Marketing Strategies in FMCG Industries

Introduction

Background

FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) needs different marketing strategy from other goods. FMCG markets are extremely competitive as compare to the other markets, as FMCG market moves with much faster pace than others. Over a month, a quarter, or a year, the sales of any brand are determined by the number of people who buy it, how often they do so and which other brands they buy. The concept behind FMCG is that the companies which sell these fast moving products have an effective system of having higher sales with comparatively higher rate of profits. Time is the major factor in this industry, as the consumers buy these products quite often, once or twice a month.

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Marketing strategies play the most important role in this regard, so that products are present according to the demands of the consumers. Marketing strategy is used to attract the costumers within the limits of the industry or organization. The FMCG industry has to predict the supply and demand of the consumers at a must faster pace. On the other hand, these companies have to spend a lot on their sales to attract the potential customers by maintain other strategies of the FMCG industry, such as low cost strategy, promotion, technology advantage and branding strategies.

Marketing practitioners therefore invest very substantial sums to influence consumer behaviour through communications, sales promotions and loyalty schemes all designed to increase the penetration and repeat purchase of the brands they manage. The effectiveness of these investments is usually assessed by the extent of market share growth achieved. Yet evidence from consumer panel data reveals a paradox: despite substantial investment, even over the course of a year or two, brand shares in most established FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) categories remain approximately stationary with any gains or losses being only temporary (Dekimpe and Hanssens 1995; Srinivasan and Bass 2000).

Two explanations have been proposed, and both may apply: the first is that competing marketing interventions are usually off-setting (Bass and Pilon 1980; Lal and Padmanabhan 1995; Pauwels 2007); the second is that consumers are experienced and buying is essentially habit–driven from individual brand repertoires (Ehrenberg 1988). Repertoire buying falls into regular patterns that replicate across categories, countries and cultures, and so empirical generalizations have been established that can usefully inform marketing decision-making (Ehrenberg, Uncles and Goodhardt 2004).

Some have been developed into the few well-known laws of marketing science, including Double Jeopardy (DJ) and the Duplication of Purchase Law, which describe mathematically the market structure effects of repertoire purchase in any established category. Market structure may also be estimated more fully with the NBD-Dirichlet (Bass, Jeuland and Wright 1976; Goodhardt, Ehrenberg and Chatfield 1984) which models many common metrics including the purchasing of light and heavy buyers, overall brand loyalties and brand switching, from just a handful of inputs.

Consumers have wide range of choices to choose from when it comes to buying fast moving consumer goods. These goods are also available for the consumers at low cost and low service stores. In UK the markets especially the retail industry is therefore competitive. For example, pricing is a competitive strategy for expansion in UK retail industry. An underlying assumption is that category consumers have independent but steady buying propensities across a portfolio of brands, at least for the time being. Since these propensities can be regarded as stochastic, as-if random, marketing structure can be modelled accurately with just four probability distributions, two describing purchase incidence and two describing brand choice; no other variables, such as relative share of voice for the period, are needed. The implication is that the effects of marketing mix interventions are already subsumed into brand share, and a large body of empirical evidence now shows that relative shares remain roughly in equilibrium, at least over a few quarters, in most frequently purchased markets.

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Significance of the Research

This research proves to be a significant involvement to the marketing literature as it presents a thorough understanding of the marketing strategies prevalent in the FMCG industry as well as the requirements of the users of such products. The evaluation of strategic marketing is appropriate to recognize with the challenges, dangers and threats which FMCG companies have to confront. As such, the completion of this research would help in understanding of the diverse concepts which are provided to produce information that every organization could utilize so as to come up with strategies and structures that may assist them in getting noticed in the highly aggressive, varied, and multifaceted business environment that is experienced at present. The research is significant because it could help us understand the consumer preferences regarding the FMCG. It also helps to decide where the FMCG companies need to adopt more suitable marketing strategy.

Statement of Problem

FMCG are highly profitable as these goods sell with a higher rate. The managers and suppliers are currently facing challenges in the industry. Most of the top economies are facing recession. U.K. for example, the unemployment rate is at 7.7% in May 2011 (Statistics 2011). This June inflation is double from the last year. During the last month alone (July 2011) the price of food items and non-alcoholic beverages have increased 0.3 per cent. The inflation rate of U.K (5 per cent) was higher from the rest of the European Union, which stands at 4.1 percent (ONS 2011).

Due to the higher rate of return in this sector, the industry has become extremely competitive, and the old competitors do not leave any space for the new entrants because of their brand names. Recently, the recession had devastating effect on many part of the world. The famous brands are also facing pressure. The new retailers are now able to increase the power of the consumers (Gocer and Ala 2006). At the same time the per capita income of ordinary households is moving with steady pace, leaving little room for the FMCG sector.

The consumers of fast moving consumer goods are mostly from the urban areas because of the high per capita income. These consumers now know what decisions they should make. In this current scenario, the companies are not seeing the demand of the consumers, therefore the industry must be aware of the changing needs of the consumers, and they need to bring innovation in this industry. Introduce new strategies, and the companies must launch new items in a regular basis, so that the customers must prefer these products. Therefore, there is a need to study how to bring innovation in the industry with the changing needs of the present market.

In this rapidly expanding industry, the role of both supplier and retailers is important. The suppliers are pushing hard to introduce their own products directly to the consumers. Although, these products sell at a higher pace because the consumer power is low, but still the suppliers, retailers and distributers do not find FMCG sector easy, as sometime the products fail in the market. The infrastructure of the company is directly related to the success of the FMCG both in terms of suppliers and retail. The supply chain must be linked and the better they will execute the operations. Currently both the retail and the suppliers are suffering. Despite competitive environment, the overall sector is does not provide the same attractiveness, as it used to have in the past. On the other hand, some third world economies such as India, which is having increasing rate of per capita income, and are believed to become potential market of FMCG.

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Aim of the Research

Marketing strategies do sometimes change, brands grow or decline, although not by much and not usually permanently. However, even in the face of some short term market dynamics the model fits surprisingly well, and so is of great value in describing category structure for tactical marketing mix planning, and in providing benchmarks for evaluating outcomes, successful or otherwise. One question which this research aims to address is whether its use might be extended to the strategic level, the longer term. This study tries to find that previously (five to ten years before), the FMCG sector was highly profitable, but now this sector is faced with tough decisions. This research focuses on whether the FMCG sector is losing its marketing strategy, like it used to have in the past. Because previously it was very profitable but now it seems that marketing strategy has lost its effectiveness. Hence, the study helps to understand the consumer trends in FMCG sector. The FMCG companies which have been approached for this study include, Nestle (Food and Consumables Industry), Toys R Us (Toys Industry), Johnson and Johnson, Body Shop International Plc, Estee Lauder Companies and L’Oreal (UK) Limited (Consumer Beauty Care Industry). All these selected companies have common characteristics which all FMCG companies share. These characteristics could include the non-durability of products with short product life, high stock turnover, larger sales volume, and extensive marketing activities by manufacturers.

Objective of the Research

It analyzes the needs for the innovative market strategy and the important factors that affect the current market strategies. The objective of the present study is to explore the current marketing strategies adopted by FMCG industry and in particular it focuses on determining the effectiveness of their marketing strategies for their businesses.

Research Questions

This dissertation tries to find whether the current marketing strategies of FMCG are effective or it is heading into a wrong direction. Hence, following questions are addressed.

  1. Why the FMCG industry is becoming increasingly difficult to reach for the consumers?
  2. What are the current marketing strategies and marketing tools are used by the UK FMCG sector?
  3. Are current marketing strategies of UK FMCG sector effective enough to generate demand and growth in sales for companies?

Hypothesis

Based on the evaluation of the above research questions and data collected for the study the following research hypothesis is assessed in this report.

