MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS PLAN: PROCTER AND GAMBLE PAMPERS BRAND
Procter and Gamble Marketing Communications Plan
Procter and Gamble was begun in 1837 following the partnership between a shoe maker and a candle maker who were married to sisters (P&G 2005). Following its inception, it has undergone various stages of evolution, expanding in terms of product as well as geographical reach. This paper is an assessment of the company’s Pampers brand of products in terms of market reach and industry analysis to present an effective marketing communications plan which will be depended on the use of social media and technology. Despite having a wide market reach, the company faces a challenge, particularly in the marketing of its Pampers brand. The main challenge that the company faces is in the use of social media for marketing. The purpose of the present paper is to propose a strategic marketing communications plan that can use the social media and optimize on its potential for better profitability. The company’s strategic plan is based on its core strengths that include: consumer understanding, scale, brand building, innovation, and go-to- market capabilities. These strengths form the operational core of the company and all the decisions are based on the capitalization on these strengths (P&G 2014).
To carry out the market analysis, the PESTEL tool will be applied with respect to Procter and Gamble. The PESTEL framework involves an analysis of Political, Economic, Social, Environmental and Legal factors surrounding the organization’s marketing strategy.
- Political Factors – P & G is multi-national company which operates in over 180 countries within which the company brands are sold. With this nature of globalization comes political responsibility. It is the role of the organization to operate in accordance with the political situation in every host country. The operations therefore differ across the globe depending on the level of government intervention in their trade. For instance, governments impose varied tax policies on investors in the different countries. Moreover, legislations set by the government also affect the operations of the business in various countries (Cadle et al 2010). Governments also influence product distribution by imposing trade restrictions on companies. Trade tariffs and labor laws are also part of the government’s contribution to the company’s product marketing (FME 2013).
- Economic Factors – the economic factors in relation to Pampers brand are dependent on the country of sale. Interest rates, rates of exchange, and inflation rates in various countries have immense impacts on the operation of businesses across the globe. For Procter and Gamble Pampers Brand, the economic factors that have contributed especially to product pricing and marketing include inflation rates and economic growth. The Pampers brand has gained great market share in economies with
- Social Factors – factors such as cultural beliefs, population growth rates, career attitudes and age distribution also contribute to the marketing success of the Pampers Brand. The trends in various social factors in any given society affect the demand for the Pampers brand in that society. For instance, in societies that discourage the use of diapers for baby boys, the demand may be significantly lower than in other societies.
- Technological factors – the technological factors which affect the demand for the Pampers brand in various countries include: research and development, technology incentives, innovations and the rate of advancement in technology (FME 2013). Better technologies result in better and cheaper production methods, which eventually results in lower product costs. The overall implication is that as product costs reduce, demand for the said products increases hence higher profitability of the business.
- Environmental Factors – these may include factors such as weather, climate change and climate (Gupta 2013). For instance, in cool and humid climates, babies tend to wet their diapers faster hence higher demand for the Pampers brand. On the other hand, where the climate is hot, babies also sweat a lot hence lower rate of wetting. The result is that the demand for pampers in such an environment is less compared to the cold and humid environments.
- Legal Factors – these pertains to legislations such as consumer law, competition law, discrimination, health and safety and anti-trust laws (Collins 2010). The legal factors affect the marketing and sale of the Pampers brand due to the restrictions they place on the brand marketing strategy. In marketing its products, the company has to engage in practices that show an understanding and compliance with these regulations.
The internal and external analysis of Procter and Gamble with respect to the Pampers brand is as shown below:
|Procter and Gamble
|Strengths Strong brand presence globallyStrong consumer understandingInnovation driven productionScale driven efficiency and value for consumersStrong distribution networksWide exposure globallyHas cross- category branding power
|Weaknesses Poor use of the social media for marketingHigh product pricesReliance on mature marketErosion of market shareQuality control problems (Passport 2012)
|Opportunities AllianceEmerging marketsInnovative productsHigh growth marketsGlobal demographic trends
|SO Strategies Strong consumer understanding can be used to identify potential new markets.Innovation is important in the development of innovative products – better qualityThe strong distribution network may also be applied in the access of remote markets.
|WO Strategies The social media can be used to create awareness of the existing/ new and innovative products.The company could regulate prices according to the economic status of the target market in various countriesP & G should try to match the need for product affordability particularly in emerging markets.
