The needs of children during development continue to evolve with time and technological advancement. The provision of game kits for children facilitates social interactions and has long-term effects on individual behaviors. Moore, McDonald, Carlon, and O’Rourke (2015) assert that children in different age groups need to learn interactive skills and widen their social environment. Equally, Rasmussen et al. (2016) hold that gaming kits extend children’s social relations by connecting with others through sharing information and experiences, which promote cognitive development and interaction skills.
Therefore, the revolutionary innovation of Smartgamer with customizable settings is an essential technological contribution to the toy industry for it enhances emotional behaviors and shapes the social skills of children. Thus, this strategic marketing plan examines Samartgamer and its features, assesses the target market, and determines the core strategy essential for the development of market position and profitability.
Smart gamer is a tablet specifically designed to meet the entertainment and development needs of children between 3-8 years old. Some studies have found that early exposure of children to a variety of social activities builds a strong character that reflects success of an individual in later life (Silverthorn et al., 2017; Cristóvão, Candeias, & Verdasca, 2017). The gadget has a long-lasting inbuilt battery, adjustable warp-speed processor, high-resolution display, smart camera, multicolor flashlight, and near field network adaptability, offering an unlimited experience to children. In addition, the gadget comes in a range of colors to meet the diverse choices and shades preferences of children.
The Internet capability allows children to download new games in Play Store. These modifications permit the adjustment of the gadget’s capabilities to reflect the needs of different stages of child development. Overall, the product allows children to exercise their independence in exploring new social fields away from parental care.
Qualities of the Product
Smart gamer is a unique product that provides users with customizable capabilities. The modifiable warp-speed processor has an exceptional feature that allows flexible adjustment of the promptness and content capacity to adapt to the age and social needs of a child. The multicolor flashlight of light-emitting diode allows children to enjoy attractive features of photo or video shoot with a different color glow to enrich their experiences. The security features attached to the modification of these settings permit parental intervention in any adjustment stage. For controlled usage, the security has an inbuilt link to a parent’s phone that communicates a secret code and sends a message notification to update the changes.
Rationale for Development
The increasing socio-economic commitments with technological advancement present a hard task to the adult population in meeting the development needs of children. The advanced features in Smartgamer permit parents to meet their social demands while exercising control and monitoring the development of their children. The near-field communication permits network sharing and transmission of data to other enabled gadgets in the vicinity, giving children a great experience in learning and developing their social skills. In this aspect, meeting this market needs provides an attractive opportunity for profitable and sustainable business endeavors.
Smartgamer’s mission is to create boundless social experiences and promote child development in every home.
- To increase sales by 15% by the end of the third quarter.
- To create revenue of 5% within one year.
- To increase product awareness through our marketing communication activities by 10% within six months.
The target market of Smartgamer constitutes parents of toddlers and children aged between 3 to 8 years. The company maintains a balance to create appeal in this category of children while influencing parents’ willingness to purchase the gadget. The proportion of children is 30.4% of the total 310,482,947 populations in households (American FactFinder, 2017). In addition, the survey estimates that the population of children above three years enrolled in school in the United States is 82,148,370. Of this population, American FactFinder (2017) indicates that 6.0% are pre-school-aged children between 3 to 4 years and 5.1% are kindergarten children, while those at grade 1-8 (elementary level) make 40% of the category.
The incorporation of parents with small children as potential customers is vital since they command households’ purchasing powers. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) estimates the average annual household income at $115,731,304) as of 2017, out of which 29.9% is disposable on household items. Given that the social development needs of the children, work commitments, and technological knowledge of parents, targeting the two population categories are essential in creating sales, as well as acting as marketing channels for product awareness
Mattel, Jakks Pacific, and Hasbro are the leading local companies that dominate the entertainment market of children in the United States. However, Namco Bandai and Lego are international firms with an established market share in America. Lego and Mattel are strong industry players with revenue of 5.49 and 5.46 billion dollars respectively as of 2017. Despite its local establishment in Tokyo, Namco Bandai has the third-largest revenue followed by Hasbro and Jakks Pacific correspondingly.
The toy market extends throughout the whole world. Technological advancement and infrastructural development have facilitated the establishment of the global market. The United States is the most attractive market for kid development products, with a revenue estimate of over 24 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 (United States Census Bureau, 2018). The economic progress in the developing world has positively influenced the lifestyle changes of the citizens and created new markets for entertainment and convenience products.
Lego’s main product is the interlocking plastic toy bricks, while Mattel enjoys a good market for View-master and Nabi kids’ tablet. View-master is a virtual reality kit with video replay enabled capability, while Nabi is an Android enabled toy. The stated product features make the Nabi tablet a real market rival. However, in addition to customizable settings that facilitate adjustment of features to meet a child’s age and learning needs, Smartgamer comes with a dual app-store modification feature with two access categories: free and password enabled access.
The most outstanding innovation of Smartgamer is the inbuilt adjustable settings that modify gadgets features to suit the needs and learning requirements of a child’s age category. Additional improvements include dual app store modification that facilitates free and password-regulated access, pen and eraser, and wireless charging. The gadgets free access category facilitates inbuilt regulated game download content for kids, whereas the password-aided capability permits full-web and app-store access. The tablet-writing pen and eraser give children the flexible autonomy to exercise their developing skills in writing, while wireless charging is a security component that protects the children from power surge effects.
Legal and Ethical Implications
Fundamentally, the most pressing ethical implication is the growing concern over the effects of exposure to violent video games and their association with juvenile crimes. In a 2017 report, the crime rate associated with the use of guns by children had increased by 18% from 2010 to 2014 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Some studies have found a significant association between children’s exposure to emotional contents and their behavioral responses.
