Produce a marketing strategy for a new or existing product
o : Sturrock
From : Jameeda Bashir
Date : September 2002
Ref : Marketing
The aim of the report is to produce a marketing strategy for a new or existing product. I have chosen to base this report on Cosmopolitan, a successful woman’s monthly magazine. I have chosen this because it has a loyal readership and is currently market leader in its field.
Above is a copy of the current readership figures for the UK’s top Health, Beauty and Lifestyle Woman's monthlies. As the figures show, while there is a large gap between the readership figures for Cosmopolitan and its closest rival (Marie Claire), the only way to make sure that Cosmopolitan will remain market leader in the future is to continue to widen that gap. Therefore, my marketing aim is to continue to increase the market share.
Cosmopolitan has reached the top of the league by using a marketing strategy which combines the promoting or giving out of questionnaires and other research techniques to understand the needs of the customers/ readers and giving freebies, advertising and more.
The possible aims for these magazines would be as follows:
- Achieving market domination.
- Increasing market share position.
- Retaining existing market shares.
- Combating new entrants to the market.
Achieving market domination- this is not relevant to cosmopolitan
because they have already achieved this.
Increasing market share / position-this is the aim that appears to be most relevant to cosmopolitan because they need to keep on widening their gap with their competitors, especially its closest rival / threat, Marie Claire. To achieve this, they will have to look at other magazines that have done well and steal their ideas and readership.
Retaining existing market share -this is another aim that cosmopolitan need to be aware of because retaining means holding on to existing customers and making sure they come back to you and don’t go anywhere else. This also is cheaper than recruiting, which involves advertising etc…
Combating new entrants –one of the key factors in market is the existence and strength of competition. In a competitive environment organisations are forced to be on their toes. They cannot allow rivals to gain advantages by offering lower prices or goods customers perceive to be substantially better. This aim is relevant to cosmopolitan because if a new magazine is launched, this poses a potential future threat to all magazines in that market sector. Therefore, this issue cannot be ignored. Through an aim of increasing market share, knocking out new entrants can, if well planned, be a by-product of marketing strategy.
Cosmopolitan needs to widen the gap between Marie Claire; on the other hand Marie Claire may be trying their best to rise above cosmopolitan. Therefore, before they think about widening the gap, Cosmopolitan Need to stabilize their position before they can widen this gap. Their aim must be to Increase Market share / position.
In order to be successful, cosmopolitan will gear their activities to being better than competitors, and keeping up with any improvements competitors make.
The first challenge for Cosmopolitan is to find a set of customers and to identify their needs so that appropriate goods and services can be developed. The first element in the marketing mix is the product. Once Cosmopolitan has a product, then all the other elements in this marketing mix can engaged to meet customer needs. These may include developing the pricing for the product provided, working out how to distribute (place) goods to the customers, as how to promote them.
My chosen magazine is Cosmopolitan the publishing director of Cosmopolitan is Jan Adcock. Profile: Cosmopolitan meets and tackles all of its readers concerns, passions and ever-broadening interests. Advice on relationships and men continues to beat the heart of the cosmopolitan offer but is also backed by relevant, topical features, imaginative fashion and beauty and the very latest health and career news.
Glamorous and gutsy as well as frank and intimate, Cosmopolitan celebrates being a women by recognizing that women today are stronger, braver
And more exceptional than ever. Cosmopolitan support, encourage, congratulates, entertains, amuses, inspires and uplifts - helping its readers be the very best they can.
The core Cosmopolitan buyer is ABC1 and in her mid to late twenties. Intelligent and independent, she is determined to succeed - in her career, her social life, and her relationships. She wants to take full advantage of the many choices and opportunities open to her and understand that self-fulfillment comes from having fun, treating yourself and feeling good, as much from work and material achievements. Sex men and shopping are essential part of her life. She is part of the post-feminist generation who assumes they have equal rights. She has grown up in a world that has grown progressively smaller and more accessible, so is far less constrained by society’s rules, physical boundaries, or tradition than her predecessors. She will judge her success on her own terms.
The issues that Cosmopolitan cover within their magazine are set out in very interesting format which makes the reader just want to go for it. With the bold writing saying celebrities real-life stories this is another method used to attract readers. Cosmopolitan attract their readers by advertising their front cover in a glossy, colorful and eye catching way, using attractive women figures on the front, with her eyes set so that when you enter a shop she will be watching you where ever you turn. The purpose of this is so that you can’t miss the magazine from any angle. Cosmopolitan start their magazine with fashion using exaggerated words like "flirty fashion", basically to encourage readers.
These are followed by some love stories persuading readers to read on. Then going on to some advice on hair for everyone with hair problems. Moving on to some real life issues and then summing it up with ideas on how to lose weight and finally supplementing this with some gossip about celebrity life styles.
Comparisons with the competition
Comparing this with their closest rival, Marie Claire, who also are successful in what they do, they have nearly reached the top of the league in fact they are second best, just below cosmopolitan. If they have reached this far they must have something that readers are interested in; this is why I have decided to compare this with Marie Claire in order to improve Cosmopolitan and to widen their gap between Marie Claire their closest rival.
Marie Claire has also set their front cover in exactly the same way as Cosmopolitan but with different headings and issues. Like cosmopolitan, Marie claire has a very pretty picture of a model that would attract their targeted readers which are girls that are aged between 15-19 this is the age that girls tend to care more about their looks. Her eyes targeting at you so that when you walk pass you get at least a glimpse of the magazine.
