M&S Global Marketing Report

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Marks and Spencer/ M&S Global Marketing Report Plan

Executive Summary

Marks and Spencer (M&S) is among UK’s largest retailers commanding over 21 million customers who visit their stores every week. Extending their international business is the leading corporate objective of Marks and Spencer. This report structures an international marketing plan for Marks and Spencer in Canada. The plan is extending their retail operations from the UK to Canada and will incorporate the creation of a successful marketing mix guided by the target customers marketing mix analysis. The report will conduct both internal and external industry market environment analysis in an attempt to gain a competitive advantage against both domestic and global rivals. Also, the report will analyze both standardization and adaptation principle that will guide Marks and Spencer in entering the Canadian market. Further, this report will introduce the history of M&S together with its different market segments and analyze how the company can enter Canada market in a competitive mode. A Student Sample: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW


The unique and exceptional retailing formula of Marks and Spencer is making the company expand in the world market. Formed in 1884, M&S has grown to become one of the leading retailers in the United Kingdom (Interactivemap.marksandspencer.com, 2018). The rise of technology has impacted greatly in the retail industry forcing companies to adopt the right technologies in which they can compete. The main focus of this report is establishing a successful foreign market entry strategy regarding the marketing mix applicable to Canada market. Canada creates an attractive market environment for foreign companies due to its friendly political, economic, technological, demographic factors. The fact that M&S owns two food companies in Canada means that the company will need to focus more on exporting clothes to the market. Standardization and adaptation of the marketing mix is another global marketing program that will help M&S enter Canada market in a competitive and successful manner. The decision to enter into the Canadian retail market by M&S management is supported by some reasons such as unique business culture and potential new markets within the country. This report presents Marks and Spencer marketing report plan of entering Canada market with a clear guide of the foreign market entry strategies that the management of M&S should use to become successful and gain a competitive advantage in both the UK and Canada retail markets.

Internal Analysis

Overview of the Company

Marks and Spencer was founded in the year 1884 and has since then grown into a great brand. M&S is among the UK’s largest and leading retailers. The company runs its retail business in over 41 countries globally whereby the UK is its primary market with about 76,000 personnel domestically. M&S deals with food, online services, clothing, home, and financial services. Globally, M&S is considered as UK’s leading multinational retailer and owns over 1,382 stores worldwide (Marks and Spencer, 2018, p. 100). Domestically, the company has 914 retail stores of which 22 are owned, 349 are franchised food stores, and 302 full line clothing and an e-commerce platform used by over 33 million customers globally. M&S maintains premium pricing throughout its advertising and investments.

Domestic Marketing Mix

In the process of analyzing foreign market entry strategies by M&S, some marketing theories are applied. The marketing mix of M&S in the UK market comprises of the 7Ps of marketing which include the price, product, promotion, place, people, process, and physical presence.

Product: Marks and Spencer’s main retail products include clothes, groceries, furniture, and home equipment. These product portfolios for M&S cover a wide range of target market composing of children, men, and women. In particular, the different company clothing such as pumps, loafers, heels, handbags, sunglasses, twiggy, suits, and jumpers. Home and furniture equipment include accessories, living room furniture, and lightings.

Promotion:  Domestically, M&S chooses its product marketing strategy properly to align its advertisement campaigns with stores and digital campaigns strategy. The company uses TV ads, social media, print media, mobile ads, and the company’s website through blogs. The use of M&S website helps promote clothes for ladies, children, and men. Both existing and new customers access blogs and new fashion tips and offers from the website.

People: Marks and Spencer own more than 1000 retail stores in more than 50 different countries. The employee strength is around 85,000 globally in which 90% of the personnel are based in the UK. The management has established excellent human resource policies which enable the company pays great attention to the staff. M&S follows a competitive remuneration policy as an approach to employees’ retention. Employees enjoy an attractive commission on products sold both online and in store.

Price: The Company uses a competitive pricing strategy when marketing its product portfolio. Due to the premium quality of its brands, M&S use a medium to high prices. Since customers have a wide range of options to make a choice, the company is forced to adopt a competitive pricing strategy. Increased competition from big retailers and other online retailers makes the company follow a dynamic pricing strategy.

Place: The main distribution channel of M&S Company is online methods which are readily available for international delivery. The brand of M&S commands over 1000 stores in over 50 countries whose major businesses are in the UK. The website of the company offers a perfect distribution channel for the company in which customers can purchase online using local currency and get home delivery.

Physical appearance: Marks and Spencer have 999 online retail stores across the UK market. Further, the company has diversified its retail services to over 50 world countries. Domestically, the company has over 85,000 employees and sells a wide range of home accessories, furniture, and clothes to the customers. These things form the physical evidence of the company.

