Evaluation of Apple's Marketing Strategy
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In this report, I have evaluated the applicability of the marketing concept by Apple Inc. The report examines how market-oriented the company is. Apple achieves its corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition. Apple has the highest customer satisfaction among PC and tablet makers. It is, however, recommendable to improve smartphone innovation because Samsung devices have higher customer satisfaction. It also makes high-quality products that are easy to use and also created an experience ecosystem better than all the competitors. The business is also market-driven focusing all its operations towards satisfying customer needs and wants. Apple also has invested heavily in marketing as a way of achieving its goals. The report also evaluates the understanding of customer and market by Google. To provide the right products, Apple carries out market research getting a better understanding of the customers and market. The marketing concept also affects the company positively in the long run.
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This report critically evaluates the marketing concept of Apple Inc. It also seeks to examine how business-oriented the company is. The objectives include evaluating the following: the achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations better than the competition, characteristics of a market-driven business, and understanding customers and markets. The satisfaction of individual and organizational goals is achieved through the process of marketing. Marketing creates exchanges, and it yields satisfaction of the consumer. According to Armstrong, et al. (2014), the marketing concept maintains that to realize the company's goals the needs and wants in the targeted market must be determined and the desired satisfaction delivered more effectively and efficiently compared to the competitors. The marketing concept comprises three pillars including customer focus, coordinated marketing, and profitability. More so, it is a business philosophy and it guides the company towards satisfying customer needs at a profit. To implement the marketing concept business philosophy market orientation is crucial. The marketing concept plays a key role in providing a philosophical foundation of a marketing orientation (Strydom, 2005).
Achieving corporate goals by meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations better than the competition
Corporate goals can only be achieved by the organization by going an extra step than just achieving customer satisfaction. The company must be able to do it better than its competitors. Apple Inc. is the most innovative company in the world, it has high productivity and holds the highest market share, and for example, its smartphone market share is more than 50% in the world. Apple is the most profitable company in the United States and the second most profitable company in the world after Saudi Aramco (Imbert, 2019). These goals have been achieved by being efficient than competitors.
Furthermore, in 2019, Apple devices, the Macs and iPads obtained the highest customer satisfaction score among the manufacturers of PC and tablets. According to the Household Appliance and Electronics Report, Apple attained the ACSI score of 83. In 2018, Apple still had an ACSI score of83. The general customer satisfaction of Apple was higher than that of its competitors. Some of the competitors include Samsung which had an ACSI score of 81, Amazon 79, HP 78, Acer 77 and others (Clover, 2019). Being able to achieve the highest customer satisfaction indicates the company can achieve its goals by meeting the needs of its customers better than the competitors. However, the 2018-2019 report shows that on the part of smartphones, Apple and Samsung both scored 81 indicating the need for more innovation by Apple to achieve a higher score than Samsung (Johnston, 2019).
Apple's activities are mostly dedicated to achieving customer satisfaction. The quality of Apple products, their sleek designs, as well as the features, mostly influence customer satisfaction. Through understanding needs and wants in the market, Apple has efficiently become proficient at the art minimalism (Moorman, 2018). The company products are simple in making for easier use and comprehension even by non-experts. More so, attention is paid to every detail including the unboxing experience. Apple has also created an experience ecosystem, which is the main reason for its high customer loyalty. All the consumer touch-points results in a consistent Apple experience. Over the last decade, the company has vigorously increased the areas where customers can have daily life Apple experience. Apple has products that create experiences that are connected, incorporated, and packed in a single accessible ecosystem of complementary products (Moorman, 2018). The company's competitors such as Samsung and Google are trying to create such an ecosystem but Apple is doing better than all of them.
Moreover, the improvement of customer experience is an integrated effort in the company. The development of the products and all other operations in Apple are aimed at satisfying the needs of the customers. Rahman, and Safeena, (2016), argue that the customer needs a reason why they should buy from a business and not from its competitors. This is referred to as a Unique Sales Proposition and it gives the company a competitive edge. In the long run, meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations better than the customers will enable the company to continue having a competitive edge. Apple's high customer satisfaction will increase customer loyalty and corporates goals will be achieved more efficiently in the future. Apple will also able to predict future customer behaviours and make products that best fit the customer needs and continue being a world leader in technology (Khadka, and Maharjan, 2017). Customers who have had a great experience with Apple products are creating a network that will attract future customers by sharing their experiences. Moreover, the marketing concept of Apple will play a key role in improving the good customer relationship for the future and giving the company a safe position (Khadka, and Maharjan, 2017). In the long run, marketing concept will guide the organization's behaviors to develop, maintain, and improve inter-organization relations to satisfy the customers even better than they are doing it today. Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 has the highest ACSI score and Apple should continue applying the marketing concept to improve its customer satisfaction of iPhones to achieve the highest ASCI score (Johnston, 2019).
Characteristics of market-driven business
In every aspect of an organization, customer needs ought to be put first. In Apple Inc., the belief that the customer needs and wants are principal to the operation of the organization runs right through all the departments some of which include productions, finance, research and product development, engineering among others. For the marketing concept to be applied effectively, the customer must be put at the top of the organizational chart. As a market-driven business, Apple understands its customers as together with their dynamic needs and wants. In a market-driven business, collection of information is very important (Barrett, 2001). Apple Inc. is a market driven-business that spends a lot of time and effort in collecting information about customers. Market research helps the company in determining changes in the market, improve market awareness, and understand the needs and expectations of customers. In 2011, it carried surveys on its iPhone users to understand customers and markets in different countries. It was determined for instance iPhone users in China were driven by Apple's brand and design to buy the company's products more than the software and apps. The survey found out that 67% of Chinese customers were motivated by physical features and designs. The survey found that in the United States and China, trust in the brand was a determining factor among the buyers (Farrell, 2015).