H: The current marketing strategies followed by FMCGs have lost their effectiveness.

To test the hypothesis, a quantitative method is used to see whether the current marketing strategies employed in the FMCG sector have lost their effectiveness.

Scope

The scope of the present study is determined by the research methodology adopted for this study. The methodology and selected approach to data collection is also affected by the knowledge and ability of the researcher to explore and understand the existing literature related to the topic and draw important factors that are required for deriving useful results from the study. The time and cost factors involved also contributed to a great extent to restrict the scope of the present study.

Literature Review

Introduction

Over the years, distinct analytical methods have been evolved to optimize effectiveness in marketing consumer goods; although these methods have resided in silos (Aaker 2002). This chapter provide a detailed over of the dimensions and definition of FMCG and the marketing strategies that companies in the FMCG sector are currently following. The challenges in the FMCG market are also discussed in light of previous studies which affect the effectiveness of the marketing strategies followed by companies. This chapter also sets out the conceptual framework based on the gap that has been identified in the existing literature.

Dimensions and definition of FMCG marketing strategies

Marketing is utilized by FMCG companies to conceive demand of consumers, capture the decision power of the consumers and keep their loyalty. Marketing focused on the customer is founded on the four Ps: placement, price, promotion and product. Product connection to the buyer is mostly part of the advancement instrument in FMCG industry. The effectiveness of strategies utilized for marketing by FMCG organizations generally lead to immense growth in sales. Improvements in customers’ endorsement or commitment are objectives of marketing strategies even if it is difficult to assess direct impact. Marketing in FMCG industry can have a function in upgrading the company’s sustainability credentials to construct emblem impartiality. In alignment to manage this, it is crucial to double-check steadiness with the respect to sustainability strategy; any assertions made should be buyer applicable, science-based and offered in an exact, unquestionable and unmistakable manner (Aaker 2002).

Alongside buyer’s data and learning in general, business status and merchandise trading has a function to play in altering buyer utilization patterns. It endows buyers to recognize, select and use environmentally friendlier goods and services, by supplying data, relaying authorized crusades and notes, double-checking accessibility and affordability.

What is FMCG?

FMCG goods that are traded rapidly and the cost are not too high like durable goods. Perishable foods like beef, dairy products and high revenue products like beer, pre-packaged nourishment, cleansing goods, toiletries in addition arrive under FMCG category. FMCG goods have a short protuberance life.

The major characteristics of FMCG goods are:

  • Frequent buying – different buying durables FMCG are bought frequently
  • Low in price: with the expanding affray now FMCG manufacturers are approaching with exceptional agreements and pricing
  • FMCG play an important function in supply turnover (Aaker 2002)

It needs comprehensive circulation network- FMCG products are needed by all parts of humanity irrespective of geographical dissimilarities and it is one of the large-scale disputes of the FMCG businesses to advance their image to more and more number of persons as it is the only way markets can grow and boost sales (Lal and Padmanabhan 1995).

Earlier there was a couple of methods and promotion. Promotional undertakings were not so vigorous, consumers just recalled FMCG merchandise by the name and buy it but with the increasing tendency. Success in FMCG marketing is mostly determined by circulation mesh and this can be accomplished by correct promotion and promotional activity.

When the FMCG organizations are aware that they have established themselves in the foreign markets, they start thinking about expanding the business size and tapping new markets within that foreign market. As these firms look for different options to expand the business, its strategic management and approach experiences major changes (Lal and Padmanabhan 1995). Market expansion in FMCG industry can be done by introducing new products and offering new services to the consumers keeping in view the demand and requirement for these products and services. Another tactic to expand a FMCG business can be adding certain features to an already existing product that differentiate it from others. Adding certain features to a product keeping in view the customer’s demand or providing customized products to the customers also helps organization to expand its product line. What strategy organization adopts, in each case, the only focus is on attracting masses, achieving economies of scale and maximizing revenues and profits. Economies of scale can be achieved by producing more and more products utilizing similar resources such as machinery or design etc. These products are then stored in same warehouses and the distribution and storage costs are dispersed over the multiple products rather than on a single product (Lal and Padmanabhan 1995).

Global rationalization is the next phase in which the FMCG organizations focuses on rationalizing the vast spread activities. The increasing combination and strategic alliances in the market force the organizations to move from those strategies which are based on specific countries to utilize the experience and resources on global level (Douglas and Craig 2011). Research-and-development skills developed in one country can be used to develop products for other markets, and production, engineering, or management techniques developed in one context can often be applied in another.

In order to achieve the fundamental aim of having significant alliances various rationalization and reconstruction plans have been carried out at global level. The notion of serving up local FMCG markets in series has been substituted by serving those groups of the market which are co-related with each other at global scale. In addition, scale effectiveness regarding growth and business is accomplished through operations that are properly organized according to regions (Douglas and Craig 2011). Highly skilled expertise in production, design management, and marketing can be employed, which would not be economical in more fragmented operations. Knowledge, experience, and successful best practices can be transferred from one region to another, resulting in world class products and operations.

Gronroos (1990) offers a marketing strategy continuum which suggests that fast moving consumer goods companies are characterized more by the practice of transaction marketing than are consumer durable, industrial goals, or service firms. Does this mean that consumer goods companies do not practice Interaction or Network marketing as defined by Lal and Padmanabhan (1995)?

Further, are FMCG firms operations necessarily dominated by the practice of these marketing activities? Empirical evidence is required to answer these questions. The second research issue requiring empirical investigation follows from the discussions by Bass, et al (1976) and Gronroos (1990). They make strong statements that the concept of Marketing reflects a “new paradigm” in marketing thought and practice. Unless the term “paradigm” is used loosely however, a paradigm shift implies that a change has occurred, to one “…whose world view replaces that of an existing world, and whose underlying assumptions replace those of an existing research model” (Stern and Hammond 2004).

Stern and Hammond (2004) are of the view that the expansion in their business size outside their national borders enables the FMCG firms to experience new market trends and expose it to the diversified market segments where it can learn new technologies. Costs of coordination and information acquisition increased sharply, resulting in diseconomies, which have a negative impact on profit. In the past, the primary focus of FMCG’ international marketing strategy has been affluent developed countries, notably those in the industrial triad and particularly those engaged in marketing consumer goods. These markets have fuelled growth and been a key source of profits (Alden et al, 2006). Despite of the fact that these FMCG markets are of great importance to the businesses worldwide, but the major shift in focus regarding the cross cultural impact on businesses and the demand vs. supply gap in major economies, firms have to indulge themselves in activities to maximize their returns somehow (Douglas and Craig 2011).

Low growth rates and product market saturation in many developed countries, particularly in more mature mass-market product categories, create an increasing struggle for market share. This is further compounded by slow or negative economic growth, recessionary pressures, and high rates of unemployment due to the decline of the industrial sector, high levels of consumer debt, and an aging population (Nijssen and Susan 2008). Although the impact of these forces varies with the product market and the degree of market globalization, this constitutes a major challenge for many FMCGs in consumer markets. Increased market segmentation and rising media costs limit potential scale economies and add to marketing costs.

In addition, FMCG in developed countries are facing increasing competition from large and medium-sized firms from emerging-market countries. Not only are these firms able to leverage the advantages of low labour and resource costs in their domestic markets to build their position in global markets, but they are also learning to adopt the technologies and management skills of developed country firms, in some cases surpassing them in terms of innovative and creative skills. For example, Brazil’s Embracer has surged past Canada’s Bombardier to the number three spot in the aircraft manufacturing industry (Alden et al. 2006). Same is the situation with Haier China, who is continuously penetrating in electronic appliances market worldwide, and Mahindra Motors from India who is influencing the agricultural equipment manufacturing industry of United States.

