Volterman Smart Wallet: Strategic Marketing Plan

Executive Summary

The strategic marketing plan for Volterman smart wallet focuses on how this company can use its limited resources to achieve market success. In this study, the researcher used both primary and secondary data sources. Primary data was obtained from a sample of respondents who were interviewed to understand their view of the product and its relevance in the market. Secondary data was obtained from books and reliable online sources. The finding of the study shows that Volterman smart wallet was designed in a way that meets customers’ needs. Its unique features make it a superior product in the market, which justifies its premium pricing. However, the management needs to embrace effective strategic marketing plans to ensure that it remains successful in the market despite the expected challenges.

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Introduction

Volterman smart wallet is a revolutionary product that offers its users a unique experience. Conceptualized by Azat Tovmasyan in 2014, this product has undergone various stages of design and development, and the final product for commercialization was released in 2017 (Volterman Inc. 2019). The level of technology integrated into this wallet is unique. Volterman smart wallet’s features make it possible to offer more services than a standard wallet as explained on the company’s website. Other than holding important documents such as credit cards, identification cards, and travel documents, it can also be used as a power bank to charge mobile phones.

It has a system that alerts the owner when he or she leaves it anywhere, making it less likely for it to get lost. Its inbuilt camera is capable of taking a picture of a thief once they open the wallet and sending it directly to the owner because it has to roam Wi-Fi (Turrell 2017). Its GPS makes it possible to identify the precise location in case it is lost or stolen. These unique features mean that this wallet is also a safety and security tool. This unique product addresses most of the concerns that wallet users often have.

The company has spent almost three million dollars in developing this product. Although it was launched on online platforms such as Amazon.com and eBay, the management of this company faces a critical stage of popularizing the product not only in the United States but also in the global market. As Morden (2016) explains, developing an amazing product is one thing, and commercializing it is another.

In this strategic marketing plan, the researcher seeks to discuss the internal environmental factors and external forces that would affect the success of the product. The study will explain the nature of market competition, governmental regulations, and other related factors that the firm must understand when promoting this product. The target market is also explained as a way of enabling this firm to understand how to develop effective promotional messages that would have the desired impact on the market. The goal is to have a document that can help the company to enhance the success of the Volterman smart wallet in the market.

Industry, Company Snapshot & Situational Analysis

The smart wallet industry is a relatively new field that is rapidly growing because of emerging technologies. According to Turrell (2017), the smart wallet offers services beyond a traditional wallet. Other than offering storage for cards and cash, it can also be used as a power bank, a roaming Wi-Fi device, and a GPS tool. It means that this product offers direct competition to various products known to provide the above services independently. In this section of the report, the researcher provides the industry background, company snapshot, competitive review, and SWOT analysis to help analyze internal and external market forces that the firm has to manage to ensure that Volterman smart wallet is a success in the market.

Industry Background

The smart wallet industry is gaining popularity in different parts of the world because of the unique services these products offer to their users. Kumar and Mozar (2019, p. 67) define the smart wallet as “the smartphone-connected wallet which allows the user to protect cash and credit & debit cards from theft, allows the user to track their wallet through GPS tracking, and there are Wi-Fi hotspot, thief detection camera and other advanced features.”

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Traditional wallets are still important in modern society where people use cards for most of the transactions. However, some innovative firms have to appreciate the fact that people can only continue purchasing this product if it can offer additional services. As Jager and Sathe (2014) note, in the current world where smartphones have become basic needs, smart wallet users realized that the best value that they can add to this product is to make it relevant to smartphone users.

Size

The size of this industry is still small, as the study by Venture Capital News Network (2018) shows. Many firms have been developing designer wallets to meet the needs of their customers, but for the product to be considered a smart wallet, it must have the basic features discussed above (roaming Wi-Fi, power bank that can be used to chart a smartphone, GPS, and an inbuilt camera that can help identify a thief). The number of companies offering products that meet these criteria is relatively small. According to a report by Venture Capital News Network (2018), most of these companies are in North America and Europe. A few others are in the Far East, especially in China and Japan. Most of these companies are small to medium start-ups, which are highly innovating and keen on offering unique experiences for the users of the product.

Growth

The industry of the smart wallet is growing rapidly and it is distinguishing itself from the traditional wallet. The idea of having a wallet that can offer a wide range of products has been a fascination for many entrepreneurs and innovators. Ansoff (2016) explains that although it may not be easy to determine precisely the first person to conceive the idea, its growth has been rapid in North America. The United States particularly has the highest number of companies offering these products in the market. Europe, especially in Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, has also been a good market for this product. Jager and Sathe (2014) explain that the premium pricing of this product explains why it has remained popular in the developed world.

