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MKT 511 Marketing Management Assignment - The Potential Market Segments for the Mother Care Company, Abu Dhabi University, UAE

Assume you work at Mother Care UK whose traditional target market, babies within your region, is shrinking. This segment is projected to decrease over the next ten years.

Recommend other potential market segments and discuss the criteria you should consider to ensure that the identified segments are useful.

Explain in details and give full examples to illustrate your thoughts.

Each potential target segment must have a name that reflects the content of the target segment.

Each potential target segment has to be profiled in terms of demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics.

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Answer - The Potential Market Segments for the Mother Care Company

1. Introduction

A well-known and renowned retail organization of British origin, Mother Care specializes in a wide range of products, for babies and expectant mothers. The organization has successfully established an extensive marketplace in the global retail platform. The organizations are largely known for its unique general merchandise product offerings for mothers as well as children starting from infants to the age of 8 years. Since its inception in 1961, the organization has exhibited immense dedication and motivation in catering to its primary target market, comprising of babies However, since the last few years, a decline in this target market have been observed in the operational scope of Mother Care in the United Arab Emirates. The decline is sales value is gradually progressing towards a negative sales projection in the UAE for the coming years. As an initiative to innovate its product offerings, Mother Care product range comprises of baby products focused particularly on infants including nursery furniture, bedding, toys, feeding as well as clothing. Whereas there are some other products too which have been launched for mothers and children aged up to 8 years.

The following report has focused on assessing the current market of UAE for Mother Care followed by suggesting potential target market segments for it, due to the rapid decline in its present operational in effectiveness. Initially, some potential market segments in which Mother Care can progress within UAE are identified while further discussion elaborates on the characteristics of these suggested segments. Moreover, targeting evaluation criteria is implemented on the segments, and final recommendations are made for Mother Care UK for UAE's market

2. Potential Market Segments

Market segmentation is the process that helps organizations to seggergate customers into smaller groups, based on their common needs, demands and preferences relating to any product or service (Pooler, 2018). The identified segments primarily comprise of customers who exhibits or reacts in the same manner towards the marketing strategies undertaken by organizations. The process is of immense significance in helping marketers to develop strategies that can be used to lure the purchase needs and desires of a group of people.

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Due to the decrease in the traditional target market of Mother Care including babies, the organization requires to identify new market segments. It is essential for the organization to successfully invade the competitive as well as prospective retail business landscape available in the UAE with a new range of product categories. Furthermore, recommendations for the new market segment taken into consideration by Mother Care includes girls, pregnant women, and disabled parents.

2.1 Girls

The company needs to expand into other countries to increase its sale globally. The new target segment is girls who are techno-savvy and use their mobile devices to browse products, review content and purchase product. The organization should focus on developing its presence in digital operational medium, to successfully gain the attention of young girls. In GCC. countries like the UAE has shown rapid increase in young population, notably being, young girls. Therefore, it is essential for Mother Care to focus on countries, where potential for further brand expansion as well as strengthening of operational activeness are in abundance, notably being the UAE. A unique customer attraction strategy to consider by Mother Care is that the company website should provide all of its offerings to the customers in a convenient manner. Furthermore, the selected operational site must be easily accessible as well convenient to be used for a large number of customers (Rigby, 2017).

Segmentation: The majority of the customer segments to be considered by Mother care lie within the age group of 9 to 15 years. Mother Care can go ahead with targeting residential girls as well as tourists visiting UAE. In addition to this, the organization must also target elite class and upper-middle class people, who have high income and are found to spend immensely on their leisure, comfort, and fitness. It will be a close match in between the product offerings of Mother Care and the luxury preference and quality of products over price.

Targeting: The size of the identified market segment comprising of girls would be around 900 thousand. The main competitors of Mother Care include Marks and Spencer Group, Alexon Group PLC, Toys R Us Limited, etc. Mother Care needs to continuously improve the quality of its products and services to sustain and meet the needs of consumers as well as overcome the competitive forces associated with it. Furthermore, the organization should focus on product innovation to successfully attract new customers and retain them for a prolonged time period. Mother Care possess excellent resources and capability to penetrate GCC markets extensively, especially the favorable retail business operational scope in UAE (Mothercare, 2018).

2.2 Pregnant Women

Sometimes it is difficult to find products for pregnant women and products that can make their life more comfortable such as maternity clothing, stretch marks removal cream, belly belt kit, etc. Therefore, targeting pregnant mothers, will be a good option for Mother Care UAE to effectively cope with the business environmental uncertainty.

