How can Apple maintain its marketing position in the mobile phone marketing in UK
Section 1 Background
On December 2012, The Economist reported that Apple has become the most valuable company in nominal terms, which was beating the record that Microsoft hit in the December 1999 (The Economist, 2012). Apple Incorporated is an American organization that manufactures and designs computer software, hardware and many other consumer electronics. In 2007, Apple launched its new product, the iPhone, which combines three concepts popular with consumers: a widescreen iPod, a mobile phone and a internet communication device. To make iPhones as affordable as possible, Apple worked out the exclusive arrangement with AT&T. In addition, Apple came out with an “App Store” that allows the users to download software directly onto the iphones. Apple’s global success has caused widely concern all around the world. Corporations and individuals in the world are trying to fin out how Apple maintains its marketing position in the mobile phone market all over the world.
This study would adopt a critical research to analysis how Apple maintain its marketing position in the mobile phone marketing in the UK. Firstly, there will be a brief introduction of marketing strategy, including customer satisfaction, effective branding strategy, products strategy and the promotion strategy as the theoretical basis in the LR area to analysis Apple’s marketing strategy. Secondly, interviews would be taken to collect more critical ad accurate information for Apple’s marketing strategies to analysis how it maintains the marketing position in the current fierce competition. Thirdly, on the basis of the LR and collected information from the interviews, this study would finally come to a conclusion and find out how Apple maintains its marketing position nowadays.
Section 2 Literature Review
Every successful business is managed under effective marketing strategy, the secret of Apple’s success must derive from it sound marketing strategy. Therefore, to build a solid theory foundation, there will be a brief introduction of marketing strategy and how it influences business, factors involved in marketing strategy that include customer satisfaction, effective branding strategy, products strategy and the promotion strategy as the theoretical basis in the LR area to analysis How Apple maintains its marketing position in the mobile phone market in UK. Opinions on Apple’s marketing strategies from researchers, professors and entrepreneurs would be collected.
2.2 The Main Body
Marketing strategy and how it influences business
Marketing strategy is defined as the process which can allow organizations to concentrate their resources on the optimal chances with the aims of increasing the sales and achieving their competitive advantage (Baker, 2008). It usually serves as fundamental underpinning of the marketing plans those are designed to fill the market needs and catch up with the marketing objectives. Marketing strategy involves precise and careful scanning of the external and internal environments. In general, external environmental factors are including the competitor analysis, customer analysis, target market analysis and the evaluation of any other elements of the economic, technological, political, cultural and legal environment those are likely to impact success. At the mean time, internal environmental factors are including the marketing mix modeling and marketing mix, strategy constraints and performance analysis (Aaker, 2008).
Marketing strategy is of great importance for business management. A sound marketing strategy can directly lead to a successful business promotion. As far as Shaw (2012) concerned that once a thorough environmental scan is complete, the strategies could be structured to establish the challenging goals and to identify the business objectives and determine the optimal marketing mix to achieve the aims and the detail implementation. In fact, marketing strategies vary from industry to industry tremendously. The common is that marketing strategy can help bring companies to the task of marketing their services and products to the public. Morello (2013) concluded that there are two main advantages from successful marketing strategies. On the one hand, marketing strategy can give organizations marketing campaigns and efforts a focus. On the other hand, marketing strategies provide organizations with information they would not have access to otherwise. Organizations managed as successful as Apple must have sound marketing strategies. Steve Chazin (2010) mentioned that Apple’s marketing strategy influences its business strategy. He mentioned that Apple has focused on providing the best user experiences all around the world and suggested that all entrepreneurs need to remember that fix something that is broken by concentrating on making whatever came before much easier.
Products strategy and promotion strategy
Product strategy is the core component of overall marketing strategy. Product itself guides the decisions which a business can make to achieve its marketplace success. In the marketing term, product is anything that could be offered to the market to meet a need (Riley, 2012). Choosing and implementing suitable product strategy is an important task. Organizations need to determine their products’ competitive advantages and decide the way to position their offering to the market. Promotion is in fact one of the market mix features or elements, and the term adopted frequently in marketing. Rajagopal (2007) noted that the elements are personal advertising, selling, direct marketing, sales promotion and publicity. A promotional plan usually have a wide range of objectives, which includes the new product acceptance, sales increases, positioning, competitive retaliations and so on (Hansen, 2010). Researches found out that there are many different ways to promote products in different areas of the media. In general, organizations use special events, internal advertisement, newspapers and endorsements to fully advertise their products.
