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discover how marketing principles work in different corporations. First there is Parcelforce, a company which has a mission of providing parcel service that is connected to the Royal Mail Group. The company is the parcel branch of the UK mail system, and as such they have had to compete with other services that are both national and international in nature. As a matter of fact, Parcelforce works in other countries as well, so they also are an international entity as well. The other company to be examined is Peacock an international clothier. Peacock is primarily based in Britain, but they also have more than 200 stores outside of the UK. How these companies conform to basic market principles, distribute products, react to economic local and international market forces will be discussed.
Task 1 - Understand the Concept and Process of Marketing
1a) Identify the main elements of the marketing process and explain if / how you think Parcelforce use these elements.
Parcelforce specifically and the Royal Mail Group in general have not had to worry about competition as they do today. Global companies have become a much larger area of competition because they are able to offer a similar product at a reduced rate. Because this competition operates on a large global scale, these companies are also able to provide a much wider scope of services than Parcelforce has previously been able to offer. Though Parcelforce operates internationally on a small scale, it is not as involved in that trade as other carriers. This means that the company has to maintain its market by providing something that the larger international carriers are unable to.
For one thing, the service has name recognition within the UK, and they have provided this needed service for many years. While the international carriers are relatively new to the UK (within the last three decades for the most part), the Royal Mail Group has operated for centuries. This means that the managers of Parcelforce can offer a knowledge of the customer base that it is impossible for the competition to have. Since this is a free and open market, any competitor can enter the industry without any repercussions. But they would be entering a market that is already very crowded, and they would have to offer something that Parcelforce and the others could no For these many reasons, one of the marketing strategies of Parcelforce has been to increase their perceived customer service among the population of the UK. Since many of the customers that Parcelforce maintains are large entities within Britain, the company has made an effort to keep these customers by offering services that are specifically tailored to them. This means that the company must make an effort to become intimately familiar with these businesses and Parcelforce must also forge personal relationships. The company has also begun an initiative among its employees that focuses on customer service. Employees are encouraged to spend time creating relationships with customers instead of worrying about the speed of the transaction. These relational elements ensure that the customer is satisfied with each interaction they have with Parcelforce and that they continue to come back. This has helped the company operate in the black for the last several years.
This emphasis on relationships and building customer trust is one of the many ways that international marketing has changed over the last couple of decades. People want to feel that they have had a good experience, and they want to feel that they can trust the people they do business with. Because of this shift in the sensibilities of the customer, it has forced many companies change the way they do business also. It no longer works to provide a superior product if the public perceives that the sales force or the manufacture is uncaring. Actually, it is a return to the local way business was previously conducted. It seems that since people are more and more required to conduct business with large multinational corporations, they want a sales experience that is more like what they used to get when most companies were local. Parcelforce is making this a reality as far as their sales are concerned.
Parcerlforce also has realized that it has to become more efficient if the company is to survive in a global market. Especially since they operate in a completely open market, they want to make sure that they are able to compete with whatever industry competitor comes along. Of course, they are too small to have the global impact of a Federal Express, United Parcel Service, or DHL, but they can operate in the UK and Europe with the same amount of efficiency as these other companies. To accomplish this, Parcelforce has had to cut its workforce, close some of the hubs that it had maintained, and in other ways streamline its way of doing business. The company recently opened a large sorting center that allows it to process more packages with fewer workers and with fewer mistakes. Parcelforce realizes, as do other companies, that it must operate with a new goal of customer service while it continues to upgrade its services with the newest technologies. Because this is the information age it should be easier for companies to work with efficiency and speed. Such innovations as new methods of tracking packages and improved means of distribution should make it easier to increase the companies perception with customers.
The problem here is that the company is trying to change perceptions, but the public can be fickle. One thing that an open market gives to customers is choice. While that is good for the customers, it is not good or the individual companies within an industry. Because customers have so many choices, one bad interaction can mean that they will move to another purveyor permanently. A marketing concept that relies on the steadiness of customers could prove to be very faulty.
1b) Discuss the likely benefits and costs to Parcelforce of adopting a marketing orientated approach.
It is possible for a company such as Parcelforce to be a success regardless of the fickle nature of the public. Basically they have to be better at practicing customer service than anyone else. The company that has the faith of the consumer will be the company that remains when all others have failed. One thing that Parcelforce has is name recognition among a diverse industry that has contains a few large conglomerates. Although customers may recognize the names of the other companies, they will realize that Parcelforce is a UK company and that it is associated with the Royal Mail Group. Besides this recognition though, there are several other factors that the company can use in its favor.
Parcelforce has begun to look at ways that it can increase how it conducts customer service, and see if there are any more avenues it can pursue. They have found several ways that they can actually serve customers better. The customer base is growing older around the world, especially in the UK because of what was termed in America as the "baby boom." After World War II, many returning service people immediately started families. This means that now, sixty years later, most of those "babies" are now senior citizens. To accommodate this group, drivers are required to write their cards as large and legibly as possible so that this population can see them better. There is also a push within the company to make sure that drivers and others who interact with the public know how to speak to the disabled population. Training has become a crucial component of a marketing strategy.
One market strategy that Parcelforce has recently implemented is to ensure that they are reducing the company's carbon footprint in as many ways as they possibly can. This means that they are going to try and make their company as green as possible. This means using natural gas or propane driven moving equipment, and making the routes they use efficient so that the trucks that are used are using less fuel. Also, the company can point out in advertisements that they are a more local company which does not have to transport packages around the world employing large fleets of fossil fuel guzzling airplanes.
The company realizes that customer service impacts the company in six major ways:
"Deliveries to the customer -- providing timely delivery, prompt response to queries, clear documentation; Re-deliveries -- ensuring clear procedures are in place; Collections from customers -- providing a timely service with documentation; End-to-end parcel location (tracking) -- an online service with easy-to-use screens means customers can find out when a parcel has been delivered; Customer contact -- improving customer communications and providing help by web or by telephone; Making claims -- making it easy for people to claim if things go wrong" (The Times 100, 2010a).
These six areas are not separate parts of a marketing strategy, but a team strategy. The company realizes that it will take specific…[continue]
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