The following plan is intended to provide a basic marketing communications plan for a fictitious company. The company in question operates in China and produces soft drinks, particularly adult soft drinks. The information in the plan has been sourced from various textbooks and online research including the National Bureau of Statistics China. It has been found that the company should target the market aged 18 to 44, married, living in urban China, and purchasing for personal use. In order to address and leverage the current internal and external situation, the recommended marketing communications objectives have been set as follows: 1.
Increase awareness of the brand name to 50% of the target market 2.
Increase awareness of the portability and attractive design of the product to 25% of the target segment
The following plan has been compiled in order to provide the basis for a comprehensive marketing communications plan for a fictitious. The company produces and sells soft drinks. It specializes in adult soft drinks. The company and brand are new to the market. In order to provide a useful plan, the target segment has been identified and defined, a SWOT analysis has been carried out for the brand and organization, and marketing communications objectives have been set. The plan identifies the target market through segmentation variables. Following this is an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that the company must either address or leverage. Finally the marketing communications objectives are set in the final section.
Segmenting the Market
In order to develop a sufficient marketing communications plan, it is necessary to first know the target market that marketing messages will be directed toward. The market for this company’s offering can be defined according to the segmentation variables discussed by Schiffman et al(2005). The variables most relevant to this market are age, family life cycle, geography, awareness level, and user-situation(Schiffman et al, 2005). By using these variables it is possible to define the market as aged between 18 and 44, single or newly married, living in urban areas, unaware of the brand, and buying for personal use.
Within this market it is possible to further segment the preferred target market for this company’s offering. Age can be used to further segment the market. Although older members of the family have a large influence on purchase decisions in China, Duncan(2005) implies that these older people are part of the ‘late majority’ group, which is not an attractive group for new products(Duncan, 2005 p229). Therefore the age of the target segment will be 18 to 44, as these individuals should be more likely to adopt new products or at least be influenced by ‘early adopters’(Duncan, 2005 p230). These individuals make up almost 35% of the total population(National Bureau of Statistics China, 2004), and so form a profitable target segment. The target segment can be further limited to those in the ‘young marrieds’ and ‘parenthood’ stages of the family life cycle(Schiffman et al, 2005).
Geography is another useful variable. The target segment will live in the inner city or suburban areas of cities, and not on the outskirts of major urban areas or in rural areas. The income gap between urban and rural areas is substantial, with urban households averaging CNY9421.6 per annum, and rural households CNY2936.4, in 2004(National Bureau of Statistics China, 2004). By using the above segmentation variables we now have a target segment at which to direct the marketing communications strategy.
In order to reach useful marketing objectives it is necessary to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that can be leveraged or addressed by the communications effort. This is known as a SWOT analysis(Duncan, 2005). The external environment will be considered first....
References: Schiffman, L. et al, 2005, Consumer Behaviour, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest.
China Daily, 2006, Soft drink sales cooling down, www.chinadaily.com.cn, viewed 4th April 2008 http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2006-10/06/content_702416.htm
Duncan, T. 2005, Principles of Advertising & IMC (2nd ed.), McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York.
National Bureau of Statistics China, 2004, www.stats.gov.cn, viewed 4th April 2008 at http://www.stats.gov.cn/tjsj/ndsj/2005/indexeh.htm
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