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BT Group PLC Marketing Strategy and Marketing Activities

A Report into the Marketing Strategy and Activities of an Organisation

Table of Contents

  • Overview
  • Elements of Marketing Process
  • Benefits and Costs of Marketing Orientation of BT
  • Macro and Micro Environmental Factor Influencing Marketing Decisions
  • Segmentation Criteria
  • Targeting Strategy of Wi-Fi Service
  • Impact of Buyer Behaviour on Marketing Activities
  • New Positioning of Wi-Fi Services
  • Development of Products to Sustain Competitive Advantage
  • Distribution System to Provide Customer Convenience
  • Determining Price To Set Organisational Objectives
  • Additional Elements of Extended Marketing Mix
  • Marketing Mix For Two Different Segments In Consumer Market
  • Differences In Marketing Products And Services To Businesses Rather Than Consumers
  • Difference of International Marketing with Domestic Marketing
  • References
  • Bibliography

Overview

The term ‘marketing’ is referred as the activity or philosophy utilised to offer products or services in order to satisfy customers’ needs or wants. Marketing is a process of producing assorted appealing experiences that connect with varied populace and generate the desire of distributing with others. Marketing requires proper planning, scheduling and execution of ideas that are necessary for increasing the corporate profit margin and brand image. According to Kotler & et. al. (2010) marketing is referred as the discipline and the talent of investigating, generating, and conveying value in order to assure the needs and the demands of target market with specific returns. In fact, advertising helps to identify unfulfilled needs and requirements. However, digital media also plays a vital role in the process of marketing as it enhances the relationship between customer and marketer (Kotler & et. al., 2010). It can therefore be shown that marketing is a human action designed to satisfy the needs and wishes through the replacement process.

BT Group PLC Marketing Strategy and Marketing Activities

Elements of Marketing Process

In this era of globalisation, marketing is one of the essential techniques utilised by organisations in order to sustain in this competitive market in the long run. This is because advertising establishes a connection between organizations and their customers. In order to maintain the steadiness of demands of varied products or services to sustain in the market, marketing process is highly essential for an organisation. Marketing process involves investigating the needs and the wants of the target customers. This can be possible only with the help of the strategy of marketing mix. Marketing mix is a critical tool used to form the exclusive point of sale of a product or brand. It is essentially done with the help of four P’s i.e. Product, Price, Place and Promotion (Kotler & et. al., 2010).

  • Product

Product is one of the vital components of marketing mix. Products are offered by an organisation in order to satisfy the desires and the requirements of customers. It may be tangible or intangible in nature. Tangible products are those which can be actually felt whereas intangible products are services presented to customers such as hotel service, telecom and tourism among others. In addition, companies are also looking to deliver innovative products or services that would improve customer demand, thereby increasing an organization’s role and brand image on the market, among others. (Kotler & et. al., 2010).

  • Price

Besides the product, the other vital component of the marketing mix is price. Price is the amount a customer desires to pay for a specific product or service.  Price is very essential as it determines the profit and the sustainability of an organisation in this competitive world for long run. An organization’s price of a variety of products or services has a significant impact on its marketing strategy and transactions. Moreover, the price of product or service should be reasonable and affordable for all customers.

  • Place

Place is also equally important for an organisation as it facilitates in selecting an explicit place which might be feasible to access. Moreover, distribution of product or services is also entirely linked with location of an organisation. This signifies that extensive distribution of products or services is essential in order to enhance the availability which would improve the distinctiveness of the products or services among others in the market. In addition, it would also enhance the corporate image and profitability of an organisation. Hence, it can be affirmed that location or distribution facilitates in enhancing the customer awareness and relationship along with demand (Lovelock & et. al., 2007).

  • Promotion

Promotion is also crucial for an organisation as it is the tool utilised in order to communicate varied benefits and information about products or services in order to attract customers. It is one of the significant practices that enhances brand awareness as well as improves customer relationships. Promotion can be done with the help of varied methods such as advertisements, public relations, personal selling, sales promotion and branding. Advertising is the system of promoting the benefits of products or services through varied media such as online, television, radio and newspaper among others (Lovelock & et. al., 2007).

