A strategic marketing plan is a written document that outlines the various activities that should be undertaken by an organization during the development, production and promotion of new goods and services. Developing an effective strategic marketing plan for new products is one of the most challenging tasks faced by marketers and business organizations. This is because the process requires conducting extensive market researches in order to gather relevant information needed to ensure that the new product succeeds in the market. McDonald, (2007) also asserts that developing an effective strategic marketing plan is a crucial aspect of the product development life cycle. This essay outlines the marketing plan for a new brand of mobile handset to be developed by Nokia Corporation. Most issues addressed in this marketing plan would also facilitate the ability of the company to attract customers for the new Nokia Lumia 720.
Details about the Firm and Product Line
Nokia Corporation is the largest manufacturer of mobile telephones in the world. The new mobile handset to be developed is called Nokia Lumia 720. Nokia Lumia 720 is a smartphone that Nokia Corporation intends to manufacture for its middle-class and upper-class consumers. The company intends to release the product into the market by April 2013. Nokia Lumia 720 forms part of a series of handsets under the Lumia brand, which Nokia Corporation has been manufacturing in order to meet the needs of its high-end customers. The Nokia Lumia a product-line of low-cost smartphones with unique attributes and high performance capabilities that Nokia Corporation manufactures for its customers.
Strategies of Michael Porter that would be used during the Marketing of Nokia Lumia 720
The main basic strategies of Michael Porter that would be used to market the Nokia Lumia 720 include product differentiation and cost leadership. Product differentiation refers to the process of developing goods and services with unique attributes, high performance and ability to offer value to the customers. Nokia Corporation would procure high quality materials for production from distinguished suppliers in order to ensure that a high level of product differentiation is attained. The company would also deploy a high level of expertise during the manufacturing processes. Product differentiation would also be achieved through conducting extensive market research studies and scientific researches, in order to ensure that the Nokia Lumia 720 adequately meets the needs of customers. Additionally, Nokia Corporation would also deploy a team of highly skilled, creative and innovative workers to help during the development and production of Nokia Lumia 720. Product differentiation would be based on Nokia’s corporate reputation for quality and innovation. Market risks such as changes in technology and tastes and preferences of customers would also be considered during product differentiation activities. In my opinion, product differentiation strategies would be used to develop a high-quality handset with exceptional features and high performance capabilities. Product differentiation would also enable the company to develop a handset with distinctive attributes that consumers would perceive to be better than those of products of rivals firms such as Samsung, Apple Inc. and Motorola. Product differentiation would also be used to ensure that risks of imitations are prevented.
On the other hand, cost leadership strategy involves the production of low-cost goods and services in the industry. Cost leadership strategies would be adopted to enable Nokia Corporation develop the new product at low-costs thus sell it cheaply in the target markets. Cost leadership strategies would also be achieved through acquisition of technologically advanced equipments, which would help in reducing total costs of production through increased efficiency in production processes. Using cost leadership strategies such as reduced advertising expenses, acquiring high-quality production materials at cheap prices and outsourcing some activities, the company will be able to sell the Nokia Lumia 720 at a price below the average industry price. This would attract more customers thus result in increased market share for the new product. In addition, cost leadership strategies would also enable Nokia Corporation to win customers who are price-sensitive.
Market Segmentation for Nokia Lumia 720
Market segmentation refers to the process of dividing a large market into smaller segments that can be easily served by the company. The segments are divided based on similarity in characteristics and needs of consumers. The markets that would be targeted with the marketing plan include the middle-class and working-class people and university or college students. These market segments would be targeted because of their similarity in consumption behaviors and consumer needs and wants. For example, most middle-class or working class people and university students are techno-savvy, thus prefer mobile handsets with specific features such as word processors, large internal memories, FM radios and mobile browsers. This group of customers also embrace technologically advanced products, hence would like the new Nokia Lumia 720 smartphone. For my part, middle-class people and university students would be targeted because of their huge numbers and similar psychographic factors such as the need to belong to particular social class and desire for luxury products.
Stages in the Consumer Decision Making Process for Nokia Lumia 720
Consumer decision making process refers to a series of activities undertaken by consumers before, during and after purchasing a product. It consists of five major stages which include need recognition and problem awareness, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase of the products or services and post-purchase evaluation. Need recognition and problem awareness are where the consumer becomes aware of his unfulfilled desires or wants. It involves identifying the unfulfilled desires. In relation to Nokia Lumia 720, the consumers would become aware of the need to own a high-quality smartphone for personal use. Information search refers to the process of gathering information relating to the desired product. Potential customers of Nokia Lumia 720 would gather information by reading corporate publications about the product, searching the internet and holding discussions with friends and relatives. The main mediums that are used during information search include personal sources such as informal discussions with friends, family members and workmates, commercial sources such as corporate publications and advertisements and public sources such as newspapers, magazines, television, the internet and radio.
Consumers may also use experimental sources by consuming a small quantity of the product to determine its suitability. However, experimental sources are only used with divisible products such as food. Evaluation of alternatives is where the customer chooses the specific products to buy based on information gathered during the information search. In relation to this new product, the consumers would evaluate alternatives by comparing Nokia Lumia 720 with other smartphones from rival companies such as Apple Inc., Motorola and Samsung. The consumers would also weigh the attributes of the handset against their personal needs and preferences. Customers conduct evaluation of alternatives by finding out the benefits that are likely to be derived from consuming a product. Customers also determine the perceived relevance and importance of the product. The available alternatives are ranked based on superiority and ability in meeting the needs.
Purchase of the product is where the consumer actually buys the good or service. This would involve actual purchase of the Nokia Lumia 720 handset by consumers. Post-purchase evaluation involves assessing how the purchased product was able to meet the needs and wants of the consumer after its consumption. Post-purchase evaluation involves determining the level of satisfaction of the consumer. In relation to Nokia Lumia 720, post-purchase evaluation would involve determining whether or not the handset has met the needs of the customers, for example, if the handset has a high-quality camera for taking photos.
Improvements that should be Made to Nokia Lumia 720
Improvements on the product can be made on its camera and internal memory. The resolution of the handset’s camera should be increased from 6.7 megapixels to 12 megapixels while the internal memory should be expended to 16 gigabytes. These improvements would allow users to capture high quality photos with the handset whereas the expanded memory would increase space for storing personal files and documents. The estimated cost for implementing the improvements is fifty thousand dollars. The improvements have been recommended as a result of the feedbacks received from customers and review of features of other smartphones from rival companies. These improvements will be part of commitments of Nokia Corporation to stay ahead of its competitors by providing high-quality products to customers.