Task:This is an individual, written assessment, to be oompleted in report format. You are required to write around 3,001 words (+1- 10%), excluding title page, preliminaries, tables, figures, reference list and appendices. The report requires in-text referencing and a ful: reference list in APA style, with evidence that you have critically read and integrated a minimum of 20 suitable scholarly references.
The purpose of this assessment is to present the final report of lhe Professional Project you proposed in Assignment 1, This report should build upon both components of your Assessment 1 and it should be developed with the help of the tutorlco-ordinator feedback.
In order to successfully complete Assessment 2, you are required to carry out the investigation you have proposed in Assessment 1 and produce a profe!ssional research report that shows that you have followed through from finding a research question to answering that question and developing recommendations that arise from your findings. The report will follow the typical structure of a research report and will need to include Ihe followirg:
Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Topic title- “The significance of spending on promotional efforts and ways in which Apple should deal with it”
1. 2 Background of the study- Technological advancement has bought a fast-paced improvement in businesses. In this increasingly competitive scenario, organisations are facing the need for initiating effective marketing strategies that can help the company stand apart from the other organisations in the same industry. Marketing lies in the heart of a business, and most of its success is determined by its marketing efforts, the way it presents itself to the customers. A wide range of activities such as public relations, advertising, sales and promotion comes under the umbrella of marketing.
The significance of marketing is increasing at a faster pace due to the rising competition and changing nature of consumer behaviour. However, improper budgeting may result in compromising with product quality and wastage of financial resources. Before, spending on marketing, an organisation should have a proper understanding of the significance of marketing, the reasons for investing in marketing and the ways for fund the marketing initiatives. The increasing importance of marketing forms the background of this Marketing strategy assignment. In order to have a better understanding, the Marketing strategy assignment would use an example of a specific organisation. It is observed that, compared to other internationally renowned organisations, Apple makes little investments in marketing. In order to sustain its position in the market, it should consider spending more on marketing and specifically on market research. Therefore, analysing the case study of Apple would be beneficial for the project (teamodea.com., 2018). ?
1.3 Justification of the research- The research is significant as it is essential to have a proper idea of the contributions of marketing within an organisation. It is significant as it introduces the organisation to its targeted customers and helps the organisation to gain customer base along with increasing sales and profit margin of a company. Apple is one of the largest organisations in the Smartphone industry. However, currently, the android phones are replacing the popularity of IOS phones. Newer features and cost-effective price are attracting customers to buy androids. In 2018 May, such phones held 54.4% of the market share, and this shows the way Apple is losing its grounds. It requires a better understanding of the significance of marketing and more investments in marketing. The following Marketing strategy assignment is significant as this would unfurl reasons for investing in marketing (Statista, 2018).
1.4 Research Aim – This Marketing strategy assignment aims to understand the significance of spending in marketing and to find out the possible ways of facilitating the budget of marketing in case of Apple.
1.5 Research questions-
Chapter 2: Critical literature review
2.1 Introduction: In order to have a proper understanding of the significance of marketing, it is essential to review some previous literature. The following section would initiate analysing information from some other literature. It would focus chiefly on some areas that are the global trend of marketing spending; the significance of the expenditure on marketing; factors influencing budgeting and so on.
2.2 Global trend in marketing spending: Marketing has always been considered as a way to reach out to the customers, a bridge between the customers and the organisations. Since the very beginning of the 21st century, organisations are adopting newer strategies to lure the attention of customers. In order to grasp the desired customer base, organisations are considering huge spending on marketing activities. During 2012, global spending on marketing was nearly 375.19 U.S million dollar, which amounted to 389.2 U.S billion dollar just in the next year, that is on 2013. Spending on marketing is increasing at a very faster pace.
Figure: 1.1 Spending on marketing
2.3 Significance of investing in marketing: Due to globalisation and technological advancement, consumer's preferences are changing very frequently. Organizations are struggling to keep up with the changing needs of customers. Due to multiculturalism, the tastes of people from occidental and oriental nations are merging gradually (Feng, Morgan, & Rego, 2015).
In order to form proper promotional strategies that can convince customers, it is essential to understanding this changing nature of consumer preferences. For example, consumers nowadays prefer to buy products from such organisations that maintain sustainable practices. Organizations that have initiated several community initiatives are being avoided and appreciated by the customers. A organisations approach towards society and environment is influencing consumers perception. The recent child labour issue of Nike provides this fact. Thus, several factors affect consumer behaviour and their attitudes regarding a brand. Therefore, it is very essential to understand the market scenario so that effective marketing strategies can be formed. Marketing research facilitates organisations to understand this. Therefore, it is necessary to invest in marketing analytics. It is observed that knowing the market scenario properly, has become a necessary step for organisations and therefore multinational corporations are considering huge investments in marketing analytics (Hair Jr & Lukas, 2014). Likewise, promotion helps to reach to customers and magnetise their attention. Public relations helps in managing organisation's reputation is mass media and in its industry.
