Marketing has evolved with the evolving technologies in the world. The emerging technologies have completely changed the marketing processes in the current world. Freeman (2010) observes that for a long time, marketing was considered an operational activity and it was a unit under the production department. This was the time when most firms employed the production strategy. There was a general belief that once a product is availed in the market, consumers would have no otherwise but to buy it.
This notion was held for a long time. Because there was minimal competition in the market, these firms managed to operate with this policy for long. However, the emerging technologies have created a global village where an individual could move from one end of the earth to the other within a very short time. Improved means of communication is another aspect that has changed marketing practices.
The invention of telephones was a major milestone in making the world a global village. A person in New York would easily communicate with another in Riyadh or Melbourne in real time. As communication was enhanced, people became more knowledgeable and therefore more demanding.
Current Marketing Situation
It is always very important that before introducing a product to the market, care be taken to ensure that there is a deep understanding of the market situation. Market situation refers to the forces that dictate the condition of the market. They are the forces that would determine if a given product would be acceptable in the market.
Of concern would be the acceptability of the product in the market, the size of the market and its sustainability. In order to elaborate on these factors, a number of analyses would be used in this research. In this case, we would discuss the introduction of a new brand of water, hereinafter referred to as Clearwaters.
Bottled water is one of the new products in the Saudi markets. This product was considered a free product and many people relied on tap water as the preferred clean water for drinking. However, this changed with time. Bottled water has come out strongly as one of the beverages that are considered important goods. Because of the ease to carry it and the fact that it is believed to have nutrients, there has been a consistent increase in the size of the market for this product.
The bottled water market has consistently been eating up the market share of other carbonated drinks such as the cola products. Health experts have been raising concerns over the ingredients of the cola products and the possible effect they might have on consumers. As such, those individuals who are health conscious have considered taking bottled water instead of the carbonated drinks.
This market is relatively young, especially in the Saudi market. However, it has experienced a massive growth over the past few years. Some of the market leaders in the beverage market such as the Coca Cola Company have come up with their own brand of water to help cushion them against the effect of the mass movement of customers from carbonated drinks to bottled water.
This brand is relatively strong in the market and its growth has been consistent. Other firms, some of which are locally owned, have come up with their own brands of water as well. They are keen to take their own share of the market. Clearwaters, being a new product in this market, would find an established market with a strong competition that must be countered if the product were to survive a possible elimination.
Clearwaters is new in this industry. It is made of pure drinking water, just like other bottled water brands in this industry. This product is meant for human consumption and is sold in bottles of varying sizes, ranging from 300 milliliters to twenty liters. Five, ten and twenty liter-bottles are meant for home use while the three milliliter to one liter bottles target individuals who need water while on a journey or while on such practices as gym and roadwork.
The product is new but in a considerably old market. Its brand is barely known and the marketers of this product have a huge responsibility of ensuring that this product penetrates the market. Although the products target the public, five, ten and twenty liters are targeted at middle-class families, who want clean bottled water for home use. The three hundred milliliters, five hundred milliliters, and one-liter bottles have youths as their targets.
The market competition is undoubtedly immense. As stated above, there are giant international firms that have established their position in the market. These firms, as Majer (2011) notes, have strong brands that have gained acceptance in the local market.
The biggest challenge is the fact that these firms have developed pools of loyal customers who may not easily be withdrawn by such new brands as Clearwaters. There is a free market entry to firms trading in this product and this would mean that Clearwaters should be ready for new competition from other foreign firms that may want to enter the market.
Although the competitors in this particular market have not considered using pricing as a strategy of competition, there are signs indicating that this is a possibility, especially if large firms in this industry consider small industry players as a threat. Thos would mean that elimination of small firms is the only option for survival. Clearwaters must therefore develop clear marketing strategies that would make it unique in the market.
Channels and Logistics Review
Channels of distribution are some of the most important factors that the management team must consider. Given that this is a new firm and that the market is highly competitive, logistics are some of the factors that can help this firm to be seen as unique in this market.
