Market Assessment of Northampton Radio Station N-Live Radio

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N-Live Radio is a new radio station in Northampton with smaller market share despite having appropriate programs preferred by existing listeners. Through proper marketing, N-Live Radio could increase its awareness amongst the customers especially the retail stores and individuals. The objective of this marketing project is to conduct a market assessment, design appropriate marketing tools and strategies, conduct actual advertising, and increase the awareness for N-Live Radio. The paper provides a detailed overview of N-Live radio, the need for marketing, and the practical steps applied. Additionally, I offered a personal reflection on the entire project using the Gibbs Reflective Cycle method.

Overview

Marketing N-Live Radio station to the retail stores is a systematic process that requires market analysis, segmentation, selection of appropriate advertising approach, execution, and assessment of results. In the radio industry, there are larger players with long-term existence, reputation, and market share. In this regard, marketing N-Live Radio, which is still upcoming and has a limited reputation amongst the retail stores, is necessary. Since the retail stores also have preferred radio stations meeting their customer-attraction needs, it was essential to conduct market analysis (Jhally 2014, p.67). Consequently, I researched various retail stores to determine their perceptions and opinions towards using radio programs or music to attract customers. The hypothesis I tested in this study was that listening to radio provides additional shopping experience and entertainment, which adds value and attract customers. Therefore, I conducted the market evaluation or survey in Northampton and focused more on understanding the retail stores' perception and experience on listening to N-Live Radio.

Before conducting the research, I gathered vital information about N-Live Radio, to enhance my understanding and formulation of proper questions to the selected retail stores. In this regard, I listened to N-Live Radio for a whole day and understood the order of programs from 6.00 am to 8.00 pm, including advertisements, music, among others. Similarly, I visited the radio website (www.nliveradio.com) where I gathered vital information on the social media communication such as Twitter and the contribution of listeners towards music selection and programs. With all the idea, I formulated proper questions for the retail stores' owners; the objective was to understand their perspectives towards N-Live Radio and the general trend of tuning the radio in the stores. Through that study, I anticipated to acquire vital information for segmenting the market, understand the role of radio within the retail stores, and then select appropriate marketing approaches.

The objective of marketing was to create awareness of N-Live Radio amongst the retail stores and influence them towards channel for customer-attraction and marketing purposes. Therefore, using the insights gathered from the initial market study, I could design the effective marketing approach such as flyers, posters, or social media (Gagnon 2016, p.56). The significance of my marketing project was to increase awareness of N-Live Radio amongst the retail stores, enhance the number of customers/listeners, and raise revenue gained through advertisement.

Practical Marketing

Initial Market Assessment

I conducted unstructured interviews and observation in five retail stores in Northampton. The primary questions I focused on include (i) why do retailer stores have the radio playing devices and tunes specific channels? (ii) At what time do they tune what channel? (iii) What do they listen to on the radio station of choice?  (iv) What would motivate them to listen to the N-Live Radio station? With these questions asked in an unstructured manner, I found out that most of the retailer stores tune to different radio stations from 7.00am to 11.00 am, and then later from 3.00pm to 6.00pm. Secondly, I discovered that the stations with family-based programs in the morning hours are preferred while the music programs are tuned in the afternoon. Besides, most retail store owners prefer channels that advertise local products sold in those very stores, as well as those with programs and music targeting the adults and youths.

Setting advertising goals

Based on the initial market study, I discovered the segments that listen to the radio most are the adults and youths. Secondly, retail store owners provide radio to entertain and advertise various products sold in the respective store. With these pieces of information, I figured that effective marketing of N-Live Radio should focus on adults and youths as well as adult-related programs in the morning and music in the afternoon. Furthermore, the marketing tool implemented should appeal to the selected market segment to influences the retail store owners to tune in N-Live Radio (Jhally 2014, p.104). Regarding the marketing message, I figured that information on family-related issues like marriage, childcare, investment, and healthcare had higher listeners. As a result, the message had to inform the listeners on how N-Live Radio fulfills these needs and the specific time (Gagnon 2016, p.56). Concerning the music, I realized that sending the message that N-Live Radio provides significant music variety and local adverts, would enhance awareness. Therefore, my primary marketing goals were to inform the retail store owners about the programs and music offered by N-Live Radio, which meets the needs and preferences of their customers.

