Sony is one of the leading manufacturers of televisions around the world and the company continues to grow. It has its headquarters in Japan (it was founded in 1946). The company produces a wide range of products for consumers and professional markets. The company remains unique (globally) and carries out convergence strategies that can satisfy its customers (Lipe, 2002, p.29).
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The company’s main strategy in reaching a wide market has been through the use of technology by coming up with new innovative products. The provision of high-quality products and services has also been built on for efficiency. In addition to these, there is responsive customer service, enhanced usability, and supply chain management.
The company has a marketing strategy council that coordinates marketing initiatives. This council has members from all ranges of products and it’s involved in coming up with marketing approaches. To exercise more quality and cost control, the company has partnered with other companies like Samsung (the world’s largest flat-panel TV maker) to produce products. These products have later on been marketed in the global market to reach a wide base (Lipe, 2002, p.32).
Pricing has been used to meet the demands of the low-end market by giving them more value for their money through quality. Consumers are given a new benefit through the combination of software, hardware, and content. This gives consumers easy time to access entertainment and information. Its strength in rebuilding the company’s brand has been reinforced by a good reputation in innovation and quality. Communication campaigns that the company has undertaken have targeted both individual products and the strategic platform. This has exposed the company’s products and strengthened its role in the industry.
Sony makes proper use of advertising campaigns to improve public relations and the company’s image. To a large extent, there are customer relation centers that have been used to reach out to current customers and attract new ones. There is a plan to leverage the brand beyond the available products. This explains why the company has continued to expand its research activities to increase its brand portfolio.
High-quality information seems to be a building block of any marketing strategy that a company plans to use. When information is limited it will be impossible to make informed decisions. What to be achieved, the target audience, their needs, and expectations are very vital in this case. Through information, the company’s competitors are known in advance.
All these help to come up with the best strategy to market products. Sony has used communication well and that is why it is dominating some markets with its unique products. In addition, approaches that the company uses to launch marketing strategies have been created by junior employees. They have been given free space and access to information. This can be demonstrated from the way they have been given space in the company, whereby there is a rotation program. In the long run, they have always felt comfortable contributing to the marketing strategies by giving information that enhances marketing.
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Communication campaigns that the company has undertaken have targeted both individual products and the strategic platform. This has exposed the company’s products and strengthened its role in the industry.
In communicating, the company listens to the customers so that their expectations can be met with a personal touch. In this case, the company has always been ready to answer any queries raised by customers. To a large extent, there are customer relation centers that have been used to reach out to current customers and attract new ones. The company has moved closer to customers by coming up with innovative and high-quality products. These products have been a result of extensive research which has provided the right information that the company needs.
The TV manufacturing business is becoming globally competitive and this has prompted Sony to be aware of its competitors and know how to deal with them. In 2006 it partnered with Panasonic to establish an alliance for high power communication (Lipe, 2002, p.20). Information has been important in knowing what they are up to and what new marketing approaches they might be intending to use. This has prepared the company to be ready for competition as it plans to market itself.
Customers are only moved to buy products that will be less demanding to use. This implies that when products are easily usable they will generate high demand. Sony has been building on the easy usability of its products so that customers can be close to them. This has turned out to be a reality where the company has disseminated information about the products through the media and the internet so that consumers become more knowledgeable. For more information, customers are directed to its website to become more knowledgeable about its products.
The available market information has forced the company back to the drawing board to try and see which ways it can review in approaching the market. This has enabled the company to enhance its marketing strategies without any delay whatsoever. Marketing is the pillar of any company as far as growth is concerned but it will only thrive on occasions where there is proper information.
Organizational strategy and marketing strategy
The organizational strategy seems to be the basis from which the marketing strategy is crafted (Meerman, 2007, p.27). The way the company is organized has given it a competitive edge over other companies. The company operates in many countries and aims to emotionally touch and excite its customers. The organization’s strategy has been to market and distributes highly innovative and quality products. Sony believes that it has to continue being at the forefront in coming up with new and highly innovative products as a long-term strategy that the organization must fulfill.
It has based its organizational strategy on envisioning a good future for the company by building a strong value in customers with a great stronghold on the market. This has also entailed an internal and external assessment of the company to attain the goals that are set out. The company’s leadership style and motivation have propelled the employees to be in charge and ensure that the marketing goals and strategies are achieved (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.12).
Workers have been left free to contribute to the company’s decision-making and in the process brought new strategies that the company has used to grow (Lipe, 2002, p.20). The company believes in employee satisfaction as a way by which the management can be made more efficient. The same employees have been seen to contribute to the marketing strategy by being active in the decision-making that the company has fully used to its advantage.
