|Marketing Management Case Study - Samsung
Table of Content
2.1Marketing Strategy 5
2.1Co-Branding / Branding Partnership 6
2.2Print Publications 6
2.3Bait Advertising / Complimentary Products 7
2.4Internet Advertising 7
2.5Practical Demonstration 8
2.6Corporate Meetings - Seminars 8
2.7Sponsorship Programs 9
2.8Digital Advertising 9
2.9Outdoor Advertisement 9
2.10Vertical Marketing System 10
2.11Internal Marketing 10
3.1SWOT Analysis 10
3.5TOWS Matrix 13
4.1Retain Position in Fiercely Competitive Environment 15
4.1Third Party Operating System 16
4.2Targeting Potential Regions Aggressively 17
4.3More Intensity in Tablet Market 17
4.4Acquisition of Local Brands 18
4.5Focus on Home Appliances & Consumer Electronics Market 18
5.1Internal Marketing 18
5.1Communication Plan 19
5.2Allocation of Resources with Consensus 20
5.3Senior Management Participation 20
5.4Research & Development Initiatives 20
5.5Internal Brand Communication 21
5.6Constant Reinforcement 21
5.7Employee Engagement 22
5.8End Customer Benefit 22
Multinationals in order to prevail have to think proactively so that they can outsmart their competitors for retaining current position or grow on consistent basis. This has been followed by Samsung as well over the decades which has made it a well renowned brand all over the world. However it's now time for the company to move on and adopt some more aggressive strategies in order to retain its current position.
The main source of competitive advantage of Samsung is its wide range of products especially in smart phones market. It research and development department play an important role in creating a value proposition for customers which is unmatched. Samsung Galaxy is among its brands generating high value profits and expected to keep on growing. However the global dominance is yet to be proved in some regions.
Samsung has managed to differentiate itself effectively from competitors by offering high quality products at reasonable prices. There products have always targeted masses and are perceived high value brands. However their biggest threats include Chinese products and operating system adopting backward integration strategy.
Samsung has turned into a global company through consistent modification and customization of its products and needs to carry on. This is due to the fact that management adopted diverse mediums of marketing addressing every segment right where they can pay optimum attention. On order to outsmart their competitor in new products they co-branded with various industry players like software manufacturers of DVDs. Various other print and digital mediums were adopted aggressively and online mediums as per the needs.
Samsung must look to move on by launching its own operating system in mobile phones market which will be immensely helpful for generating more revenues and becoming autonomous. Tablet market needs more attention of management which can generate more revenues and is the potential market with too much to offer.
Samsung in order to work as a unit should make it employees as a team through internal marketing efforts. This is to make sure every single person working for Samsung in any capacity helps in generating maximum value for the customers.
Samsung was founded in 1938 in Korea by Byung-Chull Lee. They now operate in various industries which include Information Technology the foremost, medical services, advertising, construction, retail, hospitality and financial services. In 2013 they generated US$ 327 billion as revenue, of which US$ 30.1 billion was net income (Samsung, 2014). Currently they have 427,000 employees working worldwide. Among its subsidiaries Samsung Electronics is the most prominent which at present is the highest valued information technology company in the world.
Marketing strategy is defined as the aim of growing sales and attaining a sustainable competitive advantage. The common feature of Samsung's marketing strategy is its promotion regarding a specific product (Shankar and Carpenter, 2012). Samsung promotes its products in numerous ways ranging from relevant trade fairs attendance to providing posters, print brochures and specification sheets. Samsung has an updated website where information about every product is available and the information can also be taken by brochure lines. With the assistance of corporate sponsorship, Samsung increases its general brand awareness.
All these promotion techniques support the launch of a particular product. The marketing strategy for every product may vary, but the entire activity is observed and co-ordinated by Samsung's internal communication network i.e. the Marcoms Division. In this study, marketing strategies of three different products has been discussed (Ferrell and Hartline, 2011).
