2.1.1 Marketing Mix
‘Marketing Mix means the product, distribution, promotion and pricing strategies to produce and
carry out exchanges and achieve the target markets’ (Išoraitė, 2016). ‘Marketing Mix – interrelated
actions and solutions to meet consumer needs and to achieve the company’s marketing goals, a
whole’ (Išoraitė, 2016). The Marketing Mix is a straightforward and popular tool; marketing
practitioners have accepted and utilised the mix for over 40 years. The mix can turn easy to access
market data into practical guidance; it is simple and applicable. Furthermore, it is not time-bound;
the mix identifies trends and even supports service marketing. Fortunately, much research was
undertaken regarding applying the Marketing Mix to service companies (Constantinides, 2006).
Researchers have come up with different elements to add to the mix, for example, people,
process, and physical evidence (Išoraitė, 2016). For Direct Sales companies entering a foreign
market, ‘people’ should be considered, as culture significantly influences a sales team (Mooi &
‘Product refers to a physical product or service a consumer is ready to pay’ (Singh, 2012). Sales
service companies do not sell their own product; they resell a company’s products. In such a case,
all product characteristics are decided upon and in place. The obvious step for the sales service
company would be to find a product which consumers are ready to purchase. It seems evident
that to select a product, an industry and its companies should be selected.
‘Price is the amount the consumer must exchange to receive the offering’ (Singh, 2012). A 2005
study found that companies dealing with intense competition attach high degrees of importance
to cost-plus pricing, and manufacturing companies attach low degrees of importance to costpricing (Guilding, Drury, & Tayles, 2005). Cost-plus pricing seems like an effective method for
Direct Sales companies, as they offer services and are often confronted with high competition.
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‘Cost-plus is a concept in which some companies try to maximise their profits by pricing their
offerings very high’ (Singh, 2012).
‘Promotion activities are meant to communicate and persuade the target market to buy the
company’s products’ (Singh, 2012). According to Kale and Barnes (1992), sales promotion’s
effectiveness heavily depends on understanding the country’s culture. Promotion could be
executed on B2B and B2C level. If a company is active in both, it seems logical that it focuses on
the level affected more when changing promotion.
‘Place is generally referred to as the distribution channel’ (Singh, 2012). Singh argues that Place
can be any physical or virtual store. He explains that Direct Sales is undertaken without an
intermediary or distributor. ‘In terms of promotion it means that the marketing company has
direct communication with the customer’ (Singh, 2012). As for companies selling to people living
near the store, it can be said that such communication would be more effective if the buyer profile
of the people living nearby fits the company’s offerings. This would also regard the people’s
employee profile and employee openness.
‘People’ refers to managing the company’s employees (Judd, 1987). To effectively manage one’s
employees in a different culture, it is crucial to adapt the company’s internal structure and
communication to the customs and values of that culture, Hofstede (2011) explains. According to
Judd, the first phase of implementing the People strategy consists of improving ‘motivation and
satisfaction’. Prioritise employee satisfaction by treating them as customers. Managerial and
operational changes would need to be made. Judd probably assumes the company already has
employees in place. If not, the first phase should be ‘recruitment’. In that case, probably, salary
has not been determined yet. That would be necessary.
The Marketing Mix is meant to help realising straightforward goals like profit and sales volume as
the mix offers a combination of all marketing ingredients. Furthermore, it is considered a
systematic approach to persuade potential buyers effectively. The mix is meant for both shortterm and long-term strategies (Išoraitė, 2016). Consider the mix a conceptual framework that
helps managers conforming their offerings to the consumer’s needs; it puts planning into practice.
The mix even helps to visualise and prioritise competitive advantages (Londhe, 2014).
Nevertheless, the mix is believed to be very internally orientated; it would lack external
consideration, as the market input is limited. In other words, it is considered to be one-way
oriented: no interactivity and personalised communication are supported (Constantinides, 2006).
A 2012 case study researched the effect the Marketing Mix has on attracting customers to a bank.
The effect turned out to be very positive. This seems to show that the Marketing Mix can be
effectively applied to a broad set of organisations (Pour, Nazari, & Emami, 2013).
The Marketing Mix seems to be an excellent option for turning internal and external information
into a practical strategy for generating sales or revenue. This is especially true for a foreign market
entry of Direct Sales companies, as it takes location, employees, sales techniques, and servicecompanies into consideration. However, when adopting this model, there should be a focus on
external orientation and personalisation.
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2.1.2 SWOT Analysis
‘A SWOT analysis summarises the key issues from the business environment and the strategic
capability of an organisation that is most likely to impact on strategy development’ (Johnson,
Scholes, & Whittington, 2009, p. 102). SWOT categorises these critical issues as either a Strength,
Weakness, Opportunity, or Threat. When having identified these issues, SWOT helps to determine
their possible influence on a company and the company’s possibilities of dealing with those issues.
Helms and Nixon (2010) see a flaw in the need for human evaluation; this leads to different
assessments. Thus, it is somewhat subjective. Just like Kim-Keung Ho (2014), Warner (2010), and
Porter (2008) recommend, Weihrich (1982) argues that other tools should be considered when
analysing a company’s industry or environment. This analysis on its own does not seem fruitful.
In 2014, a case study was conducted to examine the SWOT Analysis’s usefulness on an Iranian
company. The SWOT has offered the company insights: the importance of regular evaluations
became clear. However, the researchers also found a significant limitation: defining factors as
either a strength or weakness is complex and might thus not deliver beneficial results (Mirzakhani,
Parsaamal, & Golzar, 2014).
SWOT does not seem to be a solid strategy; it is more like a visualisation tool. It is too generic and
vague. It would be more suitable to support another tool.
Pages: 52 Double spaced(14300 words)
Style and sources: APA6, No sources
Free extras: Outline/Title page/Bibliography / Reference page
Study level: Undergraduate
Assignment type: Thesis
Subject: Business and Economics