Integrated Marketing Communications 3rd Edition

Chapter 2 Strategic Planning Principles Learning Objectives Students will be able to:  Identify essential external tre...

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Chapter 2 Strategic Planning Principles Learning Objectives Students will be able to: 

Identify essential external trends and conditions that influence organizational planning



Describe the steps in the strategic planning process



Identify the distinctions and relationships between the various types of plans



Characterize the essential elements of a corporate plan



Outline the structure and content of a marketing plan



Outline the structure and content of a marketing communications plan



Show how integrated marketing planning provides solutions to marketing problems

Chapter Highlights Strategic business planning is an integrated process that involves the various management levels, operating divisions, and functional departments of an organization. A. Strategic Planning and Factors Influencing Planning Strategic planning embraces three variables: 

Objectives – statements that outline what is to be accomplished



Strategies – statements that outline how objectives will be accomplished



Execution – the plan of action in specific detail

Strategic planning is a cyclical process (e.g., an annual occurrence with revisions while a plan is in progress). Strategic plans are influenced by various external factors: the economy, demographic trends, changing technologies, and various laws and regulations. 

Economic Influences – The state of the economy often dictates how aggressive or conservative a company is with its plans. The state of the economy is determined by such factors as growth rates in GDP, inflation rates, levels of employment, and the value of the dollar in relation to foreign currencies. The relationship among these variables is dynamic. An economy tends to go through cycles (the outcome of these variables): recession, depression, recovery, and prosperity.



Competitor Influences – The type of market a company operates in has an impact on the nature of planning. The various structures include monopolies, oligopolies, and monopolistically competitive markets. Competition is classified as being direct (competition from alternative products) or indirect (competition from substitute products). The lines between direct and indirect competition is less today than previously. For example, Loblaws and Wal-Mart once operated in separate markets. The addition of new product lines by each company now makes them direct competitors.



Demographic Influences – Adjusting business strategies to fit with demographic trends is essential. The key trends include the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The population is aging The trend towards urbanization continues Changing household formations Increasing ethnic diversity Reductions in the growth of disposable income

Generally speaking, the population is aging. The country’s largest demographic cohort, are reaching retirement age. As they age the average age of Canadians gets higher. There is an increasing trend toward urbanization, with 80% of Canadians living in urban areas. Household composition is also changing; the average household is smaller, and fewer couples are married. Canada is also increasingly ethnically diverse, with increasing Asian immigration – particularly in Vancouver. There is also greater income inequality, reductions in the growth of disposable income, and Canadians are increasingly cautious with their money after the global financial crisis of 2008. 

Social Influences – It’s the role of marketers to keep track of social and cultural changes. Canadians are reporting that they are finding their lives to be increasingly hectic. Many companies have responded by providing on-the-go services to this demographic. There is also an increasing focus by Canadians to make healthier lifestyle and food choices. Lastly, there is an increasing concern for the protection of the natural environment, and Canadians are considering the environmental impacts of their purchasing decisions. There is also a greater pressure on companies to be ethical and take stands on social issues.



Technology Influences – Technology embraces discoveries, inventions and innovations. New technologies present new opportunities for companies. Canadian society has been quick to embrace technology meaning that future marketing plans and marketing communications plans will have a technological focus. For example, the means of communicating with prospective customers will rely more on electronic communications and less on traditional mass media communications. Smart phones such as the Blackberry or the IPhone, are everywhere, and Canadian companies are reexamining their media buying mix, to ensure that they have an increasing profile in digital mediums. This has resulted in a reduction in expenditures on traditional media formats such as print, TV and radio.



Legal and Regulatory Influences – Laws and regulations govern business practice. The primary instrument that companies follow is the Competition. It cannot be assumed that all companies follow ethical practices. Numerous companies have made headline news for their corporate malaise in recent years. With regard to communications a company must be careful about claims made for products. They cannot misrepresent the product nor mislead the public. There is an increasing focus on privacy and the protection of personal information held by companies. Canadians are protected by

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privacy laws, including the Privacy Act, which places limits on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information.

B. Strategic Planning Process “Top down and bottom up” may describe how the planning process works. Typically, the corporate plan is formed by senior executives and passed down the functional departments. In multi-product companies marketing plans are formulated for each product. Within the marketing plan the role of marketing communications is determined and funds are allocated to carry out the plan. The integration of all components in a strategic plan for a product, and then the entire company helps the organization achieve its business objectives. As in war, a unified attack offers a better chance of success. C. The Corporate Plan Corporate planning is done by senior management and usually includes three key elements: 

Mission Statement – A statement of an organization’s purpose. It reflects the operating philosophy of the organization and the direction the organization is to take.



