Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: November 16, 2017
Marketing Strategy of Merrill Lynch analyses the brand with the marketing mix framework which covers the 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion). There are several marketing strategies like product innovation, pricing approach, promotion planning etc. These business strategies, based on Merrill Lynch marketing mix, help the brand succeed in the market.
Merrill Lynch marketing strategy helps the brand/company to position itself competitively in the market and achieve its business goals & objectives.
Let us start the Merrill Lynch Marketing Strategy & Mix to understand its product, pricing, advertising & distribution strategies:
The product strategy and mix in Merrill Lynch marketing strategy can be explained as follows:
Merrill Lynch is one of the leading financial institutions based out of USA and serving customers worldwide. The products in its marketing mix include financial and advisory services to the clients, which it fulfils through its profound resources and global expanse. It serves mainly big firms in both US markets and the international waters.
The services provided by Merrill Lynch can be categorized as follows:
Merger and Acquisitions: Merrill Lynch offers advice and guidance to both buy side and sell side, through its dedicated team and vast pool of resources. It provides valuation to its clients.
Investment solutions: It offers solutions to its clients in terms of investments through debt and equity capital management, lending and trading options. Risk management services are also part of its solutions.
Raising capitals: It also offers advisory services for raising capital for both small and large firms through loan syndication and debt related solutions
Corporate Banking, Small business Banking
Management of assets, currencies, securities and derivatives for its clients
Auditory services: corporate and IT audits of the firms
Planning: Includes financial planning, allocation of fixed income, currency, commodity and Equity. Apart from these Merrill Lynch also takes advisory roles for restructuring, providing technological solutions, financial analysis, etc.
Merrill Lynch Price/Pricing Strategy:
Below is the pricing strategy in Merrill Lynch marketing strategy:
Merrill Lynch offers a wide range of services, and the firm majorly believes in gaining trusts of client through long term relationships.
Thus, the experience with Merrill Lynch, of any firm, is made as comfortable and open as possible. Clients are made aware of every query they may have. Dealing in B2B environment means, experience and knowledge are of utmost importance. Hence, the resources are wisely used and importance is given to each client relations. Variable pricing strategy is often adopted by Merrill Lynch. All the operations, deals and companies demand a unique set of talent and time from Merrill Lynch. Hence, the services offered are priced accordingly, with openness and trust as the major factor that counts. As Merrill Lynch offers financial solutions, the major goal of services are to increase the capital of the firm. Hence, for its own service, Merrill Lynch offers pricing which is beneficial to both the clients and the firm. Maintaining this balance, is major focus while signing any deal.
Following is the distribution strategy in the Merrill Lynch marketing mix:
The headquarter of the Merrill Lynch company is in New York, USA. The client bases are expanded over Asia, Africa, Middle East and European countries. Each of these places have a head quarter of their own. Together with headquarters, offices are made for the employees in countries with large and important clients. Total of around 700 offices are spread over 30+ cities all around the world. The brokers are involved in forming and finalizing deals. Merrill Lynch has its own brokers, who are dedicated and trained for the job.
Bank of America itself, provides a huge network base for the company.
Merrill Lynch Promotion & Advertising Strategy:
The promotional and advertising strategy in the Merrill Lynch marketing strategy is as follows:
Merrill Lynch uses many types of media to ensure the visibility of its brand. Being a b2b business, Merrill Lynch cannot benefit much from the advertisements. Although branding and developing client’s trust and maintaining relationships are important part of the promotional strategies it follows. Association with Bank of America is a huge turn on in favor of the branding of the company. The network base is also easily accessible through the parent brand. Huge successes with important clients are published exuberantly in the popular business magazines and newspapers. Thus, work speaks for itself is another promotional strategy, which works for companies in wealth and asset management. Merrill Lynch are also involved in content marketing. Also the information about services, updates on company and deals cracked are available on website, where the interested parties can visit and make a decision to approach. For b2b this is the main tact for promoting the services offered. Good deals offer a virtuous cycle, that pushes companies for further success. This is all the more reason that Merrill Lynch believes in forming a trustworthy long term relationships with its clients.
Since this is a service marketing brand, here are the other three Ps to make it the 7Ps marketing mix of Merrill Lynch.
The number of deals are the major evidence, that shows how a finance based company offering advisory role is performing. The number of loyal clients, maintained relationships, are also a clear indication of performance of company. Its evaluation in the market is dependent on the other companies’ valuation of their services. Hence, a loyal client base is important not just for deals but also a positive word of mouth. Millions of dollars, the company is trusted with, is one major differentiator of finance based industry, specially for asset management sector.
Merrill Lynch is administered and driven by employees across various domains, which are highlighted below:
Financial Advisors: The financial advisors are experts in their field who have been working with such firms from a long time and have gained enough experience to advise for managing the clients. These advisors are the face of the company, in front of clients. They offer the following services: Understanding the client, creating customized strategy, keeping the client on track
M&A deals: Mostly MBA graduates handle deals in merger and acquisitions, after careful valuation
Brokers: The company itself trains these brokers who confirms the deal. These can be found on LinkedIn or through personal contacts. They are the intermediaries between the initiation of deals and confirmations.
Auditors: Company also offers auditory services, to assess the opportunities for improvement of its clients, for this, specific roles are designated, who all are experts in their fields. They also give advices, to the company for improvement in financial and technological aspects.
Researchers: The data base required by clients is researched through experts and huge work force is included in assessing them, mainly based on the macroeconomic environment.
Merrill Lynch’s business has several business processes in place. The initial deals are set through brokers. Company’s past deals, the word of mouth from past clients, matters the most for initiation of the deals. After assessment of requirements, the prices are fixed and deal is confirmed. An assessment and some prior meetings are made to develop trust and relationships with the clients. The chief focus of such meetings is to understand the basic requirement and potential of client, be it for asset or wealth management, merger and acquisitions advices, risk management or restructuring of debt and equity. The client’s requirement are then carefully studied, then the researchers, look for the required data, available globally or through their own contacts and prepare an initial draft. Various points are valuated and strategy is formulated. The whole strategy is then confirmed with the client. The actions to be taken are discussed. Company basically offers an advisory job thus, final decisions are to be taken by the clients themselves. The actions are then advised by Merrill Lynch, which company pursue. Finally the deal is closed after the agreed upon conditions are fulfilled. Hence this highlights the marketing mix of Merrill Lynch.
About Merrill Lynch:
Merrill Lynch, previously a public owned company on New York Stock Exchange, is now a subsidiary of by Bank of America, which provides Financial services, dealing with wealth and asset management. Its main competitors are Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Its client bases are in major countries of Africa, Asia and Europe. The industry of Wealth management, is highly susceptible to the economic environments of the places it operates in.
Merrill Lynch currently deals with $2.2 trillion, including the wealth and assets of its clients. It earn the second highest revenues worldwide.
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