The successful marketing of a product or service requires an organization to understand the prevailing environment conditions in its target market. Specifically, a company needs to understand the external and internal factors present in the marketing environment. This writer worked in the marketing department of the Nilufer Company in Turkey. The company has multiple products, but this writer worked in the construction department marketing glass. The marketing experience was an eye-opener for this writer. Additionally, the internship experience challenged this writer to understand how a company like Nilufer perceives its target market and therefore, plans its marketing activities accordingly. This research paper will investigate external factors affecting glass marketing in Turkey.
Identify the main external environmental factors that a company like Nilufer needs to consider when marketing its products.
What are the main external factors affecting the marketing of glass in Turkey?
This paper will use a qualitative method of study, where evidence will be gathered from existing literature sources. From such sources, the paper gets an understanding of the demand, supply, and competitive forces in the market. Additionally, the paper will create an understanding of what Nilufer can do in order to successfully market its products.
Turkey’s glass industry is discussed at length in the literature. It has been argued that the demand for glass is bolstered by the construction industry (Punt 6). The construction industry uses high quality glass, thus meaning that glass marketers who target the construction industry have to ensure that their products meet superior product quality standards.
Literature sources further indicate that the glass industry in Turkey has shown significant improvement in the past decade. For example, production of glass has been enhanced by 285%, while the demand for glass has gone up by 226%. Glass exports have also marked a tenfold increase in the last decade (Turkey Company Laws 247). Interestingly, Turkey also imports glass even as some of its manufacturers of glass export their products to outside markets. The foregoing observation means that Nilufer Company faces competition from imported products.
The largest producer and marketer of glass in Turkey is Sis ve Cam Fabrikalari Toplulugu (SISECAM) (Theoces 1). It is said that SISECAM produces 80% to 90% of all glass in Turkey (Theoces 1). To realize such a high production capacity, the company has invested in twenty manufacturing establishments. SISECAM has two marketing companies which handle the marketing of glass in and outside Turkey (Turkey Company Laws 247).
SISECAM’s main competitive advantage is that it is the only producer and marketer of flat glass in Turkey. Additionally, it has wide sales services and an intensive glass production technology. Moreover, the company has accumulated glass technology knowledge over the years and as a result, it is rated as one of the best manufacturers of quality glass. For Nilufer and other emerging companies, the glass market in Turkey still has opportunities that can be effectively utilized.
Major opportunities in Turkey’s glass industry are found in household items and glass containers (Turkey Company Laws 247). Glass household items include tumblers, shot glasses, beer mugs, and wine glasses among other products. Tinted, sand-blasted, enamelled and safety glasses are also niche glass product categories, which are facing a deficit in production (Turkey Company Laws 247).
An analysis of external factors affecting the marketing of glass
External factors in marketing include issues in both the microenvironment and macroenvironment (Curtis and Williams 242). The components of a microenvironment include those things that are in close proximity to the company. They include: suppliers, customers, competitors, resellers, government and the public (Curtis and Williams 242). The extent to which suppliers can bargain with the company has an effect on the production price and ultimately, on the sale price.
Customer choice and behaviour can also affect marketing in that some customers are loyal to a product and cannot be convinced to purchase an alternative product. Others customers are trend setters and will embrace new and different products. Still, other consumers seek quality products that fit well into their tastes and preferences (Curtis and Williams 240).
Competitors also affect marketing based on several things, which include market share, pricing, and marketing approaches. SISECAM is, for example, a formidable competitor to Nilufer. SISECAM accounts for 90% of Turkey’s glass production, and as such, has a larger market share compared to Nilufer. Consequently, Nilufer finds it hard to penetrate markets where SISECAM has already commanded a loyal consumer base. Additionally, SISECAM has been marketing glass for longer than Nilufer, and resultantly, has succeeded in obtaining a higher production capacity. Its enhanced marketing capacity is evident in its many product categories and marketing companies, which pose a major competitive challenge to Nilufer.
Resellers/distributors also affect marketing because they act as the link between the manufacturer and the consumer. Resellers/distributors can use a price mark-up that makes the product costly compared to other competing products in the market (Curtis and Williams 240). They can also create delays whereby, consumers do not get products in good time. The foregoing situation would occur if resellers/distributors do not place product orders to the manufacturer in good time.
Government policies are also a micro environment factor that affects the marketing of products such as glass (Curtis and Williams 240). Notably, Turkey allows glass imports into the country, and this poses additional competition to the local glass industry. In spite of the foregoing, the government supports the glass industry (e.g. by arranging for international and local fairs where manufacturers and consumers can meet). The foregoing support from the government creates new networks, which glass manufacturers and marketers use to get into new markets.
