Final Marketing Audit- Essay Solved

Final Marketing Audit

(2084 words)

 

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION

BRAND PERSONALITY

  • The Discount Department Store. Target prefers to be called as such instead of just department store. Expect more, pay less.With this tagline, the customers expect to purchase more items and pay the least amount possible. It also sells the greatest number of gift cards among its rival business.
  • Up-to-the-minute and Trend-forward merchandise. Target offer great items but affordable in prices. All items present within the business are proven to be acceptable in standards and quality but never demands a high payment. This is will still be credited to the working objective of the corporation – Expect more, pay less. Products like clothing, shoes, jewelry, electronics, household items, toys, beauty products, and food are available and offered. Specialized products/services are offered in selected outlets like Pizza Hut Expressand Starbucks for food and beverage; Kodakfor photo processing; and the like.
  • Innovation and Technology Partnership. With the existing operations of Target Corp. in the online marketplace, innovation and technology is up-to-date. Its website,  provides the essential information necessary to all online shoppers. They cater to the needs of people who do not have time to visit the traditional market. In order to expand its operations as well as its target market coverage, Target Corp. linked with other IT powerful institutions like com(2002) and American Online (AOL) (2000). The emerging culture in online marketing is perfected by the processes employed by the management especially the e-commerce integrated team. Sponsorship and future collaboration is expected within the next years to come.
  • Customer value and satisfaction. This is a common brand personality of every service-oriented business. For Target Corp., the value and satisfaction of money and consumers is prioritized. It is again related to their organizational goal –Expect more, pay less.

 

MARKETS AND MARKETING CONDITIONS PARTICULARLY ITS POSITION IN THE ONLINE MARKETPLACE

           

  • Demographics

 

Target Corp. is considered as the retail store that caters to the younger and more educated and well-off clientele as to compare with its rival. In a survey conducted, Target Corp. shoppers fall on a 46 years old age median, mostly female, have children at home, and attended or completed college (2006). Thus, the target market is perceived to be sophisticated.

Target Corp. makes its focus on its target market in a different level of recognition. The total markets (consumers or clients) are divided into smaller, comparatively homogenous groups. Basically, its goal is to group its customers with similar or analogous characteristics, behavior and needs.  The main target is to offer its products to its target market demanding the said products and to offer quality system and tools to the customers from household to their office needs and to give proper marketing strategies for each consumer.

Demographics are used in order to statistically analyze the total market, subdividing the clients according to their ages, gender, and income distribution.  According to figures the company presented, the median household income of Target shoppers is $47,000 and 80 percent attended or completed college ( 2000; 2006).

    • Differentiation and Positioning

    The products/services of Target Corp. offer a high quality and satisfying features that maintain its good reputation in the marketing arena – traditional and online in nature. The availability of the products depends on the needs and demands of the customers.

    In order to position the products in the market place, the company uses integrated marketing communications such as advertising and public relations in the broadcast, print, and wired media. To be able to let the target market of the company know the products offered to the different market segments or groups, Target Corp. may use television advertisement for example. In addition, testimonials of the customers who already avail the products may be included. The company also uses print advertisement (newspapers and magazines, leaflets, and brochures). Lastly, the company strategically makes deals for alliances and support when it comes to its wired communications like pop-up ads and other IT-based solutions.

  • Online Marketing

Using as their official website, the corporation’s current position to the online marketplace is comparatively competitive. Its performance specifically to the online marketing is high. Target Corp. brand position in the online marketplace is in progression and relatively competitive. With the increasing sales, Target Corp. expects to generate more income and customers – both in traditional and online shopping. With the various merging and acquisition being utilized by the management and the online shopping culture being used by most number of people, Target Corp. will maintain its competitive edge and might overtake the growth of its competitors. Thus, Target.com must be inclusive, convenient, and simple to use.

  • SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Target Corp. has been known as one of the largest and most competitive retail company in the U.S. It has been depicted as “the discount store with attitude – where department store customers feel very comfortable shopping” (2000). Its ability to anticipate the demands of the customers and to provide upscale, trend-forward, high-quality and innovative products which in return make their customers become loyal of availing all their services and products. The company has been able to implement a strategy that will suit the needs of the company to provide quality services and to continually make the business become a tough competitor among its rival.

Target Corp. possesses the sophisticated and able technology that can cater to the fast changing global marketing management trends. It has core competence in its use of information technology that can support its management and marketing operations. E-marketing is a powerful tool used by its management. Thus, adding to its innovations in service providing among the wide range of clienteles. Its IT supports competent procurement of goods in e-marketing or online shopping aspect.

With such broadness and continuous expansion, Target Corp. holds a competitive practice in maintaining its human resources. Human workforces are the main players in the continuous development in the business and investment. Its diversity in HR is another strength that everyone in the company will benefit.