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Segmentation: The gender specification of the identified customer segment are females. However, when the age group is focused, it is analyzed that most of the females in this segment are aged between 20 to 40 years. It is to be noted that the products of Mother Care UAE are mostly for upper-middle-class mothers (Pooer, 2018). Therefore, Mother Care may target the resident of UAE as well as tourist visiting the country and take full advantage of its product unavailability in the marketplace. For maternity clothing, Mother Care can target women who care about their dressing and are fashion conscious; the ones who wanted to be nicely dressed up in every condition (Camilleri, 2018). For stretch mark products, Mother Care can target women who care about their skins and want to have a flawless skin and look good after delivering a baby. As a result, it is of immense significance to ensure that mothers with high incomes and belonging to middle-class with high purchasing power are the most suitable customers of the organization. The product offering of Mother Care can be used for the purpose of developing a feeling in the minds of the customers that it offers them with some unique and stylish dress to wear during pregnancy. It will further allow these women endorse a high standard lifestyle (Camilleri, 2018).

Targeting: The size of the targeted audience for this segment would be around 12% of the population according to the statistical data (Andaleeb, 2016). The unique selling point of this segment clothing line of Mother Care is that the organization looks forward to offering pregnant women with unique fashion style and segment. As observed earlier, many brands like Marks and Spencer Group, Alexon Group PLC, Toys R Us Limited and others do not provide maternity clothes. Therefore, the market segment is likely to experience immense operational effectiveness with the product range, due to absence of any close or suitable competitor. This clothing line is exclusively designed for pregnant women with the relevant cuts and style that can keep their body all toned (Camilleri, 2018).

The average number of employees working for Mother Care in the Middle East and Asia is approximately 200. All these employees thrive towards working in a manner that can provide excellence to satisfy the suggested segment that the company can further explore (Camilleri, 2018). Mother Care assets sum up to around 276.7 million, including intangible assets of 39.6 million and fixed assets of 55.0 million. Total net income of the year 2018 is 8.2 million globally with an average of 7.8% of the profit from the UAE itself according to the company's half-yearly annual report of 2018-19. Mother Care is one of the pillars in British retailing and provides parents and parents-to-be with the best quality and innovative products for their children. It has been criticized in the past for losing quality. However, the ongoing activities set up by the executives are reestablishing the brand to a strong position again, and new age parents value the mix of good quality and value of money.

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2.3 Disabled Parents

It is challenging for disabled parents to take care of their babies. This is the reason that products for disabled parents should be introduced. Mother Care UAE can launch products which aid the disabled parents' such as easy remote-control strollers, a belt that can help parents to hold the babies in their laps while eating or doing some work and for blind parents a watch or a band that can help them to locate their child. It would help the retailer to successfully exploit the sales and marketing ineffectiveness significantly

Segmentation: The disabled parents are considered for this product category of Mother Care, therefore both male and female are suitable targets to be considered. The majority of parents in this segment are aged between 20 to 40 years. The targeted segment is mostly upper-middle-class parents. For disabled parents' products, Mother Care can target the present residents and tourist in the UAE. There is a shortage of products that are adaptable to the needs of the disabled parents in the market and rural. That is why targeting people of both areas is a better option. Mother Care can target parents who are independent and want to do all things for their babies by themselves, but due to their disabilities, they may fail or find it difficult to do so. These products will help such parents to do things for their babies on their own. Also, it can target parents who are mentally healthy and willing to make efforts instead of making excuses using their lacking. Considering that Mother Care can target parents who want to live a better lifestyle without depending on others (Zaheer and Kline, 2018). It will be focusing on upper-middle-class parents who want a quality product who want high-quality products.

Targeting: The size of this segment would be around 1.7 million people. The product line of electronic baby accessories, i.e., Strollers, lap belts, etc. for the disabled parents is not only techno-savvy but is also easily adaptable to the conditions of the consumer. This is also the unique selling point of this product (Camilleri, 2018).

Effectiveness of Identified Market Segments: These products have not been launched by any of the Mother Care's competitors earlier and are one of its kind. The potentially identified market segments reflect the aim of Mother Care as these markets' segments are related to parents and particularly mothers. This market segment will help Mother Care to expand their markets in the UAE and also assist them in becoming a global specialist for every parent even for those parents who are disabled (Pooler, 2018). Disable parents will feel that Mother Care is thinking about their feelings and bringing products that can help them; it will create goodwill for Mother Care.

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3. Conclusion

Mother Care is a well-known brand in the UAE. Due to the decrease rate of birth in UAE, the company's sales for their core products have also declined. For that, this case study analyzes and records some factors that may help the company to regain its popularity. The discussion has highlighted in great detail that the potential target market segments for Mother Care in UAE is vast, so that they can expand their sales and further sustain the market position for prolonged time period.

4. Recommendations

Based on the above-provided discussion, it can be recommended that Mother Care can focus on the known markets for its market expansion and sustainability in the UAE. The organization can introduce further new products or can focus on the product development of their existing product portfolio. The company should concentrate on popularizing its website. The digitally business platform will help the organization in gaining competitive advantage and thereby experience increased online sales. However, it is essential for Mother Care to monitor the quality of products offered to the customers on a regular basis to exhibit high degree of retention. To overcomes the above issue Mother care should diversify its market target segments from babies to pregnant women, young females, and disabled parents.

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