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The purpose of this report is to investigate Lang Homes Plc's approach to marketing. To what extent does the business understand and apply recognised principles and practices.

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Introduction

Executive Summary The purpose of this report is to investigate Lang Homes Plc's approach to marketing. To what extent does the business understand and apply recognised principles and practices. Further to assess the approach, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, culminating in recommendations. The strategy is comprehensive, the approach conforming to many principles. With excellent levels of integration throughout the business. The approach is structured, leading to logical business decisions. To enhance the market position, recommendations are made on integrating innovation into our build process, utilising customer feedback in product and service development and developing a multichannel marketing. Introduction Various definitions of marketing have been produced by the likes of Unilever and Kotler. Perhaps the most relevant to Lang Homes is that of the American Marketing Association, who suggest "marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchange and satisfy individual and organisational objectives" (AMA, 1985). How does this exchange come about ?. Under this definition the marketing process is applicable to any organisation. Its effectiveness within Lang therefore depends upon the individual emphasis we place on the different elements making up marketing. Our marketing mix should look at the interrelationship between such areas as product, price, distribution, promotion, process, people and physical evidence. All of these elements are needed to reflect the goods we are trying to sell and the needs of our target customers. ...read more.

Middle

This survey involves two telephone interviews with Lang home owners. The first 6 to 8 weeks after legal completion, the second 6 months later. Response rates average 52%. The information is collated into a Customer Satisfaction Index. Whilst the company target is 75% satisfaction, the current group average is 65.8% While analysis of the above results does take place, few of the points raised by purchasers are investigated fully. The information collated should be the basis for all major and minor improvements to our products and service. This is a critical area for improvement within Lang's marketing strategy. Lang's marketing strategy is fully integrated with the business plan. Each region produces a 3 year plan, which is then amalgamated into the group document. Areas identified: � The market segment. � Land requirements. � Development of efficient and attractive house types. � Responding to customer and planners requirements. � Introduction of system build technologies. � Expansion into new geographical areas. � The need for Lang to be the customers 'number one choice'. � Social and political risk. Product As stated, Lang's core product is new homes. Whilst the construction methods employed in producing housing has changed little in the last 100 years, the design has altered greatly to satisfy changing customer expectation, legislation regarding planning and product efficiencies. Historically following a sustaining technology approach (Christensen 1997). Making incremental changes to internal layout, utilising new ancillary products as they become mainstream and changing external treatments as fashion dictates. ...read more.

Conclusion

Results have been positive regarding house design, specification and site layout, but increasingly critical of finishing quality and after sales care. It is recognised that continual customer feedback is vital to any business wishing to grow (Doyle 2002, Jobber 2001, Brassington & Pettitt 2000). In the last 15 months, Lang have failed to obtain any meaningful customer generated information. Fault rectification analysis, 3rd party site inspections and quality improvement plans are presently used as focus for the business/marketing plan. While improving certain areas of the business, these fail to identify what the customer wants and whether we are providing it. Conclusions Lang understand and employ various marketing concepts. The differentiated strategy followed identifies and targets specific customer groups. Products and service are tailored to the market place. The brand is strong, benefiting a good reputation both with customers and financial organisations. However this is at a time of relative market buoyancy. Should there be a downturn, shortfalls in product quality, service and marketing channels may significantly affect market share. Recommendations Lang has a relatively low market share (3.4%) with clear scope for expansion in existing and new geographical areas. This growth can be accelerated by implementing the following: � Continue to develop innovative construction methods, that offer Lang and the customer marked improvements of the traditionally built product. Market those benefits so developing a new market, with Lang as the leader. � Make customer feedback the basis for product and service improvement. Respond to this information quickly with flexibility in design and specification, maximising customer choice. � Develop multichannel marketing, to include web, agents and direct mailings. ...read more.

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