Corporate Objectives – Quantifiable goals that can be easily measured for success or failure (e.g., sales, profit, market share, and return on investment).



Corporate Strategies – Statements outlining how objectives will be achieved. The organization assesses its strengths and weaknesses, research and development capabilities, and commitment to particular goals, and financial resources available.

The strategic direction a company takes varies but some common directions include: 

Divestment Strategies – A company decides to sell off various divisions, subsidiaries or products.



Penetration Strategies – A company decides to pursue the competition aggressively (e.g., they spend more or offer a wider package of marketing initiatives).



New Product Development – Real growth often comes from new products (e.g., Apple Computer’s presence in the music industry with iPods and iTunes).



Acquisitions – A company buys another company or a group of brands from a company in order to enter profitable market segments (e.g., Adidas acquired Reebok to put more competitive pressure on Nike in the footwear market).



Strategic Alliances – Two or more companies form an alliance to collaborate their efforts in pursuing a particular market (e.g., companies serving similar target markets collaborate to save money as is the case of Mac’s and Subway or Mac’s and A&W in one location).

D. Marketing Planning Marketing planning involves analyzing, planning, implementing, and controlling marketing initiatives to satisfy target market needs and achieve organizational objectives. A target market is the group of persons for whom a firm creates and markets a product that specifically meets the needs and preferences of that Copyright © . 13

group. A company creates a target market profile, which identifies demographic (age, gender, income) psychographic (lifestyle, attitudes, interests, opinions), geographic (urban/rural, region) and behavioural (consumption patterns) traits of the people or businesses that make up that market segment. A marketing plan summarizes the relevant background information leading up to the plan, and the objectives, strategies, and tactics that are part of the plan. Marketing planning involves four essential steps: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Analyzing market opportunities Developing marketing strategies Planning and implementing marketing programs Managing marketing programs

A marketing plan is divided into two major sections: background and plan. The following are key areas of the background section of the plan: 

External Influences – A review of economic trends, social and demographic trends, technology trends and regulatory trends.



Market Analysis – An evaluation of market size and growth, regional market importance, market segment analysis, and seasonal trends.



Target Market Analysis – The identification of the primary and secondary customer groups along with their characteristics, lifestyles, and habits. Other concerns include their degree of brand loyalty and understanding of what factors influence their buying decisions.



Brand Analysis – A review of sales trends, market share trends, distribution trends, marketing communications programs, and any new product activity that has been recently undertaken.



Competitor Analysis – Knowledge of key competitor’s sales volume, market share, and marketing strategies are analyzed for effectiveness.



SWOT Analysis – An attempt is made to interpret the data collected in the above sections. In summary form what are the key issues that will influence the direction of marketing strategy. The goal is to match potential opportunities with the resources available.

The marketing plan section includes the following information: 

Positioning Strategy Statement – A statement that reflects what the brand stands for. It is the desired image that the company wants to instill in the customer’s mind (e.g., Mazda – the soul of a sports car is built into every car they make).



Target Market Profile – A thorough description of the customer based on demographic, psychographic, and geographic characteristics.



Marketing Objectives – Statements identifying quantifiable goals for a one-year period (e.g., sales, market share, product improvements, new product introductions, etc.).



Marketing Strategies – The role and contribution of each element of the marketing mix are identified and resources are allocated to each element. These strategies provide guidance for the development of marketing communications plans. Copyright © . 14



Marketing Execution (Tactics) – The identification of specific marketing actions (the action plan). All details are mapped out according to type of activity, timing, and cost.



Budget and Financial Summary – The financial implication of the plan must be communicated to senior management. Typically, a profit and loss statement for the product is included in the plan. The statement will compare previous year’s financial performance to the current year to date, and the plan year.



Evaluation and Control – Marketing plans are reviewed while in progress to determine if changes are necessary. Marketing control is a process of measuring and evaluating results of actions taken and planning corrective action when necessary. Companies often build in contingency plans that can be quickly implemented should certain situations develop in the marketplace.