Advertising venue and message

In marketing, venue refers to the media selected to communicate the message to the target audience (Lin and Kim 2016, p.711). The famous sites include radio stations, websites, newspapers, magazine, TVs, and social media platforms.  The primary factor considered in the selection of a marketing venue is the effectiveness in passing the intended information to the target audience and cost (Lin and Kim 2016, p.713). In my case, I selected print media such as posters and flyers as the first option; I preferred these options due to the affordability and efficacy in reaching the intended retail store owners and their customers. Additionally, I decided to utilize social media platforms, specifically Facebook and Twitter, and WhatsApp. The idea of using social media was motivated by the numerous existing online groups in Northampton. For instance, most retailers have WhatsApp groups and Facebook accounts. The current groups and platforms are used for sharing information, spreading brand awareness, and gathering market information. Therefore, marketing N-Live Radio on social media platforms would also raise awareness amongst the retail store owners and customers using those sites.

Concerning the marketing messages, I focused on the idea that N-Live Radio has a variety of programs fit for youths and adults. In specific, the radio station has morning programs talking about family healthcare, financial security, childcare, marriage, and other consumer-related topics. Additionally, N-Live Radio has frequent advertisements of diverse products available in the local stores; thus, it would boost the brand awareness and enhance the sales in respective retail stores. Other than the periodic music played between programs, the afternoon session has continuous listener-selected music and nonstop entertainment for youths and adults. Besides, the station is highly informative of the commercial news and events that may affect consumers and retailer stores. Designing useful marketing message is essential since it influences the design and creative integrated into the selected venue or media (Ryan, 2016).

Practical/Actual marketing

Idea 1: Flyers

I applied my computer and designing skills to create attractive flyers with the N-Live Radio logo, and then I distributed them in the Shopping Center. Most retail store owners are familiar with marketing flyers since they receive a variety of them from different marketers; this means that they responded positively and accepted the flyers (Davis 2017, p.39). In the larger stores, I made further request to place some flyers at the cashiers so that customer could have a copy or read the information while they make the payment.  The larger stores, in this case, refer to those with higher customer traffic beyond 100 buyers at any given period (Scott, 2015). However, I designed different flyers, one targeting the retail owners and the other targeting any other audience including customers and promoters. I concentrated on the flyers for the retailers, whereby I included vital information about N-Live Radio.

The key messages were the growing attracted in the family-related programs in the morning to noon and music programs in the afternoon. I also included the current promotional services of N-Live Radio, whereby vital retail audiences are recognized on-air and awarded free radio advertising. Additionally, N-Live Radio awards audiences with shopping vouchers designated to a specific retail store, which the listener identified during the show. As a result, listeners are motivated to want to listen to N-Live Radio when doing shopping to gather information for winning the shopping voucher; this implies that the retail store owner is motivated to tune in N-Live Radio. I have to admit that flyers were highly effective since most retail store owners tuned in to N-Live Radio immediately after learning about the benefits.

Idea 2: Posters

I created posters as the best marketing alternative in reaching the retail stores and fulfilling my campaign to increase awareness for N-Live Radio.  In this regard, I created medium-sized posters and posted them in different strategic locations within the Shopping Centers in Northampton. Strategic locations, in this case, refer to notice boards in front or inside the retail stores and major areas with high customer traffic such as parking sections. The primary objective was to develop colorful and attractive posters with bold N-Live Radio logo, plus key morning and evening programs, and the listeners' promotional offers. Consequently, posters created awareness both amongst the general public and the targeted retail store owners, either way, the publicity of N-Live Radio was achieved.

However, unlike flyers, posters had a weaker reception from the audiences following the current move towards creating a clean and sustainable environment. Northampton is quickly shifting to the technology-based lifestyle where paper-posters pinned on notice boards and roadside walls are not preferred. Besides, the seriousness given to posters is declining since almost every marketer of any product or service uses posters. As a result, I concentrated more on the notice boards within the selected retail stores by negotiating with the owners to allow the advertisements for a limited number of days. Additionally, I focused on higher quality paper, design, and imagery to create uniqueness from other familiar posters all over the Shopping centers.

