MMK101 T1: Market Environment Analysis & Strategy Recommendation - Marketing Report Assessment Answers

August 21, 2017
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Solution Code: 1EEA

Question: Marketing Report Assignment

This assignment is related to ”Marketing Report Assignment” and experts atMy Assignment Services AUsuccessfully delivered HD quality work within the given deadline.

This assessment is designed to allow students to analyse real-world problems and propose solutions to a company to address their current objectives. This is consistent with the Learning Outcome 1, 2, and 3 of the unit which is as follows:

ULO1

Identify and explain theoretical concepts and the marketing mix elements employed in marketing strategy development GLO 1

ULO2

Explain the use of market information in developing segmentation and positioning strategies GLO 1, 3

ULO3

Apply the marketing concept and marketing strategy in various contexts including profit and not-for-profit organisations, including government GLO 1,

The assignment topic presented here is supported by Medibank. The best assignment projects will be reviewed by the marketing team of Medibank and be rewarded with a Certificate of Excellence.

Word count includes tables and figures. Word count does NOT include background summary, table of contents, references, appendices.

Organisational Context: Medibank Travel Insurance

Medibank currently offers various insurance products for consumers in Australia. Travel insurance is one of the products that needs further development as Medibank is currently behind other travel insurance companies in terms of market share in Australia. The company would like to re-launch its travel insurance product to seriously compete with other leading providers of travel insurance and to appeal to various target segments. You will be writing a report for Medibank in two parts. The first part establishes the current environment that Medibank is operating in. The second part of the assessment, applies the intelligence that you have gathered to develop a marketing Strategy that will assist Medibank in establishing itself within the travel insurance market.

Your report should include the following components.

Part 1: Market Environment Analysis

Section Details

  • Industry Overview and Product Description
  • The Company’s Micro and Macro Environment
  • Market Segmentation
  • Market Targeting and Consumer Profile
  • Differentiation and Positioning
  • Conclusion and Implications for Marketing Strategy

The environment analysis and consumer profile discussed in Part 1 of the report will be the basis from which the marketing strategy recommendations are proposed in Part 2. The feedback you will receive for Part 1 of the report should be used to strengthen your discussion for marketing strategy in Part 2 of the report.

Part 2: Marketing Strategy Recommendations

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Solution: Marketing Strategy Recommendations

Introduction

Medibank is a company offering various insurance products and services for consumers in Australia. One of the products and services offered by the company is travel insurance. However, its annual report indicates a need for further improvement and development of Medibank Travel Insurance. This is due to the company lagging behind other travel insurance companies in regards to the market share in the country. With regards to this, the company wishes and focus on efforts to re-launch its travel insurance product to enable to seriously compete with other leading providers of the travel insurance industry. Further, the company wishes to appeal to various other target segments in order to increase and improve its profitability. The following is marketing strategy recommendations. It includes an overview of the travel industry market analysis and overview, the products and services, pricing, place and distribution and promotion mix. It concludes with the implications for Medibank travel insurance with regards to the marketing strategy.

Marketing Mix for Medibank Travel Insurance

The marketing mix involves the combinations of various marketing activities which an organisation often engages in so as to be able to meet the needs of the target market it has chosen. The travel insurance business engages in selling services as such therefore there is a lot of weight in the development of the marketing mix for the insurance business is required. The marketing mix below involves recommendations based on the market analysis within the Travel insurance which Medibank Travel Insurance can undertake in order to improve its market share within the Australian Travel Insurance Industry. It includes an analysis of product, price, place, and promotion.

Products and Services

Products as illustrated by Ghoshal (2002) involve what is sold and the range of products which the firm offers. The products offers include the element of quality, branding, reputation and support for the products and services offered. Product has been described as goods or services which a firm provides in to the market as provided by Kotler, et al., (2008) whereby customers acquires, consumes, satisfies some particular need or want. In the Travel Insurance industry, the product provided involves providing assurances against particular risks which may occur when the individual is travelling (Fred, 2009). Kotler et al., (2008) argues that a firm need to develop an actual product around its core product and then develop augmented products around the core and actual product. A core products refers to a problem solving product which customers acquire while an actual product involves the products part, level of quality, features, packaging and brand name among other which are brought together in order to deliver core benefits for the company. On the other hand augmented products refer to the associating additional benefits as well as services which arise from the core and actual product. Medibank actual product and core is insurance during travels against various eventualities which may occur such as medical emergencies, loss of luggage among others. Augmented products which the company provides to its customers from the core and actual products includes information on places to travel and other information which an individual travelling to a particular location way request.

