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The goal(s) and objective(s) for the action plan.

  1. The goal(s) and objective(s) for the action plan.
  2. The target market at which this action plan is aimed.
  3. The marketing mix activities needed to implement the action plan.
    Product strategy and programs require consideration of things such as brand name, product features/benefits, differentiation from competition, relationship to delivering value, logo, package design/labeling, complementary products/services, elements of customer service strategy, and programs. Also, this is where the service concept, tangibles, customer-contact employees, and so on, need to be addressed. Depending on the charge of your marketing plan, some of the above may not apply.
    � Price strategy and programs require consideration of things such as pricing objectives and relationship to delivering value. Keep in mind that pricing is not restricted to monetary concerns. Customers are likely to compare the perceived benefits of the new brand to the perceived benefits of the existing brand and other competitive brands. In other words, customers are likely to perform a cost-benefit analysis, which means that customers must perceive the new brand to have benefits that are equal to or exceed the perceived costs. When considering pricing issues, also include costs customers are likely to incur in terms of time, effort, and energy. Consider psychological costs (e.g., embarrassment, fear, rejection, etc.) and losses (e.g., aesthetics, familiarity, etc.), and physical discomfort or loss of pleasure.
    � Place or distribution strategy and programs require consideration of things such as the selection, motivation, and evaluation of channel partners (if applicable).
    � This is also the place to describe any direct marketing programs (mail, telemarketing, catalogs, Internet, etc.) and other accessibility issues (e.g., number of local stores, etc.).
    � Promotional activities
    o Advertising strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as advertising message (what will be said, unique selling points, benefits to be stressed, value story, points of differentiation, etc.), creative style (settings, characterization, humor or not, testimonials, etc.), media mix, media schedule, and so on.
    o Public relations/publicity strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as how to get press coverage, getting the company/brand name and story out to the public, event-oriented marketing, and so forth.
    o Sales promotion strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as contests, sweepstakes, event tie-ins, coupons, premiums (T-shirts, hats, key chains, cup holders, etc.), trade shows, consumer fairs, and so forth.
    o Sales force strategy and programs that require consideration of things such as size of the sales force, sales force organization (geographic territory; customer-type based, product based, or some combination; salesperson characteristics and skills to recruit and train toward; compensation; motivation), and so forth. This section will describe selling strategy in terms of sales call emphasis, selling strategy and tactics (what should sales people be doing and saying).
    � Other marketing programs that require consideration of methods to systematically listen to the customer, monitor customer satisfaction/loyalty, monitor competition, and become aware of trends that might impact the business. This requires some type of specific intelligence/information-gathering plan.
  4. Describe the evaluation and measurement procedures to be used to monitor overall performance of the action plan, including quantitative measures and allowable time frames.
  5. Elaborate on the specifics of plan implementation and quantitative projections. This includes people responsible for programs, budgets, other resources needed, target completion dates, timetables, and so forth. This requires a consideration of who does what, when, and for how much.



  1. Summary and Introduction
  2. Issues Analysis
  3. Goals and Objectives
  4. Target Market
  5. Marketing Action Plan
  6. Notes on the Budget
  7. iPhone SWOT Analysis
  8. Conclusion
  9. References
    With increased competition in technology and innovation in the smartphone industry, it is vital for various industry players to establish and implement marketing strategies and activities that would maintain growth in the industry. Companies that do not significantly maintain a competitive edge will continue to lose market share and diminish with time.

Summary and Introduction
Apple’s iPhone, introduced in the US by Apple Inc. in January 2007, is one of the world’s leading smartphones. It is widely considered to be the pacesetter of technological innovations that excite its users by introducing a touchscreen interface with a virtual keyboard. Since the launch of iPhone, Apple has released 11 generations of iPhones each time with new features and updates. The launches of various versions of iPhone models cause great excitement and queues of ready buyers are experienced on launch days (Sliwinska, et al, 2008). Apple has a history of high-tech inventions informed by their significant investment in research and development (Johnson et al. 2012). Statistics show that Apple iPhone worldwide sales have increased from 1.4 million iPhones in 2007 to 216 million iPhones in 2017 fiscal year with a smartphone market share was about 15% in 2017 (iPhone – Statistics & Facts, 2018). This is attributed to leverage on the success of other previous Apple’s innovative products such as the Mac computers, iPod and iTunes Store (Johnson et al., 2012).
Issues Analysis
With the launch of Apple’s iPhone in 2007, competition in the smartphone industry significantly increased. Apple’s iPhone’s competitors are Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Huawei and Lenovo among many others. (Johnson et al, 2012). The industry players have opened up several competition fronts in features such as hypersensitive touch options, high-resolution cameras, games, video recorders, MP4 players among many other features. (Sliwinska et al. 2008). One of the critical factors of competition is technology and innovation. Leadership in technology and innovation gives an industry player a significant competitive edge. One of the strategies implemented by Apple in marketing iPhone was to set up customer accounts and have credit card details. This would ensure that customers would quickly and conveniently make repurchase decisions. (Johnson et al., 2012).

