PART A: Review Marketing Activities
1. Review the proposed marketing activities suggested for the company and identify and evaluate three activities you think show the greatest potential for the organization.
The proposed marketing activities that suggested for Houzit are magazine advertising, in store promotions and web based promotions. Magazine advertising method is an effective method to target specific market segment because specific magazine appeal to specific readers. Due to that reason, it create high brand awareness because readers unable to avoid advertisement in the magazine thus leading to increased sales (Consterdine, 2009). Nevertheless, magazine advertising had some disadvantages, according to Emerald Frog (2016) indicates that magazine may not be able to cover large audience because some popular magazines tends to focused on a specifics geographic location. In store promotion refers to Houzit’s marketing approach to create higher sales volume through collaboration with web based promotion. The promotion strategy had an advantage on generating sales however it may also cause customers to wait for discount if promotion occurred at high regular basis (Hangul, n.d.). Web based marketing strategy suggested by Houzit refers to the application of advertisement through Houzit’s cooperate website. With technology advancement and increase usage of internet for product research before purchase, the changing consumer behavior made digital advertising crucial for a business (Martin, 2017).
Based on three marketing activities mentioned above, web based marketing was utmost important for Houzit. Numerous technological innovations that have taken place, as well as the innovation of internet, most individuals can easily access internet even with the simple gadgets such as the use of smart phones. Therefore, consumers will be able to find products that Houzit offering through its webpage (Horn, 2011). The webpage’s design of Houzit only published product information. The webpage does not offer online purchase service. Due to that reason, Houzit may lost some potential customers, in order to avoid such incident, redesign webpage with online sales function is essential. This will enable customers who unable to visit physical store had the opportunity to purchase product at their comfort (Flanigan & Obermier, 2016). Additionally, this will enable Houzit to break its geographical sales barrier, thus expanding its market to national standard.
2. Outline the economic and social directions of the home-wares industry. This should also include any relevant trends and practices.
The analysis of economic and social directions in marketing terms refers to the economic performances and social’s perception of a particular industry. The home-wares industry is performing fairly positive in Australia market. According to various news indicates there are increasing demand for new residential property which lead to home-wares industry well performances (Hatch, 2015; Inside Retail, 2016, William, 2017). Due to that reason, individuals that invested in real estate sector show strong demand in home-wares supplies in order to decorate new purchased house (Jones & Livingstone, 2015). Based on the latest report of business analyst IBISWorld found that home-wares industry is highly competitive and often involving in price war however the reducing profit margin does not affect industry revenue (Inside Retai, 2016). The positive growth of Australian home-wares industry also attract foreign investors, according to Redman and Wilmot (2017) stated that China Lesso Group aimed to target Australian trade buyers such as home builders and interior designers. Meanwhile, market trend starting to emphasis more on e-commerce business model because of increasing online consumers.
3. Discuss how the planned range of marketing activities can be integrated to ensure the achievement of the established marketing activities.
In order to ensure the planned activities are able to achieve the established marketing objectives, Houzit should make sure 4Ps design align with marketing plan. The design of 4Ps aim to provide customers with the right product feature, in a place that customers could acquire the goods, sales promotion to trigger higher customers’ satisfaction and price at a reasonable level acceptable by customers (Logan & Baskerville, 2010, p. 6). A functional marketing plan should have collaboration of all major department to achieve marketing objectives (Kotler et al., 2010, p. 81). Recent market orientation shown that there are high demand on bathroom fittings and decorative item, the marketing activities associate to in store promotion and advertising should be the marketing content. Meanwhile, the drop of Australian dollar resulting imported home-wares and local retails price reduction, Houzit need to ensure price element for the promotion event is relevant. According to Stoltz (2016) mentioned that marketer should offer consistent brand experiences to customer through managing all marketing resources diligently, ensuring the products and messages delivered to customers are cohesive. Due to that reason, others marketing activities such as magazine and web-based advertising should aligned with in store promotion activities to ensure successful marketing activities.
4. How would you monitor the product, distribution, pricing and marketing communication policies in relation to market changes, marketing plan objectives and organizational requirements?
