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Strong’s proposal to alter the positioning strategy of Aldus advocated for a split in its product family into two distinct product lines. The first product line would be the Aldus Executive Series, including products such as PageMaker, Persuasion, and additional new products aimed at the business market. The second product like would be the Aldus Professional Series, including products such as the professional version of PageMaker, Aldus Freehand, Aldus Snapshot, as well as additional new products that would be aimed at the creative graphics professional market (Foxall, 2014). According to the arguments presented by the regional marketing manager when pushing for the adoption of the proposal, the approach would enable the company to develop two separate but focused product and market strategies for its two major market segments.
The proposal is well defined and quite effective in promoting the market position of the company in the sense that initially, its marketing strategy failed to focus on a particular market segment. As a result, it ended up suffering major market losses, especially within its European markets, whereby professional customers felt underserved by the company’s business approach, which entailed a general marketing strategy (Chernev, 2018). However, with this new approach to market segmentation, the company would be able to meet the specific needs of each customer division, thereby ensuring their satisfaction and loyalty. The proposal to divide its marketing approach into two different segments is supported by the principles of the positioning theory, which entail that the right market positions are instrumental in providing an organization the right market approach, subsequently giving it leadership over its competitors.
b. Describe the differences between consumer and organizational markets.
Aldus Corporation has two categories of markets, and these include the consumer markets and the organizational markets. The consumer market comprises of individual and household buyers who purchase goods and services for consumption purposes or personal use as opposed to purchasing them for resale or commercial use. Understanding the consumer markets is instrumental in promoting market leadership within the industry in the sense that the company will know the right approach to use in consolidating its market positions (Shimp, 1997). The reason for this assertion is that consumers are not always the same, and as such, they differ from one another in terms of their tastes and preferences, as well as buying habits owing to the different characteristics that distinguish individual consumers from one another.
On the other hand, the organizational market refers to either an individual or an organization, such as a firm or a company, who purchase products and services for other usage aside from personal consumption. In most cases, this group of buyers use these products and services for propagating their commercial activities and operations, or for resale at a premium price in order to make some profits from the transaction (Kotler & Gertner, 2002). Organizational markets are fewer in numbers compared to consumer buyers, but they are instrumental for the growth and sustainability of the business in the sense that they purchase products in bulk, whereas consumer buyers purchase products in single units. In addition, this group of buyers is usually more concentrated across different geographical locations, such as towns and urban centers.
c. Discuss how these differences contribute to the positioning strategy.
The differences between consumer markets and organizational markets contribute to the positioning strategy devised by Aldus Corporation in the sense that each market division has its own line of needs and expectations. Therefore, it would be appropriate for the company to device a marketing strategy that would enable it endear itself to both markets, especially by addressing the specific tastes and preferences of the clients in each segment (Kotler, Saliba & Wrenn, 1991). The reason for this assertion is that each consumer purchases a product or a service based on the value that he or she expects to obtain from the product.
As such, when marketing its products, the company has to prove to its esteemed buyers that its products and services contain the value and quality that they seek, thereby attracting and retaining them as loyal customers. However, it would be appropriate for the company to structure its marketing strategies in such a way that they target the needs of each market segment proficiently, judging from the difference in consumer behaviors between the consumer and organizational market segments (Wagner & Eggert, 2016). As a result, the company will successfully conquer both its consumer and organizational markets, thereby ensuring market leadership and competitiveness of Aldus Corporation within its primary as well as international markets.
d. Discuss the criteria for segmenting markets.
The company has to consider the right criterion to use in segmenting its primary markets, as this will give it a superior position over its competitors and an appealing image before its target consumers. One of the factors that the company has to consider when setting up a market segment include the viability of the segment, as defined by its ability to have substantial and potential customers to consume the company’s products and services (Weinstein & Pohlman, 2015). The market segment also has to be measurable and identifiable, meaning that the company must be in a position to define its strategic approaches to evaluating its success margins within different market segments. In the same regard, the market segment has to be accessible to the marketing efforts that the company comes up with, especially in line with its selected marketing mix strategies. The most important thing about segmenting markets is the type of segmentation adopted by the company, which in this case can be demographic, behavioral, psychographic as well as geographic segmentation.
e. Discuss the proposed segmentation scheme (size, demographic, geographic, psychographic, and/or behavior descriptors) based on specific market characteristics for the Aldus Corporation.
The proposed segmentation scheme for Aldus Corporation is the psychographic type of market segmentation, whose primary focus is on the individual needs, tastes and preferences of the target customers. The reason for this assertion is because the company had began losing its market threshold because of the belief by some of its customers, especially the commercial markets, that they were being underserved and that the company’s products were no longer addressing their needs (Mollar & Parvinen, 2015). In this case, when the company adopts the psychographic segmentation strategy, it becomes much easier for it to attend to the individual market demands of each of its customers. The success in market approach is attributable to the fact that psychographic segmentation involves division of market segments based on different personality traits, interests, values, attitudes, as well as lifestyles of consumers. Notably, the psychographic segmentation approach is effective as a marketing scheme as it enables the company to engage in product design as well we marketing in a focused manner, which turns out to be more productive in terms of market success.
f. Discuss the target markets Strong identified in the case.