Finally, the public also affects how marketing is done. In Turkey, companies have a responsibility not only to their customers and employees, but also to the larger public (Turkey Company Laws 249). Specifically, glass marketing companies are required to ensure that none of their production or marketing activities harm the environment, or the people at large. It is also perceived as a good corporate practice for companies to have corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, where the company is generally expected to ‘give back to the community’. Ideally, CSR is handled under public relations, and in marketing, CSR is supposed to ensure that the company’s actions and policies are perceived as ethical, morally acceptable and beneficial to all stakeholders involved.
The components of a macroenvironment of a company like Nilufer, on the other hand consists of factors such as: Demographic, economic, technological, political, legal, social and cultural factors
Demographic factors affect marketing because they determine the population size that is interested in a specific product or service (Curtis and Williams 242). If Nilufer, for example, targets the construction industry, its marketing would be affected by the percentage of developers who are willing to use glass in construction. If it targets selling utensils made from glass, its marketing strategy would be affected by the percentage of people in Turkey and other of its target markets, who are starting new families and thus equipping their kitchens for the first time, and/or existing families who want to buy new kitchen ware for their families’ use.
Economic factors such as increases in fuel costs are likely to affect the production cost of glass, meaning that glass marketers may have to adjust their prices to cover for the increased costs of production (Yurdagul and Orcan 6). Price increases affect marketing because customers may decide to seek cheaper alternatives, or order less glass products.
Technological factors also influence marketing in that manufacturers have to invest in technology in order to enhance the production of quality products (Curtis and Williams 242). It has been noted that SISECAM has technologically superior production facilities. Arguably, Nilufer has to use similar or better technology if it is to successfully compete with SISECAM.
Political and legal factors also affect marketing in that sound marketing decisions have to be made in consideration of prevailing legal benchmarks (Curtis and Williams 242). Additionally, the political ideologies of the government have to be taken into consideration. For example, Nilufer and other glass manufacturers and marketers in Turkey have to consider the political position of the government on such issues as bilateral trade. Some bilateral trade agreements intend to enhance competitiveness in the local market by opening up the economy to new players from other countries.
Finally, social and cultural factors affect the market’s macroenvironment, especially because modern marketing is expected to be socially and culturally responsible (Curtis and Williams 242). Ideally, such responsibilities mean that marketers need to promote products and services that provide value to the consumers, and which are culturally acceptable. Considering that nudity is not culturally or socially acceptable in Turkey for example, Nilufer would have to steer away from any expressions of nudity in their different glass products.
From the literature review section above it would appear that marketing of glass by Nilufer Company is affected by multiple factors in the external environment. From a microenvironment perspective, marketing is affected by suppliers, customers, competitors, resellers, government and the public. From the macroenvironment perspective on the other hand, it appears that marketing is affected by factors such as social, cultural, political, economic, technological, and demographic factors.
Ideally, the marketing department in Nilufer should be well aware of the aforementioned factors when developing its marketing strategy. This writer now understands why Nilufer did some of the things it did. For example, the company chose to concentrate on niche markets, with its unique product offers. Understandably, the foregoing might have been informed by the competitive pressure found in its macroenvironment.
This paper investigates the external factors affecting marketing of glass in Turkey. The paper emphasizes the marketing of glass because this writer’s industrial attachment was in Nilufer Company, where the writer’s main responsibilities were related to marketing. From the paper, it is clear that the external environment contains factors that Nilufer and other glass manufacturing and marketing companies need to consider when developing their marketing strategies.
Specifically, this paper provides insight into specific factors that glass marketing companies need to understand during marketing strategy development. Additionally, marketing companies need to constantly be updated on all factors during strategy implementation, since a change in any of those factors can affect the entire marketing environment.
Curtis, Tony and John Williams. CIM Course book 08/09 Marketing Management in Practice. New York: Routledge, 2012. Print.
Punt, Trevor. Glass Market Intelligence Report. Bolton: ISPY Publishing, 2013. Print.
Theoces, Larry. “Glass Industry in Turkey.” Study Mode. Feb. 2011.
Turkey Company Laws. Turkey Company Laws and Regulations Handbook. London: Int’l Business Publications, 2008. Print.
Yurdagul, Bulent and Cenk Orcan. “In It To Win It: Turkish Equities – Facing a New Competitive Landscape.” HSBC Global Research, 2011.