Source: (ELMER-DEWITT, 2009)

Period Samsung Apple Others
2016 Q1 23.8% 15.4% 42.1%
2016 Q2 22.7% 11.7% 45.0%
2016 Q3 20.9% 12.5% 44.3%
2016 Q4 18.0% 18.2% 40.2%
2017 Q1 23.3% 14.7% 39.0%
Source: IDC, May 2017
The 2 above data show the growth of Apple’s iPhone market share. It also demonstrates loss of market share by Nokia and other companies.
Goals and Objectives

  1. To Grow Market Share
    (a) To grow world market share in 2018 by 5.55% from average of 14.45% in 2016
    (b) To increase sales from 216 million iPhones in 2017 to 300 million in 2018
    (c) To establish 20 new telecommunication partnerships in 40 countries in 2018
    (d) To introduce a new product by 2H 2018
    (e) To introduce ten new languages in 2018 in different markets
    (f) To redefine the price positioning strategy in 5 different markets
    (g) To introduce one new product to target the lower segment of the market
  2. To increase consumer and brand loyalty
    (a) Invest in consumer needs research
    (b) Increase consumer interactive communication
    (c) Create a strong customer feedback loop (take corrections from consumers)
    (d) Create and ensure a customer upgrade program
  3. To ensure robust price positioning
    (a) To conduct regular price surveys in all markets in 2018
    (b) To ensure dynamic price reviews based on price surveys
  4. To launch new innovative products
    (a) To launch a new iPhone that uses Android OS
    (b) To introduce a high-quality low-end market product for emerging economies
    Target Market
    Apple, Inc.’s vision states: “Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.” (Yoffie et al, 2012). With the increase of home access to the Internet in the last one years, sales of smartphones have significantly gone up in tandem with the increase Internet uptake. By the end of 2012, there were over 110 million users of the smartphone in the US alone. Younger people (of ages 18 – 34) have the highest appetite for smartphones and Internet. The household income ratio stands at 6% for less than $25,000, 23% from $25,000 to $50,000 and 71% for more than $50,000. 16.7% is the largest population group that earns an average annual income of between $50,000 and $80,000 (iPhone – Statistics & Facts, 2018). Apple iPhone has mainly focused on her customers as consumers rather than as business customers. By setting premium pricing, Apple positions itself as a high-class technology company through competitive innovation. However, the strategic partnership with AT&T discriminated against potential consumers of iPhone especially in areas where customers do not like AT&T or where there was no network coverage. IPhone targets the upper and middle class, therefore, locking out the largest market, which is the low-end market. IPhone targets the consumers who like to have fun with technology and innovations. IPhone has inherently gained from the enthusiasts of the iPod and iTunes consumers (Johnson et al. 2012).
    Marketing Action Plan

IPhone FY 2018 Marketing Action Plan
No. What to do Who Timelines Indicative Budget (US $) Expected Profitability of Incremental Volume (US $) Measurement
1 Grow market share by 5.5% in 2018 – Target sales in new/less performing markets Marketing Director and Team FY 2018 2,000,000,000 Nil World Market Share Data by volumes/sales turnover
2 Increase sales 216 million to 300 million iPhones Marketing Director and Team FY 2018 1,000,000,000 10,080,000,000 Actual sales volumes
3 To establish ten new telecom companies partnerships in 20 countries in 2018 Sales and Marketing Department Director and Manager 1H 2018 800,000,000 3,500,000,000 20 signed contracts of strategic partners
4 Plan and Execute launch of a new product by 2H 2018 Marketing Team 1H 2018 10,000,000 Nil Sales volumes on Product launch day
5 Introduce ten new languages feature in 2018 in different markets Product Innovation and Development Department 2H 2018 20,000,000 100,000,000 Launch of the improved language features
6 Conduct market surveys in 5 regions/continents Marketing Team 1Q 2018 2,000,000 Nil Five completed survey reports
7 To introduce one new product to target the lower segment of the market Product Innovation and Development Department 2H 2018 1,000,000,000 1,800,000,000 Successful introduction of 1 new product
8 Conduct 1 international consumer needs survey Contracted Research Firm 1Q 2018 50,000,000 Nil One completed survey report
9 Increase consumer interactive communication Customer Service Department 1Q 2018 500,000 Nil Launch of an interactive push notification system
10 Create as user-friendly customer feedback system Customer Service Department 2Q 2018 1,000,000 5,000,000 A fully operational feedback system
11 Create and ensure a customer upgrade program Customer Service Department 2Q 2018 1,000,000 5,000,000 A FY upgrade programme for customer
12 Conduct volumes-based promotions Marketing Team and Customer Service Department 2H 2018 200,000,000 300,000,000 Incremental Sales/Volumes
Total 5,084,500,000 15,790,000,000

