Michelle has asked you to send her a memo that explains the target market for MM’s new product. Because a global market is under consideration, she wants you and Elena to meet for an in-depth discussion of the different characteristics of your target market before sending her the information.
Elena meets you for coffee the next morning to explain her reasons for advocating the global market. As you finish your discussion, Elena stops and says,
“We’ve discussed a lot of different market segments to target with the new product, but the choice comes back to you,” says Elena. “What’s your final decision on the target market that we should focus on? Are you going to propose that we try to market this product globally?
You sigh, knowing this is a key decision in your marketing strategy. “I appreciate our discussion today. I’m going to have to do some more research to determine the exact market and if we should go global or not.”
You know Michelle is expecting a detailed description of your targeted market segment including justification for selecting the market. You also need to remember to include your recommendation for or against marketing globally.
What are the demographic characteristics of your target market and why are they important?
Where is your target market located geographically and why is that important?
What psychographic characteristics define your target market? How do these impact your marketing strategy?
What behavioral characteristics are shared by your target market? Why are these important?
Some background on Mobile Manufacturing
Mobile Manufacturing, Inc.
Michelle Dietrich, president of Mobile Manufacturing, Inc. (MM), stared out of her third-floor window at the traffic below her San Jose, California office and said to herself, “This new product has to be right. If we can’t gain back a significant share of the mobile phone market with this product, MM is not going to be here next year.”
Michelle’s company made its debut in the mobile phone industry in 2002 when it invented the first mobile phone that could access the Internet. At the time, this gave MM a huge advantage over its major rivals.
Mobile Manufacturing, Inc.’s first successful product and initial public offering (IPO) in 2003 raised enough capital to help the firm develop new products, but since then, the technology giants have caught up with them. Although MM had some success with other products, it has not been able to match its initial success and distinguish itself from its rivals. MM—though it was the darling of the technology world in the early 2000s—was struggling to attract first-class employees and new investors; it was floundering in the market.
After several failed attempts at new products, Michelle hired Elena Steokovich, the top cell phone designer and engineer in Europe, to help design a new product. Elena knew her stuff when it came to phone product design, and she had worked with Michelle on MM’s first product. After stints with big-name competitors, she agreed to return to MM to help Michelle restart the product innovation engine.
“I know that just designing a good phone will not be enough,” thought Michelle. “Perhaps the most important question is: How do I know if anyone will buy our phone? Certainly market research will help us identify potential customers so that we can target them effectively, and careful analysis of the research findings will lead us to a good marketing plan. Yes, the marketing plan is the key. I need to know that the next phone we develop will meet the needs and wants of those who crave the latest and greatest technology in their mobile phones.” MM needed to get back a market share if it was to survive in a fiercely competitive environment.
Michelle also knew the mobile phone and technology markets had changed drastically in other ways since MM first entered the market. There were new domestic and foreign companies competing, increased market demand driving prices down, and innovative products being introduced every year. Although some consumers were happy to try out the latest and greatest products, a large number of customers were suffering from feature fatigue, a term used to describe the tiring of the bells and whistles. The customers with feature fatigue just wanted to make phone calls to their family and their friends.
To help ensure that MM has the right marketing plan for its new mobile product, Michelle has hired you as her marketing consultant for this project. As the marketing consultant, you will be responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing the marketing plan for MM’s new product.
Note: All character and company names are fictional and are not intended to depict any actual person or business.
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