Process: Domestically, M&S stores are found in sub urban zones and malls. These mall stores are attractive, properly arranged, and beautiful. The stores are divided into different sections such as furniture, food, lightings, and clothes by floors and will check out tills displayed on every floor to assist customers’ access the right services.

Company Goals

Marks and Spencer has both domestic (UK based) and global company goals. The company aspires to make high quality brand accessible to all customers using the SMART approach:

Specific: The Company is committed to creating special moments for its customers through delivery of high quality home products and home food its stores both in the UK and globally.

Measurable: M&S seeks to concentrate on improving its competitiveness both locally and internationally through target setting.

Achievable: The Company’s goal of establishing a new brand in Canada is achievable since it has sufficient resources to implement and market the cloth brand to the target market.

Realistic: The objective of enhancing delivery of high quality brand to customers to reap high profits and customers’ needs is realistic and achievable.

Timely: Marks and Spencer goals are made on a set time frame. The goal of opening a new retail store in Canada is time-bound until 2030 and the management sticks to the time set.

Industry-wise, M&S goal is improving its competitiveness both locally and globally. A Student Sample: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

External Analysis of the International Market

This part examines both the micro and macro business environment analysis of Canada, the country which Marks and Spencer seek to go global and market its retail products.

External Macro Analysis

Political forces: Canada has a stable government whose political interference in business is less and establishes friendly policies with governments from other countries. There is a healthy business relationship between the government of Canada and that of the United Kingdom, and this favors M&S in expanding their retail business to Canada (Marks and Spencer, 2018, p. 120).

Economic forces: Based on gross domestic products and net per capita income, Canada has a strong economy that favors international business. According to tradingeconomics.com. (2018), Canada offers a favorable exchange rate that favors the UK base currency, and this makes it the most attractive country as compared to South Africa. Also, Canada provides friends interest rates and experiences minimal inflation rates from external market forces.

Social-cultural forces: Canada offers an excellent social, cultural business environment for M&S due to its high population that provides a large purchasing power from the large market. According to tradingeconomics.com. (2018), most people in Canada are employed, and this raises the buyer power for the retail products that M&S seeks to export.

Technological forces: Canada is a developed country, and this makes it technologically strong. In Canada, e-commerce is highly emphasized, and this favor the UK based company since most of its retail products and services are advertised and sold on its website. Also, Canada allows online advertising an approach that favors M&S since the company relies on technology as a medium of marketing.

Demographic factors: The high population in Canada provides a larger market for M&S retail products. Demography of the country is composed of men, women, and kids who form a varied market base for both local and international companies. Also, there is a longer life expectancy in the Canadian market, and this encourages the government to allow global marketing.

Micro Environment Analysis

Suppliers: According to Quora.com. (2018), Marks and Spenser own two food factories in Canada. This means that M&S needs to focus on a different retail service such as clothing, housing, or in furniture equipment. The supply of a different commodity gives the company an edge to exploit the market and gain more profits.

Consumers: The consumers of M&S retail clothing products include women, men, and kids. These age groups are composed of middle-high class customers within the Canada market who offer the company a perfect market for its retail services.

Competitors: According to Quora.com. (2018), Canada government has established healthy business relationships with different countries, and this has attracted many foreign retail companies in their country. As a result, M&S faces stiff completion from Farm Boy, Costco, Foodex, and Co-op Atlantic who operate in the same industry.

Employees: As prior stated, M&S already has two retail stores in Canada. The company hires citizens of Canada to run their day to day retail business. Hiring Canada people portray that M&S cares and value the welfare of Canada. Expanding clothing business to Canada will call for management to recruit more Canadians that the UK People.

Shareholders: M&S has proven competitive and highly profitable business in Canada through its already two established retail stores in the country. Canada capital market provides a higher return on investment to M&S as compared to the rival companies. There are increased shareholders wealth maximization as well as customer services.

Global Market Strategy

Market entry strategy

There are various foreign market entry strategies that M&S can use when entering Canada’s market. These alternatives vary regarding cost, risk, and the rate of control. The potential Canada market entry strategies for M&S include:

Rebranding: This market entry strategy requires M&S to rebrand its name before expanding to Canada to fit in the culture of the country and avoid committing any mistake done in the last two ventures. M&S need to create a new name for the clothes to export in Canada in the form of the brand name, design, and logo in a differentiated manner that captures the mind of Canadian consumers.