For retailers and manufacturers the achievement of marketing methods will generally be considered, the cornerstone of expanded sales, figures of consumers visiting the shops etc. Sales facts and numbers and market study permit a better comprehension of minds of consumers and behaviours that can then be fed into the designing method and directing key enterprise conclusions, encompassing charge, wrapping and distribution (Douglas and Craig 2011).

According to the deductions of various studies employed for the purpose of this research, buyers gaze for – and reply to – three basic values mentioned to as the ‘three C’s’ namely: clarity, creativity and comparability. For buyers, effectiveness will be considered on if these values have been met (Quelch and Rohit 2004).

Nevertheless, from a sustainability viewpoint the genuine dispute is to double-check that the buyer will evolve commitment to environmentally friendlier goods (purchasing these rather than of other less amicable ones) and altering their customs, when utilising and eventually disposing of the product. For example, reverting to compact cleaning dust needs utilising less merchandise per clean and that cleaning at smaller temperatures keeps energy.

Current strategies used by the FMCG marketers

When focusing at FMCG Sector major schemes are put behind market schemes, cost, and value strategies. Although the doorway to mass-market promotion in the FMCG part is starting to close due to cost and newspapers fragmentation, another started to open some years ago. Such undertaking wins new clients, encourages test and raises frequency of purchase. However, the other large-scale strategies trying out, which is the lone most productive transition in getting buyers to swap brands (Barboza and Nick 2010).

This service presents marketers with a one-stop path to consigning connection to buyers and double-checking accessibility at issue of get. However, this method require not be utilized in isolation. In prospect, aiming through one-to-one digital advocating will be utilized to support crusades and envisage follow-up dialogue. The issue is that it is not just the cost of mass trading that is going by car marketers to gaze for less costly connection formats – they have been looking for more productive formats for some time (Carolan 2010).

Marketing habitually constitutes an offer to consumers. In the comparable world between distinct emblems, constructor emblems and retailer own emblems and between many retailers, buyers conclude on the achievement of distinct trading devices through their every day buying decisions.

For very fast going buyer items (FMCG), the most significant determinants in the consumer’s conclusion to buy or not to buy specific merchandise are the cost and performance/quality of products. Consumers’ buying alternatives are furthermore leveraged by their belief in the brand. Companies can furthermore boost buyer believe and boost eagerness through clear connection on what it entails for their company; the distinct advancement methods delineated, supply buyers with certain thing affirmative to purchase into (Cleveland, et al. 2009).

Product

The products of FMCG companies require specifications of the genuine items or services, the most significant being the presentation of the product and how these concern to the end-user’s desires and wants. The scope of a product usually encompasses carrying components for example warranties, assurances, and support (Contractor, 2007).

Consumer study, merchandise discovery and their development by manufacturers and the records of these innovative goods by retailers are centre elements. For durable goods for example white items (washing appliance, refrigerators) after sale services (repair, replacement components, etc.) are furthermore of key relevance to consumers.

Promotion

Promotion encompasses advocating and sales advancement as well as promotional learning and individual selling. Purchasing conclusions are inspired by emotional components like believe and good know-how with an exact merchandise or emblem in the past (Contractor 2007). For some buyers, scientifically dependable, reliable, understandable and non-misleading merchandise data forms buying decisions. The aim of advancement is to make buyers cognizant of merchandise and its characteristics (Cleveland, et al. 2009).

Consumers get merchandise data through emblem titles, wrapping data, like merchandise marks or added data on flyers, websites, etc. The manufacturer (brand or retailer brand) is to blame for this information.

Branded items businesses or retailers may announce buyers through newsletters or advocating on television or in newspapers. Some retailers (especially buyer co-operatives) use their constituent meetings to announce the public about green consumption. The advancement of goods could be aided through clientele commitment programs (Carolan 2010).

Consumer perception may furthermore be increased through nationwide or localized public campaigns. With many of newspapers answer and public perception increasing of some matters, the number of obstacles can be reduced. The dispute is to double-check that goods convey relentless approval to buyers encompassing the consignment of anticipated presentation, so as to make them manage a repeated choice (Carolan 2010).

Price

The cost, encompassing discounts, of merchandise is usually – beside presentation – the major criteria for buying decisions. This concern is especially for FMCG. In the case of buyer durables, for example electric appliances buyers are occasionally eager to yield more if they glimpse a good price/benefit association over the lifetime of a product/service.

Acknowledging customers about the cheaper prices of environment friendly products in FMCG industry seems to be a viable idea to attract consumers towards consuming these products. Even if most of buyers assertion in samples that they are eager to yield more for environmentally friendlier goods, the higher cost is an obstacle for buying green. Even for green buyers there is a restriction to what they are eager to pay (Pauwels 2007).

To market competently clear data to buyers about the charges engaged throughout the lifetime of goods is furthermore substantial. In this sense, retailers can assist to overwhelm the problem of cost with good communication. For example, data about the smaller electrical power charges of power effective items over the life-time of a product (Westney and Sri Zaheer 2001).

Due to the presence of many competitors in the FMCG industry it is evident that the industry is experiencing saturation in its competitive means and growth rates are contiguously dropping. To avoid incompetitiveness, it is necessary for FMCG manufacturers to add innovativeness in their products and develop new features that add value to the product and attract customers. Another strategy is to adopt marketing tactics that are not adopted by others and use differentiated marketing systems to provide customers with low cost products. Economic debacles worldwide and the uncertainty, considering the lowering purchasing power of consumers, providing them with cheap and quality products will be beneficial for the industry and the firm in particular (Pauwels 2007).

Market strategies need to embrace changes in technology and the emergence of new media such as the Internet, mobile phones, and social networking sites and increasingly use techniques such as viral marketing and greater interaction with consumers to reach target audiences. Due to the economic instability across different regions and especially in highly industrialized nations, adopting or changing marketing tactics will enable FMCG firms to evolve customers positively in their business activities (Moustakes 1999).

In general significant results and improvement in returns can be obtained with positioning strategies and product quality, uniform branding and advertising strategies. When achievable global endorsements and persuasive strategies can be easily developed within least local amendment. FMCG companies are putting in greater efficiencies and global collaborations to emphasize global perspectives. However, firms must pay attention to consumer attitudes toward various alternatives. In some cases, consumers may support local cultural products, particularly food products, to preserve their cultural identity and support the local economy (Barboza and Nick 2010).

In general, emphasis on integration or coordination of strategy across countries and markets results in centralization of strategy development at either the regional or global level, though marketing and promotional strategies are typically executed locally.

Need for innovative marketing strategies in the FMCG sector

Marketing management structures or procedures can be established to formulate and implement strategy adaptation and manage mobilization, coordination, and deployment of marketing capabilities across national and regional markets. Experience acquired in adapting and implementing strategy in one market can be applied in formulating and implementing strategy in other markets. The variety of markets and the goods dealt in them and various other factors, as for instance, the lack of uniformity shown by the consumers due to the variations in economic and cultural aspects, the nature of competition surrounding the environment in which an FMCG organization operates and variations in the available infrastructural facilities implies that it is not possible to establish a worldly strategy in this respect (Barboza and Nick 2010). As a result, the FMCG organizations found themselves unable to develop a homogeneous strategy in relation to integrating global markets with an objective to ensure the free flow of products, production and managing techniques and learning of knowledge. In fact, the strategies in this respect are required to be revised in a way that there practicability is ensured by way of aiming at a number of market options in which FMCG entities have earned experience to operate in the past (Mela, et al. 1997). However, few exceptions are still there especially in case of organizations which are operating in “business to business” environment. But in these cases also, the entities operating are still required to follow marketing and service related activities (Douglas and Craig 2011).