Clearwaters’ products would be delivered to various retail outlets in Riyadh city by use of two tracks. The management would ensure that this product is ever available in all the major stores within this city. The channel would simply be from the manufacturer to the retailers who would finally sell the products to the customers.
The strength of this project depends on various factors. One of the major strengths of this project is its brand name (Charantimath. (2006). As Stated above, the brand, Clearwaters, is relatively new in the market. However, the name is expected to attract the Muslim faithful, who make the majority of the market share. This project also has considerable financial strength. As such, this project is in a position to implement its strategies, including those of research and extension. The project is also expected to operate in various cities outside Riyadh. As such, it would be able to balance its production. When one section of its market would be experiencing economic growth, the other section would be facing recession.
Despite the above strengths, the project it has some weaknesses, a fact that might see some of its competitors such as Dasani eat up a section of its market share. Freeman (2010) says that one of the weaknesses that many environmentalists have repeatedly talked about regarding all the firms selling water in plastic bottles, is environmental degradation.
The plastic bottles that this firm uses in packing its drinks are causing havoc to the environment. It is apparent that this firm is yet to develop a solution to this problem because according to the program, it is yet to replace the plastic bottles with better alternatives.
Within the area of operation, some opportunities that can make the firm experience massive growth in its market share exist. Dasani has exploited a vacuum that existed in many countries in the world, especially in the developing countries. Majer (2011) says that there was no competition for this firm in the overseas markets and this company was able to make the most out of its sales. However, with the introduction of new brands such as Clearwaters, Dasani would be under threat.
Clearwaters would find it easy to change with the changing technologies because of its small size than would Dasani. Technological advancements will also enable the firm to conduct trade much easily due to improved means of communication and transport means. The economic boom that Saudi Arabia experienced following the improved oil prices in the world market is another opportunity that can help this firm to expand its market.
The threats that this product has had to deal with include competition. The market has gotten increasingly competitive. Freeman (2010) notes that many firms like Coca Cola have come up with products, which are close substitutes of the product. They have taken large market share in the country.
Security concerns in some parts of the city are another threat that this firm has had to deal with. When there is an internal strife, like the one experienced in Egypt and Libya in the recent past, this firm would lose millions of dollars due to the destruction of its assert. During such periods, the firm would also lose the profits they get from the region, while yet they will have to pay the employees. This would hurt the firm financially.
Objectives and issues
This is a new product. The issue here is to ensure that this product is successfully introduced into the existing market, and that it gets acceptance from the customers in this region. The objective of this move is to ensure that the firm manages to capture substantial market share that would make it sustainable in an increasingly competitive market.
Clearwaters should come out as a strong brand in the bottled water industry. The brand should not only attract positive sales in the market, but also a strong base of loyal customers who would help in ensuring that this firm is sustainable.
Product positioning is always very important. In various occasions, firms would try to position their products in the market as the best. In this case, Clearwaters would be positioned as ‘the end of thirst’. In this context, thirsty customers should consider going for Clearwaters, because in its presence, thirst would end. With proposition is expected to attract travelers who pass by the retail outlets to look for beverages that would help quench their thirst.
This product is perfectly similar to other products sold by other market competitors. However much the advertisement may be devised to make it appear different, the fact remains that the product is similar to those of other competitors. Therefore, a strategy that would help make it unique must exist. In this regard, the packaging of this product would be made a little unique from others in the market. The packages of this product targeting the youths would have graphics that would be attractive to them. The aim of this is to ensure the product speaks out to the customers the moment customers’ glance at them.
Pricing is one of the most challenging tasks when introducing a new product in the market. When the price is set higher than the average market, customers would most likely ignore the product and go for their traditional products. When the product is priced lower than the market price, customers may dismiss it as a product of poor quality and therefore it may be ignored. Therefore, most firms would prefer setting the price of the product to be at par with the market price of other products.
The rationale is that in the process of choosing for the best brand, given that the prices are the same, customers may consider taking the new brand to test its viability. This firm would employ this strategy. It would avoid setting the price below the market average for this may provoke price wars (Freeman, 2010). Because it is a new firm, it may not be in a position to withstand such a competition.
