The art of deciding which marketing techniques to use is known as marketing strategy. However, using marketing techniques costs money and consequently few organizations or enterprises can afford to use them all (McLeish 2010). Furthermore, different situations require different techniques. Greggs plc is a bakery and therefore the marketing of a bakery clearly needs a different approach from that of electronic firms.
In its marketing strategy, Greggs has been able to select those techniques which are necessary for a particular product in a particular situation. It has been able to adapt successful marketing including the art of deciding which techniques to use in different situations.
The notion of marketing strategy is important in that at all stage in the planning of marketing. An efficient marketer is faced with the problem of selecting alternatives (Safko 2010). It may therefore be said that the choice of marketing strategy depends first of all on the type of product. The products offered at Greggs plc include nutritious baked foods which can be taken for any meal.
The type of market will also affect the strategy. For example, the general public are (more/less) likely to be influenced by advertising than the specialist buyers of goods for large organizations. Therefore, in essence the two factors affecting strategy in marketing are the type of (a) product and the type of (b) market.
The size and the resources (money) of the company may strongly affect the marketing plan. A large company is better able to establish a nationally known brand because it will have more funds to spend on advertising on radio, television, magazines and other forms of advertising media.
A small company, wishing to utilize its resources most effectively rather than compete on television or radio, may concentrate on sales promotion at a retail level, working intensively in a restricted geographical area (Levinson et al 2006). Marketing strategy or plan also means selecting various techniques in proper proportion and balance.
When the business was starting, they used the strategy of centralising the services from a single store which helped in achieving efficiency. They were able to expand their business by opening bakeries in other places like Glasgow, Leeds, and Manchester. They continued opening other branches in other areas as a way of capturing new markets. They also dealt with acquisition of other companies like Birketts.
Strategies Applied by Greggs plc
Greggs has its objectives which it aims at achieving through various strategies. The first strategy is to ensure that making it a great place to work by promoting culture of personal development, leadership qualities and creativity. Second is enjoyable experience where customers are satisfied by the foods offered. Third is business excellence where employees should improve in their responsibilities to achieve the company’s objectives. Fourth is challenging targets where they need to achieve a turnover of £1 billion by 2010 through expansion and acquisition of other units. Fifth is caring for the community where they get involved in charities and social projects. All these strategies focus on consumers, markets, products and the community as whole.
The top competitors for Greggs plc include McDonald’s restaurant limited, Tesco plc and Whitebread plc. Greggs targets all individual independent of their social, economic status and age.
Creating a market
The proper and active use of marketing techniques provides the possibility of creating a market.
(a) A market can be created by increasing the present volume of sales.
(b) Creating a market can mean waking up a sleeping market.
(c) Creating a market can involve creating a demand that did not exist at all.
Thus the products are made and the market is created as a result of effective
Marketing strategy. In line with this, the process of creating a market may be carried
out by a new firm or an existing firm, based either on a new product (at least new in a particular market) or an established one (Boone et al 2011). Just as launching a new product is
Creating a market, so expanding the sales of an existing company with an
established product is creating a market.
The marketing program
The programme of various activities designed to create a market (or marketing plan) must be carefully and systematically laid out. In so planning, management will usually have to take the seven (7) basic steps outlined below.
The major steps are:
(a) Market research
(b) Product planning
(e) Sales promotion
(g) Marketing strategy
The first step in preparing a market programme is to examine the market situation, both in the present and having regard to future possibilities (DeThomas et al 2008). The main effort in examining the market situation will usually be that involved in obtaining and evaluating market data.
Market research will permit the management to determine its sales objectives. For example, bakery firm will decide what percentage of the country’s market that he will want to supply in the future years. This will be his sales objective.
After market research, the next step will be to examine the merits of the product, whether new, modified or unchanged. The company must consider what purpose the product will serve and what satisfaction and benefits customers may be expected to derive from it (Roe 2004). However, the answers to these questions will determine the market and also to a degree the manner of promoting the product.
Product planning must take into account the company’s productive capacity, including the type and quality of product it can best turn out.
A manufacturer of high quality bread found himself unable to compete with cheaper popular makes, since his products is of high quality bread, he decides to turn to customers who needed these characteristics in their baking business.
The company must then decide the price of its product. It must examine its production cost and attempt to set the price at such a level that it will cover its costs and make a profit at all stages. If the production costs are found to be too high, alternative designs, better production techniques or substitute materials must be investigated.
The cost of promotional activities needed to achieve marketing objectives will also be considered. The overall activity is pricing.
Advertising, sales promotion
The next two steps will be to plan the whole process of creating and stimulating demand. The two major activities concerned with making the product known to the consumer and stimulating sales are create, promote and distribution of products in accordance with the present or potential customers demand and firms ability to produce.
The activity concerned with getting the product from the factory to the consumer is called distribution. As the sixth step, the company must consider the method of making the product available to the customer and making it easy to buy (Crouch et al 2003). There may be various possible choices and it is important to suit the means of distribution-including transport, methods of retailing, storage and service to the product.
