Corporations need efficient strategy planning to carry on in our aggressive markets. This does not call for the company to come up with a strategy, but to figure out which strategy is best for them given the objectives and resources. They must also consider the strengths and weaknesses of the company as well as opportunities and threats. To enhance the aptitude of the companies, a marketing strategy is introduced. The marketing strategy will create lucrative marketing mixes for defined target markets.
The marketing mix is composed of four key elements to execute or examine for marketing campaigns. The chief goal of the marketing committee is to optimize the marketing mix. Marketers can enhance their outcomes and marketing value by implementing the right combination of the four P’s. Discrete alterations made to the marketing mix are looked at as tactical changes, while rendering huge changes to it can be considered strategic. The “Four P’s” of marketing are: product, price, placement, and promotion. Product:
A product is an object or a service that is mass produced or manufactured on a large scale with a specific volume of units (Australian Business Case Studies, 2008). This piece of the market mix also encompasses how the product is packaged, the overall performance of the product/service, and the design and structure of the product. Pricing:
The price is the cost that a buyer pays for a particular item. Pricing is determined by a number of factors including market share, competition, material costs, product identity and the customer's perceived value of the product (Wikipedia, 2008). Pricing will vary due to demographics. Additionally, the product’s price will also be influenced by the competitive forces around the company. The price point will also be conceived by considering the choices that it could be: luxurious, inexpensive, or something in between. Place:
Place represents the location where a product can be purchased (Australian Business Case Studies, 2008). It can consist of any physical or virtual store. Placement is how and where the potential customers can purchase the product/services. Place also consists of the points of distribution. Promotion:
Promotion signifies all the interactions that a marketer may implement in the market. Promotion consists of four distinct elements - advertising, public relations, word of mouth and point of sale (Australian Business Case Studies, 2008). Truell (2008) states that “Advertising covers any communication that is paid for, from television and cinema commercials, radio and Internet adverts through print media and billboards.
Public relations are where the communication is not directly paid for and includes press releases, sponsorship deals, exhibitions, conferences, seminars or trade fairs and events. Word of mouth is any apparently informal communication about the product by ordinary individuals, satisfied customers or people specifically engaged to create word of mouth momentum. Sales often play an important role in word of mouth and Public Relations.”
Formation, growth, and advertising are usually the biggest cost in a company’s financial plan. Market analysis will take place. The company will decide how and where advertising takes will place as well as what the costs and rewards of the chosen advertising media will be. The firm needs to minimize expenses, maximize promotions of the applied idea, and not defer from the idea; but make it clearly defined. Market research has many measurements that give ideas as to what works in a demographic area because they remain centered on visual parts of the advertisement.
One company that stands out in implementing a strategic marketing mix is Toyota Motor Corporation. Toyota created a marketing idea a few years ago; they wanted a car made, but built around the underground world of hip hop that was marketed in unusual ways. This multimillion dollar campaign was put together sell its new product line, Scion, to Generation Y. This task alone was very tedious, but has become very successful for the company over the past few years. They have developed many ways to get the attention of this generation and keep them interested in their product. Toyota has abandoned all the traditional marketing techniques, and generated some creative new ones.
Brian Bolain, Scion's national manager said, “the key to marketing to this lucrative group is to avoid gimmicks and to be straightforward and authentic (Cina, 2002).” Toyota uses sales tools such as Pure Price and new advertisements on the internet. They keep track of all the buyers over the last six months, to make sure that they are still grabbing the attention of the younger consumers. Presently, the Scion is doing better than ever and has become popular in the underground hip hop setting. Product
This Scion brand is intended for Generation Y customers. Scion wants to be seen as hip and edgy, but straightforward and expressive of individuality. It currently has three models: the Scion xD , xB and the tC coupe. The cars come with one standard trim level and are intended to be distinctively modified for the driver. The standardized features obtainable when ordering a Scion are model, color, transmission, and optional Side-Curtain Airbags.
They have around 40 different accessories which are sold seperately, and do not call for special packages. Buyers can purchase the accessories that suit their individual style and create a car that expresses his or her identity. These small cars also have terrific gas mileage. By catering to a specific crowd, Toyota has been very successful in selling this product.
Place Toyota is keeping the dealer environment and sales process as simple as possible by having all vehicles offered as fully equipped models (Cina, 2002) . They began using the Internet to encourage prospective buyers to look around and possibly shop. The Scion Web site is composed to take customer feedback and suggestions, which are checked frequently. Promotion
Scion's secret is that they do not use fake gimmicks; they stick with the real deal (Gonzalez, 2005). They began promoting in clubs as well as additional areas where younger people frequent. Toyota has held parties, featuring musicians and fashion folks, and has been stationed at art galleries, independent film openings and "rave" parties in California (Cina, 2002). Scion marketers are using the word "Scion," at these places trying to fabricate a relationship with this generation.
They also distribute hip hop music CDs, which promote the cars, as well as URB Magazine, which happens to be a partner with Toyota. The URB magazine highlights some of the popular underground hip hoppers from the Bay Area to London. One half of the magazine focuses on urban trends such as fashion, art, digital media; while the other half is nothing but Scion ads( Gonzalez, 2005).
Scion also saw the avenue of targeting the Internet which has proved to be very successful for the company. The company even sponsors and supports many of the local hip hop functions around San Jose, California. The company only asks is that Scion banners be put up at the local functions and Scion merchandise be distributed. Even though Scion continues to take part in sponsorships and underground marketing, they still spend on mainstream media. The chart below by Rechtin (2006) shows what it spent in 2005: Cable TV$18.7 million
Magazines$5.7 million Network TV$5.4 million Spot TV$5.4 million Internet$2.5 million Local Radio$2.3 million Outdoor$2.0 million National spot radio$604,000 Business-to-business magazines$149,000 Newspapers$65,000 Total$42.8 million Price The customers will pay whatever price that is posted whether it is on the automobile itself or in a commercial or ad flyer. The vehicle, accessories, finance and insurance products are all included in the price. The numbers are created to guarantee a rapid and trouble-free process because it eradicates the negotiation aspect. Toyota has created a distinct marketing mix for the Scion vehicles. They know exactly who they want to buy the cars, and have developed strategic ways of marketing in order to receive their attention.
They have even gone the distance to make the purchasing process more direct and easy for the consumers that they are seeking. It took a few years for the company to establish the right marketing mix, but they have been very successful since figuring it out.
References Australian Business Case Studies. (2008). Marketing Mix. Retrieved on August 3, 2008, from http://www.afrbiz.com.au. Cina, Mark.(2002). Toyota Uses Unique Marketing Strategy For Scion. Retrieved on August 3, 2008, from http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/1270196.html?page=2. Gonzalez, Hector. (2005) Keepin' It Real' -- Will Corporate Sponsorship Build Up or Tear Down Urban Culture? Retrieved on August 3, 2004, from Marketing mix. (2008, July 30). In Wikipedia,
The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:55, August 3, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Marketing_mix&oldid=228807083 Rechtin, Mark. (2005). Scion's dilemma: Be hip -- but avoid the mainstream. Retrieved on August 3, 2008, from http://www.autonews.com. Truell, Andy. (2008). Marketing Mix. Retrieved on August 3, 2008, from www.answers.com.