Qualification - Higher National Diploma in Business

Unit Name - Marketing Essential

Unit Level - Level 5

Unit Number - Unit 2

Assignment Title - Marketing Planning Report

Learning Outcome 1: Explain the role of marketing and how it interrelates with other functional units of an organisation.

Learning Outcome 2: Compare ways in which organisations use elements of the marketing mix (7Ps) to achieve overall business objectives.

Learning Outcome 3: Develop and evaluate a basic marketing plan.

Assignment Brief:

Introduction
The existence of a potent market base is very significant for an organisation to make extensive growth during its market operation. Moreover, most of the US-based organisation has fetched an extensive and significant technological innovation within their organisational culture. Through which, the organisations now have been able to grab a vast range of market by inspiring its consumers by providing a highly technological product. In this aspect, Apple Inc. is a potent organisation, which has a vast amount of market share in the US market (Lockamy III, 2017).Since its establishment, the organisation has continuously developed its management system, and production, and enhances the variations of its products and services. In this way, now the organisation holds US$65.339 billion of organisational revenue during the year of 2020 (Magwisi, 2020). However, during the Covid-19 outbreak, the organisation received potent challenges by getting significant pause during the business continuation process in both domestic and international market. Therefore, to overcome this condition the organisation has implemented various approaches, and thus, now it has been able to operate its business fluently in the market. In this aspect, the report will evaluate the brief information about the internal and external situation of the market, and its product orientation through analysing the competitive atmosphere of the market.

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1. Roles and Responsibilities of Marketing and its Interrelationships with Other Functional Areas of an Organisation

1.1 The Primary Roles and Responsibilities of Marketing
The marketing unit of an organisation is responsible for a wide array of activities, among which the most vital ones are-
1) Planning the market
2) Managing product and service
3) Promotional activities
4) Distribution of the product
5) Product pricing
6) Product selling
7) Financing
8) Management of Marketing Information (Mix and Brand, 2017)

These are the different responsibilities of the marketing unit of an organisation, which play a vital role in enabling it to sustain its business in the domestic and global market. To begin with, an organisation makes a well-structured plan of entering a new, potent market by capturing the attention of that section of the consumers, which shall prove to be the most lucrative. The next step is to ensure the proper management of the products and (or) services for the sake of further optimisation. Once these aspects are taken care of, the corporation shifts its attention towards the activities associated with promotion, distribution, pricing and the selling process. The next task of the leaders is to concentrate on making the necessary financial arrangements for smoothly regulating the above-mentioned activities. Finally, the whole range of information required for the marketing operation has to be managed in order to enhance the efficiency of the entire procedure (Shang, 2017). Apple Inc. had taken each of these steps in a very well-calibrated manner, and hence become very successful in creating a huge market, with a stable customer base, in both the domestic and global contexts (Magwisi, 2020). The marketing unit of Apple Inc. makes an elaborate study for detecting the various risks involved in business and chalks out plans for mitigating them; such an organisation of activity gives Apple Inc. a steady and obvious upper hand in the market.

1.2 Interrelationship between Marketing and the Other Functional Units of Apple Inc.
The consumer base of Apple Inc. is vast in the global market, and one of the chief reasons behind this is an efficient control of all the activities of market operation. The company has formed different departments for regulating specific activities, for achieving the highest level of optimisation. In this context, the department involved in the making of plans regarding promotion, distribution, selling and pricing is quite different from the ones engaged with production, management etc. However, all the different wings converge when the group plans a new launch, for the expertise of each department is needed in this. In the initial stage, the management team and the board of directors start to make plans about the production and launch of a new product (Cohen, 2015). Following this, the internal and external activities are shared among the other stakeholders by the management unit. The supply-chain management team is then engaged in procuring the necessary raw materials for the process of manufacture. Finally, the administration unit sets the product price, area of distribution, ways of promotion and the process of selling (Magwisi, 2020). Feedback is an important part, which is also handled by this unit. Hence, the various functional units of Apple Inc. are very much interrelated with its marketing department.

1.3 Critical Analysis of the Interrelationship between Marketing and the Other Functional Units
Finance Department: The finance department is particularly responsible for keeping track of the expenses involved in various activities of the organisation. It also manages the revenue generated annually and thus ensures the financial stability of the group. This department estimates the net amount required for the operation of various activities involved in launching a product. It prepares a budget chart, which is thoroughly followed by all the other departments for conducting their functions.

