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Tambrands becoming part of Proctor & Gamble was a wise move, overall, but it was not without its risks. P&G has a huge following, and is a company that virtually everyone in the world has heard of and recognizes. Because P&G is so very popular all over the world, it is very likely that the Tambrands product will be seen as more significant and more respected because it is associated with the P&G name and brand. Of course, it is possible that Tambrands will still fail for other reasons that have more to do with culture and less to do with branding, but that is a risk that has nothing to do with whether Tambrands merged with another company or stayed on its own. What matters most with Tambrands is that it saw the problems it was facing by trying to market to other countries. It was not possible for the company to expand and be financially secure in doing so, but it was also not possible for the company to avoid expansion because it had already saturated the U.S. market to the point that it had very little room to continue to grow as a company.
Because Tambrands only sold tampons and nothing else, it was at a serious disadvantage when it came to other companies that sold tampons but also sold other feminine hygiene and related products. That was why it worked out a deal with P&G. Companies that only sell one product are frequently at risk for financial problems, especially if the company wants to expand to another market or is worried that its current market may not sustain it in the long run (McCarthy, Perreault, & Saphiro, 2002; Pride & Ferrell, 2003). On the other hand, Tambrands did give up a large amount of control by working out a deal with P&G, and that is something that it had to carefully consider before making the decision. Once Tambrands became a part of P&G, it was no longer its one company and P&G would be calling the shots for how the brand was marketed, where it was marketed, and how successful it would ultimately be in both the short-term and long-term.
One of the main things that occurred after Tambrands became part of P&G was that Tambrands' past marketing efforts in many of the countries it had considered as potential target markets were scrapped. That meant that all of the money the company had spent in order to start marketing efforts in those countries was for nothing, and P&G had to spend more money to start marketing in other areas. It decided to market in Mexico, because the culture there was not as different from U.S. culture as some of the other countries that Tambrands was considering and had been working with. No Muslim countries were targeted, for precisely that reason, and many other cultures still had trouble accepted the idea that tampons were safe, effective, and not inappropriate. There was a belief that using tampons would cause women to lose their virginity, which was highly prized in many cultures.
When Tambrands worked out its deal with P&G, it was not yet in trouble - but it could see that trouble was coming if changes were not made. There could have been other things that Tambrands might have tried, but there were no guarantees that any of them would have worked. After much consideration, the company reached the difficult decision that it would be better to sell to a larger company that could market its tampons effectively and continue to expand their market throughout the world, instead of simply staying within the U.S. And slowly losing money and market share because there was so much competition with other tampon makers - many of whom also had other products that they could also sell to the public. P&G had to create a completely different strategy from what Tambrands was using, but that was actually a good thing, considering the strategy Tambrands had been working on proved to be ineffective and could have ruined the company.
2. Tambrands started a global marketing campaign so it could market to each cluster (or market segment that it had identified) in a way that was similar to the way it marketed to the other clusters. By doing that, the company thought that it could save time and money because it would essentially be using one strategy for everything and only modifying it slightly to work with each cluster, instead of coming up with three strategies that were completely unique and different. When a company is able to use only one basic strategy for marketing, that company can save money (provided the strategy is effective) and can often use its marketing abilities to do something effective for large groups of potential customers (Sommers & Barnes, 2001). Unfortunately, not all groups of customers are the same. If the customers are far too different, it may be important to use completely different strategies to market to them instead of only focusing on one strategy and attempting to adjust it.
With that in mind, Tambrands' original marketing strategy was not as good as the company seemed to think it was, for one specific reason: the company was trying to market to three different clusters with the same basic strategy, but all of the clusters were far too different from one another. It was not that there was more than one cluster that caused a problem, but that there were so many differences in the clusters. Had they been more similar, Tambrands might not have had any problems with them or with getting people in those clusters interested in their products. When clusters of potential customers are quite distinct from one another, any company that is going to market to them needs to focus on the ways in which those clusters are different and come up with completely different strategies so those strategies can be effective (Bhagwati, 2004). Because Tambrands failed to do that, the marketing goals that they were attempting to meet were not going to be met.
P&G should not continue with Tambrands' marketing goal and plan, because it has not been shown to be effective so far and has very little chance of being effective in the long run. Once P&G took over Tambrands and its marketing, the company had to focus on the real issues - which was making sure that the tampons it was trying to market were being received correctly by the various countries and cultures in which they were being marketed. Without a clear understanding of the issue and without knowing what Tambrands had already done, P&G might not have been able to do anything appropriate with the marketing. However, because the company was sure of what had been tried, it could adjust Tambrands' strategy and see how well the adjustments worked before deciding whether it needed to move on to something else entirely. Eventually, P&G did see that the strategy (with adjustments) was not working properly, and it changed the strategy and the country to which the product was being marketed in an effort to sell more tampons.
When companies take over other companies, or when they merge with those companies, they need to consider the marketing that was already taking place, and whether that marketing is working well for the company currently (Cateora & Graham, 2002). If the marketing plans are not effective, they must be changed or scraped before they cost the company too much time and money. It is much easier for the company to focus on what it needs to do next when it is not worried about what is taking place at that moment and whether it is spending too much money by keeping strategies alive that came along with the company it purchased. As soon as P&G realized that the strategies were not effective, it discontinued them and started marketing to Mexico instead of the countries on which Tambrands was focused. In addition, it also started a different kind of campaign that was specifically targeted toward Latinos and that was not designed to focus on any other group.
3. Tambrands identified three clusters of customers to which it wanted to market. These were the U.S., UK, and Australia in Cluster One, countries like Israel, France, and South Africa in Cluster Two, and China, Brazil, and Russia in Cluster Three. It is easy to see that these countries are very different in many ways, making an overall approach to marketing somewhat difficult. Marketers generally identify a target market and have to work within that specific market to come up with branding and advertising (Coughlan & Connolly, 2001; Sommers & Barnes, 2001). When a company does that, it usually does not use the same message or the same kind of message for more than one market or group, because the groups are all too different to allow that to take place. For example, the three clusters that Tambrands addressed were very different from one another,…[continue]
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