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AEC 319 Developing a Marketing Plan1 James M. Nehiley2 1. This document is AEC 319, one of a series of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First Printed: June 1998. Please the EDIS web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. 2. James M. Nehiley, professor, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/University of Florida/Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean. Introduction To the average American, advertising is an everyday occurrence. In fact, the American Advertising Council estimates that the average American sees over a thousand types of advertisements or merchandising logos each day (Coca Cola cans, Nike shoes, Levi jeans, Docker shirts, RCA TVS, Ford cars, Campbell soups, Kellogg cereals, and so forth). So, its no wonder that the average American doesn't think that advertising campaigns are any big deal. But if you had to do one, where would YOU start? For instance, if you were involved in the local Girl's Club and wanted to start a fund raising drive for them, how would you do it? Most people would probably say "put an ad on TV or in the newspaper," but that's not a campaign, that's just one advertisement and research shows that TV advertisements by themselves seldom result in sales. You need a series of ads: a campaign. Historically, a campaign is something like the way an army operates during wartime. They fight many types of battles in many places at different times and eventually overcome whatever resistance they are meeting. Obviously a promotional campaign would use the same strategy. The answer to "How do you conduct a public information campaign?" involves four very specific steps. In effect, what you have to do is what the people in marketing do. The idea behind advertising is to make the public aware of the product. So, they advertise its existence. But this requires that the public already want such a product and be willing to pay for it. In real life they frequently aren't and that's why nine out of ten new products fail; the public needs to be motivated to consume. To do this, the people who develop marketing plans devise a campaign approach that starts with awareness (advertising) and goes through to the matching up the qualities of the product with the needs of the audience. This results in a desire to buy. The idea behind marketing is to lead the consumer through four stages: awareness, Interest, knowledge, and behavior. To do this, you must (1) conduct an audience inventory, (2) define your goals and specify your objectives, (3) decide on the nature of your message, and (4) decide on the appropriate media. Conduct an Audience Inventory This will determine what media you will use and how your campaign will be conducted. Break your audience into components because each will have to be treated differently. For instance, if you wanted to reach older people, how would you do it? Would you use mass media? Would you do it in the middle of the
Developing a Marketing Plan 2 day because they go to bed early? What do older people have in common? To find this out you have to break the audience down by something other than their age. Age is a demographic variable. It just describes an attribute. If you look at older people demographically you will find that older people don't earn much money. However, that same demographic category also includes college students (they don't make much money either). If you tried to reach both of those groups using the same type of advertising, your advertising would surely fail. How can you 'target' your advertising a little more specifically? You can use psychographics. Psychographics is the term used for grouping people by psychological tendencies. For example, during the 1970s Merrill Lynch had an ad that showed a herd of bulls charging across a plain. The idea was that those who participate in the stock market are either bulls or bears (bulls take more chances than bears do), and they wanted to reach the bulls. But the ad didn't work with this audience. Why? because these people see themselves as being innovative and daring. The aren't part of any herd. What did Merrill Lynch do? They used a psychographic way of looking at the audience (the Stanford University's VALS plan) and decided that a campaign featuring ONE large and powerful bull would work. It was very successful. What is VALS? It stands for values, attitudes and lifestyles. The VALS people say you should group people around those personal attributes that would lead them to be interested in the qualities of the product. To do this, you have to analyze your audience and inventory their needs and interests. Table 1 describes the attributes of VALS personality types. How do you conduct an audience inventory? Its simple. First, you take a large piece of paper, and then you divide your overall audience into smaller audiences using demographics like age, or sex, or income. Then, you further subdivide those groups psychographically. For instance, suppose you wanted to start a campaign to encourage the people in your town to recycle their motor oil. You would have to divide the town by all the demographics that relate to the ownership and care of cars: probably age, sex, and income. Then, you would have to divide the people by what they know about cars and how they would feel about their maintenance. That would determine what kind of message they would have to receive. Initially, you might break your audience down into men and women, older men and older women, older men who drive sports cars and older women who drive sports cars, and so forth. Then, further divide the audience by ALL the other factors that you think will have an impact on whether or not they will eventually decide to recycle oil. After you have divided your population into groups, then answer the following questions next to each group on your big piece of paper: What does this subgroup know about the subject of recycling oil? How do they feel about the practice of recycling oil? What they are currently doing that is related to recycling oil? After you have specified this information for each subgroup of your population, you can set about developing a schedule for changing the (1) knowledge, (2) attitudes, and (3) behaviors of each audience subgroup. Chances are that each audience subgroup will need different messages through different media to change each of these three factors. Define Your Goals and Specify Your Objectives A goal is a broad statement of your intentions. An objective, on the other hand, is specific and measurable. For instance, it might be your goal to play tennis more effectively. That is an goal and the subjective "more effectively" would be hard to define. But if you decided to play tennis more effectively by forcing your opponent play on the back line most of the time, that you can measure. How do you get them to play at the back? Keep lobbing the ball over their head to the back of the court. Then, when you want to win, you just drop the ball over the net where they can't reach it. Can you tell if your opponent is spending most of their time at the baseline? Sure. Can you tell if you start to win more sets? Sure. If you don't? Develop some new objectives.