Market is constantly undergo changes, therefore a successful marketing must be well-planned with a monitoring mechanism. Houzit initiative on adopting web-based marketing activities provide the company a better data-mining pool for monitoring and evaluating market changes. Google analytics is a tool can be used by marketer to gain information regarding a campaign performance, drive e-commerce and understand the behaviour of consumers (Wolber, 2017). According to Soat (2016) stated that Google Analytics could analyse how customers react to a webpage through the time a customer spend on a particular site. Additional, it also can identify how customers connect to the webpage. With these understanding, marketing manager can evaluate the current promotion performance according to marketing plan objectives. Market is increasingly dynamic in recent years, therefore marketer often need to make immediate decision to rectify problems through contingency plan (Souchon, et al., 2016). Due to that reason, if evaluation result shows variation or changes, Houzit can re-position its promotion strategy according to customers’ preferences.
In order to monitoring distribution of the proposed marketing plan, Houzit management should setup a systematic routine inspection. The purpose for this enable the management to keep a record of the internal and external distributor’s performances and the ability to discover distributor’s weakness. According to Hann (2012), it is important for entrepreneur to train all employees to generate sales. Without proper guidance and feedback, it is highly impossible to push sales.
In order to analyzing and monitoring the pricing strategy, Porter 5 forces model should be applied. Porter 5 forces is a tool use to analyse a market’s intensity in terms of consumer’s power, supplier’s power, entry level, market’s competitiveness and threat of substitution (Porter, 2008). With the information acquired from the analysis with combination of sales data from store as well as google analytics, management is able to evaluate the pricing strategy from time to time ensuring the rationale of pricing.
5. Review the proposed models for distribution and pricing of the product, and describe how this should be adjusted to allow for the market fluctuations (as identified in the case study).
The proposed models for distribution and pricing of the product, Houzit is attempting to increase its brand awareness through various advertising channels while offering promotional event for a specific market segment. Based on recent events discussed in case study indicates that Houzit is facing fierce competition from other retailer with discounted price however strong Australian dollar provide Houzit a competitive advantage for import. According to Sharp (2011) stated that customer’s recognition and ability to recall a brand will increase the probability of customer purchasing the brand. In order for Houzit to adapted market fluctuations effectively, Houzit should focused more on its advertising to increase consumer’s mental availability as it related to quality and quantity of memory structure related to the brand.
A research conducted by Swait and Erdem (2002) indicated that sales promotion and availability does not provide positive reinforcement toward consumer’s choice. The research finding emphasis a brand sales is highly associate to its availability, brand reputation, creditability and quality. Due to that reason, Houzit should not enter price war with its competitors. Houzit should focused on delivering quality products to its customers. Meanwhile, with strong Australian dollar, Houzit should seek to import higher quality home-wares with the exchange rate offsetting increased cost. With this approach, Houzit could appear as home-wares industry benchmark for quality products, thus increasing sales in long run.
6. Provide a detailed plan for how progress can be measured against performance target to ensure that marketing targets are being met (use return of market investment and market share to measure).
Once a marketing plan was setup, it is imperative to include a detailed measuring plan on the performance to evaluate the performance of marketing plan. Measuring performance targets involving process collecting market data, reviewing the qualities of data, application of marketing metrics such as return on market investment (ROMI) and market share analysis (Logan & Baskerville, 2010).
Step 1: Collecting market data
The data collected can in qualitative and quantitative format depending on the collection method. Collection may be in the form of interviews, survey, questionnaire, published report, company financial report and databases.
Step 2: Reviewing qualities of data
The data collected must be accurate, relevant and reliable. This refers to data that are precise, represent relevant events, and verifiable with supported background information. This is required to prevent bias result occurred when applying to marketing metric’s calculation.
Step 3: Marketing metrics
Marketing metrics two important algorithms were ROMI and market share. ROMI was used to calculate the revenue generate through investment of marketing activities; the equation for this calculation was incremental revenue attributed to marketing divided by marketing expenditure. Meanwhile, market share calculate an organisation position in the market comparing to its competitor through revenue divided by totaled addressable market (Logan & Baskerville, 2010).
With marketing metrics results, comparing initial marketing objectives’ key figure against actual figure could determine marketing plan successfulness. According to the marketing plan, it required increase sales by 15%, therefore this will be the benchmark for measuring performance.
7. Once you have completed tasks 1 to 6 above, you are required to meet with the CEO (your assessor), and discuss the information you have gathered about the proposed marketing activities and your plan. In particular you should discuss and agree on the proposed delegation of roles and responsibilities for marketing efforts described in your detailed plan. Submit your notes from this meeting along with your final submission.