Co-branding or branding partnership is the marketing partnership of two or more brands in order to work in an integrated manner. Co-branding not necessarily means joint venture which is the integration at operational, research & development, or manufacturing end. Branding partnership allow companies to capture market share effectively by serving the client of partnered brands. Like if fast food chain co-brands a soft drink company it will help beverage brand to capture share as customers of restaurant using drinks of competitor brands would be left with no option other than to use co-brand beverage. Similarly fast food chain can attract customers of soft drink company who use to go to other restaurants not because of food but due to quality beverage.
For the launching of DVD players, Samsung opt the strategy of building links with software manufacturers. The major factor of DVD players’ popularity particularly in the UK market was the huge availability of software by rental and retail outlets. Co-branding between DVD manufacturers and software developers mean optimal compatibility which lured retailers and manufacturers. The cross fertilisation of information between two producers gave retailers, dealers and consumers greater confidence in the new product. Attempts were made to develop marketing partnerships with software retailers so they stocked Samsung DVD players, with most DVD players being distributed through multiple retailer channels.
Print publications is a highly effective form of advertising in which advertiser can address large audience and is generally used for mass marketing. However niche markets can also be targeted by selecting magazines of newspapers circulated for that particular segment like sports magazine for sports lovers, food magazines for those love to cook.
Samsung targeted various hardware and software magazines which targets consumers for placing advertorials. This is form of print publications which reflects an independent review or new story which articulates about generally in favour or a product. The benefits of DVD technology was explained by the advertising in the specialist and consumer press. These advertorials provided ample information about Samsung DVD players by covering various facets of new technology.
Bait Advertising / Complimentary Products
Samsung in order to introduce a new technology among its customers and make them familiar with DVD players also used Push marketing techniques. Such advertising included bait advertising and complimentary products. Bait advertising is illustration of the product given for no charges or nominal price in order to make target market aware about the product or service. Complimentary products are those provided for free upon buying a product which is substantially higher in price.
Samsung utilized film magazines in order to provide free sample of discs pasted at cover pages of those publications. Customers can try out these DVD discs on any retailer having Samsung DVD player and if decides to buy the device will be given 6 DVDs for free provided by the software manufacturer. In this was both co-branded companies ensure their products get recognition in new market on quick basis. In this technique free disc in film magazines was bait advertising and 6 DVDs on buying of player was complimentary advertising.
Push advertising was also employed by Samsung on internet which was a new form of mass recognition at that point. Company designed various screen savers of DVD player and people watching using those DVD players. These screen savers were made available for download at various film websites. Since DVD player is primarily used for watching films which are first observe by viewers at those websites dedicated for movies.
Best of advertising a new products is to give its practical demonstration to target market. For DVD players there was a readymade platform for targeting its potential users i.e. cinemas. The company which Samsung co-branded staged different events where movies were shown at big screens using DVD players. Since Samsung was the manufacturer of DVD players so it helped in its promotion too. Between break time both Samsung and software developer ran their advertisements on big screen and also distributed brochures. Those influenced enough to buy were facilitated by putting a stall outside those cinemas for instant buying at discounted pricing.
Corporate Meetings - Seminars
For attracting large audience of B2B customers seminars is very effective for of advertising which helps in addressing such valuable clients directly i.e. face to face. In order to flourish its flat screen monitors Samsung first targeted corporate clients who require long hours of work on computer. Samsung adopted a totally different strategy for the launching of FSMs. They were primarily designed for corporate customers who spend a long period of time sitting in front of the computer screens and needed better definition with a larger display quality. An open day and seminar was organized for corporate customers and advertisement was done through product specific papers and magazines and one-to-one marketing strategy was also applied upon the corporate customers.
If these corporate clients recognized the effectiveness of these FSMs it will help in addressing consumers through them and medium selected for this lucrative segment was seminars. This campaign worked which also helped in targeting retailer owners who then attracted high income social group at stores having expensive brands. These high income group was the next most profitable market after corporate clients. High street shops customers were attracted by TFTs in which sales assistant recorded the sale as the customer entered the shop, and details and images of complimentary items were displayed on screen.
To attract business class to use Samsung TFT technology, radical marketing strategy was made by initiating brand awareness programs and instil good perceptions regarding TFT.
Samsung opted a different strategy for the mobile phones.
