I selected WALMART and fully discussed 5 of the 8 marketing strategies for groceries, apparel and electronics. Also discussed is its credo/code of ethics and lastly its social responsibility.|
1. TARGET MARKET: As discussed, target market is a group of potential customers in which a company directs its marketing efforts. A company should always anticipate consumers’ needs and work towards fulfilling these needs. It is one thing to identify your “target market” and another to satisfy them. Walmart’s credo is, “save money, live better” this summaries their target market, the lower-middle class and the poorer.
(Low income consumers). Walmart is the only retail store that is found in almost every city in the United States, and they are mostly found in the rural and suburban areas, places where other retail stores find it hard to penetrate. Walmart is also proven by consumers to have the lowest prices one can get on any item, which is why they have so many faithful customers, not necessarily because they offer the best services but because of their low prices.
Aveeno body wash costs under $5 at Walmart but most retailers sell it for more than $5. 2. MARKET SEGMENTATION: this is the process of dividing a market into several homogeneous groups for the purpose of reaching a desirable target market.
This is done by means of a research that identifies trends among certain groups of people. Walmart uses market segmentation to determine where to open their stores and what items to stock it up with. There are two kinds of segmentation and I will talk about two of the four segments. * GEOGRAPHICAL SEGMENTATION: This is the oldest method of segmentation; it involves dividing a market into groups based on their location.
In warmer states like California, Walmart does not sell ice scrapers or snow shovels, especially in cities like San Diego, because it will take a miracle for San Diego to experience snow of any kind. Same thing goes for thick winter coats. Geographical segmentation helps Walmart decide what their target market needs are.
* with age, gender, income, family size, education status, and occupation. Walmart uses more of the GEOGRAPHICAL SEGMENTATION, this is because they are aware EVERYONE need groceries and clothing. But at the same time, this type of segmentation helps them know where consumers need them most, if they can identify places or cities where the majority have a low income, which by the way is the TARGET MARKET, they know its time to situate a store.
3. BRAND MARKETING: brand is a name, term, sign, symbol or some combination that identifies the product of one company from another and differentiates them from competitor’s offerings. Walmart sells different brand names but in 1993 it introduced its brand, “great value” which spans more than 100 categories and it is the country’s largest food brand both in sales and volume. In other to produce a better quality, Walmart has worked with several suppliers and product testing facilities to ensure Great value quality is equal or better than national leading brands. It has also produced new products that sell at unbeatable prices. In March 2009, Walmart released new details about the new and improved Great Value products;
“Walmart remains committed to providing our customers with quality national and private brand products at unbeatable prices,” said Andrea Thomas, Walmart’s senior vice president of private brands. “Through our Great Value Brand re-launch, we are delivering on our promise to provide customers with the quality products they need and want at a price they can afford to help them save money and live better.” 4. PRICING: Walmart slogan is “save money, live better” and they have stayed true to this slogan. The key factor in Walmart’s great sales and profit margin is their ability to maintain low prices. Consumers across the nation know that Walmart has the lowest prices on products, but what is the secret?
Walmart has a marketing strategy called “win, play and show” and the strategy is based on a product’s price competitiveness, potential growth and customer credibility. * WIN: this means that a product has all three qualities, they are great products Walmart can offer at low prices. I.e. electronics (flat screens) prescription drugs. * PLAY: Products exists in markets where Walmart can easily compete without dominating; like clothing. Quick selling items that can be sold for a flat rate. * SHOW: These are essentials that Walmart must carry to maintain its “one stop” shopping reputation, i.e. hardware.
Walmart’s alternative pricing strategy is the “everyday low pricing and discount pricing” by offering short term price cutting tactics in form of coupons, rebates and their guaranteed ‘match it’ they have successfully maintained low pricing on their products.
5. RELATIONSHIP MARKETING: In this competitive era, companies are always looking for ways to develop and maintain a long lasting relationship with customers, employees and even suppliers. Relationship marketing is two way traffic; it goes beyond just making ‘sales’ and companies are beginning to realize. Good relationship with customers is a strategic weapon for any company, this is because long term customers buy more, do referrals and give back valuable and truthful feedback. Keeping a customer requires an extra effort.
According to the founder of Walmart: “There is only one boss, the customer, and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman down simply by spending his money elsewhere”2 Walmart is the only store in the united states that has an open policy on returns and refunds. One can return any item bought at Walmart irrespective of what condition it is returned and at the same price you originally bought it, no questions asked! Don’t matter if you have the receipt or not. This act alone has created a strong lasting relationship with their customers and has opened the door for more consumers.
* Walmart’s credo is ‘we save people money so they can live better lives’ simply put; ‘save money, live better’ and their price marketing strategy has proved that. And they are always coming up with ways to save the customer money, by offering coupons, rebates and matching the price of any competitor.
For this year’s Christmas period, Walmart’s goal is the ease the stress of shopping off their customers while at the same time giving them low prices, this means between nov1 and Dec 25 there is a guaranteed price on all products; if you buy something at Walmart and find out there is a lesser price advertised elsewhere, Walmart will give you the difference on a Walmart gift card. In addition, Walmart also has free shipping for the entire holiday season, LAYAWAY PROGRAM which enables customers to pay in bits on purchases through Dec 16.
“the greatest gift we can give our customers this holiday season is great low prices on the things they want most” explained Duncan Mac Naught on, Chief Merchandizing officer Walmart USA.3 * Walmart 3 basic believe is; a) RESPECT FOR THE INDIVIDUAL,
b)SERVICE TO OUR CUSTOMERS and c) STRIVING FOR EXCELENCE. Social Responsibility is Management’s acceptance of the obligation to consider profit, consumer satisfaction and societal well-being. Walmart has contributed in many ways than one to the community. One of its philosophy is to operate globally and give locally by supporting causes that are important to their customers in their own communities or neighborhood.
Amongst other giving’s, Walmart foundation has committed up to 2billion in cash and kind to help end hunger in America and also it is one of the largest employer of veterans and those in active duty. Since 2009, Walmart has donated more than $1 million to Veterans Green Jobs, resulting in training and jobs for more than 350 veterans.4
* If i am the chief marketing officer of Walmart I don’t think I will change much nor do anything differently. Walmart has and is doing a really great job and so far they are living up to their ethics and credo. The single issue I have with Walmart is their CUSTOMER SERVICE which is very poor. I will try to work on that and make the employees see beyond just getting a paycheck to making people’s lives better.
But I guess that isn’t the role of a marketing officer. In terms of marketing, no other store has really been able to beat Walmart; this is because their customers are very loyal by reason of the everyday low prices the store offers. There are some things I can’t buy elsewhere except from Walmart. The company has been consistent with low prices and that has helped them to keep their customers. Also Walmart’s commitment to give back to the community and help veterans has opened doors to shoppers all across the United States.
boone&kurtz. (n.d.). contemporary business 2010 update edition.