Marketing Assignment: Impact Of Culture On Softwire’s Marketing Strategy
Purpose of the assessment
The aim of the marketing assignmentis to demonstrate your understanding of how a global corporation strategically and tactically designs its marketing operations across global markets and cultures.
Your Specific Instructions:
You are required to produce a report to your line manager, which identifies and critically analyses the potential impact of Culture on an SME’s marketing strategy and tactics. You are writing this report as an employee of the chosen SME to your senior marketing manager.
The marketing assignmentreportwill be discussing about Softwire, a software development SME located in London, United Kingdom. Softwire is a private company, and the industry is specialized in the development of technological solutions. The company is also specialized in consultancy of software bespoke, and they also provide integrated software solutions that offer establishment in the training of software development (Softwire, 2021a).Furthermore, the company offers consultation of adopting technological planning, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and development operation system (Softwire. 2021b).The industry focuses on providing an integrated level of the facility to a large number of customers. The central commitment of the industry is to provide the satisfaction of customers because the customer is one of the most critical stakeholders of the company. The mission of Softwire is to provide integrated technology to clients from the first consultancy to the design method through the process of deployment and constant help.The industry has a partnership with third parties for facilities like web hosting, which provides outsourcing to developed manufacturers in technological fields. The company is successful in working according to fixed time so that the customers are confident of what they are getting.Softwire is the technologically developed software that provides software development and internal support within the organization. The company has 300 members in Cambridge and London and is serving clients such as big names and BBC in financial organizations (Best companies. 2021). When the pandemic began, a technological tool was initiated by the company to measure the response of the industry and claims for concerns when necessary.
Furthermore, in the report, critical recommendations will be provided along with the role of culture in improving marketing strategy. Softwire is working definitely to achieve their common goal and objectives while working within the software industry. Softwire is a fast technological industry developing artificial intelligence and augments reality while working in the industry.
4P of marketing mix concerning the cultural theory for justifying the adoption
The marketing mix
4Ps of the marketing mix is a strategy that is used by companies to streamline their business operations. A combination of four factors is used to generate increased sales (Sheth, 2021). The four factors are product, promotion, place and prices (Paurova and Nadanyiova, 2020). These factors are implemented while positioning a product in the market. These factors help a company understand how the products are perceived in the market, the pricing strategy that will induce more customers to make purchases, the best way to promote the products in the market and the proper positioning of the products. 4Ps of the marketing mix is valid for a company to realize its goals and establish itself in the market.
Cultural Theory - Hofstede's Cultural Dimension Theory
Businesses are expanding in other countries to capture new markets and widen revenue. Different cultures have varying practices and habits which companies have to adapt to continue with their business (Mayfield, Mayfield and Walker, 2020). It is essential to have knowledge about cultural practices to curate the products and promotion techniques according to the customers' preferences. Adapting to various cultures can be difficult as people have separate value systems and practices moulded by societal perceptions. Hofstede's Cultural Dimension Theory is a framework that helps companies understand the differences in the cultures and how they can impact the businesses. In this cultural theory, the cultures are defined by six categories: Power Distance Index, Collectivism vs Individualism, Uncertainty Avoidance Index, Femininity vs Masculinity, Short-Term vs Long-Term, Orientation, Restraint vs Indulgence. Developed by Geert Hofstede, it states that no single method of managing cultural diversity can be implemented since all the cultures are distinct (Zainuddin et al., 2018). Not only for multinational companies spread across countries, but this cultural theory can also be practical for any local company to manage the employees coming from diverse backgrounds.
Adoption of the strategy
Businesses are becoming increasingly complex due to several factors. The scope of a business is no longer confined to particular products or places. The workplaces are also becoming diverse as people worldwide are getting absorbed in multinational companies. However, some frameworks and strategies can enable companies to incorporate them in their operational procedures and optimize their productivity.
