The role of a situational analysis and market research in meeting market objectives are essential as they work together in achieving the businesses goals within the time frame given. Situational analysis is in the form of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a business which is also known as a SWOT analysis while market research is the collection of data about consumer needs and wants. Both these market process help determine the product innovation and analysing the business’s internal and external features. Apple is a well-known, global company that uses marketing processes differently to help sell their products as well as grow their company.
Situational Analysis gives the business a chance to examine their placement in the market they compete in, as previously mentioned the process of SWOT analysis evaluates the company’s strength, weaknesses, market opportunities and potential threats to provide competitive insight into the potential and critical issues that impact the success of the business. Strengths and weaknesses of a company are attributes that are controlled from the inside of the industry; opportunity factors arise from the external business environment that including opportunities within the marketplace that has a beneficial impact, this can include market growth lifestyle changes and promotion for a demand of product and services, timing is critical to cater for the opportunity. Threats are factors that are beyond the organisations’ control which are introduced externally. Some competitors’ performance is sufficient enough to place the business or the marketing strategy at risk. The SWOT analysis may help the business identify a strategic plan that will empower the business to resolve these issues if they arise. Apple is a company that has adopted the use of the SWOT analysis to help its business identify a strategic plan to help further the company in resolving any arising issues. Apple is one of the most esteemed and strongest brands in the world which is why it is capable of introducing new products due to its rapid innovation that is accepted by the society which also ensures the companies competitive advantage. Apple has a limited distribution network which restrictions the business’ market reach, another weakness of Apple is having most of its sale revenues from the high-end of the market which is mainly customers from the middle and upper class whereas the lower class have difficulty affording Apple products due to their relatively high prices. The company Apple can expand its distribution network which would help Apple to reach more customers globally, an additional opportunity that Apple has is its ability to explore other product lines due to the brand’s image as its current products are highly successful, this has been accomplished with the Apple Watch. Apple is in the technology industry because of this though competition which can be due to the aggressiveness of the firms, another way that Apple could be threatened externally is through the imitation of its products: this is a significant threat since many firms can easily imitate Apple products. Through the use of the situational analysis, the business can meet its marketing objectives to achieve its long-term goals further.
Market research is an essential process for all businesses, using market research helps the company understand potential customers and all their needs, as well as what competing industries are doing. Market research comes in two forms: primary data and secondary data; primary data are facts and figures collected from original sources for the specific research problem while secondary data is the information that has been put together by another source. Apple is one of many companies that use market research to help further their business. They do this by conducting surveys for iPhone buyers. The company conducts these surveys to reveal what drives consumers to buy Apple products rather than other competing products such as Android products made by Samsung. Apple holds a lot of data on its customers from iTunes, iBooks, and “bricks and mortar” Apple stores, the business uses this information to keep its customers updated about new products to build a stronger customer-based relationship further. Apple uses the market research mentioned; the company is always ahead of the trends in society which also helps the industry become more successful. Another way Apple uses this marketing process is through the use of continual customer involvement, the company spending large amounts of time observing customers that utilise Apple technology as well as other competing companies’. Through the use of market research, businesses such as Apple can gain knowledge about their current and potential customers through the use of primary and secondary data to understand their needs and wants in future products and what they want more or less of in them.
Marketing Objectives are the realistic and measurable goals that a business can achieve, the objectives of the company implement the framework for the industry to establish a series of steps that aim to acquire the set objectives. Businesses generally adopt a SMART approach; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time to setting targets, this approach allows the businesses objectives to be goals the business can reach with a plan implemented. There are three common marketing objectives; increasing market share, expanding the product range and maximising customer service. The roles of the situational analysis; to provide knowledge of internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats) features of the business and the marketing research which allow the industry to understand potential customers and all their needs, as well as what competing enterprises are accomplishing. Apple uses both the situational analysis and market research to help set the businesses goals; market research is used to guide decision making during the product development and strategy formulation. The situational analysis allows for the business to identify their ability to take risks, using this to implement proper strategies based on both the internal and external factors of the company. Apple uses two of the three marketing objectives, increasing market share and maximising customer service. Maximising customer service is achieved by training the employees to focus on making the consumer feel like they are right which simultaneously guiding them to the final sale. Another way Apple maximise customer service is through the uses of Apple’s original marking philosophy points; empathy: understand the customer needs, focus: eliminate other unimportant opportunities and impute: display desired qualities of the products. Apple uses increasing market share to stay on top of all competing businesses such as Samsung, in 2016, Apple was still leading the market share due to the steady sales of the iPhone 6s in the U.S. while Samsung was left catching up. Through the use of situational analysis and market research, which aid the business is making decisions during the product development and strategy formulation and allowing the company to identify its external and internal features to help create the marketing objectives.
To conclude, through roles of both the situational analysis and market research in meeting the marketing objectives are vital as they allow the business to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the industry as well as recognising the needs and wants of consumers through the collection of primary and secondary data. These help the company to plan steps to achieve the set goals of the business.