Idea 3: social media (Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter)

My third marketing idea was to develop social media adverts I could post on Facebook, WhatsApp groups, and Twitter. In most neighborhoods in Northampton, people have commercial social media accounts and groups where they market information, discuss the strengths and weakness of various products, and interact with traders. As a measure to enhance the efficacy of such groups, admins coordinate with marketers in designing and passing proper brand message at a minimal fee (Goldberg, Fishbein, and Middlestadt, 2018). Consequently, I made different messages for marketing N-Live Radio and contacted the social media group admins to post the adverts. Additionally, I sent copies of the adverts to retail store owners via WhatsApp contacts, which they give customers for customer-care purposes.

Social media marketing was highly effective compared to posters (Goldberg, Fishbein, and Middlestadt, 2018). Other than the rising user-preference and traffic on social media, most retailers and marketers have a network with a massive audience. As a result, my adverts reached massive audiences including retail store owners and their customers; this enhanced the awareness for N-Live Radio. Besides, I could monitor the comments, likes and shares from the audiences through following the adverts on the Facebook pages, Twitter hash-tags, and WhatsApp groups. Therefore, I was sufficiently convinced that my marketing efforts were effective upon evaluating the impacts two weeks later.

Evaluation

Two weeks after placing the adverts on social media, posters, and flyers I conducted a market evaluation to determine the effectiveness of my efforts. The primary evaluator was the increase in people listening to N-Live Radio especially the retail stores; this could be assessed in two ways (Davis 2017, p.127). First, I visited the sample retail stores in the morning and evening sessions to find out the radio stations tunes. Interestingly, 70 percent of the stores I visited were tuned to N-Live Radio in the morning hours from 7.00am to 11.00am. Conversely, 60 percent tuned to N-Live Radio in the evening session from 3.00pm to 7.00pm. Secondly, I assessed the effectiveness of my efforts through listening to N-Live Radio in the morning and evening sessions to determine the increase in listeners calling from Northampton. Again, N-Live Radio has a significant increase in listeners calling from Northampton and winning the shopping vouchers. On the same note, the radio adverts from retail stores and marketers from Northampton had increased. Therefore, I concluded that my marketing strategies were effective in improving the awareness and listeners of N-Live Radio in Northampton.

Conclusion

Retail stores tune in to favorite radio stations that offer programs effective in customer attraction, entertainment, awareness, and retention (Campbell and Sparks, 2016, p.13). In the process to market N-Live Radio, I chose flyers, posters, and social media platforms to pass the value proposition message for N-Live Radio to retail store owners and their customers. The objective of the marketing excessive was to increase listeners' awareness and boost the tuning of N-Live Radio in retail stores in Northampton. The primary marketing messages for the selected venues were the family-based programs including marriage, healthcare, childcare, investment, recreation, and commerce. Additionally, I prioritized on the promotional benefits that N-Live Radio gives to retail owners and listeners who contribute to the discussions and answer specific questions. I also included the value of varied music played regularly at N-Live Radio to meet the marketing demands of retail store owners. Upon evaluation after two weeks, I realized that my marking efforts were significantly effective in enhancing awareness and listeners for N-Live Radio in Northampton.

Reflection

Description

During the entire marketing project, the events that happened include conducting the primary market study, formulation of advertising goals, selection of venue and messages, actual marketing, and evaluation. I began by studying the Northampton retail stores to determine the radio stations tuned, the periods of listening, and the objectives of radio in the stores. I applied unstructured interviews and observations where I revealed that retail store owners tune radio stations from 7-11.00 am and then later from 3-6.00 pm. Besides, they preferred family-based morning programs, adverts for local products sold in the stores, and youth/adult-based music. What happened after the initial study is the formulation of advertising goals, venue, and messages based on the insights gathered from the evaluation. In this case, I chose flyers, posters, and social media platforms. In the actual marketing, visited a total of ten retail stores, distributed the leaflets, and placed the posters. At the same time, I posted the ads on social media pages through the help of respective admins and then monitored the impacts after two weeks.

Feelings

At the start of the project, I was nervous about the entire process of visiting retail stores, interviewing the owners, designing marketing tools and practical work. As I began the actual project, I gained courage and felt motivated to continue the job; I realized that retail store owners are free to communicate with marketers and students especially those whose objectives can promote the brand awareness. However, during the actual advertising through flyers, posters, and social media posts I enjoyed the exercise since I learned various styles and crucial lessons on effective marketing and interacting with target audiences.  I also felt motivated to communicate with retail store owners, share ideas, and improve the awareness of N-Live Radio even if the station itself did not support me in the process.

