W-A-T-T : TO MEASURE

A customer in Victoria, looking to sign up with an electricity retail company for their utilities, can be quite challenging. Thanks to the marketing team efforts, who are constantly alluring customers like us about what benefits they can offer and why they are different to their competitors. If you thought they were the mobs who supplies electricity, then you need to go back to your drawing board and rethink again.

Electricity retailers are mediators who is just customer facing helping customers to bill for what you use. They are business who has negotiated buying electricity on your behalf to resell them back to you. In Victoria, there are a total of 21 electricity retailer suppliers fighting the battle of being the top most retailer, within a population of approximately 2.7 Million consumers among Residential, Small business and large business. [Energy Retailers Comparative Performance Report – Customer Service 2014-15]

The main objective among these retailers is to gain consumer volume to remain profitable. Operating in a very competitive and non-customer facing, service market, the marketing team in this sector has a direct influence on the strategies adopted to generate consumer leads. There is considerable investment undertaken by these retailers to promote their business to influence consumer behaviour’s decision to choose them as a preferred service retailer.

Some of the key marketing activities undertaken by these energy retailers are media advertisement, website traffic measurement, internet marketing activities – SEO, social events and promotions, sponsorship programs and campaigns.

It is important for the marketing team to monitor their effectiveness of their marketing strategy as it leads to an understanding of how business is performing. Table 1.1 shows possible marketing measures that can be used by energy retail companies

Table 1.1
table-1-1

These measures have a direct influence on how the energy sector performs in terms of revenue generated, market share increase, pricing strategy determines profitability, as the financial performance is based on how Marketing efforts drives consumers to choose their retail company.

Financial measures such as Gross profits and Earnings before income and taxes (EBIT) are based around increase in customer volume and how much was billed during the reporting period, which is a measure of customer value.

Table 1.2
table1-2

These metrics indicate a direct relation between how Marketing plays an important role in the energy retail industry. These statistics gives an indication to Managers on how well their marketing mix design has helped business to grow and be profitable and what changes they need to make in their design to correct and improve.

References

Sharp, B. (2013) Marketing Metrics Marketing: Theory, Evidence, Practice. Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Australia.

Mintz, O, Currim, IS (2013). What drives managerial use of marketing and financial metrics and does metric use affect performance of marketing mix activities? <  Journal of Marketing, 77 (2), 17-40.

Davis, J 2013, , Measuring Marketing : 100+Key Metrics Every Marketer Needs, John Wiley & Sons, 2nd Edition, Singapore.

https://www.aer.gov.au/system/files/AER%20Annual%20Report%20on%20the%20Performance%20of%20the%20Retail%20Energy%20Market%20201415_0.PDF

https://www.originenergy.com.au/content/dam/origin/about/investors-media/senate-submission-carbon-risk-disclosure-160331/annual-report-2015.pdf

http://switchon.vic.gov.au/bills-pricing-and-meters/energy-retail-companies-contact-list

http://www.esc.vic.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/RPT-2014-15-Comparative-Performance-Report-Customer-Service-20160502.pdf.pdf

Mobile Food Retailers – “Food Trucks”

Student ID:215167756

chaddy2

source: thefoodtruckpark.com.au, “a food truck park near Chadstone shopping centre”

A few years back, as a foodie you would need to locate a good retail outlet offering your favourite cuisine and plan to travel to the outlet to have your choice of food. Today if you were to visit the busy streets of Melbourne or surrounding shopping arcades of nearby suburbs, a carnival or festival ground you will notice an increasing trend of mobile food vendors on the streets offering, your favourite cuisine and food.

Unique in its own way food trucks are an exception to the complexity of logistics and distribution. They are both the manufacturer and retailer offering their product directly to consumer. They are mobile and they can be where the crowd is.

The mode of distribution channel is limited to their food truck and where they choose to sell at strategic locations. Food vans are popular nowadays due to the variety range of foods they offer, at a very attractive price, cooked on the spot from fresh produce, and often in great locations that are convenient to them.

Because of their mobility they are able to cover a wider area and relocate to sell in various different locations they choose. Using their own mode of transportation, they seek places where they can find customers who buy their products.

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source : http://thefoodtruckpark.com.au

They follow an exclusive distribution strategy, they are the wholesales, retailer and distributor themselves serving food in selective geographical area by offering specialty fast quality food.