This view of marketing has resulted in a plethora of conceptual and empirical research, and a number of books discussing the topic (e.g. Dekimpe, et al 2000, Denscombe 2003, Ehrenberg1988, Ehrenberg, et al 2004, Gronroos 1990). Unfortunately, the precise meaning of differences in marketing strategies for fast moving consumer goods is not always clear in the literature (Keller 1993; Lal and Padmanabhan 1995; Lomax et al, 1996; Mela, et al 1997). Furthermore, Ehrenberg, et al (2004) note that the concept has become a buzzword as it is being used to detect a number of differing themes or perspectives.

This problem was also recognized by Mela et al, (1997), who review the multiple uses of the term Marketing Strategies or Techniques in the marketing literature. They note, for example, that the marketing strategies were primarily discussed at one level as an elaborate form of database marketing; a technology-based tool used by FMCG firms to acquire and manage customers (Stern and Hammond 2004; Alden, et al. 2006; Barboza and Nick 2010; Carolan 2010). At a second, broader level marketing strategies is said to focus on the relationships between a business and its customer base, with the emphasis on customer retention (Doctoroff 2005; Gupta, et al. 2008).

Future of the FMCG marketing

Developing a marketing strategy with companies’ clients as the major target is a good ensuing to attain better sales numbers and market performance. Undoubtedly, the buyers are the force that can turn around enterprise, either into a large-scale achievement or a regretful failure. To penetrate the targeted market in the right way, it is habitually best to first address that actually who are companies’ buyers (London and Stuart 2004).

Before the businesses had glimpsed the requirement to proceed consumer-oriented, trading undertakings were evolved solely to sponsor a merchandise, develop some sales, and construct market portions, despite if such trading undertakings formulated gratify to what the buyers actually require or not. Since, the dispute to manage everything for the favour of the buyers, all marketing efforts that are applied are directed by the lone objective of promoting some parts of merchandise solely for the sake of the business (Mahajan and Kamini 2006).

But times had developed and new methods are implemented. Today, consumer-oriented trading is fast evolving and popular. And what it actually suggests is the development of trading devices and schemes that for one, presents for shops and circulation conduit examinations. These checks are undertaken so as to assess a specific store’s suitability to convey a specific product.

Consumer-oriented marketing furthermore needs enterprises to ascertain the charge of their services and products, if or not it is fit for their general consumers. Doing so stops enterprises to overprice or under price the product they are marketing, while giving the best worth to the patronizing public (Matlack 2010).

But most significantly, the requirement to evolve consumer-oriented marketing techniques, FMCG companies need to expressively pinpoint the very customers who require, use, and purchase their products directly. And at one time they have a good concept as to who the major market movers of their goods or service are; they can start to consider their accurate desires, aspirations, and wants. Accordingly, they can join to those things accordingly. This accurately is the major concept behind evolving a marketing strategy that is customer focused in future (Misquitta 2009).

Is the target market segmented?

Customer Segmentation

For a company to start evolving a method aimed at its rightful buyers, it is best that the company unquestionably assembles its clients into their exact categories. Are most of the company’s buyers branding conscious? Do they address cost over other factors? Do they purchase company’s goods to mainly gain its benefits? There are many of other buying components that a company’s buyers may have. In future, marketers will investigate all of them to double-check that what the company is proposing responds expressly to their motivations for buying (Misquitta 2009).

Which of the segments that the company came up with is the most profitable?

Profitable Segmentation

The instant a company understands the exact segments of its market the next thing the company has to manage is to ascertain which of them are going to give it more business. The company can then start prioritizing the genuine persons belonging in that class when developing its trading strategy. The three good points to address in working out if or not the segment is money-making are its dimensions, its jamming, and the group’s buying power (Nijssen and Susan 2008). The bigger the market it, the more persons can purchase company’s product. “The fewer competitors you have on that market, the better your presentation will be. And finally, the proficiency of persons inside the assembly to purchase or avail of your merchandise works out your genuine profitability” (Quelch and Rohit 2004).

What are the distinctive qualities of the customers belonging in the specified segments?

Identify Marketing Consumers

After the segment is recognized and investigated as asserted by profitability, the next and likely, the last things a company needs to understand are the mind-set and the one-by-one characteristics of the persons under each category. If the company understands who it is trading to, then assisting customers’ desires becomes many easier. And to attain that, an in-depth trading study is required. Doing so permits the company to conceive unquestionable devices and schemes to assist it joining to its customers’ desire (Westney and Sri Zaheer 2001).

Measure the satisfaction level of customers

The last step in evolving a buyer trading scheme is reconsidering the customer’s response in the direction of the company’s product. The company has to ascertain if or not it is thriving in supplying unquestionable answers to its customer’s one-by-one desires by inquiring about their outlooks, sentiments, and ideas first hand. If the outcomes are not good, then the company has to try modifying its marketing strategy or even its genuine merchandise or service to make it flawless and desirable by its buyers which actually fulfil their needs. Developing a customer-oriented trading scheme can be considered a continuous cycle. The entire process is considered to be recurring over and over until all points are finalized so as to make all buyers joyous after buying company’s merchandise or availing of its service (Xu, et al. 2006).

The outcome of preceding investigations supplies significant insights into the components that leverage trading success. In specific, they disclose the types of achievement components that play a significant function in the achievement of elongation merchandise, at smallest under certain conditions.

However, there are not less than two key matters that have obtained little or no vigilance in former work: First, little is renowned about the relation significance of the achievement components in interpreting trading achievement because each preceding study enquired the consequences of only a little part of all applicable achievement components at one time (usually two to four factors). Second, preceding investigations checked only the direct connection between trading achievement (dependent variable) and promise achievement components (independent variables) (Gronroos 1989).

They did not take into account that some achievement components may constitute reliable variables in other functional relationships; that is, preceding investigations did not analyze a sequence of functional relationships. The malfunction to account for promise connections amidst achievement components may origin defective understanding of the implication and relation significance of the achievement components under investigation (Gronroos 1990). Against this backdrop, this makes two, prime assistance to trading study by giving a large-scale empirical study.

The investigation considers the direct connections between achievement components and trading achievement, the functional connections amidst enquired components, and moderating effects. Furthermore, a benefit of functional formula investigation is the proficiency to account for estimation errors. The relevance of the study carried out Gronroos (1990) is particularly applicable for the trading practices. To advance trading achievement, it is imperative for managers to understand which of the large number of possibly applicable achievement components should obtain the most vigilance and how they should assign assets to the applicable factors (Gronroos 1990).

Trading inside is addressed as a comprehensive nomological snare by evolving a conceptual structure for the study conducted by Gronroos (1990) which builds on the outcomes of former study and the managerial wisdom drawn from professional judgments. The study omitted the next three determinants because they had only secondary leverage on trading achievement in former studies:

  1. Difficulty in making a merchandise from the extension’s merchandise class (e.g., Doctoroff, 2005; Gupta et al, 2008; Hoskinsson et al, 2000; London and Stuart 2004),
  2. Consumers’ information of the merchandise class (e.g., Smith and Park 1992), and
  3. Company dimensions (Reddy, Holak, and Bhat 1994). Likewise, the study omitted the alignment and main heading of preceding trading schemes (Dawar and Anderson 1994) and consumers’ feeling (Barone, Miniard, and Romeo 2000).

In other phrases, a certain component that was important in one study was not important in another study. In supplement to former work, meetings with trading managers and investigators can furthermore be helpful in broadening the scope of information about emblem elongation evaluations. Therefore, the report utilized professional information as an added data source to construct farther self-assurance in the relevance of recognized trading achievement factors. There is an significant custom in trading study of integrating judgmentally drawn from data into trading forms (Gummesson 1995), particularly managerially approximated argument standards (London and Stuart 2004).