In organizing itself globally, the company has on some occasions embraced partnerships and acquisitions for proper positioning. Sony has been able to determine its operation fields thereby coming up with the best ways of carrying out its strategies. This has been aimed at expanding the product’s presence to more markets that it did not operate before. Sony has believed in marketing itself as a leader in using technology by giving the market highly innovative and quality products (Meerman, 2007, p.27). This is a marketing strategy goes well with its organizational strategy of ensuring that the company fulfills the expectations of the market through the use of technology.
Marketing has on some occasions targeted the low-end market through reduced pricing which has also served as a way of growing into new markets (Meerman, 2007, p.27). The organization feels that it can grow as it expands by giving customers a more satisfactory experience. This can be achieved through enhanced customer satisfaction with a more personal touch.
There has been a marketing strategy in the way the company has opened the business in many countries (Lipe, 2002, p.20). This has also served to achieve the organizational goals set out by the company. Being operational in many countries has opened up the market for Sony to increase its presence.
The organization has focused on reducing costs and increasing profitability. This is the reason why there has been some extensive research in knowing the demands of the market and how they can be satisfied. All these are very important in ensuring that the organizational and marketing strategies are achieved.
Marketing strategies that are put in place should not be conflicting with the organizational strategies. This is very important for the company to achieve any success. Sony has grown considerably because it has properly embraced both organizational and marketing strategies. Organizational and marketing strategies are supposed to be harmoniously coordinated.
Sony is a global company that continues to offer a wide range of products and services both in Japan and in other markets that it operates. In establishing itself globally the company has made a name by offering highly innovative and quality products. That is why it has a wide range of products for each market segment (Lipe, 2002, p.20). The use of technology in coming up with new products has been the companies strength in conquering new markets on a global scale.
There has been some growth in investor relations all over the globe as a way of expanding to new frontiers. New investors that are always courted have given the company enough reason to be vibrant in its marketing. The company trades its shares on the Tokyo and New York stock exchange markets. This allows new investors to be part of the company (Lipe, 2002, p.22). With new investors, it means that business has to be reviewed and increased and the only way these can be achieved is through strategic marketing.
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In increasing its business globally the company has done a lot of research on how to tap into these markets. The company’s history on product development shows that its products have been developed after extensive research by engineers (Meerman, 2007, p.27). This can be well explained from the way it launched the world’s first OLED TV in 2007(Meerman, 2007, p.27). In cases where they are feasible, the company has gone ahead to establish a business. But to stabilize the new ventures, marketing has been incorporated to bring in the desired growth that the management would wish to see.
Pricing has been a marketing tool that the company has used in different markets. For instance, its Play station 3 retails at different prices across the world (Lipe, 2002, p.20). Because the global market is diverse (low-end and high-end consumers), the company has used different prices to entice these markets. This marketing plan has made it possible to entice the different markets without any conflict arising within the company’s goals and objectives.
Technological innovations have steered the company in the global market. This has been an avenue that the company has reinforced itself with on the global market. The products are developed from a theme point of view. Its approach has been through high-performance processors, environmental technology, lasers, and information security (Lipe, 2002, p.20). On the other hand, it has turned out to be its major marketing force as it seeks to grow further. Marketing here has been made possible by the provision of highly innovative and quality products.
The company has been marketing itself in different markets so that it can be able to avoid competition. It is evident that Sony has set up shop in many countries and this growth has been reinforced through the use of thorough marketing plans. Currently, the company has a branch in all the countries that it operates (Meerman, 2007, p.27). There have been acquisitions and partnerships to increase the company’s global presence.
As the company establishes itself on the global market it needs to be vibrant in giving customers what they expect. These will still be possible after thorough research has been done in the market. To sustain all these, a proper marketing plan should be incorporated to enhance sustainability.
The internet has presented an avenue that companies can use to increase their marketing prowess. This has manifested itself through the provision of information that benefits both users. E-Business mainly lays its focus on the customers by ensuring that they get the necessary information at all times.
Sony has not been left behind as its marketing has incorporated e-business. This is where it has given the customers what they desire to see while transacting business online. It welcomes suggestions on what customers would expect for satisfaction. By giving customers what they want, the company has been able to build the necessary trust for growth (Lipe, 2002, p.20). E-business has aimed to accomplish the set goals on the internet without any contradictions whatsoever. This has enabled the company to deliver products and services around the globe as it grows.
There has been the enhancement of e-business by the use of webcasting centers through partnerships that are aimed at increasing the company’s presence. The webcasting centers have solved many problems that could not be possible without their use. On the other hand, the company has site links that users can visit to see the vast and diverse product range (Lipe, 2002, p.20).
Customers form an integral part of the business and that is why Sony has established an e-support system to help in customer service and support so that the customers can be widely reached in the shortest time possible. This has been made possible by the increased efficiency of its website. Since the company is global it has to satisfy customers who speak different languages and ensure they are reached. The company seems to appreciate these as it has different languages on its website (Meerman, 2007, p.27). Sony products can also be purchased online through the different partnerships that it has with online retail and wholesale companies.