Differential Marketing strategy for Greggs plc
The company produces products which are unique which results from new recipes and improvements in the old favourites. This gives them a competitive advantage. Their products have features which are not found in their competiting product. The products are of high quality, fresh and affordable prices boosting their selling strategy. The price of Greggs’ products is high due to its quality but customers do not mind. Also to achieve differentiation, strategies like brand image, use of technology, focus on product features, service quality, value to customers and distribution setup are applied.
Greggs Market Segmentation
The main objective of Greggs plc is to have a large market segment due to the fact that its products were made available nationally. It operates 1400 shops in UK and has plans to open 600 shops in its target markets which will help in getting a large market segment.
Research on the customer
Studying the customer
The main principle technique used to find out this opinion is called customers survey. Customer surveys are carried out mainly by the use of statistical techniques which make it possible for a manufacturer to get an accurate new customer’s opinions.
In some instances, the method known as “product test” or “test marketing” is used. This applies particularly to products which are not yet well known to the public (Bradley 2007). In such a situation neither the company nor the public really knows the potential of the product.
In a product test a limited quantity of the new merchandize will be either given to selected customers to try (this literally speaking is a “product test”) or a limited quantity will be actually offered for sale in certain locations (“test marketing”). The company will try to obtain the customers reactions in some detail. It will want to know what the characteristics or features of the product which most of the customers want. The company will then be able to emphasise in its advertising the benefits and the reasons for satisfaction which the customers may expect.
Certain products for example many products of food and beverages, soaps and detergent, cosmetics and other non-durable goods are presented ready packed. The products serves the dual purpose of presenting a given quantity of the goods in a firm in which it can be immediately carried away by the customer without the need for further wrapping, and of presenting them so as to attract the attention of potential buyers. It can be a most effective means of selling.
There is an important relationship between package size, design, quantity and price, especially in so called “packaged goods”. Customers buy products for many reasons:
(a) Because they need them
(b) For enjoyment
(c) Because they want to impress their friends e.t.c
These reasons are called the buying motives of the customers. It is well known that certain goods are bought because of their prestige or snob value, but few people would admit this as a motive for buying. However, market research designed to investigate buying motives is known as motivation research.
The importance of motive can be illustrated by the Packard car which before the Second World War, was considered a luxury car and priced accordingly. In order to increase sales, the Packard Company introduced a lower priced car to capture a wider market (Pindson et al 2008). By so doing, the company destroyed the prestige image of its expensive car and lost its place in the luxury car market. It also failed to gain a place in the wider market because it could not compete with very large manufacturers.
Customers buying motives
Buying motives, however, are sometimes difficult to discover because the customers themselves may not know what their reasons for buying the product are, or they may be reluctant to admit their own motives (Viardot 2004). For example people buy cars or furniture which cost more than they really can afford, largely because they want to keep up with their neighbours. When television was first introduced and sets were expensive, many people had television antennas erected because they wanted outsiders to think they had sets. In summary the main information to obtain from your market research should be:
(a) Potential number of customers
(b) Share of the market
(c) Where the customers are
(d) The sales forecast
(e) What the customers will accept
(f) What packaging is useful and attractive
(g) Buying motives of the customers
Research the company’s products
Product planning will involve either the development of new products or modifications to existing ones.
Product planning can ensure that the product has the features the customer s like best and offers the benefits the customers want (Abrams et al 2003). When a new product idea is formulated the marketing activity used to discover if the product will sell well and to find out what features of the product are most desirable.
When a company is thinking of making a new product it will consider its technical experience. It will determine whether its existing plant and equipment are suitable and whether supplies and parts are available.
Abrams, R et al,2003, The successful business plan: secrets & strategies, The Planning Shop, California, CA.
Berkowitz, N.E, 2010, Essentials of Health care Marketing. Massachusetts, MA:Jones & Bartlett Learning
Bradley, N, 2007, Marketing Research: tools & Techniques, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Birn, R, 2002, The International handbook of market research techniques, Kogan Page Publishers, London.
Boone, E.L et al, 2011, Contemporary Marketing, Cengage Learning, Connecticut
Centre for Business Planning, 2011, Marketing Plan. Retrieved 19th June 2011
Crouch, S et al, 2003, Marketing research for managers, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.
DeThomas, A et al. (2008). Writing a Convincing Business Plan, Barron’s Educational Series, New York.
Doole, I et al, 2008, International Marketing Strategy: analysis, development and implementation, Cengage Learning, Connecticut.
Ferrell, C.O et al, 2008, Marketing Strategy, Cengage Learning, Connecticut.
Hagler Bailly Services et al, 1999, Guidance for communicating the economic impacts of transportation investments, Transportation Research Board, Washington.
Hiebing, G.R et al, 2004, The one-day marketing plan: organizing and completing a plan that works, McGraw Hill Professionals, New York.