2.4 Ways to access funding: There are several ways through which the financial need for the marketing of a firm can be satisfied. The major ways of gaining new funds are loan stock, retained earnings, bank borrowing, venture capital, government sources, franchising, and so on. A company can also obtain financial assistance my merging with another organisation of the same industry. The use of these funding options is not limited to marketing purpose only. Ordinary equity share is one of the most common ways of funding. A company considers issuing new shares to fulfil its need for additional investment. Such funding options are mainly used for building up a new startup firm, or to rejuvenate a business by initiating more production or introducing new product line. However, these can be used for meeting the financial need for marketing as well.
2.5 Factors influencing budgeting for marketing: Allocation for marketing mainly depends on three factors that are the industry, the size of the company and the growth stage of the company. Generally organisations in the food, cosmetic and clothing industry gives more focus on the advertisement. Investments in marketing increases if, the number of existing rivals and the threat of new entities are high in an industry.
The stage of growth of a company also determines the need for marketing. For example, if a company is in an early stage of brand building, then it should give high emphasise on promotional activities (Goworek, McGoldrick, & McGoldrick, 2015). Organizations in this stage spend more on marketing than other businesses. Such organisations spend approximately 20% of their gross revenue in marketing while an organisation that already has global recognition and high brand image invests a mere 10 to 15% on marketing.
Like the stage of growth and industry, the size of a company is another crucial determinant that influence budget of marketing. Small size firms do not have the ability to spend extensively in marketing. Organizations that have less than 5 million dollar revenue invest 4 to 5% of their income for marketing purpose. Marketing budget also is depended on the type of distribution channel. For example, Business to Business spends lower than business to customer firms.
The expenditure for marketing includes the cost for sales support and the cost for brand development. Brand development costs include costs for website development, social media marketing and so on. Costs for sales support include advertising costs, campaign costs and so on. Other areas of expenditure of marketing are marketing stuff, media spend, and investments in technologies, media spend, public relations management and so on. Revenue and annual profit of a firm is also another factor that determines an organisation's expenditure on marketing (Kimes & Wirtz, 2015). A firm with better revenue would be able to make more investments in marketing. Investing a little percentage to marketing, from its gross revenue would be sufficient to meet its marketing objectives.
2.6 Negative aspects of spending extensively on marketing: The marketing function is one of the main functions of a company as it provides an organisation with the ability to identify its targeted market and reach to its targeted customers. It plays the key role in managing public relations, retaining customers, creating a strong base for customers and encouraging new customers to buy the products and services of the company. Aggressive marketing has become an inextricable feature of every industry. However, making too much investment in marketing may have some negative sides as well. Making too much investment in marketing has an impact on production and other functions (Fischer, Shin, & Hanssens, 2018). For example, if a company spends much of its revenue on marketing, then it would have to reduce production cost or manufacturing cost. It means that the company would have a compromise with the quality of raw materials. It would eventually reduce the quality of its products and services. Likewise, overemphasis on investing in marketing activities may impact on labour cost. However, it is essential to have a proper payroll structure and employee benefit schemes to retain efficient as well as talented employees. Compromising with the labour cost may bring some natural consequences. Therefore, organisations should make effective strategies for initiating the proper budget plan for marketing so that it does not affect other functions of the company and it does not have to compromise with the product quality.
2.7 Summary: After analysing the literature, it is understood that marketing has a huge significance and due to this reason spending on marketing is increasing significantly. Several factors are there that determines the percentage of investments an organisation should make in marketing. Such factors are the firm size, the industry and so on. However, investments should be made in a planned and proper way so that it does not lead to compromising with other activities of the company and does not lower down the product quality.
Chapter 3: Methods
3.1. Data Collection method: Mainly research data are collected in two ways that are the primary data collection method and secondary data collection method. Primary data collection refers to gathering firsthand information, while secondary data collection refers to gathering information from secondary a resource that is the already existent information sources. Generally, survey and interview are conducted to gather primary data, while journal and online information sources are used for secondary data collection. The topic covers a vast area of discussion and therefore conducting survey would be a cost and time-consuming affair and may not give the required result. It would collect information from online resources like journal, books and articles.
3.2 Research approach: Mainly two types of methods are used while initiating and conducting a research project, which is an inductive research approach and deductive approach (Creswell & Creswell, 2017). In inductive research, a new hypothesis is generated, while deductive analysis works on some predetermined assumption or questions. As this research has some predetermined research questions, it is using the deductive approach.
Chapter 4: Finding and Analysis
Theme 1: Investment trends in marketing:
Generally, a large size firm spends 5.8% of their gross budget allocated for marketing, for marketing analytics. It is observed that the B2B organisations are spending more on marketing that B 2 c organisation. The dependence on marketing analytics for business decision making is also increasing significantly. It is observed that, over the past five years, dependency on marketing analytics has risen by 12 per cent that is from 30 % to 42% (The CMO Survey,2018).
This scenario is not limited to marketing analytics only. Organizations are also making huge investments in other areas of marketing, such as promotion, public relation management as well. Despite the concern about privacy and data theft, organisations are spending immensely on social media marketing. 44% of promotional activities are made through digital platforms. Organizations are now spending nearly 13.8% of their budget on marketing through social media platforms. It is higher by 4% from the previous year. Digital marketing has taken a new turn with the help of mobile marketing, which accounts for 9.4% of the gross budget allocated for marketing of an organisation. It is estimated that organisations' investments in marketing may grow up to 22.9 percent over the next years.
