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An evaluation will be carried out on the extended marketing mix of a
specific organisation. The chosen organisation is Apple as they have a vast
online and physical presence. The evaluation will consist of the four p’s that
are included in the marketing mix, as this will consider how the company uses
the marketing mix strategies to achieve their organisational objectives. The
marketing mix 4P’s were created by a marketing expert named E Jerome McCarthy
in the 1960s (The Marketing Mix, 2015). The marketing mix 4P’s consists of
product, price, promotion and place. Appendix 1 shows these four components in
their structure. These four components help to determine a clear and effective
strategy to bring products to the market. The report will also look at the
online presence of the company and potential growth opportunities that an
online presence provides.  Statistics
show the market share of Apple with iOS in the United Kingdom (UK) has risen
from 40.8% in December 2011 to 50.92% in November 2017 (Statista, 2017).   

 

Product

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A product is an item that satisfies a person’s needs or desires
(Cleverism, 2014). This can consist of physical items or services. Apple offer
a wide range of products and services to the consumer. This includes their very
own icloud storage to enable consumers to store content on the apple server,
which is known as ‘the cloud’. Apple offers a wide range of products to
consumers for purchase; these include a range of Mac and iMac computers and
laptops, iPads, iPhones, Apple smart watches and the Apple TV. They also offer
their very own Apple music (Apple UK, 2017). Within the marketing mix, the
product section includes the brand being revamped, including re-launching
products and services for them to remain relevant in the market that is
constantly changing. Apple has fulfilled this by producing new releases and
developments of their products and services yearly. Within product an important
aspect is branding. This is an important feature for a product as it helps to
individualise the products within the market. Apple has achieved this by naming
their products individually, for example iMac, iPhone. These are individual
names for their products. Consumers will always know what company the products
are from. A product has a certain cycle that includes the growth stage, maturity
phase and the sales decline phase (The Marketing Mix, 2015) Therefore it is
important for marketers to reinvent and develop their products to ensure more
demand once it reaches the sales decline phase. Therefore this is why Apple
reinvents and improves their products yearly.

According to The Marketing Mix, 2015, there are several questions a
marketer should ask themselves when developing a product- what does the client
want from the service or product? In terms of Apple, their clients want a newly
developed phone, computer, laptop or tablet that has a new design and improved
software and features. Where will the client use the product? Apple had to
redevelop their products each year in terms of clients using their phones out
and about therefore they had to ensure the phones had wireless data connection,
which they have developed from 3G to 4G. In terms of their iPad tablets, they
brought out a mini version, which is handy for their clients to use out and
about. What features must the product have to meet clients’ needs? Are there
any necessary features that you have missed out on? Are you creating features that
are not required by the client? Apple have developed and revamped their
features every time a new product has been produced, helping to keep their
customers interested, they have ensured that all their features meet clients’
needs for everyday life. What is the name of the product? Does it have a catchy
name? What are the sizes and colours available? As it has already been
discussed previously, Apple has produced individual names for their products,
which are catchy and easily identified to the Apple branding. For example, the MacBook,
MacBook Air, MacBook Pro is how the names of the laptop have been developed.
Where they have also made available 13-inch or 15-inch sized screens for their
clients to choose from with different sizes of memory and also various colours
available, such as grey, gold, silver. How is the product different from the
products of your competitors? What does the product look like?
Apple have worked hard to ensure that their products are different from their
competitors, with their very own operating system- iOS and they continue to
offer software updates on all of their products. The design and names of their
products are different to their competitors and aesthetically pleasing for
their clients. They have made sure that the layout of all their products is
individual too (Apple UK, 2017). 

 

 

Price

The price of a product is how much the customer is paying to enjoy the
product (The Marketing Mix, 2015). This is an important aspect of the marketing
mix, especially for the company as it helps to determine their profit and
therefore whether the company can survive or not. Adjusting a products price
has a huge impact on the entire marketing strategy of a company as well as
affecting the sales and demand of the product. With there being a large amount
of competition, pricing is important as it will help to shape the perception of
a company’s products in consumers eyes, as consumers will always compare the
prices of similar products because in some situations the costs can outweigh
the benefits. However because Apple have interlinked all their products and
have developed high quality products, with every new release they have the products
tend to cost more. With Apple having a massive following and customer base they
do not feel the need to reduce the price of their products. CNBC, 2017 say this
is down to Apple having such a huge retail presence. Apple have a store present
in nearly every city, they are usually massive stores selling all of their
products and also offering workshops to fix products and show customers how to
use their Apple products. They employ trained employees who show you exactly
how to use any of the Apple products you own or purchase or they will show you
products that will work seamlessly with another Apple product you own. This is
a very efficient marketing method for Apple. The Apple Stores are the company’s
support hub, if you have AppleCare+ which is the company’s premium warranty
plan it often costs very little to repair the expensive Apple products, and it
can often be done in the same day. No other brand or company that sells the
same types of products has the same retail presence as Apple.