Target’s strength is its strong environmental commitment. The company imposed an environmental management system which includes community consultation, proactive planning, compliance, sustainable development and auditing for continuous development. The willingness of the management to adhere to the regulations and policies imposed by the government is also a key factor. Further, being open-minded to the suggestions of other helpful groups that know what will be the best for the whole company within the operating area can also be attributed as one of the strengths. Furthermore, the continued focus on controlling costs and increasing efficiency can also be noted as one of Target’s strengths to maintain is annual profit growth.

Lastly, its programs and activities that concerns socio-economic and humanitarian development serves as a reinforcing agent that will attract people – regular clientele and new as well – to continue patronizing and emancipating their decision to try their services/products.

Weaknesses

            Although the Target Corp. encompasses much strength to continuously fight for market dominance in the respective region, the company also has its weaknesses. One of the weaknesses of the company is the inability of the management to anticipate price increases which affects their operations. In addition, the company is also lacking the capacity to carefully manage their business because of the large entities and separated units of the business.  The company is faced with different unsolved issues because of lack of strategic decision making in several areas of HR like low hourly wage, opposition to labor unions, and its contribution to urban sprawl ( 2005). Further, due to the extensive coverage of products and services offered, the company may not allocate specific attention in the flexibility of some of its persistent rivals in the market. Considering its IT advantage, Target Corp. may not excel in some areas because of its vast coverage of control. These weaknesses, if not given attention may lead failure for the company to achieve its goal of providing quality products and services among its clients.

Opportunities

With the management system of the company and the strengths that it has, Target Corp. has bigger opportunities to still dominate and catch up with the competition in the American retail industry in terms of providing more quality and less price products and services to its clients. With the current status of the corporation, they have an opportunity to be the number one retail company in the whole region after its eventual application of its proposed plans in the future. Another opportunity that can be attached to the company is it would gain more customers if they would be able to determine the latest trends for products to continuously meet the demands of their target market. With the incessant innovations of Target Corp. and the support that it shows to different managerial and environmental aspects, and more importantly societal and humanitarian issues and concerns, the company can gain loyalty from their customers to make them more competitive in the marketplace.

The continuous initiatives of the company in diversification of its revenue resources also open new opportunities to make the business become stronger to outgrow all its rival companies. Such opportunities will include e-business development by strategic alliances among global retailers as well as suppliers, leveraging the company’s investment in the World Class Customer Satisfaction Systems, and other business opportunities in both non-core and core areas.

Threats

Operating in the most competitive marketplace especially in the retail industry, Target Corp. is faced with the inevitable threat of stiff competition. For an enterprise to succeed in global competition there is a continuous plan to develop new products with higher quality than its competitors. (1993) analyzes that new product and new business development must be highly effective and efficient, however that alone will not ensure its competitiveness.  The expansion of its operations to other areas means adjusting to the trade policies and political problems of the locality. The dynamic needs and demands of customers served to be a challenge to the management. Furthermore, consumer behavior and satisfaction with regards to the product/service procurement is also a risk. If Target Corp. will continue to be a vertically integrated corporation, it might fail in terms of management ability. The division of the company may tend to have internal complexity. In terms of production and manufacturing, Target Corp. may encounter cost inefficiency in its procedures. Large retailers like Target Corp. is faced with the considerable pressure of keeping their prices low due to competition and the demands of price-conscious consumers (2002). Additionally, fast paced technological advancement may be a threat to Target Corp. as a whole.  In terms of the competitors, the company should be able to provide unique and more technologically advanced services to be able to survive in the stiff competition in the U.S. retail industry.

  • Marketing Program and Mix

Product

Target Corp. produces a wide array of products ranging from food, groceries, clothing, footwear, jewelries, health and beauty items, electronics, appliances, sporting goods, toys, other supplies like school, office, automotive, pet, hardware, seasonal merchandise like furniture, and special services like photo processing, pharmacy, and optical store. In several outlets, there are also specialized services that the customer can enjoy upon such as fast-food chains such as Pizza Hut Express and Starbucks for food and beverage.

Price

Target stores offer great items but affordable in prices. As mentioned, items present within the business are proven to be acceptable in standards and quality but never demands a high payment. The corporation prefers to be called as Discount Department Store instead of just department store. Expect more, pay less. With this tagline, the customers expect to purchase more items and pay the least amount possible. Not like other retail industries like its competitor Kmart and Wal-Mart, Target Corp. maintains retail value in terms of product offerings.

Place

Being an American retail business, Target Corp. distributes its products to the local markets. The presence of 1,418 stores (including 159 SuperTarget stores in 47 states make it possible for the corporation to distribute its products extensively. Further, the presence of www.target.com domain to cater the needs of the online shoppers also facilitates a potent place of product distribution.

Promotion

Similar to other businesses, Target Corp. uses all the possible ways to promote its products and build its name. In this case, the company promotes its products through online, print and television advertising. The partnership with AOL and Amazon.com is a great opportunity in expanding the promotion of Target Corp.

Target Corp. also promotes its brand by ensuring the general welfare of the public and communities where it operates through financial assistance to education, arts, and social action organizations, volunteerism and environmental efforts (2006).