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Marketing Plan of Marks and Spencer

Example dissertation on Marketing Plan of Marks and Spencer

Executive Summary

The marketing plan is an important tool for every organization in the present competitive environment. In this concern, the marketing plan for Marks and Spencer would be an effective example in the present scenarios (Beamish & Ashford, 2005). Just as the $13 billion British department store retailer Marks & Spencr is planning to enter into the Australian market, understanding a well conceived marketing plan would be beneficial not only for the management of the organization but will also contribute significantly to the body of the knowledge by adding some scholarly findings (Evans, 2014). Furthermore, it would help to make a creative idea for scholars and other readers concerned with the situation analysis of the marks and Spencer effectively and efficiently in the current market.

However, as the case with every offshore venture to expand the business and grab the international market there are some business risks involved due to the different cultural and social patterns of business management and consumers attraction. So, before the Marks & Spencer starts its operation it should have a well planned strategies and business plans that would highlight all the pros and cons of the business venture.

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In a difficult marketplace M&S is performing well and growing every year with huge sales and profits. This is an excellent performance to strengthen its position in the competitive market as a specialist retailer. The trust of customers is in the ongoing process because of the several ranges of products and innovation. The plan of M&S is clear for improvement in the current situation with strong growth. Further, its market segmentation, target market and positioning are very strong that can move the company in a positive direction for a long time. At last the marketing mix strategy of M&S would boost it in the expansion of business in other countries.     



The marketing plan is one of the most important aspects of an organization in the competitive market to grab the profit opportunities and make competitive lead. Further, marketing plan gives a general idea for the organization to target its customers in specific market through making awareness about the products (Beamish & Ashford, 2005). Additionally, marketing plan enhances the sales of the products and profits for long term in a competitive environment for the company. In this concern, the company that has been chosen for marketing plan is Marks and Spencer that deals its business in the selling of clothing and luxury food products.

Further, this paper would discuss about the detailed marketing plan for the selected company. This paper would help other researcher to get more knowledge and understanding about the marketing plan of the company. Further, it would also help to other students to develop their skills that how can they make marketing plan for another company.

Situation Analysis

The situation analysis is basically related with collection of methods to analyze internal and external environment of an organization. It helps to increase understanding about the capabilities, customers, and business environment of the organization. In this concern, the situation analysis of M&S is as follows:

Internal Situation Analysis:

Presently, Marks and Spencer is known as market leader in the clothing industry because of its range and quality of the products. Further, the leadership of M&S has converted its image in the form of several departmental stores in UK and other countries. Moreover, the financial condition of M&S is very strong because of the earning huge profits in the last two to three years and it is more than 9536.6 UK Pound every year (Marks and Spencer, 2013).

Further, in the human resources area, M&S has a number of teams that play an important role in the development of the organization. It provides extensive Payroll, Pensions, Learning and HR Administration that also increase its productivity every year (M&S, 2009). Additionally, M&S has a best recruitment team that manages its stores and head office recruitment process. Apart from this, the company image in the market is recognized as a responsible business in the top companies’ list in the UK. It has achieved several awards for Excellence.

Further, M&S also follows Learning & Development criteria through providing in-depth training and performance coaching to its employees for their development. Moreover, M&S has more than 600 stores in the main cities in the UK that help to increase more earning and profits (Marks and Spencer, 2013). Its largest store is basically located at Marble Arch in London.

The situation of M&S is basically concerned with the force and factors that affect on its business environment in the market. These forces and factors are most important for M&S for growth in the competitive market. In this concern, the external situation of M&S is depends over PESTEL situation, Porter’s five forces industry analysis and SWOT analysis.

External Situation Analysis:

PESTEL Analysis:

  • Political:

M&S faces some critical situation because of the changes in the political environment. When government changes, it brings new business policies that sometime take part in business growth, but sometimes it reduces profits. Further, when the government cuts the public spending, it raises a big hurdle in the business growth.

  • Economic:

Presently, the economic situation of UK is different that impacting the M&S business because of the increasing VAT from 17.5% to 20%. In this situation, the sales are decreasing at some extent, but currently M&S is recovering its better position because of moving positive condition of the UK (Marks and Spencer, 2013).

  • Social:

Socially, the consumer perception has been changed towards new fashion including price sensitivity that is producing more competitive environment. But, M&S has started to deliver more customer oriented product on fewer prices.

