1. via the internet; it can act

1. Introduction

This is a marketing plan for the company’s new product – an intelligent refrigerator with a state-of-the-art digital application. We have baptized it ‘intelligent ref’.

This is a revolutionary product – a digitally functional refrigerator. It is the first of its kind in the entire world, a refrigerator which can function as a personal computer, cellular phone, and television. It has a built-in central processing unit in which the owner can communicate via the internet; it can act as a cell phone, and it is remote controlled. Moreover, it can also act as a ‘central command’ to all the other appliances in the household where the refrigerator is located. This is the scenario intelligent ref can create. It’s quiet in the house. No human beings have roamed around in the past several hours, but there are the appliances, and the area is under control by a new kind of robot – intelligent ref. The telephone rings: the phone is not inside the refrigerator, it is outside the refrigerator, somewhere inside the house.

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But intelligent ref can communicate with it via remote, like an answering device. It hangs up. The door of the ref has an LCD monitor, which also performs the function of a cable television. When intelligent ref notices the seeming peace inside, it feels some music must be played.

And so the mellow voice of Paul Anka can be heard inside the house, which is situated in the middle of a bustling American city. Now, here’s the catch. Thousands of miles away, a conference of executives is being held. The situation has become quite tense as the talk is about the conglomeration of several international organizations. A young and pretty executive is in the middle of the long conference table.

She stands up and withdraws himself from the conference, takes her cell phone and calls up. “Hello there sweety, is everything okay?” “Everything’s fine, as fine as the way you left me, darling!” Intelligent ref’s voice reverberates through the living room, but it sounds like that of a teen. Intelligent is a multiple personality robot: it can act as confidante, security assistant, and many others as it is well equipped with sensors and CCTV’s inside and outside the residence remotely connected to it, no matter how far is the owner, even thousands of miles conducting a business conference. Intelligent ref is the ref of the digital world.

It’s time for a revolution, a revolution in the high-tech world of humans. Never before has this been schemed since the invention of the first refrigerator. Now is the time to introduce to the world this appliance which has been the result of years of study and research.

American households need low-cost refrigerators. Government data released states that a refrigerator appliance is the highest ranking necessity in an ordinary American household regardless of income level. The refrigerator is highest compared to other appliances, followed by cooking appliances, then by colored televisions. (Energy Information Administration and Residential Energy Consumption Survey, cited in eia.doe.gov, 2004) Timely and ingenuous are the terms we can describe to our planners and engineers in building intelligeng ref. What is more surprising is that it is affordable by the common American household. Intelligent ref comes in various colors – green, red, yellow, and black.

There are also custombuilt ones, or those made according to specifications by the customer. We have an intelligent ref for the middle income household, and for the very rich. This latter classification has been the result of our planners’ study of what American housewives and consumers need and want. Indeed, the rich don’t care much of what they place inside their refs; it’s the not-so rich who are concerned of the contents of their refs. However, regardless of class, American households are concerned of quantity and quality inside their refs. This company is committed to provide every household the low-cost refrigerator that can boast of quality, durability and style.

2. Marketing Strategy

Jobber and Lancaster (2003) highlight the process of the marketing plan. SOURCE: Adapted from Jobber and Lancaster (2003). Selling and Sales Management. Sixth Edition, Pearson Education Limited 2003. The plan involves setting up objectives, then determining or preparing the steps and activities for fulfill the objectives, organizing for action, implement the steps and actions, until it goes down to measuring the results, re-evaluating and controlling.

The whole process is repeated and repeated.

Marketing process

a. Target market

Small appliances such as television, air-conditioning units/systems, washing machines and spin driers, rice cooker, gas stoves/ranges, etc. are common items in ordinary American households. Refrigerators and air-conditioning units however are our appliance specialties. The target segment for the company’s products is the American household composed of housewives, bachelors and single moms, students, and other independent-minded Americans who are living on their own.

The market target use refrigerators like they use any other ordinary appliance at home. The busy executive can make use of intelligent ref like a constant companion

b. Marketing objectives

Product – To provide low-cost small appliances to ordinary American households across the country.

Intelligent ref is the product of the century and a household name; Distribution – To provide a systematic but effective distribution system throughout the different branches across states. Price – To provide customers affordable and ‘intelligent’ appliances at low, low prices, but appliances that answer to the call of the digital world. Promotion – To facilitate an effective promotional campaign that will highlight the company as a household name in terms of low cost but quality-oriented refrigerators with digital applications like intelligent ref.

c.

Weakness

Electronics need new raw-material suppliers to support the small appliance line. There are some difficulties in finding suppliers along this line of products; finding suppliers could prove a hindrance to success. With the emergence of China as supplier/producer of low-cost electronic materials, the company may have to outsource the materials. This is one of the problems of the industry and even in other products – finding the appropriate and efficient suppliers that can give low-cost materials.

Since our product, intelligent ref, is new to the market, we will find competitive forces improving their products to compete with intelligent ref.

d. Current or potential opportunities

Production of small appliances has always been a challenge to the company with our team of expert engineers and planners. We have experienced engineers and designers who have conducted research and intensive study in the production of state-of-the-art refrigerators. We can have the opportunity of leading the market of lowest-cost appliances. We have a small front-end investment but a low debt-to-equity ratio and a high-credit rating that can give us the opportunity to make it big by adding more capital. Environmental forces continue to loom in the horizon. Competitors will look for ways not to allow us to make the edge.

The global recession will haunt our entry into the appliance industry market no matter what low-cost, quality product we can offer.

