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Discuss the role of marketing strategy within the broader

corporate strategy. Illustrate your answer with an example of an


organization of your choice.

The current global consumer market has significantly boost the competition in the business
environment for the multinational organizations. The increased competition has encouraged the
organizations to implement a variety of strategy programs that help them in achieving their
corporate goals. Marketing is one of the crucial function in achieving corporate goals. Marketing
managers around the globe usually focus on localization, regionalization and standardization,
however, the main issue is to understand when to utilize each marketing strategy. The adoption
of effective marketing strategy and aligning it with corporate strategy is determined by analyzing
the core competencies on which the organization operates. Adopting and implementing a market
strategy that is compatible with broader corporate strategy successfully lead the organization to
achieve competitive advantage in global marketplace. The current essay has critically analyzed
the role and significance of marketing strategies within the broader corporate strategy context.
The company selected as an example is the Toyota. The researcher has comprehensively
elaborate Toyota marketing strategy and how the company is utilizing its marketing strategies to
achieve their corporate strategic goals.

Corporate strategy of any organization refers to the set of business activities and polices adopted
and implemented to achieve the strategic goals. On broader scale, the corporate strategy is
primarily concerned with answering questions like “what sort of business should the company be
operating in?”, “how to gain sustainable competitive advantage in the business market?” and
more specifically how to create value for the company through coordination and configuration of
their various business activities (Eisenhardt and Piezunka, 2011). David Collins and Cynthia
Montgomery presented the most comprehensive framework reflecting the key theory elements of
corporate strategy. According to them, there are four basic elements that help organizations to
gain corporate advantage. These include the company’s vision, its resources, business activities
and role of the corporate headquarters. The company must align all these elements in the
corporate structure to achieve its goals and objectives alignment of all these activities. When all
these elements fit together a unique shareholder value is created that is on the other hand cannot
created on its own by the financial investors thus providing a corporate advantage to firms(Basu,
2017).

Now the question is that how marketing and marketing strategy play its role in border corporate
strategy. To understand its role first it is necessary to understand the philosophy of marketing
and its core functions. Marketing is defined as a comprehensive system of interacting and
integrating business activities. To design specifically, to plan, promote, price and allocate
satisfactory goods and services to the potential customers (Rizan et al., 2014). This is the most
important business function as it directly affects the sales and reputation of the company.
Marketing strategy is designed to develop healthy relationship with the customers by fulfilling
their needs, expand the market for the company and ensures the organizational survival. Based
on its wide scale impact on the organizations, there has been long history of scholars debating
that marketing cannot be separated from the overall corporate function therefore, it must be
aligned with the border corporate goals. This is when strategic marketing was conceived and
become a hot topic in business market.

Strategic marketing involves processes like developing, planning and implementing marketing
endeavors to gain competitive advantage over their competitors. It basically involves simplifying
and outlining company’s objectives and then taking measures (Proctor, 2014). For instance, a
firm wishing to secure some specific amount of share in the market, they must ensure to clearly
identify their mission, define their specific objectives, survey their market and industry situation
and then implement a program that will deliver the right product to the customer that satisfy their
needs. Customer satisfaction is considered to be the most significant aspect in dominating the
market and becoming a leader in the industry resulting in substantial business satisfaction
(Oliver, 2014). All the three phases of strategic marketing planning, developing and
implementing programs focus on customer satisfaction and beating out the competition. Hence
the main focus of both the corporate and strategic marketing is to gain competitive advantage
over their competitors by creating value and offering satisfactory products to customers by
fulfilling their needs and wants. Therefore, it can be understood that marketing plays an
important role in achieving the corporate strategy goals. To elaborate this concept, here we
discuss the marketing strategy of Toyota Corporation and try to describe the relationship that
their marketing strategy is ultimately playing a role in achieving their corporate strategy goals.
The company was established in 1937 in Japan and launched its first product in 1965. By the end
of 1970, Toyota become the best- selling imported brand in US. In 80’s the company started
manufacturing vehicles in US and by 2006, it become the second largest car seller in the word
and third largest car seller in United states with a possession of 15% share in the market.
Currently, it holds the number one position globally in manufacturing and selling automobile
vehicles. The credit of its profound success is widely debated to be associated with its strong
marketing strategy (Putra, 2019).