Notes on the Budget
Every company looks to grow its market share and remain profitable for the shareholders. Therefore all efforts should be geared towards achieving both profitability and growth of market share. Allocation of $ 2 billion is an overall marketing expense for all marketing and sales efforts to achieve this goal. This will include marketing incentives for the marketing team, remuneration of additional resource persons, and advertising among other things. Google, for instance, has spent about $ 1.8 billion in marketing the Android iOS.

In allocating $ 1 billion to achieve 84 million units as incremental sales, we seek to implement aggressive marketing strategies to introduce new products as well as review price strategies in emerging and developing markets. This strategy aims to match various competitive activities. Additional, we seek a budget of $ 800 million to acquire contracts with ten telecommunication companies in 20 countries. The budget allocation includes travel expenses by the senior management team to meet and achieve the above objective. The company can leverage the strength of these companies to increase sales in new markets.

An allocation of $ 10 million is meant to launch and communicate new products and strategic shift of market positioning. This launch would be aimed at exciting the low-end market segment that has been discriminated by Apple’s premium pricing. A further $ 20 million is proposed to introduce 20 new language features. This would significantly increase sales in markets that have been discriminated by language barriers. To manage costs of communicating this market direction, this would be done during the launch of the new product.

To conduct regular and comprehensive market surveys done by a reputable market research company, an allocation of $ 2 million is required to effectively inform management pricing decisions. This would ensure that the company responds in time to various pricing challenges in various market segments leading to slow sales.

Introduction of a new product that communicates a shift of market position would require an allocation of $ 1 billion. This would significantly support various marketing activities to achieve successful market penetration of the new product in new markets. A further $ 50 million is budgeted for an international consumer needs survey that also focuses on low performing markets as well as new markets. This would inform the company’s strategic decisions on dynamic market approaches. To ensure effective response to consumer concerns, a further $ 2.5 million is allocated for systems development to support marketing initiatives through the customer service department. These systems would not only inform management decisions but also mitigate on consumer risks. An allocation of $ 200 million is to ensure the various discount promotion and other marketing activities that support various distribution channels. This would ensure incremental sales.

Apple iPhone SWOT Analysis
Strengths Weaknesses
• Strong financial position
• Largest cash reserves
• Strong investment in research and development
• Product differentiation
• Secure and Safe OS
• Meeting consumer lifestyles
• Different software
• High quality and comfortable designs • Less introduction of new products
• High pricing
• Conservative marketing strategies
• Slowdown in technological innovations
• Ignoring the low-end market
• No variety of products
• Several restrictions on the iPhone
Opportunities Threats
• Uncovered Markets
• Loyal customers
• Products of different market segments
• Significant market for phone accessories • Rising threat from Google’s Android OS
• Lack of customer excitement
• Samsung’s rise in technological advances
• Android OS popularity
• “Grey market” iPhone sales

Apple’s iPhone, leveraging on great successes of its predecessors Macs, iPod, and iTunes store, is one of strongest brands in the smartphone industry. The management of its launch was managed very effectively (Mickalowski et al. 2016). The iPhone’s brand positioning, as well as it’s marketing, has been effective. However, in the last few years, it has experienced strong competition and subsequent loss of market leadership in the smartphones industry. Google’s Android OS has opened up a significant threat to iPhone’s iOS. It is therefore important for Apple to implement marketing strategies that can ensure it has increased its market share and claimed its glory of market leadership. The marketing action plan seeks to address the above issues.


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