Marketing Mix Analysis for Entry of a Microwave Maker
This article is about how a multinational corporation is attempting to enter an emerging market like China or India and how it must position itself to capture the hearts and minds of the consumers. The multinational can be any of Samsung, Haier, or Bosch kind of companies that are now reaping the advantage of globalization to enter emerging markets. Therefore, the marketing mix discussed in this article can be applied to any multinational and the strategies examined are generic to them as well as specific to the emerging market. This article lumps together China and India because as far as cultural similarity and maturity of the market is concerned, they need similar strategies to tap into the huge consumer base. Of course, it is understood that the multinational in question must adopt its global strategies to the local conditions and hence, must follow a Glocal strategy.
The product in question which is a microwave must be tailored to the local conditions of the market meaning that features such as reheating and warming up of residual food must be possible. This is because both in China and India, consumers like to reheat foodstuff that has been made earlier. Further, the product must not be too complex to handle as the average homemaker in China and India is just getting used to electronic gadgets and hence, would not be able to adjust themselves to too fancy products. Especially where India is concerned, the product has to be resilient and robust because power outages are frequent and hence, the microwave cannot be too fragile if a power outage or a tripping of power happens. Next, the product must be manufactured for heavy usage because the typical household in China and India consists of the extended family in addition to the nuclear family.
The market segmentation for the microwave would be along the lines of upper and middle class consumers, the aspiring consumers, and those in the rural segment that are entering the consumer market. Therefore, the multinational would be well advised to introduce different models at different price ranges to target each of these segments. Further, seasonal pricing and seasonal discounts should be part of the pricing strategy as the market segments and the consumers in them like to buy microwaves during the festival period meaning that differential pricing must be applied. Therefore, the pricing can be divided into premium product, middle of the range product, product for the aspiring consumer with pricing just below the middle of the range but with similar features, and finally, pricing for the rural consumers which would entail offering substantial seasonal discounts.
This is perhaps the most important among the 4Ps as distribution and retailing in China and India make all the difference for white goods such as microwaves considering the size of the countries. To explain this further, as the countries in question are huge in landmass, there is a need to reach and penetrate to the nooks and corners of the country and this is where the retailing and distribution channels come into the picture. in the urban areas, provision can be made for a chain of stores in each suburb as well as tying up with third party distributors to distribute the product. Apart from this, another important element of the distribution strategy would be the availability of service centers, which is important because unlike in the West where call centers and online service centers are the norm, consumers in India and China still tend to visit the physical centers for service.
This element of the marketing mix has to be handled with care as the Chinese and Indian consumers are yet to mature as far as using white goods are concerned. though the middle and the upper classes have already jumped on to the consumerist bandwagon, the hinterland is yet to fully integrate itself especially where a product like a microwave is concerned. this means that due diligence must be done as far as promotion of the product is concerned. In India, using movie stars and celebrities can form part of the promotions and in China, television stars and sports personalities can be used to promote the product. Considering the high penetration of television and cable television in particular, the promotional campaign can very well have this medium as the focal point of its strategy. Apart from that, outdoor advertising and sales camps in neighborhoods can be considered as well.
The key points to be noted as far as marketing a microwave in China and India are concerned are that the markets in these countries are varied and highly fragmented meaning that a one size fits all approach must be eschewed in favor of a targeted and focused strategy aimed at specific niches. Further, with liberalization and the opening up of the economies of these countries, the consumers in these countries are hungry for more consumer goods and hence, a balanced marketing strategy would work wonders for the multinationals as they go about devising their marketing mix. The liberation of the mindsets of the typical consumer in China and India means that a huge market is waiting to be tapped and all it needs is an innovative yet down to earth marketing campaign combining the elements discussed above to tap into the market.
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