Critical evaluation: You need to prove to Sally that your current targeting approach is effective or whether there is a better alternative. Consider what unsatisfied needs may exist in the market that could represent opportunities for your organisation. (3 pages)(10 marks) The BMW 7 series target market is basically a small market with a majority of the customers being senior executives, in the mid 30s to 50s, businessmen or wealthy men.
This target market however is by no means small in the eyes of BMW, as they represent the class of customers whom BMW wants to target as they have the capacity to afford prestige automobiles and also have taste for superior class and style. By targeting this group of customers, BMW has to be highly creative and innovative as with higher cost, higher standards are also expected. Even though the size of the targeted market is small, it’s of high importance to BMW.
BMW could easily have adopted a cheaper range of automobiles, but this would not fit well with their customers, whom have come to see BMW’s name to be associated with that of prestige and luxury automobile that are substantially expensive but of very elevated quality. This targeted market however can be seen as a growing market, as more customers become keen on having technological enhanced automobiles together with enhanced features that are offered with this 7 series. The new BMW 7 series has been position in the mindset of customer’s as the being a “pleasure to enjoy” (appendix 2).
Using “differentiated marketing strategy” we can clearly define the customers for the new 7 series (Kotler, 2001:307). By targeting the segments of senior executives, in the mid 30s to 50s, businessmen or wealthy men, we have defined what range of customers the 7 series would acquire. These would be our target market for the 7 series. We could have easily targeted a larger section of the market, but the 7 series would and might not have appealed to the entire market. Even though the 7 series represents prestige and massive advancements in technologic, it might not be appealing to a working class man, in his 20s.
This is because the price of the 7 series might be too high for him and also he might like a sportier looking automobile, which is clearly what the new 7 series is not. BMW could have easily captured this section of the market too, but to make the new 7 series sportier and cheaper might have devastating effects on the original target market. As their original perception of the new 7 series would have been one of prestige and luxury and with a high price without the sporty body.
If we were to lower our new 7 series prices, it might lead to a very perceptive view of the image of BMW. As BMW has been known to offer quality automobiles at premium prices. With the launch of the Mercedes-Benz new E-Class, priced at $119, 000, we would have to re-evaluate our 7 series target market to better cope with this new introduction to the automobile market (appendix 4). In terms of features, we are still significantly in the competitive edge, however to better sales and profits we might have to better position our new 7 series to the target market (perceptual map).
With the Mercedes-Benz new E-Class automobile being significantly much more lowered priced then our new 7 series, we would need to wait and see if this price for the E-Class is a temporary introductory price or is it here to stay. If it is then we would need to significantly adjust our price range for our new 7 series to compete with the E-Class in terms of pricing. “Benefits segmentation” would be greatly influential and might draw more customers to the new 7 series (perceptual map).
Benefit like the “two year warranty” and subsequent extension to the warranty with “BMW Warranty Plus” would add further benefits to our customers. This could and might lead to more loyal customers, which is ultimate better for us. Other benefits include the “BMW Roadside Assistance”, “complimentary car hire and accommodation” and the ” special BMW 1-800 number” (www. bmw. com. au). These benefits can significantly facilitate to segment the “market into groups according to the different benefits that consumers seek from the product” (Kotler, 2001:298).
However as I have stated above that the typical customers of the new BMW 7 series are basically senior executives, in the mid 30s to 50s, businessmen or wealthy men, we have disregarded a portion of this targeted market and they are the female executives who have also the same desires and passion shared by their male counterparts. We have to develop new marketing mixes to better position this BMW 7 series into the mindset of these female customers and by gaining them as customer we can have massive improvements to sales and profits.
Proper marketing mixes should be done through promotions with famous female personalities that this female executives can related them to. However we have to pay special care and not transform the new 7 series to a femine modeled automobile, as this might lead our current male customers away from us. We got to strike a balance between both the male and female sections of these targeted market. Unsatisfied needs might arise as competitors might come up with better technological automobiles with better features to counter our new 7 series.
We could implement strategies to counter this unsatisfied needs with surveys of customers and their perception and thoughts for further improvements on the 7 series. Many gaps can be significantly bridged, as seen in appendix 3, with the idea of personalizing the interior and exterior colours and designs of the new 7 series being one of them (appendix 3). With these surveys and customization we could get insights to the way our customers feel about our 7 series and go about making improvements for the future that would represent opportunities for BMW in terms of sales and profits.