Current trends

Current market trends have defined the evolution of this product and its popularity in the developed world. According to Küng-Shankleman (2016), the market for traditional wallets was shrinking despite the growing world population because what many people view as is irrelevant. The innovative approach that some companies have taken has made this product more relevant than it ever was in the past. Making this product compatible with the smartphone was informed by the popularity of mobile phones in modern society.

Morden (2016) explains that mobile phones have become a necessity to teenagers and adults alike. Introducing the Wi-Fi and power bank meant that smartphone users would find this product a necessity, especially when they are traveling. The current trends in this industry clearly demonstrate that new features may be introduced in this product to serve additional purposes.

Macro-environment factors and issues

When assessing the external environmental factors, Jager and Sathe (2014) explain that it is important to review external market forces that may have a direct or indirect impact on a firm’s operations. It is important to understand that a firm cannot dictate these forces in terms of when they occur and the impact that they may have on its operations. As such, it is crucial to come up with a plan that would protect the firm from market dangers while at the same time taking maximum advantage of the opportunities that it offers.

Using the PESTEL model, the study will discuss these macro-environmental forces and the way they can affect the normal operation of this company as it seeks to popularize its Volterman smart wallet. When conducting this market analysis, it is important to focus on its primary market, which currently is the United States.

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The economic environment is one of the critical factors that the management of this firm has to take into consideration when planning the expansion strategy. According to Jager and Sathe (2014), the economic forces define the ability and willingness of people to spend their resources on specific items. The United States has the largest economy in the world. With a population of over 300 million people with high purchasing power, the country is one of the most attractive markets for firms offering luxury products (Peppard & Ward 2016).

A standard wallet offering traditional services costs less than $ 10. However, the average price of Volterman smart wallet is $250 because of its unique services. For one to opt to buy such an expensive product, they must have the financial muscle. The strong purchasing power of the Americans means that the product is affordable to the majority of men who are in gainful employment.

Küng-Shankleman (2016) explains that during economic recessions, people tend to avoid products considered luxury items because of the eroded purchasing power. The 2008 global economic recession significantly affected the United States. Since then, the country has experienced impressive economic stability (Peppard & Ward 2016). The unemployment rate has also been going down within that period.

It means that the number of people who can afford to purchase the product is also increasing. In its globalization strategy, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the markets in the Middle East that the company is targeting. The economy of the country has been growing steadily despite the fluctuating international oil prices. As the largest economy in the region, Saudi Arabia offers an attractive market for growth.

Technological forces in the market also have a direct impact on the ability of Volterman smart wallet to achieve success in the market. The product itself is based on emerging technologies. In an effort to differentiate their products from what competitors offer, different smart wallet companies are using emerging technology to redefine their products. Volterman has developed a new system in its smart wallet that alerts its users when it is left behind.

This unique feature is meant to ensure that the wallet cannot be lost or misplaced easily. Other companies in this industry are coming up with other unique features for their product meant to enhance their competitiveness in the market. As Küng-Shankleman (2016) explains, technology offers a unique opportunity for a firm to outsmart rivals in the market. When other features of the products are similar to that of the rival companies, it is crucial for a firm to use technology to find a way of differentiating itself from the rest of the players.

In this technology-driven industry, it is advisable for a firm to be keen on identifying emerging trends and redesigning the product in a way that meets customers’ needs in the best way possible. According to Hill, Schilling, and Jones (2016), a firm should be keen to monitor disruptive technologies in the industry. Being an innovator may be the best strategy in such an industry. The problem is that the cost of innovation may be high in some instances.

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As such, early adopter has become the most popular strategy for financially strained but ambitious companies keen on embracing new technologies as soon as it emerges in the market. Henry (2018) warns that not all new technological concepts are appropriate for a firm. As such, each should be assessed properly before being implemented to avoid spending company resources and time on an initiative that may be counterproductive.

The political landscape of a country is another major factor that affects the ability of a firm to succeed in a given market. According to Hill et al. (2016), the political environment in a country may affect a firm’s operations in various ways. First, a country’s political stability affects the ability of a firm to operate effectively in the market. It defines the level of security for companies and the ability of people and groups to obey the rule of law. The United States is one of the most politically stable countries in the world. The change of power from one regime to another has been peaceful for the past several decades, making the country a peaceful market for companies in different industries. It means that Volterman smart wallet, as a product, will enjoy success in the market because of enhanced security and the respect that people have towards the rule of law.