Production Department: The necessary raw materials are fetched through the action of the supply chain management unit, and then the production department starts to manufacture a highly sophisticated product with state-of-art technology, attractive user interface and some sort of competitive edge to ensure its success right after its launch.

Human Resource Department: This department is one of the most important ones in the company, and its function is in no way limited to simple ‘hiring and firing'. The HR department decides the course of the group in many ways. The roles of the HR unit begins with the selection of highly qualified and competent candidates. Then come the stages of their orientation and training. After that, the department is always engaged with the activities of constantly honing the skills of the employees, keeping them motivated and inspired, and maintaining an encouraging workplace. A company is nothing without its people, thus it is up to the HR team to keep up the efficiency of the employees, and thus the company at large.

1.4 The Current Business Environment of Apple Inc.
The existence of a steady business environment is a fundamental requirement of an organisation. Without this, an organisation cannot exercise its control over the multiple departments. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, however, affected the business of Apple Inc. in quite a big way, both in terms of its domestic and international markets (Apple Inc., 2020). The company has suffered huge financial losses, and many employees have been fired because of financial instability. Albeit the different departments have taken strong steps to ensure a steady recovery of the company's financial stability in a short span of time, it is undeniable that the crisis has impacted the business environment of the group quite badly.

1.5 Analysis of the Internal and External Environment of Apple Inc.
A SWOT analysis of Apple Inc. will reveal the details of the internal environment of the company (Gürel and Tat, 2017).

Strengths Weaknesses
Apple Inc. is one of the most valuable brands in the world. It was ranked 1st for the seventh consecutive year as per the assessment of Interbrand, with a brand value of $234 billion. The biggest strength of Apple is the innovative technology that allows it to hold the position of a technological pioneer, every time it launches a new product. Its patent software IOS, its highly advance specifications and assurance of superior quality allow it to continuously dominate the market. A major weakness of Apple is the high costs of its products. Although the company attracts a large portion of the upper class of the population and is blessed with steady customer loyalty, it cannot include the larger population due to its price range. A whole lot of competitive forces exploit this lacuna and try to take over the market by the virtue of "bigger number" of customers, who cannot afford such high priced products. Another weakness is its lack of advertisements, which prevents it from reaching the comparatively lower strata of the society, who go for the companies, which advertise their low prices and utilise it as their competitive edge.

Opportunities Threats
Despite its challenges, Apple Inc. has been successful in maintaining a steady consistency in the growth rate of its consumer base, which suggests that its reach is expanding every year, in spite of the rise of smaller companies. Furthermore, the corporation possesses an extensive network of distribution in the domestic and international markets. The uniqueness of its technology is something that no other company can ever compete within totality, and this provides ample opportunity to the company for attracting a huge number of customers every year. In this period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply chain management of Apple Inc. faced many difficulties in supplying the needed raw materials to the company for the manufacturing process. Moreover, the other companies like Google, Samsung, Dell, etc. are always ready to compete with Apple all the time. Apple's issues of pricing are exploited by other companies in their attempt to grab a larger share of the market (Feng, Morgan and Rego, 2015)

For understanding the external environment of Apple Inc., a PESTEL analysis would be highly beneficial.

I. Political Factors: The United States government ardently supports Apple Inc. in all its international business operations, and this is a huge factor behind its success.

II. Economic Factors: The domestic market of Apple Inc. and the markets of other developed countries provide a huge opportunity to it. The people of these countries can readily afford the high priced products. In addition, the growing markets of developing countries like India, China, and Sri Lanka etc. assist the company to find a large customer base.

III. Social Factors: The people from the societies in developed countries like US, UK, Russia etc. are capable of purchasing the costly products of this company, but the larger portion of the world's population, from the developing and underdeveloped countries, cannot afford Apple.

IV. Technological Factors: The socio-economic conditions in the US support the growth of technology and hence Apple gets many boosts, as it is predominantly focused on upgrading technology.

V. Environmental Factors: The company tries to stay as ‘green' as possible. The organisational activities do not harm the environment much, owing to the innovative eco-friendly methods. Thus, there is no resistance based on environmental grounds.