Conceptual Framework

The literature review forms basis for the conceptual structure for comprehending the marketing strategies and techniques, and their interrelations. A rather simplified overview of the key decisions that FMCG manufacturers have to face when it comes to sales and maintaining a strong position in the consumer market are related to the three dimensions of marketing strategies which are covered in this study and are part of the methodology prescribed for collecting data and analyzing it.

Dimension 1: Branding of Products – The approach of companies to developing and promoting their brands and consistency of brand identity across their marketing activities. This is based upon the study carried out by Hussey and Duncombe (1999) that examined the consumer behaviour and basis for their choices. In their study, it is suggested that consumers hold a particular view regarding a brand identify which affects their choice of specific brand. This also emphasizes of maintaining consistency in branding strategy.

Dimension 2: Communication passages that companies in the FMCG sector are using to communicate with their existing and potential clients. Various communication methods and promotional activities inducing buying behaviour are investigated through this study. There are an ever-increasing number of passages having differing effects on consumer behaviour accessible to FMCG companies and finding the right blend of passages is progressively difficult (Carolan 2010).

Dimension 3: The third dimension that is covered in this study is the impact of the marketing activities carried out by companies in the FMCG sector. This evaluation is carried out in this study by focusing on the outcome of the marketing activities in terms of generating sufficient demand and growth for the products sold by FMCG companies and also whether their marketing activities are able to attract prospective clients or not which is mainly the outcome of the customer satisfaction achieved with the use of FMCG produced by companies.

Summary

The chapter deals with different definitions of marketing strategies followed by FMCG companies. It also provides a brief insight into the strategies that companies in the FMCG sector can implement to increase the scope of their businesses. The key elements of the marketing plan with regards to its application for the FMCG companies are also discussed. The future of marketing strategies and challenges facing these strategies which may have implications for the outcome of the business are also covered in this chapter. Finally, the chapter provides a conceptual framework for setting out the areas of investigation and follow up in the methodology adopted for this study.

Research Methodology

Introduction

This chapter is crucially important as it outlines the research methodology adopted by the researcher to gather vital pieces of information that make up the discussion part of the report and also obtain data which helps in achieving the objective of the research. The decision for selecting a specific research methodology is based upon review of previous studies and literature available to the researcher regarding different academic research methodologies and their application and relevance to the current study. Based on the understanding and purpose of the study the following methodology has been adopted which has been discussed in detail for its different elements, limitations, and reasoning.

Selected Methodology

Since, the purpose of the present study is to explore the trends in the current marketing strategies followed by FMCGs and also to evaluate the impact of these strategies on their business using statistical methods therefore; it is obvious that the approach selected for this study is based on positivistic paradigm that follows a quantitative approach to the study. The major advantages of quantitative study is that it allows easy generalization of results, large data can be explored in a short period of time, and thus, it increases the reliability of results presented. While on the other hand, its disadvantages could include lower understandability of results by users, and also if testing is not performed in controlled environment then results could be misleading (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill 2003). The reason for adopting approach is to be able to present the results in an objective manner where inquiries are made from managers working for different FMCGs to comment on the strategies their companies have followed and their impact on their businesses.

The results are presented in a numerical form and they form part of the discussion to evaluate the impact of marketing strategies currently pursued by FMCGs on the companies’ performance. Although, the review of existing literature suggests that there are not many studies that have used the quantitative approach for investigating the marketing strategies followed by FMCG and are mostly based on qualitative approach however, one particular study that has been discussed in the conceptual framework of the present report is by Dickinson and Heath (2006) which has been taken into consideration for devising methodology for the current study. This study has used both qualitative and quantitative approach to collecting and analyzing views of respondents regarding co-branding including those by FMCG brands. Another study by Denison and McDonald (1995) has also been taken into account which has used a qualitative approach to investigate the reasons for marketing strategies followed UK businesses including FMCG not contributing to their success. Their findings are discussed in comparison with the findings of the present study to bridge the gap that exists over the last 15 years or so and also understand the role of marketing strategies in bringing about positive results for companies. One more reason for not being able to locate studies with quantitative approach has been due to their pay-per-view status.

Primary Research

The primary research for the present study takes form of a survey questionnaire which is designed and prepared for collecting responses from individuals representing the FMCG sector. Based on the conceptual framework laid out for the present study the questionnaire is designed to focus on branding, marketing activities and finally evaluation of the marketing activities in terms of their impact of different aspects of the businesses. The questionnaire contains closed ended questions which allow respondents to select their answers from a choice provided to them by the researcher. The questionnaire initiates with demographic questions. The next of closed ended questions are regarding the marketing strategies which companies are using. The final set of statements is based on Likert Scale Model (McDaniel and Gates 1998). Likert Scale Model allows respondents to select from a ranking of 1 to 5. Since, the tone of the statements is maintained in a positive manner therefore, rank 1 represents Strongly Agree, 2 represents Somewhat Agree, 3 represents Neither Agree or Disasgree, 4 represents Somewhat Disagree, and 5 represents Strongly Disagree. These statements based on Likert Scale are aimed at how respondents rate their company’s marketing strategies and evaluate their impact on the companies’ businesses. These statements include “Your company’s marketing strategies are continuously evolving keeping in view the new trends”, “Your company’s current marketing strategies have positive impact on attracting prospect”, “Your company’s current marketing strategies generate sufficient demand from your existing customers”, “Your company’s current marketing strategies have led to steady growth in your sales”, “Your company’s current marketing strategies can be considered successful”. The overall purpose of the questionnaire is served by inquiring different questions to present a comprehensive set of findings and discussion.

Sampling

For completion of the study it is integral part to acquire views and opinions from the companies operating in the FMCG sector. In order to do so, a list of 50 top UK FMCG brands was obtained from the website [For details please check the reference list] (McCawley 2000). Once these brand names were obtained then they were traced back to their manufacturers and a list of 10 companies was finalized. The initial list of these companies is provided in the following table:

Names of FMCG Companies
Body Shop International Plc Johnson and Johnson
Colgate-Palmolive (UK) Ltd Kraft Foods
Toys R Us L’Oreal (UK) Limited
MARS Nestle
Estee Lauder Companies Procter and Gamble
Heinz Reckitt Benckiser

Table 1: Names of FMCG Companies.

These companies were approached via written requests to participate in the survey however, only six of them agreed as the researcher already knew some respondents who are currently working for these companies and are associated with their marketing departments. The final list of companies from which respondents took part in the survey are as follows:

Names of Selected FMCG Companies
Body Shop International Plc Johnson and Johnson
Estee Lauder Companies Nestle
Toys R Us L’Oreal (UK) Limited

Table 2: Names of Selected FMCG Companies.

The selected companies provided in the above table have common characteristics which all FMCG companies share. These characteristics could include the non-durability of products with short product life, high stock turnover, larger sales volume, and extensive marketing activities by manufacturers. Each company selected allowed 3 individuals from its marketing department to assist with the completion of the survey described above. The questionnaire was given to respondents via email along with necessary explanation document to ensure that respondents know the purpose of the questionnaire and basis for completing responses to different questions and statements included in the questionnaire. The sample size may be considered to be small but in such studies where a common phenomenon is being investigated across participants of the survey and responses to be collected could be expected to be normally distributed (Hill and Lewicki 2007) and this is to be verified in the findings part of the report. The sample size has also led to the choice of the non-parametric test described in the next section of this chapter.

Secondary Research

Forming basis for the current study and driving out meaningful results from it required extensive reading and review of secondary sources which have been available to the researcher from different sources. These sources existed in the form of books, journals, articles, periodicals, previous studies, web sites and other published or unpublished material which were accessed from the university’s library, academic databases and other web links. The keywords used for initiating the study included FMCG, marketing strategies, marketing effectiveness, UK etc. These keywords were used in combination with each other to generate useful results for the write up.

