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Kajal Bhalsod 11N

Business Coursework

Market Planning

The product I intend on marketing is a magazine. The name of the magazine is Cosmogirl, and I have chosen this particular product as it clearly applies to two market segments. A market segment is a type of genre which divides the whole market. Examples of different market segments can be seen in the publishing industry, as broadsheet newspapers target business people in Class 2 of the socio-economic segment, whereas a magazine called ‘The Oldie’ is directed towards the older generation, and therefore fits into the gender segment.

The two main segments that Cosmogirl magazine applies to are:-


                                             AGE – this is because the magazine deals with issues  

                             concerning teenage girls, aged 12-19.


              GENDER – this is because the magazine is aimed at teenage girls

                              as it concentrates on issues that would interest girls. For

                              example, music, love stories and the latest fashion


I chose this magazine because I believe it is in stage 3 of the Product Life Cycle, which means that it has reached the mature part of its shelf life and I think by marketing, sales can be maximised. This would mean that instead of achieving a ‘normal’ product life cycle (which is ultimately when the business declines), it would create an ‘extended’ product life cycle.

A ‘normal’ product life cycle is one which is experienced by most products, although it is something that can lead a business to die, and is therefore avoided as much as possible.

An ‘extended’ product life cycle is one which is very profitable for the product. This cycle consists of introducing new ranges or promotions to try and increase sales, thus stopping it from going into decline like the ‘normal’ cycle. Both are shown below, to indicate the two paths that Cosmogirl could take.  

Although there is no gap in the market for teenage magazines, I believe that Cosmogirl is a profitable product and so could increase sales by extensive marketing. It is also possible that it could become a market leader if it owns a greater percentage of the market share.

I think Cosmogirl will be a successful product because it is a mini version of Cosmopolitan (a magazine aimed at women), meaning that it already has a brand name, and so is much more recognisable amongst the various teen magazines. Many celebrities and popstars endorse Cosmogirl by appearing on the front covers of the monthly magazine. This means that both magazines are being promoted and given an appealing image. A good reputation aids the product to success, as it attracts customers. Cosmogirl also attracts customers by giving away promotional items such as bags, make-up and posters. This persuades more girls to buy the magazine, thus increasing sales.


Here is the latest magazine cover, showing a picture of American actress Brittany Murphy. This demonstrates how the company uses branding to attract customers. The bright colours, bold headings and pictures also help persuade young girls to purchase the magazine.

Market Research

Although my product has already been extensively marketed at the beginning of its product life Cycle, the market may have changed; therefore it is important to carry out market research so that the product can be marketed as effectively as possible.


‘The surveying of consumers needs and preferences’

This basically means the collating of information that indicates what the customer likes about the product and feels should be included in the product. In this case, the customers may point out certain features which they feel should be included in Cosmogirl such as fashion features. Also, they may indicate colour preferences or packaging that they would like the magazine to have.

It is important to do market research as it helps to give the Cosmogirl marketers an outlook as the type of things that will attract customers change all the time, especially teenage girls, therefore market research will help to make sure that it is up to date with the latest trends, so that more girls will want to purchase the magazine. By carrying out market research, other factors such as pricing and packaging can be decided, so that Cosmogirl appeals to a maximum range of consumers.

The main benefit of market research is that it provides a broad range on all the factors which can influence the consumer’s decision to buy the magazine. Most importantly it means that the company cuts their risks to a minimum as they are increasing the appeal factor by knowing what the customer wants and likes. This means that their chances of succeeding are higher because they are not making mistakes in simple but important factors such as pricing.

Market research can help get the answers to the following key questions (which will form a part of my questionnaire):-

  • Who will buy Cosmogirl magazine?

This is important to know as it forms the basis of the marketing strategies, so that the company knows who the advertisements should be aimed at. Although, as stated previously, it will be mainly teenage girls buying the magazine. By carrying out market research, I may also discover that other gender or age segments are interested in purchasing the magazine.

  • How much money are consumers willing to pay to buy Cosmogirl?

This is also a very significant factor that the company needs to get right. If the price is too high, then this may decrease sales. By taking into consideration the age of consumers (13-19 years old) it should be understandable that the magazine cannot be too expensive. Market research can help get the customers own opinion as to how much they are willing to pay, thus influencing the final price.

  • Where is it best to sell the magazine?

By finding out where consumers normally buy magazines, the company can then distribute them to the different shops so that they are available for everyone, therefore increasing the chances of the magazine being bought.

  • What features of Cosmogirl attract consumers?

If there are certain things about the magazine which are popular with the customers, then it will mean that Cosmogirl marketers can use it to their advantage by placing emphasis on these things.

  • What features of Cosmogirl are not liked by customers?

This shows the company which areas to improve and make more appealing to the consumer. These may help market sales generally, as thy may have been the let down for the magazine i.e. the reason people were not buying it.

  • What things would encourage customer to buy the magazine?

This question gives the consumer a chance to have their say, and suggest improvements or new things which would persuade them to buy the magazine. This is a very important question as it shows the company what they could do to improve the magazine and increase the number of sales. It also gives them more guidance on any promotions that they could include in the magazine such as free tickets or competitions. This is important as a free gift could be the factor that ultimately affects a consumer buying the magazine; therefore it is vital that research is carried out to find this information.

   Types of research

The whole section of market research is divided into two types of   research:-

  1. Field
  2. Desk

Field research is used to gather primary data. This is carried out by contacting consumers directly i.e. face-to-face. The primary data is totally new research which is sometimes very different, depending on the number of people asked and other factors. The advantage of field research is that the consumer’s opinion is more dominant. It is the most important aspect as it highlights weaknesses and strengths, which the company can alter in order to maximise sales. A disadvantage could be that it is quite time consuming.

Desk research is used to gather secondary data. This is data which has already been gathered by another person and published. This information can be found on the internet, in books and annual reports from the Cosmogirl companies. There is a main disadvantage of desk research which is that the information may not be updated regularly which means that it cannot be entirely relied upon. Desk research has the advantage of being very accessible which means a lot of data can be gathered.

I am going to use a questionnaire to contact consumers directly; therefore this method is a part of field research because it is collating primary data. I will design questions which will try and find the answers to the bullet points shown previously. The reason I am going to use a questionnaire is because I believe it will help gather the right information that is needed. I also will be able to interact with the consumers themselves and hear their own suggestions. I will use open questions in my questionnaire so that consumers will be encouraged to suggest improvements or discuss some things in more detail. I will also use closed questions to narrow down certain factors and also make the questionnaire time efficient so that the customers do not get bored while filling in the questionnaire. I intend on asking specifically teenage girls, as I believe asking other age or gender segments would be pointless. This is supported through my explanation of the specific market segments that Cosmogirl magazine is aimed at. I know that my target audience is teenage girls therefore it is understandable that teenage girls should be asked, as I would be able to get more meaningful results rather than asking an old lady who probably hasn’t read the magazine before. I intend on asking around 30 girls, most probably at school as this is where I would easily be able to find teenage girls to answer my questionnaire. The reason I am asking 30 girls is because I think it is a large enough sample size to ask, however, after completing the questionnaire I may find that the size is not adequate.

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Also, I intend to carry out a shop survey, which will show me how the different competitor magazines are priced. I will do this by going into a newsagent, and noting down the prices of each teen magazine. This is a good method as it will help me in my pricing section, during which I will have to decide on an effective price for my magazine. As I am independently carrying out the method, then it can be counted as a part of my field research. The advantage of doing a shop survey is that it is very time ...

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