- Before 2007, after analyzing its customer base, Fujitsu realized its selling strategies needed to be changed. The customers it was targeting were widely spread and not properly marketed to.
This discrepancy in marketing efforts can be measured by the type of efforts exerted by Fujitsu Services Limited. There are several rules of marketing which a company should keep in mind when approaching its customers. However, before identifying these rules, it is important to consider the focus of the marketing efforts. If a company wants to launch a new brand, a more generalized approach would introduce the brand to the world. However, in order to reach a more specific customer base which will eventually be the potential customer base, companies need to pool their resources in understanding how and where to do so. Starting off on the wrong foot, Fujitsu amended by diverting their attention to a private-sector customer base, what they called Sector Mapping. Instead of putting too much effort to bring in few customers, they started capitalizing on larger and more vital opportunities by relationship-building.
- The four Ps of marketing are crucial in determining the flow and success of a businessâ€™ marketing campaigns.
For large corporations such as multinational companies the services should be offered through personalized forums. Assuming the relationships Fujitsu has with its customers is built on trust, it can access the forums and networks which exist inside these corporations and make an impact throughout the different levels of hierarchy. Personal selling has gained massive importance where promotion is concerned. The services should ideally be placed at centers and institutions where Fujitsuâ€™s customer base largely exists. Another clever placing strategy would involve setting up next to the competitors. Exhibitions or IT Fairs will serve as fruitful placing opportunities for Fujitsu. The remaining two Ps are perceived to be more important in comparison to place and promotion (McDaniel and Hise, 1984). Fujitsu has the luxury to set high prices because it is targeting a considerably well-off consumer base and offering high quality services. Lastly, the overall product should look appealing. In the case of services, customers should be attended to by helpful salespeople. In case of complaints, a hotline should be available at all times with operators speaking at least two languages familiar with the large customer base.
- Firms try to outdo each other by introducing ideas which were not tapped before. In simpler words, firms try to reach out to consumers and amplify their reach by tapping niche markets. By doing so, they implement the blue-ocean strategy whereby they identify the areas of the industry which are non-existent and not affected by competition (Kim and Mauborgne, 2004). Marketing to a niche will enable Fujitsu to gain competitive advantage over other IT firms in the industry.
Another strategy which helps firms in gaining competitive advantage is the red ocean strategy. According to this strategy, all competitors are aware of the rules and compete against each other to gain the largest market share (Lainos, 2011). In this case, Fujitsu has to utilize its marketing mix in such a way that it grabs the largest chunk of the market share. Lastly, a popular strategy which has proved to be an effective tool is Smithâ€™s market differentiation and segmentation. Using a differentiating feature in their products, firms are able to segment their target consumer markets because they realize their consumers have heterogeneous needs.
- Fujitsu decided to change its general focus and adopt a more narrow approach. It decided to go for market segmentation. There are different types of segmentation: geographic, demographic, psychographic and behavioural.
According to the article, Fujitsu decided to target large corporations, a strategy which leans toward a mix of geographic and demographic segmentation.
- The first step involved checking the Forbesâ€™ Global 2000 list which is a ranking of the top 2000 public companies. Having pool of 2000 firms that would be able to afford Fujitsuâ€™s services, they went on to the next step.
The next step filtered these firms with respect to expenditures. Those firms that did not have an expenditure of up to Â£100 million were excluded. This could be because of the expensive nature of the Fujitsu services. Excluding these firms left Fujitsu with companies which were more likely to be attracted to its services and not irked by the affordability factor. To confirm the list of companies, Fujitsu sought out the assistance of several business directors and managers. Their opinion helped Fujitsu determine the criteria for attracting clients. Lastly, Fujitsu conducted extensive research to explore the criteria and understand what its customers were looking for.
- In marketing, a firmâ€™s microenvironment consists of six stakeholders: customers, competitors, suppliers, shareholders, employees and media.
Fujitsuâ€™s customers are mainly large corporations of different industries. In order to appeal to these, Fujitsu has to cater to their wants and needs and offer on-the-clock customer service. Having a satisfied client base, Fujitsuâ€™s services will be more in demand as compared to IT services of another company. The question as far as competitors are concerned is whether Fujitsu will offer services and benefits which are not offered by other firms? In order to steer away the organizations Fujitsu needs to build up on its Unique Selling Point (USP). To sustain its position in the market, Fujitsu has to monitor and check the competition, study the techniques being used by other IT firms. Suppliers play a major role in influencing the business. In order to assure excellent services, suppliers need to provide high quality raw materials. Time effectiveness is an important factor as well. Installing systems such as Just-In-Time (JIT) and computerized systems which check raw material shortage, suppliers can help Fujitsu meet unexpected demand. Fujitsu grew because of the vast investments it received. Therefore, shareholders play a vital role in the forming, sustaining and growth of the business. They have the authority to make decisions in favour of the business, usually regarding improving performance to yield more profits. The employees are the backbone of a company. They are responsible for running the business and operating the machines. For Fujitsu, employees have specialized skills which cater to the IT market. If these employees are not trained or developed, it will adversely affect the progress of Fujitsu. Lastly, the media has the power to influence the masses as well as stakeholders which exist in the microenvironment. Actions that Fujitsu takes will either be celebrated or exploited by the media. In other words, where media is concerned, Fujitsu needs to tread carefully as to its dealings on the business and social front.
- For university students it is imperative to consider several factors which determine the place which suits them.
As done by Fujitsu, students tend to make lists and filter universities against the criteria they have developed. These include location, affordability, reputation and the programs available. In essence, it is the marketing of a university which matters the most. The four factors above reflect the marketing mix â€“ place, price, promotion and product. There are different modes of marketing which promote different universities. The most popular method which exists through the informal network of students is word of mouth. Those students who are enrolled in universities and alumni will persuade incoming students because they know how the curriculum of their university and are loyal to it. Other than the word of mouth, many universities hold sessions in schools to inform students about their presence in the market and explain the process of application as well as persuade students to choose their programs. The marketing mix of the schools, coupled with various marketing strategies help students to decide which programs suit them best. Although some students select universities based on the amount of extracurricular activities available and whether their friends will be there with them, many students usually rely on the above, more mainstream methods. References
- Goi, C. (May, 2009) A Review of Marketing Mix: 4Ps or More? [Online] Available from http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ijms/article/viewFile/97/1552?origin=publication_detail [Accessed: 12th April, 2014]
- Kim, W., Mauborgne, R. (Oct, 2004) Blue Ocean Strategy. [Online] Available from http://hbr.org/2004/10/blue-ocean-strategy [Accessed: 12th April, 2014]
- Lainos, L. (2011) Red Ocean VS Blue Ocean Strategies. [Online] Available from http://digilib.lib.unipi.gr/dspace/bitstream/unipi/4443/1/Lainos.pdf [Accessed: 12th April, 2014]