Marie Claire also uses exaggerated phrases such as "Courtney opens her heart on marriage, babies and being too thin", to dramatise the issues they cover fashion tips. Then to attract reader's attention they use the word celebrity for instance "celebrity beauty" which is what every would want to look like.marie claire advertise their magazine in very bold and big letter like "men's confessions"and other words such as "452 fashion best buy" this is their way of making the readers to flick through. marie claire also advertise their front cover in a glossy and bright and colourful so that it stands out from the rest with a figure on the front .
The issues within marie claire are also very interesting, they start with tips on fashion and then relating it with some advice on beauty and health and then in contrast they add some gossip on Celebes life style. This is then followed with providing information on travel, then to encourage readers to choose their particular magazine they have there own page where they offer special offers to their readers which are worth looking at they even offer vouchers. Finally they have a page of regulars this page is about letters from readers and information on publisher of the magazine.
Cosmopolitans sell their product at a reasonable price, which is £2.80.Comparing this price with Marie Claire’s price their closest rival which is the same. Cosmopolitan needs to keep on checking their price with their competitor’s price in order for them to stay at their position .For instance if marie claire decide to lower their price therefore they might be able to overtake cosmopolitan's position or might put it on offer. An advantage of having your product expensive is that readers might think that if the product is expensive the quality is going to be good, rather then some cheaper magazines. Cosmopolitan needs to keep on checking their price with other competitors too. Prices of other competitors are as follows:
Looking at other prices of the competitors they all seem reasonable. Even though Red is a lot cheaper it has less reader's cosmopolitan, cosmopolitan has the most readership then any of the other competitors .My aim is to widen the gap between cosmopolitan and marie claire.
Cosmopolitans sell their product virtually everywhere for instance in newsagents, shops, cornershops, shopping malls, stores, newsstands and they send subscriptions through post. As a part of a primary research, I have given out questionnaires to try to find out what readers of cosmopolitan do and like, and where they go so we can sell our magazine in those places.
Cosmopolitan promote their product nearly everywhere for instance they promote it on television in between soaps, other magazines, posters, handing out leaflets in towns. To find out more about what people wanted I have handed out a questionnaire to find out what soaps they watch what places they go to in order to place my adverts.
Cosmopolitan targeted audiences are readers aged between 19-28 ABC1. Cosmopolitans sell their product nationally. I have investigated the total population between 19-28 in Aylesbury are 11062 people. Which I hope to aim at by advertising. The occupation is all in different positions such as half the readers are students and workers so the occupations were very different. The consumers are people who are rich and poor both types of customers can afford to buy the magazine.
Establishing customer needs
Cosmopolitan has to explore the needs of its customers and activities of its competitors before it can develop a marketing strategy. To gain an understanding of the market for a product, I will need to understand the different research methods and data.
I need to know how primary research is carried out, and how to interpret primary research data for use in developing marketing strategy. The methods that I can use in order to get hold of that information are as follows:
- Discussions with people for instance, interviews, focus groups, and panel discussions.
- Questionnaires and surveys
- Testing through pilots and fields trials.
The method that I have chosen to use is a Questionnaire this is a very effective way of retaining valuable information, but has to be done the right way to gain full advantage.
Another way that I segmented my audience was by dividing the age range, splitting one huge age range into four small age groups which were: 15-18, 19-21, 22-25, 26-28. The idea of this was so that when I received the Questionnaire I can put the appropriate Questionnaire under the specific age range group that it went under. This will then enable for the whole process to run smoothly as possible because this way I will have four piles of Questionnaire that tell me exactly what each specific age group likes and wants. The results were as follows:
16-18 age group- This age group was the complicated age group and are quite easy to attract this is because they can be influenced by numerous of things like celebrity and can also be quite fussy too. They were also attracted by what was given on the front cover like diaries, which they can keep throughout the year with all of the dates relevant with the events that are going to take place. The younger age range has a number of very different interests and concerns then the older range. For instance the type of music, celebrity, fashion, movies, activities, lifestyle, and the situations they are in. The younger audience are the school age group, because this age group is at school they don't have much disposable income this not only giving them no opportunities to splash out their money, but also leaving out of the gossips which come within the magazines. From the Questionnaire that I divided up into a small age range which is16-19. I have learnt that this age range when compared with the older age range there were a lot of differences .For instance most younger age group wanted and rated issues on gossips about the top celebrity, tips on latest fashion which they can upgrade their look on. And something that attracts them from the front cover of the magazine like celebrities.
19-21 age group- At around this age most of the age range would start university and I would refer to them as the uni age range. Their taste are similar to the younger age group but with a little difference. From the Questionnaire I have learnt that this age range wanted Celebrities gossip but not same as what the younger ones like. They also wanted issues on fiction, soaps, and health and beauty.
This is a preview of the whole essay
22-25 age range- This is what I would call the traditional age group meaning the changing group because from this point onwards their tastes change. This group has gone through school, university and they now have probably started their first job, which means they now have a reasonable disposable and they can now start flashing their money. The magazines Cosmopolitan caters specifically for this age group because the issues within in Cosmopolitan relate more to this group for instance the relationships, situation language etc. From the Questionnaire I have found out that when compared with the younger age range there are lots of differences for example this age group liked issues on health and beauty, diets, celebrities and a problem.
26-28 age range-This age group would be at their stage of their life where they are progressing their career. I am going to call them the mature age because they have moved up into the world they have now moved up into their job which means they now have a higher disposable income. Cosmopolitan is also targeting this age group. Like the changing age group they have similar interests, Therefore the issues in Cosmopolitan more of relate to these too. From the Questionnaire I have learnt that this age group wanted issues on environment, medical help and tips on diet etc.
From the findings I have found out that it is difficult for magazines to cater specifically for such a wide age range of people. To overcome this problem instead of cutting off the one big age range from each end, I will divide the age ranges by drawing the line through the middle.
