as Easyjet and premium airline such as British Airways. It was revealed through survey that consumers in Europe would prefer low cost airline such as Easyjet. This is the factor responsible for the fast increase in consumer base of Easyjet from a mere 3 million consumer base in year 1994 to 17 million consumers in year 1999.
Structure of the airline industry in Europe has undergone a major shift in year 1993 with the deregulation in the airline industry which allowed low cost airlines in Europe to flourish. Looking into the structure of airline industry in Europe there are mainly three types of airline which are full cost full service airline, low cost no frill airlines and charter airlines. Demand for low frill airline has developed due to the reason that businessman is not willing to spend much cost on a short duration travel (Baines et al, 2011). This has allowed Easyjet to develop their customer base in Europe and impact of this can be seen over the premium airline e.g. British airways has incurred the losses of 300 million pound in year 2000 due to increasing customer base from low cost airline such as Easyjet.    
SWOT analysis can be conducted in order to analyze Easyjet and its operations which is as under:
Strength
Weakness
§  Easyjet has a established brand name in consumer mind with low cost positioning
§  Easyjet has low unit cost due to no frill services offered by the company
§  Financial performance of the company is good and Easyjet is growing its sales year on year
§  Easyjet has considerable market share of 27% in European airline market
§  Unit cost of Easyjet is quite low as compared to the premium airlines but airline operators such as Ryanair are having much lower unit cost
§  No frill positioning of the Easyjet sometimes related with the low reliability by consumers
§  Earning for Easyjet is seasonal in nature
Opportunities
Threats
§  There is possibility for cost cutting by Easyjet which would lead to higher margins for the company
§  Revenue maximization can be done by utilizing higher capacity through attractive marketing strategies
§  Easyjet can expand its market by aggressive marketing into developing countries such as India and China
§  Increasing airport prices creates threat for the airline players in Europe
§  Increasing labour cost would pose challenge on margins and create dependency of airline operators on their labour base
§  Fuel prices are fluctuating due to change in oil prices
Table 1: Showing the SWOT analysis for Easyjet airline
In order to analyze the aviation industry PEST analysis can be carried out which is given as under:
§  Political factor: Political environment has high impact on the airline industry and regulation in airline industry develops the stable business environment. Political environment in airline industry is more beneficial to the consumers as compared to the airline operators. Political environment in airline industry gives higher emphasis on consumer safety and take strict action to avoid monopoly in airline industry.   
§  Economical factor: Global economic slowdown in past has high impact on the consumer spending power and businesses. Per capita spending for consumers has reduced in recent time and this has lead to the development of low cost airlines in the European context (Peter & Donnely, 2007).
§  Social factor: Consumer preference has shifted in recent time with consumers attracted towards lower cost and higher facilities. Further with the end of baby boomer generation there is reduction in the profit margins of the airline industries.
§  Technological factor: With technological developments in the airline industry such as online booking, cancellation, payment facilities, online promotions for airline and other technology related aspects there is shift from the traditional operations of the airline industry.
In question 1.3 a SWOT analysis has been used in order to examine the operations of Easyjet. Strength of the organization would create opportunities for Easyjet while it is important for Easyjet to safeguard itself from possible threats by making improvements in weakness. In order to expand into the developing market such as India and China, brand reputation and financial performance of the company would be helpful. Cost cutting can be done by Easyjet through leveraging on the existing experience of the organization (Chambell et al, 2012).
Threats for increasing competition, increasing fuel prices and higher changes for the airports can be combat by reducing the reliance on European markets. These markets are having much higher charges as compared to the other developing nations wherein charges would be much lower. Increasing competition from the market players can be combat through low frill and low cost offering made by Easyjet to their consumers.
Looking into the UK aviation industry from PEST analysis it can be said that there is deregulation in the UK airline market due to increasing number of market players in UK aviation industry. Increase in economic scale for market players in UK aviation industry has supported the deregulation in UK market. There is relaxation in the ownership rules in the aviation industry in UK and this is due to increasing pressure from USA and European countries. There is downfall observed in the number of consumers in UK airline industry and premium airlines are launching their low cost sub units into low cost segment. In addition to this there are several airlines such as Swiss air and Aer Lingus which are experiencing economic issues (Stevens et al, 2005).
