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Detailed Analysis On Ahold Delhaize Marketing Strategy

Question

Task: Prepare a report on the detailed analysis on Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy.

Answer

Introduction
Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy can be regarded as the overall action plan of a business in order to reach prospective consumers and transform them into customers in relation to the goods and services that are offered (Olson et al., 2018). The present study is based on the Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy which is a food retailing organization based in Europe and expanding its business into the Australian market. The competitive advantage enjoyed by the company and the marketing approach, along with a detailed study into its marketing model and social media strategy as an effective Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy will be carried out in the subsequent sections of this essay.

Overview of the organization
The vision of the company is to provide the customers with a better place to shop, to walk and a better neighbourhood. The mission of the organization is to lead together with the customers by eating well, saving time and living in a better way. Ahold Delhaize aims to operate in a fair and competitive way and improve the quality of the service and meet customer expectations (Aholddelhaize.com. 2020). A major objective of the business of Ahold Delhaize is to save for their customers through controlling waste materials, operating in a smarter way and focusing on ethical sourcing. Another major objective of Ahold Delhaize is to invest in the customer propositions through the best own brands, fresh and healthy products, and sustainability. The digital development strategy is one of the strategic marketing approaches of the business of Ahold Delhaize that has helped the company to gain success in the existing markets (Aholddelhaize.com. 2020).

The competitive advantage of the company
The competitive advantage of the company can be analysed through the VRIO analysis, which allows evaluating the resources for their rarity and inimitability, which grants either a temporary or a permanent competitive advantage to the company, over all its imminent competitors in the market when implementing Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy.

Valuable

Rare

Inimitable

Organisation

The extremely dynamic and efficient management team of Ahold is one of its valuable resources

A vast network of more than 750 stores is one of the major valuable resources that a company possesses (Aholddelhaize.com. 2020).

The patents and trademarks and own bands.

Strong revenue and Financial resources

The efficient management team is a rare resource in the retail industry.

A vast network like Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy is much rarer in the retail industry in Europe as well as other countries.

Own brands food products and patents and trademarks are resources.

High financial strength in the retail industry can be regarded as a rare resource.

Efficient management teams can be imitated by other organisations and cannot ensure long-term competitive advantage (Cacciolatti and Lee, 2016).

For the requirement of a huge capital imitation of a vast network like Ahold's is very difficult for other similar organisations, and thus, is inimitable presently.

Own brands, patents and trademarks are inimitable resources that can provide a long-term competitive advantage (Davcik and Sharma, 2016).

Acquiring a higher financial resource within a short time is very difficult and therefore inimitable, thus providing long-term competitive advantage to the company

The management team is effectively managed although it is unable to provide long term competitive advantage. The organisation effectively organises the vast network as well as the brands, patents, and trademarks and allocation of financial resources effectively that offer is a higher competitive advantage.

Table 1: VRIO framework
(Source: Created by the learner)

As explained by Alalwan et al., (2017) gaining a higher competitive advantage in the market enables an organisation to attract and retain more customers as compared to the other similar organisations. The greatest competitive advantage of Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy allows it to gain higher profitability and revenue in the existing market segments.

The social media strategy
According to Glucksman, (2017) Social media platforms transformed the traditional marketing approaches of organisations into digital marketing approaches. There are a number of social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Therefore in the first step of implementation of the Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy across the social media, the organisation Ahold is required to choose the right social media platform in the new market. The choice of the appropriate social media platform can be based on the popularity of different social media platforms in the Australian markets. In the second step of the Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy, the organisation is required to develop a social media content calendar that can help the company to create posts in an effective way and avoid little mistakes that can make the posts ineffective.

In the third step of Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy, firm can develop the social media content such as photos, videos, and graphic templates for the existing products as well as the new products and make decisions regarding the fonts, writing style, post style, voice and tone, and colours in order to enhance the brand visibility across the social media platforms. This would help the organisation to extend visual branding (Shaikh et al., 2018). The development of marketing personas can be the fourth step of the Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy implementation. Simultaneously, the performance of a social media audit can also help the organisation to analyse the effectiveness of the social media Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy for the business to achieve competitive success in the new market. Moreover, the organisation can also develop social media communities to address the problems and listen to the demands of the customers in the new market.