Product

Our goal is to satisfy the customer in the context of our product. We have described the unique features of our product intelligent ref, and we believe this is one of a kind that should revolutionize the appliance industry. Jobber and Lancaster (2003, p. 256) state that “Marketing must aim to satisfy customers.” Therefore, close monitoring with the product and constant consultation with customers will be one of the strategies in introducing the product to the public.

Distribution

Our own staff to provide effective distribution system. Supply chain should be aided with the latest software, tracing our own products from the moment they leave the warehouse up to the time they reach the stores and the customers.

Price

Provide customer service warranty, delivery and credit. As the primary objective is to deliver appliances at affordable prices, the original price of the product shall be maintained. Since there is more supply in the market, there seems to be less demand.

However this statement needs more proof or empirical study. What is focused here is the price. The price is negotiable because the suppliers of the product are competing to get customers’ attention. The price customers are prepared to pay determines the level of demand for a product or service which affects the prosperity of the marketing company and the company’s competitive position in the market place. Price levels have far reaching implications for the national economy. They influence wages, interest rates and government policy. (Lancaster and Reynolds, 2002, p. 28) Price is not the only factor that affects demand, although in some situations companies have achieved similar levels of service, product quality and promotional support and it has become the major element of product differentiation.

However, such companies have usually made major marketing efforts to reach such a state of similarity. Price is a key element in the marketing mix and thus relates directly to the generation of total revenue. The following equation is an important one for the entire organization: Profits = Total Revenues – Total Costs Profits = (Price x Quantities Sold) – Total Costs We have the different types of selling, and capitalysing on this particular aspect of marketing, there are inside order-takers, delivery salespeople, and outside order-takers, among others. The inside order-takers – the typical inside order-taker is the retail sales assistant wherein the customer has full freedom to choose products without the presence of a salesperson. The sales assistant’s task is purely transactional – receiving payment and passing over the goods. Another form of inside order-taker is the telermarketing, sales team who support field sales by taking customers’ orders over the telephone. (Jobber and Lancaster, 2003, p. 5)

Promotion

Promotion and adverts can be done through the internet.

Other additional strategies involve infomercials and multi-media advertising. The internet is a fast-growing and effective communication that has been used by more and more businesses and organizations, not to mention the multitude of people, young and old, who patronize and log on everyday and every minute of the day.

3. Action plan

Intelligent ref will be featured in commercials and through the internet. This is the first step in the process – introducing the product to the general public. The population composed of the rich and famous will be the next target.

We can apply discounts, employ dealers, and advertise on the national level. Personal selling can be implemented for a long term survival and the sales people can identify customer needs and wants. They are the company’s liaison officers, and they make contact with the outside world. These strategies can be achieved within the three-year period.

Managers and supervisors who are in the field can do the monitoring procedures. Complaints and suggestions can be endorsed through the company’s website which will have the weblog portion for the customers and employees. A special team will monitor the effectiveness of the plan. This special team will be composed of managers and staff who have displayed zeal and enthusiasm for the advancement of the company. Action plan for the team will include a round-the-clock supervision, somebody to man the website and its complaints department, and a continuous monitoring of the output of the company’s products. The 4Ps is a marketing strategy which refers to product, price, place, promotion; a fifth can be added, which is people. All marketing mix variables could be categorized into just two groups: The Offering (product, packaging, service, brand and price), and The Methods/Tools (distribution channels, personal selling, advertising and sales promotion Marketing Strategy indicates the specific markets towards which activities are to be targeted and the types of competitive advantages that are to be developed and exploited. The strategy requires clear objectives and a focus in line with an organization’s corporate goals; the “right” customers must be targeted more effectively than they are by its competitors, and associated marketing mixes must be developed into marketing programmes that successfully implement the marketing strategy.

A marketing strategy can be likened to a recipe. Lancaster and Reynolds (2002, p. 14) state that ‘The ingredients are the marketing functions. If a minor ingredient is miscalculated or forgotten, a recipe may not be successful. The same is true with marketing strategy where all functional ingredients depend on each other for success.

’ A marketing opportunity arises when the right combination of circumstances occurs at the right time to allow an organization to take action towards reaching a target market. An opportunity provides favourable chance or opening for the firm to generate sales from identifiable markets (Jobber and Lancaster, 2003, p. 656). Marketers indirectly facilitate exchanges by focusing information about company activities and products on interest groups (such as environmental and consumer groups), current and potential investors, regulatory agencies and society in general. Some marketers use cause related marketing, which links the purchase of their products to philanthropic efforts for a particular cause. Cause related marketing often helps a marketer boost sales and generate goodwill through contributions to causes that members of its target markets want to support.

4. Conclusion

The strategy will focus on intelligent ref, the refrigerator of the twenty-first century. The marketing mix variables, marketing strategies and tools will be emphasized on the introduction of intelligent ref to the American public. For a firm to be marketing orientated requires that a number of changes take place in organization, in practices and in attitudes. Implementing the marketing concept requires more than paying lip service to the ideas inherent in the concept.

References

Eia.doe.

gov (2004). The Effect of Income on Appliances in U.S. Households. Available from: http://www.

eia.doe.gov/emeu/recs/appliances/appliances.html. Jobber, D. and Lancaster, G.

(2003). Selling and Sales Management, Sixth Edition, England: Pearson Education Limited. Jobber, D. and Lancaster, G.

(2003). Selling and Sales Management, Sixth Edition, Available on line from: http://www.booksites.net/download/jobber/download.htm Lancaster, G. and Reynolds, P.

(2002). Marketing made simple. Great Britain: Butterworth-Heinemann Publications.

p. 28.

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