Basis for Analysis and Discussion

The outcome of quantitative approach specified for this study is testing out responses of individuals working for companies in FMCG sector which then forms discussion to evaluate whether the marketing strategies followed by these companies could actually be considered as result oriented ones and whether they are contributing positively or negatively for these companies. In addition to this, the study also sheds light on different marketing strategies that companies are following and how these companies are branding their products which may contribute positively to these companies business. For this purpose, the results from the survey are presented in tabular and graphical manner along with mean values and standard deviation of responses collected from Likert Scale based questionnaire. This approach is somewhat similar to that of Dickinson and Heath (2006) for their study.

Hypothesis Testing

In the earlier chapter of this report, the sole hypothesis for testing out has been established as follows:

H: The current marketing strategies followed by FMCGs have lost their effectiveness.

This would be evaluated by carrying out one sample t-test of significance using values obtained to different statements included in the questionnaire. As explained in the previous section the sample size is quite small for statistical testing therefore non-parametric test has been selected for evaluating the perceptions of effectiveness of marketing strategies. The reason for selecting one sample t test is due to the focus of the present study on companies operating in the FMCG sector. Since, the questionnaire is based upon Likert Scale therefore; the responses obtained are in the numerical form. The statements which are directly aimed at assessing respondents view on the impact of their current marketing strategies on business include statements #11-16 and subject to statistical testing. Firstly, consistency in responses collected is tested out using Cronbach’s Alpha. Then, these values are tested out by establishing null and alternative hypothesis to compare the sample mean with the population and determine the significance of the difference between these values. This assists in evaluating whether particular strategies followed by FMCG are leading to desired objectives such as contributing to greater demand from consumers and generating higher returns for the business.

Statistical Software

The study involved analyzing of the data both descriptively and statistically using a statistical software package – SPSS 17. A copy of this software was available to the researcher at the university’s library.

Limitations

The selected research methodology has certain limitations which need to be taken into consideration for allowing the users to have better understanding of the results provided in this report.

  1. The methodology adopted in this study is of quantitative nature which has its drawbacks mentioned in earlier section of this chapter. For this purpose, the researcher has used an approach which is explanatory itself and easy to follow. However, it was not possible to conduct the survey questionnaire in a controlled environment.
  2. The quantitative research is often criticized for not including sufficient descriptive part of the discussion however, in this report this has been addressed by providing detailed background and literature review of existing publications and then providing a discussion of results based on this information.
  3. The sampling approach is methodological as pre-approvals were required from the university and companies approach. However, this could lead to lead to higher similarity index in responses collected as not every company agreed to participate in the study and more respondents were selected from fewer companies.
  4. The sample size if very small for quantitative testing of the data therefore, it could stated that the results presented in this report are not statistically significant but this approach has been adopted as it provides an alternate view to the study.
  5. Since, the present study extensive use of secondary sources for making up different elements of the report therefore, the limitations inherent in those sources are also part of the current study.
  6. Time and cost factors act as independent variables for the present study which are both limited and could have direct implications for the outcome of the study.

Findings and Discussion

Introduction

This chapter presents the findings from the primary research specifically designed and conducted for this current study. The researcher has acquired responses to the questionnaire prepared for acquiring vital information regarding the current marketing strategies followed by companies operating in the FMCG sector and also for evaluating the effectiveness of their marketing strategies in terms of several measurable success factors. The findings from the study are then discussed in detail which involves comparing the present findings with the previous studies and literature available to form answers for the research questions and provide a meaningful ending to the research conducted

Findings from Primary Research

The questionnaire was distributed to individuals assigned by six companies indicated in the previous chapter. They returned completed questionnaire via email and later their responses were summarized using MS Excel and subjected to descriptive and statistical analysis using SPSS. The output of SPSS along with major findings of each question included in the questionnaire is provided under the following headings.

Individuals’ Job Position

For this study, it was important that individuals who took part in the survey questionnaire have good knowledge and understanding of the purpose of the study. This is the reason that companies involved in the survey assigned responsible individuals from their marketing departments. The job profile of these individuals is summarized in the following table. It can therefore be expected that the responses collected are likely to be representative of the companies’ marketing strategies and position.

Position Frequency Percent Cumulative Percent
Associate Manager 1 5.6 5.6
Associate Product Manager 1 5.6 11.1
Brand Manager 2 11.1 22.2
Brand Officer 1 5.6 27.8
Event Manager 1 5.6 33.3
Junior Marketing Analyst 1 5.6 38.9
Junior PR Officer 1 5.6 44.4
Marketing Manager 7 38.9 83.3
Media Coordinator 1 5.6 88.9
Media Planner 1 5.6 94.4
Search Engine Marketer 1 5.6 100.0
Total 18 100.0

Table 3: Job Position.

Brand Reflection

The first question inquired is related to the views of individuals regarding the perceived value of brand or brands to their companies whether they reflect the identity of the business or not. The results show that 13 individuals working in FMCG companies agree that their brands are reflective of the companies’ values and the business they are presently pursuing rather than carrying forward old corporate views. This implies that companies have active branding strategies with a focus on reviving the brand image according to the changes in the market and companies’ activities.

Is your branding reflective of what your company’s values are and its current business approach rather than what it had in the past?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
No 5 27.8 27.8 27.8
Yes 13 72.2 72.2 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 4: Brand Reflection.

Branding Consistency

This question focuses on inquiring whether companies have a consistent branding strategy that is uniformly adopted for all types of marketing tools such as ads, brochures, websites etc. The findings are surprisingly contradictory to what common perception would be. Only eight individuals suggested that their companies’ branding strategy is consistent while other ten individuals felt otherwise. One explanation for this could be that the question was misunderstood by individuals. The researcher suggests this as his experiences of looking at different marketing material are of coming across same branding on all of them.

Does your company have a consistent branding for all marketing tools used?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
No 10 55.6 55.6 55.6
Yes 8 44.4 44.4 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 5: Branding Consistency.

Marketing Plan

Almost every individual responded to this question in a positive manner accepting the fact that their companies have a formally specific marketing plan that covers all the strategies and activities that are followed by their companies. This is common for FMCG companies as they are very active in their marketing activities to generate continuous and growing demand for their products. The results are shown in the following table with sixteen individuals agreeing to the question.

Do you have a specific marketing plan that is currently driving your marketing efforts?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
No 2 11.1 11.1 11.1
Yes 16 88.9 88.9 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 6: Marketing Plan.

Unique Selling Proposition

This question is aimed at inquiring regarding one of the major elements of marketing plans of any company. Unique selling proposition (USP) of companies makes them and their products stand out amongst their competitors. Without USP, marketing strategies often fail and may not be able to achieve the desired outcome. The current research indicates that 12 individuals agreed that they actually their companies’ USP which is contributing towards the success of their marketing plans against their competitors and also six individuals did not know. The unawareness of USP can be problematic for companies as individuals who took part in the survey are actually responsible for the marketing activities of the selected companies and this could mislead their efforts.

Do you know your Unique Selling Proposition which makes you different from all your competitors?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
No 6 33.3 33.3 33.3
Yes 12 66.7 66.7 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 7: Unique Selling Proposition.

Marketing Story

Marketing Stories are becoming increasing important for companies. These stories are neither part of advertisement campaigns which companies may run from time to time not they are list of features of companies products or services. They are basically corporate stories and vision that is shared with influential individuals of the society who actually assist in promoting companies’ products / services (What Games Are 2011). The question included in the questionnaire pertaining to the knowledge of the present of any marketing story of selected companies the responses were equally split between those who knew about and those who did not. This suggests that companies need to focus on developing and sharing marketing story not only amongst their potential clients but also their employees.