When the company was established, the founder of the company Kiichiro Toyoda believed that
marketing is a critical tool in building a successful enterprise. Shotaro Kamiya, who was the first
president of the Toyota stated, “In he automobile industry, the priority to gain benefits must be in
order of satisfying customers, then the car dealers and lastly the manufacturer itself.” They
believed that this attitude is the best approach in not only winning the customer’s trust but to
grow and gain corporate advantage(Kato and Smalley, 2010). The company’s current strategic
goal is to maintain its leadership and strategic position in the automotive industry through
enhancing and growing its profitability and maximum shareholder returns. The company is
effectively working towards achieving its goals and to greater extent has achieved them through
demonstrating high level of technology use in their operations and manufacturing (Jayaram et al.,
2010). In addition, the company has significantly improved its technology level, quality control,
marketing aspects, personal capability supply capability and emerged as cost leaders. The
company is focusing a lot on its corporate social strategy by addressing raising environmental
issues. They have initiated the production of hybrid cars in response to the increased demand of
environment friendly vehicles. This strategy has been quite successful since there has been
increased awareness in consumers regarding their environment(Simão and Lisboa, 2017). The
company has been working towards maintaining an agile corporate structure to sustain in the
contracting automotive market resulted from the downfall of economy around the globe. Such
corporate structure aids in developing flexible reactions to sudden and short term demand
changes and reducing inefficiencies. Such fluctuation demands that the company must be willing
to adopt necessary changes in its business functions to gain its objectives (Basu, 2017).

The mission statement of Toyota is “To sustain sustainable growth by providing the best
customer experience and dealer support.”. To achieve that the company has adopted vigorous
marketing strategies. The company has constantly increased its marketing and advertising budget
post economic and financial crisis of 2007-2009 that affected the global automobile industry.
The company retain the Japanese ways of doing things in their marketing strategies where best
practices in both manufacturing and selling are preferred (Hibino et al., 2017). Their marketing
strategy focusses on communicating the message of their efficient manufacturing and selling
practices of their superb vehicles. They utilize set of marketing communication channels like
sales promotions, print and media advertising, direct marketing techniques, public relations and
events and experiences in an integrated manner so their message reach their target market (Paul,
2018). The breakdown of their market strategy is discussed below.

In the last decade the company faced quite rough years for majority of its products that also
affects their reputation to some extent. However, it recovers from it soon and set their track to
focus on their marketing mix to overcome their damage and to reach maximum customers.
Despite of relying on typical marketing mix that involves the utilization of 4ps approach, the
company utilize an alternative approach for marketing mix that focuses on four C’s: Cost,
Consumer, convenience and communication (Hatta et al., 2018). One example of their marketing
strategy was to find and build audience for their reinvented “Corolla. The company was well
aware of their customer’s demand so they simply modify the features of Corolla and then focus
their marketing techniques in promoting the value and new features that has been added to the
Corolla so they can reach their target sales for it. The firm utilized positing strategy to promote
their new featured corolla. This strategy offers opportunity to create brand awareness and try to
beat out the competition by offering personal optimized products(Kara et al., 2017).

Just like everything else their positioning strategy and marketing plan is congruent with the
company’s corporate goals to maximize their reach through asserting the constant spread of their
marketing message which is to strike and hit market and beat out competition through their
carefully researched and monitored campaigns (Simão and Lisboa, 2017) To maximize its reach,
the company focused on its brand building opportunities through traditional marketing tactics
like television commercials, magazines, billboards, dealership and more. The higher the
frequency of such company tactics, the more they were able to create value for their products by
increasing consumer awareness. This ultimately leads to the achievement of strong brand equity
for the company. The marketing strategy of the company puts a lot of emphasis to directly
influence its target market through effectively incorporating all the necessary differentiators to
make their products stand out in the market(Putra, 2019). These include Product differentiations
which involves marketing of product’s distinctive features, performance and quality, Channel
differentiation, in which they try to gain competitive advantage through demonstrating excellent
performance, coverage and expertise in their communication channels. The last tact of their
marketing strategy is the image differentiation which involves promoting a positive and unique
perception of the brand across the automotive market. The company uses the existing value of its
major products like Corolla, Prius and Camry to navigate their marketing strategy and integrated
attractive messages like “its new” through varied mixed media platforms like television,
newspapers and social media marketing etc. The main focus is to keep the potential audience
informed about their product features and the associated benefits to captivate their interest and
encourage their purchasing choice towards Toyota products thus building loyalty(Kato and
Smalley, 2010).

