MKT7003 Marketing - Cardiff School Of Management - Gulf College, Oman
Learning Outcomes - On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:
- Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role and function of marketing in a variety or market and organisational contexts.
- Critically evaluate and utilise marketing research data and methods to a given marketing situation.
- Apply and evaluate the principles of organisational and environmental audits to inform marketing strategies, decisions and objectives.
- Develop and justify a marketing plan and mix for a given target market.
Company - Ooredoo in Oman
Individual Report - Prepare an individual essay which 'Critically analysis in both theory and practice satisfaction, loyalty and the relationship between them'.
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Answer - Marketing Analysis of Ooredoo Company in Oman
Marketing and production of different products and services are the core of economic life in any society. All types of companies perform these two fundamental operations to satisfy their commitments to their stakeholders, consumers, employees, owners and the culture, at large. They ensure a benefit that according to economists can be defined as a utility that is the want-satisfying power of a product or service. There are four basic types of efficiency exist such as place, ownership, time and formability that each organization needs to maintain through their marketing and production principles. Although marketing principles offer significant inputs, which specify customer preferences, the company's production functions are responsible for the actual creation of form utility. Proper marketing functions take place, time and ownership utilities. Time and place utilities specifically focused on communicating with the customers and providing them with services in different places and times and through different purchasing mediums as per the preferences. Therefore, marketing is necessarily connected to the success factors of an organization. This study will be focusing on various methods, theories, segmentation of marketing in the context of developing satisfaction and relationship with consumers of Ooredoo Oman company. The two folded analysis will be focusing on the theoretical and practical study of the marketing process.
a) A critical analysis of marketing theory concerning satisfaction, loyalty and the relationship between them.
Having identified marketing in the prior section as a managerial and social procedure by which organizations and individuals achieve what they require and want through making and exchanging services, values, and products with their customers, this section will examine marketing concepts concerning satisfaction, value and relationship management. It is significant to note that in a marketing process these elements relate to each other.
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The process of transactions leads to the concept of demand. A market can be defined as a set with actual and accessible buyers of products. This may exist in a physical or virtual environment as a marketplace. The concept of the market for an organization could be divided into two parts; one is self-sufficient traders, decentralized exchange and centralized approach of transfer (Felix, Rauschnabel and Hinsch, 2017). With a developing economy, trade becomes more centralized, as seen in the development of organizations. Supermarkets currently serve million of customer who formerly purchased in smaller outlets. Ooredoo as one of the largest telecommunication companies around the world presently focused on centralized markets around the world with their services and products that could satisfy groups of customers.
Products and services are anything, which could be provided to a market or specific customer segment to satisfy their needs. Various marketers often use expressions like products and services to distinguish between intangible ones and physical items (Baker, 2016, p.30). Ooredoo Oman as a telecommunication company has both ideal and tangible products to satisfy their customers around the world. This organization provides its customers with various post-paid and prepaid mobile plans and other broadband internet services. This company has introduced the first 3G mobile services for its consumers. This organization has developed its service range as per the needs and wants of its consumers in Oman.
Need, want and demand
Needs wants, and desire of consumers in the market depends on the customer choices. Customers select products from the market as per their current requirements and want. They only get interested in products that could satisfy their needs and worth the money. The demand for a product is getting influenced and developed by the requirements and wants of the customers.
On the other hand, the organization needs to structure their product line of change it as per the elements cited above (Pearson, 2016). For instance, Ooredoo Oman has developed its telecommunication services as per the needs of its customers. They have also introduced the 3G+ internet connection for homegrown and business consumers so that the speed of work could get developed. Therefore, the demand for their service become essential for their consumers and thus elevated applications in the market.
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Value and satisfaction
Value and satisfaction are related to customer choices. Consumers generally evaluate product and service value by comparing them with their needs and wants as well as sometimes with other similar existing products. Organizations do not provide the product that will be at zero cost but try to develop a product portfolio through understanding consumer needs and want in the market (Kotler and Armstrong, 2013). For instance, Ooredoo has developed superior telecommunication network and internet services for their consumers for the first time before other organizations. This is their value and satisfaction management with the consumers. Additionally, consumers also value their products and services.
Exchange and transaction
Exchange and transaction happen between two suitable partners. Trade and trade could be domestic or international. This type of marketing could be in exchange for money or business partners could sign exchange and transaction policies for value to the other (Schor et al., 2016, p.72). Two partners must maintain communication and delivery. For instance, Ooredoo has made a partnership with Atos for developing infrastructure and information security. This partnership is an example of exchanging digital technologies of Atos to increase industry-leading solutions for the businesses and customers (globenewswire.com, 2019). This type of business transaction and partnership needs communication, trust, and value for each other.
Dynamics of marketplace
Market dynamics are operations that will influence prices and the behaviors of customers and producers. In a market, these operations make pricing signals that result from the fluctuation of supply and demand for services and product. Dynamics of the marketplace has been discussed below;
1. Supply-side market dynamics
According to Dugast (2018), the supply side theory has three different pillars that are tax policy, regulatory policy, and fiscal policy. Although, the overall concept is that the supply of products or production is most significant in identifying financial growth.
