STRATEGIC MARKETING & PLANNING: NISSAN COMPANY

Nissan Company is a Japanese-based automobile manufacturer that sells cars under its various brands including Nissan, Datsun, and Infiniti brands. In 2016, the company was recognized for its manufacturing and distribution of electric cars (Hollensen, 2015). From its inception, the company has expanded to manufacture vehicles in close to 20 countries. However, it offers its products and services to over 160 nations globally. In the financial year 2016, the global vehicle production units were 5,654,000 units, which is a significant increase compared to the past years. The highest production levels of the company were China with 1,321 units produced in 2016. Nissan has invested in new technology that helps to make its products more competitive. The new driving technology features include precision handling with good confidence, advanced on-the-road enjoyment, fully autonomous drive, and selectable driving mode among others (West, Ford, & Ibrahim, 2015). However, Nissan has various disadvantages includes the failures of the airbags after collision accidents. In 2014, Nissan recalled around 238,000 cars due to the problem of airbags. In the past year, Nissan has recalled over a million cars due to the safety concerns. The report focusses on the marketing aspects that promote the strategic performance.
Marketing Strategy of Nissan Company
Online marketing is one of the critical marketing activities of Nissan Company. In 2014, Nissan Company was able to initiate digital marketing process to build the company’s brand. The marketing strategy of Nissan Company is critical to shaping the performance and productivity of the business. The critical macro environment factor in the marketing of Nissan products and services is the consumer (Meidan, Moutinho, & Chan, 2015). The consumers should be convinced that the offerings of Nissan are of high quality. Key reasons why consumers might choose the products of Nissan is high-cost efficiency and age. Young millennial consumers are opting for Nissan cars due to the new technology features.
The company relies on online marketing mode that improves content, engagement, relevance, social driven and comprehensive online marketing programs. The company demands that people should be creative and have proper insight and analytical ability. The online marketing approach is keen on improving the lead edge technologies to develop futuristic products for the younger generational consumers (Payne & Frow, 2014). The marketing approach also insists on the safety, comfort, and mass consumption ability of the company.

One of the critical aspects of marketing in the text that could impact the performance of Nissan is the assessment of the market environment. According to Sharp (2013, p.185), the marketing of the company’s products and services are influenced by both the micro and macro environmental factors. The micro-environmental factors include the customers, intermediaries, suppliers, competitors and the government. Competition is a critical environmental factor that can hurt the performance of the business (Sharp, 2013, p.187). The internal environment aspects of the supplier engagement can impact on the access to parts and items used in the manufacturing of the products.
Other microenvironmental factors affecting the marketing of the company includes the financial community, pressure groups, value chains, the communication and the relationships with the stakeholders. In terms of the macro environmental factors, the marketing programs should be shaped to align with the key external factors including economic, political, cultural, demographic, technology, and ecological environment factors. For example, Nissan should comply with the set political and legal regulations in the country of operation (Sharp, 2013, p.197).
The business will find it challenging to manage the macroenvironmental influences of marketing. However, they can manage their impact on the company through adjusting their strategies and actions accordingly. For instance, the marketing campaigns should be able to understand the demographic changes in their markets. Changes in demographics and technology are important for the marketing programs and actions. Therefore, Nissan would benefit from the information about the marketing environment as described in the text.
Comparison and Recommendations
Nissan has been able to adjust well to the market changes and advancement. The management of Nissan has designed comprehensive strategies including effective marketing strategy, product strategy, pricing strategy, talent strategy, and after-sales service programs. The marketing strategy has been able to improve fine operations of Nissan. Product strategy is keen on designing effective comfortable safety. Safety of the products and its operations has been improved to support long-term success and productivity. Compared to the textbook suggestion, Nissan has adopted a suitable pricing strategy that is suitable for the public consumption. Nissan products and services are easily affordable by global customers compared to other car manufacturers (Chari, Balabanis, Robson, & Slater, 2017). The ability to price its vehicles well helps Nissan in growing their market sustainability and long-term sales. In terms of HR recruitment process, the textbook recommends the importance of hiring quality, talented and energetic people who are motivated by technology and engineering. Nissan talent strategy is also similar to the projections of the textbook with the hiring of young people. The company hires young professionals who are keen on future cars technology.