Apart from these, promotion can also be made through trade fair, campaign, conference, and special event, which mainly focus on the facilities of products or services. Personal selling is the other important method utilised for promotion of products or services. It is mainly done through word-of-mouth. Apart from personal selling, sales personnel can also be appointed by an organisation in order to enhance the awareness of products or services. Moreover, promotion can become successful only through appropriate branding which highlights a distinctive feature and is based upon specific segments of customers. Hence, it can be avowed that promotion is one of the crucial components of marketing mix (Kotler & et. al., 2010).

Thus, it can be revealed from the above discussion that each and every element of marketing mix is equally essential for augmenting the corporate image of an organisation.

Benefits and Costs of Marketing Orientation of BT

BT Group plc (BT) is one of the world’s principal communication providers, operating in more than above 170 countries across the globe. The prime actions of the company involve offering of varied networked IT related services in local, national and international level along with broadband internet services. In the United Kingdom (UK), BT serves approximately 20 million industries and clients, and varied operators as well. The prime objective of BT Group plc is to make the life of the consumers much easier and satisfactory. BT is mainly focused on offering better efficiency and viable advantage to its customers. Moreover, BT is identified as one of the major technology providers in global market. Thus, it is essential for BT to examine the targeted markets in order to analyse the changing needs and wants of customers (BT plc, n.d.).

Market orientation is defined as a business strategy in which the main focus of a company is to analyse the identified as well as unknown necessities of its customer and it attempts to offer those services. It is mainly done to introduce varied products or services in order to satisfy the altering needs of the customers to sustain in the competitive market in the long run. BT  also offers various innovative products or services in order to cope up with the changing market demand such as super-fast fibre optic broadband helps to access the information more easily at a reasonable cost, Wi-Fi world which helps to ease communication, feasibility and downloading. Along with these, BT also has introduced 4G LTE and WiMAX facilities in cellular phones in order to improve the access of internet with the help of wide range of devices (BT plc, n.d.).

It is rather beneficial for the citizens of the UK as it has helped to gather information more easily and rapidly. Furthermore, ‘Twitter alert’ is the other innovative approach which mainly acts as a customer care thereby helping to resolve  the customers’ problems of broadband, Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) or other local networks among others. With the help of this technology, BT can easily direct and manage its customers to a greater extent. Moreover, through ‘Twitter alert’, BT can also offer immediate responses to its clients which enhance the satisfaction level as well (BT plc, n.d.).

In addition, BT also introduced swift broadband and tablet strategies in order to cope up with the changing technologies but it might incur losses in terms of revenue if these facilities are not incorporated in the daily lives of the customers. Thus, it can be affirmed that BT should introduce varied products or services in order to sustain in the competitive environment for long run.

Macro and Micro Environmental Factor Influencing Marketing Decisions

Macro and the micro environmental factors are crucial components in a marketing activity which augment the growth and profitability of an organisation. The macro environmental factors are described with the help of PESTLE analysis.

PESTLE Analysis

  • Political Factors

BT plc is one of the leading telecom service providers of the UK. BT has to abide by the set rules and regulations of Office of Telecommunications (OFTEL) in the market of the UK. It has improved the growth of telecom service providers in the market of the UK. As a result, the profitability of telecom industry improved to a wide extent (OFCOM, n.d.).

  • Economic Factors

Apart from the political factors, economic aspects also affected the marketing conditions of BT. High liberation in the market of telecom sector increased the probability of new competitors thereby reducing the prospects of growth and profitability of the existing members. Moreover, due to amplified competition, customer loyalty and reliability also condensed to a high extent. Apart from these, inflationary fluctuations in the UK have also affected the telecom industry (Telefonica, 2008).

  • Social Factors

Apart from political and economic factors, social aspects also create a high impact on the marketing decision of an organisation. Due to improved growth of disposable income of individuals, the demand of telecom and broadband service providers also has enhanced. Aside from this, the expansion of population of many developing regions such as Asia and Africa also augmented the profit margin of BT. Thus, it helped to improve the demand and total revenue of BT (UK National Statistics, 2012).

  • Technological Factors

In order to sustain in the competitive market, it is essential to innovate varied products or services so as to satisfy the changing need or demand. The facilities of Ethernet technology, 3G, and i-Phone innovations have enhanced the demand of broadband thereby reducing the total cost incurrence. Moreover, enduring incorporation of varied IT and telecom technological innovations have improved the efficiency and effectiveness of telecom industry (BT plc, n.d.).