  • Technological:

In situation of M&S, media is playing a big role in promoting the new Fashion and price comparison to the customer. Therefore, the use of advanced technology such as online shopping of M&S has increased its products more widely in the market. The use of less packaging and less plastic bags by M&S has improved its sales of the products because it suits the environment and natural resources with a recycling process (M&S, 2009).

  • Legal:

Legally, M&S sells high standards of the products to its customers that avoid raising any legal issues in the business.

  • Environmental:

The current environment of the UK market is just favorable for the product sold by the M&S. for example, the clothing products are sold at higher rates during the winters season and the M&S has successfully taken advantage of this environment.

Porter’s Five Forces Industry Analysis:

The Porter’s five forces is concerned with finding the present situation of the company on the basis of threats of new entrants, threats from substitutes, threats from the bargaining power, competitive rivalry and bargaining power of suppliers.

Supplier Power

The line of clothing products has increased significantly over the years. So, the supplier power is also increasing gradually which threats the market dominance of M&S. Moreover, the threats of bargaining power of buyers are ineffective because of a large number of alternative suppliers.

Buyer Power:

The better situation for M&S is the recent economic growth after the economic crisis that hit most of the European countries.  At this time, there is significant increase in the buyer power which opens new opportunities for the M&S to expand its business.

Competitive Rivalry:

Alternatively, the aggressive pricing strategy of M&S creates strong competitive rivalry in clothing sector that diminish the effect of competition. At last, the threats of suppliers bargaining power are also very low because M&S has a range of alternative sources of supply in the market.

Threat of Substitution:

At present there is no significant threat of substitution as there is no alternative supplier of the line of products M&S is offering to its customer base. 

Threat of New Entry:

In this concern, the threats of new entrants for M&S is less effective because of the high capital expenditure, reputation and customers changing expectations that create strong barriers to entry (Deloitte, 2011). Further, the threats of substitutes have more concern for M&S because of the presence of many retailers in the clothing sector (M&S, 2014). 

SWOT Analysis:

 The SWOT Analysis of M&S would provide the current situation about its strength, weaknesses, threats and opportunities in the market (Dyson, 2004). Presently, the strength of M&S is its various ranges of products such as Food, Clothing, and Financial products etc. that help it to grab market opportunities. Further, it is largest retailer in terms of sales in the UK. The strong Cash Flow Position, increase turnover and trading profits as well as brand awareness is also the strength of M&S (Beamish & Ashford, 2005).

Apart from this, M&S has some weaknesses also that inhibit its profits. The environmental issues such as pollutions and substitute products in the market prohibit its business expansion plan at some extent. But, it has various opportunities that can help M&S to grow in the market extensively (Pradhan, 2006). For example: new products, innovation & alliances and development of overseas supply chain. Further, it has some threats also like new & existing competition, new legislations, and low cost retailers as well as high competition.

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Aims and Objectives

The aims and objectives are the main points in every business aspect that help to achieve the goals by the end of the year. In this concern, on the basis of SMART criteria, both corporate and marketing aims and objectives of M&S are as follows:

Specific: The aims and objectives of this project plan for M&S are concerned with how M&S will be able to achieve future success. Therefore, this report aims to analyse:

  • How company’s aim and objectives are achieved to increase profits through opening more than four express stores in each regional area in coming the next 3 years.
  • How M&S may become the world’s most admirable and sustainable major retailer by 2017 with the help of a new clothing line that will focus on value and quality
  • To analyze how M&S may become the top family brand in clothing sector as well as to develop itself as new brand identities.

Measurable: in this section, the aim and objectives of M&S would be attracting and retaining the best talent in the industry to be the part of the M&S Human Resources strategy. Further, the objectives would to become the number one brand at the global level. Moreover, the objectives would be also concerned with to inject new age of clothing and style across the several ranges. To continue to follow the best value clothes and accessories as well as to produce a convinced fashion offering to satisfy younger customers.

Agreed: The aims and objective in agreeing section of M&S are: to deliver the most respected customer service through getting good peoples in the stores that influence customer by their personality. To develop trust over consumer with the customer service team to help them in selection of the products would be also the aim and objectives (Chang & Huang 2006). To recruit potential and real people that holds the ability to interact with their customers.

Realistic: The realistic aim and objectives of the M&S is to develop products that contain more advanced quality by 2017 in which the 50% would be by 2015. Further, to help the customers to identify and purchase it several times (M&S, 2013). With this, the other aim and objectives would be helping the existing customers to make a true difference between the social and environmental induces that matter to them. The other aim and objectives is to help the existing customers in better living life with a more sustainable way.