Evaluation

The general experience for the marketing project was positive and fascinating since I got the opportunity to design and implement real marketing for N-Live radio. Handling all the entire process and challenges alone also inspired me towards hardworking, commitment, and self-dependent. The SWOT analysis of the marketing project can summarize the evaluation.

Strengths;

using different marketing venues including social media, flyers, and posters enhanced the effectiveness of communication with the target audience. The initial market study and final evaluation were also positive occurrences that boosted the formulation of successful strategies and estimation of the outcomes. The social media group admins also contributed positively towards posting the adverts and stimulating audience conversation on the post.

Weaknesses;

accessing the retail store owners was a challenge since most stores had busy and noise customer traffic, which hindered the owners' concentration on the study. I also suffered from the cost of designing and producing appropriate flyers and posters.

Opportunities; I have developed important communication and marketing skills through this project. Currently, I have no fear of conducting similar marketing for any brand or radio station since I have the confidence and knowledge for success.

Threats;

conducting the entire project alone is challenging since I had to perfume significant assessment, critical thinking, and administer the adverts. I learned that poor designs, messages, and choice of marketing venue could lower the effectiveness of the project.

Analysis

Based on the final evaluation, I realized that most retail stores in Northampton prefer tuning radio stations for customer-attraction, entertainment, and retention purposes. The major stores such as H&M, JD, and Superdry have quality audio systems tuned to N-Live Radio to keep the customer updated on vital family-based issues, commercial news, and must entertainment. I also learned that effective marketing depends on proper market analysis and selection of an appropriate segment, venue, and method. Besides, the nature of the target audience and the advertising objectives influence the choice of marketing messages and medium employed. On the contrary, I learned that marketing is costly and requires sufficient innovation, creativity, and the involvement of relevant stakeholders.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the N-Live Radio marketing project enhanced my skills and expertise in planning, conducting, and evaluating a successful brand promotional project. Through this project, I learned to conduct initial market assessment and select an appropriate segment/audience targeted by the marketing activity. Similarly, I learned to use the findings from the initial study to formulate the objectives, budget, and the appropriate advertising approaches that meet the desired goals. I also learned to evaluate the impacts of my marketing project by measuring the improvements in awareness, listeners, and the benefits to the brand. On the contrary, I learned that marketing is a sensitive process that requires proper innovation, capital, and involvement of retail store owners. In this regard, in the future, I will tend to source for sufficient funding to aid adequate design and creation of highly attractive adverts.  Besides, I would need to enhance my communication skills to improve the relations with target audiences and other stakeholders.

Action plan

The last section entails the changes/actions recommended to improve the activities, situations, and events leading to effective marketing. Based on the information I presented above, my marketing project was successful since the number of N-Live Radio listeners increased, retail store owners began to tune in the station, and the awareness increased in Northampton. As a result, I would repeat the similar process and actions in any future marketing project but with limited changes. I would involve more stakeholders directly or indirectly to expand the capital, ideas, designing, and implementation of the advertising plans. Besides, I propose to focus more on social media marketing, which is gaining broader awareness and adoption in Northampton.  

References

Campbell, H.D. and Sparks, R., 2016. Radio & Digital Audio. Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals.

Davis, J.A., 2017. Measuring Marketing: The 100+ Essential Metrics Every Marketer Needs 3rd Edition. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG.

Gagnon, E., 2016. The Marketer’s Action Plan (MAP): Six Steps to Developing Effective Marketing Plans in B2B Marketing Programs. International Management Review, 12(2), p.56.

Goldberg, M.E., Fishbein, M. and Middlestadt, S.E. eds., 2018. Social marketing: Theoretical and practical perspectives. Psychology Press.

Jhally, S., 2014. The codes of advertising: Fetishism and the political economy of meaning in the consumer society. Routledge.

Lin, C.A. and Kim, T., 2016. Predicting user response to sponsored advertising on social media via the technology acceptance model. Computers in human behavior, 64, pp.710-718.

Ryan, D., 2016. Understanding digital marketing: marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation. Kogan Page Publishers.

Scott, D.M., 2015. The new rules of marketing and PR: How to use social media, online video, mobile applications, blogs, news releases, and viral marketing to reach buyers directly. John Wiley & Sons.

September 18, 2023
Category:

Business

Subcategory:

Corporations Marketing

Subject area:

Company Marketing Strategy

Number of pages

13

Number of words

3336

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