Apple also continues to use data obtained from its surveys or researches to create and improve products. More so, Apple is the most innovative company which helps them create products of high quality and products that meet all the needs of its customers. Apple tries to adapt its products offerings to the demands of the current and latent markets (Moorman, 2018). Not many companies have hundreds of stores across the world where their customers can walk in then, get any form of assistance they need. However, for Apple, meeting customer needs and providing value is a top priority. As a market-driven business Apple has hundreds of stores across the world as a way of getting closer to the customer to understand the needs and problems in the market. Additionally, Apple products such as Apps and the Apple Watch collect data about the behaviour of the customers which shows the company is market-driven. According to Abell, (1978), businesses that are market-driven use proactive search for the opportunities in the market. Data obtained by Apple is used to analyze as well as organizational learning and be able to adopt a long-lasting strategic viewpoint on the market and brands. This is an approach that Apple has employed and led to developed and enhancement of its products.
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At Apple, marketing spend is regarded as an investment. Instead of seeing marketing as an expense, the company takes it as an investment. Marketing helps company to create exchanges to satisfy the needs and wants of the customers. In any company, central marketing role is to satisfy the needs and the requirements of the customers (Strydom, 2005). One of the components of the marketing mix is promotion and the company invests heavily in the advertising. In 2015 for example, the company advertising budget across the world was increased by 50 percent raising it $1.8 billion. There were also other investments in marketing and as a result, Apple was able to make $53.4 billion record profits on a turnover of $233.7 billion (Basulto, 2018). Investing in the marketing is helping Apple in creating and maintaining demand for its products and it is improving the brand image and equity. The company, in the long run, will have a competitive advantage over other companies.
Being a market-driven business will help Apple to sustain itself in the long run. Market orientation of Apple is central in achieving customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers usually have become loyal customers, and therefore Apple is creating a strong customer base for the future. Satisfied customers also become brand ambassadors by sharing their positive experiences with other potential customers. Through personal interactions and market researches, Apple will be able to create products that reflect the needs and wants of the customers and markets in future. Al-Shatanawi et al. (2014) state that marketing research, which is a key activity in market driven-business reduces risks and uncertainty, helps in predicting the future and helps the organization to make the right marketing decisions. Apple can predict future behaviours of its customers and therefore creates products that meet needs and wants in the market.
Understanding Customers and Markets
Understanding the customer and the market helps Apple to create the appropriate products and it also helps in the creation of effective sales and marketing efforts. To understand the customers and the markets, a business must ask various questions: Who the customers are, what products or services they purchase and why they purchase these products or services (Rahman, and Safeena, 2016). Understanding the customer's how and whys assist the company in developing better products, services and improving customer experience. Apple's market share has been high because understanding their customers helps them to sell more. When a business knows more about their customers, they can identify opportunities to make new products that fit well in the market. Every product that Apple makes, it can target the right customers and with the relevant offers. Apple understands its markets through collection of data from various products that the customer uses. Products such as Apple Watch, Applications, and their software are designed to collect valuable data about the users. Analyzing these data gives Apple deep insight into how people use their products in real-time. The information is important in altering future designs to fit the behaviour of the customers.
One of the key tools in understanding customers and markets is market research; for example, the 2011 survey of iPhone users in various countries (Farrell, 2015). Market research enables a business to determine their target market and understand what the customers think about their products. Through market research, the company understands attitude of the customer, the customer behaviour and product demand (Al-Shatanawi et al. 2014). The market research gives Apple the ability to understand the market and customer needs, detect changes in the market, and enhance market awareness. It plays a key role in the future sustainability of the company by reducing the risks and uncertainty, by helping to predict trends in the market, and enabling company to make the right decision about the future (Al-Shatanawi et al. 2014). According to a poll by Morning Consult, most of the people owning smartphones value functional features. The study suggests that when people are buying smartphones they value features such as ease of using, memory, battery life, durability and the quality of the camera (Sabin, 2018). From these findings, Apple has been to understand the customers and markets and all these features identified as important in the study have been improved the company's latest iPhone 11. Additionally, the iPhone 11 pro and Pro Max have a triple-camera setup. Customer relationships and delivery of services are improved when the company understands the customer and the market. Apple Inc. will also be able to sustain itself in the long run because, in addition to improving productivity and profitability, it also facilitates the company's planning (Brown, 2008).
In summary, Apple Inc. has achieved its corporates goals through meeting and exceeding customer satisfaction better than the competition. Apple has the highest customer satisfaction and its products are of the highest quality. Furthermore, Apple has been able to create an experience ecosystem more efficiently and effectively than the competitors to meet the needs and wants of the customers. This is expected to have a positive impact on the company in the long run. Apple is a market-driven business with all the departments focused on meeting the needs and wants of their customers. One of the key activities in a market-driven business is market research and Apple spends much time collecting information about the market and customers to understand the needs of the customers and satisfy them efficiently. Apple also invests heavily in marketing and this will help the company to achieve its goals. Moreover, understanding the customer and market is essential for Apple. Understanding the customer and market helps Apple create products that fit the customer and the market well. Market research is an important tool used by Apple to understand their customer. It is also an important way of preparing the company for the future.
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