As a consumer-focused company, It’s Popcorn Time! (IPT) will be joining the ranks of such organizations as Nike, Diageo/Guinness (a liquor distributor), AAA, and Ford Motor Company. What this means is simply that IPT will go forward with marketing strategies that are designed to serve the customers, anticipate their needs and deliver value through the distribution of a quality product.
Through the use of segmenting, targeting, positioning, and differentiation, IPT will be utilizing the same strategies major corporations do and develop a plan which focuses on reaching its consumers. Ford Motor Company rolled out a new consumer-focused marketing strategy in 2000 to allow them to interact with their customers. In doing so, they were able to determine the consumers’ expectations for the vehicles they purchased and follow up with them afterward to ensure their needs had been met when they purchased a Ford product. Nike used marketing strategies to identify key geographical areas which promised the greatest growth for the company, then divided the areas into segments in order to effectively target the new consumer bases.
The first step is determining the boundaries of IPT’s market and then segmenting it. Currently IPT, enjoys a strong local consumer base which can be divided into retail and wholesale segments. As physical expansion occurs, market segments will need to be further differentiated with the inclusion of customers throughout the United States and Canada. In addition to this geographical segmentation, using psychographic criterion will identify further segments, such as those who are health-conscious.
Targeting involves deciding which of our market segments are most beneficial to IPT’s bottom line and using appropriate marketing materials to reach this customer base. For example, IPT currently sells to wholesale accounts who purchase products at a reduced price but distribute them to a wider population. Consequently, the wholesale market will remain an important aspect of reaching future sales goals. Popcorn and pretzels can target the health-conscious segment by marketing their low fat, low sugar and low caloric composition.
Positioning IPT in the market will consist of developing a distinctive brand image that focuses on the quality of its offerings. By focusing on the quality, variety, and uniqueness of products in addition to IPT’s superior customer service standards, IPT will create its position in the market to more effectively target market segments and reduce the threat of competition.
What makes IPT different from other food products companies? It is the ease of ordering, which will be further enhanced by the creation of a point-of-sale website, the types of products, showcased by “Pennsylvania Dutch” treats, and the delivery of service which conforms to, or exceeds, customer expectation. IPT’s products are distinctive and tasty. They are not the cheapest nor most expensive on the market due to the quality ingredients used and this will differentiate IPT from other, more mainstream companies as well as “gourmet” foods distributors.
As part of targeting, positioning and differentiation the following strategies will be employed:
1) Advertising – Develop an innovative campaign for introduction of new products and the expansion of the company’s core portfolio of pretzels and popcorn through advertising in traditional media as well as creation of the website.
2) Sales promotion – to include an aggressive sales blitz with managers handing out catalogs, coupons and samples. Marketing materials will be carefully developed to target both retail and wholesale segments.
3) Public relations – IPT must be visible in the community, particularly in those geographic areas which are new markets, through the use of local newspaper advertising, sponsorships and promotional events.
4) Customer Relationship Management – CRM practices will be instituted to retain existing clients as well as create a forum for testing the introduction of new products.
“Ford Motor Company Announces Consumer-Focused Organization for the 21st Century”. Ford Motor Company Press Releases. Retrieved January 15, 2008
“Nike Promotions Create Consumer-Focused Structure” (August, 2006). Display and Design Ideas. Retrieved January 15, 2008.
Schewe, Charles D. “Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning – Cornerstones of Marketing Management”. University of Massachusetts. Retrieved January 15, 2008