Developing a Marketing Plan 3 Below are goals and objectives for improving a university. Goals: Increased National Reputation Improved Classroom Teaching Higher Quality Students Objectives: A 15% Increase in Student Enrollment A 5% Increase in SAT scores in Enrolling Students A 5% Improvement in Classroom Evaluations By Students Why have goals and objectives? Because without them there is no REAL progress. You can produce a lot of messages and get them transmitted by the various media, but until you specify your goals, you aren't likely to achieve specific results. A good example might be the effort during the 1970s to get Americans to change to the metric system. For many years people in various state government organizations and several national groups (for example the Cooperative Extension Service's Home Economics organizations) tried to convince people to prefer the metric system and begin to convert to its use. Were they successful? No. After a decade of trying, they gave up. In Florida, the state government printed and distributed millions of brochures and purchased advertisements on television and radio. The state of Florida even went to the expense and effort of making two sets of road signs (one in miles per hour, one in kilometers per hour) for all their roads and highways. The result? people refused to accept the metric system. Was it because they were unable to comprehend the based-on-tens system? No, they were using a dollars and cents, based-on-tens money system the whole time. Was it because they loved the old system? No. Throughout the whole campaign most people couldn't tell you what a hectare was or how long a mile was or how many cups were in a quart. The campaign failed because people were not convinced to change: they never accepted the goal (converting to the metric system) because there was no step-by-measurable-step progress in the campaign. Goals and objectives are the framework for information campaigns. They are a measurable way of determining if you are on course. When you travel, you know that to get from one place to another you have to take certain roads that pass through various towns and cities. If you have a map, you know the order and, as a result, you know whether you are on course. That might have been the problem with the convert-to-metrics campaign. A goal is a an overall statement that helps you to focus on your campaign. To be successful in your campaign, you should have a long-range goal and short-term objectives. How about the campaign to get people to recycle their old motor oil? The long term goal would be to get people to accept the importance to their community of recycling oil. That would be hard to measure. But one of your objectives could be to double the amount of oil that people turn in at the appropriate recycle centers six months after you start. Could you determine if you've done that? Sure, you measure it before and after. That's what makes an objective measurable. You specify your objectives in measurable quantities and at measurable times. Perhaps the metric conversion campaign failed because the people who were doing it never knew if they were being successful. What's the best way to make goals and objectives? Do it in stages! Set your goals and then explicate then (define each term). After you have defined them wait and analyze. After a short time, write out new goal (without looking at your first draft). After you are satisfied with your goals, write out several objectives that will accomplish each and that are feasible. Decide on the Nature of Your Message
Developing a Marketing Plan 4 What is it you want them to do and what would the audience find persuasive? For many years the state of Florida has conducted a long term campaign to get people to wear their seat belts by taking out advertisements in the newspaper and putting messages on the back of the Florida driver's license handbook. The theme of their campaign? Seat belts are required by law. Is that a good strategy? Maybe, maybe not. The Miami Herald reported that the campaign that got the most people to buckle up was a billboard on the turnpike that said simply: "Research shows that people with higher IQS wear their seat belt." Maybe the state of Florida would have more success if they used a psychological approach instead of an informational approach. To determine which approach you would want to use, you would need to do a message inventory to determine the 'nature' of your message. To conduct a message inventory for your subject matter you would have to analyze your intended message by the following criteria: Complexity: How complex will your message be? The more complex the subject, the more detail you will have to use in each of your messages and the more you need to use different messages for each audience subgroup. In each case, the audience subgroup will be willing to listen to, and capable of understanding, only one specific message. Think of it as an advertisement. When you take out an ad, you only have the audience's attention long enough to make one specific point. Suppose you wanted to sell radar warning devices to be used in cars. What would your message be? Since there are many types of radar and many types of warning devices, you would have to educate the potential buyer. This would take several messages because no one ad is going to persuade all the different types of drivers that radar units are safe, effective, ethical and economical. To establish each of these beliefs, you must first establish your credibility in each of these areas. To establish your credibility, you must provide each audience subgroup with the facts that they find persuasive about each of these subjects. Duration: How long will it take you to reach and persuade your audience? Some messages are simple enough that the audience can understand them and immediately begin to have the beliefs that you want. Other messages will require a longer learning period. For instance, reducing trash to save your town money on waste control and collection. You could probably get people to start crushing aluminum cans in just a few months. But what about convincing them to switch to products that have less paper and plastic wrapping? That would require many messages about the liabilities of paper and plastic in the local landfill. Also, there are many messages about the benefits of proper wrapping and their effects on sanitation and health. You would have to offset those messages. That would require more time. It would also require more messages and media use. Novelty: Messages that stand out from the others are more recognizable and, therefore, more effective. If you can separate your message from the other messages, it will be more memorable and you will have to send fewer messages. Appeal: Should they already want to do it? With regards to recycling oil, don't they already want to save money? Sure, they also already hate to take their cars in for service. And, they also want to help preserve the environment. Take advantage of the things that they already believe in. Give them specific, detailed messages that they can relate to their needs without having to change too many opinions. If you want to persuade the audience to oppose the destruction of rain forests (something they know nothing about) in Brazil (someplace they might have trouble relating to), you can't just tell them that a section of rain forest the size of the principality of Monaco is destroyed every fifteen minutes. That is a fact, but how can they relate to it? You have to create messages that explain how the loss of rain forests will change the weather and, as a result, affect the prices of the food they eat. If you want them to recycle oil, you must convince them that it is something they want to do (it appeals to them) and that it will meet their needs (save money, prevent the need for auto service, and protect the environment).