2. Demand-side market dynamics
Market demand in comparison of supply process underlines orders for a product or service and who wants to buy it. This is a determinant by how willing consumers are interested in spending money on a product or service. A decrease in market demand could bring prices low.
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3. Different types of markets
Marketing management also depends on different kinds of markets. According to Homburg Jozic and Kuehnl (2017, p.385), there are five essential types of markets and their systems that impact on the marketing process and price structure of a company. These market types are perfect competition, monopsony, monopoly, monopolistic competition and oligopoly (Brunsson, Gustafsson and Hallström, 2018, p.148). Ooredoo belongs to a monopolistic competitive marketplace, where different competitors exist with perfectly differentiated marketing strategy and unique selling proposition.
Market competitiveness or organizational competitiveness could be defined in two ways. As per the understanding of McDonald and Wilson (2016), market competitiveness could be underlined as the capability of an organization to attract their consumers in the best possible ways. On the other hand, organizational competitiveness could be identified as the ability to implement continuous process capabilities. The second definition is directly linked with operational management process. Competitiveness could be measured through internal audit and external strategic analysis. Various factors influence the competitiveness of an organization. Quality measurement, process quality, quality of products, customer availability, brand performance, and strategic alliances are the critical factors that directly impact on the competitiveness of an organization.
Consumer behavior analysis
Changing consumer behavior can be positive or negative for organizational growth and success. Some factors impact on consumer behavior. Psychological factors like concepts, faith, motivation, attitude are essential to evaluate to understand the purchasing decision of a consumer (Sharp, 2016). On the other hand, personal choices and characteristics are also important factors that affect purchasing behavior or could cause a change in consumer behavior. Social and geographical factors are also crucial for analyzing consumer behaviors.
Market segmentation is the process of dividing a group of people as per their purchasing power, income, age. Market segmentation process could be widely divided into four major parts such as demographic, behavioral, geographic and psychographic segmentation. After segmentation there comes positioning. Organizations should at first divide target their potential customer, and they split them as per the parameters underlined above (Camilleri, 2018, p.72). After that positioning of a product or specific market, the strategy could be done. Large multinational organizations or international companies generally go for geographic and demographic market segmentation process for identifying potentiality of their target groups for purchasing their products.
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Importance of marketing research
Marketing research is two types, one is secondary research, and the other is primary research. Importance of marketing research for organizations is enormous. Before communicating with the marketing plan or modification in the supply chain process. Organizations should organize fundamental market research by evaluating current brand reputation and perceptions of consumers about their products (Malhotra, 2018, p.30). For instance, Ooredoo could arrange an online survey for their consumers to identify serious lacks in their market communication process, relationship management, and consumer satisfaction level. This type of marketing research could help this company to determine the most excellent ways to manage relationships with their target consumers and therefore make a change in their existing process.
Loyalty, satisfaction, and servicescape
As underlined above, customer loyalty and satisfaction level are linked to the needs and wants of them from a company and how they are providing them through their services and products. On the other hand, servicescape is a model invented to analyze consumer behavior at its fullest. This model consists of three different elements that an organization could arrange or organize and implement to achieve success in different markets and brand recognition among customers could develop (Ballantyne and Nilsson, 2017, p.230). These three elements are ambiance, sign, symbol and artifacts, and spatial layout and functionality. Implementation of this model will be done in the next section.
b) A critical review of how your chosen company could develop marketing strategies to increase both satisfaction and loyalty with its customers in the real world.
Introduction to the current situation of Ooredoo Oman
Ooredoo is a leading international telecommunication organization with branches spanning the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. Ooredoo Oman is situated in Oman with services such as 3G+ internet, broadband services, land services, and others to over 2 million customers and one of the largest telecommunication organizations in Oman. This organization is currently helping businesses in this country to transform the way they operate their businesses. This organization has launched their all new business application to provide its B2B consumers more control over the accounts with the help of a wide array of features and services. This innovative online service is the first of its kind in the entire country in telecommunication market, which elevates the organization's digital solutions as well as puts its full product portfolio of business-oriented products one click away (ooredoo.com, 2019). This organization is trying to improve its consumer loyalty and satisfaction level. A critical review of marketing strategies will be based on this context.
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Internal audits are done to identify organizational strengths and weaknesses and how a new strategic move could reduce gaps. A SWOT analysis will be done to determine, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of Ooredoo Oman.
- It has been seen that Ooredoo has a substantial brand value and brand growth in its domestic market.
- Compared to other regional peers, this company provides best in class services
- The consumer growth level in the emerging market is comparatively high (ooredoo.om, 2019).
- There is an opportunity in merger and acquisition.
- The upcoming FIFA football world cup could be insignificant investments
- Political interference can be one of the main factors influencing the decision-making process
- Total debt of Ooredoo is on the higher level
- The cutthroat market competition that exercises pricing pressures
- Swiftly changing technological demands in consumers and the market (ooredoo.om, 2019).