|Threats New Market entrantsMore competitive productsConsumer preferencesRising energy costs (Passport 2012)Regulations
|ST Strategies Better marketing communication plans can be used to counter competitiveness and new entrants’ competition.Effective consumer understanding and innovation can aid in knowing consumer preferences and working from themInnovation can be applied in the development of products according to consumer demands
|WT Strategies The use of social media can help maintain a strong brand recognition and awarenessBetter product pricing in accordance with overall market prices can help achieve customer preference.Use of online marketing platforms to distribute introduce products to the markets
The overall purpose of the company is to provide high quality branded products for the improvement of the consumers’ lives both presently and in the future. This purpose is driven by the need for consumer rewards in terms of leadership sales, creation of value and profits, and allowing stakeholders to live and prosper. Presently, the company is performing relatively well in terms of purpose achievement. However, certain gaps still exist which might be explored to attain even better growth. Some of the gaps identified include: the company has not tapped the potential of social media in brand development; E-mail marketing has not been used effectively by the company; and the website does not offer exclusive product information that can aid in product marketing. Moreover, the company is yet to harness the power of online marketing and trading. Based on this purpose, the overall objective of the marketing communication plan is to develop a strategy for accessing the company’s target market using available marketing resources such as the social media, company website, e-mail marketing, and other modes of communication. From this overall objective, the marketing plan seeks to address the following specific objectives:
- To modify the company website to include details of products and to be interactive
- To develop a strategy for the use of social media in marketing Pampers based on the core company characteristics.
- To find and present a strategy for the use of online marketing via the website for the purpose of sales improvement.
- To provide a strategy for online trading in the company’s products.
Presently, P & G performs exceptionally in terms of market reach and the achievement of organizational objectives (US SEC 2012). In its 10 year plan, the company sets objectives on a baseline of the year 2010, which it aims at achieving by 2020. The following table shows P & G’s objectives for the year 2020 (P&G 2014).
|Strategies to achieve goals
|Key Performance Indicators
|To reduce the energy consumption in production by 20 percent per unit produced
|This is to be achieved by design o more energy efficient methods of production
|Shifting to renewable energy methods
|The energy consumption has reduced by 7% since 2010
|To reduce truck transportation by 20 percent
|This is based on the incremental costs involved in multiple truck transportation
|Increased use of multi-modal logistics
|The KPI for this objective will be a reduction in the total truck mileage spent in product distribution.
|To reduce the packaging cost per consumer use by 20%
|Packaging costs contribute to the increase in total product costs hence reducing it results in lower total product costs.
|This is achieved through the use of larger product packaging such as 32 pack diapers rather than spending on smaller packs
|From 2010, packaging costs have been reduced by 7 percent of the consumer use.
|Double the use of recycled plastic packaging materials
|This is also aimed at reducing packaging costs and consequently the overall product costs.
|The objective will be achieved through product promotion strategies aimed at collecting as many of the product packaging as possible
|Since the goal was introduced in 2014, substantive reports are still unavailable but performance is to be indicated by a reduction in packaging costs.
Product Market Growth Matrix
|Market Development Strategies The social networks and other internet based marketing modes can be used to: Disseminate product informationTo reach diverse geographical markets virtuallyTo create awareness of organization’s products
|Diversification Strategies Diversification into other related businesses such as baby care productsDiversification into other non-related products such as home care productsDiversification into other industries such as Integration with retailers and wholesalersIntegration with local stakeholders such as suppliers and distributersIntegration of local communities into business operations through provision of employment opportunities
|Market Penetration Strategies The internet based marketing strategies can be used to: To ensure better competition with key competitorsRetention of existing customers and acquisition of new ones through incentivesAligning customer needs to the product qualities
|Product Development Strategies The internet can be used for: Research and development for product value additionObtaining customer feedback for better product developmentChange of product marketing and sale modes such as by adopting online shops.Expanding the range of products available at retailers such as expanding the range of Pampers sizes available.
The P & G Company has a well-segmented market structure. Since it provides a wide range of products, the company targets various markets with its sales. The company has feminine products, personal care products for the whole family, baby care products, grooming products for men, household consumer products and other home care products (US SEC 2012). The market targeted by the company is therefore segmented in accordance with the features of the products it intends to sell. For instance, it selling the Pampers product brand, the company targets the feminine market segment, with focus on mothers with young children who use diapers. The marketing is therefore aimed at attracting the attention of such mothers.
P & G’s target market includes women with children from infancy to 2 years of age who require various sizes of diapers per day. This market segment comprises of women from 18 to 40 years of age i.e. women of child bearing age who are most likely to have young children. The population of the market segment includes individuals who are at the prime of their ages and are likely to be active. Moreover, this group of women also tends to prefer disposable diapers in comparison to cloth diapers, which involve more work taking care of. They are therefore likely to purchase the company’s diapers. Once brand awareness has been achieved, it is easy to achieve repeat visits from the customers.