16-18 School age group
19-21 University age group
22-25 First job age group
26-28 Career progressing
As shown above I have drawn a line through between the ages of 19- 21 and 22-25. The reason because I have split the ranges into two sections is to show that the top two have similar tastes and the bottom half have similar tastes, which really splits the four sections into two sections. And showing that the bottom half is what Cosmopolitan caters for, and are the popular readers of Cosmopolitan. Because it is difficult for Cosmopolitan cater for all age ranges I have come up with a solution that will try to overcome this problem. I will launch a new magazine that will be designed especially for the top half of the audience. This magazine will be recognized as the Cosmopolitan 'TEENS' designed specifically for the top half of the audience. The idea of this is so that Cosmopolitan doesn’t lose on any readers instead attract.
In order to improve and to promote more customers to buy the magazine I have produced a questionnaire taking a more specific look at what readers like and want. I decided to put my questionnaire inside other magazines in the publisher’s product portfolio and to encourage readers to fill it in. I have offered them a free holiday in Wan Chai in Hong Kong for them to win which I arranged over the phone with a travelling agency.
[Include copy of Q and explain the relevance of each of your Qs]
In my questionnaire the results didn’t come as a surprise from the readers of Cosmopolitan. This was because the younger readers compared with the older readers had a lot of differences. For example with the issues, the younger readers aged between 15-19 preferred issues on gossip, celebrity, fashion, beauty, health a glossy front cover and freebies that come free with the magazine, Whereas the older ones aged between 20-28 have moved up into the world they have moved up in their job they have more disposable income and they wanted issues on travel which now they can afford. They also wanted issues on environment because they are keener on the environment around them and how their children’s are brought up considering the environment. As they have become a lot older then the younger age group they tend to worry more about their figures as they asked for tips on diets and etc.
These results will definitely influence my strategy decisions because when I change my product to increase market share and widen the gap between their closest rival. I will take in account from the primary research, which I have found out about different ages of people like different issues. To overcome this problem I will balance my product so that it offers and covers variety of issues expected by all age groups.
I also compared marie claire with Cosmopolitan to see weather there are any issues that cosmopolitan don’t cover and marie claire does I found this very interesting because even though Cosmopolitan has more readership than marie claire but marie claire strangely covers more issues and gives more offers. For instance marie claire have a whole page of offers which they offer to their readers another issue that cosmopolitan don’t cover is on lifestyles. This is another issue I will be taking into account so that when I adapt and change my magazine I will be sure these issues are included so that I can steal some of marie claire’s readers with them.
The front cover is probably the most important part because after all it is the cover that attracts most people. It is a risk in designing the front because there is a chance of the readers not liking the cover. The cover will be changed and adapted into a more colourful eye-catching in order to attract and to persuade more readers to buy the magazine and I already know that to attract young readers will be the cover and the freebies that it offers. On the front cover different bold texts will be placed so that when a reader catches a glimpse of the magazine they can see what’s inside just by reading the cover.
The design will be fresh, something new, modern and several other techniques will be used like taking pictures reversing them, bold texts and placing them upside down, taking texts placing them different angles, placing pictures on top of each other and basically stupid things like that.
The issues will be changed in order to suit everyone’s needs this will be done considering everyone’s opinion on their needs and wants. I will only change my magazine at some extant because if I change my product too much this might affect the existing customers in order to keep my existing customers I will have to keep my product and make the changes only to some extant to satisfy my customers. Before I can make any changes to the product I have to first stabilize my existing customers before making any changes. I will also create a problem page this page is about if someone has problem then they can write to the problem page that will try solve it
This is the vital part of the marketing mix because you need the best price to sell your product at. In order to do this is to look at where your product is. For instance Cosmopolitan is at the top of the league and has the most readerships than any other magazines this then enables the product to move their prices without any risks involved. This year Cosmopolitan’s birthday is coming up it is a perfect chance to put Cosmopolitan on offer by moving their price to a lower price maybe to 95p this it is a gamble, but it can be a huge success this will hopefully encourage readers to buy their competitors magazine and cosmopolitan magazine which will seem to them at a such low price and gradually then moving the prices high again with the readers of their competitors too.
Distribution plays an important part in the marketing mix. It helps cosmopolitan meet customer needs profitably and efficiently. In the questionnaire I asked questions like where the reader’s of Cosmopolitan spent their time? What hobbies they like? Where they mostly buy magazines? Etc. These questions were asked in order to help me decide where was the place for the magazine. The results were that most of Cosmopolitan readers went out more often to clubbing, tennis, shopping, bowling this was really expected because of the age group. I also got the reader’s of the reader’s of marie claire to fill out the questionnaire too. Their results were they also liked going out to nightclubs, parting, gymnastics, tennis, cinemas, and shopping. With this vital piece of research I will put this together and find a place that both readers of marie claire and Cosmopolitan attend. This way I be able to provoke the reader’s of marie claire into buying cosmopolitan.
From my questionnaire I have learnt what programs readers of Cosmopolitan watch and what programs are the most popular to gain full advantage of them I will advertise my product between those programs so that I can attract more readers. To make the readers aware of this new product I will be using the device advertising to gain full advantage of the audience. This is the most expensive and probably the most successful if is done the right way. There are various devices that I can use to get the message of the new product across. I have chosen Advertising, advertising is a prime way of gaining competitive advantage. Advertising not only enables Cosmopolitan to present and describe the key features of a product to potential customers but also has the power to transform the product by creating subtle association between product and lifestyles.
