Jeep Company’s Marketing Management and Planning

Introduction

The findings of the situational report carried on JEEP revealed significant situational factors that the company faces. The results will consequently demonstrate the significance of marketing management and plan to ensure that the company remains competitive and profitable in the Australian market. JEEP is an automobile subsidiary and a brand name owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) (Fontanelle, 2015). The situational analysis found three areas that should be addressed by the company for it to gain a competitive advantage in not only the Australian market but also in its worldwide operations.

Firstly, the company should focus on adopting new technologies to ensure that its car models resonate well with the current trends in the industry by meeting the changing customer demands. The second area of focus that the situational analysis found is the need to introduce new car models and designs, which will appeal to a larger customer base (Ferrier, Epstein, & Pracht, 2014). The situational analysis also recognized the necessity of a better market strategy to enable the company to gain more visibility in its markets. The marketing management and planning plan for JEEP will provide central recommendations on how the company should incorporate the findings of the situational analysis.

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Marketing Objectives

Current Situation

The current situation shows that although the company has been performing well in the Australian market, it also has an excellent opportunity for growth. Between 2001 and 2009, the company maintained flat annual sales that averaged at 4,500 vehicles (Ferrier et al., 2014). In 2011, the company put in place rigorous market campaigns to reverse the foregoing perception of the car as ugly and as one that only suited for males and 4WD enthusiasts (Galbreath, 2010). The introduction of the “I Bought a JEEP” campaign turned the fortunes of the company. The brand is currently the fastest growing car model under the category of SUVs. The company is presently positioned seventh in terms of market share in the category of SUVs. However, it has the highest growth rate of approximately 156% since 2009 and an expansion of 43.2% in 2014 from the previous year (Fontanelle, 2015).

Indeed, in 2014, with deliveries of approximately 31,000 cars, Jeep Cherokee was the nation’s top-selling large SUVs in Australia. Overall, the company has a small share of the market segment as compared to others such as the Toyota and Nissan. The situational analysis of the company has identified three key areas that need to be the focus. Firstly, there is the need to adopt new technologies that focus on innovative designs and better fuel efficiency to meet the demands of the increasing environment-conscious market segment. Secondly, the company should introduce new car models, which will serve and appeal to a larger customer base (Fontanelle, 2015). Lastly, the corporation should introduce better market strategies to ensure that it gains market visibility in Australia.

Objectives

The company’s situational analysis has identified crucial areas that JEEP should emphasize to remain competitive and profitable in its market segment. In this case, to develop a good market management and planning strategy, it is vital to identify S.M.A.R.T objectives that will guide the strategy during the next one year. The objectives comprise:

  • Increasing social media marketing targeting non-SUV market segment in Australia

This move will involve the use of platforms such as Twitter and Facebook where each page will focus on gaining more than 20000 followers.

  • Increasing the visibility of small cars under the JEEP Company through market campaigns while amplifying their sales by 20% in 12 months
  • Increasing fuel consumption efficiency by 10% in the existing car models within one year
  • Targeting women’s market segment that is underserved by JEEP

This objective will be realized through increasing campaigns to normalize the female drivers’ ownership of JEEP cars. This move will translate into 5% increase of Jeep car ownership by women.

Target Marketing and Positioning

Target Markets

The target market of JEEP is mainly the high-end market segment, which is served by SUVs and other luxury and expensive cars. Cars above the price of $50000 mainly serve the market fragment, which is beyond the reach of many people who would like to own a car. Its current market segment is very limiting. Consequently, it leaves out a large chunk of the car market, which is in turn taken over by competitors (Ferrier et al., 2014). Hence, the company should establish market strategies, which will ensure that its cars are more accepting by women because of their affordability.

Fuel efficiency is an important area of competitiveness in the car industry. Therefore, it is important for the company to invest more towards technology that promotes fuel efficiency in its vehicles (Galbreath, 2010). It may also introduce new cars that will have the fuel consumption levels that resonate well with environmentalists (Fontanelle, 2015). Overall, the main objective will be to increase the sales of small cars, which are also environment-responsive, serving women, low-income segment, and the environment-conscious population.

The following diagram shows the segmentation of the company’s market and target:

Name Segment 1 Segment 2 Segment 3
Product Small Cars, Fuel Efficiency SUVs All-Terrain (4WD)
Demographics Lifestyle
Age
Income
Location
Women and Men
24-35
Less than $50,000
Countrywide
Women and Men
24-50
More than $50,000
Countrywide
Women and Men
24-50
More than $50,000
Countrywide

Figure 1: Segmentation

Positioning

Positioning is an important marketing tool that determines how an organization wants its customers to view its products. Positioning can include establishing a company’s products as low-price, premium, or luxurious. In the motor industry, the focus is on establishing a company’s products as fuel-efficient, cost-effective, luxuries, or durable. The current segmentation of the market shows that JEEP is positioned as a high-end SUV company in the Australian market (Ferrier et al., 2014). The present positioning leaves out central market segments such as the low-income fragment, as well as the women subdivision (Fontanelle, 2015). The perception that the company’s cars are masculine means that few women are buying Jeep cars. The company should position itself as a fuel-efficient and environment-responsive car manufacturing company (Galbreath, 2010).

It should focus on ensuring that it gains visibility against among women who have been underserved by the company’s previous marketing strategies (Fontanelle, 2015). The current marketing analysis shows that the marketing strategy has not addressed the women’s market fragment, as well as the environment-cognizant people. To achieve the above goals, the focus will be on the development and implementation of social media marketing campaigns that will help to change the company’s image to favor women’s needs. The diagram below shows Jeep’s positioning.

