Microsoft Corporation is an American technology company whose headquarters are in Redmond, Washington. The company specializes in the sale and manufacture of computer software, consumer electronics, services, and personal computers. Some of the most popular products manufactured by Microsoft include Microsoft Windows operating systems, Microsoft Office Suite, Internet Explorer, Xbox Video Consoles, and the Microsoft Surface tablets.
Microsoft Inc. started its operations in 1975, following its establishment by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. As of 2016, the company was the world’s largest software maker regarding revenue. It was also a triple A (AAA) rated company by both Standards and Poor and Moody, and one of the most valuable company is in the World. The company’s current CEO is Satya Nadella, and John W. Thompson is the Chairman. Bill Gates is now the company’s technology advisor (Microsoft).
Product or Services
Some of the most popular services manufactured by Microsoft include Microsoft Office Suite, Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, Xbox Video consoles and Microsoft Surface tablets. This paper focuses on the New Xbox One X and Microsoft new gaming services/studios. The Xbox One X is a high-end console that is mainly targeted at serious gamers. This console enables 4K video, which improves visual quality and performance of video games. Despite Microsoft deciding to stop putting too much efforts in the video games business segment, its renewed efforts signify the management’s efforts to restore gaming to the forefront at Microsoft (Wingfield).
One major shift being made by Microsoft is how it makes its earnings from the gaming segment. Since the introduction of the Xbox, the company has diversified its source of revenues from just the sale of Xbox machines to the generation of revenue from games, subscriptions, and related services. Additionally, Microsoft also looks at opportunities that can be gotten from the expansion of Xbox Live online usage, eSports, and streaming. Due to the changed focus, Microsoft had a 21 percent growth in software and services in the third quarter of 2017, but the sales in hardware declines. In 2018, the hardware sales are expected to rise due to the introduction of the new $500 Xbox One X (Bass).
The gaming segment remains an important line of Microsoft operations. This segment is supported by the company’s introduction of the Xbox One X and its recent decision to concentrate in the development of gaming software (Wingfield). In 2017, Microsoft gaming revenue rose by 8 percent due to the increased hardware sales, which were caused by the introduction of the Xbox One X. Bass notes that Microsoft change of focus to the development of Xbox software and services helped the company to increase its software and revenue growth by 21 percent in the third quarter.
The marketing strategy informs the business on how it will reach its target market and convert individuals into customers of the products and services that it sells. The marketing strategy for Xbox One X will be determined by the product, price, place, promotion, and people. The manner in which these elements will affect the sale of Xbox One X is discussed below.
Product: The Xbox One X is a sophisticated gaming machine that is targeted at hard-core gamers. The console can play games with 4K videos; it has a high-resolution capability and enhanced performance. Due to these features, there is much demand for the product.
Price: The Xbox One X retails at $500, which is slightly higher than that of its main competitor the PS4 Pro, which costs $399.99.
Place: Microsoft will sell the Xbox One X on its website. It will also allow other distributors and retailers to sell this product on their platforms. The recommended retail price will be $500.
Promotion: The Company will make online advertisements on social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter). It will also advertise on YouTube and other online marketing websites. Additionally, there will be targeted advertisements on television stations.
People: Microsoft will have a dedicated team of software engineers who will specialize in the development and improvement of the Xbox One X. There will also be marketers and sales personnel who will promote the product.
Marketing Control Steps and Actions
Microsoft will use a systematic marketing control process. This control process will be categorized into four steps that will ensure it is effectively applied. The four steps of marketing are discussed below.
The primary purpose of the company’s marketing efforts will be to increase the awareness of the availability of the Xbox One X and also to increase its sale. Accordingly, billboards, targeted advertisements through the television, and social media marketing will be used.
Microsoft’s quality control department will regularly test the quality of each manufactured Xbox One X. This process will ensure that all the consoles meet the specifications and customers’ expectations.
Compare Results Against Set Standards
The comparison of the marketing results against the standards set by the company, and also the performance of the consoles against their expected standards will help the company know areas that should be improved. In this case, Microsoft will realize its marketing weaknesses and correct them. It will also realize any faults in the console’s hardware and rectify it.
Correction and Alterations.
The correction and alteration process will simply be done to rectify any weaknesses in achieving the established standards.
Operating Control Steps and Actions
The operating control process will be essential in ensuring that all the processes from the production to the delivery of the Xbox One X console are done according to plan. There will be 4 operating control steps, which are routing, scheduling, dispatching, and follow-up. Each of these processes is discussed below.
This process will help in establishing a systematic method of converting all the raw materials into finished products. In this stage, Microsoft will decide on the number of Xbox One X that be manufactured. It will also allocate resources, such as machines and personnel, to be involved in the design, manufacturing, and testing of the consoles. Additionally, the company will decide on the place of production.
Scheduling will enable Microsoft to make optimal use of its time by helping the company to coordinate its activities better. In this case, the company will be able to prioritize its manufacturing operations, fix the amount to be done, and also establish various starting and completion days. Accordingly, scheduling will make Microsoft more efficient by eliminating idle capacity.
The dispatching step will initiate the process of production. In this case, employees will be able to use the established route-sheets and schedules to perform their tasks. This process will entail allocation of resources necessary for production, issuance of instructions, record keeping, and control of all activities in the company.
This process will entail the measurement of the actual performance against the established standards. The information from this assessment will be used in removing bottlenecks limitations, and delays in the production process. Accordingly, follow-up will ensure there is a smooth production process.
Strategic Control Steps and Action
The strategic control will be important in enabling Microsoft to remain focused on its main objectives during the marketing of the Xbox One X. The strategic control will have six steps, which are discussed below:
Determining what to control
Strategic control will help Microsoft will prioritize its objectives. In particular, the company will ensure that all its Xbox One X meet their specifications. It will also ensure that all the advertisements and marketing tactics are implemented according to the set standards.
Set control standards.
In all organizational processes, errors always occur. The establishment of controls will help the company to establish the tolerance limits. The establishment of standards will be essential in enabling Microsoft to achieve its marketing objectives.
The measuring of Microsoft’s performance will be essential in identifying how the company’s actual performance compared with the established standards. In marketing, the data will be derived from PIMS (profit impact of marketing strategy) program and will help us know the impact of Microsoft’s marketing efforts.
Compare Performance to Standards
The comparison of Microsoft’s actual performance to the established standards will help the company identify weaknesses on its part or those that are beyond its control. In some cases, environmental conditions can result in changes that can be accepted.
Determine reasons for deviation
The determination of the reasons for deviation will be important in enabling Microsoft to improve its marketing efforts. In this case, Microsoft will know whether its standards are appropriate if its objectives are appropriate in enabling it to achieve its goals, and whether the company’s structure is appropriate for it to achieve its objectives. In particular, Microsoft will be able to establish appropriate corrective efforts based on the reasons that the company will realize for the deviations.
Taking Corrective Action
The final strategic control will be Microsoft taking corrective action based on its performance. In this case, the company will determine whether to revise its standards, correct its performance, or do nothing. Notably, these decisions will be informed by the reasons why the standards were not met.
Bass, Dina. Video Game Software. Bloomberg, 7 Nov., 2017, www.bloombergquint.com/markets/2018/02/28/all-you-need-to-know-going-into-trade-on-feb-28. Accessed 23rd February 2017.
Microsoft. Our Company. 2018. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/about/company. Accessed 23rd February 2017.
Wingfield, Nick. “Microsoft Sales Lifted by Cloud Computing.” The New York Times. 31 Jan. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/01/31/technology/microsoft-cloud-computing.html. Accessed 23rd February 2017.