Political interference is another concern that firms often face within a country (Peppard & Ward 2016). In some communist countries such as China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran, the political leaders have the power to paralyze operations of a firm whenever they feel it is necessary. However, that is not the case in the United States. The political leaders are expected to follow the rule of law and they do not have the power to interfere with the operations of a firm in any way. In case the company considers it appropriate to expand its operations to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it may not be affected by issues related to political instability. The government has also enacted laws that limit the ability of political leaders to make unfair decisions that may affect foreign investors in the country.

Legal and regulatory policies have a significant impact on the normal operations of a firm. Patabendige (2018) explains that the government has the responsibility of setting policies that define how a firm related to its customers, suppliers, competitors, public institutions, and public. It is the responsibility of the management of this company to ensure that its operations are in line with these policies. Volterman smart wallet is a unique product that is rapidly gaining popularity in the local market. One of the regulations that the firm has to observe is its promotion strategy. The United States Federal Trade Commission was established with the primary purpose of fighting deceptive practices in the local market (Kwoka 2015).

One of the issues regulated by this body is advertising. Companies are required to be accurate in their promotion and to avoid misleading the public by promising what their products do not offer. It means that when promoting Volterman smart wallet, care should be taken to avoid misrepresentation. The management of this firm must also understand that laws exist that define how it is expected to relate with all the relevant stakeholders.

It must meet its obligations to customers and suppliers within the agreed-upon period. It must also respect its obligations to the government, such as paying taxes within the right time. The legal environment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be different from that of the United States, but it may not have any negative implications. The management of this firm will need to register this firm in the country and observe existing laws to avoid litigation.

Social and cultural factors also play a critical role in the success of a firm within the market. According to Turrell (2017), understanding a country’s popular culture and the way they affect buyer decisions is critical, especially when a firm is operating in a highly competitive business environment. In the United States and many other parts of the world, there is a standard cultural practice where women are expected to carry pouches or purses while men often carry a wallet.

The name of the product, Volterman, clearly indicates that this firm primarily targets men with this product. It understands the fact that the American culture dictates that men are expected to carry a wallet. Features of this product emphasize the segment of the market that it targets. The pricing of the product also shows that it is targeting a specific social class in the market, the rich, and the middle-class.

According to a report by Reeves (2017), the real median household income in the United States is $61,372. It means that a significant number of middle-class American men can afford to purchase this product. Besides the unique services that this wallet offers to its users, it is also a show of class. The socio-cultural forces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are different from that of the west, especially because of the Islamic faith. However, the product that this company offers may not offend the religious beliefs and practices in the country. As such, the local culture in Saudi Arabia cannot be a hindrance to Volterman’s ability to succeed in this country.

Environmental concerns should not be ignored when developing the strategic marketing plan for the Volterman smart wallet. Pollution is a major concern in society as the effect of climate change and global warming become more devastating. In the United States, incidences of the hurricane are becoming common in coastal cities and towns. Wildfires and flash floods have also affected different parts of the country, claiming many lives and destroying properties (Brusentsev & Vroman 2017).

American society has become more sensitive to issues relating to environmental degradation, especially on the issue of irresponsible disposal of industrial effluent, wastes, and greenhouse gases. As Pichtel (2014) explains, the country has enacted laws and regulations that define how companies are expected to manage their wastes so that they cannot have devastating consequences on the environment.

Commercial production of Volterman smart wallet involves the production of greenhouse gases and industrial effluent. The management should consider developing strategies for recycling wastes and reducing the emission of these gases. Ansoff (2016) observes that one of the emerging ways that large corporations are currently using to promote their brands is to convince the public that they are committed to environmental conservation. In its communication to the public, the management of this company should explain the effort made, through various initiatives, to protect the environment. Saudi Arabia also has policies relating to environmental conservation. Observing these regulatory policies in the foreign market can help this firm to avoid any legal problems.

Demographic factors may not be part of the PESTEL model, but it is crucial when planning an appropriate marketing plan for Volterman smart wallet. According to Hill, Schilling, and Jones (2016), one of the most important factors that a marketer needs to understand is the demographics of the customer. Age, gender, and financial capacity are the three major demographic factors that should define the marketing plan.

In terms of gender, Volterman specifically targets men, as its name suggests. However, that does not mean it should not be appealing to women as well. As a product that can be bought as a gift, it is possible that sometimes it is a woman that may purchase the product. The promotional campaign should, therefore, not ignore the need to appeal to women. In terms of age, the smart wallet can be used by men of varying age groups. College students would need this item to ensure that their school cards and cash are safe at all times (Reeves 2017).

