Introduction: Overview of the Report
The situation analysis at Agent Provocateur reveals that the company has various opportunities to improve its market share by increasing its product range, increasing its internationalization process as well as intensifying its local market activities through promotions. In line with these opportunities are the need to develop a strong affinity to stakeholder needs and desires as far as the company’s growth and benefits are concerned. In other words, every stakeholder will be affected by the changes that take place within Agent Provocateur’s operational activities. The key stakeholders likely to be affected in one way or the other are the Agent Provocateur founders, who are affected directly by any change; the current owners 3i Group Plc; shareholders; employees; suppliers; and customers.
While it is apparent that Agent Provocateur has traditionally targeted luxury consumers, the diversified market segments that will be created through internationalization will need to focus more on the individual market segment. This will subsequently help the company identify each market segment’s buying power as dictated by the external environment of the specific markets. The current activity of Agent Provocateur is expansion into new markets both locally and internationally by offering different accessories for women. The company faces competition from Lingerie & Co, which also focuses much on women with their lingerie products. However, the international market is more competitive with various companies from major regions especially Europe and America, which have a wider market presence.
To increase Agent Provocateur’s profitability, it is important for the company to develop a marketing communication campaign that would ensure its new product range targeting average women achieves its goal of effective market penetration. The customer base expansion will therefore increase the desired profit margin (Schmetterer 2003, p. 187; Rainey 2006, p. 38). It is therefore worth noting that the opportunity available is in line with the goal of the company to increase its market share through product diversification and international market penetration, hence profitability.
Apparently, Agent Provocateur’s public image is inclined towards the belief that it is a luxury brand, thus locking out the wider market segment in the global arena. To effectively diminish this image, the company needs to adopt a marketing strategy that will focus on each market segment. Through such strategy, they are able to: increase customer base and associated increase of sales; able to satisfy the larger groups of customers; identify more opportunities for product diversification; and better their public image (moving from a luxury company for the rich to the generally accessible company).
Many changes have occurred in the global market, particularly in fashion and beauty products. The increased income among women in many regions of the world and their desire to look good and beautiful has presented business opportunities for many entrepreneurs. Agent Provocateur’s ability to improve their market share in the general women’s needs for accessories is based on their financial ability. The company is built on the ethics of quality products for its customers.
The successful exploitation of the available opportunity will depend on the ability to brand the products within the context of the market segment, considering culture, religion, perception towards beauty products, and the needs and economic ability of the consumers. The other opportunity emanates from the popularity of e-commerce and the internet. The Internet has presented today’s companies with better business opportunities due to its ability to reach a wider market within a flash of a second. This would help develop wide marketing range of initiatives in order to penetrate and increase its strategic market share.
The early analysis shows that the market segment to be targeted has been identified. The next step is to focus on the objectives of this marketing strategy. Research shows that consumers have a developed response mechanism for new products (Blythe 2000; Porter 2001). The hierarchical response is based on step-by-step behavioral conduct that consumers show before they buy a new product (Burnett & Moriarity 1998). They first get aware of the new product and purchase becomes the last part of the long conceptualization and action processes.
According to the marketing mix and levels of decision marketing communication framework, about 12 to 20 tools of marketing communication exists (Fill 1999; Kotler 2003). Basically, they are jointly called promotional mix in the integrated marketing communication.
Marketing Communication Mix Elements: Hierarchy of Effects
- Creating Awareness: It is recommended that 60% of the target market segment should be made aware of the new products. The marketing plan, therefore, subdivides the market into current consumers and non-consumers of Agent Provocateur’s products. The whole idea is to get them aware of the availability of the new products, and their functional features. This will call for advertisements on both print and electronic media, and of course online marketing
- Developing Interest: this is where customers begin to develop interests or the desire to own the Agent Provocateur’s product. The assumption is that 40% will have developed an interest to own it. To achieve this target, we will sponsor events that will showcase the new product. We will make use of celebrities to help attract the interest of participants and attendants of the events.