There is shift in consumers demand for the airline services and consumers are looking for customized services at low cost. With increasing consumer demand for the additional services there is higher pressure on the business margins of the airline industry. UK is technologically advanced and ahead of other countries for the airline industry. There is increasing trend for the e-ticketing, and e-commerce in UK.
McDonald’s ten barriers model can be used in order to assess the barriers encountered in the marketing planning process and these can be given as under:
1.      Conflict between strategy and tactics
2.      Isolation of marketing operations and marketing functions
3.      Conflict between marketing concept and marketing function
4.      Barriers related to organization
5.      Lack for in depth analysis
6.      Lack of knowledge and skill set
7.      Conflict between output and process
8.      Hostile corporate culture
9.      Failure in prioritization of the objectives
10.  Lack of Systematic approach to marketing planning process
Out of the above factors there are four factors related with Easyjet and these are isolation of marketing operations & marketing functions, lack of knowledge & skills, lack of systematic approach and failure in prioritization of objectives. There is isolation between marketing function and operations for Easyjet as company is doing marketing into exaggerated way and its operations are not up to the mark (Kotler, 2008). Marketing functions performed by different departments are not related with each other which are creating big hindrance for the Easyjet marketing function. There is lack of knowledge and skill set for the marketers at Easyjet due to which segmentation of the organization is not correct and marketing efforts are wasted. There is lack of systematic approach in marketing planning as it is short term in nature and does not focus on the attainment of marketing objectives. Easyjet has developed several marketing objectives due to which company is not able to prioritize its objectives and this is creating confusion in the marketing efforts of the organization. For example, promotional strategy of Easyjet sometimes compete with premium airlines like British airways while at other times it compete with Ryanair which is the main competitor of the Easyjet.  
Below ways can be adopted by Easyjet in order to overcome the barriers faced by the organization in its business operations:
§  Lack of knowledge & skills: Proper marketing analysis need to be conducted in order to understand the segmentation, targeting and positioning strategy of the organization. Training need to be organized for the staff of the organization so as to provide knowledge and skill set for them.
§  Isolation of marketing function and operations: It is important for Easyjet to develop synchronize various business functions such as sales, marketing, finance and operations in order to develop effective operations for the organization. In order to avoid isolation it is important to develop common objectives for them (Laermer and Simmons, 2007).
§  Failure in prioritization of objectives: Easyjet should have set objectives and priority of the objectives should be defined so as to develop marketing efforts for these objectives. Depending on the marketing objectives of the organization, efforts would be made and marketing strategy would be defined.
§  Lack of systematic approach: Marketing planning need to be highly systematic in Easyjet and marketers need to develop systematic efforts so that overall marketing objectives can be attained through systematic approach.
Marketing plan for Gatwick-Bejing flight would be developed and executive summary is given as under:
Executive summary: Political and market factors for the airline industry in UK favor development of the new airline between Gatwick-Bejing as UK government has relaxed the VISA norms in country. This has created opportunity for Easyjet and they are developing new route. This would help Easyjet to develop its consumer base in China and marketing plan is given as under:
Target marketing strategy
China is far away from UK but large population and low spending income of consumers would create demand for the airline services of Easyjet. This would also encourage consumers from China to visit UK. Looking into consumer need for airline services in China, discount would be offered to the consumers in off season time. Due to large population in China, Easyjet has unlimited opportunity (Baker, 2008).  
Marketing objectives
Marketing objectives for Easyjet can be given as under:
§  To deliver low cost airline services to the consumers
§  To develop winning consumer proposition due to which high number of consumers are attracted
§  To develop airline network in Europe and adding China in the network would help in order to expand customer base of Easyjet
§  Taking maximum benefits of relaxed immigration laws of UK
Alternate pricing strategy which can be adopted by Easyjet would be premium pricing strategy wherein company can impart the premium services through implementation of people, technology and processes. These premium services would be charged at premium rate so as to enhance the profitability of the organization so that initially there is high amount of profitability gain and prices can be reduced slowly so as to combat with the competition prevailing in the marketplace. Alternate distribution plan for the Easyjet can be only through internet portal so that huge discounts are offered to the consumers by availing the tickets through online methods and cost of operations would be reduced by the organization by doing online ticket reservations.
M3 Marketing plan as per template
Executive summary
Role of marketing plan in corporate strategy
Corporate strategy of the Easyjet is driven through marketing strategy developed by the organization by aiming at specific marketing goals. These goals would be attained by the Easyjet so that overall corporate goals are attained in the organizational setting.
