The 7Ps of Marketing that have Shot Toyota to the Top
When Toyota opened its first ever car dealership in California in 1957, it was a small importer no one had ever heard of. Today, Toyota is undoubtedly the American people’s car. But how did this Japanese carmaker rise from obscurity to prominence and visibility? An examination of how Toyota has executed the 7ps of marketing reveals the automaker’s success secrets. Read on to find out how they did it. Perhaps you might get an idea that ends up transforming your business.
It is hard to say that Toyota makes the best cars worldwide. What is not in doubt, though, is that they make high-quality, efficient vehicles that last long. The company never rests on its laurels. They are always researching to come up with better products that give consumers a continually improved user experience. Also, the company carries a plethora of different types of automobiles at different price points. The company consistently invests in innovation and new technologies, keeping the market well supplied with better, safer vehicles. Toyota carries a diversity of products. There are Toyota automobiles, Lexus automobiles, parts, accessories, Welcab series, and marine products. There is a product for everyone.
Toyota has a car for everyone. You can buy high-end vehicles if you want. Price-conscious customers can choose from the giant carmaker’s extensive variety of vehicles and still enjoy efficiency and high performance. The company develops a clear understanding of any market they intend to enter before they make a move. The purchasing power of the market is what determines the products they sell there as well as the pricing. In some countries, the majority of car buyers may buy more of the cheaper models. Anyone visiting such a nation might think Toyota makes cheap cars. But in the same market, one will also find expensive SUVs that showcase the company’s advanced auto manufacturing technologies. In a nutshell, Toyota produces both “economy” vehicles and top-of-the-range products, meeting the consumer’s mobility needs fully.
There are few places globally where you will not find Toyota vehicles. Mainly, the company distributes its cars through dealerships. Retailers also form an important part of the company’s well-organized distribution strategy. That said, it is at the dealerships where the majority of the auto sales happen. Retailers mostly buy and sell accessories and spare parts. Toyota has mammoth dealerships working for them in every corner of the world. Dealers leverage on the internet to push their products, and their success is evident. SBT Japan is one of the better-known dealers who sell their vehicles online.
Few companies rival Toyota when it comes to marketing communications. The company executes various effective promotional activities that aim at letting people know about the company and its products. Toyota uses:
- Personal selling
- Public relations
- Sales promotion
- Direct selling
Here is How the Business Handles Promotion
Personal selling happens at the dealerships. Here, the sales personnel engage prospective buyers, promoting the company’s products. The company advertises heavily on television, newspapers, and websites. The company’s Togethergreen program supporting environmental initiatives is an effective vehicle through which the automaker drives its public relations agenda. Toyota also runs a program called Meal Per Hour. Through it, the business donates food to feed the hungry and those in need. Such activities indirectly promote the brand. People are likely to form positive associations with the company after witnessing such acts of altruism.
Toyota has Tested Online Direct Sales System
The company has been testing a web-based system that hopefully reduces the time people spend at dealerships. If it succeeds, people will log in, select a product and have it delivered without needing to visit a physical dealership. That said, the system aims at strengthening dealerships not weakening them. Perhaps, salesmanship at the dealerships will take a hit.
The company remains committed to the lean manufacturing approach. Toyota abhors waste. A lesser company would have proceeded to something else after the roaring success this company has seen. The carmaker has no tolerance for waste and inefficiency. Anyone who wastes time, material or even scrap works for a different company, not Toyota. Their mantra seems to be “if it is working efficiently, make it work even better.” The result of such an approach to business management is enormous profits and perpetually sustainable operations.
Toyota values its people. The company continually trains and empowers its people. Their workforce possesses up-to-date knowledge in auto manufacturing technologies. Employees seeking a comfortable environment in which to grow their careers should look elsewhere. A culture of restlessness, challenges, and discomfort reigns. The company wants its workers to face their challenges and create practical solutions to deal with the problems. Toyota controls an army of solution-oriented employees. Most of their competitors are stuck with the typical problem-spotting workers. The people factor is perhaps the most critical factor as far as the company’s success secrets are concerned.
Efficiency without Good People Fails
Toyota is convinced that efficiency in the absence of the right people to drive it utterly fails. Here, people are more than “hands” that get things done. The company views them as knowledge workers who strive to attain Chie — knowledge or wisdom. Everyone’s ideas matter. Whether you are a C-suite employee or a factory-floor worker, the company values your ideas.
Like most people, you are aware of Toyota’s three-overlapping-ellipses logo. And it is not just another logo. It is a symbol that comes with loads of meaning. The ellipses are a symbol of the unification of Toyota’s products and their customers’ hearts. Also, the logo represents the company’s commitment to technological advancement as well as its limitless opportunities. The Toyota logo is unmistakable. There is little chance that a prospective buyer would confuse the brand with any other. Whenever the word Toyota gets mentioned, that meaning-packed emblem comes to mind.
Now, you understand what makes Toyota tick. What will you do with this knowledge after graduation? Implement it, of course, and get insanely rich. Or wait, and remain a mere spectator as others improve their situations.