Marketing Strategies Planning Implementation and Control Term Paper

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Marketing Strategies, Planning, Implementation & Control

In the past decade, the consumer good and services industry has become inundated with competitors, raising the business strategies of rival companies. Numerous consumer research studies have indicated the harsh truth that the best products don't always win in the marketplace. Instead, marketing strategies and tactics can be the difference in the success of roughly equal products and services. As a result, proper and efficient marketing strategies, planning, implementation and control play a significant role in whether the company and its' products or services become lucrative or not. This paper will provide an overview of the various marketing strategies, and will provide examples from Cingular, Kodak and JetStar Airlines to demonstrate both successful and unsuccessful real-life marketing strategies. Finally, this paper will conclude with a summary of the issues related to any company's overall marketing strategy.

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Term Paper on Marketing Strategies Planning Implementation and Control Assignment

The planning of a marketing campaign, timing of the launch, and channels contribute a company's overall marketing strategy. Regardless of the industry that the company competes within, internal and external factors with respect to marketing channels can directly attribute to future success, or future failure. A few marketing problems could result in low or slow sales. Marketing problems in this area consist of an ineffective marketing message, inadequate marketing budget, targeting the wrong consumers, an inappropriate media mix, and failure to modify marketing efforts to properly reflect historic results (Siebart, 2007). Other problems include poor timing of the marketing campaign, ineffective marketing materials, the lack of initial follow-up, poor sales skills, and improperly focused sales efforts (Siebart, 2007). The majority of companies can examine their marketing channels to determine whether a marketing or advertising problem exists. Siebart (2007) suggests conducting an audit that compares other's practices within the same industry. The audit can readily identify where improvement efforts need to be focused.

For new companies that may not have the necessary staff to cover services, outsourcing services are available in the areas of operations management and quality control, ad placement and media management, ad fund management, centralized print fulfillment, and sales management (Siebart, 2007). For companies that appear to be growing rapidly, an aggressive sales force can outstrip a company's ability to properly support its marketing efforts. This problem can lead to a fatal downward spiral for the startup business (Siebart, 2007). As a means of remedying these problems, the marketing department may want to consider the development or redesign of brochures, e-brochures, Web pages and logos, updating operations manuals, developing training program curricula, PowerPoint presentations, training aids and tests, and creating interior branding programs and other consumer marketing assistance (Siebart, 2007).

In the planning phase, the companies must perform market research to determine which channels to enter, and follow what the research results reveal about the particular industry and consumers. Market research is key; it provides critical information and direction, identifies market needs and wants, product features, pricing, decision makers, distribution channels, motivation to buy. Timing of the product launch is also critical, and all elements of the process must be coordinated. Production must be on the same time schedule as the promotion, and the product must be ready when it is announced. Many products need to be timed to critical points in the business cycle. The new product must be tested to be sure that it has the features the customer wants, as well as making sure the distributor and sales organization are comfortable selling it. Advertising and promotion must be tested as well. After this, distribution comes into play, using the following questions: Who's going to sell the product? Can you use the same distribution channels you currently use? Can you use the same independent representatives or sales force? Is there sufficient sales potential in the new product to convince a distributor, retailer, or agent to take on the new line (Brandt, 2000)? There are significant up-front selling costs involved in introducing new products, and all parties in the channel need assurance that the investment of time and money will be recovered.

Before new products are introduced, the marketing of the product name and potential legal protections associated with the brand name and marketing campaign must be addressed. Marketing's role as connected to trademarks is to create brand awareness, and to use trademarks and brands consistently and accurately. A trademark is any word, name, symbol, slogan, tag line, or characters and design, or any combination of, used or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods (United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2007). A brief definition of a trademark is a "brand name." Trademarks can also be colors (pink insulation), sounds (a lion's roar), scents (scented yarn), product configuration (a shaped liquor bottle), or trade dress (the look and feel of a Pepe's restaurant) (United States Patent and Trademark Office, 2007). The company's marketing department works with legal resources to determine whether to launch new products under new names and whether to continue to use previously registered trademarks. The proper use of trademarks is essential to maintaining the company's trademarks and protecting their value to the company. All materials, including labels, decals, advertising, literature, Internet and Intranet sites must use and reference trademarks correctly. The company must also distribute trademark guidelines for all marketing representatives to follow. The marketing guidelines distributed must state that trademarks operate as one of the company's most valuable assets. Strong, effective trademarks serve more than just as a name - they help define the level of quality a consumer receives, and tie products and services to the company's overall image. Trademarks also serve as the basis for consumer's everyday decisions and choices.

Example: U.S. Cingular

The recent marketing campaign initiated by U.S. Cingular demonstrates an ineffective planning phase as part of the overall marketing strategy. Following the merger between at&T and Cingular, the name "Cingular" was changed to "AT&T;" a branding decision that has been the subject of much recent controversy. The new company planned, and at first, operated under the Cingular brand name. A few moths after this however, the company planned a movement away from using the "Cingular" name, and returned to using the "AT&T" name. Since millions of dollars were spent marketing and advertising the Cingular name and logo to consumers, the new branding decision was poorly planned. Market researchers have named numerous disadvantages of the company abandoning the Cingular name and using the at&T name. The most commonly cited reason is the fact that approximately $4 billion was spent branding Cingular and an additional $1 billion was budgeted for 2006 (Cuneo, 2006). Cingular's corporate parents, at&T and BellSouth, spent $4 billion to turn it into one of the best-known names in the country though sponsorship of "American Idol" and similar shows to appeal to the younger population.

After spending the initial $4 billion, at&T is predicted to spend an additional $2 billion dollars in re-branding "Cingular" to "AT&T Wireless." Another disadvantage is that the main consumers that are familiar with the at&T brand are the older generation of people, and younger people have already accepted the Cingular name through its extensive advertising. The final disadvantage of the name change is that the at&T name is associated with landline phones of the past, which used the dial method. Consumers do not associate reliability, etc. with the old image. Thus, the disadvantages of planning a re-branding marketing scheme returning to using the at&T name are numerous. At this point, the billions of dollars spent in the Cingular branding campaign indicate a poor planning phase in the company's overall marketing strategy.

Marketing Strategies: Implementation

Once a company has developed a well-planned marketing strategy, the strategy must be successfully implemented. Although the planning phase appears to be the most important, implementation strategies are crucial. The implementation strategy includes following the outlined steps in the marketing campaign, from market research, to product launch, and to sales.

Example: Kodak

Kodak, the world's leading film photography company, provides an example of a company that has successfully implemented well-planned marketing initiatives. According to recent statistics released by Kodak, the company's revenue grew 12% to 4.197 billion in 2006, in addition to the fact that 54% of the company's total revenue in 2005 was attributed to digital sales (Slocombe, 2006). In order to compete with other film-photography and digital photography companies, Kodak marketed some new products. For example, the company released a new line of all-in-one inkjet printers that produce durable, high-quality documents and photos, and save customers 50% on printing costs. Kodak's new line of printers allow customers to manufacture lab-quality photos at home using premium, pigment-based inks. Kodak also remained competitive with the product's pricing; Kodak's premium, pigment-based ink, is priced at $9.99 for a cartridge of black ink and $14.99 for a five-ink color cartridge (Kodak, 2007). For every $15 spent on color ink and $10 spent on black ink, consumers can print the same… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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