Target market segment
Target consumer segment for Easyjet would be low income consumers looking for visit between China to UK by spending lower amount of money.
Marketing objectives
§  To deliver low cost airline services to the consumers
§  To develop winning consumer proposition due to which high number of consumers are attracted
§  To develop airline network in Europe and adding China in the network would help in order to expand customer base of Easyjet
§  Taking maximum benefits of relaxed immigration laws of UK
Technique for new product development
Test marketing and crowd sourcing can be used by Easyjet in order to develop new routes for its flight. On the test basis flight can be started for 1 month and in case there is good response then this can be continued. Further consumers response can be taken on social media on the new flight on Easyjet to know viability of the new service.
Product description
Easyjet is one of the major brands in airline marketing industry which is famous for its low cost airline services. Services offered by Easyjet are low cost, reliable and good high quality consumer service. These services are offering problem of high cost for aviation.
Pricing strategy
Pricing strategy for Easyjet is skimming so that through lower pricing company can get into the market share of China.
Distribution strategy
Distribution strategy for the Easyjet would be through online as well as offline methods.
Promotion strategy
Promotion strategy for the services of Easyjet would be integrated in nature i.e. through advertisements, print media, social media and online advertisement etc.
Implementation
In order to implement the plan it is important that Easyjet test the viability of the new services and implement the same on test basis.
QUESTIONS 3.2 discuss the relationship between corporate strategy and marketing strategy.
There is close relationship between marketing and corporate strategy of Easyjet and synchronization has been developed between the two for obtaining marketing objectives. Corporate strategies of the Easyjet are to make strong consumer base in China, disciplined use of capital, technical evaluation completed, commercial evaluation and to maintain the cost advantage for the efficient operations. Marketing strategy of the Easyjet is in correlation with the corporate objectives and marketing objectives are to do consumer friendly marketing, to develop high brand reputation for Easyjet in target location and to leverage on the internet marketing ways to promoting services of Easyjet airline. Hence by combining the corporate and marketing strategy of Easyjet it would be easy to expand the consumer base in China (Homburg et al, 2012).  
Experimentation can be done in order to check the viability of the newly developed destinations. In order to check the viability discounted tickets can be offered to the consumers and consumer response can be collected. Easy jet can gain advantage of the entrepreneurial skills developed in China and cost effective services can be offered in China due to low cost labor.
Easyjet is a British brand founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Loannou in year 1995 with the vision to place it into low cost carrier industry. Low cost advantage make is suitable for mass consumers and this is (low cost and no frill) known as orange culture. The new services offered by Easyjet would be beneficial for consumers of UK as well as China due to low cost option to connect two countries (Reid and Bojanic, 2010). Easyjet is reflected through orange color which also promotes orange culture. Size of business operations in China is small as company has just started its operations in China.  Easyjet would resolve the issue of low cost services with high reliability for its consumers in UK and China. 
Pricing strategy adopted by the company would be skimming in nature and company would try to attract large number of consumers through its low cost services in China and UK. The distribution strategy used by Easyjet would be such that company would distribute information to its flyers and also to rent the Bejing airport. This would also help the company in developing corporate distribution helpful for both British and Chinese agencies. Promotional objectives for Easyjet would be such to promote itself as the low cost carrier with lower marketing budget.  
Implementation of the plan would be done by communicating this to staff, knowing the end goals and monitoring the progress of the plan. Easyjet need to develop effective and timely communication with its staff in order to tell them about their preference and objectives. End goal of Easyjet is to develop strong consumer base in China through their marketing efforts. Monitoring for the marketing plan would be done through usage of Ansoff matrices wherein their services are placed under the star, dog, cash cow or question mark portfolio (Britten, 2012). 
Distinction
Product life cycle management is the managing entire lifecycle from inception to the manufactured products. There are mainly four phases of product lifecycle which are conceive, design, realize and service. In the first phase of the product lifecycle technical specification of the product are defined. In second phase of the product lifecycle detailed design and development of product is made. In the third phase after technical specification of the product, manufacturing method would be defined. In the final phase of the product lifecycle service information is imparted.
There are number of ethical issues involved in the airline marketing services for Easyjet and these can be given as under:
§  Commercial fraud: There are several incidents reported for commercial fraud and with the increasing complexity in business with online transactions it is important for Easyjet to ensure there are no such incidents happening.
