Quiz 4: The IMC Planning Process
Question 1 The Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) planning process concentrates on the three Cs, namely customers, competitors and communications. The customers are further sub-divided into four categories namely: 1) Present customers 2) Former customers 3) Potential customers 4) Competitor's customers. Having identified the customers will lead to identifying the market segments and focusing on the target market. The most important is to determine the product positioning which in turn will lead to defining the main objectives of the communications. This leads one to working out the budget and basing one's selection of the various IMC components to be used. Bose's products are at the high end of the audio products market. They are well known for their quality and technology which is un-matched in the world. Their customers are from a small but very discerning group of individuals who appreciate the difference the quality and technology of Bose products brings. They are usually from the upper middle class and upper class since Bose products are usually very expensive. Bose suffered a loss of sales due to the global economic downturn. This means that they lost some of their market due to the reduction of the disposable incomes in their customer's pockets. These are customers that Bose can target to get back. Although the economic downturn has affected the western countries to a great degree the effect on the emerging economies is much lesser. Also the markets in Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa have been experiencing a boom. This is where the new potential customers could be found. Having identified the customers and markets the rest of the IMC planning process can be now followed. Question 2 Bose Wave products should continue to maintain its present customer base by offering various incentives. One has to remember the old rule-of thumb that it cost six times as much to acquire a new customer than to retain an old customer. Bose's strategy of going on with their technological development will pay rich dividends since the global down turn has not affected the upper crust of their markets and these customers can still afford to buy a new product. Also with the improving economic situation world-wide they can expect their old customers to come back and a revival of the sales. Question 3 This question is very difficult to answer without the full financials of the company being available. Whether it can survive without diluting its image would depend on the level of reserves that the company has. However having said that, a glance at their website shows that they are in a lot of other diversified businesses which are totally disconnected form their core business of audio systems. These will help sustain the company over the lean times in the audio systems business. Hence one can conclude that they should not dilute their brand-equity by trying to enter the low cost market. Question 4 The primary communications objective of Bose should be to maintain their positioning in the market of audio systems as a high quality and technologically innovative manufacturer. All the advertising messages as well as the website should concentrate on this fact. Also the communication should emphasize the "snob value" of the brand. For instance they also manufacture audio systems for automobiles. However these are found only in the more expensive brands of the automobiles and are custom designed for every car model. Question 5 The Objective and Tasks Model would be the best model to be followed by Bose. Since it has a presence in various international markets it should evaluate its objectives in each of its markets. These could range from maintaining a market position to penetrating a new market. The sum of all these objectives would define the tasks required to achieve these objectives. Once these are defined the cost associated with each task can easily be calculated to define the total budget. Question 6 Bose needs to deliver a lot of information for all its products. This is especially true in case of ether new products or old products in new markets. Hence the best IMC components to be used would be websites, print media as well as direct mail to a targeted segment.
The product under study is the Asus Nexus 7 Tablet also popularly sold as the Google TM Nexus 7 Tablet. This product has been recently upgraded to a better processor and a LCD display with a higher resolution than the earlier version which was launched about a year ago. This version also has a Lithium Polymer battery with a longer battery life. The basic tablet comes only with Wi-Fi, although versions in the Asian markets have been marketed with a SIM card also. Another advantage is that it has the latest Android system which auto-updates. One has seen the original 4.1 version now updated to 4.3 within the space of one year. It is available in 16GB and 32GB internal memory with no expansion slots. However with a little smart electronics using an OTG cable any Flash drive can be made to work as additional storage. The customers are basically anyone in the market for a mobile device and not wanting to hold it in two hands like an iPad as well as pay the fancy prices for an iPad. In fact after this device was launched Apple had to counter it with the launch of the iPad Mini which is a smaller version of the iPad. The main competitors in the US market are HP with the HP Slate and Samsung with the Samsung Galaxy Tab. The Amazon Kindle is also a competitor although feature-wise it does not compare to the other three. However the Google Nexus has an advantage that it is also being offered on the Google Play Store where one gets a coupon of $25 towards purchases made in the Store. This product was promoted by Google as its first tablet. There was a lot of hype before its launch and it has found a lot of buyers due to its ease of handling and robust design.
There are specialized swimwear manufacturers as well as leading sportswear manufacturers like Nike and Adidas who also manufacture swimwear. For the purpose of this exercise only specialized swimwear manufacturers will be studied. Swimwear can be further sub-classified into beachwear, competition suits and surfing wear. The five companies chosen are: 1) Jantzen (www.jantzen.com) 2) Speedo (www.speedo.com) 3) Watersun Swimwear (www.watersun.com) 4) AgonSwim (www.agonswim.com) 5) Rip Curl (www.ripcurl.com) Jantzen Jantzen was one of the first companies of manufacture swimwear way back in 1910. Actually they started as a rowing suit which was later on sold as swimwear. Their web site appeals mainly to women and emphasizes the fact that you figure does not matter since whatever the shape of your body you would look good in their swimwear. They seem to be more traditional in their approach since most of the swimwear shown is one-piece. They feel that their reputation is good enough to get them customers, hence there are no offers on the website. Speedo Speedo is a company established in 1910 in Australia by a Scotsman. They became well-known in 1929 when a Swedish swimmer Arne Borg won a Gold medal in the Olympics wearing a Speedo swimsuit. It is a company that has identified itself with competitive swimming and also led the field in beachwear by introducing the bikini. This was initially banned in Australia. Today more swimmers wear the Speedo brand in competitive swimming than any other brand. With this reputation they do not offer any monetary offers on the web site. However there are plenty of tips on how to swim better and many detailed videos demonstrating how it is done. Watersun Swimwear This is an Australian company that markets two brands of swimwear, Watersun and ADA. It displays a wide variety of beachwear and the website is basically designed as an e-commerce site. One can make purchases of any of the items displayed and the equivalent price is also displayed in Euros, US Dollars, British Pounds and New Zealand Dollars apart from Australian Dollars which is the ultimate transaction currency There are no offers but there seems to be an upper limit to the amount one can buy. AgonSwim AgonSwim offers customized swimwear in a variety of fabrics, colors and styles. There does not seem to be any restriction on the minimum order quantity. However there is a discount if a larger quantity known as a team purchase. Apart from swimwear they do also offer other types of sportswear for cycling, soccer, athletics and football. Rip Curl Rip Curl as the name suggests is mainly into the manufacture of swimwear for a surfer which is termed as board wear. The company has different websites for Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, North America and South America. The offers on these different web sites vary and something which is available in Australia may not be available in Asia. Mostly the offers are by way of free garments against purchase of certain items. Mostly it is free towels on the purchase of a body suit or a full wet suit.
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