Specialized outlets Focus: The management of M&S needs to focus on some specialized outlets instead of several to avoid making losses as they try to diversify in the Canadian market. Since the company has already established two retail stores in Canada, it should now specialize in venturing in only clothes to exploit all market opportunities left unexploited by the competing companies.

Aggressive advertising: The marketing management of M&S needs to enhance brand awareness to the people of Canada who is the main target market for the company. The company needs to advertise their retail clothes aggressively offers to the customers via Televisions, Radios, and company website blogs. Persuasive advertising in the global arena will make customer becomes well familiarized with the brand hence success.

Target customer segmentation

M&S is concerned about all age group people within the target market that love cloths to wear and look smart. The chosen customer segmentation is based on gender, age, behavior, and lifestyle of the customers. Fashion is also another factor that M&S consider when selling internationally to Canada. M&S targets lovers of fashion who are the youth and teenagers. At this point, M&S will become more profitable since purchasing power by consumers is high (Hohenthal et al., 2014, p. 15). Customer wise, clothing is men’s and women’s favorite regarding skirt, suits, jumpers, boots, and handbags. Also, age matters to M&S, and this makes the management target teenagers because they are trendy and love new fashions of blouses, jeans, and other new apparel. A Student Sample: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

Global Marketing Programme

Standardization v. Adaptation of Marketing Mix

There are numerous challenges that a company face when going global and selling its products in the international market. In “What you need to know about South Africa’s middle class,” 2018, these failures result from lack of proper understanding of how adaptation and standardization global marketing strategies work. Standardization states that there is a union of cultures with similar environmental and customer demands in the whole world. On the other side, adaptation school of thought states that when entering a foreign market a company must consider all environmental factors and constraints such as culture, language, the standard of living, and climate.

With this understanding, M&S needs to use the adaptation global marketing programme to adapt its global business operations with the domestic marketing business factors and constraints. Nearly the business environment factors and constraints witnessed in Canada are the same to the ones in the UK, and this will enable the company adapts easily to the foreign market. Canada has more flexible with prices and is considered to give foreign companies stable economic environment under which the management will have freedom in setting their product prices (Ang, Benischke, and Doh, 2015, p. 30). This necessitates a proper familiarization with Canadian business culture and language by M&S before going to run business in the country. Therefore, the management of M&S should adapt to Canadian culture, language, business environment, products, and customer services when operating within the country.


Marks and Spencer is one Company that has managed to understand the benefits of adaptation and standardization global marketing strategies. Foreign market entry by a business requires a proper analysis of the target market, its segmentation, and positioning. A company must formulate both industrial and customer oriented objectives when going global to maximize profitability and customer services. The understanding of business environment helps the management of a company formulate the right policies and strategies of performing in the market. Conducive business environment coupled with proper management gives a company a competitive edge against the rivals hence enabling a company thrives both domestically and internationally. The existence of a proper business relationship between two countries offers a perfect opportunity for global business. However, diversifying a company’s operations from domestic market to international market is not easy, and requires the employment of effective marketing strategies such as company website, TV ads, and the social media. The understanding of marketing theories such as 7Ps of marketing mix contributes to proper strategizing by a company on how to go global, and this helps in winning the global market in an easy way. Therefore, M&S should expand its retail business operations to Canada using adaptation strategy due to its friendly business environment and business constraints that match the UK business culture. A Student Sample: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW


Ang, S.H., Benischke, M.H. and Doh, J.P., 2015. The interactions of institutions on foreign market entry mode. Strategic Management Journal36(10), pp.1536-1553.

Hohenthal, J., Johanson, J. and Johanson, M., 2014. Network knowledge and business-relationship value in the foreign market. International Business Review23(1), pp.4-19.

Interactivemap.marksandspencer.com. (2018). Map. [online] Available at: https://interactivemap.marksandspencer.com/ [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].

Marks and Spencer. 2018. Key Facts. [ONLINE] Available at: https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/aboutus/key-facts. [Accessed 13 February 2018].

Tradingeconomics.com. (2018). Canada Unemployment Rate | 1966-2018 | Data | Chart | Calendar | Forecast. [online] Available at: https://tradingeconomics.com/canada/unemployment-rate [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].

Quora.com. (2018). Is Canada a free market economy?. [online] Available at: https://www.quora.com/Is-Canada-a-free-market-economy [Accessed 15 Feb. 2018].

What you need to know about South Africa’s middle class. 2018. What you need to know about South Africa’s middle class. [ONLINE] Available at: https://businesstech.co.za/news/banking/123511/what-you-need-to-know-about-south-africas-middle-class/. [Accessed 13 February 2018].




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