§  Commercial defamation: Internet is an increasing source for defamation content by competitors. Defamation is a big issue for the business organizations in present age and it is important that advertisement and consumers content may not defame the Easyjet.
§  Online privacy: E-commerce has created the threat of privacy along with large number of opportunities for the business organizations.
§  Commercial information security: Sensitive information such as financial information of consumers needs to be secured from any theft (Kent, 2013).
§  Intellectual property issue: Usage of the intellectual property of the other business organization may create ethical and legal issue for the business organizations.
§  Low wage to staff: Wages to staff may create ethical and legal issue and legal compliances should be followed in order to avoid such issues.
Issue of commercial fraud was recently faced by Ryanair wherein company was charged with issues of charging additional money from their consumer such as $200 for change in name at boarding pass, $40 for issuance of boarding pass and $3.50 for water bottle etc. Ryanair has dealt with issue by creating awareness among their consumers by issuing charge list which is charged by them from consumers so that no charges are hidden and company has claimed that they are charging accurate amount from their consumers (Gregson, 2008).
Issue of low wages for staff was faced by Easyjet wherein company has dealt with this issue by developing communication with stakeholders by stating that company is offering lower wages due to increase in fuel cost, airport rent and other expenses which has strong impact on the business margins of the organization. Wages would be reviewed on improvement in these expenses.
Below can be the major consumer ethical misconduct on the marketing efforts:
§  Breach of confidentiality: Consumer information collected during imparting services if shared with the third party without their permission would be clear breach of confidentiality.
§  Deceptive practice: Deceptive practice is adopted by some organizations by offering misleading information to the consumers wherein consumers make decision based on the information imparted to them.
In case of any deceptive practice adopted by an organization there can be recall of the services and below mentioned nine steps can be used to recall the services:
§  Step-1: Getting started
§  Step-2: Identify recalled products
§  Step-3: Isolate warehouse stock of products that need to be recalled
§  Step-4: Track distributed products
§  Step-5: Determine the action that your customer must take
§  Step-6: Prepare and distribute the recall notice to your customers
§  Step-7: Check the effectiveness of the recall
§  Step-8: Notify the consumers
§  Step-9: Decide what to do with the returned products
Conclusion
Present paper has explored the marketing planning process for Easyjet and steps involved into systematic planning for Easyjet. Further market plan for the development of new route in China for the airline services by Easyjet has been assessed and it has been revealed that Easyjet would be able to develop a good consumer base in China thereby building high customer base and revenue for the organization.
References
Best R. (2014) Marketing-Based Management: Strategies for Growing Value and Profitability London: 3rd edition – published: Pearson Education
Blas, K. (2012) The Oxford Textbook of Marketing London: Oxford University Press
Jobber D. (2010). Principles and Practice of Marketing London, 6th edition, Mc Graw-Hill
Baines P, Fill C & Page K (2011) Marketing, London Oxford University Press – 2nd edtion
Peter P. & Donnely J. (2007). Marketing Management Knowledge Londong: 8th edition
Chambell D, Stonehouse G and Houston B, (2012). Business strategy: an introduction, 2nd edition, page 134
Stevens R, Wren B and Loudon D, (2005), Marketing planning guide, page 166
Kotler P. (2008). Principles of marketing, forth European edition, page 65-66.
Laermer, R; Simmons, M, (2007), Punk Marketing, New York : Harper Collins, ISBN 978-0-06-115110-1 (Review of the book by Marilyn Scrizzi, in Journal of Consumer Marketing 24(7), 2007)
Baker, M. (2008). The Strategic Marketing Plan Audit ISBN 1-902433-99-8. p. 27
Homburg, C; Sabine K, Harley K (2012). Marketing Management - A Contemporary Perspective (1st ed.), London.
Reid, D.; Bojanic, C. (2010). Hospitality Marketing Management (5 ed.). John Wiley and Sons.p. 139. ISBN 9780470088586.
Britten, F (2012). "New meaning for the term 'niche market'"NY Times.Retrieved 2014-06-27.
Kent B., (2013). The Pricing Strategy Audit, Cambridge Strategy Publications, p.41 ISBN 978-0-273-64938-0
Gregson, A, (2008). Pricing Strategies for Small Business.Self Counsel Press ISBN 978-1-55180-979-3.


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