E. Marketing Communications Planning The marketing communications plan and any plans for individual components of marketing communications rely on guidance from the marketing plan. A marketing communications plan is a document that encompasses key components of various communications plans (e.g., advertising, public relations, sales promotion, events and sponsorships, personal selling, and so on). When devising the plan it is crucial that the role and contribution of each component be identified. An integrated plan will present a unified message to the target market. F. Marketing Communications Objectives Objectives tend to be diverse in nature yet specific in scope. Typical objectives include:        

Building awareness Altering perceptions Differentiating brands Attracting new targets Encouraging more use Offering incentives Creating leads Motivating distributors

To achieve such objectives a variety of communications is necessary. Advertising is good for creating awareness and interest; sales promotions are good for stimulating action; public relations are good for building image and altering perceptions. The challenge is to select the right form of communications or combination of communications to meet the challenge at hand. G. Marketing Communications Strategies This section of the plan provides an outline on how the various components will be used and how much financial resources will be allocated. The various components and plans include the following: 

Advertising Plan – This plan is divided into two essential areas: creative and media. The creative plan is concerned with the message and how it will be communicated. The media plan involves strategic decisions on what media to use and how much money to invest in the chosen media. The Copyright © . 15

goal of the media plan is to spend the funds efficiently; that is, maximize reach and impact at minimum cost. 

Direct Response Plan – Direct response techniques are increasing in popularity since they can be measured fro effectiveness. Advancing technology and database marketing techniques also encourage more use of direct response communications (e.g., direct mail, direct response television and online communications).



Interactive Communications Plan – Consumers are increasingly accepting the role of online advertising communications, Online communications combined with other interactive alternatives such as cell phones, CDs, DVDs, and video games also require careful planning if messages are to be delivered effectively. Overall the last couple of years social media forms such as Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have become increasingly common vehicles for marketers to communicate with customers and key stakeholder groups.



Sales Promotion Plan – These are plans that reach and influence distributors, consumers, and the sales force. Plans are designed to meet various sales and market share objectives. Consumer promotions are designed to encourage trial purchase, repeat purchases and to build brand loyalty. Trade promotions are offered to encourage larger orders from distributors and to secure merchandising support at point-of sale.



Public Relations Plan – The goal of public relations is to enhance a company’s public image. The communications can be for the entire company or for individual brands. Public relations also plays a key role in communicating with the public should a company face a crisis situation. It is also a good medium for spreading good news about a company and its brands. Because it is an “unpaid” medium for the most part, it is an attractive and efficient way to get the message delivered.



Experiential Marketing – These activities play a greater role today, and the focus is increasingly on engaging consumers in a brand experience. The primary vehicle for this is developing unique branded events that appeal to a highly targeted audience who have an affinity for your brand or product. A variety of marketing communications elements are incorporated into successful event planning, this information must be documented in the communications plan.



Personal Selling Plan – The sales representatives play a key role in communicating messages in the channel of distribution. There are direct links between the sales plan, the advertising plan, and sales promotion plan. The sales force has direct contact with distributors who make important buying decisions. Therefore, time is well spent developing push strategies that will compliment the pull strategies of other marketing communications media.

Additional Illustration of Key Concepts 1. Corporate Strategic Alliances Click with Canadian Tire Petroleum Whatever you need, Canadian Tire will have it soon. Canadian Tire recently opened two new Q stores in Toronto but there are plans for many more in the years ahead. It’s a new retail offering aimed squarely at time-pressed consumers. The 8500 square foot stores house several well established quality brands – a 4000 square foot Sobey’s Express with fresh produce, flowers and a deli, a 1000 square foot Richtree market Restaurant stocked Copyright © . 16

with a variety of takeout options, and a Starbucks drive-through and interior café. Also for sale are cards and gift wrap and branded toys and DVDs to keep kids occupied on the road. Canadian Tire says it is the “ultimate convenience store.” It saves you time and makes your life easier. Time will tell! Adapted from Lisa D’Innocenzo, “Going to the Q,” Strategy, www.strategymag.com.

2. Corporate Acquisition Creates Intense Rivalry Adidas-Solomon acquired Reebok for US$3.8 billion. The merging of the number two and three shoemakers gives the new company 28% market share internationally, nudging them much closer to the 31% market share held by Nike. While Nike dominates the U.S market, Adidas sees the acquisition as a means of competing better there. Adidas is a very strong contender in the European market and is a leader in the soccer shoe market worldwide. The effectiveness of marketing strategies and marketing communications strategies of both companies will play a key role in their success in the future. Adapted from William McCall, “Reebok, Adidas join forces to take run at Nike,” Globe and Mail, January 26, 2006, www.globeandmail.com.

