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In this assignment, you will determine the major strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats associated with your chosen organisation. From here, you will also determine which target market/s are the most pertinent to their future marketing operations. Include all stakeholders who may be fundamental to your organisation's operation and future growth; however, focus on the target market/s that you feel are best suited to fulfilling the organisation's vision/goals.
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Companies offering financial services are rife with challenges which make their product and services marketing, specifically delicate (Stringfellow, 2016). Customers rely on these companies for monetary support, financial support and their future making trust as a key component of the marketing relationship. The financial sector in New Zealand has undergone dramatic changes since 1984, resulting in the removal of direct controls (Statistics New Zealand, 2000). Such deregulation created registered banks and other financial institutions that offer banking and its subset services, mortgaging and financing and brokering. Financial and insurance services are a large player in New Zealand’s economy – in the year ending March 2015, the sector contributed $12.6bn to GDP, nearly 6% (NewZealand Now, 2017). There are 25 registered banks and numerous financial institutions established in New Zealand. Hence, marketing has a crucial role to play from zeroing on a target market to communicating the end product to users (Slater, 2015). This report explores finance Now, one of the financial institutions operated locally in New Zealand with the analysis of its external and internal environment, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) and identifying its stakeholders and the target market which best fulfils its organisational vision.
Since its inception in 2000, finance Now offers personal, quick, hassle-free financial products and services catering to the needs of over 320,000 Kiwis (Finance Now, 2017a). Finance Now is 100% owned and managed by the SBS (Southland Banking Society), one of the registered banks of New Zealand which is in operation from 1869 with assets worth $2.8 billion (Matthews & Oliver, 2013). It adopts a mutual ownership structure in which its customers are also its owners. It has subsidiaries that provide insurance, personal finance, managed funds and financial advisory services. Being its subsidiary, finance Now has developed a range of financial solutions ranging from retail to personal loans (secured or unsecured) to business solutions. Its offerings are considered as an alternative to large high-street banks through its lending decisions based on customers’ ability to pay and their credit history (Finance Now, 2017a). Finance Now offers Credit Sales facility to over 1500 retailers (Appendix A). It also has dedicated area managers and a retailer support centre that provide seven-day assistance to its retail members.
Finance Now is the associate member of Financial Services Federation (FSF) and operates in compliance with its code of conduct. It is also a participant of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme, offering customers free services for unresolved issues. It acts as a responsible lender, and its lending decisions are obligatory. It is a licensed Qualifying Financial Entity (QFE) and hence regulated by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and subject to the professional conduct of advisers (Finance Now, 2015)
Their product portfolio includes personal finance, car finance, retail finance, business finance, eMoney, Marble finance and finance Now card. Finance Now offers secured and unsecured loans to various consumer requirements such as a new car, holiday, home renovations and urgent repairs. Interest rates for personal loans range from 12.95% to 29.95% per annum (Finance Now, 2017c). The repayment amount is inclusive of an application fee of $250 and a monthly service fee of $1.95 per month. It also offers payment protection insurance (PPI) as an optional measure. For car loan financing, finance Now charges $495 for application and $1.50 per month as service fee (Finance Now, 2017b). It offers attractive credit options through its partnership with retailers having an application fee of $55 and a service fee of $1.75 per month for repayments (Finance Now, 2017f).
Finance Now has an instant online facility to check for retail credit eligibility and pre-approval. It provides instant credit approval for retail finance through mobile SMS called TXT Xpress. Finance Now offers specialised business equipment (Appendix B) purchase and rental finance to limited liability companies, prime corporate, sole traders/partnerships, trusts, charitable trusts, and incorporated societies (Finance Now, 2017e). In terms of customer support, finance Now offers eMoney to manage finances anytime 24/7 and anywhere through free text balances, email statements, payment reminders and sign up (Finance Now, 2017g). Marble Finance is the brand of finance Now created through its partnership with the Warehouse Group to offer personal loan at competitive interest rates, suitable payments and amount transfer within 24 hours of approval (Finance Now, 2017h)