Amazon's Marketing Strategy

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Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the marketing process of online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. Amazon.com provides a number of retail services as well as web and storage services. The corporate strategy framework, as discussed in Cravens & Piercy’s Strategic Marketing text, will be used to examine the background of the company and define its current position. The corporate framework includes the following: (1) corporate vision (2) corporate objectives toward vision (3) resources (4) business composition and (5) business design. The marketing strategy of the company will be reviewed using Cravens & Piercy’s suggested marketing strategy process. To assess the current marketing problems and opportunities, this paper takes a closer look at the company’s current SWOT analysis, provided by GlobalData. In addition, strategic recommendations will be made for the company’s prolonged growth.

Amazon Inc.
A company’s market driven strategy “mandates more effective integration of activities and processes that impact customer value” (Cravens & Piercy, 2009). As well as a consistent market driven strategy, an organization must be creative and innovative in order to compete in the global marketplace. Amazon, Inc. has developed an inventive marketing strategy through the use of the Internet. By becoming pioneers in the e-commerce marketplace, the company has transformed retail. Amazon Inc. should evaluate their corporate and marketing strategies to make use of all available resources. The company has experienced some marketing failures but can still take advantage of existing marketing opportunities. In the 9th Edition of the text Strategic Marketing, Cravens & Piercy write, “corporate strategies are concerned with how the company can achieve its growth objectives in current or new business areas” (Cravens & Piercy, 2009). When building the framework for a competitive corporate strategy, an organization must first decide the corporate vision. During the summer of 1994, Internet usage showed promising growth. A reported statistic of 2,300% yearly growth encouraged Jeff Bezos, then Senior Vice President for D.E. Shaw & Co., to quit his job and concentrate on a way to gainfully use this information. His long term vision for his company was to revolutionize retail by creating “the earth’s biggest online retail store, where everyone could buy anything and everything” (Kargar, 2003). To achieve this goal, Bezos conducted market research that led him to Seattle and directed him to choose selling books online as his main focus. The company was launched in 1995 and by the first quarter of 1996 reported sales revenues of $110 million. The company soon changed from a virtual bookstore into a virtual marketplace by entering new markets that included music, movies, electronics, toys, apparel, grocery and others. Years later in 2006 Amazon.com had become what some called a model of “the next-generation Internet-based business” (Isckia, 2009). That same year the company introduced their new endeavor, Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), that offered cheap computing power over the Internet. Many believed Bezos’ unconventional wisdom took the company further away from its core vision. However, a closer examination of Bezos creative mindset reveals more of the organization’s well developed corporate philosophy and structure. Moving beyond book selling, the launch of EC2 and Simple Storage Service (S3) are examples of achievements towards the corporate vision. Amazon has been able to implement objectives in the areas of product quality improvement and new-product targets. Cravens and Piercy note that “a key strategy issue is matching capabilities to market opportunities” (Cravens & Piercy, 2009). Transforming Amazon.com into more than just a retail operation has given the organization the capability to “compete in different markets, provide significant valued to end user customers, and...
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