The fact that this wallet has a power bank that can be used to charge smartphones makes it attractive to college students who spend a lot of time on social media. Middle-aged men from the most attractive market segment for this product. These people travel a lot and they have different important cards that should be secured properly. The elderly men will also benefit from this product. As one age, dementia becomes a common problem (Küng-Shankleman, 2016).

They find it difficult to remember where they have placed specific items. With this wallet, they will always get a warning when they are about to forget it at a given place. The management should also target individuals who are financially empowered. If a normal wallet costs less than $ 10, then it is likely that only the financially empowered would find it reasonable to purchase a smart wallet at $ 250. The marketing strategy should capture these different demographics.

Company Snapshot

When the external environmental forces have been mapped, it is important to analyze the company and understand its capacity to operate successfully in the market. Jager and Sathe (2014) note that the macro-environmental forces may be appropriate for a firm, but that does not mean it would automatically achieve success in the market. It must have unique strategies and resilience to overcome different challenges that it may face in the market. It is necessary to look at the nature of this new product and the way it is performing in the market.

Brief sketch

Volterman smart wallet is a revolutionary product that offers its users a unique experience. Azat Tovmasyan, the concept developer, was focused on solving a common problem that many wallet users face (Volterman Inc. 2019). He had misplaced his wallet with some crucial documents and it took over a month to replace them. He realized that many men go through a similar problem and he made a decision to develop a smart wallet that cannot be lost easily.

The new product, Volterman smart wallet took several years to design as the firm was keen on achieving specific objectives. It was necessary to ensure that the smart wallet is unique. As such, besides the basic characteristics of a smart wallet such as having a power bank, roaming Wi-Fi, in-built camera, and GPS, the firm introduced additional features such as a system that would alert the owner when the distance between him and the wallet increases. They were keen on developing an interactive product.

Place in the industry

Volterman smart wallet is a medium-sized company in this industry. As shown on the company’s website, it has been growing consistently in this market for the past three years as it seeks to become one of the dominant players in the smart wallet industry. In such a highly competitive industry, Küng-Shankleman (2016) explains that the growth of a firm would depend on the uniqueness of its products are and the superior value they offer. The management of this company understands the market needs. It has made an effort to ensure that its products meet customers’ requirements in a unique way. It has created an image as a firm that is keen on providing an interactive wallet, capable of communicating with the owner when it matters.

Mission and vision

When making an entry into a market, it is often important for a firm to define its vision and mission that would guide its operations in the market. At Volterman, the vision is to become the leading provider of high-quality smart wallets in the global market. Although the firm’s operations are currently limited to the United States, which is the home market, it has the ambition to expand to foreign markets in Europe and the Middle East as a way of increasing its revenue. The mission of the firm is to be consistent in offering high-quality products for its customers in the market as a way of strengthening its brand and increasing revenues.

Product line

Volterman is primarily a wallet mainly meant for men but can also be used by women. When defining its product line, it is important to appreciate the fact that it has integrated different products besides the wallet. Volterman is a power bank that can be used to charge smartphones. It means that it is a direct competitor to products in this line. It has to roam Wi-Fi, which means that it can also fit in this line of products. Other unique features such as the GPS and the inbuilt camera meant to enhance its security also widen the scope of its product line. The multipurpose nature of the product means that it can be classified into different categories.

Sales history

Volterman smart wallet is just making a grand entry into the United States market. According to the estimates provided by the company, about $ 2.3 million has been spent to design the product and develop its first commercial prototype for the market. The company’s record shows that the management has made a great effort to ensure that the product is available in the markets throughout the country. The firm is specifically targeting online sales, especially the major online sales platforms such as Amazon.com and eBay. Unfortunately, the company is yet to publish a detailed sales history. As such, it is not possible to explain its sales history.

Target markets

Defining the target market makes it easy for the management to understand how it should position the product in the market. Volterman smart wallet specifically targets adult men. As explained above, this premium-priced product targets the rich and the middle-class men who regularly use wallets and smartphones. It is designed to solve a common problem of lost wallets, which may be a major problem if it contained important documents. The fact that it has a power bank makes it an appropriate tool for travelers who may want to charge their phones regularly. Although the primary target for this product is men, the product can also be purchased by women as a gift to their spouses, sons, or a father.

