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Marketing Introduction and Limatations sample essay


In my assignment I will be writing about Two large business agency, Marks and Spencer’s, and British Heart foundation where I will explain about the different marketing techniques and strategies they use to undertake to promote their products and services. How they Brand their company and about relationship marketing. Marks& Spencer’s

Marks and Spencer are a big franchise employing up to 78,000 employees worldwide but mostly in the UK. Marks and Spencer’s are one of UK’s leading retailers with annual sales of £8 billion. They operate more than 450 stores in 30 countries, and serve tens of millions of customers every week. Marks and Spencer’s are only as strong as the communities in which they trade. They aim to please their customers and market in an easy and understandable manner. Marks and Spencer’s promote over thousands of products, from food to clothing, each product marketed in a different fashion. Marks and Spencer’s have used many strategies to survive the recession. Them being Growth, Branding, Survival and Relationship marketing.

Survival Strategies

They started by cutting jobs and closing stores. In January 2009 Marks & Spencer’s were planning to close 25 small simply food stores one being Croydon Valley retail store. They cut 780 jobs and 450 head office jobs. Sales plummeted in the 13 weeks leading up to December 27 2008, they fell by 7.1 %.Total sales fell 3.4 % in the UK. Other strategies they used to regain money were Pension cuts, Even though Marks and Spencer’s overall sales fell by 1.2% there was an international sales increase and online retail increase. The retailer made pension cuts to save the company £175m – £200million per annum. Chairman of Marks and Spencer’s Vandavelde (2009) gave a key speech on the recovery plan. “The previous plan was like feeding a tree that was already overgrown and unhealthy. What it really needed was serious pruning back. It had unproductive limbs that were hampering its growth and a lot of its best characteristics were lost in the foliage.”

This is regarding the cuts that were being made. A strategy used by M&S is SWOT. SWOT is a method for analysing a business, its resources, and its environment. Marks and Spencer’s used the SWOT method for their food products. SWOT helped them discover: What the business does better than the competition. What competitors do better than the business? Whether the business is making the most of the opportunities available. How a business should respond to changes in its external environment. By using this method and braking down each sector they were able to research if there products would sell, and their competitors such as big organisations like Tesco would affect their up sales. Another strategy which Marks and Spencer’s use is known all the Boston Matrix.

The main value for them using this is because it’s a useful tool for analysing product portfolio decisions. Constraints on survival strategies are the financial situation, resources and material. Cash flow is a common constraint to the sales systems. The financial constraint is usually internal. A resource constraint is also an internal limitation. Machinery, power and skills are some resources with constraints. Moving too slowly to get products to where they need to be is a internal constraint. Material is also a constrain due to where we are buying it from, are we paying for quality and receiving a product of quality or are we not spending enough to make sure our products are efficiently made? This is a external constraint.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing has continued to evolve and move forward as technology opens more communication channels. This includes tools for managing relationships with customers which goes beyond simple customer services. They identify six markets which are connected to relationship marketing. They are: internal markets, supplier markets, recruitment markets, referral markets, influence markets, and customer markets. Relationship marketing is designed to develop strong connections with customers by providing them with information directly suited to their needs and interests and by promoting open communication. This approach is there for results in increased word of mouth activity. Marks and Spencer have created customer loyalty by launching different campaigns promoting different products which connect with each customer. They’ve launched fashion campaigns, food campaigns and an online clothes shop.

Marks and Spencer’s have now become partners with Tesco for Fair Trade campaigns; they now have a range of electrical appliances on sale to comply with what their customers want. Marks and Spencer’s customers want to be able to rely on them to succeed and meet their needs as individual customers rather than a group. While Marks and Spencer’s have created a relationship with their buyers and are constantly researching too find out what their customers want more or less of, there are also constraints and limitations with doing so.

A market constraint is external. Marks and Spencer’s competitors are always changing strategies and competing in new and better ways to try and come out on top. A question which is asked within big businesses such as M&S is, is the market demand for our products decreasing? This is an external constraint, if there’s no longer a demand for the product then their profit margin decreases. A decrease in sales = decreased profit. Benchmarking is a strategy that is used by M&S for marketing this involves looking outside the box to examine how other organisations are achieving their performance levels and to understand the processes they are using to be successful. In this way benchmarking helps explain the processes behind excellent performances.

Although this strategy helps M&S stay ahead it can also bring them down as changing your outlook and ideas can be a constraint, Managing change is a common constraint. Markets are dynamic and always changing. Organisations work to stay ahead of markets and their leading competitiors. Knowledge could be an internal constraint to success, this could become critical if survival is at stake.

Growth Strategies

Marks and Spencer uses the Mckinsey Growth Matrix, to expand and grow their business. Instead of trying to find out how other business have grown, the Matrix strategy argues to grow on your own strengths. They have developed there growth strategies based on : Operational skills, Privileged assets, Growth skills and Special relationships.

By growing based on these strategies M&S have been able to keep their customer loyalty but also have been able to increase their products and launch new promotions to engage new customers, by using different approaches they have a better change to widen their customer satisfaction. Some of these products can be sold to existing customers who may trust the business (and its brands) to deliver but new customers may need more persuasion. Even though M&S base their growth on their on development they do analyze their competitors. They use recorded dare, opportunistic date and observable date. * Recorded data: examples include competitor annual reports and product brochures. * Observable data: good example is competitor pricing.

* Opportunistic data: to get hold of this kind of data requires a lot of planning and organisation. Marks and Spencer’s have grown as a company by producing a wide range of products, by up selling and engaging in customer loyalty. Strategies that have been used are the foundation of growing. They have focused their marketing and sales on a specific target market this has improved effectiveness and speed the learning process. Unfortunately a common constraint could be an unresponsive market. Marks and Spencer’s campaigns have reeled in more customers but buyer Motivation is a must in all businesses, companies can often fail to provide incentives to motivate their buyers to purchase. A constraint which can be avoided is the follow up after sale. Once a product has been bought research should be conducted to find feedback on that product and if theirs a chance of growth from that product.


The brand of a product is very important when making your decision weather to buy something. People buy branded names due to loyalty. Either they no the quality is good or the product is always going to taste good. For example; going to Tesco and having the choice to buy, 23p Tesco value beans or 63p Heinz beans. Just because it’s not a named brand doesn’t mean the quality isn’t as good, there’s just no risk. Trust is the most critical component in building and maintaining a strong, emotionally driven brand. Strategies used to introduce their brand to the public is media. By promoting their brands its then known by existing and new customers. Many businesses such as M*&S use celebrities in their campaigns this is to engage the buyers and also make them aware that a celebrity likes the brand.

Legal constraints:

Marks and Spencer may be constrained by a variety of licensure and other regulatory requirements, based on the industry and activities the business wants to pursue. For example M&S sell alcohol so they will need to have a alcohol license before they are permitted to sell any alcohol. Sales of goods act 1979,

This act requires trader to sell goods that are described and are satisfactory. Marks and Spencer’s sell products to members there for the information stated should be accurate and not misleading. For example : selling food which states that there’s only 130 calories in it but really there 600. This is illegal.

Voluntary Constraint

This is where a company voluntary state that they won’t do something, or they always will. For example: Marks and Spencer’s have joined forces with Tesco to sell Fair trade products, and they are also recycling old clothes to Oxfam. These things do not have to be done but yet they do they do them anyway to give them a better reputation with the public.


Pressure groups can be extremely effective in changing organisational behaviour.

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