Developing a Marketing Plan 5 Decide on the Appropriate Media Which media should you use to convey your carefully constructed messages to the specific audience subgroup you have decided to reach? The only way to be sure is to use measurable objectives. A rural development group that did a media-use survey in the 1970s to determine which media should be used to reach people in Gadsden County, Florida found that mass media wasn't the best way to reach those people. They did a survey to determine where people found out about their rural development project and found that the best way to reach people in Gadsden County wasn't to use the newspaper, TV, or even the radio. It turns out that 70% of the people who heard about the rural development group read about it on the bulletin board of the Laundromat on US highway 90 outside of Quincy, Florida. Which media should you use? Use the media that works with that subgroup of the population you are targeting your message for. If the audience is large and widely dispersed, you would use mass media. If the audience is small and centrally located, you could use direct mail or telephone calls (cheaper AND more personal). If some of the audience are very private and therefore hostile, don't use direct mail or telephone contact with them, it won't work. Within your audience are people who are influential in the lives of others. Reach them first. How do you reach them? They use different media from the others. Find out which media they use and use it to start your campaign. The bottom line with a campaign is that no one media or type of advertising works perfectly for all groups. Like a military campaign you must fight many small battles of different types before you are successful. How about that campaign to get the people in you community interested in idea of recycling oil? How would you do it? First, you would have to decide who you want to reach in your community. Who are these people? Are they rural or urban? Are they young or old? Rich or poor? Male or female? All of these demographics result in DIFFERENT psychographics, so each group would require different messages and media. For instance, young RURAL people in your community would probably tend to be more conservative and less innovative in their media use than young URBAN types in your community. They listen to different radio stations and they look forward to participating in different events. The same is true for younger men and older men in an urban setting. And these differences determine how the best campaign would be conducted. How can you persuade young men in your community to recycle oil? Car supplements in the newspaper, maybe. Posters at car parts store? Yes. Ads on the radio? Yes. Maybe announcements in the auto class at the high school. How about middleage men? They would probably have more money and, therefore, would be less inclined to go to the effort of changing their own oil. But would money be the totally determining factor? How about the fact that the wealthy tend to be college grads and are, therefore, more into the environment? How about the fact that they may own expensive cars and are very interested in their care? In that case, newspaper supplements would definitely work and so would posters in the auto parts store. Would my campaign be successful with younger women? Yes, maybe the liberated or self-reliant type. Or, maybe the ones who have a nice car, but not a lot of money. How would you reach them? Radio? Yes. TV? Maybe. But, TV audiences are perceived as less intelligent and a bit low-browed. Liberated women might have trouble seeing themselves as part of that market. Car magazines? Probably not. Traditionally, car magazine subscribers are car guys. What about middleaged women? Sure, especially those who are taking car courses at the community college, they tend to be more self-reliant. What kind of middleaged women would be more inclined to take care of their car themselves? Women who don't have a lot of excess income might want to use their spare time to save money on their car. Or, divorced women might be more inclined to care for their cars themselves. Also, if you wanted to reach a middleage audience of women about recycling oil, you might be more successful if your theme was "teach your sons and daughters to care for their cars." To reach your audience effectively you must break them down into interested groups with identifiable media tendencies. However, to do this, you must be careful. You have to avoid strategies that lump audiences by
Developing a Marketing Plan 6 STEREOTYPING. The messages you construct and the media you use have to be determined by the audience. If it is your objective for 25% of those who buy and change oil to recognize the oil recycling logo after six months, you can determine if you are using the right media by conducting a survey and determining the media-use habits of those who recognize the logo at that time. If everyone who recognizes the logo listens to the radio frequently, your radio program is working. If everyone who doesn't recognize the logo reads the paper every day, you might want to get more ads in the paper. If you put up posters in the auto parts stores and most of the people who turn in their oil and recognize the logo six months later saw it on a poster, that might be the way to reach your intended audience. Summary To develop an effective marketing plan you must match the needs of the various audience subgroups with the attributes of whatever you are trying to promote. We are all familiar with the benefits of advertising, but advertising is only part of the promotional plan. The idea behind marketing is to lead the consumer through the four stages that lead to purchase: awareness, Interest, knowledge, and behavior. To successfully do this, you must (1) conduct an audience inventory, (2) define your goals and specify your objectives, (3) decide on the nature of your message, and (4) decide on the appropriate media.
