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Product Marketing Plan: Call of Duty Black Ops II - for Lady Gamers
 

Product Marketing Plan: Call of Duty Black Ops II - for Lady Gamers

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Research analysis of Activision's Call of Duty Black Ops II. A marketing proposal for capturing new female audience.

Research analysis of Activision's Call of Duty Black Ops II. A marketing proposal for capturing new female audience.

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    Product Marketing Plan: Call of Duty Black Ops II - for Lady Gamers Product Marketing Plan: Call of Duty Black Ops II - for Lady Gamers Document Transcript

    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II Page |1 Marketing Plan: Call of Duty: Black Ops II Sabrina Mergenthaler Colorado Technical University Online
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II Page |2 Table of ContentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY ………………………………………………..pg 3SITUATION ANALYSIS…………………………………………………pg 5 Industry Analysis Competitive Analysis SWOT Analysis Consumer AnalysisMARKETING STRATEGY…………………………………………..……pg 13 Objectives Marketing & Distribution Channels The Positioning and Communication Strategy Pricing and Promotion Media PlanPERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS AND MONITORING………...….…pg 22BUDGET……………………………………………………………………pg 23CONCLUSION……………………………………………..………………pg 25REFERENCES
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II Page |3 Executive Summary Being part of the history of seeing Call of Duty: Black Ops II break new records, is anopportunity beyond imagine for most. However, our firm has eagerly accepted the challenge ofresearching and targeting a new audience for Black Ops II. Having already identified a rapidlygrowing segment within the video gamer population, our agents are focusing on the marketingplan that corresponds to Activision’s mission and captivates the right audience (DevelopingMarketing Strategy and Mix, n.d.). Our goal for Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II is toincrease sales by 10% by the end of the first quarter of 2013, by focusing on the quicklyexpanding female-gamer population between the ages 16 and 34 years old, with a limited editionversion. We believe our marketing strategies will accomplish just that (Armstrong & Kotler,2006). Using a variety of integrated channels to deliver one consistent and integrated mediamessage is the foundation upon which our marketing strategies are built (Armstrong & Kotler,2006). In fact, to target this particular audience our marketing message tells female gamers tobring out their inner soldier and get into the game. Our agents have identified opportunitiesthrough exploring a variety of adjustment options in packaging and image to put Call of Duty:Black Ops II directly into the hands of our female audience—both new and old (IntegratedMarketing Strategies, n.d.). As Activision engages in its mission of becoming the most-well-respected gamemanufacturer, we have brought to light several distinguishing means for the company to standout as a leader within the industry. With our firm’s plan in place molding these objectives into awell-defined campaign relies on clear understanding of, and effective representation of thecompany’s goals to the right audience (Vollmer, 2008). As we work towards achieving this goal,
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II Page |4we have targeted an audience that is relatively new to gaming, and responsive to tacticsinvolving empowering women, with a message that says: bring out your inner soldier, and getinto the game. To maximize the success of accomplishing our goal of generating a 10% increasein sales to the new female gamer between the ages of 16 and 34, our marketing plan consists of asingle message, spread with the use of a variety of tactics, employed across a multitude ofmedias to increase the frequency—or, number of times our target market is met with ourmessage: bring out your inner soldier (Sirgy & Rahtz, 2007). With the future at stake, Activision’s drive in achieving their goal creates a doorway tothe future that enhances the relationship between Activision, their products, and the consumerswho use them. That relationship begins with the right placement, based on many factors aboutour target audience as well as significant surveying of the market (Grewal & Levy, 2012).Additionally, using the versatility of a plan that integrates so much technology—both new andold—it reaches not only our intended audience, but acknowledges our loyal consumers. The versatility of all the Call of Duty games across the various gaming consoles hasmade the game successful in a wide range of markets (Company Background, n.d.). Thesimilarities in the segments contribute to campaigns that can be recycled with minor tweaks.Similarities from target to target may include geographics (location); demographics (orcharacteristic indicators of consumer markets), such as age, religion, race, income, education,and more; and even psychographics (personal values) (Alsem & Wittink, 2013). For example,the age bracket for Call of Duty consumers is between 16 and 34 in women, and up to 40 in men. Our relationship with these consumers begins with the right placement, based on manyfactors about our target audience as well as significant surveying of the market (Grewal & Levy,2012). Additionally, using the versatility of a variety of strategies and tactics that are attractive to
