Any product will need strategic marketing plan to succeed in market. Strategic marketing plan deals with various factors from finding target market to adopting customer relationship. If a company is successful in planning strategic marketing plan it will also become successful in entering a new market and creating a customer base of its own. Thus strategic marketing plan plays a crucial role in success of a company. This paper tries to define a strategic marketing plan for an innovative product introduced in US market.
Strategic Marketing Plan for Medicinal clothing
It is not an easy task to develop a new product, introduce it in market and become successful. With efficient and effective marketing it is possible for a product to succeed in the market. For any marketing to become effective and successful it is necessary that there is a strategy. This paper aims to develop a strategic marketing plan for the new product called medicinal clothing.
To offer quality, elegance, beauty and style along with comfort and health from the purity of nature to accommodate all shapes and styles.
Our objective is to help people remain healthy and fit by dressing elegantly and stylish. We are dedicated to preserve nature and make dynamic clothing for our customers who embody their belief.
Target market of medicinal clothing is United States. This is because Organic cotton is having great market in United States and market growth during 2008 was 35% and this keeps on increasing. There is a large market for organic clothing in United States and people are also developing an attitude towards ecofriendly products (International Trade Centre, 2007). This attitude of consumers is an added advantage while marketing medicinal clothing. Organic cotton used for manufacturing medicinal clothing is easily available there. Apparel industry in United States is also finding organic cotton as the best fabric for preparing designer wears and various trendy dresses. Introducing medicinal clothing in market will receive great acceptance in an economy where organic cotton is receiving popularity and more customers.
Main competition for medicinal clothing is from distributers and manufactures of organic clothing. Leading companies like Patagonia, Coop, Hess Natur, OTTO and Nike are the major competitors for it is these companies that increased the trend of eco textiles in market. There are almost 2000 small and medium companies manufacturing and manufacturing organic clothing (International Trade Centre, 2007) and they are also likely to create competition. With the introduction of medicinal clothing market of organic clothing will be most affected and hence competition will arise from those companies manufacturing and marketing organic cotton fabric. Medicinal clothing can be used to prepare all kinds of trendy and designer clothing and hence will cause competition to some designer cloth manufacturers as well. Thus competition will come from all kinds of cloth manufacturers and distributors.
Medicinal clothing is manufactured by dyeing cotton clothing. Dye used for manufacturing medicinal clothing is extracts of herbs, spices and medicinal plants with healing properties. This product is the best option for those who are not having time to take care of health, but is suffering from various diseases. Dyes used in these cloths are having medicinal properties and can easily cure various diseases and at the same can prevent occurrence of diseases as well. This is the easiest and cheapest method for treating your diseases as it do not consume large amount of cash or time of consumers.
Our core strategy is of customer intimacy and product leadership. Our product aims specific customers and is not for satisfying entire market demands. We aim only those who wish to be healthy and are conscious about environment and sustainability. We aim to develop products to satisfy unique needs and to cultivate a relationship with customer. We aim to develop ourselves as a learning resource for those who wish to understand benefits of organic clothing and herbal dyes used in it for treating particular diseases. We aim to offer best product for the customer and improve our product every year through introduction of innovative products. We aim to perform best by introducing cloths capable of curing various diseases as demanded by customer in future. We wish to cultivate a relationship with customer as they approach us and do not aim to track them.
Marketing Mix: Communications & Promotion
For marketing medicinal clothing all means of integrated marketing will be made use of. This is because benefits of all these methods can be made use of by integrating them. Each of these methods performs better in harmony than in isolated condition. Advertisements will be used to inform consumers about this new product. Public relations will be made use of for creating consumer awareness. Sales promotion is the best option for seasonal sales. Direct marketing is beneficial in initial stage to introduce the product to target consumers. Campaigns are useful to create awareness about this product among target market like youngsters who are future consumers and can be converted to long term loyal consumers (Philip & Patrick, 2004).
Through integrated marketing we aim to prove that all methods of marketing if used together in right mix can bring best benefit to a product. It is the most effective method for marketing a product and what is to be taken care of is to apply appropriate method according to situation (Don, Stanley, & Robert, 1993).
Success cannot be achieved merely by adopting and implementing integrated marketing, but it has to be evaluated on time and changes are to be made according to feedback received (Don, Stanley, & Robert, 1993). Effectiveness of each campaign is to be measured and the best method is to measure a single aspect at a time. Decision is to be taken as to which aspect among sales, brand awareness, profitability, brand perception or repeat business is to be measured at a time.
Marketing mix: Price
We aim to adopt cost based pricing and customer based pricing along with competitor based pricing. In the initial stage price skimming will be adopted for there will be little competition at this stage. Product offered by us is having some special feature and hence this method can be adopted at initial stage. We are targeting a specific group of customers and they will be ready to pay high for buying this product. Further during this stage distribution is also a challenge and retailers are likely to demand high margin for stocking product. When competitors start to launch similar or rival product we will adopt cost based pricing along with competitor based pricing. This will help us to get an idea about gross profit margin of each sale which is essential initially. We can easily know that our cost is covered and in this method it is easy to calculate selling price. If we can provide our products at cheapest price in comparison to our competitors we will gain more customers (Ruskin-Brown, 2006).
