Kodak decided to implement this initiative after conducting market research on the costs of printing at home. According to a study by InfoTrends, the greatest obstacle to printing at home is the cost of ink and supplies (Kodak, 2007). Another printer from the new line, the Kodak EasyShare 5300 offers a 3-inch color LCD display that enables photo viewing and cropping directly from the printer, with a memory card slot that provides an additional quick and simple way to print digital pictures without a PC. Other printers in the new line consist of printers geared toward home-office users. In this way Kodak maintained competitive with other photo companies offering the same products. Kodak's main marketing strategy is that the company is producing a less-expensive product with few frills that still fits its customers' needs. This allows Kodak to create a cheaper product that consumers love but competitors don't want to copy. According to Christensen & Anthony (2007), whenever a company attempts this kind of strategy, there are three aspects that assess its chances of success: overshooting existing customers' needs; having competitors copy their strategy; and whether success will expand the market. Research indicates that when a company overshoots customers, the customers grow increasingly unwilling to pay for performance improvements that historically garnered premium prices. Finally, this company demonstrates a marketing strategy that has been successfully implemented.
Marketing Strategies: Control
After the marketing strategies are implemented, maintaining a tight sense of control over such strategies is also important. The sales organization, inside employees, and distribution channels will need to be trained about the new product.
If the product is sufficiently complex, face-to-face training may need to be provided, in addition to some type of multimedia program will do the job. If the product is not that complex, literature may work. Training needs to occur before the product hits the shelves, not afterwards. In addition, increased control over the marketing implementation agenda can lead to improved unit performance (and the associated improvement in sales). A review of the literature indicates that the primary objective for advertising is to maintain or increase brand awareness while using that as a forum for effective lead generation. Advertising should be developed and approved by the company based on it's ability to fulfill three objectives within each execution: 1) communicate consumer benefits (not just product attributes); 2) communicate the company "advantage" for that particular product; and 3) communicate a specific promotional offer which can compels a call-to-action (Federal Trade Commission, 2007). One product or service may not be disparaged in any way to promote the benefits of another product or service. Offers must be clear and indicate the appropriate timeframe, such as the monthly period. Offers may not be deceptive or confusing to the average viewer. As long as the company maintains control over these elements of a marketing campaign, the campaign should run smoothly.
Advertising language should also be controlled. Even seemingly simple statements such as "100% satisfaction guaranteed" in an ad need to be addressed. If an advertisement mentions a "warranty" or "guarantee" that is offered on an advertised product/service, the advertisement must disclose with "such clarity and prominence as will be noticed and understood by prospective purchasers," that prior to the sale and at the place where the product/service is sold, prospective purchasers can see the written warranty/guarantee for complete details (Federal Trade Commission, 2007). This type of language may be used in as advertisement as long as there is a disclaimer that lists any material imitations or conditions that apply to the "satisfaction guarantee." For example, the disclaimer may read," Restrictions may apply in some areas" or "Store participation may vary (Federal Trade Commission, 2007)." Advertisements that are broadcast must receive prior approval after legal review. Disclaimers used in written form on television must be on the screen for a sufficient amount of time and large enough to be read by the average viewer.
In certain marketing channels, comparative advertising is also a substantial area of concern. Advertising that directly compares products to those of competitive products is highly discouraged. In the instance where a comparative ad is appropriate, the ads may not be deceptive in any way. "Deception" in the context of an ad consists of the following: 1) innuendo, imitations and ambiguous statements; 2) inappropriate use of statistics; 3) distortions or exaggerations; 4) irrelevant performance claims, or 5) unscientific testing methods and the distortion of results (Federal Trade Commission, 2007). Under new advertising laws in the United States, false or misleading deceptions or representations of fact about a competitor's commercial activities or the competitor's product (whether in ads or sales presentations) can be cause for legal action. A competitor could sue to halt the use of the ads for damages. Similarly, a company may take action if it is disparaged unfairly by a competitor. When comparative advertising is used, it must do the following: 1) clearly identify competitive products and services; 2) identify the competitive product or service for comparison purposes only, and not to upgrade the product or service, 3) not disparage competitive products or services in a false or misleading way, and not trash a competitive product or service by claiming it has little or no value; 4) base comparison and demonstrations on specific differences between the products or services, comparing similar or related properties, dimension to dimension, and feature to feature; 5) make significant and meaningful comparisons; 6) not create an impression of comparable or superior effectiveness or performance based solely on customer preference, professional preference or sales data; 7) include all information necessary for the average consumer to properly understand any claims, demonstrations or representations; and 8) measure and verify all objective claims dealing with performance, efficiency, sales, preference, etc. (Federal Trade Commission, 2007). Finally, it is required that only accurate statements are made in the advertisement.
Example: JetStar Airlines
Control over the marketing strategy is crucial, as demonstrated by the beginning lack of control and then regained control of the marketing strategy of JetStar Airlines. The airline industry is a highly competitive one where the marketing strategy of one competitor may serve to lock that airline in the top position. The airline industry stands in a unique position as compared to other consumer industries, as the recent terrorist attacks and suspected future attacks involving traveling has shed a negative light on commercial flying. As a result, airlines have tried various attempts through controlling their marketing strategy as a means of combating their low sales and volume of air travelers. After the vicious terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the airline industry experienced nearly $40 billion in losses, bankruptcies, and the loss of approximately 10 different airlines. Additionally, more than 150,000 airline jobs were cut. In addition to these industry related problems, another danger that JetStar faced in potentially losing customers is that it closed flights 30 minutes before departure but charged a fee of $50 for individual latecomers and $100 for families to book on another flight. These fees were not prominently advertised by the airlines, and as a result consumers were driven away by a poorly controlled marketing strategy.
This harsh policy resulted in JetStar customers switching to Virgin Blue because they were so angry and dissatisfied with the departure policy and lack of advertisement of the policy. However, JetStar planned to win over new and old customers by adding new services to the Northern Territory, Perth and New Zealand, and continues to grow as it replaces its fleet of Boeing 717s with 177-seat Airbus A320s. These bigger planes allow it to reduce frequencies on some leisure routes and redeploy the aircraft to new destinations (Creedy, 2005). Another manner in which the company reversed it's lack of control over marketing initiatives is that it started out with no frequent-flyer scheme but later offered points on flexible fares forced by a fear of losing business to Virgin Blue (Creedy, 2005). JetStar has amended its lack of marketing control by currently giving customers with more expensive tickets priority boarding. The airline buys the points from its parent company but strategically recovers costs by prompting customers to buy more expensive tickets and attracting back customers (Creedy, 2005). JetStar's new marketing control over advertisements over these bargain flights as well as its frequent-flyer scheme has produced a revenue gain that offset its cost, such as big business routes, an immense amount of the business traffic that was lost (Creedy, 2005). Finally, this company provides an example of how a tightly-controlled marketing strategy benefits the overall marketing scheme.
Finally, a review of the literature indicates that in the past decade, the marketing strategies of any company depends on whether the company proves to be a lucrative business or a failure. Market research in this area is critical to the initial success of the marketing campaign, whether…