In practice, Du Maurier brand stands on a safer position compared to the overall position of the group. For example, in 2007, Imperial Tobacco Canada has reported a
276 million profit, 4 million lower than the profit reported in the previous year. However, this was due to exchange rates.
The main financial objective for Du Maurier is to increase its profits by 10%. However, prices must be kept at approximately the same level as before. This means that sales volume must increase.
3.2. Marketing Objectives
The main objective that must be attained in the future period of time consists in increasing the number of customers. Du Maurier already is the most popular brand on the Canadian tobacco market by far. However, there is still room for improvements.
In order to attract more customers, Du Maurier should orient its marketing strategy towards younger segments of customers. One of the segments that present great growth potential for Du Maurier is represented by the 20-30 age group. This is one of Du Maurier's secondary target segments, but it has not yet been exploited to a maximum.
This younger category requires a different approach from that addressed to the 30-50 years segment. Du Maurier must focus especially on the promotional strategy. Other cigarette brands have specialized ads for attracting younger customers. Also, Du Maurier should focus on lower prices for this segment, in order to suit their financial possibilities, without damaging the product quality level.
4. Marketing Strategy
4.1. Target Market
The company is very much aware that customer segmentation "starts with really understanding the different profiles of our consumers" (BAT, 2008). As a consequence, the company invests in studying customers' preferences and their buying behavior. After retrieved realistic information on its current and prospective customers, the company develops its marketing strategy in accordance with customers' tastes, attitudes, financial possibilities, and buying patterns. The key aspects in the company's relationship with its customers refer to packaging, quality, and availability.
The main target customers segment for Du Maurier cigarettes is represented by males aged 30 to 50 years, with medium incomes, educated, residing in urban areas. As most studies have revealed, this age group accounts for the highest number of smokers. Individuals belonging to this age group have the financial means required for purchasing Du Maurier cigarettes. Also, these individual have medium to high social status, with high quality products needs. Their product quality requirements are suitable with the high quality provided by Du Maurier cigarettes.
Secondary customer targets are represented by two other age groups: 20-30, and over 50 years of age, residing in urban areas.
Imperial Tobacco Canada's Du Maurier brand is the most popular cigarette brand in Canada. Imperial Tobacco Canada has the largest market share, reaching a total of 59.8%. Of this total, full-price manufactured cigarettes account for 56.3%, while lower-priced tobacco products account for 3.5%.
As mentioned above, Du Maurier is the most popular cigarettes brands, with 31.4% market share for manufactured cigarettes (Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada, 2004).
Du Maurier offers superior quality cigarettes, continuously refined and developed. The brand utilizes AC, Advanced Charcoal filter that was released in a limited distribution.
Du Maurier brand is consisted of the following tailor-made cigarettes: Du Maurier Distinct, Du Maurier Smooth Taste, Du Maurier Premiere, Du Maurier Prestige, Du Maurier Edition, and Du Maurier Special. D-JEEP Lighter Displays are represented by Du Maurier. Snus are represented by Du Maurier Original, and Du Maurier Fresh Mint.
Regarding the product strategy, Du Maurier focuses on continuous innovation. The company aims at improving quality and at providing the best balance between cigarettes' quality and their price. Du Maurier has made significant improvements in the filter technology, introducing the AC, Advanced Charcoal filter technology.
The pricing strategy is a very sensitive part of the marketing mix for any product, and Du Maurier cigarettes make no exception. Price competition is a very important factor that Du Maurier must take into consideration. If the company focuses on offering premium products only, these will require increased financial efforts from customers. Many customers many not be willing to make this extra effort in order to get extra quality, so they would probably start orienting towards lower priced cigarettes. Therefore, Du Maurier must be very careful when developing the pricing strategy, since the company must follow the same qualitative standards as before, it must provide a proper balance between price and quality, but the price should not exceed certain standards.
4.5. Distribution Outlets
Du Maurier cigarettes are sold in six regions across Canada: Atlantic, Quebec, Greater Toronto Area, Ontario outside of GTA, the Prairies, and British Columbia. Du Maurier's distribution strategy is based on Direct to Store Delivery. This way, the sales forces are able to deal one-on-one with retailers across the country. The main advantage of this approach is the fact that Du Maurier cigarettes are available to adult customers in the best conditions. In addition to better availability, other advantages include competitive prices and efficient delivery.
4.6. Marketing Communications
Du Maurier is also the leader in tobacco point of sale advertising. The brand has the highest distribution of ads available in convenience chain stores, accounting for 39.8%. Compared to previous years, Du Maurier also increased the percentage of stores where its merchandising materials can be found with 27%. Regarding brand share of ads, Du Maurier is the leading source of tobacco promotions at retail point of sale, accounting for 43.6%. Du Maurier ads can be found in 17.6% of stores.
In the past years, Du Maurier has managed to double its distribution, and now the brand has the highest level of regional distribution: Manitoba 31.7%, Alberta 26.5%, and Quebec 26%. Du Maurier ads can also be found in 21.4% of gas convenience chains (Health Canada, 2002).
5. Market Research
5.1. Action Program
Du Maurier's marketing activity must be scheduled so that the objectives are attained in maximum efficiency conditions. The action program, with its specific activities and their duration is presented below:
Establishing objectives - 1 day
Elaborating the methodology and budget - 2 days
Selecting suitable personnel - 1 day
Conducting the research on the 20-30-year of age group - 3 weeks
Analyzing the content and interpreting information - 3 days
Elaborating the research report, with conclusions and recommendations - 5 days
Presentation of conclusions - 1 day
5.2. Financial Impact
Such a strategy will probably not have an immediate positive financial impact. This is a medium term and long-term strategy. Even more, it requires consistent investment in research and development.
However, attracting more customers will prove to be extremely profitable in the future. If combined with customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, Du Maurier will be the leader on cigarettes manufacturers market for all customers segments.
Canada (2008). Central Intelligence Agency. The World Factbook. Retrieved April 8, 2008 from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ca.html.
Hughes Anthony, Nancy (2007). The Intersection of Main and Bay:…