From the research I found out what programs are the most popular this was in order to advertise between those programs. This I found very interesting because Eastenders come up as the most favorite soap, as this soap is on BBC1 there is a slight problem meaning BBC1 doesn’t do any advertising. In order to overcome this constraint I have come up with a solution instead of using advertising I am going to use product placement, this means getting the product seen in a different environment which reflects and emphasis the product image and has to be paid to be done. To do this I will be getting the most popular person in the soap to hold the product where it is eye-catching and the most noticeable.
Within advertising I will be using two methods those are Splash advertising and Drip advertising. Splash advertising is lots in one but lasts for a short period and is very expensive, On the other hand Drip advertising is a slow, constant reminder. Before a magazine can splash out their money on expensive advertising they need to see where they are in the dominated market as Cosmopolitan this isn't a issue at all because they are the successful magazine which means they can afford to do this. I will be using both techniques because I really want to make an effort of becoming focus of attention.
The device I will be using for the launch of the new magazine recognized as the Cosmo 'TEENS' which is specifically designed for the top half of the age range they are the school and the university age group, they are known as the younger age and have different tastes and interests when compared with the bottom half of the audience. This group has similar likes and dislikes so I decided to put them as one and cater specifically for them. I think splash advertising is the most appropriate for this as it is the launch of the new magazine and needs to be reminded quiet frequently as it needs effective and expensive advertising to get its message across.
The Drip advertising is going to be used for Cosmopolitan the initial magazine this is specifically for the bottom half of the age range, which are the first job and the career progressing age group, they are known as the mature group. This is the group that Cosmopolitan specifically caters for which really leaves out the younger group. I have avoided this problem by launching a totally new magazine for them as I have explained in the above paragraph. I have kept the original magazine for this group, but I have made a few changes to it that will fulfill the customer needs and requirements. As these changes have been made I want them to be recognized, which I thought Drip advertising would be brilliant idea it is cheap and a constant reminder to make readers aware of this product, and the changes made.
Another constraint is the launching of the new product that is a brilliant idea in long term this will also feed back in the long term, but as my strategy is only a 12-month trial I need a faster acting strategies to work alongside this strategy in order to meet my short term target. Those are as I have shown in my strategy.
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
This is a frame structure, which tells the organisation of any on coming risks. In order to develop an appropriate marketing strategy, which involves creating the best possible match between the external environment and the internal capabilities. To overcome this problem I will draw out a SWOT and PEST analysis that will overcome any problems. A particularly useful approach to examining the relationship between Cosmopolitan and its marketing environment is a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis sets out to focus upon the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats facing business or its products at a given moment. It includes both internal and an external element. The internal element looks at current strengths and weaknesses of the organisation. The external element looks at current the opportunities and threats present in the environment in which the organisation operates.
Cosmopolitan as strength has a loyal readership and a strong brand image their loyal readership is mainly based around the age 16-34. This is because people around this age group want and enjoy entertainment. And this is what Cosmopolitan is good at giving what their customers want, which gives them this as strength. Another strength within Cosmopolitan is that they have dominated in the market meaning they have reached the top of the league and need a way of staying there.
From the SWOT analysis above Cosmopolitan needs to develop on their Opportunities, minimize weaknesses and to cancel threats and to build on the strengths. In order for Cosmopolitan to build on the organisation strengths they need to consider making big changes by seizing opportunities. For instance if Cosmopolitan decide to lower their prices this is advantage and successful approach in gaining more readers. When the consumers will see this price they will definitely buy the magazine this will be able to provoke other competitors consumers, allowing the readers to actually read the magazine and pick it up the next time too. Gradually moving their prices back high again with more readers with their target accomplished. This will be an example in my strategy.
As well as changing the price and the quality of the product meaning by changing the expectancy of the paper. This is another device for gaining more consumers by meeting customer needs and requirements. From my research I found out that most people made points on the quality of the paper that the expectancy of the paper should be changed into something that lasts and doesn’t tear apart. In order to meet this requirement I will be changing the expectancy of the paper into something that doesn’t tear apart. And up dating by new media development, they can cancel two threats which are competitors and new product entrants.
Another opportunity for Cosmopolitan is that they can product placement their product in order to create awareness and target at that age group effectively by researching which programs are the most popular and who are the popular actors within that program to place your product there. This is a good way of increasing brand awareness, which I hopefully will add in my strategy.
They will be way ahead of their competitors and at the top of the league and also new entrants will be knocked out. Also the niche age range is16-28 this is a weakness as it is constantly losing loyal readership. This demands customers older or younger then this age to choose a different product then 'Cosmopolitan'. This weakness can be turned to an opportunity then to an strength if the organisation decides to change the age range to aim at an larger audience and this could probably provide 'Cosmopolitan' with more customers and less competitive market.
Another weakness for Cosmopolitan is that it struggles to keep up with anticipating ever-changing top celebrities. To overcome this weakness and change it into strength. This is linked with another one of Cosmopolitan strength, which is they really are big and has dominated in the market and are currently running under E-map with other magazines.
E-map who are massive publisher this then means Cosmopolitan can draw on the research from other magazines under the publisher to get information for anticipating up-coming celebrities.
Another one of Cosmopolitan weakness is that it only caters for the age range between 16-28 this is such a wide group, which means they only can cater for a small group this makes younger group feel ignored and demands them to buy another magazine. To try and overcome this problem I will launch a new magazine that will recognize the specific group and cater for them fulfilling their needs and requirements.
The final weakness within cosmopolitan is that it has saturated in the market meaning it has squeezed out every opportunity in gaining more customers. To turn this in an opportunity for Cosmopolitan they can export their product abroad, encouraging other cultures to buy the magazine and stealing readers from other magazines. These are the opportunities, which they can then turn into strength.
Political, Economic, Social and Technological.
This is a frame structure that identifies the key factor external to an organisation that are likely to have an influence on the organisation in the coming months and years. PEST stands for Political, Economic, and Social and Technological influences all of, which are external.
