Inter-Mart is a US-based multinational corporation involved in the designing, developing and sales of footwear products. The company owns retail stores in various parts worldwide as well as operating online shops. This enables Inter-Mart to serve a large number of its customers all over the globe. However, the company is intending to introduce additional items in its product line. Some of the new products to be added include Apparel and accessories. Under the category of accessories, Inter-Mart will produce products such as backpacks and Bags, Inter-Mart socks, gloves, Inter-Mart water bottles, Inter-Mart Visors and Hats and Inter-Mart Belts. The Apparel will focus on sports gear for various sports such as football, tennis, and rugby.
Methods used to determine that there is both a need as well as an existing global market for the products/services.
There are different methods that Inter-Mart used to identify the need for its customers. One of the approaches was through the utilization of the existing data. Previously, the company had conducted different surveys and customer interviews with the intention of capturing the views of the consumers regarding the companys product line. Inter-Mart also utilized its customer-support call log. Analysis of the companys stored data was performed, and the particular trend was discovered. For example, a significant portion of customers called to inquire on specific goods that are related to the products of the firm. Inter-Mart observed that there was a vacuum in the global market, prompting the management to introduce Inter-Mart apparel and accessories as new products in its operations.
Another method used by Inter-Mart to determine that there is an existing global market is through the mapping of the customer journey. Apparently, a customer map journey is a conception or visualization of the process that clients undergo when it comes to engaging with the product (Sauro, 2015). Through this process, Inter-Mart was able to apply various phases and touch points in nurturing prospect clients to the loyal ones. This method enabled the firm to unify its fragmented efforts as well as well as identifying points of concerns and opportunities within an organization. This strategy also highlighted particular sections of the Inter-Marts retailing operations that needed improvement. It is through such approaches that the company realized that introduction of the apparels and accessories to its product line would complement Inter-Marts footwear products.
Customer identification and targeting are also a procedure that was used by Inter-mart Corporation in identifying a global market before introducing its two new products. As part of the customer definition, Inter-Mart targeted fervent fans of different sports. According to Inter-Marts marketing team, the companys global market was dominated by passionate fans of popular sports such as football, tennis, and rugby. Inter-Marts footwear products had been received in the market well irrespective of the stiff competition from the market leaders such as Puma, Nike, and Umbro. The addition of the apparel (sports gear) and accessories (backpacks and Bags, Inter-Mart socks, gloves, Inter-Mart water bottles, Inter-Mart Visors and Hats and Inter-Mart Belts) was an opportunity for the Inter-Mart Inc. to differentiate its products, ultimately venturing into the new global market.
Explain one competitive advantage that the company will gain by offering these new products to the global market.
Inter-Mart Inc. through its multiple global retail stores introduced apparel and accessories as part of the new commodities in its product line. In the current competitive global markets, firms do not depend entirely on pricing and delivery strategies to compete. Introduction of the new products and additional features is now the principal source of competitive advantage for various business (Vazirzanjania & Hooshmand, 2016). Apparently, the inclusion of the apparels and accessories as its new commodities in its brand allows Inter-Mart to change its competitive landscape. The new products will enable the firm gain new customers, retain current customers as well as increasing its profitability. Through these new products, Inter-Mart is targeting to define its role in the global market through the adopted specifications, features, performance and standardized pricing models. The acquisition of the new customers and maintaining its existing clientele will enhance Inter-Marts efforts of seizing a significant portion of the global market.
Discus Two Inherent Risks associated with launching the New Product in the Global Market and how to minimize these risks
Launching of the new products does not guarantee the success of Inter-Mart in the global market. Multiple pitfalls can hinder the companys efforts of venturing into the international market through new products. This is an indication that additional items in the firms product line are associated with inherent risks which can be a hindrance to the plans of an organization. Marketing risk is one of the obstacles that can hamper Inter-Marts launching of the new products (Gordon, 2015). The company is required to set aside a substantial budget for a marketing campaign to create awareness of the new products to the targeted market, worldwide. The choice for the marketing approach has a significant influence on the outcome. For example, failure to communicate effectively to the customers can lead to a wrong impression about the additional products.
To minimize the marketing risk, Inter-Mart ought to hire credible firms that will ensure the companys promotional information and brand are appealing to the consumers. The marketing channels for Inter-mart Inc. should focus on the prospective customers in a personalized and understandable approach, thus convincing them to embrace the newly launched products.