3. New Style of Planning to Revive Ford Motor Company What revolutionary thinking…Ford has decided to give the customer what they want—a better car. Facing a very bleak financial picture, Chairman and CEO Bill ford recently introduced the company’s new strategic plan called “The Way Forward.” According to the plan “the company will sharpen its focus on those who count the most—our customers” and would return to an approach to build what the customers want. The underlying aspects of the plan are designed to get North Americans thinking positively about domestically built cars. Ford has decided to reduce capacity (rather than build to present capacity for the sake of building) and fill the pipeline with products designed and built to satisfy the customer rather than fill a factory. The plan will shake the corporate culture to its roots. Key elements of the plan include the following:       

Closing 14 North American plants and reducing capacity by 1.2 million units Cutting 30,000 blue collar jobs, 4,000 white collar jobs and reducing executive ranks by 12% Building stronger Ford, Lincoln and Mercury brands with a better lineup and with greater quality Create vehicles for segments where there are more customers, specifically small cars and crossovers Stabilize market share in the U.s. Reduce material costs by %6 billion by 2010 Return to profitability by 2008

The Ford plan requires painful sacrifices that are necessary to protect Ford’s heritage and to secure a better future. Adapted from Jean Halliday, “Ford puts consumers at centre of rebirthing,” Advertising Age, January 30, 2006, p. 31.

4. Coca-Cola and Coffee: Starbucks Beware of Some New Competition With the pop market fizzling, Coca-Cola is exploring some new opportunities for growth. Coca-Cola is launching a new retail store in Toronto to get a piece of the lucrative coffee market. As of now it is only in the test marketing stages but the long-term plan, if the tests are successful, is to take a run at Starbucks. Copyright © . 17

The test store is located in the trendy Yorkville district of Toronto. The featured beverage is Coca-Cola Blak, a coffee-flavoured drink. Competitors in the immediate area include Starbucks, Timothy’s, and Second Cup. In the U.S., McDonald’s is also taking a run at Starbucks. McDonald’s has opened a line of specialty coffee shops called McCafes. Adapted from Garry Marr, “Toronto picked as Coke’s coffee ground zero,” Globe and Mail, April 4, 2006, p. A2.

5. Sound Marketing Planning: Condom Maker Targets Women Yes, the times are changing. Recognizing that women purchase a good percentage of all condoms sold, why shouldn’t they have a brand of their own. Existing brands tend to have a macho brand name and image suited for the males that buy them. Trojan Condoms recently unveiled a new brand targeted at women, called Elexa. Products include condoms, cloths, gel and a vibrating ring, and will be sold in feminine care aisles instead of the condom sections at retailers like Shoppers “Drug Mart, PharmaPlus and Wal-Mart. A media campaign that included TV spots and print ads in magazines like Elle Quebec, Flare and LouLou, supported the launch. Adapted from “Trojan woos women,” Media in Canada, September 8, 2005, www.mediaincanada.com.

6. Achieving the Loyalty Objective: How to Do It Fast food restaurants and other similar establishments use mass media advertising to attract customers for mass is an inexpensive way of reaching people. Unfortunately, it is not very personal. Customers of restaurants are said to be invisible. They are there but the restaurant doesn’t really know who they are and what they are like. Starbucks is trying to catch up in the loyalty arena and have recently launched a customer loyalty program via the Starbucks card. While most loyalty programs emphasize rewards to motivate loyalty, Starbucks loyalty efforts instead rely on convenience and service. The primary feature of the Starbucks card is a reload option that allows customers to replenish balances automatically. The card is like a debit card. The marketer hopes it will grow into a loyalty tool as consumer data is accumulated about customers’ purchase patterns and incentives are added. To spur reload sales, Starbucks launched with Visa International a “Get an Extra Shot from Visa” contest to match the reload balance of randomly selected customers who reload their card using a Visa card. In the first quarter of 2002, customers bought 2.3 million cards with an average value of $14.00, netting $32 million in sales. During the third quarter of 2002, there were 1.5 million card activations worth $22 million in sales. In that same period, customers made 11 million transactions worth $41 million in net sales. Additional 1-million reload transactions were recorded at an average of $24. Adapted from Kate MacArthur, “Fast food looks for loyalty,” Advertising Age, October 28, 2002. p. 44.