The PEST analysis above identifies the Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors of 'Cosmopolitan'. In order to increase 'Cosmopolitan's' market share they need to try to attract more customers. My research from the Questionnaire shows that, In order to attract more customers that preferred to read environmentally friendly products. Cosmopolitan can change their product to more environmentally friendly product by using recycled paper. By using recycled paper some customers may feel that this product is concerned about the future and the place we live in as well as making profit, customers may feel more secure by using this product that is much more safer.
Business decisions are influenced by political, fiscal and legal decisions.
As from the political constraint, which magazines have to be careful about, are the legal restraints. One constraint for example is the laws, which involves magazines that often write stories, which are exaggerated or even untrue. Celebrities can protect themselves from this by using the libel law this basically means if something untrue is written about them they can then use this law and protect themselves by suing the company. This is a big loss for the company and they also can put off customers from buying the magazine, because, while readers love 'juicy' gossip, they don't like to feel that what they are reading is untrue. This leaves them not trusting the product.
Another one of the legal restraints, which magazines have to be aware of is the Data Protection Act. This fundamentally means that if magazines write personal details about a celebrity, or any other member of the public, that are given without the person's consent they can then use this law to protect themselves.
Intrusion Law is another restraint that magazine need to be concerned about, this law basically means for instance if a magazine starts stalking a celebrity for some information on them they can use this law and protect themselves.
Another legal restraint which can not be avoided are laws relating to sexually explicit or exploitative photos or editorials appearing in the media. This in essence means that every thing has a limit that how far a magazine can do for instance photographs that involve sexual pictures, which magazines have to have a limit which they can only do and not over do that limit. Again, the public will have their own limits regarding how far they feel the publication can go on these issues and this in itself can been seen as a politically regulating feature.
Social and cultural environment involves a close analysis of society. Looking at the social factors of the PEST analysis which reflects back on the issues in the magazine and suggests what can be done to increase the readership in order to accomplish the aim, which has been set. Each identified point that has been made will be closely examined in order to find a solution that will enable for it to be improved.
The issues within Cosmopolitan, which the social factors reflect on, are as follows:
Latest diets- Majority of the woman nowadays tend to care more about their figures as found out from the questionnaire. This is mainly because they influenced through the media by using pretty, slim and sexy models, which everyone would desire to look like if they could. Taking this into consideration I thought I should put some tips on diets to encourage the majority of the people that are interested in looking good. This is also to help them fulfill and accomplish their desires to becoming what models look like.
Holiday destination - this is another issue, which can be placed within Cosmopolitan. Before cosmopolitan can do this they will have to look at what their targeted consumers incomes are and how much they send on leisure when this vital area is researched on they can then move on to the next stage and decide, what they can do to attract those readers. The concept of this research is they can then sponsorship those holiday programs and leisure activities.
Leisure activities- looking at this Cosmopolitan can research were and what most people do and what they do in their leisure time. With these findings Comopolitan can put ads in gyms or even sell their product in gyms, possibly with sporty, slim and sexy looking models on the front cover to attract those readers. With this concept they might even be able to provoke their competitors consumers, before they can do this they need to research on where their competitors readers go in order to place their product there. This is basically finding a way to attract and sell their product where other magazines don't.
With links to all of the above issues Cosmopolitan can give away free supplement for the Jan issues. With all of the above issues that will be placed in the Comopolitan in January with fresh injections inserted. Within that supplement an exaggerated words will be used for instance, "101 New things to do in 2003". The idea of this is basically to encourage and attract readers as to test if this phase will attract readers I can carry out a survey with exaggerated words. And find out, which was the phrase that most people were attracted by if they saw it on the front cover of a magazine.
Dating habits/ sexual lifestyles- with this issue I can explore to find number of things that can relate and make it more appealing to the readers. For instance Cosmopolitan can launch a website with chat pages like blind date and even discuss relationships. Or even a use a puzzle, which has questions that reveal what you are in association with dating. And adding advice on safe dating and interviewing the couples that have had a bad date with their confessions.
Career trends - the readers those Cosmopolitan targets are ABC readers who are all in career at the moment. Issues on career trends will definitely attract and help them with tips on their careers.
Virtual Living- this basically means that because technology is always changing Cosmopolitan needs to find a way to upgrade with the technology. For instance computers are becoming well known and are used on day to day basis Cosmopolitan can launch a website that they will hopefully be used by Internet researchers.
Religion and cultural integration- another way that Cosmopolitan can increase their readership, which is they can research into a complete new market aiming at a whole new bunch of customers. This basically means that Cosmopolitan can change their product to suit these peoples needs. Lets just say Muslim's were targeted by Cosmopolitan to attract Muslim's by the magazine, Cosmopolitan will need to change and tone down the magazine on the sexual side. This is because Muslim's are very strict on the sexual side and to avoid this problem by not adding these issues in Cosmopolitan is just impossible because cosmopolitan is all about relationships, sex, men, and real life stories associated with relationships. To overcome this constraint Cosmopolitan can research within that area and tone down the issues to their level while not upsetting their current readers.
Demographic differences in consumer interests- for instance if Cosmopolitan has looked at demographic differences in consumer interests in different countries so then it can export their product abroad to recruit more customers in a completely new market.
Though the economic environment is influenced by domestic economic policies, it is also dependent upon world trends.
Threat of recession- this basically means if government decides to charge high prices on tax this then means a threat to cosmopolitan, because if people have less income they will cut down buying luxury items this includes magazines. To overcome this problem Cosmopolitan can export their product abroad where there isn't a threat of recession.
