Influences in the Marketing Environment that Inform the Marketing Mix

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Question 1b

Product Purchased – Toyota Camry

For the past 3 years, the author has owned and driven a Satria, a C-segment vehicle manufactured by the national car company of Malaysia, Proton. There was a need by the author, for a new vehicle that had to meet certain criteria’s, like pricing, build quality and functionality.

There are a lot of vehicles that fall into this segment but after careful consideration, the author settled for a purchase of a new Toyota Camry. This analysis will discuss the marketing mix that created an impact from the author’s perspective.

From the author’s dealings with Toyota, the company is predominantly production orientated. There is a big focus on manufacturing processes (collectively known as Toyota Production Systems), which is currently widely acknowledged and copied as one of the best in the world. Through the improvements in operations, lower costs would result as a consequence, and ultimately a portion of this is passed on to the customers, either through promotions such as free 100,000km warranty and spare parts discounts, or even through price-increase suppression based on rising commodity prices which affect material and production costs.

Consider the influences in the marketing environment that have informed the marketing mix created by the supplier to manage the exchange with you.

There were a few factors that swayed the decision of the author towards the Toyota Camry, rather than the closest competitor. These were:

• Service Centers: Toyota service centers are conveniently located to the author’s residence as well as workplace. On a day to day sequence of activities, balanced between work and chores, location of service centers is important to enable easy drop off, of vehicle for regular service intervals. The professionalism shown by the staff gives confidence to the author that they are able to perform the necessary maintenance or repairs. Toyota has always promoted their 3S dealerships, which in essence houses their Sales (showroom), Service and Spare parts center in 1 location. The design of the 3S dealerships give a warm and comfortable feeling which helps if the author decides to wait for the vehicle to be completed.

• Product Styling: The styling of the new Camry was, in the opinion of the author, the best when compared to the other vehicles in the same segment. The aerodynamics of the vehicle has always been touted in magazines and also on the internet motor vehicle forums as one of the more stylish designs available. There is also the option of adding on body styling kits which further enhance the appearance of the vehicle. The product was marketed as a vehicle that could satisfy both the young and middle-aged, in that when the vehicle is in stock form, the beauty of the vehicle is subtle, yet attracts attention. However, to the younger market, the availability of aftermarket Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) body kits really bring out the “wow” factor in the vehicle styling, thus making the vehicle attractive to the younger generation as well.

• Pricing: The author is of the opinion that today’s general public is willing to pay a little extra to ensure that the product or service that they are receiving will be of a high quality and standard. Toyota’s vehicles are not the cheapest when compared to other vehicles in the same range but perhaps at a 6%-8% premium1. From the author’s point of view, this premium is justified because of the quality of vehicle being purchased. Toyota also promoted discounts such as first 10 services are free of labor charges, 15% parts discount and free petrol vouchers worth RM2,000.00 (equivalent of about GBP320.00), which total up to a 5% reduction that will be realized over the span of ownership. From Toyota’s perspective, they are creating value to the customers, while at the same time, the costs for all these promotion items are already built into the product and parts pricing. From the...
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