Produce a marketing strategy for a new or existing product

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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.

Product Profile:

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:


marie claire-£2.80




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.

Consumer profile


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
  • Sampling
  • 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.

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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 ...

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