Softwire is a privately owned software development company. It associates with other leading brands to provide customized solutions to their problems. It is a consultancy that includes expert employees who can help the companies at any stage of software development. Softwire can use the 4Ps of the Marketing Mix strategy and Hofstede's Cultural Dimension Theory framework to engage with customers and manage the employees. Implementing 4Ps of the marketing mix can significantly enhance their efficiency and thereby their market share. The four factors of marketing mix strategy will enable the company to position its products effectively.
Product - Product refers to the goods or services that a company provides to its customers. The products need to be designed by aligning them to the requirements of the customers. As Softwire is a software developer, the products by the company include consultancy services, support and software development. Within these primary services, it has a range of related services such as user research, digital ideation, evolving existing software, artificial intelligence and machine learning, data science and mobile app development (Softwire, 2021d). Businesses are evolving and are increasingly becoming dependent on technology services. Digital transformation is happening on a wide scale as businesses maximize their market share by applying technological services. Technology has enabled companies to gain insights into the buying behaviour of the customers and predict their preferences. Exceptional products can attract potential customers, and they can contribute to a business's growth. Successful products can match the expectations of the customers. Softwire has competent staff who can provide valuable services to the customers. They offer customized services based on the requirements of their customers. The company has diversified its business as they started as software development but has extended its services to consultancy and support. It has broadened its customer base. Softwire needs to generate other service ideas which can offer additional value to the customers. It will give a competitive advantage to the company as the market is saturated with different software development companies. Providing services that will be valuable in the long run can differentiate its services from its competitors.
Price - The price of the products is the charge that the customers pay instead of the products and services. The prices depend on the nature of products and the cost of producing them. Deciding on the price can be difficult as low prices indicate that the product is not of superior quality (Hinterhuber and Liozu, 2019). Again, keeping high prices can force customers to switch to other companies. Softwire provides bespoke solutions to its customers and has created a name of its own in the market. Many leading companies like Google and others have asked for its assistance. Softwire can decide its pricing structure based on the prices that exist in the industry. The highly specialized services will require expensive pricing as the services will be customer-centric. The company can use a Market-oriented Pricing Strategy that decides the prices based on the demand, competitor's pricing and the cost of providing the services. If the services are of high value to the customers, they will be willing to pay higher (Lungu, 2020). The company needs to know about the services offered by its competitors so that it can differentiate its services to add more value. SIVA model is a unique model that allows determining the prices of goods and services based on the value it provides. The prices will be directly proportional to the value added to the services. There are other pricing models that Software can use to charge fairly to its customers.
Place - Determining the position of the products is of paramount importance. The products must be easily accessible by the customers. All companies try to reach as many customers as possible by placing the products in a well-organized place. Softwire is headquartered in London, where many notable companies are situated. The company can exploit its location to engage with other companies. Communicating with different companies can make them aware of the services offered by the company. It has partnered with several UK based companies to provide bespoke solutions to them. However, as Software provides digital solutions, it can operate through digital mediums as well. A dedicated website or accounts on social media platforms can enable the coat to react to other customers. Through these domains, the customers will have the opportunity to have a conversation with the company, and the staff can provide service accordingly. The company also has options for collaborating with the in-house staff of the companies to develop products (Softwire, 2021d). The company can also place their products on related websites where potential customers can search and reach out to them. The intelligent placing of products can exponentially increase the sales of the company. Softwire is a software development SME trying to place its products in places where the customers will engage with them conveniently.
Promotion - Promotion strategies are adopted to make the customers aware of the products. Effective promotion can make customers aware of the nature of products and how they can be used to add value. Promotion creates a sense of need, and customers who have specific needs can get what they need. Softwire needs to think about innovative promotional ideas to expand its business. Placing a promotion in digital media and social media platforms can entice the customers(Jamaludin, Huridi and Hashim, 2018). Placing and promotion are interrelated as effective placing can also promote the products. Software as an SME needs to focus on its promotional techniques as not many customers are aware of the services provided by them. Digital platforms have made it easier to promote the products in the market. There are multiple ways to promote the products. The company also provides insights regarding their operational procedures, which interests the relevant companies. For attracting new customers, the company can offer discounts. It can also involve itself in different charity programs, which will create a positive brand impression. The promotional techniques need to be curated for the target audience, and by developing appropriate techniques, it can reach its customers.