One of the elements which Medibank needs to improve on is the support element for their clients for the after purchase services. This for instance could include having access for a telephone helpline in case of emergency. Majority of the services offered by Medibank are to individual who are away from their homes and comfort zones and as such having a reliable emergency contact during an emergency is an attractive option for the customers. Further, being able to provide support medical and other access services is crucial as it ensures that the company can access and reach its customers wherever they are and in case of an emergency retrieve them (Arena, 2008). This could entail for instance forming partnerships with firms which offer emergency transport and medical services to provide these services for their clients. Further, during emergencies, the family of the affected individual or individuals are often distressed and requiring information about their loved ones and as such having an adequate customer care services is critical and provide an edge for their customers.

One element which the company needs to focus on is product innovation on the already existing products (Seog, 2008). This can be done through capturing the potential of the customers before their travel for instance providing information about the potential places they can visit. The company can also provide services such as help in bookings air tickets, hotels rooms and other support services required during travel. The company can further provide services during the travel whereby they can provide services such as linking the customers to car hires among others and finally offer services after travel (Naco and Hale, 2009).This for instance can include luggage transportation to their homes as well as other services which the client may requires from the places they had visited.

Secondly, the company needs to shift its attention from the insurance policy to the customer. As illustrated by Arena (2008), having a marketing strategy that focuses on the customer by developing value in the relationships among the various stakeholders is essential. Medibank needs to invest in various relationships such as with partners and suppliers of services such as hospital in various destinations. This ensures that the company is able to provide adequate and uptime services for their clients. Further as illustrated by Arena (2008), there is need to develop long lasting relationships with the company whereby the company invests in developing enduring and long lasting relationships with customers. For Medibank, this means that the company needs to invest in developing relationships with its already existing clients for instance by offering customer retention strategies such as provision of after sale services as well as loyalty and reward systems which enables them to attract new customers as well as retain new one. As illustrated by Ward and Zurbruegg, 2002), loyalty and rewards systems are crucial in the retention of customers for a firm.

Finally the company needs to invest in developing ancillary revenue opportunities for instance through developing a global approach to provision of services to clients on a global scale. This can be done by undertaking intensive market research in order to expand its niche markets. Nasco and Hale (2009) provides that there is need for companies to continually invest in their market research in order to ensure that their products are update and as demanded by the market. Finally, the company needs to continue reviewing all its activities in order to make sure there is continued de-commoditisation of the products it offers.

As the company already offers actual and core product to its customers, it needs to focus on augmented products such as after sale services as this will enable them to acquire a competitive edge. As illustrated by Kotler et al., (2008) augmented products provide extra benefits to the customers and this can be a source of competitive edge for the company given the competitiveness of the travel insurance industry in Australia.

Pricing

Pricing is an important element as it communicates the costs for the products and services offered. In the insurance industries as illustrated by Fred (2009), the pricing decisions are focused on the premium charged against the policies offered, the interests charged by the company for the defaulting of the payments of premiums as well as credit facilities and finally the commissions against the underwriting and consultancy activities.

Medibank in a view of influencing the target population needs to review its pricing strategy a holistic approach. This means offering products and prices which can be reached by a vast client base including high, medium and low pricing (Ward and Zurbruegg, 2002). This enables the company to reach every potential client. This will help the company to increase its market share. The development of each pricing needs to be influenced mortality in a particular area or travel activity, the expenses and the interests which are paid. Fred (2009) argues that pricing is critical in establishing and developing customer base and meeting the needs of each client.