In order to create brand awareness among its customers of expensive mobile phones management sponsored various global sporting events. This included Sydney 2000 Olympics and World Gymnastics Championships in order to address the potential market.
Various TV channels in targeted countries were also utilized for promoting mobile phone brand among its target market by Samsung.
Medium which cannot be left unnoticed was also targeted by clients in order to ensure a vast recognition of its mobile phone brands this included taxis, underground railway stations and buses. Since while travelling passengers are generally free and this is the best time to grab their attention.
Vertical Marketing System
Samsung made its Vertical Marketing System strong by contacting speciality retailers of mobile phones and supermarket giants like Wal-Mart. This was to makes sure that product manufactured for the masses is available at every corner of the street easily. In-store advertising also helped in promotion of products where competitor brands were also available for sale. This medium will be discussed in great detail in this paper.
Employees at different retail stores who have to interact with customer were provided with full knowledge so that they can pass similar information to customers. This medium will be discussed in great detail in this paper.
SWOT analysis or SWOT matrix is a prearranged planning technique used to calculate strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats contained in a business venture or in a project (Ferrell and Hartline, 2011). A SWOT matrix can be executed for a person, place, product or even industry. It contains mentioning the goals of the project or business venture and spotting the external and internal elements which are positive and negative in attaining that goals. The level to which an organization's internal environment matches with external environment is articulated by the strategic fit concept (Rao, Rao and Sivaramakrishna, 2008).
Strengths: elements of the project or business that provide it a benefit over others
Weaknesses: elements that put the project or business at a drawback relative to others
Opportunities: characteristics that the project or business could utilize to its advantage
Threats: characteristics in the environment that can create barriers for the business or project
S1: Samsung realized the potential of Asian market and to target it efficiently set up a plan in India in order to reduce operation cost like logistics and manufacturing.
S2: Wide range of products especially in electronics line from mobile gadgets to home appliances and TV to office products (Nisen, 2013).
S3: Large investments on research development has paid back through innovative and customized products
S4: Largest share in smart phones worldwide according to reports holds 24.3% of slice in this market till second quarter of 2014 (IDC, 2014).
S4: Highly integrated hardware design with the largest operating system for smart phones which allow its smart phones optimal speed and result.
S5: Regular introduction of updated and new models which make its customer loyal to the brand.
S6: High brand images in every region from North America to South Asia and easy affordability at the same time compared to competitor brands (Jurevicius, 2014).
W1: Apple sue Samsung twice for making replica of its iPhone 5 and therefore the company reputation and brand image distorted immensely. Samsung also had to pay a huge penalty which was enforced by court of United States (Ramanathan, 2014).
W2: Marketing division complains that budget is not allocated accordingly since potential market are left with less to spare in its advertising campaigns.
W3: Lacks in integrated marketing communication at global level since single brand gives different messages in different regions of the world.
W3: Too much dependence on software and operating system companies since all manufacturing is done in synchronization with only one brand Android.
W4: Few regions very high in potential like Middle East have not been targeted aggressively for long though market share can still be captured (Hamid, 2014).
W5: Too much focus on communication gadgets and therefore share in other potential markets were given up like office products and home appliances (Jurevicius, 2014).
O1: Huge room of advancement available in communication gadgets market which will increase with same pace in next decade.
O2: Similarly digital products like TV is also in era or innovation and it is expected to go under lots of advancement in coming years
O3: In China 5 million new customers primarily comprising teens and young adults become user of cellular phone. Similar is the case in India which is large population country like its neighbour.
O4: Large number of patents registered under the name only in United States it has around 48,000 registered patents
O5: Not many smart phone and tablet operating systems manufacturers in the market having monopoly of Android (Jurevicius, 2014).
T1: Market of smart phones in developed countries has saturated especially the ones having limited population with declining rate.
T2: Low cost Chinese products having no brand image and tend to copy innovations of companies like Samsung.
T3: Drum technology of Samsung can be replaced by the nano technology which needs to be addressed on urgent basis.