Table 1: SWOT analysis of Ooredoo (Source: Created by the learner)
From the above internal audit regarding consumer loyalty and satisfaction level of Ooredoo, several points have been underlined. Possible strategies are listed below that could help increase customer loyalty and satisfaction level.
- As cited above good brand reputation is the sign of trust of customers on brand performance, Ooredoo should take care of their financial issues so that brand image among the consumers could not get harmed in the future. Sustaining consumer loyalty could be more comfortable with this stance.
- Ooredoo should focus on developing technologies such as storytelling method is helpful for smart companies nowadays. Though this method, the consumer will relate to the company's current policies, pricing strategies, and innovations.
- Effective merger with technological giants around the world would help in providing consumers with technological advancements in the services in emerging countries. This would in turn help in boosting up consumer satisfaction level.
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Governmental interferences in the Middle East and Oman effect the business processes of Ooredoo. This organization should focus on laws and policies of the telecommunication industry wherever they are targeting to develop their business (ooredoo.om, 2019). This will help in gaining consumer trust.
Recession, oil price fluctuations are some of the current economic factors that directly influence businesses. In this context, the company should focus on restructuring its pricing strategy so that consumers could avail their services without interruptions.
Fulfilling social and environmental responsibilities always help boost up consumer loyalty for the brand (ooredoo.om, 2019).
Searching and analyzing organizational capability to adopt and implement new technologies in their products will help Ooredoo to cope up with consumer satisfaction level.
Table 2: Macro environmental analysis of Ooredoo (Source: Created by the Learner)
The strategic decisions of Ooredoo Oman will be based on market selection and positioning. Though developing market or investments in new areas or countries are not directly connected with extending consumer loyalty and satisfaction level of domestic consumers; strategic decisions have an indirect effect in stabilizing or sustaining current level of consumer loyalty in the local market as well as increasing new ones in target markets (Wolter et al., 2017, p.460).
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Markets of Ooredoo always surrounded emerging countries. This organization has successfully developed different segments in various developing markets including Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia. Though turning business towards developed countries such as Europe could help increase consumer faith in organizational capability and performance (Wolter et al., 2017, p.465). This factor is essential for a company to evaluate consumer loyalty level. The product characteristics or consumer benefit as a positioning strategy will be helpful for Ooredoo. This strategy will help them to communicate good attributes of their products with customers that are missed at advertising.
Operationalizing the marketing mix for a target segment
Marketing mix elements
As per the current market demands, Ooredoo has enough online present and continually trying to enlarge their online communication process with consumers. Developing online communication platform where customers could participate in a survey process to judge the quality of products will increase chances for this company to know current needs of their consumers and produce products according to that (Jochen, 2016). This is an excellent way to enhance an effective customer satisfaction level.
The pricing strategy should reflect the fact that consumers are getting best in exchange for their investments. The economy pricing policy for domestic customers and penetration pricing policy for foreign customers will help develop consumer loyalty (Jochen, 2016).
Developing market is not an easy job for companies specifically in the telecommunication industry where technology becomes one of the specific and sole judging factors for brand performance (Jochen, 2016). Therefore, in the future, the increasing market in developed countries will influence this organization to change ways and produce a way to expand a technology-based product line and communication platform. These processes will help in gaining trust and satisfaction level of foreign consumers.
As per the market demands and consumer needs developing internet speed, application upgradation in mobile phones and even turning to blockchain technology will be useful.
Table 3: The marketing 4Ps analysis (Source: Created by the learner)
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Servicescape model implementation
Spatial layout and functionality
As stated above, Ooredoo has been introducing and promoting their B2B business application so that self-sufficient consumers around their domestic country could control their accounts and achieve necessary information regarding digital solutions. This online spatial layout of the new service will help consumers to avail digital solutions according to their needs. Additionally, practical B2B digital solution is an excellent imitative by the company to increase consumer loyalty (Oke et al., 2016, p.45). On the other hand, active functionally of the same will influence on consumer satisfaction, searching behaviors and organizational performance.
Signs, symbols, and artifacts
Modification of signs, logos, and objects in case of future products as well as existing products as per the culture, believes and practices of different consumer segment could develop consumer interest on Ooredoo's products.
Creating an ambient situation for consumers often is difficult work. It depends on each consumer how they will accept and respond to the efforts of the organization. Though promoting ambient conditions of products according to the trends and popular choices of each consumer segment of this company could help in increasing customer loyalty and satisfaction level (Oke et al., 2016, p.47).
From the above analysis, different marketing principles and theories have been evaluated that help in enlarging different in-depth perspectives of the methods. Each marketing theories and their discussion have helped to understand their importance in business growth. Instances of the organization have been underlined and explained how these marketing theories have a connection with the positive as well as negative results after implementation. On the other hand, the second part of this study has been developed in the context with the organization, Ooredoo Oman and how marketing elements and models could help increase the communication and relationship with their existing consumers. All the facts presented in this study are significant for future research also. All the facts regarding theories, operations and processes are explanatory enough of what organizations could do to develop their potentials to achieve objective and success in the future.
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