Time- Specific: In this section, the aim and objectives are to achieve all the setting goals such bas competitive advantage, huge profits and large market share in next 3 years. The aims and objectives also concerned with to get no. 1 position in clothing sector by 2018.

Appropriateness of Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning

Target Market: The target market of M&S is basically concerned with all age group of people that love cloths to wear to look smart. Further, M&S manufacture different types of cloths for customers’ point of view, such as cotton, polyester and others. Moreover, most of the people like to purchase costly products, at this stage, M&S target high salaried people to sell its products. Fashion is also matters to customers, in this way, M&S target fashion lover people basically teenagers and young people (M&S, 2014). Now, at this stage, these target markets are more profitable because of the purchasing power of the customers that increases more profits for M&S.

Segmentation Criteria: The chosen segmentation criteria are based on gender-related, age related, behavior related and lifestyle related of the market for M&S. Clothing is the favorite for both men and women where the clothing lines can include casual and business perspective (BMS, 2013). Further, the age also matters for the company, therefore, teenage girls are probably targeted because of their trendy new fashion lines such as jeans, blouses and other apparel.

Competitors: M&S has most of the competitors in the UK that also run their business in other countries and provide more challenges in the clothing sector. Therefore, the main competitors of M&S are Arcadia Group Limited, Benetton Group and Burberry Group PLC that has franchises China, Indonesia, and South Korea.

Competitive Position of M&S: Marks and Spencer is known as one of the biggest retailers in the UK in clothing sector that provides more competition to another company in this sector. The main competitive advantage is its big brand, large economies of scales and intense marketing (M&S, 2013). It maintains its business in the current development of market is online shopping, fashion, trends, etc. that provides M&S to keep its position stable and be ahead of its competitors.

Further, this competitive position of Marks and Spencer is enough to give competitive advantage because most of the competitors have not followed these strategies. Further, the sales of products of M&S are greater than other companies that set competitive advantage in present scenarios.

Further, the current positioning of the Marks and Spenser is good to be a market leader because of its brand value and recognition among customers. The quality of the products has unique features that attract every age group of customers to purchase for their user. The quality of the products is good for the health point of view and it avoids being infected from chemicals.

Moreover, the future positioning according to the perceptual maps of Marks and Spencer would be the competitive leader at the global level because of its intensive marketing that influence customers effectively and efficiently (Wachman, Richard & Guardian, 2009). Further, the research and development of the company would always develop some new type of products to create competitions.

Communication Theme: Basically, the communication theme of Marks and Spencer is based on using extensive social media. The social media play an important role in the marketing of the products through word of mouth process. Therefore, it establishes a unique base for M&S to grab more market at global level.

Marketing Plan


The implementation of 4P’s of marketing in a marketing mix strategy of Marks and Spencer would be the best solution to promote the products in the competitive market effectively and efficiently. The 4P’s would be an imperative concept in the present marketing perspective as well as a set of controllable tools for Marks and Spencer. It would combine to produce the response from the target market to influence the demand for its product (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2010). Further, it would provide a major function to communicate strategically for M&S with the customers. It would provide multiple paths for M&S to provide information in spoken form as well as in written communications such as advertising and selling (Deloitte, 2011). Therefore the 4P’s of Marks and Spencer would be the following ways:

Promotion: Promotion of products is the most essential part of marketing strategy that helps to introduce product image in the market. This helps to make awareness among consumers about the product’s features and other specifications that help to attract more customers to purchase the products (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2010). But, the promotion of the products needs more expenses in the market as well as required to get knowledge and understanding about the consumers’ needs and demands. In this concern, the promotion of the products of Marks and Spencer would also need huge investment for marketing.

Further, it would require selecting most reliable marketing mediums that effectively promote the products in the market. There are several mediums available for the promotion of the products in the market such as advertisements on television, internet and social media. Further, the advertisement in newspapers that is called print media is also available in the market (Deloitte, 2011). Therefore, the promotion of the products of Marks and Spencer would also select electronic and print media for advertisement. Further, street hoarding is also a reliable medium for the advertisement of the products that would be also followed by Marks and Spencer.

Alternatively, to get the aim and objectives of the M&S, it would also follow the other medium for advertisement such as fashion magazines and brochures of Marks and Spencer to promote its products in the market. Marks and Spencer would also do some social activities in schools and colleges through competition among students to promote the products because; it is a more reliable way to enhance sales of the products (Henry, 2008). Further, Marks and Spencer wants to become the world’s most admirable and sustainable major retailer by 2017 with the help of a new clothing line that will focus on value and quality. This aim and objective would be achieved through advertisement at global level by utilizing the entire medium of advertisement. Further, to achieve the image of the top family brand in clothing sector as well as to develop it as new brand identities, Marks and Spencer would follow the internet and social media for advertisement of the products.

