- Pages: 6
- Word count: 1321
- Category: Customer
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There is a need for Publix to improve the execution process of their current marketing function, so that the company generates ways to stay consistent and successful with their current competitive position. It will differentiate their offering and create more value for the company in the supermarket industry. The current marketing position at Publix states, in its online corporate marketing section that the company “seeks to align our business with the needs of our customers. Our objective is to assure competitive success by best matching our product and service offerings with the demand of our customers” (Publix Supermarket Inc., 2011). The company should readjust and align their execution around the aforementioned current marketing position by expanding their concept of quality over low prices into a concept that not only provides quality but is successful at quality with economical prices.
According to Agonist Learning Center, “clever marketing, great customer service, and quality over low prices are the core of Publix’s success. While Wal-Mart focuses on the other end of the market – the end that, with limited financial means, wants the lowest possible prices for reasonable quality – Publix focuses on the customer base with a little more money to spend” (“Considering Publix Stock”, n.d.). Our proposed market position and strategy doesn’t look at Publix customers as consumers interested in great quality than in saving dollars, we see a need for great quality and savings while being treated in the high maintenance boutique style supermarket Publix offers than in less upscale warehouse styled grocery stores that make customers feel “herded through cattle-call lines with harried cashiers” while receiving average to low quality just for low prices.
Publix should re-strategize into new and innovative ways to market their quality products, expand their promotional tactics and make visible their strengths of successfully producing long-term profits, effective communication throughout the organization, successful implementation of its Greenwise and Publix Apron’s division, as well as its exceptional information system and customer satisfaction on key products like meats, fruits and bakery. New and innovative strategies that are integrated across the organization will ensure that Publix, “creates a perception among target customers that Publix best and uniquely satisfies their needs and wants,” as stated in their marketing process plan (Publix, 2011). In order to ensure success with our proposed new marketing position, we have included specific strategies that can increase company growth and sales.
New strategies that Publix can implement into their organization are year-round promotions instead of focusing on seasonal promotions and advertisement. Expose consumers to the different facets of their supermarket, such as their cooking school, family simple meals, recipes for the busy mom, Sunday dinner deals, event planning department, wellness and whole food sections, as well as their in house pharmacy. Expand their customer intimacy program. A customer intimacy program will better enhance how well Publix customers feel treated and valued. “Although the customer-centered firm seeks to create high customer satisfaction, that is not its ultimate goal. Increasing customer satisfaction by lowering price or increasing services may result in lower profits” (Kotler & Keller, 2012, p. 128). An enhanced customer intimacy program would maintain and increase Publix’s high customer satisfaction index score of 82 from 2009. The University of Michigan’s Claes Fornell developed an American Customer Satisfaction Index to measure consumers’ perceived satisfaction with different firms, industries, economic sectors, and national economies (p. 130).
To continue being a leader in customer satisfaction, the customer intimacy program would further utilize Publix’s information system to determine the products a customer buys frequently, the amount of sales a customer spends and other such information that can be utilized to target and retain customers by sending coupons, incentives or inserts that inform the customer of when their frequent products are on sale. With specified advertisement, money isn’t wasted on sending a cutter of information but instead specific needs of customers that were identified via their information system are highlighted. Finally, once the new proposed position and new strategies are implemented into the organization, Publix should re-train and inform their staff through memos, workshops, and internal communication strategies. Internal communication would re-emphasize a customer-approach mentality for the organization and will position Publix to better compete with competitors like Walmart, IGA, Koger, SuperValu, and Whole Foods.
Research by Hooley, Saunders, Piercy, and Nicoulaud (2008) supports the concept of Peter Doyl, a doctor of media and mass communication, that few companies are successful at surpassing the mindset of flooded advertisement, short-term sales growth and flamboyant innovation ideas to accomplish what Doyl calls a robust marketing strategy that produces longevity and shareholder value. Doyl categorizes marketing strategies into three levels of radical, rational and robust strategies. In a radical strategy, companies achieve spectacular growth in sales and profits but fail to create long-term customers and shareholder value through superior products and services. A rational strategy accomplishes high short-term performance by creating new products that are significantly superior to or cheaper than traditional competitors. The most successful kind of strategy is a robust strategy that reaches long-term and stable performance by creating superior customer value and building enduring customer relationships.
Publix has some of the key elements that are recognized by Doyl already incorporated in their current company strategy. But with a marketing program that has continuous learning capability, innovation and improvement, along with developed and effective supply chains, an information system and other technology that can deliver superior operating performances, than Publix can accomplish Doyl’s concept of a robust strategy. Research identified that Publix is a successful private company and is always ranked high in Forbes and Fortune under private company listings. As stated earlier in this marketing plan, Publix supermarket is the largest in Florida and one of the largest grocery chains in Florida as well. Publix is known for providing better quality products, keeps a motivated and well customer service workforce and is charitably and community involved. Publix stores are mainly located in growing populations and to maintain keeping a strong return on investments, the new position and strategies we propose will provide an innovative and an expanded plan that can maintain growth as the population in their locations grow and as the company grows in the future.
We have established a program that will keep Publix a leader in the supermarket industry, now and in the future, called the PUBLIX Program. The PUBLIX Program lays emphasis on the key attributes that Publix will ensure to maintaining great service, growth and leadership within its organization through marketing.
Person-centered, plus up-to-date marketing, plus best practices, plus longevity, plus innovation, plus x-ecution equals Publix’s Marketing Program. Person-centered means great customer service, customer retention, customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, and customer intimacy. Customers will be a key component when determining how to execute strategies. Marketing will stay up-to-date with the needs of its customers, its employees, their demographics, and the needs of the company to maintain growth, as well as up-to-date ways to execute their strategies. Publix will be the best at practicing top service through a strategic concept of having top-management commitment to quality, high standards, profit tiers, and systems for monitoring service performance and customer complaints (Kotler & Keller, 2012, p. 366).
This program advises Publix to Implement and execute policies and procedures that look towards consistent growth and longevity in sales, relationships, employee retention, and within their different markets. Innovation is the key to longevity and staying current with the other PUBLIX program attributes. Lastly, x-ecution is what differentiates market leaders from market followers. How well you execute a good plan, strategy or program puts you in the position to have the largest market shares, lead in prices, new-product introduction, distribution coverage, and or promotional intensity, this constitutes a market leader. As Publix expands in store locations, states and markets within their organization, execution of a solid plan will be a key for Publix.