Boomerang cultures- this means more disposable income. For instance this is when people come back from universities they come back and stay with their parents so they don’t have to pay rent or other house expenses such as bills etc. This then means they have more money to buy luxury items such as magazines.
Technological factors in marketing are the goods and services, organisations must become aware of the new materials as well developments in manufacturing and business processes.
Efficient/ cheaper production websites- Cosmopolitan is magazine that is issued every month, it takes people to read the magazine in at least a week, and then they have to wait for the next issue. This is threatening for Cosmopolitan because they might be provoked to go and buy another magazine. To overcome this constraint Cosmopolitan can launch a website that will be updated every week while the readers of Cosmopolitan can look at the website while waiting for the next issue.
Visual presentation- technology has changed the visual presentation of a magazine considerably. For instance years ago magazines were not luxurious glossy looking as today the photos were just photocopied, but now because of improved technology this concept basically persuades people to see and read more glossy and fresh looking magazines.
Market share is important for Cosmopolitan. The Boston Constancy Group has argued that the faster the growths of a particular market the greater the cost necessary to maintain position. In a rapidly growing market, considerable exprediture will be required on investment in product lines and to combat the threat posed by new firms and brands.
The Boston Group developed the Boston Matrix, which relates closely to product life cycles. They identify four types of product lines in an organisation portfolio.
To maintain an effective portfolio development, it is important to have a balance of products at any time. Cosmopolitan will require a number of cash cows to provide its bread and butter. At the same time, it is important to develop the cash cows of the future by investigating in the problem children. Fortunately, the stars should pay their own way. It is also important to identify the dogs and cut them out.
Products in the top half of the Boston Matrix are in the earlier stage of their product life cycle and so are in high- growth markets. Those in the lower half of the box are in the later stages and so are in markets where growth will have slowed down or stopped.
The Boston Matrix helps me to develop on the marketing strategies that I have thought of from carrying out my research-Ansoffs Matrix. It enables Cosmopolitan to maintain the position by advertising and promoting. From carrying out this matrix I have learnt that Cosmopolitan has reached its maturity stage, Cosmopolitan TV requires few fresh injections of capital-From example advertising and promoting from time to time. Cosmopolitan as cash cow need to advertise and promote as it is important to do so. As Cosmopolitan will maintain their position if they retain existing customers, by advertising on TV, and hanging posters. Promotion is important too, as it will attract customers. For instance by giving out freebies and skimming down the price.
Ansoff matrix offers strategic choices to achieve the objectives. There are four main categories for selection. The matrix matches existing and new product strategies with existing and new markets. The matrix suggests four alternative marketing strategies that hinge upon whether the product is new or existing product and whether the market is new or existing.
From the Ansoff Matrix above Cosmopolitan can enable itself to improve, by using some of the methods above to form an increasing market by aiming at a larger audience.
Ansoffs Matrix conclusion
From this Matrix I have learnt that I can use numerous of abilities to transform my product in a process that will enable it to gain more readers then it already holds. The methods that I intend to use are very effective way of getting through to a lot of readers that are aware and unaware of the product. First of all I need to see where my product in the market to see whether it is stabled in the market as for Cosmopolitan it would be quiet safe to start playing around with their product and start making the changes that will accomplish its results. The matrix above helps set aims that are relevant to the marketing strategy.
Extra promoting- from my Questionnaire I have found out that customers feel that there is not enough and are easily attracted by this. Extra promotion therefore will gain more readers and increase readership.
From the help of the Matrix I have decided to launch out a new magazine recognized as the Cosmo-Chat that customers will subscribe in order to buy it. Therefore they will receive a better understanding of the issues and other topics that will be designed to gain the readers interests. From my Questionnaire I have found out to keep my customers satisfied I have keep them updated at all times and to prevent them from going to another magazine and this is also to stabilize the existing readers.
Or another way that will gain more customers will be by exporting the product abroad to a completely new market before I can do this I have to make sure that the existing customers are stable in order to make any changes. From my Questionnaire I have found out that by exporting their product abroad the customers here might feel that magazine they read is popular this might make them feel positive about the product.
From my Questionnaire I have found that customers are constantly waiting for the next issue each month meanwhile this forces them to buy another magazine their competitor's magazine, which Cosmopolitan doesn’t want. To avoid this problem I have come up with an explanation on how to solve this constraint. I will be launching a website the Interactive Internet that readers can have excess to catch the latest gossip. I will definitely considering this in my strategy.
The aim of the Ansoffs matrix to enable the magazine Cosmopolitan to improve n a way that will gain them more customers. The methods above are ideal to form an increasing market by aiming at a larger audience.
How many readers I want to increase:
I want to increase the readership about 4,000 more readers' this is because Cosmopolitan is at the top of the league table and it holds most of the readership then any other magazines. This than leaves Cosmopolitan with only small amount of readers left to gain. I am talking in an in point of view of the contents and not the sales. Cosmopolitan has dominated in its market so it is really hard for them to recruit more readers. Many people have different taste, style and likes and dislikes therefore the other readers with different tastes go to their type of magazine. This means Cosmopolitan can only cater for specific group with a particular likes and dislikes. This is why I am talking in point of view of the contents and not the whole readership. Magazines such as Company and marie claire might have the same readers with the same likes and dislikes as Cosmopolitan and with similar content of the magazine too. Therefore Cosmopolitan will try and provoke only those readers.
Where are the extra readers coming from?
In my conclusion I feel that the extra readers will be coming from other magazines readers as I have already explained. Then following on with launching their product abroad to a completely new market this will hopefully gain them a bunch of new reader successfully. Changing the product to suit customer needs and requirements this will advocate customers to think that they are listened too and maybe even attract new readers. Launching out a completely new magazine again aimed at a new group of readers, as this will be aimed a lot larger age group then one small market this will definitely encourage new readers too. Lowering the prices or in its correct terms skimming the prices this also is an effective device for attracting new customers meaning the prices are at their high demands and then moving them down with this device. I will be using this method to gain more readers as the reader will see it on offer and buy it.
