In this article we bring to you a classic example of Marketing Case Study. This classic Marketing case study is brought to you in our collaboration with IMT Ghaziabad Marketing Faculty and Students.
Marketing Case Study
Blastic Airlines is facing an organizational issue. External and internal marketing programs have not been able to satisfy the needs and wants of the stakeholders. Target customers are looking at the services offered by other airlines to satisfy their wants and needs. This has resulted in poor sales and reduced profits for the company. The marketing plan of a firm “helps the firm connect with its customers”. Therefore, Blastic Airlines wants to develop an effective plan of action that will not only help attract and retain customers, but also boost sales and profits.
Issue and Opportunity Identification
Blastic Airlines is a 25 year old company that commands a fleet of more than 375 jets that serve 240 cities with more than 2300 daily flights. The company is facing numerous challenges because of rising costs and lack of innovation. Customers are not satisfied with the service they are receiving and management cannot agree on how to correct the issues. A manager at Blastic Airlines expresses, “Your challenge is going to be rising above our competition without cutting the profits”. The company will have to figure out strategies to overcome the challenges.
Blastic Airlines must address the challenges the company is facing. The company is experiencing a decrease in stock prices. Employee morale is low because of finger pointing and lack of unity. The case study states that “loyal customers were jumping ship and the ones still aboard seemed to be flying less frequently”. The senior vice president of customer service explains that “customers have no voice” which is a major challenge for the company. Blastic Airlines and many of its rivals expanded too quickly. The case study mentions that the CEO and CFO focus on numbers and less on marketing. Membership in classic rewards is down nearly 20% and the average number of flights per member is down more than 20%. The company recently mandated a 15% across the board cost reduction over the next 18 months which is also a major challenge for all departments. “Changes in the marketing environment are a source of opportunities and threats to be managed. The process of continually acquiring information on events occurring outside the organization to identify and interpret potential trends is called environmental scanning”. Environmental scanning will help the company progress.
Identify the Alternatives and Benchmarking Validation
The primary purpose of any business, including Blastic Airlines, is to meet the needs of the intended customer with the company’s product or service. Without a customer to sell to, the business would not exist. Blastic Airlines recently experienced a decline in the number of customers. This has resulted in decreased revenue and company profit. A key factor to the success of the organization will be its ability to link its corporate goals with its customer initiatives. The company can gain a competitive advantage by linking each phase of its strategic marketing process with the goal of creating value and excellence for the customer.
Blastic Airlines needs to create a unified company-wide effort, to develop marketing programs that link customer relationship initiatives to its overall organizational goals. The beginning of this process will need to include the company-wide commitment to make the needs of the customer the number one priority. The company will then need to create business and marketing strategies that find the ideal balance between satisfying a customer’s individual wants and achieving organizational synergy, the increased customer value achieved through performing organizational functions more efficiently. So the ultimate criterion for an organization’s marketing success is that customers should be better off because of the increased synergies.
Making the Decision
When deciding the optimum solution, Blastic Airlines must understand what their goals are, what their end-state vision is, and also what challenges they have faced with product development. These factors will help the company decide how to move forward and become the leading airline provider.
Blastic Airlines is currently unengaged with its customers. Some of the senior leaders do not believe that the best use of their resources is by reconnecting with clients, which has hurt the company significantly. Blastic Airlines leadership is divided on the strategic vision for the airline’s future. Furthermore, the investment that Blastic Airlines has made into a customer relationship management (CRM) system was not sufficient, which has affected the customer service department ability to work with the clients.
The best solution for Blastic Airlines is to focus on their strategic marketing process. A company’s strategic marketing process is the approach used “whereby an organization allocates its marketing mix resources to reach its target markets”. The result of the strategic marketing process is the development of the company’s overall marketing plan “which is the roadmap for the marketing activities of an organization for a specified future period of time”. The marketing plan of a company serves to direct primary functions within an organization including supply chain management, demand forecasting, sales initiatives, and finance strategy as well as customer service programs.
A primary challenge for the company is the need to coordinate all programs, processes, and functions to meet the goal of making the customer the primary focus of all company efforts. Blastic Airlines needs to create a unified company-wide effort, to develop marketing programs that link customer relationship initiatives to its overall organizational goals. The beginning of this process will need to include the company-wide commitment to make the needs of the customer the number one priority. The company will then need to create business and marketing strategies that increase synergies. The company will be able to prosper by having organizational synergy and a united team working towards the same vision. The company must be able to make strategic decisions and capitalize on their competitive advantages.
Evaluating the Results
One end-state vision after implementing the strategic marketing process is for employees to unite and work collectively on all projects. Cross-functional teams should become the norm of the company. The case study explains that employee morale is low because of finger pointing, lack of communication, and lack of unity. Blastic Airlines must implement internal marketing strategies to assist the employees. The end-state goal is for job satisfaction to be high. A metric that can be used would be a bi-annually job appraisal and a convenient suggestion box. The target would be for 100% of the employees to be satisfied with job duties and requirements. This would help retain employees and would attract new employees to the company.
A different end-state vision for Blastic Airlines is to meet all financial goals. The end state goal is for marketing to be able to implement the required changes to the frequent-flyer program without exceeding their program budget. A metric that can be used is for the actual marketing expenses to be less than 100% of projected expenses. A major strength of this vision is that the company will spend less and will have more resources for other projects.
An end-state vision for Blastic Airlines is to develop a more effective system regarding customer focus. The end-state goal is for employees in all departments to place the interests of the customer at the forefront of their decision-making process. A metric that can be used is for 70% of Blastic Airlines major operating departments to implement a customer-focused objective as one of their top three annual goals. A major strength of this vision is that customers will become the main focus of all decisions.
Research has proven that customer relationship management has a direct impact on the overall performance of the organizations. Therefore, companies must focus on identifying efficiently and delivering effectively what the customer wants. By changing their internal and external marketing plans, Blastic Airlines has an opportunity to improve their capabilities in identifying and delivering what the customer wants. The marketing plans of the companies presented in the aforementioned benchmarking analysis will enable Blastic Airlines to transform their CRM approach into an efficient process that integrates customer requirements with organizational needs. With a focus on customer retention and acquisition, Blastic Airlines will be in a position to create an efficient marketing plan that will adapt to changing needs of the industry, foster positive customer relations, and develop policies and programs that will benefit the entire organization.
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