VI. Legal Factors: The legislation of the US in the context of trade is supportive to companies like Apple Inc., and hence the legal framework of the country endorses its activities.
(Source: Khan, Alam and Alam, 2015 )

2. Comparison of the Ways in Which the Companies Utilise the Component of the Marketing Mix to Get the Overall Business Objectives

2.1 Comparing the Activities of the Company by Utilising the 7Ps Marketing Mix Strategy

Factors Apple Motorola
Product Apple Inc has manufactured and distributed various types of electronic devices such as i-Phone; i-PAD, MacBooks, watches etc. based on customer demand (Thao and Tsanthaiwo, 2017). The simplicity of design and product longevity is the major characteristic of apple and the innovation teams are upgrading more features into the devices to grab the attention of more customers. The core product of Motorola is Mobile phones so that the management team is also working to expand its product range (Sawhney, 2017). In order to gain consumers' interest, Motorola incorporated many enticing features to its products that lead to increase the overall sales as well as the financial profitability.

Price Apple uses luxury prices to set its goods and services with maximum sale prices. Apple thus has a good hold on rich nations, of which most of the people can manage to invest more than USD750 million per year on a Smartphone (Lockamy III, 2017). During the new product launch, prices for innovative items are very high, and then reduced later on when the competitors introduce the same kind of products. Therefore, the use of price skinning also provides the organisation with huge advantages. The price of the product mainly depends on the product lifecycle. Highly technical and specialised goods/services may be placed on the market at high rates, while other products may be sold at affordable prices to draw the attention of many consumers.

Place Sells its products via two channels of marketing. First, it sells directly via its online website to its consumers (Ahmar, 2016). The second is where it is marketed to wholesalers who then sell it to multiple stores throughout the world. This is then marketed to their customers. The manufacturer allocates the products online and geographically through various media (Al-Najjar and Besanko, 2017). In the case of Motorola, products were distributed by network suppliers and individual dealers, such as smartphones, network equipment etc.

Promotion To promote its products, it uses multiple media channels. It uses conventional media, like television and radio ads. This is valuable because of its wide scope and its willingness to draw many people. It uses advertising in online and social media, which is quicker and more profitable (Lee et al., 2019). The organisation also focused on word of mouth promotions that lead to attracting more customers. Brand advertising by media such as TV and social media may be considered "over-the-line advertisements." Promotions may be referred to as "below-the-line" deals and exclusive offers on items (Al-Najjar and Besanko, 2017). To draw in a maximum number of clients, Motorola utilised all promotional methods.

Physical evidence The products are marketed in a different, easily identifiable colour packaging on store shelves. These are placed on special shelves, the colour and the style of the company. The overall brand image of the company is very high in all over the world so that people can easily recognise the physical evidence of the company. It is apparent that in the earlier days usually, the outlook, which is mainly the physical outlook of the organisation, did not matter especially to the end-use (Goh et al., 2019). However, in today's competitive market the physical outlook of the company generally plays a key role in determining the company's success as well as brand reputation. The physical layout is usually an important factor for most of the brand's success. Therefore, Motorola usually attained today's consumers by making changes in the company's physical layout as per the changing environments.

People Works with people who play an important role in its marketing programs under its sales team. These people were educated in compelling tactics but also to show compassion for corporate clients considering their preferences. Workers and staff play a key role in keeping properties with customers (Sawhney, 2017). The few essential workers at Motorola are employees who participate in product creation, marketing, customer service and sales.

Process To ensure that its products are always available in retail stores, retailers have installed systems in which they can alert them of the low stock levels (Lockamy III, 2017). Apple is perfect for ensuring all is simple from simple-to-use goods to the hassle-free method of fixing electronics if appropriate. The Apple website provides the consumer with step-by-step instructions about how to fix the problem with your system until decisions are developed on the closest Apple Store if appropriate. Motorola has introduced a variety of new methods that will provide the end-user with quality services. Procedures, for example, for determining consumer needs and procedures for handling end-user concerns (Goh et al., 2019).

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2.2 Assess the Organisational Tactics to Explain How the Organisational Objectives Can Be Met

Apple Inc. is generally a reputed company known for its innovative and unique products in the market. The key tactics in the marketing strategy of the company include premium-pricing strategy, product development strategy and the company emphasises building strong stakeholder relationship. However, the company can further attain growth in the end by following the recommended strategies listed below:

Use of Social Media Especially To Recognise Consumer Demands
Social networking is a platform where representatives of an organisation actively monitor the actions of future customers. According to the different products reviews sites, the customer viewpoints are conveyed. It is the consumer's concern to successfully alleviate the issue to maintain the brand image of a product (Felix, Rauschnabel and Hinsch, 2017). Customers may criticise about a product. Apple may also implement the strategy in its process. Apple is an up-to-date firm that provides innovative products as per industry patterns for consumers. Social internet marketing will provide the company with an awareness of how consumers respond to an organisation's products. However, Apple cannot obtain precise details for a single customer, which hinders the product development cycle, since a large number of feedbacks are necessary to consider.

