Main Post Due Friday 1/5. 2 Responses Due 1/9
Michelle, Elena, and the Mobile Manufacturing, Inc. (MM) board of directors know how important it is to understand the environment in which it is operating. They hired you—a highly-regarded marketing consultant—to bring a fresh perspective to the marketing plan. You are scheduled to meet with Michelle and Elena next week to discuss the environmental conditions that are relevant to introducing the new product.
As you prepare for the meeting, you consider all of the possible environmental issues. You recognize that Elena brings an interesting perspective to the process because she has experience designing mobile phones for the Eastern European market, and she is pushing for a new product that can be marketed worldwide. On the other hand, Michelle is more concerned with the domestic marketplace and is worried that trying to market a new product anywhere outside the United States—much less worldwide—could be very risky.
You sit down to start your work on the marketing plan, and you begin by drafting some goals that the marketing plan needs to address.
Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400-600 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas.
Walking through the halls at MM, you ponder the job that lies ahead. Coming out of her office, Michelle spots you and heads in your direction.
“I’m so glad you’re here,” she says. “Have you settled into your office?”
“Yes,” you say. “I’m eager to get started.”
Michelle enters your office and takes a seat in a chair. “I’m scheduled to make a presentation to the board at the quarterly meeting next week. I know it’s short notice, but I was wondering if you could pull together a 30-minute presentation for them?” she asks.
“What would you like me to present?” you ask.
“As you know, you and Elena have been brought on to revitalize the product line for the company. Your role is to create a winning marketing plan that will allow us to capitalize on the new product that Elena is designing. The board would like you to discuss some of the issues that you will be considering as you develop the marketing plan for the new product. I know they’re especially interested in your thoughts on the global market.”
“That sounds like a great idea,” you say.
Consider the environmental variables (i.e., technological, demographic, economic, political, and cultural variables) that you must include in your marketing plan, and answer the following:
Which of the environmental factors do you feel is the most critical, and why?
What might someone with an opposing viewpoint think is the most important?
Given this opposing argument, how would you argue your opinion?
What solutions should be considered as you seek to develop a sense of ownership of your plan?
What solutions would you recommend to the board, and why?
Is a compromise feasible?
Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion, please consider the following questions:
What did you learn from your classmate’s posting?
What additional questions do you have after reading the posting?
What clarification do you need regarding the posting?
What differences or similarities do you see between your posting and other classmates’ postings?
Response one KZ:
“To successfully launch a new product or service with minimum financial outlay, it’s essential to focus exclusively on the prospects you believe are most likely to purchase from you. These may be customers who are currently buying something similar and will appreciate the additional features your new product or service provides. Your best prospects have a perceived need for what you offer, can afford to buy it and have demonstrated a willingness to do so–probably by purchasing from your competition. Bear in mind, it’s always easier to fill a need than to create one.”(Gordon). In the scenario with MM there are various environmental variables that must be taken into consideration when creating a marketing plan.
The most critical factors are the technological, demographic, and economic variables, which will likely affect the success of the new product. As a technology company the technological variable is huge and constantly changing and MM must say current with the trends in order to have a competitive edge. The next variable is demographics and this will tell you who your target market is based on age, gender, ethnicity, etc. Knowing who the target market is will help to increase sales and decrease costly marketing to people/entities outside the target range. The last variable is economic and this is important if you are trying to sell your product to the lower, middle, or upper class citizens. If the product is too expensive then the lower and middle class citizens will not want to buy the product and look for a cheaper alternative.
A person with an opposing viewpoint may think political and cultural variables are most important factors. The opposing argument for political variables may affect MM’s ability to introduce the new product based on legal and regulatory standards and this could then affect the product’s entry into the market. The culture of a company may affect a product’s chance on the market due to inflexibility or lack of teamwork creating a failing environment and losing the chance to recognize market needs and desires.
Developing a sense of ownership for the marketing plan requires solutions to the potential problems or issues the company face with the new product. The plan needs to include a clear vision for everyone involved, as well as strategies and goals. It is also important that all the stakeholders involved with the product and to be engaged with the planning and marketing process. This will create a sense of ownership of the project and in turn, increases the success of the product with everyone’s thoughts and ideas.
Some solutions I would recommend to the Board members would be to identify some of the variables that may hinder the product’s success. This includes understanding the needs and wants of the target market and well as gaining the competitive edge to lure customers away from our competitors. Creating ideas to market, attract, and retain customers is key. Compromise is a feasible scenario since it allows more ideas to flourish.
In taking Mobile Manufacturing, Inc. (MM) from a domestic to global market, I believe the most critical environmental factor is political. MM is a telecommunications company, evaluating what other companies in the same space have done can be beneficial, and therefore we will be using several examples of what Apple has done recently with it’s own smartphone, the iPhone, and its successes and failures.
In engaging the global market we need to first off evaluate political factors, as they govern regulation. Political factors may not be the most important for every country, but for some of the larger markets we are targeting it is vital. Releasing new products designed by Elena should already bear into mind the target demographic, the hope is many people will want to buy it. Getting them to clear regulations and into other markets however, takes time and money, and in that time competitors can move in the same space. Some countries will extend the delay for a homegrown product to hit market or even not allowing our product until their own has hit market. This allows for a substantial competitor to be in the same space, and much less likelihood of profitability.
When dealing with imports/exports, the price of a product can also be higher in another country to clear regulation. The iPhone 6s plus for example was priced at $749 in the US for its base 16GB model, while in the United Kingdom it went for the equivalent price of $809.31. (Minasians, 2017) The increased price for some marketplaces is enough to have consumers look to alternatives.
Another political factor to analayze would be political events. In April of 2016, China placed a ban on Apple iMoves and iBooks. This carried further into 2017, when China went to ban several hundred apps from the Apple app store. The purpose of the ban was to not deter people from Apple devices, but rather not to allow the Chinese people to access to government information. Some consumers may view the ban as a negative and instead seek an alternative device in its place. (Perlez, 2016)
These political factors are critical because even if MM is the most innovative and creates the best technology for everyone, if the technology is unobtainable, restricted, or costlier then it will lose a lot of market share.
Someone with an opposing viewpoint may view other factors, such as technological, demographic, economic, and cultural variables as more critical. While cultural and demographical issues are important, it is difficult to produce multiple different product for different groups of people as it requires more inventory and manufacturing capability. Especially now, having a different phone is not important for most endusers as what content the phone can provide. Most phones now can access the same content in the form of applications (apps) which is more so provided by the operating system, iOs vs. Android. I don’t see economical as being a large factor as the previous thought was that Apple having a low-cost model would help it breach further into markets like China and India; however, Apple’s first attempt at a low-cost device, the iPhone 5C, showed a very poor adaptation rate, as most Chinese consumers preferred the full feature iPhone 5/5S device. (Guglielmo, 2013) ( Miller, 2014)
I think it is important to acknowledge everyone’s concerns as at the end of the day. All of the factors are important, and I am being brought on as a consultant for my opinions and thoughts. Everyone on the board’s opinions need to be heard and factored in and room needs to be made to allow for compromise
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