Most of the working mothers carry out monthly purchases for diaper supplies while the others who have lower or more intermittent incomes prefer to purchase more frequently. This implies that while those who purchase on a monthly basis or less frequently require larger packs of Pampers, those who purchase less frequently require smaller packs. It has also been confirmed that in the developing countries, singular purchases are often made to cater for the needs of travelling individuals who are dominant users of cloth diapers. It may be necessary to cater for this group of purchasers too in terms of packaging and marketing planning.
Procter and Gamble aims at developing globally recognized brands which can be accessed Worldwide. One of the methods that P& G has used extensively in the development of strong product brands is through differentiation from the other similar products. The Pampers brand has been developed and marketed through various platforms. The packaging has also gone a long way in creating a brand impact among consumers. The packaging used has been developed specifically for the product and has helped maintain a strong brand image in the market. Due to this image strength, the brand enjoys wide recognition across the globe. The marketing plan is developed to further create awareness of the product through the use of technological platforms such as the social media, and other internet related platforms.
The product positioning is discussed in relation to the geographical distribution, as well as marketing. In the global diaper market, the Pampers brand has enjoyed a favorable positioning both in terms of distribution networks and the marketing strategies. Through effective distribution, the product reaches several markets globally. Moreover, marketing strategies are planned to create access to new markets, which have not grown in consumer share. The product therefore is in a position where market growth can be achieved through application of marketing communication strategies dependent on the internet.
The product pricing strategy used by P & G depends on the market situation at a specific time. The product pricing is set as a function of the total product cost, which includes the cost of raw materials, production costs, packaging costs, storage costs, distribution costs and the profit margin. Additional may be incurred in research and development for product enhancement. Based on these costs, the overall price of the product is decided upon by the company to cater for all these. Since competitors also incur similar costs in the production and distribution of their products, the final price of the product should always be within a particular market range. However, the Pampers brand from P & G is slightly more costly than other diaper brands manufactured in various other countries. The most probable reason for this could be because pampers are manufactured in a single factory and distributed worldwide hence it may incur higher distribution costs. Moreover, the company produces products that are superior in terms of quality when compared to other companies’ products. This implies that costs of raw materials and costs incurred in research and development may be higher than the costs incurred by other companies.
The proposed marketing communication plan depends on the use of various modes such as the company website, the social media platforms such as twitter and Facebook, E-mail marketing strategies and online shops/ online trading platforms.
The Company Website
The effectiveness of the company website as a mode of marketing communication depends on various factors. The assessment of the website is hereby carried out based on the 7Cs of website design. The table below shows the analysis results with respect to the 7Cs.
|Integration of Offline and Online Strategies
|The website creates an impact of superiority similar to that often associated with the P & G products. The perceived appearance of the organization as a global market leader matches the appearance of the company’s website.
|The content provide by the company website is detailed. However, the content is based more on the company itself, the human resources operational strategies and mention of the company brands. Essential details about the brands that can aid in their marketing are however unavailable.
|The website targets a wide community of potential consumers and other stakeholders. While the website offers varied information, it does not appear to have been designed to address the needs of consumers since it does not offer detailed information for specific products. It is thus not meant for the consumer community.
|The website is customized to match the company features. Due to this customization, it looks significantly different from websites used by other companies marketing consumer products.
|Although the website communicates a lot about the company, it doesn’t offer detailed insight into the company’s products. It is therefore compulsory for anyone seeking such information to look for it elsewhere.
|The connection between the company and other companies in the offline world are not represented in the company website. Consequently, with respect to connection, the website cannot be said to have been representative of the real life situation. Connections may include partnerships, and business relationships. Neither of these is represented in the website.
|While P & G has been robust in marketing its products in the offline world, the website is not indicative of this since the various product brands are merely mentioned. This has driven the need to recommend using the website as a means of marketing communication.
The social media use by the company particularly in marketing Pampers has been limited. This marketing communications plan is designed to improve the use of social media in marketing. The 7Cs concept will also be used herein in the assessment of social media capabilities.
|Integration of Offline and Online Strategies
|The company as an interface that encourages communication between the consumers and the company uses the social media. The online activity experienced in social media with respect to P & G can be compared to the physical presence the company enjoys across its market segments.
|The content offered by the company on social media platforms such as Face book can aid in market access for the Pampers brand. However, the social media administrators currently focus on providing essential information through the platforms such as careers availability, product promotions, and others. In recent times, the company, through its social media platform informed the consumers of the Pampers Happy baby challenge. This is one of the modes used in marketing the company’s products through social media. The link between the real life deliverables and the social media offers could clearly be seen.
|Access to social media platforms is not a reserve of a particular market segment. Communities accessed through social medial include anyone who might be interested in any of the company’s products. As the company offers various products, so does it attract a wide potential market base through social media.
|The social medial platforms used by the company are customized according to the company’s strategic plan and overall objectives. They are representative of the company strengths, values and purpose.
|The social media platforms communicate a lot on behalf of the company. However, their use is not optimized since they could be used to obtain customer feedback and recommendations for product enhancement.
|The connection between various partners and P & G can be seen clearly in the use of social media. Collaborations between companies, can be seen through their interactions in the social media. Similarly, interactions between the company and the consumers are also visible.
|Many other companies have used social media to advance their commercial objectives. As a matter of fact, companies have even used the social media as online markets for their products. P & G could use the same strategy to market its products.