What are the key elements of the Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy?
Brand
According to Payne et al., (2017) to successfully expand in the international market organisations must ensure that increased brand visibility is achieved in the target market segments. The concerned organisation must focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy in the Australian market so that its brand visibility can be increased in the search engines. It is evident that SEO can build a strong website presence, help in the effective advertisement of products and gaining competitive advantage in the market.

Value proposition
An attractive proposition allows business organisations to acquire a strong consumer base and retain customers for a longer time (Gonzalez-Padron, 2017). In the Australian market, the value proposition of Ahold Delhaize includes the unique product and service offerings that the company would provide to the customers. The fresh and healthy food products data sources from sustainable sources would be one of the key help value propositions the company. Personalized offers are other opportunities that the customers can have from the concerned organisation. The incorporation of smart technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics allow the customers to have personalized service of events from the company.

Objectives
In the Australian retail industry, the major objectives of the company are to enhance the brand visibility by 20% within 6 months, to increase the sales by 15% within one year, and to develop strong network suppliers in Australia for strengthening the value chain. These Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy objectives would help the company to direct all the marketing activities in the next year so that the company could achieve the goal to successfully expand in the Australian market.

Target audience
Being a food retail organisation the major target of Ahold Delhaize in Australia would be people having an age between 20 and 75 years. The organisation would target both female and male consumers in the country. With its value of money and premium products Ahold Delhaize would target both medium-income and high-income groups in Australia. Therefore, a differentiated targeting strategy would be applied by the company in the target market segments.

Channel
A marketing channel is important for any organisation as it allows companies to communicate with the customers and sell the products in an efficient way (Nundkumar and Singh, 2016). In the existing markets, Ahold Delhaize uses an Omni channel approach to communicate and run the business (Aholddelhaize.com. 2020). The company operates through smaller stores, supermarkets, meal solutions as well as E-Commerce solutions. The similar channels would also be used to Australia for developing an effective connection with the consumers. Moreover, the utilisation of social media platforms for marketing would also serve as an effective channel for communicating with consumers.

Content mix
With a number of brands, the company provides a wide range of food products to the customers. The foods offered by the company are of the highest quality that helps the company to achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction. Therefore, in the new market of Australia, the company would present its wide range of products through different brands like Giant Food, Stop & Shop, Food Lion and Giant Martin's. To target both medium and high-income groups the company would apply a competitive pricing strategy as well as a premium pricing strategy with selective brands. Three types of stores would be launched in the Australian market that are supermarket chains, smaller stores and the E-Commerce stores and this would effectively contribute to the place mix of the Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy. For the promotion and perspective, the company would utilise both traditional and digital Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy. Social media marketing would be effectively used as a digital Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy.

Business position in the market
Business positioning is regarded as the most important marketing function of any business as it helps in elevating the perception of customers towards the products for bands of an organisation (Iyer et al., 2019). Ahold Delhaize would position its food products in the Australian market in such a way so that it would be able to provide high-quality products in medium to high price. This type of positioning of the products would assist the company to attract both the middle-income people and the higher-income people with different brands of the company.

Parameters for measurement
To measure the success of the Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy in the Australian market the company is needed to develop a number of key performance indicators. By comparing the performance of organisation KPIs to have an idea regarding the success of the business related to the objectives (Hu and Wu, 2019). For instance, to measure the performance of the organisation regarding the brand visibility, the company can conduct a survey on a small group of people in Australia regarding the brands of Ahold Delhaize. Furthermore, an analysis of the sales performance would help in measuring the success against the second objective. To measure performance regarding the development of a supply network in Australia the company would have to analyse the number of new suppliers from the Australian supplier network. In theoretical basis, the utilization of McKinsey’s 7S framework allows the management of the company to gain a holistic view of the working systems and the resources, helping in the identification of flaws in the critical aspects that needs to be considered for measuring the success of the organization

Comparison and justification of the marketing model or framework chosen for Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy
McKinsey 7-S Framework
According to Varadarajan, (2019), this model can be used in different situations which are useful to examine the ways in which various parts of the respective organisation can be able to work together. This can also help in improving the overall organisational performance along with determining the best process for implementation of a proposed strategy.

Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy

Figure: McKinsey 7-S Framework
Source: (Cox et al., 2019)

Strategy is considered as the plan of the organisation to maintain its competitive advantage

Structure has been representing the way through which the company is known to be organised

Style is referred to as the leadership that is implemented

As evidenced by Valos et al., (2019), systems are referred to as the daily activities which are carried out by the staff

Shared values are presented within the corporate culture along with general work ethic

Skills are considered as the competencies based on the employees of the organisation

Staff is known to be the capabilities of the employees

The utilisation of McKinsey 7s framework would be effective for Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy as it enables to analyse the organisational strategies and assess the changes that would be required in the internal situation of the company. This model is effective for the company in comparison to the BCG matrix as BCG matrix is only confined to the products and its role on market growth rate and market share and does not consider other aspects of a business (Olson et al., 2018). On the other hand, McKinsey 7s Framework analyses a number of aspects including system, structure, skills, leadership styles, staff, and strategies (Nundkumar and Singh, 2016). The framework is also effective as compared to the Ansoff matrix of growth strategies which only focus on the strategies of an organisation and does not consider other aspects like management, organisational structure, and systems for Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy.

The target group of the company
A target group is referred to as the new or rather the existing buyers for a service or a product however, a retailer is mainly concerned regarding the markets of the customers and is considered to be the target market of the retailers (Pu et al., 2019). The respective organisation being the Dutch Belgian operator for grocery stores within US and Europe has also been expecting to increase its target regarding the online sales after being surged within the third quarter. Ahold Delhaize had been interestingly targeted in the market of the US. It has been evidenced herein Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy assignment that the respective organisation consists of different options as its American stores can be added to Amazon which can benefit from an expanded network of distribution within the cities of America. However, the European activities of the organisation are not of that great interest as it has been much more likely for looking within the British chains such as Sainsbury and Morrisons. The company has also been looking forward to expanding its business within Australia.

Thus, as per the demographics, the company mainly targets the customers aged from younger generation to older generation, starting from 20 years to 75 years of age for both males and females. On the other hand, as stated by Morgan et al., (2019), the location also needs to be at the centre where every individual has the access to it. According to the psychographic segment, the lifestyle and income is of greater significance where middle class to higher class people can purchase the things.

As per the strategic development of the respective organisation, it considers the quote “Leading Together” which provides a framework of success that has the ability to leverage both the local and social connections. This can guide the decisions along with defining the shared promises and values while providing its local brands along with flexibility for serving best to its customers; communities and associates. This results in being a growth strategy. 

Social media to be leveraged for the development and implementation of Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy
Social media has the ability for leading towards development along with implementation of Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy as it comprises several benefits.

Branding
This helps in displaying the business personality with the help of social media along with connecting to the target customers (Chandra, 2019). The channels of social media helps in expanding the opportunities for the content; voice as well as interactions of the brand.

Conversion
Each and every follower; post and email is considered as an opportunity for the customers to convert. For instance, the use of social media within the concerned organisation results in being an effective tool to obtain new people and leads moving through the sales funnel.

Customer insights
Social media allows the company to observe valuable insights regarding the behaviours and interests of the customers. Looking within the engagement rates of social media posts for measuring the contents can also generate interest.

Recommendations for making use of social media market data
Identification and tracking of KPIs
Before analysing the data of social media, its KPIs need to be figured. These KPIs should be present in line aligning with the business strategy (Taillon and Huhmann, 2019). Thus, choice of an appropriate tool can help in collecting as well as analysing the data effectively.

