This case study illustrates the radical new approach to brand marketing being taken by Graves Enterprises and its floor care products. Traditionally, brands have sought to gain competitive advantage by communicating product benefits in a rational, sales-orientated way. Cleans better, and tastes nicer. But today’s more sophisticated consumer increasingly sees through the often superficial claims of brands whose functional attributes may not be that different from those of their competitors. Brands now need to gain much greater consumer insight, understanding the motivations and aspirations of their target audience, and seeking to provide services and solutions that are relevant to their lifestyle. Thus, Graves Enterprises and its floor care products may be the most efficient household care for cleaner, brighter and shinning result, but our approach is now far more incisive. It seeks to provide not only functional benefits but emotional support systems-in this case, household safety and security for all.
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To raise awareness of Graves floor care products.
As a result, to increase sales through regular and repeat purchase by the target audience.
To develop a mind-opening idea that would communicate the improved product benefits while also fulfilling a genuine consumer need.
The products marketing communications account for a lower portion of total marketing expenditures than is characteristic of consumer marketing. The importance of communication in the accomplishment of overall marketing objectives cannot be ignored. however, the central role played by the industrial sales representative must be supported by a blend of other communication tools, including advertisement catalogues, product specification sheets, direct mail, sales promotion, trade shows, publicity, and public relations. In the concept of an integrated mix of marketing communications, special attention must be devoted to the interaction of each mode of communication with the sales force activity, because the latter is the central element in the communication budget (Brannan p. 32).
The relationship between marketing and advertising budgets and a number of products and market characteristics, including sales volume, customer concentration, growth in the number of customers, the aggressiveness of the marketing plan, customers perceptions of differences among competing products, stages in the products life cycle, and the role assigned to the distributors.
Communication planning and product sales strategies
- Developing sustainable brand positioning
- Message design and content
- Development of the creative proposition
- Developing effective multimedia communication strategies
- Pre-testing ads
- Post testing ads, e.g. awareness, comprehension, recall, attitude shifts, and brand-switching effects.
- Advertising weight-of-expenditure tests
- Media planning: evaluation, selection and scheduling
- Advertising effectiveness
- Public relations and publicity effects on awareness/ attitude
- Sponsorship effectiveness
- Direct marketing effectiveness
- Assessing the impact of integration
- Developing the optimum communication mix.
As a result of this exercise, the following has been learnt about communication planning and product sales
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The proper planning and estimating of production requirements from a fundamental task of decision makers. Inherent in this function is the technique of determining the goods to produce, their quantities, locations and the time frame all estimated to yield the most economical and efficient results. The production forecast should also consider machine capacities, personnel planning, and the needs of the customer. In projecting a forecast of product sales, the staff members assess the internal and external factors which might affect sales. These indicators, which contribute to the planning and preparation of the forecast, would include technological changes, market conditions, production capacities, prevailing prices, sales promotion, and connecting companies.
The decision maker needs to determine the optimum utilization of the organization’s recourses. He must be able to identify the deficient areas which may be deterring profitable sales. He must also ensure that maximum use of techniques such as work study and net-work systems to upgrade overall efficiency in the enterprise.
The problem solver is concerned with such performance indicators as equipment and labour utilization as well as maintenance costs per product unit. He explores any deviation a division may experience due to machine failures, employee absenteeism, lack of essential raw material, and other constraints. The businessman seeks information regarding adequate quality specifications. The company must establish quality criteria against which the product can be measured (Roodman, Roodman p 186).
Brannan, T. (1995). A practical guide to integrated marketing communications. Great Britain. Kogan Page Publishers.
Roodman, Z., & Roodman, H.S. (1973) Management by communication. Ontario. Taylor & Francis.