Do you have a marketing story that will capture the hearts and interest of potential clients?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid No 9 50.0 50.0 50.0
Yes 9 50.0 50.0 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 8: Marketing Story.

Following from the previous question, the next inquiry has been made from the individuals regarding deliverability of marketing story through companies marketing materials. The respondents who agreed that their companies have a marketing story also agreed to the question that this marketing story is also expressed in their marketing materials. This indicates that companies have consistency in their marketing strategies. However, other respondents from companies not knowing about their marketing story did not answer this question.

If yes, is your story expressed in your marketing materials?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Yes 9 50.0 50.0 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 9: Marketing Story II.

Marketing Tools

This question inquired from respondents regarding various marketing tools that their companies are presently using or plan to use in the future. Since, respondents had a choice to select many options from the provided list therefore the results are consolidated and presented in the following table.

The findings clearly indicate that online marketing is selected by all respondents, which has become one of the most sought after means of communicating with customers by businesses. With the introduction of new web and mobile applications and popularity of online shopping this medium is increasingly being used by FMCG companies. Another major marketing tool that received 100% response from the individuals is the use of coupon and special offers. From time to time, companies offering FMCG make such promotional offers to their customers to induce more sales. Price advantage through discounts is very common practice observed in the FMCG market. Other mediums are also popular and widely used by companies in the FMCG sector including newspaper ads, brochures, directories, supermarket receipts, flyers, magazines, value coupons etc. The results also show that respondents are of the view that the marketing tools that their companies are most likely to continue using their marketing tools in the near future as well. Moreover, the study did not involve inquiry regarding the financial impact of these marketing tools on the business and it is therefore not possible to suggest which marketing tool is more effective for the companies’ financial performance.

Likert Scale Based Statements

To form an opinion on the effectiveness of the marketing strategies currently followed by the companies in the FMCG sector the questionnaire contains six statements which addressed different aspects of the outcome of marketing strategies implemented as discussed in the previous chapter. The findings from the survey pertaining to these six statements are first tested out for their consistency using Cronbach’s Alpha. The result suggests that the value of consistency is.722 which implies that the findings presented in this section are reliable.

Reliability Statistics
Cronbach’s Alpha N of Items
.722 6

Table 10: Cronbach’s Alpha.

You are confident that your company is reaching your target market.

The results shown in the following table indicate that 50% of the respondents Somewhat Agree that their company is able to connect with their customers through their marketing activities. The other 50% of the respondents think negatively about their companies’ marketing activities. This suggests a mix response from the individuals to this question and it is not clear to make any assessment of the effectiveness of marketing strategies.

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Valid Somewhat Agree 9 50.0 50.0 50.0
Somewhat Disagree 6 33.3 33.3 83.3
Strongly Disagree 3 16.7 16.7 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 11: Target Market

Your company’s marketing strategies are continuously evolving keeping in view the new trends.

This statement inquires whether the FMCG companies are keeping up with the trends in the market and consumer behaviour to adapt their marketing strategies accordingly. This is important as consumer behaviour is continuously evolving and companies in order to ensure that their brands remain popular and attractive to customers need to bring new changes in their approach to market their products and services. The results indicate that majority of respondents have replied positively to this statement whereas only one individual neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement.

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree 1 5.6 5.6 5.6
Somewhat Agree 12 66.7 66.7 72.2
Strongly Agree 5 27.8 27.8 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 12: Marketing Strategies Development.

Your company’s current marketing strategies have positive impact on attracting prospects.

One aspect of evaluating a marketing strategy is to assess whether it is successful to attract new customers for FMCGs. The statement aimed at inquiring about this received a mix set of responses from the respondents. However, majority of the individuals somewhat agreed that their companies’ marketing strategies are able to attract prospects. Whereas, another six individuals somewhat disagreed with this statement. Further analysis of the responses collected that individuals within the same organizations also had different views about their marketing strategies.

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree 1 5.6 5.6 5.6
Somewhat Agree 10 55.6 55.6 61.1
Somewhat Disagree 6 33.3 33.3 94.4
Strongly Agree 1 5.6 5.6 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 13: Ability to Attract Prospects.

Your company’s current marketing strategies generate sufficient demand from your existing customers.

Another aspect of evaluation is whether marketing strategies followed by companies are able to generate demand from existing customers. It is to be noted that it is important for companies to have their strategies focused on not only attracting new customers but also deriving demand from their existing customers and prevent them from switching to other products or brands. The results from the survey indicate

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree 2 11.1 11.1 11.1
Somewhat Agree 7 38.9 38.9 50.0
Somewhat Disagree 8 44.4 44.4 94.4
Strongly Agree 1 5.6 5.6 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 14: Ability to Generate Demand.

Your company’s current marketing strategies have led to steady growth in your sales.

One way of evaluating the outcome of effective marketing strategies can be seen as steady growth in the companies’ sales. Although, presentation of actual sales figures would have been meaningful for this purpose but they are not included in this report as the focus is to obtain views of individuals working in the selected FMCG companies. The results indicate that majority of individuals somewhat agreed where as six individuals disagreed. Again contrasting responses were collected from same companies.

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Somewhat Agree 12 66.7 66.7 66.7
Somewhat Disagree 6 33.3 33.3 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 15: Ability to Generate Steady Growth.

Your company’s current marketing strategies can be considered successful.

Overall, successfulness of current marketing strategies is inquired from the respondents and only one individual strongly agreed to it. Eight individuals each chose somewhat agree and somewhat disagree options and one individuals did not agree or disagree with the statement. The conflicting views within same organizations can be seen as different perceptions and views of individuals regarding their current marketing strategies.

Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
Neither Agree nor Disagree 1 5.6 5.6 5.6
Somewhat Agree 8 44.4 44.4 50.0
Somewhat Disagree 8 44.4 44.4 94.4
Strongly Agree 1 5.6 5.6 100.0
Total 18 100.0 100.0

Table 16: Overall Success.

Hypothesis Testing

First step towards hypothesis testing is to calculate mean values of responses collected for Likert scale based statements in the questionnaire that are from 11-16 and their standard deviations. The results are summarized in the following table which indicates that the tendency in responses is towards average positive view of respondents regarding different aspects of the effectiveness of their companies marketing strategies.

One-Sample Statistics
N Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
You are confident that your company is reaching your target market 18 3.17 1.249 .294
Your company’s marketing strategies are continuously evolving keeping in view the new trends 18 1.78 .548 .129
Your company’s current marketing strategies have positive impact on attracting prospect 18 2.67 1.029 .243
Your company’s current marketing strategies generate sufficient demand from your existing customers 18 2.94 1.056 .249
Your company’s current marketing strategies have led to steady growth in your sales 18 2.67 .970 .229
Your company’s current marketing strategies can be considered successful 18 2.89 1.079 .254

Table 17: One Sample Statistics.

The mean values of responses collected are further tested out using one sample t-test as prescribed in the previous to test out the following research hypotheses set out for comparing means with a test mean value of 2.

  • Null Hypothesis: There is no significant difference between sample mean from the above table and population mean of 2
  • Alternative Hypothesis: There is no significant difference between sample mean from the above table and population mean of 2

The results of one sample t-test from SPSS are provided in the following table based on responses collected for Likert Scale based statements from 11 to 16.

