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Marketing Sample Assignment

Question

Assignment #2 (Due 5/july): For this assignment read and answer Discussion Questions #1 & #2 in Chapter 9, page 243.

The assignment requires careful analysis regarding marketing strategy. Carefully review each part of the question and provide an in-depth assessment of the questions, using key concepts and terminology learned in the textbook and through your research. Your assignment should be 3-5 pages with a minimum of 3 references and APA formatting. As with the last assignment, this one also requires analytical and managerial thinking from a marketing manager’s perspective. Use reliable and credible sources and cite them throughout your paper. Read your papers before submission to correct for any spelling and grammar errors.

Grading Criteria:

Answer question(s) and include relevant information regarding the topic.
Use the information and terminology learned from the course textbook, your research, and other business courses.
Include at least 3 references, in addition to the textbook. Cite them throughout your paper where applicable. No blogs. APA formatted.
There is no word count requirement. 3-5 pages, well structured, researched and thorough. Title & reference pages are not part of the page count.
Spellcheck your papers to make sure that they are free of spelling and grammar errors.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1) Apple computer’s iPod holds a commanding share of the rapidly growing global market for digital music players. To maintain its lead as the market continues to grow, what strategic marketing objectives should Apple focus on, and why?

2) Given your answer to question 1, which specific marketing actions would you recommend for accomplishing Apple’s objectives? Be specific with regard to each of the 4 Ps in the firm’s marketing program.

Answer

Apple Strategic Marketing: IPod Music players

Question 1

For years, Apple’s marketing strategy has been identified as one of the best and most effective in the world. The company has gone ahead to develop distinct products and services and has maintained a customer-based marketing approach at a time when this way of doing gaining currency (Adcock, 2000). This analysis will outline the 4Ps of marketing as have been used in the development of a marketing strategy for Apple’s iPod. As the music player industry continues to grow and develop in domestic and commercial capabilities, Apple’s marketing strategy can continuously target this market gap and potential.

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The music player industry has grown rapidly in terms of companies’ efforts to address consumer needs. As the need and demand for downloading music continued to rise, so did the investment for the production of music players(McKenna, 1991). However, in only the last decade, many companies have had to shut down even with increasing revenues due to the high level of competition.  Apple’s IPod products have carved out a market position with these products holding a top market position. Even so, Apple continuously faces the challenge of extreme competition especially from cheaper brands produced in countries with higher competitive advantages of electronic productions.

In terms of product, one of the strongest components of Apple’s music player is the ability to quickly design and create new products with new and dynamic technologies. In fact, this very flexibility of innovation has triggered a major boost for iPhone sales. While the iPod was not the first music player in the market, it quickly gained a huge market share because of its superior quality.

This product differentiation has also led to a price differentiation that also targets a certain group of people. Remarkably, Apple and Ipod customers are loyal and continuously upgrade to the latest models immediately they are released. By targeting the middle-to-upper income group, this product can continue to serve a defined type of consumers who characteristics are well understood (Steinbock, 2000).

Question 2

In order to develop continuity of sales growth, the iPod must continue to improve on factors such as portability, fashion, battery life and storage to suit the changing needs of the modern consumer. As product differentiation is a major marketing technique for Apple, it is important to sustain the technology and remain ahead of the competition while still serving the targeted niche market (Lewis and Varey, 2000).

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While product and pricing elements for iPod are well established, Apple must devise newer ways of sustaining music player sales as the modern consumer continues to seek fast devices and greater autonomy and (Stuart, 2001). For this reason, many people will alternately use a phone as a music player for its convenience and the additional features that a phone carries. One of the strategies is to partner with the sports and fitness industries in an even more aggressive manner. The fitness industry is one that is rapidly rising and considered to hold immense potential. An industry driven by health awareness and social status, the iPod can be well included into the fitness industry. This requires even more collaborations with fitness brands and sports players.

Another strategy would be to collaborate with satellite companies and automobile companies. As the automobile industry continues to grow into a form of pop culture, iPod can be integrated into the radio systems of cars and allow for the downloading or streaming of specific music of compilations. Specifically, this would be more instrumental if the mutually beneficial partnership allowed for the manufacturing of iPod-ready cars. The same case would apply in the fast-growing and constantly-changing gaming industry. Apple can seek to integrate music functionalities into online gaming consoles and simulators as part of efforts to explore ways of targeting customers in the gaming industry. Since music forms a core part of the gaming process, such collaboration would periodically evolve to suit the modern gamer (McKenna, 1991).

In addition, Apple’s customer-focused employees must target their sales activities more aggressively with a bias towards the iPod than they currently do. This company has built one of the most well organized customer services that have become a huge component of the brand’s identity. This needs to be further emphasized as the iPod continues to undergo technological transformation. In addition, new expansions such as those outlined would require maximum awareness and direct assistance to streamline the process of integrating these new systems and providing more autonomy for individual clients (Stuart, 2001). It is only through the expansion of reach of these music players can the company gain even more global market share in the music player sector.

Lastly, the music players must continue to be built on strong hardware and software components that promote compatibility. To project this air of change, there will be need to restructure Apple stores in a manner that portrays renewed enthusiasm for the development of music and sound generation software and applications. Since consumers are equally becoming more creative and inclined to create their own content, these facilitating factors will support the growth of music-sharing ecosystem that will attract even more customers.

References

Adcock, D. (2000). Marketing Strategies for Competitive Advantage. New York: Wiley.

Lewis, B. and Varey, R.. (2000). Internal Marketing: Directions of Management. London: Routledge.

McKenna, R. (1991). Relationship Marketing: Successful Strategies for the Age of the Customer. Cambridge: Perseus Publishing.

Steinbock, D. (2000). The Birth of Internet Marketing Communications. Westport: Quorum Books.

Stuart, R. (2001). Marketing Strategies, Tactics, and Techniques: A Handbook for Practitioners. Westport: Quorum Books.

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