T4: Competitors like Sony and Apple have in-house software and operating system development which allows them to reduce dependency like Samsung highly reliant over Android (Jurevicius, 2014).
The TOWS (threats, opportunities, weaknesses, strengths) matrix is a two-cell by two-cell matrix that helps the organizations in concluding strategic alternatives by observing outer opportunities and threats and how they are compared to the current strengths and weaknesses of the company. All opportunities, strengths, weaknesses and threats are recorded on the outer side of the matrix and are compared within every cell (Koontz and Weihrich, 2010).
The TOWS matrix assists marketers in identifying threats and opportunities and in measuring them with internal weaknesses and strengths and is used for strategic planning. TOWS matrix aims to answer these four questions:
Strengths and Opportunities (SO): How can your existing strengths assist you to capitalize on your opportunities?
Strengths and Threats (ST): How can your existing strengths assist you in identifying and avoiding existing and possible threats?
Weaknesses and Opportunities (WO): How can you overcome your existing weaknesses by the help of your opportunities?
Weaknesses and Threats (WT): How can you reduce your weaknesses and evade existing and potential threats at best?
Table : TOWS Matrix
S1O3: Setting up a base in South Asia will help in targeting this huge market that will not be saturated due to large number of youngsters.
S3T2: Investment over R&D fails to create optimal effect due to low cost Chinese electronic products.
S2O1: Wide range in smart phone will ensure future market share increase.
S4T4: Optimal integration with giant operating system can be outran by Sony & Apple in-house software development.
S3O5: Innovation in manufacturing can be used in software since high potential available
W2O1-3: Due to inappropriate distribution of marketing budget opportunities in smart phone & electronic market in South Asia can be lost.
W5T2: Chinese products in electronic items and home appliance will outran Samsung due to lack of its focus in these segments.
W3O5: Company must look to develop its own operating system applying forward integration due to high potential.
W1O4: Patents owned through acquisition are no good if company keeps copying other brands.
Retain Position in Fiercely Competitive Environment
There are a number of aspects which must be addressed by the management of Samsung at micro and macro level in order to make sure company retains its market share and increase profitability. The global market has become extremely competitive in this century due to many reason one of which is globalization (Maillard, 2013). Multinationals whether market leaders or not cannot rely on same strategies they were working over 5 years ago as they become exposed to their competitors and can be looped against the interests of the company. Even small companies can lure those strategies in their favour and the differential impact created will vanish slowly and gradually. For big companies it's all about keeping a difference from their competitors and once that's gone customer will not pay a higher price in any case.
Similar is the case with Samsung which in the past 7 years have grown at a rapid pace in emerging markets like communication gadgets and electronic items. However it's not time for the company to take a step further and capitalize on its current status. There are some factors discussed in detail which can be considered by management of Samsung in order to become a global leader or retain the current position to be the least.
Third Party Operating System
This brand of Operating System Android who holds 84.7% of smart gadgets market is owned by Google. Google has diversified most immensely than any other company in technology and communication industry and has been producing smart phones. Google acquired Motorola in 2013 and also has joint venture with LG for the smart phone brand Nexus. So Google after its success in operating system adopted backward integration strategy by manufacturing smart phone in order to cut the supplier. So Google is a direct competitor of Samsung whose operating system company uses.
So if Samsung has a perception that it will remain as smart phone leading brand in coming years due to current strategies will make it sink like last dominated company Nokia. Samsung must capitalize on its strengths and should introduce an operating system in its smart phone and tablet brands. Samsung must not cease the contract with Android and should carry on but at the same time look to develop its own operating system like Apple and Sony. This operating system can be first tested on lower scale brands of smart phone produced by Samsung.
Targeting Potential Regions Aggressively
Markets in developed countries have become saturated of smart phones like North America and specially Europe. There are other potential regions which are not as aggressively targeted by like Middle East & Eastern Europe through it advertisement and distribution (Hamid, 2014). This biasness will become a problem for management one day as Apple has already strong hold of this region. Even Apple has corporate and government contract in this region which helps it in making this region extremely lucrative in terms of profit margins. Management must look over this weakness very seriously and aim for extensive distribution and aggressive advertisement of its products.