Market shares

The primary goal of every ambitious company is to expand its market share so that it can dictate market trends as a leader in the industry. Currently, Volterman smart wallet occupies a small share of the market. It is still struggling to define its position in the market as a major player. The management has made an effort to ensure that these products are now available on major online retailing platforms. Despite the small size of its market share, the firm has the potential to grow even further. The smart wallet industry is relatively new, and almost all its players have a weak brand in the market, just like that of Volterman. Through ambitious promotional strategies and the delivery of high-quality products, this firm can increase its market share.

Positioning

When conducting a company snapshot, it is also important to review the product’s positioning strategy. The manner in which a product is positioned defines the segment of the market that would be attracted and its sales (Peppard & Ward 2016). In this case, Volterman smart wallet has been positioned as a unique multipurpose gadget meant for financially empowered men. Although it is a wallet, the product is positioned as a tool that protects important cards and cash, besides providing roaming Wi-Fi, power bank, and GPS. Its premium pricing also confirms the positioning strategy that the firm has taken. It is important to note that given the additional value that this wallet offers, it is priced fairly and easily affordable for an average American man.

Competitive Review

Competition in this market is likely to get stiff as numerous firms continue to focus on producing similar products. According to Lasserre (2017), the smart wallet market has gained massive popularity, as the product is relevant to many people. Direct competitors of Volterman smart wallet include Walli, Eskter, Cashew, and Wocket. Other major players are Woolet and Itwolink (Venture Capital News Network 2018).

These direct competitors offer a smart wallet with almost the same features as Volterman. Indirect competitors are companies producing the traditional wallet, power banks, and those that offer roaming Wi-Fi services. Walli is the key competitor in this market. The firm has developed a brand in the market and its sales have been on the rise. Cashew is another key competitor in terms of market size. Volterman will have to develop unique strategies for managing competition from the two key market rivals.

The market shares, sales, and growth have been discussed in the section above. It is important to reiterate that the market share for this firm is significantly low as it is about to develop a large pool of loyal customers. However, the approach that it has taken to deliver quality products to the market promises rapid growth in its market share. The management has defined its target market as an adult male, as discussed in the section above.

The marketing objective of the company is to ensure that Volterman gains popularity in the market as the best smart wallet for men. It is evident that the management is investing a lot in brand promotion to enable it to achieve market growth. As discussed above, positioning is important in this case. Volterman is positioned as a luxurious but necessary item for every adult male. The current budget estimates show that the firm has raised $ 2,295,000 towards this project (Volterman Inc. 2019). The budget was meant for the design and commercialization of the product.

Current marketing mixes and tactics of this firm can help in defining the effectiveness of strategies employed by this company in the market. A comprehensive analysis of the marketing mix is discussed in the section below. The tactic that this firm uses is to popularize the product among men as a necessity other than a luxury product. The current advertising strategy of this company is concentrated on the online platform.

The company has been using Facebook and YouTube to promote its products. Sales promotion is another important strategy that the management should consider (Ansoff 2016). This strategy would help it create a pool of loyal customers. Public relations will help the management to address misconceptions about the product that may affect its popularity. Direct marketing programs may be an expensive undertaking, but it offers this firm a unique opportunity to meet customers and explain to them the functionality of the product.

The media strategies that this company employs should be based on its budget. The strategy should be effective enough to enable the firm to reach a wide range of people in the country. However, it should remain affordable based on the resources available in the firm (Morden 2016). In this context, this firm may consider minimizing the use of traditional media platforms such as television commercials. Instead, it should focus more on social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. The strength and weaknesses of this firm as it seeks to achieve growth in the local market are discussed in the section below. The overall assessment of Volterman smart wallet should that it has the potential to achieve growth in the market, but the management has to be ready to overcome the numerous challenges in the market.

SWOT Analysis

Conducting a SWOT analysis can help in explaining strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that the firm faces in the market. The main strength of this firm is its high level of flexibility in its operations. As a small technology-based company, Volterman can easily redesign its products to meet the emerging needs of its customers in the best way possible. Its unique product with additional features also gives it a competitive edge over its rivals in the market. It is also evident that this firm has a team of dedicated employees who are willing to spend long hours at work to ensure that the firm achieves success.

The management is also committed to providing an enabling environment for its employees to be creative in their operations. The firm also has weaknesses, which should be managed to ensure that it achieves the desired goals in the market. One of the main weaknesses that this firm would need to address is its limited financial resources. As a small start-up, this company mainly relies on funds from the owner and other donors willing to lend it additional resources. The limited financial resources mean that the company can only afford to hire a small number of workers.