Selecting right personnel for roles and responsibilities is crucial for a marketing plan implementation. In order to match suitable personnel to the task, Belbin’s nine roles theory was used to establish an effective team.
Position: Marketing Team Leader
Roles: Coordinator – mature, confident, clarifies goals, promotes decision making and delegation.
Responsibility: a. Decide the advertising content
b. Selecting appropriate marketing media
c. Ensuring marketing performance through monitoring performance metrics
d. Liaise with advertisers regarding advertising issues
Position: Creative Executive
Roles: Specialist – single minded, self-starting, dedicated and provide endless supply of knowledge.
Responsibility: a. Designing advertisement artwork
b. Selecting appropriate marketing media
c. Maintaining webpage and search engine optimization
Roles: Monitor Evaluator – Sober, strategic, discerning and critical.
Responsibility: a. Evaluate data from webpage
b. Examine in store promotion event
c. Monitor sales and market changes if occurred
Position: Marketing Executive
Roles: Completer – Conscientious, diligent and anxious.
Responsibility: a. Carry out planned marketing activities.
b. Collaborate with other departments regarding marketing’s needs
c. Deliver and present marketing plan to all Houzit’s departments
Marie as an experienced personnel managing advertising and PR work was recommend to Marketing Team Leader position, while Tony with professional knowledge in IT was recommend to take Creative Executive position. Furthermore, personnel plan for executing the marketing include two addition recruit to ensure the success of marketing activities which were Auditor and Marketing Executive. This two positions will be filled with personnel possessing characteristic of monitor evaluator and completer so that the marketing activities can be implemented in timely manner while ensuring these activities meet performance objectives.
8. A communication plan that outlines the information to be shared with relevant personnel in your organization.
Communication is critical for a plan to carry out successfully. According to Logan and Baskerville (2010) stated that an effective communication is communicator able to deliver clear understandable information to audiences.
Marketing Team Leader
Acquire advertisement space in the home-ware magazine
Prepare PR article that features the advertisement of Stylish bathroom and exotic mirrors
Seek innovative advertising material associate to bathroom fittings.
Prepare quarterly marketing performance evaluation report
Redesigning new function for website (online sales)
Design new posters and artwork for bathroom fitting and decorative
Report of Google Analytics data
Jane / Andrew
Auditor / Marketing Executive
Analysing market trends is still align to marketing objectives
Acquiring collaboration from others department for marketing activities
Make sure store promotion is setup accordingly
Power Point File
PART B: Staffing Support Plan
Strategies: specific strategies for mentoring and coaching of staff throughout the period of the proposed marketing activities
There are a number of strategies for mentoring and coaching of staffs; 1.) Goals setting theory, 2.) Collaboration & empowerment, and 3.) Celebration and Rewards.
Goals setting theory
Goal setting theory main purpose was to provide employees with objectives so employees gain sense of direction for their job. According to Kreitner and Kinicki (2013) mentioned that goal achievement leads to job satisfaction however impractical goals may leads to negative outcome. Due to that reason, it is important for mentor to establish specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely appropriate goal for employees. Additionally, it is also highly important for mentor to provide relevant feedback to employees regarding their performance and assisting employees to improve areas of weakness (Jones & Gorell, 2009). The purpose of providing feedback also motivate employees and boost their morale for continuing pursue goals, therefore its necessary for mentor to provide constructive feedback to employees from time to time.
Collaboration & Empowerment
Collaboration and empowerment theory refers to leaders’ capacity of empathy and willingness to allow employees participate in decision making process. The theory emphasized the differences between individuals and through collaboration and work together as a team can enhanced problem solving process. Meanwhile, empowering employees will boost employees’ morale and promoted employees’ compliance when executing marketing plan. Allowing employees to participate in decision making reduce the restraining force from employees because employees may feel they had responsibilities for planned project.
Kreitner and Kinicki (2013) findings in performance management indicate that rewards system had the ability to fostered employees’ commitment to goal and shaped desirable organisation behavior. Rewards can be delivered in intrinsic or extrinsic form. In order for the marketing team members to remain focused during the training period, verbal compliments such as “good job” and “excellent” can be an effective reward (Morhart, Herzog & Tomczak, 2009). Aside that, others reward such as promised promotion based on achievement and monetary rewards will be implemented. Aguinis, Joo and Gottfredson (2013)’s research indicates that monetary reward is a powerful tool to driver for employees’ performance and motivation, so a good reward system should include monetary reward.