Products and promotion strategies are the basis of the marketing strategy. Promotions, if done well, are the effective method for organizations to market their business, services or products (Robertson, 2005). Apple has recognized this point of view and capitalized on it early on. For example, the word of mouth has been regarded as the most effective form of promotion for any service or the product due to its non-commercial intent and honesty. According to Bui (2012), blog comments and forums have become the extension of word of mouth in this century and Apple has adopted it early than others.
Effective branding strategy
By definition, branding strategy comes to a long term plan for the promotion of a successful brand so as to achieve the specific goals (Richardson, Dick and Jain, 1994). Brand is the name, term, symbol, design or any other feature which identifies the seller’s product to be distinct from others. Developing branding strategy can be one of the most difficult steps with marketing plan process. Branding strategy is often the element which results most businesses biggest challenge. However, it is the vital step in creating the organization identity. Neumeier (2004) argued that branding is not about to get the target market to choose the company over the competition, but to get the prospects to see the company as the only one that can provide a solution to the certain problem. As a consequent, to succeed in branding, organizations must understand the wants and needs of their prospects and customers.
According to researches, a well-defined and executed brand strategy can affect all aspects of the business and it is directly connected to the customer emotions, needs and the competitive environments (Souza, 2000). Apple has been well-known for their branding strategy. On the one hand, Apple Inc. uses their Apple brand to compete across many competitive markets. Its brand goal is to make a significant contribution to the culture. This seems to have made a difference in the mobile phone market. Apple also uses the well-known tool, Exclusivity Technique, which is typically executed with the relative success by the business giving the select subset of consumers the special deal on services or products. This technique helps Apple to create a better consumer business relationship and has been proven to increase its brand loyalty. On the other hand, Apple insists that a brand should put itself in the customers’ shoes. This ensures it to run faster than other competitors.
Customer satisfaction is defined as the number or the percentage of the total customers whose reported experience with an organization, its services, or its products exceeds the specified satisfaction goals (Paul, 2010). Customer satisfaction is a frequently used term in marketing all over the world. He also concerned that within organizations, the customer satisfaction ratings can draw powerful effects. This is because organizations nowadays are focusing their employees on the importance of fulfilling customers’ expectations. If a brand has certain loyal customers, it can gain positive word-of- mouth marketing that us both highly effective and free. In the literature antecedents of satisfaction have been studying from many different aspects. The considerations extend from the psychological to physical, from normative to positive. It is suggested that in the literature consumers might have various types of expectations while forming the opinions about the products’ anticipated performance. Miller (1977) identified four types of expectations: expected, ideal, desirable and minimum tolerable. There has been a lot researches in this area. Olson and Dover (1976) and Olshavsky and Miller (1972) designed the researchers to aim at finding out how perceived performance rating were influenced by the expectations. As far as Mittal and Frennea (2010) concerned that these studies took out discussions about explaining the differences between perceived performance and expectations.
In fact, it is the measure of how services and products supplied by the organization meet or even surpass customer expectation. Gitman (2005) argued that customer satisfaction is a key performance indicator among business and is a part of the Balanced Scorecard. In the marketplace where business competes for customers, the customer satisfaction has been seen as the key differentiator and has become the key element of business strategy increasingly. Companies today recognize that customer satisfaction is the critical strategic weapon which can bring increased profits and the market share. Companies that want to meet their customers’ satisfaction need to do a valid and well-designed customer satisfaction survey. For Apple Inc, the iPhone has topped J.D. Power and Associates’ customer satisfaction survey again in category of the wireless smart-phones. Apple’s meteoric growth has significantly encouraged the smart-phone market through these surveys (Schramm, 2013).
From the above list literatures, it can be seen that businesses all exist to deliver the products which satisfy customers. There are a great many of researches and studies that focus on marketing strategy. These studies may differ in many aspects. However, they would all agree that marketing strategy is at the heart of any business strategy. This study aims to explore how iPhone maintains its marketing position in mobile phone market in UK. The way to analysis a company’s marketing position is to fully understand its marketing strategy and the specific ways to achieve its marketing objectives. Therefore, placing the marketing strategy and related factors in the literature area as a solid theory background plays an important role for this study. The above listed literature reviews can be concluded as following:
On the one hand, before analyzing a company’s marketing position, there must be clear sight of its marketing strategies. This is because an effective marketing strategy is essential for each business. It can give organizations a clear direction as to where they can go with their efforts and give them better understanding of what their marketing methods are going to meet their consumer demands in exact manner that the organizations are hoping for. Therefore, analyzing Apple’s mobile phone marketing strategies in UK is the way to explore their current marketing position.