  • Legal Factors

Legal factors are also responsible for the growth and development of telecom industry. Various laws such as telecommunication laws and regulations (2001, 2005, 2009) and National Telecom Policy of 1994 among others are implemented to enhance the growth and prospect of telecom sector, which helped BT (Walden, 2009).

  • Environmental Factors

Telecom sector does not influence the surroundings in a direct way like other sectors such as petroleum or heavy industries. Telecom sector is one of the significant segments in this global environment which does not create significant harm to the atmosphere. Still, BT is attempting to incorporate ecologically responsive business thereby reducing carbon footprints (BT Group plc, 2011). Thus, it can be affirmed from the above discussion that macro environmental factors offer a significant impact on the telecom industry of BT plc.

Apart from the macro environmental factors, the micro environmental factors also persuade the marketing decisions of the customers.

  • Customers

Customers are one of the significant elements affecting the demand of products or services of an organisation. An organisation can sustain in the long run only by satisfying customers’ needs and wants. Similarly, BT is also offering varied innovative products and services in an attempt to gratify the changing requirements (BT plc, 2011).

  • Employees

Recruiting accurate staff and motivating them by offering job specific training is also an essential part of an organisation’s scheduling process. Instruction and improvement play vital roles in accomplishing accuracy towards the services offered to customers.

  • Competitors

Competitor investigation and examination is crucial for any organisation to sustain in the market for long run. This is essential because according to competitors’ products or services, an organisation can provide high emphasis on research and development. BT is also attempting to offer modern facilities such as ‘Wi-Fi, Nano Technology’ in order to stay ahead of other market players namely Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2 among others (OFCOM, 2010).

Hence, it can be depicted that both macro and micro environmental factors highly influence the market demand of products or services of an organisation.

Segmentation Criteria

Demographic and Geographic Segmentation

Segmentation is the process by which the targeted market is separated into multiple segments in order to analyse the specific groups of customers.

The total population of UK is 62.3 million in 2010 among which about 6 million of the entire populace contain mobile phones and also utilise internet services. Besides in China market, there are 755 million subscribers of cellular technology and double the figure of internet users (Quinn, 2010). Thus, it can be evidently revealed from the above figures that the individuals of recent era are more inclined towards the telecom technology along with internet services and thus the growth prospects of this sector is quite high as compared to others in the competitive market (Office for National Statistics, 2011). Moreover, around 59 percent of total population utilising mobile phones along with internet facilities are male as compared to others in UK (Future Publishing Limited, 2011). Apart from these, mobiles along with internet services are extensively utilised by the age-groups within 16-44 years (Office for National Statistics, 2011). In China, there are 51 percent of male users and 49 percent of female users of internet and mobile facility. Thus, it can be affirmed that mobile internet services have enhanced the demand of mobile phones in the market of UK and China due to introduction of 3G facility (The Nielsen Company, 2010). Besides, the increased use of internet facilities leads to many computers utilised criminal activities which proved rather detrimental for the individuals of UK (Parliament.UK, 2006).

Targeting Strategy of Wi-Fi Service

As from the above figures, it is apparent that the population of age group between 16-44 years are more inclined towards making use of internet services, so BT should attempt to target this particular age group of customers. Moreover, these segments of the population are also familiar with chatting, emails, internet games and social networking sites which can be accessed in cafes or at home, so BT should also offer special café plans. Along with this, BT plc can also offer high speed Wi-Fi connections to its clients along with wireless local area networks (WLANs) at reasonable prices thereby attracting i-Phone or i-Pad users. Moreover, BT can also provide special downloading facility plans for domestic users of 4MG in order to attract new customers of both UK and China market (Office for National Statistics, 2011).

Impact of Buyer Behavior on Marketing Activities

Buying behaviour highly impacts on the marketing actions of an organisation. The buying behaviours of customers are widely affected by varied factors such as age, occupation, lifestyle, culture, economic situation and perception among others.