E-Customer Relationship Management (E-CRM)
Customer relationship Management refers to strategies for acquisition, retention, and growth of customers in any given organization. When IT based, CRM becomes e-CRM. Several strategies exist for accomplishing electronic CRM (Hwang and Kim, 2007). All the strategies are based on the application of information Technology systems such as use of e-mails, wireless platforms and the Internet. At P & G, the plan to use E-CRM for marketing communication is based on the application of E-mails, the social media and data sharing through cloud computing. E-mails will be used in marketing through distribution of promotional e-mail messages. Software exists for the extraction of e-mail addresses from public access computers. The application of eCRM depends on three steps, which include data collection, aggregation and customer interactions (Goel and Mousavidin 2007). The data collection process will be the collection of e-mail addresses as well as product data. In the data aggregation phase, the data collected in the previous stage is filtered and compared against customer needs and preferences (Mettagarunagul and Puengprakiet 2011). This data can then be used to contact the customers on a personalized basis.
Integrated Marketing Communications
Procter and Gamble intends to use integrated marketing strategies, which involve the application of both traditional marketing strategies and the modern methods (Pickton and Broderick 2010). The key in marketing success using the integrated approach is to use uniform brand messages across the varied platforms. For the Pampers brand, the message used has been consistency i.e. ‘Pampers babies sleep well’. This message has been passed through multiple marketing platforms. The traditional marketing methods that have been applied include the use of advertisement such as posters and brochures (Saeed et al 2013). Modern methods on the other hand, include the use of social media, websites, the internet, and e-mails. The objective of carrying out integrated marketing communications is to avoid confusions among potential customers. The integrated marketing communication strategy depends on the four Cs marketing mix which include consumers, cost, convenience and communication. The organizational culture and strategic plan forms the guiding principles in the integrated marketing communications implementation (Belch and Belch 2003). Other concepts of importance in integrated marketing communication include advertisement, E-commerce, direct marketing, public relations, sales, customer service and product promotions. The underlying belief in the implementation of IMC is that disparity in the messages delivered through various platforms about particular products result in customer discouragement (Kitchen and Burgmann 2010).
Timeline, Budgeting, Monitoring and Control
In order to achieve the marketing communications plan objectives, the requirements of time, financial resources, evaluation and control of strategies contrib.ute to the success or failure of the plan. The following table shows the various marketing plan milestones, budgets for the accomplishment of each milestone and the monitoring and control measures for each of the milestones.
|Modification of the website to include customer interaction platforms and product details
|The appearance of the website will be monitored closely over the entire period of development and even application.
|Controls will be put in place for website quality and the costs involved in the modification
|Application of Social Media in marketing
|The timeline activity in the various social media platforms will be monitored closely.
|Page boosting strategies will be such as online promotions will be used to control the page views.
|Collection of data for the E-CRM
|This will be monitored by frequent confirmation of the e-mail addresses obtained and applying them
|The controls that will be laid in place include the type of data collected and the validity of the data
|Aggregation of data e-CRM
|The customer feedback, R& d findings, recommendations for innovation and the e-mail addresses will be monitored
|Control will be put in place to ensure that the data is applicable for customer relationship management.
|Contact of customers on a personalized basis
|The availability of the e-mail addresses used as well as any other communication media that may have been used in the process. This will be determined through confirmation of e-mail message reception.
|Controls will be on the filtration of customer feedback after the initial contact to separate those who can be grown from those who are non-customers
|Application of Integrated Marketing Communication
|Monitoring will be based on the availability of various traditional and contemporary marketing methods.
|The only control in IMC is the assurance that the message is uniform across the different marketing platforms.
Procter and Gamble has made good use of their strengths, which include: strong brand names, good leadership strategies and customer understanding among others. However, some of the weaknesses prevalent in the company include loss of market share and dependence on mature markets. It is the role of the marketing communications plan to design strategies for the accomplishment of increased market share and the reach of a greater customer base. The marketing communications plan offers insight into how the company intends to use its strengths in order to optimize on the available opportunities. Integrated marketing communication and e-CRM are the major strategies proposed for the accomplishment of the plan’s objectives, which are to initiate the use of the company website, social media and e-mails to enhance sales through effective product marketing. The plan was created for the Pampers brand of baby diapers marketed by Procter and Gamble.
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