The employees form the backbone of Software as they provide highly specialized services. Effectively managing the employees can optimize the productivity of the company. To increase efficiency, the company welcomes employees from different cultures. Employees have varying ideas, which creates a pool of innovative solutions that can be used to generate more significant revenue. In Hofstede's Cultural Dimension Theory, cultures are viewed through six categories.
Power Distance Index - Power distance index indicates to what extent inequality and power are accepted in a culture(Yang, 2019). The index is indirectly related to the concept of power distribution. The higher the power index is, the acceptance level of inequality and power is also higher. In this case, the culture accepts inequality and uneven power distribution as a standard practice in the workplace. They have no issue with unequal treatment and corrupt practices in their workplaces. A lower power index means that the culture believes in equal opportunity and even power distribution. Each employee should have equal opportunities, and they cannot be discriminated against based on their identities such as gender, race or ethnicity. Such a culture encourages participative leadership and even the decision-making process.
Individualism vs Collectivism - This particular category shows how culture is ready to work in a collaborative environment. Workplaces generally have employees who have distinct ideas about working in group projects. Cultures with individualism stress working towards achieving personal goals. They put greater emphasis on improving themselves and realizing their objectives. Collectivism stresses the objectives of the company. They believe that the organization's goals are of greater importance than their personal goals.
Uncertainty Avoidance Index - This index shows the propensity of the cultures to accept the changes. There can be different uncertainties evolving in the organizations. The employees must be prepared to face these uncertainties. However, a high uncertainty avoidance index indicates a lower risk appetite. Uncertainties are not welcomed by these cultures, and measures are taken to avoid the occurrences of any uncertainties. To achieve that, rules and regulations are developed so that minimum uncertainties occur. Cultures with higher uncertainty avoidance index do not hesitate to encounter any uncertainties. They are prepared to adapt themselves and resolve any issues that might hamper the operational procedures of the company.
Masculinity vs Femininity - This index has distinct features which the cultures follow. It is an approach to understanding how the concept of achievement is perceived by the cultures. A masculine attitude towards accomplishments focus on building wealth, the creation of material advantages and domination. The cultures fix the gender roles, and it is hard to break the stereotypes associated with them. A feminine attitude is more flexible as it does not define gender roles and focuses more on the overall quality of work instead of building wealth (DeBode, Haggard and Haggard, 2019).
Long-Term Orientation vs Short-Term Orientation - This index perceives the attitude of the cultures to the timeframe. As the name suggests, long term orientation is focused on working for long term goals instead of working for completing the short term goals. The perseverance needed for long term orientation can be challenging to achieve. Short term orientation is focused on meeting the immediate tasks and gaining instant results.
Indulgence vs Restraint - This index shows how a culture perceives its desires and its attitude towards them. Indulgent cultures believe in the gratification of their desires, and a restraining culture believes in the practice of hard work and regulations.
Employees belonging to different cultures will fit separately in the dimensions of the theory (Spînu, 2021). The Asian employees will be embedded differently in the matrix as compared to the Western employees. Softwire needs to have a comprehensive understanding of the theory to communicate effectively with the employees. The productivity of the employees will also differ based on their standings in theory. It will explain how they can be accommodated in collaborative projects and perceive success on their terms. The insights will enable the company to manage its employees and improve the organizational structure of the company.
Recommendation for the 1st year:Softwire is always looking for new opportunities as they are growing at a fast pace in the industry (Hunt, 2021). These opportunities are, however, present themselves while they are working within the organization. Furthermore, while concentrating on a specified group of cultures, the company focuses on opening up markets. To develop the culture within the marketing mix, the company must regulate cultural inspirations to make the industry more productive. The company culture represents industrial values and thoughts through integrated presumptions and social analysis (Green, 2021). The culture of the company is a shared acceptance system where workers have similar thoughts and values. The culture of the organization is influenced by the behaviour, manner, thoughts, and ideas of employees that are working in the industry. Softwire should regulate the cultural behaviour among the individual who belongs to a cross-cultural environment within the organization. Softwire should execute this recommendation within the next year.