Product Life Cycle
The life of a product is the period over which it appeals to customers. There are times when a product at its time is popular and then slowly decline into unfashionable.
Most products have a limited life cycle. Initially the product may be successful and grow, the market will mature and, finally, the product moves towards decline and petrifaction. At each stage in the product life cycle there is close relationship between sales and profits so that, as Cosmopolitan goes into decline, their profitability decreases too.
The life cycle can be broken down into distinct stages. In the introductory phase known as the Birth stage, growth is slow and volume is because of a limited awareness of the Cosmopolitan existence. Sales then rise rapidly during the period of growth. It is during this stage that profit per unit sold usually reaches a maximum. Towards the end of this stage, competitors enter the market to promote their own product, which the rate of growth of sales of the initial product.
This stage is known as the maturity. Such magazines as Cosmopolitan come in different issues etc. this will shift out the weaker brands. Cosmopolitan market will eventually decline and reach a stage when it becomes unprofitable. The cycle lasts for few months or hundreds of years. To prolong the life cycle of a product, an organisation needs to adjust the ingredient of the marketing mix. Periodic injections of new ideas are needed product improvements, line extensions.
Cosmopolitan is at a stage it is known as the saturation in this stage could eventually decline where it becomes something of the past and unprofitable. To prevent this from happening cosmopolitan will need to advertise and promote their product to gain popularity in order to saturate their product a stage further. If cosmopolitan does go out of business cosmopolitan can then launch out new magazine that will be aimed at a larger audience. For instance they can launch a magazine recognized as the Cosmo teens that is specially designed for the younger age group. Therefore this will be able to regain its position this will then make cosmopolitan to become successful. The product needs to meet consumer demand, the markets, which I have developed, need to suit the product in order to succeed.
Another tool for analysing what is happening in the business environment is Gap analysis helps by comparing recent variations between forecast and achieved figures. The gap is the difference between a product's or markets actual performance and its predicted performance. By analysing the gap, managers can seek reasons for the variation and, required, take corrective action.
I have produced a Gap analysis for Cosmopolitan on a graph paper showing their performance. Where there is an unfavorable gap performance is not what it was expected to be, gap analysis helps to diagnose the problem and offer solutions, which might include the following:
- Analysing the marketing mix n order to improve sales- for instance, by adjusting price or making product improvements.
- Attempting to increase market penetration. This involving making more sales in the sales in the present market without making any big changes to existing products.
- Entering new segments to extend the market.
- Implementing diversification strategies.
- Reducing costs.
Cosmopolitan aim is to increase the readership by about 4'000 in a year's time. In order to achieve this I have set myself a dead line between October 2002 till October 2003. 1915 are average number of sales in Cosmopolitan, therefore the average number of shares for Cosmopolitan to achieve are 5915. I have produced a strategy to achieve these aims and accomplish their goal within a year I will change the strategy each month to try achieve. To see whether I am on the task and not off my target I will record on my gap analysis if I am reaching my the predicted number of sales, on my graph I will mark the gap between the average shares and where I am at. This will than hopefully tell me how many shares Cosmopolitan has increased by.
Validity and reliability of data
Planning and data collection helps to ensure data is reliable. In primary research it is important to think about what you are trying to achieve from the survey. Choosing the correct sampling method and research technique is particularly important.
Although there may be a ready availability of secondary research data, the information is collected by someone else and will not be specific to the needs of a particular organisation. It also may be dated.
Whatever technique is used for collecting data, it is important to ensure the research is both reliable and of value. A research technique is considered reliable if it produces almost identical results in successive or repeated trials. A valid market research method provides data that can be used to test what is being sought.
Market research is a vital link in the chain of buyers and suppliers. And it fulfils this function by enabling those who provide goods and services to keep in touch with the needs and wants of those who buy the services. Cosmopolitan has to explore the needs of its customers and the activities of its competitors before it can develop a marketing strategy. In order to gain this understanding of the market for this product they need to experiment with various of methods of research and understand the use of different research methods and data, therefore cutting them down to the best possible form of research methods and putting them down to the test for the method that gives the most accurate, effective and updated research.
The research methods that I used to generate information to establish the customer needs and requirements, in order to make those appropriate changes to the product to meet the goal that has been set. The marketing methods that I used as part of primary and secondary research methods, which are the Focus groups, Questionnaire and finding from the Internet. The three different methods help the organisation focus on the customer and put together strategies so that decisions can be made about individual products.
Focus groups are an inexpensive method of obtaining useful qualitative information from consumers. To investigate with this method I invited a group of users of the same product to provide opinions on its use. They who have been chosen are members of the public who have opinions on the certain products. They were especially drawn from a particular market segment that are targeted by Cosmopolitan in order to provide vital information. Topics are discussed and each group member makes contribution towards the product. The main benefit of such groups is that new ideas and opinions can be 'bounced off' each group member refines them and prompt further creative thought is added. Every suggestion is put into account and made note of. This vital information is then interpreted into a useful data that suggests ways to improve upon that product.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Focus groups
Skilled interviewers would argue they are able to gauge the truthfulness of the response from facial expressions and other body language signals.
Face-to-face interviews usually achieve a good response rate.
Because it is conducted personally, the risk of inaccurate data is reduced. It is possible for the interviewer to give better explanations if the respondent has difficulty understanding. For example, the interviewer could show a diagram, draw a picture, or show a prompt card.
