In this assignment I am going to explain how Waitrose uses marketing research for its marketing planning. I will look at the following information for marketing planning: Marketing planning process model, SWOT and PESTLE analysis and SMART objectives.
Marketing Planning Process
Marketing planning process involves both the development of objectives and specifications for how they will be accomplished. There are five basic steps in this process.
Political factors: Political factors include policies such as tax and fiscal policies, trade tariffs that a government may impose around the fiscal year and it may affect the business environment to a great extent. These factors determine the extent to which a government may influence the economy or a certain industry. For example a government may impose a new tax or duty due to which entire revenue generating structures of for example Waitrose might change.
Economic factors: Economic factors include rates such as an inflation, interest and foreign exchange rates; economic growth patterns also depending on certain specific industries they’re undergoing this as analysis. These factors are determined of an economical.
Social factors: These factors cover issues such as cultural trends and population. Waitrose has to consider what products to provide in certain areas as to what products people buy the most and who are their target market are in that particular area. Also as Waitrose has quite a few branches in other parts of the world for example Abu Dhabi, Waitrose would have to do both primary and secondary market researches in order to find out whether their products would be sold successfully.
Technological factors: These factors cover and relate to changes in technology that may affect the operations of the industry and the market favourably or unfavourably. This refers to automation, research and development and the amount of technological awareness that a market owns.
Legal factors: These factors cover both external and internal sides. There are certain laws that affect the business environment in a certain countries while there are specific policies that companies maintain for themselves. Legal analysis takes into account both of these angles and then charts out the strategies in light of these legislations. For example, consumer laws, safety standards, labour laws etc. Environmental factors: These factors include all those that influence or are determined by the surrounding environment. This aspect of the PESTLE is crucial for certain industries particularly for tourism, farming, agriculture etc. Factors of a business environmental analysis include but are not limited to climate, weather, geographical location, global changes in climate, environmental offsets etc.
SWOT analysis is a tool that identifies the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of an organization.
Strengths: Waitrose have their own brand, which has over 20000 products, which are mostly all of them are free range, organic or faitrade, including their own ‘essential Waitrose’ products which promote a new and healthy lifestyle for their customers. Waitrose owns farms working with its farmers, growers and other suppliers, it ensures the best standards in quality, safety, environment and animal welfare are applied across its supply chain, supported by its own inspections and farm assurance schemes. Therefore having good relationships with their farmers is very important as it can assure that the products they receive will be as expected and reliable. Waitrose holds a Royal Warrant with Her Majesty the Queen in order to supply goods to members of the Royal Family.
This is one of their strongest points as non-other supermarket has such honour. As well as that Waitrose shares a partnership with John Lewis, which increases Waitrose’s reputation; Waitrose would have struggled to achieve the success it has today without the help of the partnership. The partnership also functions as a team therefore diversifying risks. Waitrose has a strong culture of co-ownership due to the fact that it’s not owned by shareholders but owned by everyone who works for the partnership). Weaknesses: Waitrose is very dependent on this product range with a majority of sales coming from its own brand. Diversification would be helpful to gain better strength in the market. Their high price levels also are quite a big risk.
Opportunities: Waitrose could improve their website i.e. the online shopping in particular, the amount and depth of the detail should be precisely increased so the online shoppers would be able to find out everything about each product as they do not have the opportunity to see it. As well as that they could also modernise is and create new functions. Waitrose has the opportunity to plan store expansion and new store opening which would allow Waitrose to be recognised by different countries if they take the risk to open new branches in other parts of the world.
Threats: By being one of the more expensive leading supermarkets in the UK, have to battle their competitors for example supermarkets that provide cheaper goods such as ‘Tesco’. This should be taken for consideration because supermarkets such as may attract more customers by selling the same products for cheaper. However Waitrose target market are the middle and the upper classes as well as those who wish to have better and healthier lifestyles, therefore they still attract customers but many choose the cheaper option. Furthermore the growth of the competitors is increasing fast.
SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) marketing objectives could be set for the business given my findings from the PESTLE and SWOT analyses. These four objectives are suitable for Waitrose:
Objective 1 – Be more environmental friendly and use less packaging, as this will make an easier recycling process for the customers. In addition they could replace the current plastic bags to paper bags, even though it may be more expensive they could charge a small amount for the bags. Furthermore the plastic bags would stand out from the ordinary bags that Waitrose’s competitors use and would let them be original. Waitrose’s aim is to make their target market choose to live a healthier lifestyle, the bags would represent their ecological and organic products and would show the passion that they have for wanting to not only improve the health of many people but also for protecting the environment. Therefore it will look better in the eyes of many customers.
Objective 2 – Increase their sales and maintain their already existing customers. The way they can achieve this objective is if they retain their high quality products and keep their customer service to best quality possible. As well as make sure that the food is always fresh, and always be there to land a hand to any customers if they need it. One way that Waitrose can increase customer service is by providing as many as possible self-check outs in conventional stores and big convenience stores; this makes shopping in Waitrose quick, easy and more convenient. This will improve the service given to customers.
Objective 3 – Develop relationships with the local community and their contribution to it. It is good for Waitrose to support the community, because it will have a good impression on Waitrose, and it would raise brand awareness, so customers would come to Waitrose stores, this would raise revenues, which would also help in achieving the aim of maximising profits. Objective 4 – Waitrose is generally popular and concentrated in the south of England and has few branches in the north. Gradually increasing the number of branches in the north will increase the number of customers, so this would increase brand awareness. Also when increasing number of branches in the north, this will help Waitrose make links with the community, which will increase brand awareness even further.
All of these strategies help Waitrose to determine its strategies and tactics, as well as help them to implement and evaluate changes in the business. It is important to monitor the plan to ensure the objectives are being met because in order to achieve the objectives Waitrose have to follow each strategy, which will help them consider what really needs to be improved or changed in order to be able to achieve their goals which would lead the business to a greater success.