Assumptions from the Behaviour of Customer
The company also provides an excellent insight into the market demand by trying to consider the buying behaviour of the customer. Communication with customers is crucial, and the service provider must analyse the findings carefully to meet market demands. In this sector, the customer will profit from an assessment and evaluation of the purchasing actions. However, it should be taken into consideration that consumers would always change their minds and alter the buying trend. The management needs to assess all business knowledge more efficiently to implement the changes as per customer needs.

Developing Short-Term Goals

A simple business policy framework is one of the most critical and successful facets of an enterprise. To create innovative methods for achieving its goals, an organisation can examine its consumer behaviour and market dynamics (Teece, 2018). The insights into customer actions influence the strategic planning and goals of a business. Apple will build a ground-breaking programme that will be accompanied by several other multinational corporations through this strategy. However, Apple is not certain of the initiative's success. One solution technology for everybody in a single company could not function.

3. Evaluate and Develop a Basic Marketing Plan for the Organisation

3.1 Analyse the Organisational Goals and Objectives
Apple's corporate vision and mission are linked as the company has been diminishing the challenges through the optimisation of their corporate practices (Apple Inc., 2020). The competitive landscape has been tough for the company to deal with, as the competition in the technological market is high. The global advances in the technological field have contributed to the increased demand of the computing products. The corporate mission of the company is to provide products to facilitate the students, designer, scientists, educators, engineers and consumers in over 140 nations across the globe (Khan, Alam and Alam, 2015). The company thoroughly recognises the market trends and changing business landscapes, which might influence the business practices of the company.

Specific Measurable Attainable Relevant Time- based

To introduce more advanced technical features in their products to facilitate the costumers across the globe. The goal is to create products, which do not exist in the current market. Apple has aimed to increase its size of services within the next few years. The company is aiming to reach its goals by turning revenues from App store, iCloud and music and video services. The aim is to reach nearly $50bn-a-year In order to achieve its set target, the company needs to pay more attention to its research and development. Apple will have to conduct market research to understand the market requirements and about the other existing products to design more unique and innovative product for the consumers. Apple's aim to introduce innovative products into the market will be accurate with the market standards as the new generation people especially the millennial generation is driven towards technologically innovative products. Therefore, the introduction of new products will increase the market dominance of Apple. Apple can achieve its target of introducing new and innovative products within the time span of approximately 4 years. The company has pledged to reach to the target revue amount by the year 2021.

3.2 Identification of the Market Overview
Apple is one of the fastest-growing companies in the world, dominating the electronic market globally (Fan and Yang, 2020). Apple is leading the US Smartphone market by a share of over 39%. The company does not enter the price war as the company is more focused on the development of a unique value proposition. The USA has one of the biggest Smartphone markets in the world. It has over 250 million users. Over the past fifteen years, the nation has seen a rising share of smart phone penetration rate. Revenues collection from Smartphone sales has also risen over a period with the annual sales reaching 73 billion US dollars (Apple Inc., 2020). Consumer survey reports have shown that almost 44% of Smartphone users have responded that they use Apple, which shows the popularity and constant market demand of the company (Yasaetal., 2020).

3.3 Implementation of Marketing Mix Strategy

Product

Apple has always put emphasis on the development of high-quality products with innovative features to cater to the needs of the advanced technological practices of the modern world. The company needs to further aim to manufacture attractive products to attract millennial customers.

Price

Apple has a relatively flexible pricing strategy. The company operates in different economic structure in different countries (Gaurav and Shainesh, 2017). Thus, the company has introduced geographical pricing strategies to meet the requirements of the customers of different economic layers. Apple also uses premium pricing and price skimming strategies. Initially, the products are kept in a premium price range and gradually when other competitors launch similar products Apple reduces the prices accordingly. It also operates in wealthy countries so the company also puts heavy price tags on their products (Khan, Alam and Alam, 2015). Therefore, it needs to make effective pricing strategies to make their products more affordable for its global customers.

Place

Apple being the largest IT company by its revenue operates its sales through 499 retail stores in 22 nations globally. Apple operates its business through various sales channels such as Apple stores, online stores, third-party cellular network carriers, directs sales force, wholesalers, retailers and some value-added reseller.

