Product Launching and Communication Strategies

Literature Review of Marketing Activities in the Launching of New Products

Launching a new product into the market is a very critical process in marketing management. According to Hauser and Shugan (2008, p. 78), when introducing a new product, a firm will need to engage in a series of activities before actually making the product available to the customers. These initiation-marketing activities involve creating awareness among the target groups about the existence of the product and where it can be bought. The promotional activities require choosing the right channel through which the targeted customers can be reached. According to Green (2010, p. 59), marketing mix elements play an important role when introducing these new products. In this section of the report, the researcher seeks to compare traditional and digital communication strategies when launching a new product into the market through the review of the relevant literatures. The researcher also seeks to determine the role of the marketing mix when launching new products such as BMW.

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Comparing and contrasting traditional and digital communication when launching a new product

According to Avraham (2005, p. 19), traditional and digital communication compare closely in their role when introducing a new product in the market. This scholar says that in both cases, the overall objective is to reach out to the target audience with the right message. It does not matter the approach that a firm uses as long as the approach can help it reach the targeted group of customers efficiently and within the desired time. According to Avraham (2005, p. 27), both traditional and digital means of communication heavily relies on the manner in which the message is designed. For instance, when a firm decides to use television commercials, it will have to design the message in a way that will be convincing to the target group.

The sound, the figures, and the message itself must be pleasant to the target audience. The same case will apply when the firm decides to use some of the modern means of communication, such as YouTube. Both traditional and digital means of communication rely on the ability of the message to entertain. According to Hauser and Shugan (2008, p. 41), society is exposed to thousands of advertisements from the mass to social media. They have learnt how to ignore these advertisements. In fact, many consider it irritating when their favourite shows on the television or radio have to be cut short because of the need to have a commercial break.

For this reason, innovative firms have developed new ways of solving this problem. They are now designing commercials, which are entertaining. It does not matter whether one is using traditional or digital communication systems to reach the audience. The commercials must be appealing to the target groups to win their attention. According to Green (2010, p. 89), the use of graphics is another striking similarity between the traditional and digital forms of communication when launching a new product. In both cases, the firm in question will need to use clear graphics that will help the customer to have a clear vision of what the firm offers in the market. The figure below shows a typical image that BMW uses when launching a new product.

BMW 2013 X6 Sports
Figure 1: BMW 2013 X6 Sports

Such a clear graphic will be very important whether the firm is using digital or traditional forms of communication. Customers can see for themselves what the firm is offering to them.

Despite the above similarities, it is necessary to appreciate that there are some fundamental differences between these two strategies. According to Hauser and Shugan (2008, p. 56), the main difference between traditional and digital communication strategies is geographic coverage. When using digital means of communication such as YouTube, BMW can reach its global audience with ease (Gantriis & Wartenberg 2013, p. 57). However, traditional communication forms such as radio commercials are restricted to a given geographic location. Green (2010, p. 56) says that another striking difference between the traditional and digital communication forms is that the digital form is interactive, while the traditional form is not. For instance, when a client watches a commercial on television, he or she may not give his or her view on the product or promotional strategy used. This makes it difficult for the firm to determine the reaction of its target audience. However, digital media is very interactive. When using the digital communication approach such as Facebook or Tweeter, it will be easy to capture their views through the social forum (Vuskane 2010, p. 58).

Role of the marketing mix when launching a new product

Marketing mix elements play an important role when introducing a new product such as a BMW car into the market (Maguire 2004, p. 52). The first element is the product that the firm is offering to the market. Customers will be looking at important product attributes such as their quality, design, features that make them superior to other existing products, and their brand. When it comes to pricing, Green (2010, p. 33) notes that a firm should be keen to set the prices based on the potential of the target market. The firm should also clarify on issues such as listing the price for every product, any discounts, preferred payment mode, and terms of credit. When handling the place element, Avraham (2005, p. 121) says that the firm will need to ensure that the product is available at the stores as soon as possible. Issues such as distribution channels, transportation, inventory management, and the location will be defined at this stage. The fourth element is the promotional strategies. It is important to note that new products need extensive promotional campaign programmes. Marketing issues such as advertising, personal selling, and publicity will play a critical role when introducing the new product into the market (Avraham 2005, p. 118).

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Conclusion

The review of literatures above reveals that introducing a new product into the market comes with a number of challenges. For a firm to achieve success in this process, it should have a detailed understanding of the target market. It should ensure that its products are aligned with the market needs.

List of References

Avraham, S 2005, Entry Strategies of U.S. Firms to the Newly Independent States, Baltic States, and Eastern European Countries, California Management Review, vol. 37. no. 3, pp. 90-109.

Gantriis, P & Wartenberg, H 2013, The art of BMW: 90 years of motoring excellence, Cengage, New York.

Green, D 2010, Entry Strategy, and Long-Term Performance: Conceptualization and Empirical Examination, Journal of Marketing, vol. 59. no. 4, pp. 1-16.

Hauser, J & Shugan, S 2008, Defensive Marketing Strategies. Marketing Science, vol. 27. no. 1, pp. 85-87.

Maguire, M 2004, BMW brand audit: Scientific study, Munich, Grin.

Vuskane, L 2010, BMW Business Strategy – An Overview, GRIN Verlag GmbH, München.

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