The interviewer is able to judge the respondent's mood and to alter the approach accordingly to keep him or her interested, or to calm down a person who is becoming agitated.
The disadvantages of Focus groups are as follows:
- Interviewing is costly because not only must you cover the cost of paying researchers but you may also pay their traveling expenses and the cost of training and/or briefing them.
- Supervisors must be appointed (and paid) to ensure the survey goes according to instructions.
- You rely on the professionalism of your interviewers and the honesty - e.g. not to fill out any bogus responses in order to meet the interview quotas.
- It is fairly time consuming process.
A Questionnaire is a systematic list of questions designed to obtain information from people about their attitudes, belief, and values. I used this method in order to find out the customer needs and requirements and attitudes towards the product that I had to investigate and change in order suit those needs and achieve the goal that is set. A Questionnaire is an effective way of gaining effective information and research, which can be analyzed and evaluated to a useful data that can be then used to bring solution to the problems and suggests improvements upon the product. Questionnaire design is critical. Although it is easy to make up questions, it is very difficult to produce a good Questionnaire - and a badly designed Questionnaire may lead to biased results. In order to prevent these limitations they need to produce good Questionnaires, they need to start with factual questions that are easy to respond to. They need to ask multiple choice questions, like introducing questions that require the respondent to think about some of the issues being researched. This is relevant because it shows people's needs and requirement, which is vital for a product in need of a change.
Another limitations may arise if very few completed forms are returned, or if those returned are only partially completed. In addition, if the questionnaire is being administered by a number of interviewers, there is always the danger that some may misinterpret questions and introduce their own personnel biased in a way that prompts certain answers from respondents, therefore this leads too unreliable data.
In order to prevent this we can introduce a prize draw where competition takes place, in order to make the customer feel they should intend to give the Questionnaire back. In order to limit the drawbacks they can train interviewers to analyse Questionnaires even though if they are half filled.
Internet is a secondary research, the secondary research which I used is NRS. The Internet has rapidly become an invaluable tool, providing a rich resource for information from multiple of sources. The reason I chose Internet as one of my resource, because it brings fast, effective information on the spot and is very cheap way of obtaining information. I found the information provided by the Internet very good, updated and useful towards my product. This is updated constantly so it is reliable.
Evaluating the marketing strategies
As part of developing the marketing strategy, I will use market information to analyse the competitiveness of Cosmopolitan and the likely success and to gain an understanding of the environment within which Comopolitan is operating. This likely success can be met by analysing the success by evaluating through the PEST and SWOT analysis.
This is relevant because it takes notice of environment forces whether localised or gobal that will have a knock- off effect on the market and on the product.
Both analysis are a guidelines to an organisation showing the current and future position among the strength and weaknesses with the external forces. Along with the on coming internal and external influences towards the organisation in the on coming months and years. Such models can also be used for generating information on the business environment. The SWOT analysis showed opportunities to increase the readership, for example it suggested lowering the prices and use product placement to increase the brand awareness. The PEST analysis showed the social side and suggested issues that can be placed within Cosmopolitan in order to increase the readership and meet customer needs and requirements and improve the magazine so it is more approachable.
Or using complicated models such as the Ansoff's matrix, this is reliable because it identifies the circumstances in which the strategies may be appropriate, and identifies strategies for changing market position and new product developments. For example it helps identify how Cosmopolitan can gain more customers by exporting the product abroad.
Where as the product life- cycle and Gap analysis are relevant because they evaluate the current potential position of the product. This information is valid because it tells you where the product is at their stage of life in order to develop strategies.
While the Boston matrix makes judgements about the portfolio of the products marketed by Cosmopolitan. These also can be developed inorder to meet the goals and monitor the likely success of the strategies. This is reliable because it shows what stage it is at and suggests they can use advertising and promoting from time to time to maintain its position and helps develops strategies.
In a competitive environment were changes are rapid it is imperative that Cosmopolitan think and plan ahead. This can be done by understanding the environment in which it operates and be able to make strategic decisions based upon their own capabilities. This is at the core of the process of marketing planning. Cosmopolitan therefore uses marketing for assessing past performance, for analysing its business environment and for evaluating future courses of action. The success of the marketing programme therefore, depends upon how well an organisation can match its marketing strategies and the marketing mix to the external business environment in which that business is operating.
To continue the monitoring process this can be done by carrying out an on-going process during the carrying out of the strategy. This can be done by asking the consumers about the product.
Before the changes were made to the product a Questionnaire was sent out to establish the customer needs and requirements in order to make those changes. To analyse the success I can send out another Questionnaire to find out how well those needs and requirements were met. From this point I can evaluate the success met by the predicted goals and expectations of the required success.
Another strategy, which is often used to measure the likely success, this strategy is known as the Gap analysis. This strategy evaluates the amount of 'sales', and how much the figures increased or decreased. This can then support the fact that, which strategy worked the best to increase the sales and which inevitably didn't perform as well to meet all expectations. From this point the strategy will then hopefully show which strategy works the best and achieved the predicted goals. This model then can be viewed by Cosmopolitan as an on-going process based on continuous analysis of the business environment through which information and data filter to help evaluate performance and influences business strategies.
A Focus group study is an reliable method of obtaining useful Qualitative (opinions) information from consumers that enables the strategy to go on the longer future terms. Focus groups are very good at testing consumer reactions to product developments or proposals. This also establishes customer needs and requirements that can be then turned to useful data, which is then interpreted and put into account to recognize those requirements to suit those needs.
Alongside any marketing strategy there is a device that enables a link through the marketing strategy with their marketing objectives. The three different models discussed help the organisation to evaluate the effectiveness of their strategies so that decisions can be made about individual products.