Nissan should evaluate the needs of their customers to ensure that the production process is tailored to meet their needs. Performing comprehensive marketing research is one of the things that the company might have done differently. Conducting marketing research would have helped to understand the customer’s preferences and needs. The recommended marketing research will seek to review the microenvironmental situation of the company including the customers and the competitors. Having a proper understanding of the customers and competitors would give Nissan a huge opportunity to grow their overall sales and performance. Moreover, it is recommendable for Nissan to adopt comprehensive analytics, social technologies to enhance its digital marketing efforts. Such efforts will help the company in analyzing the consumer behavior and patterns in real time (Ruff, 2015). The company needs to align its marketing strategies and efforts with the cultural values and norms in their markets. The cultural norms in Japan are different from the Indian markets. The company should work on adjusting its marketing programs with the inherent markets to ensure success.
Some of the key differences between the text and the company’s actions are that the text only provides theoretical concept and principles of marketing. On the other hand, Nissan implements practical marketing approaches including online marketing and engagement, which are not directly recommended in the text (Sharp, 2013). Largely, the text focusses on the academic theory of marketing management recommending the need for analysis, planning, and controlling the marketing activities. The text also suggests that marketing department should make it easy for the customers to purchase the products and make them accessible. In contrast, the management of Nissan implements a target marketing approach focusing on the young people. The company is also strategic in its marketing and manufacturing process. Nissan seeks to grow its brand as a technology-focused car manufacturer.
The company’s marketing programs and production processes were highly effective. The company’s online marketing approach has helped in increasing the overall sales of the company with special focus on the young people. The marketing strategy has helped to grow the Nissan brand into the top 10 brands in the car manufacturing industry (David, David & David, 2017). The car manufacturing and distribution industry are highly competitive and Nissan’s marketing approaches were able to grow the brand making the company more competitive. The company should assess the potential of their competitors and their offerings to come up with more competitive products and services. In terms of production, the company has invested in research and development programs with the aim of developing future cars. The investment in technology has been effective as Nissan has been able to produce cars with advanced technology features.
The concepts and theories discussed in the textbook about the key principles of marketing would have influenced the performance of Nissan. The concepts of marketing include a focus on efficiency and relevant marketing management programs. If the management of Nissan implements the recommended marketing theories and concepts, it will be possible to promote performance and revenue growth of the company. The text also recommends the improvement of the customer service functions (Sharp, 2013). Nissan should be able to respond to the complaints and inquires of the clients effectively. Efficient customer response services are important in promoting the long-term growth of the company’s sales. It is recommendable for Nissan Company to create a good customer care unit that will respond to all questions raised by the customers (Imai, 2017). Good customer service is important in growing the long-term earnings and productivity of the company.

Conclusion
Despite the marketing challenges, Nissan Company can position itself and rely on its marketing capabilities such as digital marketing strategies to grow their revenues. The company will need to conduct comprehensive marketing research to understand its customers well. The market research programs will focus on the potential competition and the needs of the customers. For instance, the review of the cultural values of the foreign markets will help them to customize their products offerings to the needs of the specific markets. The text projects the need to design relevant marketing management processes and actions. The management needs to invest in experienced personnel with the ability to set up effective customer care units. Some of the key recommendations for Nissan include the need to review potential competitors and their offerings to improve more competitive products and services. The company needs to develop the comprehensive analytics, social technologies to grow its digital marketing programs. The programs will help the company in assessing and analyzing the consumer patterns in real-time to enhance productivity. It is relevant to align its marketing strategies and efforts with the cultural norms in their overseas markets.

References List
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David, ME, David, FR, & David, FR, 2017, The quantitative strategic planning matrix: a new marketing tool. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 25(4), pp.342-352.
Hollensen, S 2015, Marketing management: A relationship approach, Pearson Education, London.
Imai, N 2017, Front Loading: Key Concept of Strategy for Business Innovation in Japanese Automobile Industry. In Management of Innovation Strategy in Japanese Companies(pp. 131-143).
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Payne, A & Frow, P 2014, Developing superior value propositions: a strategic marketing imperative. Journal of Service Management, 25(2), pp.213-227.
Ruff, F 2015, The advanced role of corporate foresight in innovation and strategic management—Reflections on practical experiences from the automotive industry. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 101, pp.37-48.
Sharp, B 2013, Marketing: theory, evidence, practice, 1st edition, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne.
West, DC, Ford, J. & Ibrahim, E 2015, Strategic marketing: creating competitive advantage, Oxford University Press, New York.