Exclusive distribution accompanies exclusive promotional efforts (Iacobucci 2013). Food trucks have designated areas they serve their customers, these are occasionally in carnival, festival grounds, show grounds and busy street areas. They use exclusive media channels, participating media agencies, word of mouth referrals, social media updates to attract and alert customers of their whereabouts. They use the pull marketing strategy to actively motivate and attract customers to seek out their brands. Most food trucks are run by entrepreneurs, and their families or friend themselves. They decide pricing, food cuisine, serving size and other pull strategies to engage consumer’s awareness and loyalty.

Due to limited channel partners involved in the food trucks, there is limited reason for conflicts to rise in channel relationships, however Food trucks are effectively channel partner for larger distributors. They form a relatively low impact on conflict through that channel as well, due to the insignificant purchases they make unless they form part of larger integrated group of food trucks, buying in bulk through these channels. Due to the limited involvement of channel partners their margins are high and profit sharing is low

The expansion of food truck industry, will push vendors to find more ways to increase their distribution channels, to reach larger population of the market. They could be offering services through food delivery through online ordering, developing franchising options, providing catering to organisation and events.

Food trucks follow a unique distribution channel, they use channel partners to effectively bring together the opportunity, and the goods to deliver a finished product to where their consumers are. Because of their flexibility and uniqueness, and mode of distribution, food truck trend is slowly but steadily picking up in the market.

 

Ferrell, O, Hartline, M, 2014, Marketing Strategy, South Western, Cengage Learning, Sixth Edition, OH, USA

Iacobucci, D 2013, 2012, MM4 Marketing Management, South Western, Cengage Learning, Mason, OH, USA 

http://www.afr.com/business/retail/fmcg/australian-food-trucks-tap-demand-for-mobile-munchies-20121227-j1ass

https://marketing4restaurants.com/online-food-van-marketing-5-ways-to-increase-your-business/

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/wall-street-journal/street-fight-food-trucks-v-restaurants/story-fnay3ubk-1226447293421

 

 

 

Super-War-Market In Australia

Sathish Varughese | Student ID 215167756

It was an inspiration watching the Channel 7 program “Recipe to Riches”, giving everyday Australians a chance to make it big in the food consumer market through their everyday cooking recipe.

This was done by getting a big retail Supermarket like Woolworths to taste, brand, market and sell their product on their shelves under the Woolworths Select brand.

For Woolies Recipe to Riches was a unique step to marketing while researching. Similarly Coles uses brand ambassador Curtis Stone to highlight Coles Fresh market, again a result of researching on how to gain consumer confidence and shop at their stores more.

How do they all come up to the solution of what they need to for their business and capturing the market share from their competitors and achieving competitive advantage.

One common market research trend that I have seen and also participated in is regular survey that these supermarket giants conduct collecting data on their products, what consumers use, how much do they spend and how often do they visit and questions on what would take consumers to shop at their stores and many more questions.

The data is analysed and changes made to reflect consumer demand.

In 2013, Woolworths spent $20 million acquiring a 50% stake in Quantium, an analytics firm which helps businesses leverage collected data to develop marketing strategies: “from data to dividend”.

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http://www.canstarblue.com.au/food-drink/stores/supermarkets/

The survey also provides insights into the products their customer would like to see on the shelves and how they price their products.

A popular customer satisfaction research and rating business “Canstar Blue’s” marketing research methodology compares supermarket giants ratings for customers to access.

Their methodology involves, gauging perceptions of consumers who have recently purchased and/or used the specific products and services and majorly data driven

They use market research agency Colmar Brunton and I-view to provide them the information on which they analyse the supermarket ratings. They survey 800-1000 targeted consumers.

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http://www.canstarblue.com.au/food-drink/stores/supermarkets/

Research is about testing to try something new, so if likes of Curtis Stone and Jamie Oliver does not work in selling their brands, and only 2 per cent has chosen  because of TV advertising, you may be surprised to hear that about 72 per cent of Australians said they always shopped at the same store, but loyalty was usually a matter of convenience. About one-in-three said they had stayed with their supermarket because the place they shopped was close to their home.

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http://www.canstarblue.com.au/food-drink/stores/supermarkets/

Most of the supermarket giants nowadays offer their own private labels compared to brand names on the shelves. Canstar Blues have found that the number of Australians tend to buy private label groceries over big name brands and their demand has increased one-fifth in the space jumping from 44% to 65

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A business is formed to address consumer demands, but nothing like providing what they need, how they need it and at what price they would buy

Using marketing research tools, pre-selling and post selling helps business to identify key elements to their business success, such as target customers, products in demand, pricing factors, strategic location and a lot more.