Although Samsung is a leading brand in smart phone but tablet market is lead by Apple globally. Samsung needs to capitalize on its resources and attempt to gain share in tablet market. At present it is only 18.3% as compared to Apple's 22.8% share globally. Most interestingly 41.3% of share is hold by very small companies having no significant brand name internationally (Statista, 2014). Rest of the share is held by companies not even in double figures which shows how much the market is open for Samsung to capture.
Acquisition of Local Brands
There are various smart phone brands which local and hold substantial share in specific regions or countries. This companies can be easily acquired by large corporations provided they have the right potential to take this risk. However this will only help in gaining dominance at local or regional level and international changes would not be of substantial effect. Therefore it is important to only target those countries for acquisition strategy having large population or high population growth rate and smart phones market is not saturated (Huang, 2013).
Focus on Home Appliances & Consumer Electronics Market
After successful venture in communication gadgets market focus of Samsung has shifted for advancing in this market only. No doubt the potential in this segment is huge and extract huge profits but the worth of other markets cannot be denied. Samsung can do better in products like laptops, office products like printers and cam coders. This can include joint venture with companies having lesser market share in these products (Dravid, 2014).
Workers are treated as "internal customers" in an internal marketing strategy who ought to be convinced of the vision of the company and valued as "external customers." It is the aim of internal marketing to support each aspect of the internal operations of a firm in order to make sure they are as proficient as possible of presenting value to customers (Ahmed and Rafiq, 2004). A company can offer a more reliable experience to its customers if it can work in a standardized and coordinated way.
Internal marketing is based upon the theory that attitudes of customers towards a firm are based upon their personal experience with that firm, and not only their experience regarding the products of that firm. Whenever there is an interaction of a customer with an employee, it impacts on their overall satisfaction. Every single employee from clerk to phone tech support specialist assists in shaping the experience of that customer. Hence, customer satisfaction is extremely dependent upon the company's staff performance (Dunmore, 2002).
One of the most complex types of marketing is Internal marketing. It contains generation of informative and persuasive messages which resound with each employee and department within an organization. The most appropriate way to perform internal marketing effectively is to make a comprehensive plan.
To identify apparent goals is the first step of any plan in the internal marketing strategy. It can be anything like raising awareness of novel marketing strategy or promotion of brand awareness between workers. Before the plan is initiated, employees should be aware of its aims and objectives. Everybody in the organization must be aware of the plan's goals and how to attain those goals as well. Organizations will use newsletters, departmental meetings, blogs and corporate retreats in order to assist in broadcasting this information (Epstein, 2013).
The plan must be accessible at any time to any employee. It is an important step as internal marketing highlights on the awareness creation and focusing efforts. Employees should be treated in a way that they feel like participants of the plan and their ideas and opinions must be respected. There are many organizations who offer incentives to their employees like vacations or bonuses in order to meet goals.
After the implementation of plan, experts should calculate and closely track the results to find if the effort was successful or unsuccessful. Most of the internal marketing strategy uses feedback and surveys of employees to facilitate in knowing how employees feel regarding the company they work in.
There are various aspects of Internal Marketing which can be implemented by Samsung in order to which will help in delivering the value to end customer.
Allocation of Resources with Consensus
Management needs to ensure that all the departments and function in Samsung should get financial and physical resources accordingly. Discrimination in this regard may lead to the dismal performance which will result in unattainable objectives (Kastrenakes, 2014). Marketing department as stated is not contend with the budget allocated to them for advertising campaigns and brand promotion.
Customers of Samsung hardly know about the management of Samsung unlike Apple, Microsoft or Google. They must participate in different affairs of marketing and corporate social responsibility conducted by the company.
Research & Development Initiatives
Samsung has recently been hit over product development issues in which they were accused of making product replicas. This factor is extremely concerning and hurt the reputation of the company in a way which is immeasurable. So it is important to management take long term initiatives in terms of research and development. Employees should be innovative having bright ideas and ability to customize customer demands in a product. They should be given shares in the company as long as they work for Samsung, which will motivate them in making extra effort to design a product for which Samsung is renowned (Records, 2014).