Age

Age is one of the significant factors, which affects the purchasing behaviour of customers. Moreover, according to varied tastes and preferences of customers, they alter their buying habits such as the youth are more interested in purchasing cellular phones with internet services. This is rather beneficial for BT. BT should introduce varied innovative services at reasonable cost so as to attract more consumers. Hence, age group highly affects regarding straight rebury situations and during new product purchase.

Occupation and Income

Apart from age, the other vital factor affecting the buying behaviour is occupation. The occupations of a majority of the citizens of the UK include managers, professionals, skilled traders, personal services, sales and customer services among others. Thus, the average annual salary would range to £26, 200 for full-time employees whereas the corporate managers and professionals would earn £77, 679 a year approximately (Associated Newspapers Limited, 2011). Thus, the income patterns clearly show that the citizens are quite capable for purchasing the innovative products or services of BT during modified and straight rebury situations (UK National Statistics, 2012).

Lifestyle

Lifestyle of the customers also highly influences the buying behaviour of the customers. It generally refers to opinions and attitudes of an individual in a society. Thus, as the income trends of the citizens of the UK are generally high so the lifestyle is also quite soaring. This would rather be beneficial for BT as it can target these customers for any premium products or services.

Culture

Culture also plays an essential role in the purchaser buying behaviour. As the masculinity and individualism dimensions according to Hofstede are quite higher as compared to others so it signifies that both the genders share equal rights and facilities. Moreover, due to individualism, the citizens share a common culture which is rather advantageous for a service providing organisation such as BT. Thus, the demand of internet is high among the citizens (Geert Hofstede, n.d.).

Thus, it can be avowed from the above discussion that consumer behaviour highly affects the buying behaviour at varied situations.

New Positioning of Wi-Fi Services

Positioning is the process utilised by organisations in order to craft a unique identity or distinctiveness among the targeted customers. BT can position the service of Wi-Fi among its customers with the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) or Global Navigation Space Systems (GNS) as these are global radio-navigation techniques. Moreover, it is one of significant techniques utilised for generating awareness of Wi-Fi services among customers in order to shape a distinct brand identity (The Royal Academy of Engineering, 2011).

Development of Products to Sustain Competitive Advantage

In this era of globalisation and industrialisation, innovation is the prime aspect of an organisation in order to sustain in the competitive environment. Along with this, product life cycle (PLC) strategy should be followed which would enhance organisational growth and distinctiveness in the market. PLC curve includes four stages such as introduction, growth, maturity and decline. At the introduction stage, the cost of the product or the service remains rather high due to less competition, high demand and huge eagerness of customers. In the growth stage, the price is lowered due to high competition, rise of demand and profitability resulting in increase of sales and product awareness. In the maturity stage, sales increases, cost reduces and brand uniqueness and distinction eventually leads to rise in market share. In this stage, an organisation offers varied schemes in order to improve the sales of the products or services. Finally, the stage of decline or diffusion leads to the lowering of sales, profits and prices leading to diffusion of the product in the market (Casselman & Nadeau, 2002).  Then, the organisation in order to retain its brand image in the market attempts to offer innovative services according to customer demands.

Distribution System to Provide Customer Convenience

A distribution system is a process by which the assorted products or services are offered to customers in order to maintain an appropriate accessibility. It is highly essential for an organisation.  The most vital types of distribution system which are used in order to offer customer convenience are intranet and internet. This refers that information regarding varied products or services is also offered in the internet and intranet sources in order to ease the difficulties of the clients (Computer and Information Service, 2007). Along with this, apposite distribution channels should also be maintained such as intensive distribution (where product or service can be acquired from the resellers), selective distribution (certain selective retailers are allowed to sale product or service), exclusive distribution (only certain authorised sellers or wholesalers are allowed to sale product or service). The type of distribution system is entirely based on the demand of product or service in the market (National Open School, 2012). In case of Wi-Fi service of BT plc, intensive distribution along with internet should be followed.

Determining Price To Set Organisational Objectives

Pricing of a product or service is one of the main elements, which is decided on the basis of organisational objectives. The pricing strategies are mainly determined in order to satisfy the needs and the desires of the customers. If an organisation endeavours to capitalise profits then the prices of products or services should be kept rational or optimal pricing strategy should be followed. This is utilised to attract new customers and to retain the older clients. Apart from this, if an organisation attempts to achieve explicit returns of the entire cost incurred, then it should follow cost based pricing in order to attain the overall objective return. In addition, if an organisation challenges to handle competition, then it should follow competition pricing in order to retain its market share and position among other rivals (Boone & Kurtz, 2011). Hence, in case of BT, competitive pricing should be followed in order to sustain in the market of the UK among other competitors such as Vodafone and Orange.