As people are enlightened on the internet about Sony and its products, they may want to enquire something on what they don’t understand. Because of this, as it markets itself, Sony receives inquiries online and gives feedback to the concerned customers by attending to them. This can be seen from its website (Meerman, 2007, p.27).
The company also presents free e-books on the internet that users can read about a specific product and understand on their own other than waiting for somebody to go and visit them physically. They can in turn be downloaded from its website. For those customers who purchase products that need software’s the company has factored in this consideration and users can obtain them online. An example is the home network about its LCD Sony Bravia (Lipe, 2002, p.20).
E-Business is the new way by which companies are doing business nowadays as it is more efficient, cheap, and faster than the traditional ways of marketing. It is good that Sony has embraced this new way of doing business and this will help it to consolidate its market share.
Marketing strategy is mostly directed towards the full attainment of market satisfaction. The strategy starts with proper market research where the needs and competitors are analyzed. Sony’s main strategy in reaching a wide market has been through the use of technology by coming up with new innovative products. The provision of high-quality products and services has also been built on. In addition to these there is responsive and customer service, usability, and supply chain management.
Proper understanding of the marketing theory is the only way that companies can use to improve on their marketing strategies and remain competitive. This is the reason why there has been some extensive research in knowing the demands of the market and how they can be satisfied. All these are very important in ensuring that the organizational and marketing strategies are achieved.
As the company establishes itself on the global market it needs to be vibrant in giving customers what they expect. Sony has not been left behind as its marketing has incorporated e-business. This is where it has given the customers what they desire to see while transacting business online. E-Business is the new way by which companies are doing business nowadays as it is more efficient, cheap, and faster than the traditional ways of marketing
New product or service
For a product to be developed there should be idea generation, product design, and then engineering (Meerman, 2007, p.15). There should be proper market analysis and research. This is the only avenue that companies can grow their market share; by developing new products that their competitors do not have.
The new product needs a marketing plan to succeed in the market. This is a layout that shows the necessary actions that will help it to achieve its marketing objectives. For it to achieve its course it should be formalized to cover the customer needs and groups that are supposed to be served properly.
This process is very tiresome and needs commitment. It includes; idea generation, idea screening, concept testing and development, business analysis, market tests, technical implementation, commercialization, and new product pricing.
These products that are developed should not conflict with the company’s goals and objectives. It should also be in need with the customer needs and the plan is supposed to be aligned with the company strategy. There needs to be a way by which the process will improve as the product is not guaranteed to be widely accepted from the first production.
This is a challenge to companies as they do not know which projects to undertake in maximizing returns. It can be achieved by proper maximization of the value, realigning, and balance of the new product. This paper will focus on Sony coming up with a new TV card because it has been selling TVs. This is a potential market that the company can tap into.
Although there are many producers of TV cards, the company has an upper hand as it is already producing complementary products that can be used with it. They are also called video capture cards because they allow videos to be recorded on hard disks. This card will comprise of a tuner and an analog to digital converter.
It seems like the mobile TV card tuner will be more lucrative as people move to watch TV on their handsets. There is also an opportunity for diversification in the production of video capture cards. Sony has a wide pool of engineers that will ensure that the new TV card is well developed. The TV cards produced will be for the mobile TV and the videos (capture cards). Ideas will be generated from the existing TV cards to enhance the quality. After the product has been developed it will be subjected to market tests that will allow improvements. This will ensure that the new TV card is unique, a key strength of Sony coupled with technology.
The Marketing strategy will give the company a chance to limit its resources to the greatest opportunities that will help it to increase sales and have a more competitive advantage over other companies. This strategy will mostly be directed towards the attainment of market satisfaction.
The market segment will involve a sub-set of the market. This group comprises customers who share some common characteristics that will make them demand the same product based on its qualities (Lipe, 2002, p.29). The segment will be reached through a proper market intervention that will respond similarly to the market stimulus.
Sony will produce TV cards for the mobile TV and the videos (capture cards). The companies will target mobile phone users and video editors who will highly demand these products. This group of users promises more returns as they are still growing.
The segmentation criteria will be done using income. These will target middle-income customers as they are likely to embrace this new product. 90% of Japans’ population comes from the middle-income group (Lie, 2001, p.6). This makes it a very large market that Sony will strive to capture. Some of these people can not access the highly-priced TV cards offered by other companies.
With these groups owning high-quality phones, it is clear that they will demand TV cards so that they can watch their favorite programs at the comfort of their handsets. Another integral section of this middle-income group includes those people who need videos for their editing from different sources. The company will make high-quality video capture cards that will guarantee returns in this market.
The target market is important to the marketing strategy. In the long run, the target market will help in the success of the new product in the marketplace.