- Evaluation: the people who have developed an interest in the new products are expected to help in the evaluation process. They will help the company compare the rate of their new product of usability with that of the competitors. The products should be in a position to make a minimum of 30% of their possible purchase at any time at this stage.
- Trial: it is rated the most critical part. Once the Agent Provocateur’s products have been evaluated, consumers should be able to select them as preference, at minimum 20% of the time due to their fashion appeal, durability and applicability.
- Adoption: A woman using any of the products will adopt it if they find it appealing, comfortable and fashionable. Women who are fashion-sensitive but minimal income will be encouraged to purchase. However, if a user finds it less appealing or less durable, the adoption may fail. The brand image may be damaged though word-of-mouth negative statements, subsequently encouraging negative publicity. To prevent the possibility of such response or occurrence of such event, we target adoption rate of 75%. It therefore means the consumer will purchase the product and return positive feedback about the product benefits.
Choice, Selection and Justification
The products target average woman who is known to love fashionable products with sex appeal. Sex appeal as a theme is important because it attracts attention of the potential buyers (Schroeder 2002, p.49). Physically good-looking average male and female couples having fan will form the major part of the sex appeal criteria. Advertising for Agent Provocateur’s new products will have a brand message for advertisement in order to appeal to specific target market segment, an average woman beauty product consumer. The message and information to be passed will be simply designed to appeal to the target market.
Basically, the message will be that the products are durable, fashionable and pocket-friendly. More importantly, all technical details will be avoided at all cost to prevent potential buyers from being overwhelmed by the ads.
It is widely accepted in the marketing field that every advertisement must contain a message, the real core content of the product (Kitchen & Schultz 1997, p.9). With the core message, potential customer will develop interest or make trials and eventually adopt the product use (Kitchen & Schultz 1997, p.9).
Cost & Resource Implication
The cost of advertisement will be significantly high considering the fact that we are targeting larger market segment through electronic, print media, and the more conventional internet ads. To produce a quality TV commercial that runs for thirty seconds, the company will spend an estimated amount of $350,000. News paper advertisement will cost an average of $200,000 per page (color print).
However, it is estimated that outcome of this marketing campaign will outstrip the cost of marketing hence growth and profitability of Agent Provocateurs. To help augment the high cost of the television and print media ads, online ads will form integral part of the advertisement process. An average online ad will cost an average of $200 per month for a period of six month contractual agreement.
Overview of Change Process
The marketing communication goal is to reach the biggest market target segment. The first step will be to analyze how the consumers responded to different Medias used during campaign. In other words, the effectiveness of the ads will be paramount. The second issue of change process is the experience customers will have with the new products. This would be achieved through surveys of the rate of consumption of the new products. Additionally, mailing of questionnaires as well as telephone interviews will be conducted. Through these approaches, we are able to identify the effectiveness of both the marketing communication techniques used and that of the product.
The advertisements will run for a period of six month to increase brand awareness. The six month period is expected to be subdivided into three sections. The first 2months will be to create brand awareness, the second is to promote purchase, and the last third part is to evaluate customer satisfaction.
Budget and Resources
|Advertisement Medium||Cost per day||Total Cost|
|Television Ads||Production cost- $350,000 (once), running the ads daily on a national TV channel= $4 million (6months)||$4.35 million|
|Print Ads (Newspapers and Magazines)||$200,000. Ads will be made once a week for 4 months||$3.4 million|
|Online Ads||$200 per month (6months)||$1200|
|Risks and Contingencies||$100,000|
|TOTAL = $7.87|
The marketing initiative will help in changing the public perception and belief that Agent Provocateurs is an expensive and luxury brand to that of a brand for any woman with desire for fashion, irrespective of her economic status. It is therefore important to implement this plan to the latter to ensure the brand identity is built as fashionable, durable, cost-effective and comfortable for an average woman.
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