Marketing Mix: Channels of Distribution
Distribution channels can be classified broadly as two, direct and indirect. Direct is where the product is sold to customer directly by producer himself without any middleman. Indirect is the method in which there comes middlemen like retailers and agents and it is from these middle men that product reaches customer (Cant, Strydom, Jooste, & Plessis, 2009). For marketing medicinal cloths both these channels will be made use of. A mixed method will be adopted for marketing this product.
During initial stage medicinal clothing will be sold through direct channels. This is the shortest, simplest and oldest channel of distribution. In this type product is sold to consumer by producer itself and there is no middle man involved. Only person involved is the sales man, direct mail or retail store and sale is done door to door. Direct channel is the best method in beginning stage for it is fast, simple and economical and the producer will have full control of distribution. Without any middleman price of the product will also be less and there is no need to satisfy the needs of a middleman. Further sales are in the form of cash and hence there is no need to wait for cash and to know profit. In this method customer response is also readily available (Pitta, Weisgal, & Lynagh, 2006).
In this method goods are sold through postal service, courier service, retail outlets etc. against order received over telephone, fax or email. Method is known as telemarketing and product is delivered to end user by the producer himself. Biggest issue associated to this is the absence of expert service of any middle men. Another issue is the large amount that is to be invested and thus this method is not suitable for small investors. But this method will suit well when customer is purchasing goods in large quantity and there is only limited number of suppliers. Medicinal clothing is not that common and there are only very limited number of producers for this clothing (Young & Pagoso, 2008).
Once the product get approval and has a strong customer base sales will be conducted through indirect channel. Product will be passed on to customers through intermediaries. Producer will give the product to wholesalers and from them retailers will purchase the product and it is from them that customers will purchase the product. There will be a channel of distribution and this method is adopted in consideration of increased customer base. It is not easy to satisfy large customer base through direct marketing method. It will cost high and producers might not get enough time to deal with marketing on his own when industry grows to higher level. There will be more competitors as time passes and product gains acceptance. Further there is need of expert assistance in marketing when there are more customers and competitors. Intermediaries might be wholesalers, retailers and agents alone or together (Caemmerer, 2009).
Though this method is less expensive it also lacks several benefits of direct marketing. Most important is the time lag in getting customer response. Further success of product depends on retailers and other intermediaries and if they fail product will also fail to perform. Most sales will take place as credit and profit will be known only lately on completion of credit period. But the biggest benefit is that producer need not think of issues related to distribution which is necessary in later stages of increased demand and production (Dent, 2011).
Marketing Mix: Customer Relationship Management
We are focusing on developing loyal customers and so customer relationship management is most essential for our company. When a query about our product arises from a customer we aim to collect details of the customer especially his health condition. If possible we will also provide them with a list of clothing we have capable of curing various diseases by providing a brochure and explaining it to them in detail. This might help us to know about someone who is having another health issue in his or her family or among his or her friends. For this sales persons and employees of the company will be trained. This is because they are the ones coming in direct contact with customers and hence has a major role to play in customer relationship management. It will be on the base of that information that well will keep the relation with customer strong (Buttle, 2012).
All such information will be stored in computer and information technology will help to store this in an easy access format. Customer relationship management software can help in this (Buttle, 2012). With the help of a CRM program we can enter new leads in to database of program and notes and leads can be added by sales persons throughout sales cycle. Using this data company can also develop and change their customer relationship management strategy. It will be easy for company to inform about a new product or special activity like sales promotion to customers through this software. Sales person can design or group customers according to certain criteria and send messages of new products or any activity conducted by company. All these methods will help to increase customer relationship and will result in increase of sale. Sales person need to continue their relationship with customer and speak to them for getting and providing updates useful for sale of products. Consumer too will find it easy to explain his problems to someone she knows than to a stranger. We also aim to provide same sales person on demand from a regular customer as this will make it easy for them to choose their products. For this particular purpose also customer relationship management software will be of help. Thus we aim to develop a unique personal relationship with all our customers as far as possible and thus provide best assistance to them in choosing our product. For this information technology will be of great use and hence we aim to introduce software for this purpose.
By adopting a precise and effective marketing strategy it won’t be difficult for us to establish ourselves in US market. Medicinal clothing being a unique concept will attract consumers and through effective marketing strategy this product can find its own consumers in market. By adopting innovative ideas and by establishing strong customer relation we aim to gain market leadership in this particular segment against all small and medium competitors. We do not aim to compete with big companies like Nike in the beginning for they already have strong customer base and marketing activity which we do not think is wise to compete with.
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