Additional Elements of Extended Marketing Mix

Marketing mix is one of the significant strategies utilised by organisations in order to satisfy customers’ demands or desires. The additional elements of extended marketing mix include people, process and physical evidence among others.

People

Employees or people are one of the vital elements of marketing mix. Moreover, for a service provider, the staffs or the employees should be well-trained and educated in order to offer apposite quality of services to the customers. This is essential in order to retain and enhance the relationship with the customers. Therefore, for a service provider like BT, it is essential to appoint trained and skilled staff in order to improve the satisfaction level of customers (BT plc, n.d.). Moreover, appropriate training and development workshops are also necessary for the Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) of BT to reduce the gap in between consumers and organisation (Cormack & et. al., 2000).

Process

Process is also one of the essential components of marketing mix. It means appropriate and swift services should be offered by the staff to the customers in order to enhance the affiliation and reliability. Moreover, an organisation should also offer varied types of after-sales services to its customers in order to satisfy the needs and the wants. Similarly, in order to sustain in the market, BT provides user guides, technical help and customer care services in order to solve the quarries after the purchase of products or services (BT Group plc, 2011). Besides, BT should also introduce a help line toll number for customers.

Physical Evidence

Apart from the above discussions, physical evidence is the other important factor of service marketing mix of an organisation. It mainly facilitates a customer to judge an organisation on the basis of its services. Physical evidence includes appropriate amenities to offer better customer services such as proper renovation, chairs, tables, packaging and maintenance of corporate identity among others. In order to retain, BT maintains an appropriate corporate identity which involves dedication and commitment of offering innovated services to customers to cope up with the changing patterns (BT plc, n.d.).

Marketing Mix In the Consumer Market, for two Different Segments

Market segmentation is the process to classify the target market with the help of varied factors in order to determine the specific groups of consumers with exclusive demand of similar services or products. The consumer market can be distinguished in two distinct segments on the basis of causes such as customer uniqueness and purchasing situations. The distinctiveness of customers mainly depend on the demographic factors namely age, income, perception, lifestyle and buying decisions depend on the benefits  of the services offered.

  • Product

As the young generations (16-44 years) of the UK are extremely passionate about the use of internet on mobiles so ‘Wi-Fi’ services with extra downloading facility should be extensively encouraged by BT. This would enhance the market share as well as brand recognition in the market (Office for National Statistics, 2011).

  • Price

Although the telecom sector of the UK includes many competitors such as Vodafone and Orange, BT can launch Wi-Fi service at a competitive price in order to retain in the market. Moreover, as disposable income and lifestyle is quite high so the fervent youth can afford the facility to satisfy their desire (UK National Statistics, 2012).

  • Place

The most feasible place to introduce Wi-Fi services is the United Kingdom (UK).

  • Promotion

BT should promote the service of Wi-Fi through personal websites and online media as these are highly used by young people.

Differences in Marketing of Products & Services To Businesses Rather Than Consumers

Business marketing is more essential than customer marketing in this era of globalisation and industrialisation. Moreover, the channels of distribution are shorter and more unique as compared to customers. Similarly, BT offers integrated interactions through international videos in order to assist the universal clients, partners and vendors namely ‘Wipro Technologies, Cisco Tele Presence Technology’ (BT Plc, n.d.). On the other hand, BT offers after sales services through ‘Twitter alert’ for solving quarries of all customers. Besides business-to-business services are offered much quickly than customers’ services in order to retain the global patrons.

Difference of International Marketing with Domestic Marketing

International marketing is a practice to sell products or services globally whereas domestic marketing is the process of selling inside a specific country. Moreover, the extent and technology utilisation of international marketing are wider as compared to domestic marketing. Besides, the political rules affect the pace of international marketing rather than domestic marketing. Marketing activities surely affect consumer decision making (Kotler & et. al., 2010). Therefore, the aspects of domestic and international marketing play a crucial factor in attaining sustainability for BT.

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