Target content related to trends and interests
Social analytics are found to provide the marketers with the insights of products; contents and advertising that creates buzz along with online interest. The respective brand can leverage the respective organisation for the identification of to brand influencers; contents and similar others.

Conclusion
To conclude, the present study has evaluated the concept of Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy expanding its operations within the market of Australia. The competitive advantage along with social media strategy and Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy used by the company has also been considered in the above discussion. Nevertheless, an appropriate model of marketing with strategies has also been highlighted in the present discussion.

References
Aholddelhaize.com. 2020. Available at: [Accessed 23 April 2020].

Alalwan, A.A., Rana, N.P., Dwivedi, Y.K. and Algharabat, R., 2017. Social media in marketing: A review and analysis of the existing literature. Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy Telematics and Informatics, 34(7), pp.1177-1190.

Cacciolatti, L. and Lee, S.H., 2016. Revisiting the relationship between marketing capabilities and firm performance: The moderating role of market orientation, marketing strategy and organisational power. Journal of Business Research, 69(12), pp.5597-5610.

Chandra, M., 2019. Strategic Marketing of Educational Services and Consumer Behaviour. NOLEGEIN-Journal of Leadership & Strategic Management, pp.1-6.

Cox, A.M., Pinfield, S. and Rutter, S., 2019. Extending McKinsey’s 7S model to understand strategic alignment in academic libraries. Library Management.

Davcik, N.S. and Sharma, P., 2016. Marketing resources, performance, and competitive advantage: A review and future research directions. Journal of Business Research, 69(12), pp.5547-5552.

Glucksman, M., 2017. The rise of social media influencer marketing on lifestyle branding: A case study of Lucie Fink. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 8(2), pp.77-87.

Gonzalez-Padron, T.L., 2017. Ethics in the sharing economy: Creating a legitimate marketing channel. Journal of Marketing Channels, 24(1-2), pp.84-96.

Hu, W. and Wu, Q., 2019, August. Network Precision Marketing Strategy of Agricultural Products Based on Big Data Analysis. Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy In 2019 International Conference on Smart Grid and Electrical Automation (ICSGEA) (pp. 366-369). IEEE.

Iyer, P., Davari, A., Zolfagharian, M. and Paswan, A., 2019. Market orientation, positioning strategy and brand performance. Industrial Marketing Management, 81, pp.16-29.

Morgan, N.A., Whitler, K.A., Feng, H. and Chari, S., 2019. Research in marketing strategy. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 47(1), pp.4-29.

Nundkumar, P. and Singh, A.M., 2016. Repositioning the Durban Chamber of Commerce using the 4Ps of marketing. The Retail and Marketing Review, 12(2), pp.1-13.

Olson, E.M., Slater, S.F., Hult, G.T.M. and Olson, K.M., 2018. The application of human resource management policies within the marketing organization: The impact on business and marketing strategy implementation. Industrial Marketing Management, 69, pp.62-73.

Payne, A., Frow, P. and Eggert, A., 2017. The customer value proposition: evolution, development, and application in marketing. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(4), pp.467-489.

Pu, X., Gong, L. and Han, G., 2019. A feasible incentive contract between a manufacturer and his fairness-sensitive retailer engaged in strategic marketing efforts. Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, 30(1), pp.193-206.

Shaikh, A.A., Glavee-Geo, R., Tudor, A.G., Zheng, C. and Karjaluoto, H., 2018. Social network brand visibility (SNBV): Conceptualization and empirical evidence. Ahold Delhaize marketing strategy In Emerging issues in global marketing (pp. 149-178). Springer, Cham.

Taillon, B.J. and Huhmann, B.A., 2019. Strategic consequences of self-service technology evaluations. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 27(3), pp.268-279.

Valos, M.J., Mavondo, F.T. and Nyadzayo, M.W., 2019. How do alternative strategic orientations influence social media performance?. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 27(1), pp.1-20.

Varadarajan, R., 2019. Theoretical underpinnings of research in strategic marketing: a commentary. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 47(1), pp.30-36.

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