Recommendation for the 2nd year: The company Recruitment is one of the vital parts of marketing and which signifies bringing of talented employees to build a stable organization. While executing marketing plans, it is not always clear that what top talent is seeking or how to communicate the essential things effectively within the organization. Poor culture is the integrated segment that is rising every time within the organization. It is one of the significant reasons why the individual is changing their jobs. Regulating and showcasing the organizational culture is one of the essential manners to develop empowerment that attracts stable brands, attracts talented employees, and keeps employees engaged with each other. To encourage a culture within the marketing strategy, the company should regulate meaningful praise to the employees in public. If the management of Softwire can provide recognition and praise its employees in front of other staff and workers, then the employee gets substantially motivated to do work, and that, however, enhances the business of the organization. Peer recognition is one of the crucial steps to improve the culture in the organization. Posting blogs on a website is a crucial step to improve the culture within the marketing strategy (Mlinaric, 2021). Softwire should post blogs regarding working at the company where they should write about topics such as teamwork, equal payment, and also should write about personal experiences about employee’s experiences and work management. Establishing and developing an integrated culture of the company has regularly been a common goal for Softwire. In the culture, the employees feel inspired and empowered to develop into the best individual. Happy workers in the company are more progressive, as the research upon the company has suggested (Softwire. 2021c). The company is focused on three main pillars to expand happiness within employees, expand happiness of customers, and share commercial integration and success. The main aim of the company is to regulate a balance between these three pillars. The company should focus on improving the happiness of the employees to improve productivity in the software development program. Software should execute this recommendation within the next two years to improve the business in the market.
Recommendation for the 3rd year: Softwire is well developed and established software development organization. With an integrated business plan, the leader of the company wanted to understand that how the team could know that how marketing could establish best to implement goals of the organization. The management is, however, regulating Softwire's marketing stability to understand and evaluate the effectiveness of marketing strategies that are implemented by the organization. The company should explore the awareness of softwire brand positioning by regulating interviews with channel partners, clients, and outlook account (Bright. 2021).When industrial choices of strategies significantly impact outcomes of the market, reactions of customers to multinational organizations and marketing planning often vary across domestic cultures. Researchers also regulated that customers from different types of cultures react differently to several marketing plans. The domestic culture interacts with the marketing strategy to impact the consumer's consumption towards evaluating products (Song, Moon, and Chen, 2021).Ritual is an essential aspect in the organization that focuses on interactions of the customer and also regulate the interactions, which will play an essential role in buying and selling of service and product. Softwire should follow the process of providing recognition in the form of holding the birthday of the employees on a specific date which will motivate the employees to work correctly in the organization. These are the recommendations that should be followed by Softwire for the next three years.
Based on the above observation, it can be concluded that Softwire is an imminent software development organization that is serving millions of clients around the world. However, the industry was successful in mitigating various challenges to improve the business of the organization. Softwire has been implemented digital marketing to post about their job’s information to various social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Softwire has been focused on organizational culture as an effective element to improve the marketing strategy of the organization. Softwire regulated the management of the organization to develop the marketing of the company. Softwire always look for the satisfaction of employees in the form of recognition and reward system like incentives and gifts. Happy employees are more progressive in their work and can achieve huge benefits while working in the company. The company is also concerned about maintaining the values of the workers that are working in the organization. The company always ensures work by regulating, rewarding, and challenging work to the employees so that they can get more interested while they are doing work. The Softwire team members execute certain games for the employees that become important to establish a good relationship between the management and the organization. To implement good culture, the involvement of employees is essential. Innovation and collaboration are essential aspects that the company should execute while delivering actions within and outside the organization. The workplace should deliver trust and faith towards its workers while giving them responsibilities of work. The industry is striving to maintain a peaceful, stable, and friendly culture to retain talented employees and attract talented employees to the organization.
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