This product is intended to be distributed in all the major stores in Riyadh. The product will have to capture this market before moving to other cities in this country. The choice of Riyadh was because it has the biggest market for this product and therefore more promising than other markets.
Moreover, with the fact that there is huge competition in this city, a success in this market would mean that it would be easy to reach out to other markets. As stated above, the track would move this product to all the mail retail outlets in the country. The strategy that would be used would be very simply: the product should never run out of stock in all the selected stores
Marketing Communication Strategy
Manufacturing and availing products to the market is not enough if there is a considerable level of competition in the market. There would be need to ensure that the market understands that the product is available and that it offers superior value.
Clearwaters would therefore be advertised in the main channels of communication within the target market. The marketing department would have to use the mass media like the dailies, the radio and television stations to inform the market that this product is available. This department would also need to ensure that the youths who frequent the social media are also reached.
This should be done using such social media as Facebook, Tweeter, and YouTube. The communication that goes to the public should be reviewed carefully. It would be important to ensure that there is no miscommunication, or irrelevant information reaching out to the public. This may damage the reputation of the firm and hinder its move to capture more customers in this market.
According to Majer (2011), there has been a massive change in marketing over the recent past. Currently, businesses have been forced to take an inward-out approach to marketing. This would mean that a firm would start by understanding what the market expects of them.
After developing this understanding, the firm would then need to ensure that it develops products that will meet the demands of the market. In order to ensure that this is possible, there would be need for research into the market. Market research is always very important because creates understanding of the market.
Clearwaters will have to be developed as a strong brand in this market. In this regard, it would be important that the management conduct the research among the target market to get to understand their expectation of the bottled water that is sold in the retail outlets.
The data from this research should be analyzed, and compounded with the secondary sources of information like the business journals, an informed decision should be made of the approach that this firm should take in bringing this new product to the market. This way, it will gain a competitive edge over the existing firms because it shall have implemented the recommendations from the research.
Charantimath (2006) says that ideas will always remain ideas unless they are implemented. Good ideas can be turned into wonderful projects if the concerned parties make concerted effort to ensure that it is implemented. The plans for the introduction of this product will have to be implemented by all the concerned members of the project. After the idea has undergone all the stages until there is an inception of a product, a marketer would be expected to take over.
In this case, the first step would be market testing. A sample of the product would be taken to the market to determine its viability. If the product is confirmed to be viable in the market, the production department would then be instructed to produce the product in mass and then there will be commercialization of the product. In this case, Clearwaters will be taken to various retail outlets in the city.
The marketing department will also develop an awareness campaign of the product within this particular city. Most importantly during the implementation process, the team would ensure that all the planned activities are carried out as per the plan with no deviations. The allocation of funds would be based on various factors, such as the importance of the project, its profitability and impact it would have on the firm.
The budget for this project would be based on the area of coverage. For a start, this project is expected to cover Riyadh city. However, it would be rolled out to other cities later if it proves successful in this region. The budget for this project would be categorized into various sections, which include research, manufacturing, logistics, advertising, and others. Based on the percentage, the above categories should be allocated funds as follows.
The above budgetary allocations may be altered as per the need of the organization, but they should not be drastically shifted from the estimates provided.
It is important that the management ensure that the program would flow smoothly as planned. The control of the entire process would be in the hands of the top management of the project. They have the responsibility to ensure that there is a proper budgetary allocation and that every task is done by the intended persons and within the scheduled time.
The top management should be responsible for assigning each member of the team specific roles that would help in ensuring that the overall objective of the firm is achieved. Monitoring is also part of control and must be undertaken by the management unit.
Charantimath. (2006).Total Quality Management. New Delhi: Pearson Education.
Freeman, E. (2010). Ethical leadership practices. KCA Journal of Business Management, 2(1): 1-14.
Freeman, E. (2010). Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Majer, C. (2011). The silent killers of productivity and profit. T+D, 65(2), 62