marketing of a Singaporean product: by carrying out a secondary search about the company that manufactures the product or provides the service, a review of the marketing of that product is presented. The paper covers the following areas: Introduction, in which the dissertation if briefly introduced, the product or service is also introduced, and the objectives that are intended to be achieved in the paper are highlighted; Literature review, in which a review of the literature available on the company and its products/services are discussed. Next, the main body of the paper covers the following marketing aspects of the company: Company background; The marketing of its products/services; Segmentation of its markets; The Target Customers; The Product/Service Offering; The Marketing Strategies of the Company; The Marketing Program of the Company; The Strengths of its Marketing; The Weaknesses of its Marketing; Recommendations; Conclusions.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze a product which is of Singaporean origin, and which is marketed within a Singaporean context. The product chosen is a men's magazine, FHM Singapore. This magazine is produced wholly within Singapore, and is marketed to a Singaporean market. The magazine is sold widely in many Singaporean newsstands, and regularly sells 25,000 copies at each monthly issue. FHM Singapore is a branch-off of the popular FHM titles, which are sold widely throughout Europe, and which were launched in the UK in the mid-1990's. The Singaporean version differs from most of the European issues, however, in that along with the men's interest articles and features, which includes features such as "the then best underwear shops for your mistresses underwear" and "which electronic gadgets do you really need?," there is a great deal of business information packed in to the magazine. The magazine targets affluent men, aged 20-45, with money to spare and an interest in women.
The aim of the paper from this point on is to analyze the marketing strategy of the producer of the product, and to highlight strengths and weaknesses with this marketing strategy. This will be done by reviewing the product, its production, its marketing, and its success within its chosen field.
This section will first give a general overview of marketing, and will then highlight the marketing of the product of interest, FHM Singapore.
What is marketing? Marketing is the means by which a business identifies, anticipates and then satisfies customer demand: if carried out effectively it will not only ensure that the business is seen and heard but will give the business flexibility to adapt to changing customer demands and a changing business environment (Williams, 2004; My Business, 2004a). It is generally recognized that without marketing, a business will certainly falter, as properly planned, holistic, marketing is essential for bringing in customers.
Businesses that really succeed are those where the owner has a vision for the firm and is dedicated to seeing it through: it is recognized that a marketing plan will help achieve focus and establish the vision (My Business, 2004a). Marketing helps the managers of the business to understand who the potential customers are, and to place and price the product well, compared to the competition, and also to position the company in the market place: it will also help identify future opportunities for self-promotion (My Business, 2004a). Essentially, marketing needs planning, but that planning the marketing can help to assure the success of small businesses, by guiding businesses through the minefield that is marketing and advertising.
Learning the secrets behind producing a good marketing plan is therefore essential to implementing a good marketing plan for any small business (My Business, 2004a). Though there are established guidelines to follow, marketing is more of an art than a science and it is recognized that marketing is a difficult skill to develop, but in terms of its potential for having a successful impact on the future commercial effectiveness of the business, it is worth cultivating, as it can offer improved returns and profitability and a greater understanding of realistic business development opportunities (My Business, 2004a). One of the major problems for businesses when considering marketing is quantifying in advance the expected result for a given spend (My Business, 2004a).
One of the first steps in successful marketing, and the successful development of an effective marketing plan is to not confuse sales with marketing, and it is a common enough mistake for any small business to lump sales together with marketing under the perception that the two disciplines are different heads of the same beast, because tactics can overlap: they are not, however, the same (Williams, 2004; My Business, 2004a). The mission of sales is to increase turnover through a number of tricks such as margin reductions, discounts, two for the price of one, special offers and so on; the mission of marketing, however, is to identify the market, build the company and promote the product, as we shall see later (My Business, 2004a). Marketing, which attempts to embrace the two areas, is a complex, expensive and resource intensive activity, and in the long run it is often far more productive to have a dedicated marketing manager or assign the task to a marketing team, as far as this is possible within a small business (My Business, 2004a).
Planning a marketing strategy is essential, and planning should be developed and launched from the thoroughly researched and developed marketing plan. A marketing plan should be a statement of intent i.e., a statement about where the company is, where the company wants to go and how the company is going to get there (My Business, 2004b). Building a plan can be fairly straightforward for small businesses, and any marketing plan should include the four Ps of marketing: Product; Pricing; Placing and Promotion (Williams, 2004; My Business, 2004b). Building a plan also means setting down a blueprint for effective marketing, and it is worthwhile remembering that a marketing plan can also be a useful way of ironing out differences between colleagues about where the business is heading and creating a common goal (My Business, 2004b).
Speaking to the editor of FHM Singapore, it is clear to see that FHM Singapore has a clear and well-defined marketing plan, which is reviewed periodically, at yearly intervals, in order to ensure the continued success of the magazine. The marketing plan of FHM Singapore consists, essentially, of getting as much exposure for the magazine as possible, using as many aggressive advertising techniques as possible: PR companies hired by the magazine, for example, regularly hold parties for the magazine (for its launch, for the summer issue, for the Christmas issue etc.), at which parties, there are girls and an exciting atmosphere, which generates the correct sort of publicity for magazine sales to increase. In addition, aggressive billboard advertising is used throughout Singapore, with scintillating pictures of women in provocative poses, which attract their market immediately with their almost shock-like value, and their thwarting of the perhaps more traditional roles of women in Singaporean society.
FHM Singapore, as we have seen, is a branch-off of the popular FHM series of magazines, which are popular all over Europe. FHM Singapore was launched in 1995, with initial shock reactions to its presence in Singapore, and with many complaints about its advertising to the advertising watchdog in Singapore. FHM Singapore is published by EMAP Singapore Private Ltd., a well-established publishing company within the Singaporean context. Since it's launch, circulation figures have increased steadily, year on year, and have risen to the present figure of approximately 25,000 sales per monthly issue.
The marketing of its products/services
FHM Singapore aggressively markets itself as a sexy, hip, fashionable magazine, that should only be read by forward-thinking, affluent Singaporeans. The magazine sells a type of lifestyle that many men aspire to (fast cars, pretty ladies), and the magazine trades on this lifestyle image, with features about cars, electronic gadgets, famous models, famous actresses (some of which are usually photographed half naked), managing money etc. The Singaporean issue mixes business and pleasure in a 70/30 mix, which is far more business-oriented than other European issues of the title.
As we have seen, FHM Singapore markets itself aggressively, using many media for it's advertising: TV adverts are used, as are radio and billboard advertising. These adverts in these media are aggressive, in your face advertising, usually featuring a semi-naked lady, as - as we have seen - the magazine uses sex and sexuality to sell itself, and to market itself, marketing this sensuality as a lifestyle choice.
In addition to aggressive media advertising, FHM Singapore employs a PR company to manage its events marketing. In order to generate 'free' publicity, the PR company regularly hosts wild parties, and events such as 'bikini modeling' in supermarkets, malls etc. These events are all designed to attract a scandal in Singapore's communities, and to generate newspaper interest in these stories, on the premise that any publicity is good publicity. Through these parties, and other events, FHM Singapore have established themselves well, in…