On the other hand, analyzing a company’s marketing position must start with their basic marketing strategies, including the product and promotion strategy, branding strategy and customer satisfaction strategy. As illustrated in the above literature review, these factors are the essential parts of marketing strategy. Consequently, since Apple has such good marketing strategy, it must have certain achievement in these aspects. This leads to the necessity to analyzing Apple’s product and promotion strategy, branding strategy and customer satisfaction strategy to find out its marketing position.
How can Apple maintain its marketing position in the mobile phone marketing in UK 代写
Section 3 Research Methodology
Research methodology is a way to systematically solve the research problems. According to Irny and Rose (2005), research methodology is the theoretical analysis of methods that are applied to a field of research and study. Typically, it encompasses the concepts like the theoretical model, paradigm, phases and the qualitative or quantitative techniques. The methodology does not conduct to provide the solutions but to offer the theoretical underpinning for the fully understanding. As far as Katsicas (2009) thought that methodology does not just describe the specific methods, even though much attention has been given to the kinds and nature of the processes that constitute the constructive generic framework.
For this study, the main research problem is to find out how Apple maintains its marketing position in mobile phone market in UK. To solve this problem, this study firstly goes through a lot of related researches, collects and analyzes the previous studies on marketing strategies and information of Apple to place as a theoretical background. In addition, the main research method for this study is to adopt interviews to collect the primary information from the marketing managers who work in Apple Inc. in UK. The best choice is face-to-face interview, if not possible, the author would use phone interviews. Therefore, both primary and secondary data collection methods would be adopted. Afterwards, this study would use qualitative data analysis method to critically analyze the collected information from interviews and literature reviews. Finally, this study can draw a conclusion and succeed in achieving the aim of finding out how iphone maintains its marketing position in UK. The detail research methods are illustrated as following:
3.1 Research background
Nowadays, as most businesses try to out-do their competitors with the sheer advertising brute-force, the world’s biggest and the most successful brands, Apple have dared to be different and reaped the rewards through becoming top in global mobile phone niche (McCormack, 2013). When is comes to the marketing strategies, Apple Computers is the organization which can consistently work on being on the leading edge. Once Apple succeeded in convincing the buyers which only MP3 players worth having was the iPod, then Apple set its sights on the cell-phone market. In order to start the marketing campaign, rumors began surfacing the online in late 2006. Apple was planning on looking into getting into the mobile phone market. At the very beginning, in order to make its phones as affordable as possible, Steve Jobs then worked out an exclusive arrangement with AT&T to underwrite the cost through cell-phone carrier. What’s more, to better promote iphones’ market, Apple came out with the “APP Store” that is built on the concept of iTunes store. APP Store allows iphone users to download the software directly onto their iphones and the software was proprietary and can only people who using iphones can use many apps those Apple sold. As always, Apple has promoted the iphone experience as totally user unobtrusive and friendly, which is a definite part of the Apple marketing strategy. In 2012, iPhone was reported to sell faster than Android in Britain (Trenholm, 2012). According to researches, sales data collected by London that is based Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reveal which Apple’s share of the market in UK jumped from the original 25.3% to 30.5% for only three months period that ending on 30 June 2013. Nowadays, people all know that iPhones do hold great value and it must have a lot of successful marketing strategy.
3.2 Research objectives
The research objectives are the specification of ultimate reasons for the carrying out of researches in the first place. Research objectives can help developing the specific list of information demands. The purpose of a research is to discover the answers to questions by applications of the scientific procedures. To achieve the aim of exploring Apple’s way to maintain its marketing position in mobile phone market in UK, this study has set three objectives so as to make the research effective and valuable.
Firstly, collecting information about Apple’s marketing condition in UK to have a fully knowledge of how its business is currently.
Secondly, carefully study and analyze the above collected information to raise questions and combine them with the opinions in literature review to design interview questions.
Thirdly, comprehensively study the information that collected from interviews and draw a critical result.
3.3 Research questions
Specifying research questions has been considered as the first methodological steps that investigators have to take while undertaking researches. Research questions must be clearly and accurately defined. In all of the cases, well designed research questions make the theoretical assumptions more explicit in framework. For this research, the research questions are designed on the basis of the literature review. After comprehensively understanding the previous studies, the author comes to a conclusion that analyzing a company’s marketing position must know its marketing strategy first. Therefore, the questions are mainly designed to better understand the factors that may influence Apple’s marketing position. The questions are divided into two parts. Question 1 to 3, are some general questions to know about Apple’s corporation mission and vision, its target market and the marketing objectives. In addition, question 4 to 7, are designed know about Apple’ s product strategy, promotion strategy and its branding strategy, as well as how they do to meet customer satisfaction. From these aspects, iPhone’s general marketing strategies can be explored. The questions are list as following:
1. What are the mission and vision in your company?
2. What is your target market?
3. What is your marketing objective?
4. Your iPhones are very popular in all around the world, how do you make your products so successful?
5. How did you promote the markets for your iphones?
6. What is your branding strategy?
7. What to you think about customer satisfaction and how do you meet the needs?
3.4 Sampling design
In the theory of the finite population sampling, sampling design could specify for each possible sample. A sample is the subset of population that is studied without measuring the entire population. It represents large population and can be used to draw indifference from that population. Babbie (2001) mentioned that sampling design is a research technique that is widely used in social sciences as the way to collect information. For this research, in order to gain the answers of the above research questions, the target interviewees are the leaders in Apple Inc. As a consequence, the total amount of the sample population can not be large. The author plans to directly go to the official Apple stores in Covent Garden and Regent Street in London and Manchester Arndale and Trafford Center in Manchester, UK to interview the marketing managers in the four stores. If it is not possible to gain face-to-face interviews, phone interviews would be adopted.
3.5 Methods of data collection
Data collection is the process of measuring and gathering information on the variables of interest. The data collection component of the researches is common to all areas of studies that include the social and physical sciences, business and humanities and so on (Reynolds, 2013). Data comes in two forms: primary and secondary. Primary data refers to the data that someone has collected by using his or her own efforts. The advantage of using it is that the researchers can collect information for specific purpose of their studies. The researchers can use survey, interviews and direct observations to collect the data (Institute for Work & Health, 2008). Secondary data is usually collected from the published researches and sources that are conducted by other people. There are several types of secondary data, including information from Census, an organization’s health and safety records or the government statistical information and so on (Boslaugh, 2007). In general, the advantages of secondary data are: it tends to be inexpensive and readily available to obtain; it can be examined over long period of time (Miller
, 2003). Nowadays, the researchers would use the combination of the two data source to collect information for their studies to make it more comprehensive and persuasive.
As a consequence, the main data collecting methods for this study are both primary data collection and secondary data collection. Primary data is what the author collects directly for interviews with the leaders in Apple Inc. For secondary data, the author goes through a lot of previous studies about the research questions, including what marketing strategy is, the factors of it and how it directs and influences marketing position. The secondary data in this study does play a solid theoretical background for preparing and designing the effective interviews.
Section 4 Data Analysis
There are widespread debates in the recent years among many of social sciences that are regarding relative merits of the qualitative and quantitative strategies for research. This study uses qualitative research method. According to Norman and Yvonna (2005), qualitative research method is the way of inquiry employed in many different academic disciplines, in market research and further context, traditionally in social sciences. In general, qualitative researches are aiming to gather the in-depth knowledge of human behavior and reasons which govern the behavior. As far as Creswell (2006) thought that qualitative methods investigate how and why the decision making instead of just what, when and where. The research population is smaller but the samples are more usually used than other large samples (Savin-Baden and Major, 2013).
In addition, three most common qualitative methods that are explained in detail in the respective modules come to in-depth interviews, participant observation and focus groups. Each of the methods is particularly suited for specific type of data. For this study, as the questions are designed as the open-ended questions and giving participants’ opportunity to answer in their own words, so the most suitable method here is in-depth interview. In-depth interviews are the optimal for collecting data on the individual perspectives, personal histories and the experiences, especially when there are sensitive topics to be explored. Through in-depth interviews, this study can collect more valuable information for the marketing managers in Apple Inc. What’s more, the information can be more accurate and specifically for exploring the way Apple maintains its marketing position in UK.
Section 5 Ethics, Validity and Presentation
Firstly, research ethics is the field of the ethics which works to apply moral principles to particularly research. In general, this field of ethics is typically concerned with what is wrong and what is right in a very broad sense. Skovdal and Abebe (2012) argued that research ethics are very important for researchers who conduct medical research, and this is largely because a great number of the trial work and testing need to be conducted before the researches are put into practice. Secondly, the principle of validity is also a fundamental cornerstone of scientific method. Ogince, Hall and Robinson etc, (2007) mentioned that in statistics and science, research validity is a extent to a concept, measurement or conclusion is well-founded and accurately corresponds to real world. It also refers to whether the study is scientifically answering the questions that it intends to answer. Thirdly, good presentation of the entire study is the final step of the research. The research topics, background, content and methods should be clearly illustrated.
For this study, the credibility criteria involve establishing the results of the qualitative research and the credible or relievable from the point of participant in the research. This study guarantees that the information collected for the secondly data such as literature review and first information from interviews are collected and critically analysis by the author himself. Questions concerning to the reliability and validity are associated with how valid and reliable the author's data collection and analysis are. This is why this study uses research method to ensure the data recording is accurate. Finally, this study would be well presented in paper work.
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