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7. For High End Vehicles the Direct Approach Works Best Senior managers want “return on investment” for their marketing communications dollars so many companies are turning to sophisticated modeling and scientific formulas to better plan how money is being spent. One model—econometrics—worked effectively for Porsche as it significantly raised the response rate to a direct mailer that introduced its first sport utility vehicle, the Cayenne. “We were able to target people who were more like our existing buyers and the most likely to buy a Cayenne,” says Kevin Nicholls, the manager of marketing communications at Porsche. The direct mailer went to 70,000 owners of competitive, high-end SUVs and upscale sedans. The response rates for the first and subsequent Cayenne mailings were between 8% and 9%, or three to fives times better than the automaker had gotten in the past. Mr. Nicholls attributes the response to the vehicle and the improved targeting program. “Econometrics enabled us to better target direct mail materials and get the best value,” he says. Adapted from Jean Halliday, “Research, econometrics hone auto’s direct touch,” Advertising Age, November 11, 2002, p. 24.

8. Targeting Youth. What Media to Use? Generation Y, the children of the baby boom generation, now 9 to 25 years old have grown up with the electronic media and technology, and that makes them harder to reach than past generations. Brands that use old-school methods are absolutely not connecting with this age group. Bell Canada has developed a program that calls for their input on all new product launches. This target is so important they are involved with the company on a continuing basis, influencing everything from pricing to design, packaging, and how products are launched. “They provide a significant level of cachet to products and brands that end up being used by older people as well.” Teens are arbiters of cool. Trends begin with them. With baby boom parents who want to stay young, these parents are really influenced by trends their kids start. A good example is cargo pants. Teens bought them in army surplus stores. Next thing you know the Gap is selling them to 50 year olds. From a communications perspective, marketers must realize that Generation Y is more cynical about advertising. And what’s hot today can become suddenly cool before a big company an even gets its product to market. Companies have to create and experience youth will associate with the brand and they have to support them. Experts in their behaviour recommend a “layered approach.” Promotions involving free goods are popular with teens. They are used to getting free things wherever they go. Word of mouth is very important to them, so public relations are a very important way to reach them. The ultimate endorsement is getting teens to notice your product or campaign and recommend it to their friends. Adapted from Susan Heinrich, “To reach the unreachable wallets of Generation Y, “Financial Post, August 19, 2002, p. FP12.

Answers to End of Chapter Questions Review Questions 1. The external trends and conditions that must be considered when developing a plan include: economic influences; competitor influences; social and demographic influences; technology Copyright © . 19

influences; and legal and regulatory influences. A company must be aware of the environment in which it operates. 2. The key components of a corporate plan are the mission statement, a list of overall objectives that are to be achieved; and an outline of strategies that will be employed to assist in achieving the objectives. A corporate plan provides a framework for all divisional plans and functional plans in the company. When the planning process is complete all of the various plans will complement each other and strive to achieve the business objectives that are outlined in the corporate plan. 3. A mission statement is a statement of an organization’s purpose and an indicator of the operating philosophy the organization follows. A company establishes its mission and then develops strategic plans to achieve the mission. All strategic plans and specific activities within the plans are evaluated against the mission of the company. 4. The four variables are demographics, psychographics, geographic and behaviour. Demographics refer to the characteristics of a population such as age, gender, income or occupation. Psychographics describe a customer group in terms of lifestyle, attitudes, interests, opinions and activities. Geographic information includes the analysis of national, regional populations and the differences between rural and urban populations. Behavioural characteristics involve the study of consumption patterns for products and services by people or businesses in the target market being researched by a company. 5. The four essential steps of strategic marketing planning are: analyzing marketing opportunities; developing marketing strategies; planning and implementing marketing programs; and managing marketing programs. 6. A positioning strategy statement identifies what a brand stands for. Hopefully, effective communications will instill the desired perception of the brand in the customer’s mind. Such a statement provides guidance and direction for marketing strategies while serving as a standard for considering what strategies to use and not to use. For example, a client often asks: “Is this advertising on strategy?” What they mean is, does the message fit with the positioning strategy of the brand? 7. Marketing strategies are the master plans for achieving objectives. The strategy is what makes the plan “tick.” The proper strategy with less than effective execution can yield reasonable results but the wrong strategy effectively executed can be a disaster. When developing a marketing strategy the role and contribution of each component of the mix must be identified. When developing a marketing communications strategy the role and contribution of each component must also be identified. Plans must be integrated in a manner such that a unified message is delivered to the intended target audience. 8. Marketing strategy outlines how the various components of the marketing mix will be utilized and identifies the extent of resources that will be allocated to each component. Marketing execution refers to the specific program details that stem directly from the strategy section of the plan. It identifies the activity, the timing, and cost. 9. Marketing control is the process of measuring and evaluating the results of marketing strategies and taking corrective action to ensure that objectives are achieved. Plans are evaluated while in progress in order to identify appropriate changes in direction, if and when necessary.