The market presents opportunities that this company should take advantage of as it seeks to achieve growth in the market. The growing popularity of the smart wallet among men in the United States means that there is a huge potential for this firm. If it designs products that meet customers’ expectations, then it would be assured of success in the market. Increasing net income among Americans means that the current market price for this product is affordable to the majority (Sivalingam 2018).

The ease with which this firm can explore foreign markets in Europe, Asia, and Africa means that there is a huge potential for the firm. Despite the existence of these opportunities, the market also presents threats that the management of this firm has to learn how to deal with. The biggest concern for Volterman is the growing competition in the market. The number of companies offering similar products is increasing. Disruptive technologies are the other threats because the firm has to be sensitive to the emerging market forces to ensure that its products are relevant in the market. Regulatory policies in some of the foreign markets may be prohibitive to this firm. Table 1 below summarizes SWOT Analysis.

Table 1: SWOT Analysis.

Strengths
  • Flexible in its operations
  • A unique product in the market
  • A team of dedicated employees
Opportunities
  • The growing popularity of smart wallet
  • Increasing net income in the country
  • Ease of exploring the global market
Weaknesses
  • Limited financial resources
  • Few employees
Threats
  • Stiff competition in the market
  • Disruptive technologies
  • Regulatory policies in foreign markets

Marketing Research

It is important to conduct a formal marketing research study to understand customers that Volterman will target. The study involved a mix of interviews, observations, and surveys. In this section, details of each methodology used have been provided, which includes, demographics of respondents, research design, findings and analysis, conclusion, and recommendations made. The marketing research problem the challenges that this company faces as it commercializes its smart wallet in the market. As Lynch (2018) observes, developing a good product is one thing, and making it commercially viable is another. Volterman smart wallet is a unique product that is relevant for men in modern society. This market research will explain how this firm can ensure that it becomes a success in the market.

The primary objective of this market research is to understand the acceptability of this product among the targeted users in the market. The study also seeks to identify ways in which the management of this company can ensure that the Volterman smart wallet becomes a commercially successful product. The researcher used a mix of interviews, observations, and surveys when conducting the study. Interviews were conducted among a sample of 20 men who have had the opportunity to use the smart wallet. It was necessary to get their views about the relevance of the product, its pricing strategy, and the ability to achieve success in the market.

The researcher also conducted an online survey to gather the same fact. The observation was the third method used to monitor how frequently customers purchase or inquire about this product in retail outlets where they are available.

The research design chosen for the study was mixed research methods. It was necessary to use open-ended questions to investigate the experience of people who have had the opportunity to use this product. Using their own words, they were able to describe their experience and attitude towards the product. At the same time, quantitative methods made it possible to determine the number of people who feel that this product meets the specific needs of customers and has the potential of being successful in the market (Albadri & Nasereddin 2019). The appropriate data collection technique for the study was face-to-face interviews.

In cases where it was not possible to use this approach of collecting data, the researcher used online interviews. Using judgmental sampling design (where everyone sampled must have had the opportunity to see the smart wallet and test its application) a sample of 30 participants was used in the study.

Data was collected from this sample of participants. It is also important to note that data was also obtained from secondary sources. Books, journal articles, and reliable online sources were used to inform this study. Primary data collected from the participants were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The interpretation was based on the data collected from both primary and secondary sources. The marketing research report is presented in the section below. It discusses the unique characteristics of customers and a brand review.

Customer (Buyer) Analysis

The research conducted about buyers of this product shows specific factors that the management of Volterman should understand to enhance the firm’s ability to achieve success in the market. One of the main areas of the analysis was the user profile. The study showed that the smart wallet is mainly used by adult men. The geographic analysis of the buyers shows that they are spread across the country.

The product is specifically popular in major cities across the United States. The psychographic analysis shows that customers have a positive attitude towards this product. They believe it offers something unique in the market and that the pricing is reasonable. Behaviorally, the majority of the buyers of this product are travelers who feel that they need a wallet that can enhance the safety of important cards such as identification cards, credit cards, travel documents, and cash.

Buying decision process varies depending on various factors. Given its premium price, the majority of the buyers explained that they did not make impulse buying. They took time to understand its unique attributes before finally making the decision to purchase the item. Most of those who buy the product are men, though in some cases women would purchase them as gifts for their loved ones (Ansoff 2019).

Men tend to be the main influence behind the purchasing decision because of the uniqueness of the product. They are also the main decision-makers, though in some cases women would make that decision. The decision criteria follow a common pattern where one learns about the product, gets the opportunity to view it, and finally makes the decision to purchase the product once they are convinced about its suitability.