There are a few questions companies should address when setting their
product prices. What is the customers’ intended product value? Companies need
to ensure that consumers are getting good quality products for the price. With
Apple selling electronic products, they are products that customers would be
buying and using for years therefore they are going to be costly to begin with.
Therefore in terms of the buyer getting an appealing good quality product that
they will be using for a long time, they know they will have to spend money to
get it. How much did it cost you to produce the product? Companies need to work
out how much profit they can make based on how much it costs to create the
product and how much they can sell the product for to ensure consumers will
still buy but that they will get enough sales on their products to ensure
profit. Do
you think that the slight price decrease could significantly increase your
market share? Marketers within companies need to work out that if they decrease
the product prices would it work out for them in the long run that they might
end up selling a large number more products. For Apple they have a strong
customer following, therefore they do not need to reduce the prices of their products
to increase their market share. Can the current price of the product keep up
with the price of the product’s competitors? It is important for companies
before pricing their products that they check the prices competitors are
selling the products for. Or if they are selling their products for more, companies
should ensure they products are of better quality.

 

Place

Place is a very important aspect in terms of the marketing mix of a
product (The Marketing Mix, 2015). Companies have to ensure they position and
distribute their products in a place that is accessible to their buyers. This
is why companies should be aware of their target market because if the company
understands them they will discover the most efficient and effective
positioning of their products that will directly link in with their target
market. Apple has their products located in their stores, which are located in
nearly every city. As discussed above within the ‘price’ aspect of the
marketing mix. These stores are highly appealing to their market, which would
be all ages from children to older adults. Apple also have an appealing website
that is easy to navigate through therefore this is also appealing for their
market as so many are shopping online nowadays.

There are a few questions companies should address when developing their
distribution strategy (Mind Tools, 2017). Where do buyers look for your product
or service? It is important companies consider where buyers look for their product,
if they have a huge online following, it would be beneficial for them to make
their website easy to access and appealing to their market. Their retail store
should also be appealing and inviting for customers to go into and suitable for
their market. How
can you access the right distribution channels? Companies can sell through single
distribution channels or multiple channels (Marketing Mo, 2017). To choose the
best option companies need to focus on their buyers because it can depend on
whether users need a personalised service, if users prefer to buy online as
this can include selling to another online retailer or distributor that can sell
a company’s products on their sites or the company might need to build their
own specialised sales team to work closely with customers. Apple has had to set
themselves up their own specialised teams in all their retail locations, who
all work closely with their customers. They have also sold to other retail and
online companies to sell their products for them. They also have their own
online website. What do your competitors do, and how can you learn from that or make
yourself different? This is an important question for all four areas of the
marketing mix. It is important for companies to check how their competitors
distribute their products and therefore decide if there is anything they can do
that is different that would appeal to their market.

 

Promotion

Promotion in marketing can help to increase companies’ sales and help
their brand recognition. There are various ways companies can promote their
products. For example, with Internet advertisements or television
advertisements. Depending on the market social media can be an efficient way
for companies to promote their products. Word of mouth can also be an effective
method of product promotion from satisfied customers. The sales staff can
encourage this by being welcoming and knowing the products they are selling.
This is encouraging for customers with Apple because when customers visit their
retail premises they will be welcomed by members of staff that are trained and
educated by Apple and know about the products they are selling. Therefore this
is encouraging for the customers purchasing these products and they will
therefore most likely encourage others to shop with Apple.

When a company is creating an
effective product promotion strategy they need to answer the following
questions (Mind Tools, 2017). How can you get your marketing messages across to
your target market? Can you reach your audience by advertising online, on TV, on radio,
on the Internet? Companies need to consider the
many ways they can get their messages across to their target market. This could
be done by the use of social media, television adverts, emails, text messages,
on the internet- adverts when using search engines and using customers reviews
on products can be encouraging for other customers. They then need to consider
which of these would be most beneficial to their target market. When is the
best time to promote your product? They need to consider if there is a
particular season that is best to advertise in the market. Apple can advertise
all year round because consumers are always in need of phones, tablets, laptops
and computers. Specifically at Christmas time as this is when consumers will be
purchasing more expensive products. What is the promotion strategy of your
competitors? The same as the other three areas of the marketing mix. They
should check if competitors are attempting to advertise at a similar time. If
they are it may not be worth the companies’ time or money advertising because
consumers may not pay attention to multiple advertisements.

Apple has a huge online presence and they have marketing mix strategies
that most other online organisations do not have present. On their website
Apple lists 137 country specific localised websites, each adapted to their
target audience. Appendix 2 shows an image of a small number of the locations
Apple caters for (Worthington, 2016). If consumers select their country’s flag
they will be taken to that country homepage of the Apple website. This will
appeal to a worldwide market and help to promote their sales. Apple offers the
current location option for consumers to be able to view where there nearest
Apple shop is, this saves them having to search for it themselves and will
encourage online customers to visit Apple in store and see their products in
person. Apple’s website is appealing and clearly laid out because all of their
products available are shown along the top of the website for customers to
easily see, where they just click on the product type and it will just bring
them up the various versions of that product available, whilst enabling
customers to compare products. All of these features contribute massively to
Apple’s marketing mix and contributes to their growth opportunities.

To conclude, it does not matter in what order companies’ fulfil the 4P’s
of the marketing mix but completing all four will help with the progression and
marketing of their company. As these are all important aspects to appeal to a
particular market and with their being a high number of competitors nowadays it
is important for companies to stand out. 

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