Promotion

Apple has mastered its promotional strategy as it has connected its products with the lifestyles through its slogans (Fan and Yang, 2020). Apple conducts its promotional strategies through its in-store free education and cultural events.

People

People play a very important role in delivering the best Apple experience to its customers. Apple cautiously trains its employees in technical skills but it should also focus on the recruitment of people with outgoing personalities who can address and make people useful connection with the customers.

Process

Apple concentrates on the overall experience of the customers. In order to make a good impact on the customers, the company should adopt proper post and pre-purchase services. They offer various support channels to provide proper customer service for a great buying experience of the customers.

PhysicalEvidence

Apple usually locates its stores in relatively modern and upgraded architectures. The philosophy is to establish its stores in modern surroundings (Yasaetal., 2020). The stores are designed in a sophisticated and luxury style to attract people. The products are displayed in a minimalistic manner. Apple should concentrate on generation-specific designs to attract young people with its appearance and provide accessories to cater to the needs.


3.4 Marketing Budget, Timeline, Marketing Planning and Control

Marketing Budget:Apple will require a good amount for its marketing operation that includes promotion and marketing events.

Items

Cost

Market Research

$40000

Conduct Survey with customers

$50000

Social Media Promotion

$30000

Creative Design Software

$20000

Video advertising

$30000

Software and System

$20000

Hire Technical Individuals

$30000

Hire marketing executives

$30000

Total

$250,000

Timeline

Actions

1st Week

 

2nd Week

 

3rd Week

 

4th Week

 

5th Week

 

Market Research

 

 

 

 

 

Collect Information about the customer requirements

 

 

 

 

 

Planning and Recognising of marketing strategy

 

 

 

 

 

Strategy Implementation

 

 

 

 

 

Monitoring and control

 

 

 

 

 

Marketing Planning and Control: On the basis of the market trends, the company can explore new and probable possibilities and infuse them into their product development to assure the highest profitability and market domination (Johnsonetal., 2012). Apple focuses on the innovation of new products to increase market domination. The main objective of the company is to concentrate on the development of new features in their products, industry leadership and business sustainability. In order to accomplish its strategic goals, the company will adopt marketing plans to introduce its products to global customers. They will have to concentrate on the long term and short term goals, which will help to address the probable challenges and will assist them to strategizebetter plans to resolve those issues. Surveys, market-specific screenings, conducting research and development based on the results found from the market analysis will be a great way to increase performance. Constant monitoring helps to regulate the market direction.

3.5 Critical Evaluation of the Market Plan
Evaluation of the market planhelps corporations to understand their strategic direction of the company. It also helps to build market-specific approaches to cater to the target market more conveniently (Apple Inc., 2020). Apple is a globally established brand with a vast range of operating units. Market research, target market analysis and promotional activities are some of the essential marketing operations that will help Apple to boost its market-based performance.

Conclusion
To conclude, the study of the report usually presents an illustration of the importance of marketing role as well as how it is interrelated with the different functional unit of the company. Thus from the following report it can be concluded that Apple should further focus on recognizing its weaknesses that will in turn provide opportunity to the company for further improvement. Moreover, a marketing plan for Apple, Inc is evaluated in the report that will enable the company to further attain organisational success in the long run.

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Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria:

Learning Outcome

Pass

Merit

Distinction

LO1 Explain the role of marketing and how it interrelates with other functional units of an organisation

P1 Explain the key roles and responsibilities of the marketing function.

 

P2 Explain how roles and responsibilities of marketing relate to the wider organisational context.

M1 Analyse the roles and responsibilities of marketing in the context of the marketing environment.

 

M2 Analyse the significance of interrelationships between marketing and other functional units of an organisation.

LO1

D1 Critically analyse and evaluate the key elements of the marketing function and how they interrelate with other functional units of an organisation.

LO2 Compare ways in which organisations use elements of the marketing mix (7Ps) to achieve overall business objectives

P3 Compare the ways in which different organisations apply the marketing mix to the marketing planning process to achieve business objectives.

M3 Evaluate different tactics applied by organisations to demonstrate how business objectives can be achieved.

LO3 Develop and evaluate a basic marketing plan

P4 Produce and evaluate a basic marketing plan for an organisation.

M4 Produce a detailed, coherent evidence-based marketing plan for an organisation.

LO2 & 3

D2 Design a strategic marketing plan that tactically applies the use of the 7Ps to achieve overall marketing objectives.

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