So next time when you see a survey email don’t spam it, use it give your feedback so they can improve on your needs.

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http://www.smh.com.au/business/tv-show-recipe-for-success-woolies-20131006-2v29n.html

https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/consumer-rights-and-advice/your-rights/articles/loyalty-program-data-collection

http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/supermarket-chains-woolworths-and-coles-struggle-with-private-label-brands-against-aldi-20160609-gpfv5b.html

http://www.canstarblue.com.au/food-drink/stores/supermarkets/

http://www.canstarblue.com.au/food-drink/stores/supermarkets/private-labels-vs-brand-names/

Do You Buy What You See !

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Sathish Varughese | Student ID : 215167756

A few years back, if you had to show me this logo, I would not have a clue as to what it represents.

I have only imagined and probably seen a few documentaries about Electric cars.

So why is Tesla so highly sought after nowadays but are cliché in the market, with very less marketing and advertising behind them, but a very strong and growing presence, with strong future growth projections

They cater to global demand for their product in the market,  only, out of two factories, one located in Fermont, California and the other in Reno, Nevada, compared to the 50+ manufacturing plants their rivals operate

Tesla

Figure 1. Source :  Tesla Model S – http://www.tesla.com

So what are their tricks of trade to hit the market running and how are they capturing consumer interest without much aggressive advertising and marketing. Backed up by increasing fuel prices which has a direct effect on consumer buying power, and for those who have concerns about growing global warming, the rest of their growth is purely dependent on a particular aspect of Consumer behaviour, their sleek vehicle design, and the technology

Tesla Ext 1

Figure 2. Source : Tesla Model X, http://www.tesla.com

When touch screen mobiles came out, the keypad mobile phones suddenly turned out to be a bad taste with Gen Y and a larger population of Gen X and Boomers.

So if you ask me, Tesla has captured consumers through a product merely through the science of consumer behaviour. If many of you watched the 80’s series of “Knight Rider”, you probably know what I am talking about.

The vehicle’s modus operandi is like playing a “Grand Theft Auto” or “Need for Speed” on a touch screen mobile phone.

Media 1 : Inside Tesla – Mode of Operation Source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRVia4VZq1s

Tesla has not developed any aggressive marketing campaigns. They do not have fancy showrooms or TV campaigns that sell. Their presence and for a car manufacturer are retail shops in large shopping malls surrounded by state of the art technology. You can view the models, learn about the engineering process, and schedule a test drive. And if you want to purchase a Tesla it is done online direct from the company’s website.

They are slowly but steadily capturing the global market with their innovation. There is no cultural differences that affect a consumer behaviour for this product

Tesla’s introduction of their models have changed my perception on how vehicles will be designed and sold in the future and how it will change the Automotive industry forever

Tesla Interior

Figure 3: Inside Tesla. Source : http://www.fortune.com

For an automotive introduced in the midst of a global competitive market, Tesla has outperformed their arch rivals .

Projections
Figure 4 : Tesla Growth Projection 2020.  Source: ‪Why Tesla’s Model 3 Could Be the New Model T | Greenwich Media‪ www.greentechmedia.com1544 × 1172Search by image

I know any battery operated product needs to be replaced or recharged quite often and can be frustrating when you can’t recharge or run out of batteries to use a product. But Tesla’s  extensive after market support in providing recharging stations, is helping them gain consumer confidence, because nothing could be more frustrating than losing battery power in a running vehicle  on the Hume highway when travelling interstate.

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Figure 5: Tesla Support and Recharge Centres in Australia. Source : http://www.tesla.com

Tesla has a very unique feedback system, in collecting  data from their consumers on how they can improve the technology in the vehicle.  They engage their consumers to innovate and create change in their product to what the Consumers what, and this will be their key to ongoing success.

So next time, when you look at a speciality product, I am sure it is not what you see you buy, it is what you have heard from other consumers who owns such product visualised in your own perception and backed up by research that will help you buy the Product you want !

References

http://www.gurufocus.com/financials/TSLA

https://www.tesla.com/en_AU/factory

http://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckjones/2016/06/07/how-many-plant-sites-will-tesla-need/#6a5b21d257fd

http://successstory.com/companies/tesla-motors

http://aada.asn.au/teslas-electric-shock/

http://www.itproportal.com/2014/10/13/the-secret-behind-teslas-phenomenal-sales-strategy/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRVia4VZq1s