Positioning of Jeep
Figure 2: Positioning of Jeep

Marketing Mix Strategies

Marketing mix focuses on the identification and implementation of various strategies aimed at positioning a company’s products and services to achieve competitiveness (Porter, 2008; Boone & Kurtz, 2011). In this case, the main aim is to implement marketing strategies, which will ensure that JEEP attains a favorable image among women’s market fragment. The marketing mix will allow the company to position itself as a fuel-efficient car manufacturer, hence highlighting its environment-friendly expertise. The marketing mix, which is also known as the 4Ps of marketing, involves four key elements, namely merchandise, cost, promotion, and position (Cadle, Paul, & Yeates, 2010; Drucker & Maciariello, 2008).

Product Strategy

The product is the offer that a company provides to its customers (Olsen, 2010). For a company to be triumphant, it is imperative to ensure that its products meet the demands and needs of the customers (Young & Aitken, 2007). Therefore, it is vital for the company to appreciate its target market, the needs of its customers, and consequently strive to meet the needs. For instance, the case of JEEP has identified various areas of weaknesses in its current product line. Firstly, the company has focused its efforts on designing the ultimate SUVs and all-terrain 4WD vehicles. However, this focus has not served the rising low and middle-income segment, which wants affordable, yet stylish cars. Further, JEEP cars are predominantly viewed as masculine. As such, they are not attractive to women.

The product strategy should first focus on designing and increasing the visibility of the cars in the women’s market segment, which is currently underserved by JEEP. Secondly, the company should focus on implementing marketing strategies that will increase awareness on its cars that are fuel-efficient and affordable to the low and middle-income market segment. Such strategies will ensure that the company diversifies its market from SUV to a wider category of vehicles and client base.

Pricing Strategy

JEEP is synonymous with large 4WD SUVs that are masculine and hence very expensive to other people who are not looking for the properties that the company currently offers. There is the need for the company to implement a pricing strategy, which will study different market segments and consequently produce cars with the relevant price offers. Therefore, the company should focus on innovation and technology to ensure that it produces low fuel-efficient cars, which are affordable and accessible to the low and middle-income earning customers in Australia. The company should emphasize the development of cars that are below the $50,000 price range to penetrate the market segment that has been dominated by other companies such as Toyota and Nissan.

Promotion Strategy

The promotion approach focuses on the implementation of marketing strategies to increase the visibility and awareness of a company’s products in the target market (Cohen, 2006). Promotion utilizes different tools such as social media, mainstream media, and customer care among other strategies (Hooley, Saunders, Piercy, & Nicoulaud, 2007; Sturgeon, Van Biesebroeck, & Gereffi, 2008). In this strategy, the company will focus on three key areas, which include affordability, technology, and appeal to women.

Firstly, the company should implement marketing strategies through various channels, which will highlight its affordable models, including focusing on prices below $50,000. Currently, the main perception is that the company’s cars are expensive and that they are beyond the reach of many clients. Secondly, the company will focus on the use of social media to highlight its current technologies that have focused on ensuring that the cars are environment-friendly. Such strategy will ensure that the company gains recognition and followership among the environment-conscious people. The company’s promotion strategy will focus on erasing the perception of its cars as only masculine. It needs to create a perception of the greatness of its cars among the women market segment. The approach will focus on using cars with feminine colors such as red and blue. Such cars should also be easy to drive.

Promotion Strategy
Figure 3: Promotion Strategy

Place/Distribution Strategy

JEEP is well represented across the world with its elaborate distribution channels through its parent company, the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. As such, the company’s distribution channel is a major competitive advantage, which can ensure that customers access its cars faster and conveniently wherever they are across the world. Therefore, the implementation of the proposed product strategy will be aided by the already existent distribution channels.

Conclusion

The market plan has highlighted important marketing strategies that the company should use to ensure that it remains successful and competitive in its market. For instance, the target marketing positioning has highlighted the best areas on which the company should focus its marketing. Further, it has identified the positioning strategy that the company should emphasize. The marketing management and planning section has also highlighted the marketing mix strategies that should be used to ensure that it products, pricing, promotion and distribution approaches help the company to achieve its objectives. For instance, there is the need to ensure that the company positions itself as an affordable carmaker, as well as ensuring that its product designs are appealing to women. Fuel efficiency is also an important factor of competitive advantage. The company should invest more in the technology that allows its cars to be more fuel-efficient. Lastly, the use of social media should be a central strategy for achieving visibility in the target market segment.

Reference List

Boone, L., & Kurtz, D. (2011). Contemporary Marketing. Mumbai, India: Cengage Learning.

Cadle, J., Paul, D., & Yeates, D. (2010). Business analysis. Swindon, UK: British Informatics Society.

Cohen, W. (2006). The Marketing Plan. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.

Drucker, P., & Maciariello, J. (2008). Organization Management. New York, NY: Collins.

Ferrier, A., Epstein, B., & Pracht, V. (2014). The Australian Effie Awards: General Entry Form 2014. Web.

Fontanelle, A. (2015). Jeep Target market covers everyone. Web.

Galbreath, J. (2010). How does corporate social responsibility benefit firms? Evidence from Australia. European Business Review, 22(4), 411-431.

Hooley, G., Saunders, J., Piercy, N. F., & Nicoulaud, B. (2007). Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning. New York, NY: Prentice Hall/Financial Times.

Olsen, E. (2010). Internal and external strategy. Web.

Porter, M. E. (2008). Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and competitors. New York, NY: McMillan Publishers.

Sturgeon, T., Van Biesebroeck, J., & Gereffi, G. (2008). Value chains, networks and clusters: reframing the global automotive industry. Journal of economic geography, 8(3), 297-321.

Young, A., & Aitken, L. (2007). Profitable Marketing Communications: A Guide to Marketing Return of Investment. Cornwall: MPG Books Ltd.

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