One-Sample Test
Test Value = 2
95% Confidence Interval of the Difference
T Df Sig. (2-tailed) Mean Difference Lower Upper
You are confident that your company is reaching your target market 3.964 17 .001 1.167 .55 1.79
Your company’s marketing strategies are continuously evolving keeping in view the new trends -1.719 17 .104 -.222 -.49 .05
Your company’s current marketing strategies have positive impact on attracting prospect 2.749 17 .014 .667 .15 1.18
Your company’s current marketing strategies generate sufficient demand from your existing customers 3.796 17 .001 .944 .42 1.47
Your company’s current marketing strategies have led to steady growth in your sales 2.915 17 .010 .667 .18 1.15
Your company’s current marketing strategies can be considered successful 3.496 17 .003 .889 .35 1.43

Table 18: One Sample Test.

The above table provides t values for each dependent variable (statement) and degree of freedom (df) as 17. For statement (12), the mean value is 1.78 which is less than 2 and it suggests a positive view of respondents regarding the responsiveness of marketing strategies to changing trends in the market. Furthermore, the mean values of statements from 11 and 13 to 16 are 3.17, 2.67, 2.94, 2.67, and 2.89 which are greater than 2 and they suggest inclination towards negative average responses related to statements aimed at evaluating the ability of marketing strategies of selected FMCG companies to reach their customers, attract demand from existing and new customers, generate steady growth, and overall success for the company. The significance values for all these statements less than 0.05 which imply that there is a significant difference between the sample mean and test value and null hypothesis is rejected for alternative hypothesis.

From this statistical testing and examining the individuals’ responses collected for each of the statement from 11 to 16, it could be suggested that the results are not clearly suggesting that the research hypothesis set out for the study can be accepted or rejected. However, based on the mean values of responses collected for statements 11, 13, 14, 15, and 16 it could be implied that since mean values are on the higher size as compared to the desired mean 2 and not close to 2 therefore, it can be somewhat disagree that the current market strategies of companies selected are effective. This is also because there are not many individuals who selected neither agree nor disagree as their response.

Discussion

The discussion of the statistical findings provided above is initiated with the descriptive analysis of the open ended question that was included in the questionnaire. Through this question, respondents were requested to highlight the challenges which their companies are facing being part of the UK FMCG sector. All respondents indicated the current poor economic conditions both locally and internationally as the greatest challenge for their companies. Since, the FMCG market is already considered to be competitive market with new and existing companies investing heavily into their products and marketing activities therefore, in the difficult economic conditions companies are faced with a trade off in their strategies between cost saving and investment in their marketing plans for keeping their products attractive to their customers (Pauwels 2007).

Another, major challenge that has been indicated by individuals is the hike in the price of raw materials and other inputs which is making it difficult for them to maintain a steady pricing strategy for their products. It is clear from the literature review provided in this report that one of the main elements of the marketing strategy that companies in the FMCG sector follow is by maintaining a pricing strategy that keeps their product competitive and at the same time generate sufficient profits. In present times where consumers are becoming more price conscious careful planning is necessary for setting up a price strategy that is favorable. One more prominent challenge faced by FMCG is the replication of marketing strategy by other companies that leaves very little time for the company to actually benefit from a change in the marketing strategy. This is commonly observed when companies in the FMCG sector are engaged in offering discounts through promotional activities which are quickly followed by competitors offering similar promotional activities which shrink the impact of the first mover.

Brand identity is crucial for FMCG companies and they must strive for ensuring that their brand image remains consistency amongst product sold by them and also in their marketing activities that they may undertake from time to time (Hussey and Duncombe 1999). The findings suggest that majority of companies are focusing on keeping their brand identity consistent throughout their marketing activities and also reflecting their corporate image and values through their marketing activities which has positive implications for shaping up consumer behaviour (Denison and McDonald 1995).

FMCG companies need to have an active marketing strategy that takes into account the changing trends. Individuals working in FMCG companies have majorly agreed to the presence of a definite marketing plan and unique selling proposition. However, they have contradictory views on the existence of marketing story and knowledge about it. Companies are increasingly making use of online marketing to reach out their customers in addition to the traditional marketing tools (Barboza and Nick 2010; Carolan 2010). Also, all companies have agreed that they have been involved in offering price discounts and other options to their customers on a regular basis. Continuous evolvement of marketing strategies and incorporation of various marketing tools is necessary for the success of FMCG companies which the selected companies seem to be doing.

The findings also shed light over the effectiveness of marketing strategies currently followed by companies in the FMCG market and it can be suggested that marketing strategies have direct implications for the business (Denison and McDonald 1995). The results however, do not clearly indicate whether the current marketing strategies of the UK companies could be considered as ineffective. The responses collected from individuals working in six different companies are contradicting within same organizations. This may be due to the fact that individuals perceive differently about their companies’ marketing strategies. There could be different views regarding various marketing approaches that companies may undertake that could actually lead to different outcome (Lal, Rajiv and Padmanabhan 1995).

Conclusion

Introduction

This final chapter of the report reiterates the major outcome of the study carried out above and also highlights the implications of the results for the FMCG industry. Moreover, recommendations for the future study are also made for further investigation in the respective field of research.

Research Outcome

The primary focus of the study is to investigate different aspects of the marketing strategies including branding by FMCG companies operating in the UK and then performing statistically testing to form an opinion regarding the effectiveness of the marketing strategies followed by these companies. The results presented in this study are somewhat conflicting within the same organizations and the mix set of responses collected from the data collection instruments designed for this study suggest differing views of individuals whether they are working in the same organizations or different. The approach that has been used in this present study has been to explore the concept of brand identity and consistency of the brand image by companies in the FMCG sector. The results show that companies in the FMCG sector are using wide range of marketing tools which not only traditional marketing material but also the use of technology and web marketing is also becoming increasingly popular and all companies included in the survey are making use of this medium of approaching the consumers.

The pricing strategy is also a key component of the overall marketing plan of FMCGs. In order to induce higher sales FMCG companies are often involved in promotional activities as noted in the findings such discount coupons or savings in terms of price cuttings. The findings of the study of the present are somewhat inconclusive to form a definite opinion regarding the research hypothesis set out at the outset of this report. This is mainly because of the trend observed in the responses collected from the primary research which are of conflicting nature within organizations. This could also be explained on the basis of the biasness they may be present in responses as individuals who are involved in the survey are from the marketing department of the selected companies and therefore, they may not be willing to share the real outcome of their companies’ current marketing strategies.

Research Implications

As understood from the literature review discussed in this report the consumer market faced by companies producing and marketing FMCGs is very competitive and demanding as consumers have access to numerous choices in the same product line and the switching barriers are quite low. The results of the study have several implications for the companies operating in the FMCG. Based on the discussion in the previous chapter, it can suggested that in order to stay profitable and compete in such tough marketing conditions it is important for FMCG companies to set out their marketing plans which can create a balance between consumer demands and earning capabilities of the business. The companies also need to adopt different business strategies which are aimed at creating a sense of affiliation and acceptance by consumers. The marketing strategies that companies in the FMCG sector implement are required to take into account the cultural and social values that consumers may hold at a particular time (Barboza and Bunkley 2011; Moustakes 2007). The differences in the definitions of marketing strategies being not clear as discussed in the literature review imply that no single strategy is suitable and not a single approach by all companies can lead to similar results. The study therefore, highlights different marketing tools along with branding and marketing strategies that companies in the FMCG industry are using and their implications on their business which could be viewed by others in order to understand the outcome of these strategies.

Recommendations for Future Study

The present study has lacked financial information over the years that could have added much needed insight into the impact of marketing strategies on the business of companies operating in the UK FMCG sector. This information could have been obtained from the financial reports of the companies over the years and a statistical model could have been implemented for predicting the relationship between financial indicators as a dependent variable and measuring factors such marketing expenses over the years. This would have helped in determining the impact of the marketing strategies followed by the companies in more objective manner. In addition to this, any future study could also compare the difference between marketing strategies followed by FMCG locally and internationally and results could be of comparing the performances of companies in different markets.

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