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10. In a creative plan the essential decisions involve what to say and how to say it. On the issue of what to say, the manager decides upon what product claims will take precedence. How to say it is more complex. What appeal techniques will be employed? What will the theme of the message be? There are a variety of options to choose from and decisions are often based on the advertiser’s knowledge of the target audience’s behaviour. 11. The various components of a marketing communications plan are directly linked to each other. A manager selects the appropriate forms of communication to resolve the situation at hand. From that point on he or she must ensure that the strategic direction of each option are synchronized with the other options so that a unified message is delivered. A unified approach has more impact on the target market. That is the premise upon which integrated marketing communication strategies are designed. Discussion Questions 1. Communications objectives are diverse but a good campaign must have specific focus. This statement is true but students may have varying opinions. Opinions vary because students do not yet appreciate the role of marketing strategy and marketing communications strategy. The implementation of plans that go off indifferent directions tends to confuse the target audience. Further, plans that attempt to deal with too many issues (or objectives) at one time become very complex. Complex messages do not break through the clutter and again create confusion in the customer’s mind. 2. Students’ opinions on this question will vary. If West 49 stays focused on the youth market segment it will constantly be in the business of attracting new customers. To grow, it must expand out of its niche and make the banner appealing to older age groups as well. New marketing and marketing communications strategies are needed. Encourage the students to offer specific recommendations for the future. 3. Tim Hortons is undeniably Canada’s most successful company. Strong marketing programs have always played a key role in the growth and development of the company. However, Tim Hortons operates in market where there is much competitor overlap (e.g., burger restaurants competing with chicken restaurants, competing with pizza restaurants, and so on). Menu duplication is prevalent. To stay in front Tim’s must continue to bring innovative products to market, find ways of serving people more quickly and maintain prices at reasonable levels so as to keep the value equation in check. Effective marketing communications have always been strength of the company. Tim Hortons is an expert at building image with emotional advertising campaigns and a master at building loyalty through sales promotion programs. Given the level of competition, fresh approaches to marketing communications may be needed. 4. Canadian Tire is an excellent example of a Canadian company that has successfully fended off competition from extremely large and resourceful American retailers. Numerous factors have contributed to their success: ongoing marketing research to stay in touch with customer needs; innovative marketing and merchandising programs; pleasant shopping environment (e.g., effective store layouts and lighting); memorable marketing communications programs that have an impact on customers; and wide selection of merchandise at competitive prices. Students should recognize that Canadian Tire is a company that does not stand still. It is an innovative company that other companies must react to if they are to be successful. The company’s advertising programs are sometimes irritating (The Canadian Tire guy) but they are effective in generating business. Nothing else matters! In a nutshell Canadian Tire positions itself as the place to get any kind of project started. Best Buy offers a wide range of electronics products in a relaxing Copyright © . 21

environment—no high pressure sales tactics like those used by some competitors. In terms of positioning Best Buy offers the latest in electronics technology to serve the needs of contemporary lifestyles. Roots is the quintessential supplier of Canadian clothing. It offers casual and stylish clothing for all age groups. 5. The intent of this question is to get students sourcing appropriate secondary market information that is typically included in the background section of a marketing plan. Once the information is collected the student should make some observations and conclusions that would have impact on the direction to take in a marketing plan. 6. Responses will vary based on the product leader and challenger chosen by the student. The intent is to evaluate the marketing communications mix employed by each brand. Are there any differences that may have an impact on brand performance? 7. Working in reverse, the idea here is to generate the prototypical target market profile based on the imagery and message communicated in advertising and other forms of marketing communications. Since the product is a luxury automobile all key elements of a profile (demographic, psychographic and geographic) will play a role.

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