After identifying a target market, the company will be able to come up with a marketing mix strategy, promotion, distribution, and market-friendly prices that will be effective in maintaining this market. The target market is mostly identified through differentiated or undifferentiated marketing. In the process, it will outline the basics of market segmentation.
The company will target the middle-income end market youths in towns. The youths form 64% of the countries population most of them in urban areas (Lie, 2001, p.12). They are targeted because most of them have been born in the technological era and will continue embracing any new advances in technology. On the other hand, they tend to display high levels of brand loyalty (Lipe, 2002, p.9). The youths don’t like being lumped together with the other segments and will appreciate it if given personal attention through the product. Target marketing will give the company a special focus for all the marketing activities.
This target market has a large number of customers (64% of the population) and it is clear that the youths form a majority of the population in different countries. In addition to these, this population continues to increase which will allow the product to grow further. The company expects to get high sales and good profit margins in these target markets.
The company believes that this group will exhibit some strong brand loyalty to the new product hence forming a strong customer base. Uniqueness in this product will be instrumental in forming these target markets by bringing out the best characteristics.
Further research will be instrumental in knowing the emerging trends in this group to comfortably cater for them. In addition, there is also the need to pay attention to both micros as well as macro-environmental variables, and the impact that they have on the target market.
Differentiation will distinguish Sony’s TV cards from others to make them attractive to this target market. This will be achieved through additional features and more reliability than other competitors in this sector who don’t have these. Sony’s TV card will be unique through the enhanced quality of pictures from the TV stations. This will be done by the large pool of engineers who have been designing the company’s products.
On the other hand, the TV cards will be retailing in different stores for enhanced convenience. When customers can conveniently get these TV cards they will easily differentiate them from other TV cards. The size will be reviewed to enhance compatibility as there are various sizes of mobile phones in the market.
The company’s marketing objectives will be clear, measurable, and have a time frame that will lead to success. Marketing objectives need to be realistic. In addition, they should also be quantifiable and specific within a given timeframe. These objectives will in turn lead to high sales of the new product from the company. In the first year, the company will seek to increase product awareness among the target market by more than 30%. This will be done by aggressive marketing campaigns through the media. It is projected to increase in the second year to 60% after more intensive campaigns.
The other objective will be to inform the target audience about the benefits and features of the new product. This will also be communicated through the media and promotional campaigns in selected areas that can influence the market. It is projected to increase the competitive advantage through differentiation and lead to a more than 10% increase in sales as the product gains market acceptability. On the other hand, the company plans to have a strong marketing team in place that will help in all promotional campaigns. This team will specifically be tasked with promoting the new Sony TV card.
In addition, the company has enough resources that will help it to accomplish these vital objectives in both the short and long run. This is because the new product will be approved by the directors as it will enhance the company’s product portfolio. Therefore the company will develop a good promotional plan to support these objectives.
The marketing mix will involve the four Ps that are product, price, place, and promotion (Kotler & Keller, 2006, p.25). Products from Sony will be produced en mass on a large scale with a specific volume that can satisfy the market. This will be increased as the market share grows. Since the company intends to target the middle-income end market which is dominated by the youths, there will be a need to ensure that the quality of the product is maintained.
Pricing will be instrumental in guaranteeing success. This means that the company must provide affordable TV cards that will entice the market. The middle-income market segment demands quality and affordable products. In the long run, Sony will review its pricing to be in line with the demands of the market (low prices).
Sony’s TV cards will be sold in selected stores and on the internet for increased and easy accessibility. These will ensure that the customers can easily access the products at their place of convenience.
Promotion is necessary to show the communication strategy that the company will use in the marketplace. The company will use promotional campaigns and the media to enhance more awareness about the new TV cards. The management will mainly focus on the youths who will form an integral part of the company’s market.
Costs of the marketing strategy
The company expects to sell 500,000 units within the first year before it goes fully into the global market. In launching the product the company will need $1million. Since this is an expansion program that the company will be undertaking, it will be wholly financed by the company’s shareholders through a rights issue. All the other costs (development, production, and distribution) will be catered for by this issue. This is expected to succeed as it will ultimately add value to the shareholders.
Expected Sales in the first year $ 18,000,000 ($36.00 * 500,000)
Development costs $ 5,000,000
Production costs $ 3,000,000
Launching costs $ 1,000,000
Distribution costs $ 4,000,000
From the above information, the venture looks lucrative as the company has a chance to break- even in the first year.
Sony is a global company that continues to provide innovative and high-quality products to cut a niche in the market. Intensive marketing will continue to play an important role in ensuring that the company remains competitive.
- Kotler, P. & Keller, L, K., 2006. Marketing Management. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
- Lie, J., 2001. Multiethnic Japan. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
- Lipe, B, J., 2002. The marketing toolkit for growing business. Minneapolis: Chammerson Press.
- Meerman, S, D., 2007. The new rules of marketing and PR. New Jersey: Hoboken