Distribution risk is also another inherent risk that can become a critical challenge related with the launching of the new products. Shipping and distributing products to different parts of the globe can become costly for the firm. This implies that inter-Mart Inc. needs to choose its international market carefully. Currently, Inter-Mart does not own distribution channels, hence incurring expensive rates for the movement of its commodities. The firm is likely to experience delayed deliveries which can be detrimental to its reputation and quality. To minimize this risk, inter-Mart should implement adequate logistic planning. It is also imperative for Inter-mart Inc. to invest adequately in the establishment of the efficient distribution networks to cater for its global market.
Discus the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software system you prescribe to track product and service inquiries and sales.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software management tool utilized by an organization when it comes to managing the interactions of a given institution with its existing or potential customers. Implementation of the CRM will enable Inter-Mart to keep track of its operations in various sectors. CRM utilizes data analysis of the clients history with the firm thus enhancing the companys efforts in improving its relationship with customers. The CRM adopted by Inter-Mart should focus customer retention as well as sales growth for its new products (Rouse, 2014). The CRM system will be preferred to compile relevant information about customers across various channels or points of contact between a firm and the customers.
Explain how the information generated by the CRM software will be used to continue driving CRM practices and track sales in a global market
A CRM is supposed to perform particular practices which can enhance the companys marketing, sales and administering of customer services. The Inter-Marts CRM system should ensure the client's data is reliable and consistently updated. It is important that the data entered into the system is accurate and from validated sources. Reviewing and scrubbing of the customer data should be done regularly, with the aim of eliminating redundancies (Schiff, 2016). Inputting correct and meaningful data into a CRM database will enable Inter-Marts marketing team to analyze its customers or target market with great ease. It is also essential that the CRM administrators understand the level of the clients in the purchase cycle. Purchases are usually made when buyers are ready as opposed to when the supplier is willing to sell. The CRM tool should be applied organizing and analyzing lead data to identify the potential customers before nurturing them into loyal and full-fledged customers.
Apparently, the use of a CRM software system will allow Inter-Mart to track the position of the customers in the funnel as well as accessing the existing consumer data. This indicates that the firms fixed and semi-predictable life cycle can be analyzed before predicting future purchasing trends. The CRM should possess particular features to continue driving CRM practices and track sales in a global market.
Marketing automation is one of the features that Inter-Marts CRM system should possess. A CRM software with marketing automation technologies will be vital in automating repetitive functionalities. This will enhance the companys marketing efforts on popularizing of the new products to the customers regardless of the instant of their lifecycle (Rouse, 2014). For example, an entry of the sales prospects into the system will prompt the system to automatically send them appropriate marketing materials about the newly introduced products. This is typically done through email or social media platforms with an emphasis of converting sales lead into a loyal and full-fledged customer.
The CRM utilized by Inter-Mart Inc. should also contain a sales force automation feature. This element of CRM prevents the duplication of the efforts of sales representative and a customer. The CRM will achieve this functionality by tracking all contacts and performing follow-ups between both sides. Inter-Marts CRM system also contains a contact center automation component. This is designed to minimize the tasks of an agent at the contact center. The contact center is characterized by tools such as pre-recorded audio. This feature plays a key role in solving various customer related problems and dissemination of the information to various inquiries made by clients. It is important for Inter-Marts technical team to incorporate different software tools with the agents computer system, thus facilitating the handling of the customers. This will limit the time of calls as well as simplifying customer service procedures
Discus at least one distribution channel for the two new products
Inter-mart will utilize a zero level channel (direct channel distribution) when it comes to distributing its new product to the global market. This will involve the selling of the accessories and apparel directly to the consumers, with transactions done directly with Inter-Mart. Inter-Mart owns several retail stores and online stores in various parts of its international market. This enables the company to implement the zero level channel distribution through its retail outlets, mail order and online selling (Samiksha, 2016). To adapt to this method of product distribution, Inter-Mart has employed various sales representatives worldwide to facilitate the process of the sales. This will enable the firm to enjoy increased profitability. However, Inter-Mart realized that the success of the zero level distribution is only limited to a smaller geographical range and business volume. This has compelled the company to add three level channel as part of its d...
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