Now, the cost for promotion of the products would be around 10% per annum of the benefits of the total sales. The time that would be selected for promotion is every day on television. It would be 5 to 10 times daily on the television. The cost would be approx. 50% of the total selected cost of profits for advertisement. The cost of selected news paper for advertisement would be 25% of the total advertisement cost and the advertiser would get printed would be once in a week. The other expenses would for other medium of advertisement for the products in promotional activities.

Price: In the second step of the 4P’s, the pricing strategy in a marketing plan is also to play an important role to increase the sales and profits of the organization. It is basically concerned with setting a specific price for a product that an organization offers to the consumer in the market. On the other way, price is the amount of money that customers must have to pay to get the product (M&S, 2013). Further, to get the aim and objective of the organization concerned with the profits a careful pricing should be there to increase the sale of the products. Therefore, it is more important for the organization while implementation of the price of a product. It should be effective that shows its ability to attract more customers to purchase.

In this concern, the price strategy of a product for Marks and Spencer would be also effective and efficient before implementation in the market. Marks and Spencer should follow the price administration method in the activities to set the basic price to support the sales situations such as geographic based, position of distribution channel members, and functions performed by customers. Further, in every point of sales situations, Marks and Spencer would charge medium to high prices for the garment products. Moreover, it would be a reasonable price to very high price to suit every customer’s expectation in the sales situation. The reasonable price would be for low income people that cannot afford premium prices. The Premium prices would for the upper class of consumers in the market.

Further, to achieve the aim and objectives of Marks and Spencer, the quality would not be compromised at any cost for lower income people and the garment products would be sold at reasonable price. Moreover, according to the position of distribution channel members, the price would be premium to attract upper class of consumers to purchase Marks and Spencer garments products (Henry, 2008). At the global level, the price would be medium to high prices because of the different expenses in the distribution process of the garment products. Alternatively, the prices would be changed concerning with the competition and market situation such as products demand and competition as well as the recession in the market. At this stage, the price of Marks and Spencer would be more attractive to achieve the aim and objectives of the organization. It would also help to be the market leader in the garment sector in coming years according the plan.

Place (Distribution): Place is also a matter for the marketing point of view to sales the products easily and efficiently to the target customers on the regular basis. Placement or distribution helps in expansion of products from manufacturing place to target place to make the availability of the products for sales. Further, without distribution of the products, an organization cannot expect high volume of sales and profits in contemporary business environment. Moreover, it is required more market research to find best places for distribution of the products and to start selling to the target customers (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2010). The availability of products at convenient places for the target customers shows the capability of the organization and big achievement among competitors at global level. In this concern, an organization should always try to locate the best places to sale the products and earn more profits for long-time.     

Alternatively, the place for Marks and Spencer to sell its products would be also at the convenient places to increase business growth with more sales and profits. Presently, Marks and Spencer has more than 700 plus retail stores in the UK at the best places. Further, it has already made its worldwide presence in developed and developing countries. Therefore, the products of the Marks and Spencer are available in the cities and town in the UK as well as in foreign countries that is providing huge profits (Wagner & UPEI, 2007). In this concern, Marks and Spencer would once again open new retail stores in the whole United Kingdom and other countries where it has not any retail stores. Further, it would also open some other retail stores in existing foreign countries.    

Moreover, Marks and Spencer also sell its garment products through online shopping portals with the help of internet. There are several online shopping portals available such as Amazon.com and others where customers chose their favorite products and order for purchasing those products. Alternatively, Marks and Spencer also sell its products on its very own website effectively and efficiently. Now, at this stage, Marks and Spencer would follow its present distribution strategy to sale its garment products in the UK and other countries.

Product: The product that a customer purchases from the market for their personal use is basically concerned with all features and combination of goods. In this concern, products are the most important aspect of the marketing mix that needs to implement in the market to achieve the setting aims and objectives of the organization (Bhatia, 2008). Basically, product shows its expression in the market as well as organization’s capabilities through linking with customers. In this way, the product policy should be the first priority for an organization to make a good image among customers at the global level.