Brand Review

Volterman is a smart wallet that offers its users a wide variety of services and it is compatible with smartphones. The analysis shows that it is a new product that is just making an entry hence its market share is negligible. However, there is a potential for sales growth if the firm embraces the right strategies. The SWOT analysis above discusses strengths and weaknesses that this firm needs to pay attention to as it seeks to achieve growth.

The key benefits that this product has are that it can be used as a power bank, it has a GPS that can help trace its exact location, and the roaming Wi-Fi makes it possible for the user to have access to the internet. The management of this firm has spent a significant amount of resources to promote this brand. Figure 2 below shows the brand image. The product is positioned as a luxury item meant to offer a wide range of services.

Volterman’s brand image.
Figure 1. Volterman’s brand image (Volterman Inc. 2019).

The perceptual map below also helps in understanding the position of this firm in the market in terms of quality and cost. When compared with its market rivals, Volterman is a high-quality smart wallet with a high price. It is positioned as a product meant for the rich, as shown in figure 2 below.

Perceptual map.
Figure 2. Perceptual map.

Marketing Goals

The overall marketing program seeks to accomplish three main goals for this company within the next five years, which are to increase sales volume, expand Volterman’s market share in the smart wallet industry, and enhance its profitability. The company has invested about 2.3 million dollars in designing and developing this new product (Volterman Inc. 2019). It is now at an important stage of commercializing the product so that it can be beneficial to the stockholders.

The goal of this plan is to identify strategies that this company can embrace to increase its sales volume. A consistent increase in the sales volume would enable the company to expand its market share both in the local and international markets. Some of the strategies suggested in this document are meant to lower the overall cost of operations for this company so that the profits can be enhanced. It is expected that if this plan is implemented effectively, Volterman’s smart wallet will become one of the most successful products in this company.

Target Market

The ability of this firm to achieve success with this new product depends on how well it defines the target market. Segmentation is always critical in defining how to position a new product. The segmentation analysis had four main classes, rich men, middle-class men, poor men, and women. All four market segments have the potential of purchasing this product for various reasons because of its wide range of features.

However, the primary target market is the rich and upper-middle-class men. They can afford to purchase this product despite its premium price. They get to enjoy the additional features of the product. Lower-middle-class men and women are the secondary target market. At $ 300 per piece, it means that an average American can afford to purchase this product (Volterman Inc. 2019). As such, even the lower-middle-class members of society can find it easy to purchase the product. The only issue is that these people are likely to opt for cheaper products because of their financial constraints. Women are considered a secondary target because even though they do not use this product, they can purchase it as a gift for their husbands, sons, or fathers.

The Marketing Mix (4Ps)

The marketing mix based on the 4Ps (product, price, place, and promotion) is essential in understanding the ability of this product to achieve success. The product must meet specific customers’ needs and be set at a reasonable price. It must be made available at the right place where customers can easily access it, while promotion will help strengthen the brand and inform customers about its unique attributes.

Product

The product that this company offers is a smart wallet, shown in figure 3 below, which offers a wide range of services to its users. The analysis reveals that the company has developed a unique product offering. The multipurpose wallet cannot carry a wide range of documents (credit cards, travel documents, identification cards, and driving licenses) but also acts as a power bank and a roaming Wi-Fi. The product strategy that the firm uses, especially in terms of product mix and lines shows that the company has specifically focused on one product instead of offering a wide mix. As discussed above, the company has developed a unique brand that makes it easy for customers to identify it in the market.

The packaging was not given a priority, but it has unique labeling that distinguishes it from other brands. These key attributes and benefits for customers are meant to differentiate this product from those of the competitors in the market. The firm has been using points of parity (POPs) and points of difference (PODs) in its product design and quality of the wallet to enhance the superiority of the product (Albadri & Nasereddin 2019). Currently, this product should stay the same, but the firm should consider additional modification or creation of a new product in line with the changing tastes and preferences in the market. Given that it is an electronic product, the firm offers a one-year warranty for its customers.

Volterman smart wallet.
Figure 3. Volterman smart wallet (Volterman Inc. 2019).

Pricing

Pricing of a product is another critical element that defines the ability of a product to achieve success in the market. According to Reeves (2017), premium prices for a product would mean that only a few people could afford it. On the other hand, when the price of the product is very low, then people may develop the perception that the product is substandard. The average price of Volterman smart wallet in different online retail stores is $ 300.

