Marketing Plan for Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese automobile manufacturer that is also engaged in the financial business. The automobile design, production, and sales belong to the basic business lines of the corporation. The produced items are passenger cars, trucks, minivans, and related accessories for own usage and sales to other customers. Financial part of the business activity consists of the services that support the corporate sales and the leasing of equipment and vehicles. Another business segment involves communication business and the housing design, production, and sales. This paper will consider the marketing peculiarities of Toyota Motor Corporation and its environment that affects the business.
Competitive factors have an influence on the business through the managerial and market actions of the competitors. Among the most recognized opponents of Toyota Motor Corporation, there are Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Volkswagen, and other automotive manufacturers. At the same time, representative facilities of the diversified Toyota’s business (financial and communicational services in Canada, the US, Japan, Europe) enhance their entire global marketing position (Watanabe, Stewart, & Raman, 2007).
The Corporation is aware of economic factors as thy are most essential for the business performance. The strongest effects are due to the weak performance of the Japanese Yen to the American dollar (contribution to the Japanese exports) and the growth of the US and European counties where the business of Toyota Motor Corporation is represented the most.
Stability of national political spheres, low political tension, market peculiarities of national and international economies in the key countries of Toyota’s operations are constructive and favorable. Conducting ecological policy by the corporation is an adherent point for the political forces of a country and responsible policy of the Toyota Motor Corporation.
Legal factors that support the Toyota’s business involve improvement of intellectual property rights, strengthening of consumer and environmental legislations. The corporation is expected to lower the infringements and violations of its corporate rights for innovations in the automotive products.
Technological external environment is one of the most essential aspects behind Toyota’s growth. The growth of electronic commerce and good performance of business operations through the Internet stimulate the company’s innovation potential and support its communication and information businesses.
Socio-cultural factors are mostly of a public interest to the Toyota’s opportunity to provide its customers with electric and hybrid cars, aesthetics of the automobile purchases, and deep social class division. The lag of income level affects the purchasing power of the company’s customers and is reflected in the corporate revenue rates.
Primary and Secondary Target Markets
The primary target markets of Toyota Motor Corporation include the US, Japan, and Europe. The developing countries covered by the Toyota’s business constitute the demand for the customized cars.
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The widespread products in the primary target markets are quality and luxury brand autos, basic Toyota and Lexus automobiles, marine products, spare accessories, and engines. The global sales of the Toyota’s luxury line-up reach 1.5 million items (Watanabe, Stewart, & Raman, 2007). Current tendencies stress the importance of safety and innovation. Places that the company chose for the provision with Toyota automobiles are Japanese, US, and European markets through dealerships, financial corporations, and retail partnerships. Promotion for the primary target market involves tactical marketing tools and measures of communications to continuously improve the persuasion methods in order to grab the customers’ attention. Prices for this market segment are focused on the market conditions and product value owing to the high intensive competition in these primary target markets and significant innovation contribution during the manufacturing process. Therefore, the price level should be consistent with the common market dynamics, while at the same time remain in line with the image of valued products.
Toyota Motor Corporation has a special strategy for the primary target markets. The Company intends to satisfy the needs of the customers in luxury and innovative automobiles. Competitors are famous American, Asian, and European brands and certain alliances. Customers are various entities and individuals with high and middle income levels. Toyota’s collaborators are the facilities of Toyota Motor Corporation engaged in manufacturing of the company’s products, distributors, and suppliers. The common climate influences the business performance through the macroeconomic factors, purchasing power, financial stability, and new technologies.
Segmentation of primary markets is determined by psychographic (active lifestyle) and behavioral factors (their expected benefits and loyalty). Customers constitute large market share with 10% annual growth and various market segmentation (Watanabe, Stewart, & Raman, 2007). Therefore, the company targets this audience as the primary as it allows developing the product lines and the firm’s business potential. The corporate position of the company is also of a vital importance, along with the high quality of its products and the maintenance of the responsible culture inside the firm.
The developing countries in Asia, Europe, and South America and other business segments are the firm’s the secondary target markets. The products supplied to these secondary markets are Toyota automobiles, accessories, engines, financial support, and safety systems for communication. The pricing strategy sets the level in line with the average market price level, but also does not decrease the price below the possible minimum in order to gain profits. Promotion in the secondary markets is carried out through public relations, and advertising along the distribution channels.
The Company’s mission in these backup target markets is to sell the large amount of Toyota’s products, including the autos, accessories, and services. Competitors are local manufacturing firms and national representatives of the mentioned rivals of the primary target markets. Potential customers are the individuals and entities regardless their income levels and motives. They form large and distinguishing parts of the company’s revenue (automobile, informational, and financial). Toyota’s partners in these markets are commercial agencies, suppliers of raw materials, and distributors. Delivery of the products to the end-customers is carried out with the help of dealerships, sales centers, retailers, and financial corporations. The climate represents significant economic pressure, unstable demand, the prevailed effect of economic instability, and technological opportunities.