Internal Brand Communication
Samsung has a strength of 275,00 employees all over the world which is more than Google, Microsoft and Apple collectively have at present. This force should be used for marketing activities in different ways but first they should be narrated the value of the organization which should be linked with the brand. The link between organization value and brand must be inspirational in which visuals help in telling what customers should feel about Samsung home appliances, office products and mobile gadgets. It must be assure that instead of few function the whole organization including all departments as well as suppliers are familiar with brand values and want to work in a coherent manner (Ahmed and Rafiq, 2004).
This is extremely important for Samsung since due to lack of integrated internal marketing communication a single brand of Samsung has been given different meaning to different regions in the world. This treatment was done with various brands which killed the brand essence which is extremely necessary for it to prevail in the mind of the customer.
Internal marketing is not a campaign which requires a week or a month to conduct and then it will be successful. It is an ongoing process which needs constant work out and improvement in order to ensure employees, management, supplier thus all the stakeholders are not all working in an integrated manner but they are also hungry for results (Guadian, 2014).
Employees at Samsung can be made to engage in different activities on regular basis especially ones addressing corporate social responsibility. Samsung is manufacturing company powered by technology which means creating carbon footprints waste excretion which are no doubt detrimental for environment. Employees can be engaged to work one day a year at least for conducting activities good for environment and this planet (Goel, 2014).
End Customer Benefit
Internal marketing communication helps companies in making the brand image inside customer mind pretty clear. These practices will make sure customer knows what purpose this product serves and the value added by that brand which other cannot. Internal marketing helps customer realize that its employee own an organization and are willing to go an extra mile in order to add the right value in the life of the customer (Samsung, 2014).
This case study has identified various positive as well as negative aspects of Samsung. The theoretical aspects which have been covered in this study include marketing strategy, SWOT analysis, recommendation of strategies on the basis of TOWS and internal marketing (Nisen, 2013). All these aspects have are extremely significant for not just the growth of organization but also retaining the current position.
Samsung has been able to flourish all over the world as technology brand through its innovation, visionary management and effective marketing strategies. For every product they have advertised using different mediums of promotion which allowed them to get quick recognition among their target market (IDC, 2014). Samsung identified each market through its characteristics and targeted them using right channels which allowed it to capture market share of it launched products; LCD, DVD player and mobile phones. For DVD player techniques like bait advertising and complimentary products proved to be successful. On the other hand seminars helped in attracting corporate clients for LCDs. Mobile phones were retailed through speciality retailers, outdoor marketing and digital advertising.
Different strategic moves by management returned positive results for Samsung among which establishing a manufacturing plant in India is most eminent (Jurevicius, 2014). This will help company in capturing the potential market of South Asia and cost cutting has already been cherished. Another decision of offering wide range of mobile phone products also helped in targeting different segments. For every technology related brand China products are a concern and so as for Samsung. However in smart phones Sony and Apple are less reliant over other vendors as compared to Samsung which is the most concerning factors.
Patents owned by Samsung have not been fully utilized by the management and their research and development department since they have been accused of copying Apple iPhones (Ricknäs, 2014). Samsung has focused on smart phones and smart TV so closely that it other products seem nonexistent. They must look to stay focused on these brands too otherwise it will be hard to compete even with Chinese products of office use, home appliance and electronic items.
Samsung should also look to acquire local brands in order to gain market share among those regions which are yet to be tapped (Hamid, 2014). The most important aspect which should be addressed on urgent basis is to look for in-house operating system of smart phones. Company should keep different option alive and introduce its own operating system alongside Android for future needs.
Samsung need to employ organization wide internal marketing campaign on continuous basis. This includes allocation of resources as per the needs of each function making sure everybody has a consensus in this regard. Also senior management must participate more extensively and make their employees contribute alongside in different corporate social responsibility affairs.
Research & development staff must be realized that they are special assets of the company and Samsung heavily relies on their efforts. For each brand of the company all the concerned employees in each function and department must be conveyed the message that brand delivers to outside world. This will help in working coherently from supplier to operations and marketing to retailer.
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