Figure: 1.2 Increase in social media and mobile marketing expenditure
(Source: The CMO Survey, 2018)
This percentage would constitute one-fifth of the entire investments allocated for marketing. Likewise, mobile marketing is also increasing, and from the previous year, spending on mobile marketing has grown by 50%. This data shows the increasing significance of such marketing strategies. It can be anticipated that digital marketing along with other marketing efforts are bringing fruitful results and this is why organisations increasing their spending on marketing activities
Figure:1.3 Percentage Expenditure In the marketing of Tech-Giants
Among the global renowned tech giants, Apple invests the lowest percentage in marketing. Though Apple makes a minor amount of investments in Apple’s marketing, the company’s marketing strategies have something special that has saved it from a near bankrupt situation. This organisation has also shown how effective marketing can be initiated without being spendthrift in promotional activities. The first unique thing about Apple’s Smartphone campaigns is that it gives more focus on emotional marketing. In most of its advertisements, Apple shows people are having a good time while using their iPhone or iPad. They focus more n the experience and less on showing the memory size or features (Kulkarni, 2018).
It is also different in the way it represents its products to the audience. The marketing campaigns focus more on creating an experience and its brand image. The organisation’s social media marketing strategies are also a way smarter and newer than that of other organisations in the same industry or other tech giants. The organisation has spent 200,000 dollars per day in Tweeter, for its “like for remainder marketing”. The organisation has also promoted Tweets in more than 12 languages (Flynn, 2018). It shows the organisation’s ability to understand the ways to reach to its customers in the most effective way.
However, some marketers see this as an exceptional step with hardly any practical implication. The organisation also has not considered running an advertisement on Facebook that is the largest social media page. According to some marketers, Apple has emphasised more on Tweeter for a reason. It is gathering data from the launch conversations taking place in Tweeter.
Chapter 5: Discussion
In this scenario, where every other organisation are thriving for grasping huge customers base, by utilising marketing as a critical tool, Apple would fail to retain its position in its industry, unless it considers huge investments in innovative marketing strategies. The secondary data source shows that Apple makes the lowest investments as compared to other organisations in similar industries. Among the giant international corporations, Apple is the lower investor as it invests only 7% of its revenue for marketing, while organisations like Microsoft and Intel spends nearly 18% and 15% respectively. However, there are some features of marketing of this company that helps it to stand apart from others.
In the literature review section, it is observed that spending extensively on marketing may lead to affecting other functions. In research findings, it is seen that Apple is quite aware of this fact and this could be one of the reasons for why despite little effort on marketing, Apple has remained one of the leading tech-giants in the global market. The research findings show that the company makes little expenditure on marketing but makes in a unique way.
In the literature review section, it is observed that the investments in marketing are increasing significantly. In the year 2016, nearly 442 billion use dollar is spent on marketing activities which is a way higher than what it was in 2012 (Statistic, 2018). The research findings support this opinion. The first theme shows how organisations are spending more on marketing and specifically more on social media marketing. In the literature review section, it is observed that revenue determines an organisation's ability to spend on marketing. It could be one of the reasons bending the huge success of Apple's marketing despite its comparatively low investment in marketing (Kimes & Wirtz, 2015).
Chapter 6: Conclusion and Recommendation
6.1 Conclusion: From the above section of this Marketing strategy assignment, it is observed that originations are spending considerably on marketing activities. It clearly implies the significance of the marketing activities and the need for investing in this functions. The above section has also summarised some ways to access funding. However, it is also essential to spend in a skilful manner. Apple is one such organisation that invests the little percentage of his revenue for marketing purpose. However, it has skilful marketing strategies that help the organisation to gain customers attention without initiating aggressive marketing.
6.2 Recommendation : Marketing is a key function of Apple or any other organisations. Therefore, it is essential to invest in marketing and take initiatives for improvement. The following recommendations should be considered while investing in and forming strategies for marketing.
Apple must not compromise with marketing effort in order to achieve success in both global and domestic market. The organisation can use several resources for gaining fund for marketing. Giant Organizations like Apple can use its revenue for funding marketing. However, it is very essential to allocate the funds in proper areas, so that the investment does not lead to bringing futile results.
Apple should focus more on market analysis so that they get a better picture of consumer expectation. This recommendation is also applicable to other organisations as well. Before framing out advertisement strategies, it is essential to understand consumer’s preferences and trends that are dominating the market.
6.3 Research limitations :
One of the major limitations that were encountered during the project was the limitation of information. It is determined that this Marketing strategy assignment would retain its focus on Apple Inc. However, hardly any information was available regarding how much the organisation spends on marketing or the types of strategies it uses while allocating its fund for marketing. There was also a lack of information regarding how marketing fund can be allocated or arranged. Marketing strategy assignments are being prepared by our marketing assignment help experts from top universities which let us to provide you a reliable assignment help online service.
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