Further, the company has built their marketing mix is based on the foundation of their 4c’s in
order to deliver a memorable, bonding and fun first car buying experience throughout the buying
process. The company conducted extensive research on their potential customers needs and
wants and then incorporate these ideas in their market research, loyalty programs, customer
services, selling techniques and promotions. Regardless of the cohesion resulted from this
practice that enables the company to access the specific market with their great products which
delivers comfort, reliability and safety to their customers in a convenient priced package –this
strategy also enhanced the company’s relationship with their consumers positively and increase
their customer’s loyalty. By offering quality product they built life long relationship with their
clients (Hatta et al., 2018).

The manufacturing of Corolla is also the example of implication of this strategy of building
lifelong and satisfying behavior at the first time purchase. The company developed the marketing
strategy of Corolla based on their research that the first time purchase for parents, teens and
drivers is quite meaningful. They look for features like safety, reliability and convenient pricing.
The Corolla satisfies all these needs and its advertisement is also focus on delivering the message
that it got all the benefits and convenience new or young drivers are looking for such as
automatic features, comfort, style, luxury amenities like GPS, MP3 Support and CD. As the main
focus of this product promotion is to create a meaningful buying experience for parents and
young children so this experience was achieved by instituting programs like developing a care
center for parents, siblings where they can browse, test and got answers for their concerns.
Second, they develop their related advertisement campaign that convey the message of driver
safety and other features like Garmin Navigation and OnStar(Malliari and Sirkeci, 2017).
Furthermore, their marketing strategy involves promoting insurance partnership where
consumers get special discounts on products on purchase of a Toyota vehicle. The follow up
communication is the most significant tact of the company. In this practice the company give
fuel up-gifts, maintenance reminder through text messages and e-mail, product improvement
surveys and different promotional offers for the clients that they can get without any additional
cost. So far this promotional strategy has been quite successful for the company and help
increases the brand equity, product loyalty and sales. The sales and product loyalty can be
demonstrated with the fact that Toyota Corolla was the most sold car in 2019 (Alkhaliq et al.,
2019).

Another most significant aspect of their marketing strategy is the promotion of their hybrid cars.
The company has well addressed the fact that consumers today are more aware of environment
issues and are demanding vehicles that are environment friendly and are CO2 efficient. Although
the company has been manufacturing hybrid cars from the last 20 years but still it faces severe
competition from its competitors like Honda and Nissan Motors that are also producing hybrid
cars. For the marketing of their hybrid cars the company focuses on promoting its distinctive
features that allows the drivers to easily switch between electric power at low speed to petrol
power while the speed increases. In addition, it not only save money and fuel but it is also release
very less CO2. So basically it satisfies all the needs of the consumers who wish a comfortable
ride that is environment friendly (Wielinski et al., 2017) The hybrid cars were hit for the
company as they use their existing value to promote them and more importantly they include all
the aspects of customer satisfaction who are looking forward to an environment friendly vehicle.

So it can be concluded that Toyota relies heavily on its marketing strategy to achieve its
corporate goals. It corporate strategy is focused on achieving two main targets that is customer
satisfaction and achieving competitive advantage over its competitors. The essay clearly reflects
that the company’s marketing strategy is focused on delivering the message of customer comfort
through fulfilling their needs and wants. By offering high value products the company has
managed to earn brand loyalty and through their convincing marketing techniques they
effectively conveyed the message that their products are exclusively designed to meet their
specific needs of their clients. Toyota marketing strategy can be an effective guiding model for
new organizations who wish to penetrate and reach new markets. The company sets a best
example on how to incorporate and integrate marketing functions to achieve their overall
corporate goals.
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