There are various providing strategies and theories which marketers can apply to the products. These include cost based pricing, competition based pricing, and customer value based pricing. Medibank need to apply the customer value based pricing whereby the products offered to clients are based on the perceived value of the products. Customer value based pricing as illustrated by Kotler et al., (2008) enables the company to acquire a competitive edge as the customer are loyal as they pay as per their perceived value of a particular product. However, it is important for these pricing to be critically analysed and maybe combined with another pricing strategy as it is difficult to measure perceived value. For instance Medibank can utilise cost based pricing as it ensures that the cost are covered. As such, using both customer value based pricing and competition based pricing can provide an edge to the company as they not only consider the perceived value of their products but also covered their costs.

Place and Distribution

Place involves the location or area whereby the product or service is offered and in regards to service provision it means the accessibility of the service. The distribution of insurance services can be done through the use of direct channels and indirect channels (Fred, 2009). Direct channels involves those channels whereby the customers can be reached directly through the firm's stores, phone as well as the intent while indirect selling is through intermediaries such as agents and distributors (Kotler et al., 2008). Medibank can employee both indirect and direct channels in order to increase their outreach to customers known as multi or hybrid structures. Indirect channels whereby intermediaries are used, Medibank given up its control over distribution as well as selling for instance lose of prices to end users. However, the company acquires the advantages of the fact that the intermediaries such as agents have more experience about the market and may have a scale of operations thus add value to the product. The following is an illustration of the supply chain management of Medibank Travel Insurance illustrating the various stakeholders in their distribution network.

Supply Chain Management of Medibank

Figure 1: Supply Chain Management of Medibank

For Medibank this means offering services which can be easily accessible. Distributions are an element of place and have been argued as a key determinant for the success of companies in the insurance industry (Arena, 2008). Fred (2009) argues that developing a distribution network and channel is expensive and can be very time consuming. Medibank needs to increases its investment in distribution and ensure that it is able to meet the large base of consumers with intent to travel. Further, they need to invest in developing new distribution avenues as well as alliances with various already established networks. This for instance includes interacting and forming alliances with travel agencies who offer and provide services to travellers to various destinations (Seog, 2008).

Medibank needs to invest more having a one platform where clients can access all the products and services they provide. This can be done by taking advantage of the technological advancement in the industry whereby the company can provide services through their website. The website can provide a one platform framework whereby they can access clients throughout all geographies. This enables the company to have operating efficiencies and further exploit new markets and an ability to achieve growth in new territories in a timely and cost effective manner. As advocated by Hyder and Malama (2009), the internet can provide a competitive edge for companies by enabling them to reach a vast clientele base and further reduce their costs of operation. Medibank as such need to invest inn technology and a website as a means of accesses sing clients to their services. E-commerce is an avenue which Medibank can benefit form by focusing on blending technology into the company’s channel.

Promotion Mix

Promotion is a critical element in marketing as it enables firms to communicate and reach its clientele. Insurance services are highly influenced by effectiveness in promotional measures (Hyder and Malama (2009). Medibank need to invest in both personal and impersonal promotion strategies with the agents playing a critical role in promoting the services and products by the company. Promotional strategies which the Medibank can utilise includes advertising, personal selling, trade promotions, social media advertising among others. One area which is needed is impulse buying whereby the staff and agents of Medibank can be trained on the creation on impulse buying for insurance policies. This means targeting areas where travellers are situated such as airports and hotels among others. This can create a direct sale as well as ability for a company to talk directly to its potential clients thus inform and explain about the products that they provide (Coulson, 2009).

Advertising as well as publicity is also important and provide an impersonal communication mechanism. This involves creation of exhibition, participating in fairs as well as using the media to publicise their products. Fred (2009) argues that the media can provide an effective impersonal communication strategy for firms. This is because of its ability to inform to reach a vast number of individuals. As such by using media such as adverts, newspapers etc, Medibank is able to adequately publicise itself to a wide range of potential clients.

Implications for Medibank Travel Insurance

From the marketing mix recommended above, there are several implications for Medibank Travel Insurance. First, there is need for the company to undertake a product innovation for its products. This can be done by undertaking intensive market research which is continuous in nature enabling the company to have a better understanding of its client and the market. Secondly, the company needs to invest in technology whereby it needs to develop a one platform for instance the development of an online store where all its customers can access services in different geographies. Further the company needs to invest in promotional strategies which are capable of improving its market share. For instance this involves the use of both personal and impersonal promotional strategies.

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