Dillon and Bushman (2017) concede that reducing violence in films and video games, and restricting the exposure of children to scenes are important factors to consider in reducing teenage associated crimes. Therefore, this association informs government regulations and roll out of social awareness initiatives to discourage the use of game gadgets, which have the potential of damaging product’s image and reducing sales.
Cost Leadership Strategy
To achieve Smartgamer’s mission, the company will utilize cost leadership strategy to position itself in the market. This approach will make Smartgamer affordable to the target consumer segment and facilitate its penetration and destabilization of the market share of competitors. Essentially, given the set objective to increase sales by 15% by the end of the third quarter, the adoption of the cost leadership approach acts both as a marketing and sales strategy to increase product awareness and create revenue within one year.
The extensive marketing is the core strategy for product positioning in the market. The company will adopt online, social media, and locally based advertisements through collaboration with retailers offering or selling resources for elementary school needs and household items to facilitate a targeted market reach. The marketing brand involves a tailored message for the parents to try a novelty experience with Smartgamer, which is a dual promoter for both income and social practices.
Since most of the parents with small children belong to a techno-savvy generation, online advertising is a convenient line of communication to this consumer market to allow learning and discussion of product features and values. Joint advertisement with retailers put Smartgamer as a convenient place for consumers, hence increasing brand awareness and consumer trust.
Communications and Promotion
Aspects of the IMC
In the aspect of integrated marketing communication (IMC), the principal elements of communication comprise advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, personal selling, and public relations. Advertising entails outsourcing the service of product promotion with a view to reaching the target audience. The importance of this approach is that the organization exercises full control over the message delivered and reaches a large group of audience. However, it is costly and requires allocation of a significant amount of money, hence reducing the profitability. Sales promotion involves the use of incentives to encourage purchase. It is essential in attracting new customers. However, incentives come with an extra cost and do not guarantee customer loyalty.
Conversely, direct marketing encompasses the interactive use of special offers and time-limited deals. It persuades and reminds consumers about the availability of the product while building relationships. Despite creating a lucrative market position, direct marketing can be a nuisance and destroy customer loyalty. Personal selling involves the use of sales force as direct line suppliers. In spite of being costly, this marketing approach significantly promotes the value of the product to consumers and builds strong relationships. On the contrary, notwithstanding public relations being a good approach to maintaining a strong market brand, companies lack control over the messages and can put a negative spin on the product value.
The IMC approach
Since Smartgamer is in its introduction phase, heavy advertisement, public relations, and sales promotion are key communication mix strategies to establish the required market position. According to Chaney, Touzani, and Slimane (2017), online and web-based advertisements are the most significant marketing components for the millennial generation due to their reliance on technological innovations as a social platform. Heavy advertisement through online and social media is indispensable in reaching out to the millennial generation who are the majority consumers. This consumer segment is a target group since they are the largest parent group with small children, and have techno-oriented behaviors. Hence, Smartgamer’s features have incorporated their social needs.
Prospective changes IMC
As the product enters its maturity phase, the prospective changes in marketing involve a reduction in advertisement and sales promotion with the introduction and increased utilization of personal selling and direct marketing. A person-to-person marketing approach creates an emotional attachment to the product, seller, and buyer, which positively influences brand loyalty and product positioning (Nikhashemi & Valaei, 2017; Shriedeh & Ghani, 2016). Therefore, personal selling helps to build relationships while facilitating direct sales and immediate feedback that influence buyers’ preference. Given that product awareness is significantly high in the market, the utilization of direct marketing establishes lasting consumer relationships crucial for sustainable profitability and growth.
The brand slogan and advertisement effectiveness
The marketing slogan for Smartgamer instructs consumers to get a fresh experience that saves for their future. The basis for this slogan involves the concern to promote child development and reduce juvenile crime rates while saving part of the income for family use. Creating tailored communication and direct feedback mechanisms in the online, social media, and web-based channels build good relationships with the consumers, address consumer complaints, and create a marketable brand.
In measuring the effectiveness of the advertisement, the company will utilize recall of advertising message method. Choe, Stienmetz, and Fesenmaier (2016) argue that the extent to which adverts influence knowledge, preferences, and attitudes of the target customers determine their effectiveness. Online and social media channels provide appropriate platforms for customized communication to evaluate the consumers’ extent to recall an advert.
Focusing on lowered product cost over competitors’ price offering sets apart the product as economic friendly and boost sales. In addition, the harsh economic times encourages parents to try the product and enable them to save a considerable amount of their income.
Channels of Distribution
The distribution channels comprise company stores, retail outlets for household and school items, and online stores such as Walmart. These channels put the product at strategic places in the market for consumers to access conveniently.
Customer Relationship Management
At the initial stage of product acquisition, the customer is required to provide personal details, including the name, identification number, email address, and phone number. The company maintains a database of these customers and manages customized communication through emails and text messaging to build a strong relationship.
Smartgamer is age-tailored entertainment gadget with adjustable settings that permit customization of the features to reflect diverse learning needs of children. Additionally, the wireless charging system, double app-store access platforms, and waterproof capability are innovative features that give the gadget as a strong brand and enable it to meet the diverse development needs of children.
In respect to these features, Smartgamer plans to create sufficient sales and increase market share within one year. However, Smartgamer faces strong competition due to the presence of diverse sets of gaming kits. In this aspect, Smartgamer will utilize cost leadership strategy with extensive marketing to establish itself in the market. The company has adopted a brand slogan that encourages consumers to utilize Smartgamer in their lives for great social and economic experiences. Through personalized online relationships, Smartgamer hopes to maintain a strong competitive position in the market.
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