Moreover, the power of the product’s features can be seen as some important indicator in the market such as increasing large volume of sales, profits, brand image, market share and reputation. In this concern, Marks and Spencer would include quality, reliability, style and variety in its products for a great influence on the other elements of the marketing such as pricing, advertising, channel of distribution, personal selling, and physical distribution. Marks and Spencer are basically known as its quality of products that would be maintained in future also for getting the reward in the form of loyal customers at the global level. Marks and Spencer would achieve its setting aim and objectives with the help of strong brand image, including quality garment production in the world. Further, Marks and Spencer would continue to keep providing such top quality and stylish products forever for its existing customers in the whole UK as well as in other countries (Wagner & UPEI, 2007). It would also develop more variety in the current garment product offerings in the coming years.

Alternatively, to inject new age of clothing and style across the several ranges as well as to continue to follow the best value clothes and accessories can be achieved with the help of product marketing strategy and planning. Marks and Spencer can also achieve the objective of the organization; to produce a convinced fashion offering to satisfy younger customers through product marketing mix strategy. Therefore, the product implementation in the market through strategic planning would help Marks and Spencer to achieve its aim and objective at great extent in the UK market and across the border with huge profits.

Contingencies and Controls

Presently, the market has been filled with various challenges that is increasing day by day in the form of competitive environment. Most of the organization is focusing over value of investments in human resources to take competitive advantage. In this concern, Marks and Spencer would follow any business strategy in the form of competition to regulate and control its staff for completing of aim and objectives and to justify their need with available resources and their contribution to the company (Wachman, Richard & Guardian, 2009). The effective control in place would be regulated by its managers to adjust the performance management processes of the Marks and Spencer. Managers of M&S would promote the strategies and performance of the company through stretching the staff’s capabilities better than its competitors.

Further, to deliver the most respected customer service through getting good peoples in the stores that influence customer by their personality would be managed by leaders of the Marks and Spencer. To develop trust over consumer with the customer service team to help them in selection of the products would be also control by better communication process with staffs to get the aim and objectives (Silk, 2006). The control would be also possible through the recruitment of potential and real people that the ability to interact with their customers. It can remove the external threats because of the well developed Human Resource Management in the organization.

Moreover, to overcome on its competitors and external threats, Marks and Spencer would make a strategic plan for getting information that what threats are coming on the market. When the threats would be a competitors’ standard product, the M&S would also start innovation to come in the competition to control the market image among customers. This alertness would be very helpful for Marks and Spencer in controlling the external threats of competitors.    

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Henry, A. (2008) Understanding Strategic Management. Italy: Oxford University Press.

M&S (2009) M&S expands online international delivery to 73 new countries [Online].

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Silk, A. J. (2006). What is marketing? USA: Harvard Business Press.

Wachman, S., Richard, R. & Guardian, S. (2009) How change of leadership can cripple companies [Online]. Available at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/oct/04/succession-planning-itv-marks-spencer [Accessed 9 January 2014].

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Background of the Marks and Spencer:

Marks and Spencer (M&S) are one of the leading organizations in the UK in garment sector as well as in the food sector. It was founded by Michael Mark that became most recognized brands in the UK as well as across the border in the world. After a successful journey of the company, Michael Mark did a partnership with Tom Spencer in 1894. Both partners died in 1900s and left the business to Michael Mark’s son, Simon and Israel Sieff. Both sons together founded a business philosophy to implement best quality, value and service in the products. Further, they also implemented in cooperation with customers, suppliers and community create a trust on the organization for a long time. After consecutive success in the business, it became a public company in 1926. Further, the principles of Marks and Spencer of products’ quality, value, and service continued till today for customers’ perspective and brand value.

Marketing Activities Schedule (Gantt chart):

Activity Time Taken Cost (In Pound)
Outline a Marketing Plan (Situation analysis, market analysis, SWOT analysis etc) 2-3 Month 1000
Clarify Positioning (Targeting, segmentation and positioning), define marketing and business objectives 1-3 Month 1500
Development of related data and information 4-5 Month 2000
Prepare Advertising or Sales Force 3-4 Month 10000

Financial Plan:

The financial plan of M&S in response to competitors and external threats can be included the following main activities:

Assessment of Business environment: In this activity, it would be assessed the opportunities of business expansion in the market concerned with consumer need and wants of the products, competitors’ strategy, and sales of the products. This activity would continue for 2 to 3 months regularly.

Need of Resources: In this activity, the organization would assess the need of resources such as new staff, materials for manufacturing etc to compete the competitors’ strategy. Further, organization would identify other new resources to marketing the products.

Assessment of cost of Resources: In this activity, organization would calculate the total expenses in recruitment of new staff and purchasing of new materials. This financial plan would help the organization to take competitive lead in UK and in other countries.     

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