Resources: models for assessing use of resources provided to attain required marketing outcomes
Assessment on efficient application of resources is important for marketing outcome. In order measures and assesses the use of resources provided, marketing key performance indicators must be established. Key performance indicators must be measurable such as profit margin, sales amount, numbers of website’s traffic, number of advertisement click through rate in the internet and others. The key performances indicators need to be arrange in the manner of high importance to less significant objectives. Then evaluation will be made based on the amount of resources allocated to achieve certain objectives. The findings and result from evaluation then allows marketer to examine the effectiveness of resources allocation.
Feedback: a model and mechanism for providing feedback to staff throughout the process
An empirical study investigating feedback implication on employees’ performance and improvement shown positive correlation (Guo, Liao, Liao & Zhang, 2014). Based on the study, it displays the importance of feedback mechanism in improving employees’ performance, due to that reason, monthly appraisal system should be established. The system focused on the overall task performed by the employees and critical analyse employees’ performance, providing constructive advices in area available for improvement. Nevertheless, appraisal feedback should also acknowledge the well-performed task as this may boost employees’ intrinsic motivation (Jaworski & Kohli, 1991).
Performance: a process to be used for identifying weaknesses in individual and team performance (in meeting the requirements of the marketing objectives for the delegated marketing activities) and instigate corrective actions when required.
In order to monitor the performance of the team members, I will use the performance rating scale. In this process, I will be rating the performance of each team member whether it is excellent, poor or average, depending on how they execute the delegated marketing tasks. The weaknesses of the employees will be identified through this scale. I will then concentrate in enhancing the skills of the team members who are rated poor by the rating scale, in to make shift them at least to the average level during the next rating period.
PART C: Questions and Role Play
1. Describe how you would provide one-on-one coaching to Marie to assist her in achieving the required marketing outcomes.
Coaching function prioritized performance through shared of knowledge on resolving specific task (Logan & Baskerville, 2010). Firstly, a proper training objectives will be established, these includes enhancing decision making skills and knowledge, knowledge on web design and web marketing, skills relating to marketing among others. Setting the goals of the mentoring process will provide the direction of the coaching process, as well as ensuring that every goal has been achieved (Jones & Gorell, 2009).
Due to the fact that Marie is beginner in learning web design and web marketing. Using simple terms in describing web designs and web marketing is important ensuring Marie understands the coaching content. In addition, mixed coaching and mentoring method of delivering training session shall be implemented. According to Kreitner and Kinicki (2013) indicate that mentoring process can build the relationship between superior and junior. Therefore, the mixed teaching approach may reduce Marie learning stress and allow Marie to ask more questions regarding matters that she failed to understand.
Furthermore, some past marketing case with problems will be given to Marie as homework. Marie need to use her knowledge to provide applicable solution. Based on the answers submitted by Marie, constructive ideas and past resolution method will be given to Marie so that Marie may learn. Throughout this process, it will help Marie to develop critical thinking skill and decision making ability.
Aside that, copyright laws and trade practice act teaching session will be established. The complication of marketing process, Marie need to learn the basic of the legislation that may restrict certain advertising. Copyright law prevent marketer to design products that highly similar to founding brand to protect consumers and owners’ right. Violation of such regulation may lead to high monetary penalty, therefore it is essential for Marie to have these knowledge.
2. Describe the performance to-date of Tony, and describe the corrective actions you could take to ensure that marketing outcomes continue to be achieved.
Based on Tony performance appraisal, Tony achieved most of the primary objectives such as optimizing corporate website’s visitors; and designing a functional online sales mechanism for Houzit. However in personal growth aspects, Tony failed to performed because Tony had high self-interest and unwilling to share professional knowledge with his colleagues. This also indirectly caused Tony had high amount of workload and affecting his performance in others tasks.
Corrective action, advises were given to Tony requesting Tony to coach others team members concerning web design and web marketing. Mutual benefits and respect from the coaching process is strongly emphasized. As a person possess expert power, professional knowledge on technicality may have better chance of promotion.
Furthermore, a lesson concerning the importance of organisation’s ethical standards will be given to Tony. Meanwhile, Tony misconduct in using corporate resource for private purpose will be warned. A written warning letter will be given, requesting immediate remediation. If Tony failed to rectify the matter in given time, punishment such as demotion and monetary lost may applied.
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