Division of customers of the secondary target markets is based on their respective income levels, needs, expectations, loyalty, national preferences, and the supplementing business lines of the corporation (information and communication segments). The company uses behavioral and psychological approaches in the segmentation process. It targets loyal and new customers who care of the environment and quality of the products, individuals who remain interested in innovations and functionality, and people enjoying the aesthetics and luxury of Toyota’s offers. Positioning of Toyota’s business is determined by the variety of offers promoted to different target markets.
The Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
Short-term (1-year) marketing goals of Toyota Motor Corporation are the growth of secondary target markets’ sales, employees’ engagement, the increased use of financial services in the European primary markets, sustaining the sales margin, and enrichments of advertising campaigns. Long-term (5-year) goals of the corporation are boosting the consumer confidence, market expansion in automobile and communication sectors, and securing the corporate image at the global level.
In order to succeed, the corporation should improve the content of their website as the most popular section is the products’ description, business initiatives, and reports of the corporation as the main demanded downloads from the website. Website traffic is steadily decreasing, and the previous years were also characterized by the abrupt activity of the visitors. The majority of the visitors (90%) come to the website through the search engines. The primary targeted markets revenues increased by 10 %, while the secondary markets demonstrated low path of development. Therefore, the long-term goal will face further challenges. Customer value is supported by the developed supply chain and the value-focused marketing strategy. Short-term and long-term goals will be achieved through this aspect.
New products adoption rate is high (about 60%). Innovation diffusion occurs follows a steady path. Therefore, the corporation will be able to redeem the consumer confidence and expand into new markets in the next five years. Retention level is quite high, but legal issues of the company and alliances in the automotive industry slackened the market position and long-term goals. Comparative rate of growth is at a middle level. The forecasts assume the growth to be 15 % in 2016, however it is expected to slow down to a 6 % growth rate in 2017 (“Toyota Motor Corp (TM) company profile,” 2015). These obstacles are inconsistent with the strategic goals in contrast with the short-term plan (“Toyota Motor Corp Ltd Ord (TM) forecast,” 2015).
Margin of the corporation has increased by 10 %, which gives an opportunity to improve the public relations and facilitate market expansion (“Toyota Motor Corp (TM) company profile,” 2015). Customer engagement is positively involved in the social policy of the corporation and actively used in the public relations and advertisement campaigns. Therefore, the short-term and long-term goals will be enhanced by this factor.
The SWOT Analysis and Needs Analysis
The company has its internal strengths, like innovative production and corporate culture, high brand reputation, leadership in ecological friendly products, high volumes of production, and well-developed marketing strategies. In contrast to the strong sides of the business, the company is weak due to regular recalls, low sales rates in the developing markets, gaps between target markets, and service diversification.
Exploitation of internal strengths should be accompanied by the usage of external opportunities: positive attitude and practice of “green” initiatives, growth in other related markets, changes of customer needs, and acquisition facilities. Despite the growth opportunities allowed by the external environment, company faces the following threats – fluctuations of fuel prices, the increased prices of raw materials, intensive competition, and recent economic defaults.
The Needs analysis of information and communication service of Toyota Motor Corporation focuses the supervision on the requirements to the performance of these services, training of leadership, obtaining the knowledge, skills, abilities, and techniques that will be used by the employees engaged in information processing (Marksberry, Badurdeen, Gregory, & Kreafle, 2010). Introduction of informational services will rely on the organizational structure, individual and group performance, training suitability, and the analysis of costs and benefits.
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The Feasibility of the Corporate Service
The feasibility of bringing the innovation into the Toyota’s service (information and communication safety) could be performed through the gradual treatment with respect to the innovative product and development of the proper program and its implementation (Simpson & Flynn, 2007). Technical support should be also conducted through the set of facilities, algorithms, and technologies (Arsanjani et al., 2008). Special techniques are used to provide the information and communication service through the networks to promote the innovation (Lochert, Scheuermann, Caliskan, & Mauve, 2007). Certain economic benefits were provided due to proper distribution of financial information among the financial corporations of Toyota and their partners (Beck & De La Torre, 2007).
Toyota Motor Corporation is a company that responds flexibly to its operational. The Corporation successfully determines its primary and secondary target markets. Each target category is characterized by the peculiar characteristics, the presence of external opportunities for expansion, and changeable threats. The position of the corporation is relatively stable at international level. Therefore, Toyota Motor Corporation should use its potential to utilize market chances of success in the short and long terms.