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Analysis of Ernst & Young Marketing Strategy


Ernst & Young is an international firm that provides professional services to at least 140 nations for example the United Kingdom where it is headquartered, China, the United States, and South Africa; its major competitors include KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and Deloitte (, 2011).

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Business line

Ernst & Young provides international services in tax, assurance, advisory, and transactions, these lines of business assist the company in meeting client needs by retaining the confidence of the customer’s investors, risk management, strengthening controls, and potential realization (, 2011). The company also provides tax services to its clientele; these tax services are divided into five divisions such as business and personal tax, indirect tax, human capital, international tax, and transaction tax services (, 2011). The firm tax services take into consideration business tax accounting, advisory, compliance, supply chain management for tax as well as tax policy (, 2011).

In the Assurance business line, the firm provides financial and accounting reporting services, advisory services on financial reporting, external audit, and dispute and fraud investigation services to the customers (, 2011). The firm’s advisory department takes care of advisory services such as performance improvement on finance, supply chain, and customer as well as advisory services on risk management, information technology risk and assurance as well as financial advisory services (, 2011).

The transaction services involve corporate development, restructuring, transaction tax, transaction support, operational transaction, lead advisory, and business modeling and valuation services (, 2011).

Implementation of the 4 P’s of the marketing mix

Ernst & Young offers its services to the developed and developing markets’ customers carry out business with audit and tax departments of the firm. The firm strength and extent of service and the international reach imply that the company has resources to provide services to any customer, in any region in the globe usually through the internet which is used by the firm as the delivery channel (, 2011).

“Ernie” was developed as the brand name to individualize the service and make the clients think that they are being served by a real person and not a machine (computer). The “Ernie” was introduced to the present firm’s customers and other potential clients because of its “broad problem-solving capabilities”, but this brand name is mainly used by employees while the outsiders call it “Ernst & Young Online” (, 2009). The “Ernie” did not stick to the client’s mind because the firm did not match what suit their profile as they intended to have a brand name that broke the stereotypes frequently related to the business professional services such as high cost, high end, highly strategic and senior level, instead “Ernie” conveys a more assessable, informal, linked and responsive image (, 2009).

The firm also uses employer branding in attracting a wide range of target audiences from economics, law, civil engineers, and business disciplines to join their human resources. This motivates the employees thus providing services of high quality to the customers leading to a stronger relationship with the clients; consequently, this draws new and demanding customers which results in further widening of the firm’s base customers and operations. Thus, the firm has become a market leader by use of this employer branding strategy (, 2011).

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The firm competitive advantage depends on the firm ability to manage peoples’ differences and diversity; as a result, the company has been acknowledged by being honored with awards for its hard work in upholding cultural diversity. In addition, the company’s Knowledge Management System (KM) offers the firm its competitive advantage (, 2011).

The firm communication strategy involves the use of Rareform which has helped them to communicate the organization strategies using “internal comms pieces,” thereby initializing a complete risk management promotion comprising of 10 entity video’s transmission crossways (, 2011). These transmissions have an international plasma screen net, individual design of internal DM posters and pieces, through to a complete promotion of IFRS and GAAP especially accounting legislation modification (, 2011). Furthermore, Rareform was used to design their annual reports and “individual design and communication pieces” (, 2011). Another strategy of the firm is that its markets focus is essentially concentrated on their existing clients rather than targeting new clients which is a strategy that enables them to obtain new clients through referrals.

Ernst & Young’s pricing strategy is “Keep prices low until they take the bait, then draw in” which is also relevant mainly to service environments (Dunn, 2001).

Since the firm uses the internet as the channel of distribution this means that the firm offers similar services to its clientele based on its business environment. The internet consulting tool is adjusted as the need arises as there exists variance between what clients wish for and the actual services offered by the firm; therefore, the “Ernie” may not be used to forecast since no client-defined service standard exists for this internet consulting tool (, 2011).

The differences in implementation of the 4 P’s of marketing therefore highly depend on the client’s needs and not the country in which the service is being offered.


Ernst & Young’s international rivals are mainly in the industry of accounting and also in legal services, information technology, and consulting services sectors. Thus, the firm experiences competition all over the world and across the nations, and for the firm to get to the edge it needs to identify them by conducting a market survey which will then help the company in implementing the 4 P of the marketing mix.


Dunn, H. (2001). Ernst & Young case Study. Web.

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Learn More (2011). Ernst & Young. Web. (2009). Ernst & Young. Web. (2011). Ernst & Young Global Competitors. Web.

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