Developing a Marketing Plan 7 Table 1. VALS (Values, Attitudes and Lifestyles) Personality Type Attitudes Demographics Consumption Media Habits Survivors Despairing Conservative Resigned Out of the mainstream Poor Old (2/3rds over 55) Low Education (96% not gone beyond high school) Female (73%) Retired Decaffeinated coffee OTC pain remedies Cigarettes Small heater units TV Game Shows Soap Operas Radio Noon to 5 weekdays Sustainers Resentful Still hopeful Distrustful Disregard rules & regulations if it will benefit them Struggling financially Relatively young (over half are under 30) Low Education (91% did not go beyond high school) Many minorities (34% highest of any group) Many unemployed Blue Collar Cold cereal Beer Under $20 still cameras Prepared canned/packaged goods Powdered breakfast drinks Heavy TV Daytime Radio News/Talk Ethnic Programs Newspaper Classified Ads Belongers Traditional, conforming non-experimental Family, home, and church oriented America first Moderate to low incomes Older (average in late 50s) Low Education (16% have gone beyond high-school) Heavily female (58%) Live in the country or small towns Housewives, service workers, clerks, machine operators Standard, American-made automobiles Garden/ workshop equipment Canned/ preserved vegetables Pain-relieving rubs & creams Freezers Heavy TV Quiz & participation shows News early evening/weekend Daytime drama Magazines Home, cooking, fraternal Radio Country Music
Developing a Marketing Plan 8 Table 1. VALS (Values, Attitudes and Lifestyles) Personality Type Attitudes Demographics Consumption Media Habits Emulators Ambitious, upward/striving See themselves as coming from wrong side of tracks Frustrated Envious Moderate incomes Youthful (2/3rds under 30) Fairly low education (19% have some college or more) Mostly urban Clerks, salesworkers, crafts workers Fast foods Cosmetics Weight lifting equipment Bowling Prepared cocktail mixes TV Adventure shows Radio Progressive formats Magazines Automotive Achievers Decisive, direct, driving Competitive Support economic system Seek fame, power, material success Outcome oriented Highest incomes Middle aged (median age in early 40s) Half attended or graduated from college (57%) Heavily male (58%) Married Many managers/administrators Luxury automobiles Hi Tech products Recreational equipment Business travel Frozen vegetables & entrees Golf equipment High margin gift items TV Pay Cable Radio Beautiful music Sports & finance Magazines Business & finance I-AM-ME Quick to accept new ideas Spontaneous Flamboyant Like new situations Low to middle incomes Young (96% under 35) Many students (35%) Single (95%) Corn and tortilla chips Sheet music Frozen pizza TV Adventure shows Radio Progressive formats Magazines Science and technology
Developing a Marketing Plan 9 Table 1. VALS (Values, Attitudes and Lifestyles) Personality Type Attitudes Demographics Consumption Media Habits Experiential Idealistic Open, emotional, person-centered Support environmental protection Hold liberal views of women's role in society Moderately high incomes 2/3rds under 30 Attending college or graduates (70%) Majority not married; high incidence of living together Mineral water Yogurt products Seasoning sauces Foreign-made cars Ski equipment Camping equipment Foreign travel Low TV Radio Contemporary music Classical music Adult oriented rock Magazines Epicurean Special interest Sports Societally Conscious Social responsibility Lack confidence in government Interested in the Arts and aesthetics Believe power is held by too few High incomes Median age late 30s Very highly educated (83% college graduates or more) Professional/technical (51%) Highest paid women Small cars Tennis equipment Business/Pleasure travel Natural Cheese Ethnic foods & ingredients Backpacking/ hiking equipment Photo equipment TV PBS Magazines Business/Finance Science/Technology Special interest Radio All news