The target markets identified by Richard Strong that the company had to pursue in its new marketing design approach included the business markets as well as the creative graphics professional market. In this case, the business market was representative of the company’s consumer markets while the creative graphics professional markets were representative of the company’s organizational markets. As such, with the new marketing strategy adopted by the company, Strong believed that Aldus Corporation would now be best placed to serve the growing demands of both its markets, those from the organizational markets, as well as those from the consumer markets, in such a way that none of them would feel left out (Weinstein & Pohlman, 2015).. Subsequently, this approach would also enable the company to gain significant market control and prevalence within its primary markets, especially in Europe where its organizational markets were falling out, claiming that the organization was not doing enough to cater for their demands.
g. Define the stages of the product life cycle (introduction, growth, maturity, or decline).
The Product Life Cycle (PLC) is an integral marketing concept in the sense that it describes the stages that a product goes through from the time when it is first comes into the market up to the time when it is finally leaves from the market. Different products have different PLCs depending on the market dynamics and changes. Each product progresses through a sequence of stages from the introduction phase, to growth phase, to maturity phase, and finally, the decline phase, which make up the four phases of the PLC (Cherney, 2018). The changes registered at each stage are associated with the prevailing marketing situation, and in this regard, have a significant impact on the marketing mix strategy adopted by the company depending on the current phase of its product and services on the PLC calendar.
h. Determine which stage of the product life cycle (introduction, growth, maturity, or decline) applies to the professional version of PageMaker based on the new vision for the company.
The professional version of PageMaker based on the new vision for the company was on the growth phase of its Product Life Cycle (PLC). As mentioned above, the PLC has four main phases, whereby the introduction phase is when the product is launched into the market for the very first time. The growth phase is when the product’s market prevalence grows and expands as demand and sales volumes soar high. The maturity stage is when the product market sales reach its peak (Foxall, 2014). The decline stage is where the sales of the product begin to decline substantially, owing to the loss of market control of the product, having been in the market for some time. Conversely, the professional version of PageMaker being at the growth phase of the PLC means that the company stands to maximize its sales volumes, given the growing and expanding markets of the product. Therefore, it is imperative for the company to establish the right marketing mix channels that would enable it to reach out effectively to its target markets, in order to consolidate its primary markets while maximizing its sales volumes.
i. Select the appropriate marketing mix for the professional version of PageMaker.
The appropriate marketing mix strategy for Aldus Corporation to use for its Professional Version of PageMaker is the 4 Ps of marketing strategy. The reason for this assertion is because the product is primarily designed for the organizational clique of consumers, most of whom are geographically placed, and have a vast extend of knowledge and understanding regarding the type of products that they want to purchase. In this regard, the 4 Ps of marketing will enable Aldus Corporation to market its product line effectively to these organizational buyers by adhering to the provisions of the 4 Ps of marketing mix strategy. In this case, the first P relates to the Product, which is the Professional Version of PageMaker (Kotler & Gertner, 2002). The second P relates to Price, which is the cost incurred by the organizational consumers to purchase the product from the company. The price set has to be competitive, as well as give the buyers value for money. The third P is Place, which refers to the markets in which these consumers are, and as such, the company should create convenience and place utility for the consumers by distributing these products to their regional and local markets. The fourth P is Promotion, which entails the promotional strategies adopted by the company to reach out to its target consumers, including advertisement, sales promotion, public relation, as well as personal selling, among many others.
j. Define the concept of perceived value.
The value of marketing is also referred to as the customer’s perceived value of a product or a service. As such, it is defined as the difference between a prospective customer’s evaluation of the benefits and costs of one product when compared to those other products offered by its competitors, such as substitutes. As such, consumers will tend to purchase products and services with a high perceived value while shunning away from purchasing products and services that have a low perceived value (Shimp, 1997). The reason for this assertion is that consumers usually associate the value of a product to the degree of satisfaction that they might derive from it after consumption, vis a vie the product’s value for money.
k. Discuss how perceived value influences marketing strategy.
The concept of perceived value has a significant impact on the marketing strategies adopted by a company in the sense that the company must strive to create a high perceived value for its products and services before its target consumers. Therefore, the company will engage in aggressive marketing strategies, including focused market segmentation in an effort to woo the consumer and create a high perceived value of its primary products and services (Kotler, Saliba & Wrenn, 1991). As a result, this will give the company’s products and services a competitive edge over its competitors, as its customers will now be loyal to its brand and products because of the high perceived value.
l. Infer the most likely causes for problems that Aldus may encounter should it pursue selling to organizational buyers.
The most likely negative market development that Aldus Corporation may encounter should it pursue the business strategy focused on selling to organizational buyers is a loss on its consumer markets. The reason for this assertion is because the company’s consumers were accustomed to a marketing strategy whereby the company presented its products in a generalized approach (Wagner & Eggert, 2016). However, with the new focused approach where emphasis was placed on different market segments of the company, it is notable that this would affect the perception of its loyal customers, most of whom may shift their loyalties to other competitors’ products.
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