The world of business is permanently changing and to be successful in it any company has to follow certain guidelines of business conduct, i. e. be aware of the market conditions, supply and demand rates, competition development, etc. To achieve this, a company has to develop an effective marketing strategy in which all the above points should be carefully considered. According to the data by Quick MBA (2009), “to be successful in markets in which economic growth has leveled and in which there exist many competitors who follow the marketing concept, a well-developed marketing strategy is required”. Thus, a marketing strategy is an important part of every business enterprise, and Kudler Fine Foods is not an exception to this rule. Besides the general focus on marketing strategy, this company has to focus on marketing research and competitive intelligence as well.
Thus, starting the discussion of the marketing strategy that Kudler Fine Foods needs to have to be a strong competitor to its rivals in the market, it is necessary to define marketing strategy as such. Thus, according to the data by Quick MBA (2009), a marketing strategy is a set of the company’s, strategic purposes, developmental initiatives, and marketing research techniques aimed at studying the current positions of the company and all its competitors in the market and at predicting the further market development for an established period of time.
Based on this definition, the elements of the marketing strategy Kudler Fine Foods has to adopt include the conduct of the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis, taking measures according to the SWOT results, and carrying out the marketing research in such areas of interest as supply and demand, pricing, competition, potential market trends, and developmental directions. In more detail, the marketing strategy adopted by Kudler Fine Foods has not only to be a detailed account of the currently observed market conditions but rather be a forecast of the potential competition development and respective changes in the market. For example, studying competition in connection to market pricing trends, Kudler Fine Foods has to pay special attention to the steps its competitors can take to make their prices more competitive and how these steps might affect the market position of Kudler Fine Foods.
In this respect, the importance of marketing research comes to the spotlight as far as it is impossible to predict the future market trends without studying its past and current developments. The definition of the research explains its importance, especially for Kudler Fine Foods, the company dealing with satisfying the most varied customers’ needs:
Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information – information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the methods for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes, and communicates the findings and their implications (EST, 2000).
Drawing from this definition, it becomes evident how important it is for Kudler Fine Foods to improve its marketing research practices and be sure to include the following ten points in them:
- Ways to define the problem;
- Data collection techniques;
- Sampling method choice;
- Data analysis techniques;
- Budget and timeframe of marketing research;
- Agreement of research goals, methods, and budget with all layers of the organizational structure;
- Monitoring of data collection process;
- Careful data analysis procedure;
- Monitoring of results for possible errors and their elimination;
- Reporting the marketing research results and taking measures according to them (EST, 2000).
One more important point that Kudler Fine Foods has to include in its marketing strategy is the so-called competitive intelligence. It is general knowledge that the food industry is characterized by strong competition as there are a lot of market players in this business area. Drawing from this, Kudler Fine Foods has to dispose of a tool to monitor its competitors’ steps, forecast them, or take effective measures to eliminate the effects of those steps for the company. Competitive intelligence (CI) is such a tool: “In short, CI is the purposeful and coordinated monitoring of your competitor(s), wherever and whoever they may be, within a specific marketplace” (Johnson, 2009). Thus, CI, if properly adopted, presents a possibility for Kudler Fine Foods to see what its “business rivals will do before they do it” (Johnson, 2009).
As well, Johnson (2009) stresses the importance of the single focus for the work of CI, as trying to cover all issues at once does not bring business success. To achieve such a single focus, the CI at Kudler Fine Foods should be carried out in accordance with the five stages stipulated by Johnson (2009) that include “planning and direction, data collection and research, processing and storage of data, their analysis and production of effective conclusions”. Only such an approach can present Kudler Fine Foods with the main value of the CI, i. e. opportunity to predict the actions of its competitors and develops its own market operations accordingly (Johnson, 2009).
Arrears Needing Additional Research
Based on the above considerations and on the information retrieved from the official website of Kudler Fine Foods, it is obvious that the company needs certain improvements to be made in its marketing research practices in such areas as competition monitoring and following the supply and demand trends in the market. As well, Kudler Fine Foods needs a pricing policy more flexible and develops the research work in the area of competition forecasts and policies of adjustment to the market developments and actions taken by the competitors. More specifically, the areas that demand further marketing research for Kudler Fine Foods can be listed as follows according to their importance:
- Policies of adjustment to competitors’ activities;
- Techniques to forecast competition in the food industry;
- Monitoring supply and demand dynamics;
- Flexible pricing policy.
To conclude, every business company has to develop an effective marketing strategy in which such factors as market conditions, supply and demand, competition, and pricing should be considered. Kudler Fine Foods also needs to modernize its marketing strategy and attribute greater importance to marketing research and competitive intelligence in it. The scholarly data presented above prove the significance of marketing strategy and marketing research in the development of business entities, and Kudler Fine Foods needs to adopt innovative marketing ideas to keep up with the fast development of the world of business.
EST. (2000). Introduction to Marketing Research. Web.
Johnson, A. (2009). What is Competitive Intelligence? Web.
Quick MBA. (2009). Marketing Strategy.