It is important to note that this price is considered premium because the majority of smart wallets cost less than $ 290 (Venture Capital News Network 2018). The above-average market price means that Volterman is positioned as a luxury smart wallet with superior features compared with its rivals. The price is satisfactory to its customers because of its unique characteristics. However, the management should be keen on responding to market opportunities, such as an increase in purchasing power, and challenges such as recession, which may require the firm to adjust its pricing.

Place (Distribution)

Distribution is another crucial factor that defines the ability of this company to achieve success as it commercializes its Volterman smart wallet. The assessment of this company’s distribution channels shows that the product is mainly available on online platforms. Amazon.com and eBay are the main platforms where this product is currently available. Taking the online strategy is effective because it lowers the cost of making the product available to a wide range of customers within a short period. However, the company can do better in its distribution strategies by focusing on direct sales to reach its customers better.

The strategy may be expensive, but it will help the company to interact with its customers and understand their views. Channels of distribution should be managed effectively based on the available resources to ensure that this company maintains a positive relationship with its customers.

Promotion (Marketing Communications)

When the product has been developed and made available in the market, it is important for the firm to conduct promotional campaigns to ensure that customers are aware of its existence and the value it offers. The company has been using social media platforms for its advertising campaigns. This strategy is effective because of the huge number of male adults who regularly use these sites (Lasserre 2017). Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram are some of the popular platforms that the company has used to promote the product. The firm is also using its own website as a way of communicating with its potential customers.

The strategy helps in lowering the overall cost of promotion. The management should consider embracing different promotional mix elements. It should consider using the mass media platforms such as television and radio marketing, especially when targeting elderly customers. The word of mouth is another way it can use to strengthen its brand. Sales promotion is one of the best ways of transforming normal customers into evangelists for the brand (Reeves 2017). The company should also have a budget for digital marketing personal selling, and mobile marketing to help strengthen the brand. Event, experiences, and public relations may be considered additional options for promoting the product in the market.

Implementation, Measurement, and Control

When a strategic marketing plan has been developed, the next important step is to have an implementation plan, measurement, and control strategies to ensure that the intended goals are achieved. The milestone that has already been achieved is that Volterman smart wallet is a product that is ready for commercialization. Some minor adjustments may be necessary to reflect the changing customers’ needs, but the design and development stages of the product have been a success. The management now needs to focus on the challenging face of product promotion and commercialization. Table 2 below provides a summary of the timeline of different activities that should be done to ensure that the product achieves success in the market.

Timeline.
Table 2: Timeline.

The budget for the planned activities has also been developed to help avoid cases where the management launches an ambitious plan only to realize that its resources are limited. It is expected that these activities will cost about USD 650,000. Most of the needed resources will come from the firm’s account. Additional resources can come from a bank loan. Table 3 below summarizes the proposed budget for the firm.

Table 3: Proposed Budget.

Expenses (Activities ) USD Revenue Sources USD
Test marketing 25,000 Company’s resources 450,000
Social media marketing 180,000 Bank loan 200,000
Mass media marketing 210,000
Mobile marketing and public relations 110,000
Digital marketing & personal selling 125,000
Total cost 650,000 650,000

When these activities are conducted successfully, Volterman will likely achieve success in the market as one of the most preferred smart wallets. The first year of operation will have relatively low sales because the brand is still weak. However, as the brand continues to gain strength in the subsequent years, it is expected that sales will continue to increase. The forecasts in table 4 below show that Volterman smart wallet will record over 5 million dollars in sales within the first five years of its operations.

Table 4: Projected Sales.

Year Projected Sales
Year 1 125,000
Year 2 260,000
Year 3 950,000
Year 4 1,450,000
Year 5 2,470,000
5-year sales revenue 5,255,000

The measure of performance, as shown in the metrics above, will be the sales volume that the company will achieve, in dollar value, within a given period. It is projected that by the end of the fifth financial year, this company will have made $ 5,255,000 in sales. The management should develop control measures to deal with inflation in the cost of operations.

Conclusion

Volterman is one of the emerging brands of smart wallets. The smart wallet industry emerged out of the desire to have a small bag that one can use to carry important documents but not prone to theft. Many brands have added unique features in their smart wallet to capture the attention of customers in the market. The main features of Volterman are a camera, power bank, GPS, and a sensor that alerts the owner when the wallet is left behind.

Its in-built roaming Wi-Fi, which is significantly cheaper than what the market offers, is one such revolutionary feature. Each company has added additional features to make its product unique in the market as a way of attracting a pool of loyal customers. The strategic marketing plan for this product emphasizes the need to use both mass and social media to promote this product. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram are some of the main platforms that this firm should target in its campaigns.

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