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II Page |5our audience as well as measureable allows us to provide a marketing campaign that is flexibleand matches the demands of the target when the target wants it to (Vollmer, 2008). The details of our firm’s marketing plan—or the course of promotional action that willdeliver a consistent message across a variety of channels for Activision’s Call of Duty: BlackOps II—are built upon company objectives and strategies which have been identified throughmarketing research (Armstrong & Kotler, 2006). Using tools, such as the SWOT analysis, todefine strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats surrounding Call of Duty; we can adjustobjectives and/or actions to improve our marketing strategies (Winer, 2004). This informationalso opens the door to increasing the success of an effective IMC (Integrated MarketingCommunication) strategy, as it enables us to better identify our target consumer and the tacticsthat will improve our reach (Piermatteo, 2012). It is our firm’s intention to provide the details of our marketing campaign that willstrategically progress Activision’s goals as a company by achieving a 10% increase in the sale ofits most successful video game: Call of Duty: Black Ops II. By narrowing our targets on a newaudience, and delivering a marketing approach that builds awareness and familiarity; we cansucceed at generating the edge that not only improves the sale of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, butperceives Activision as a leader within its industry (Grewal & Levy, 2012). Situation Analysis Among the many approaches to gathering information regarding fluctuations in marketconditions, companies, and products; the situation analysis provides us insight on the conditionsof the internal and external environments of particular companies and/or products (Grewal &Levy, 2012).
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II Page |6Industry Analysis With consistent growth rates of 15+ percent since 2009 in the gaming population ofAmerica and many other countries; the predicted revenue of the video gaming industry is notonly growing, but predicted to surpass $35 billion by 2017 (Gaudiosi, 2012). More important toour focused campaign, among the growth of new gamers, 42% are female (Serious Gamer,2012). As technology continues to advance, it is estimated that the video game industry will beamong the biggest beneficiaries—from opening doors to better gaming experiences and higher-quality graphics to changing the means by which these video games are marketed (Gaudiosi,2012).SWOT Analysis Also known as the SWOT analysis, the tool measures internal (from within Activision)strengths and weaknesses, and external (from competitors) opportunities and threats (SWOTAnalysis (2), n.d.). Fluctuations that affect the SWOT analysis often occur in cultural,demographic, social, technological, economic, and political environments (Grewal & Levy,2012). Surveying has provided us with the following insights on Activision’s Call of Duty:Black Ops 2.Strengths Much of Call of Duty’s success can be directly linked to the brand equity—or thevalue of the brand. The awareness in the market of the Call of Duty game series greatlycontributes to improved sales with each new release. Activision does a superb job of buildingloyalty in consumers through the associations connected to the brand (Grewal & Levy, 2012).With each release—consumers expect more of what they are looking for. Like changing a firstimpression, changing perceptions can be difficult and costly. Fortunately, Activision and Call ofDuty are not thwarted by negative perceptions. Instead, they are looked to for leadership and
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II Page |7action—especially among our target audience. Other significant strengths of Call of Duty: BlackOps II include: Connection of the game to the audience through comedy, emotional appeal and vivid imagery Regular release of new video content from the game on popular video sites such as YouTube (Newton, 2012). Favorite first-person shooter among gamers. Hi-quality graphics. Engaging story plots. Incorporates sci-fi and futuristic environments with familiar character names. Alternate scenario options for gamers to choose throughout the game. Three games in one (Zombies, single player, and multiplayer) (Frum, 2012). Use of well-known actors to fill roles and write plots (Gaudiosi, 2012).Weaknesses While Call of Duty has many qualities that make it a desirable game, Activision relies onthe game’s sales to account for 40-45% of entire company earnings each year (Brightman, 2012).Thus far, the rating of Call of Duty: Black Ops II has been lower than that of Call of Duty’sModern Warfare 3 (Frum, 2012). While the launching of the latest Call of Duty game came onlya week after the release of Halo 4, is it believed that the current gap in sales of nearly 20%, isrelated to the game’s launch only a week before Thanksgiving (Brightman, 2012). As Activision made the decision to produce the game for the Wii U instead of Wii,backlash may also stem from the expectation of consumers. In unison with the game’s release,many consumers expected many sales and discounts to be available on Black Friday. Since users
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II Page |8must now consider having to purchase another gaming console to enjoy the game, the lack of adiscount over the Black Friday shopping weekend may have been a more significant componentof the lack of sales (Brightman, 2012). While none of these are necessarily weaknesses in thegame itself, they are significant indicators of problems in the decision-making marketingdepartment, and room for improvement in the product development and testing phases of theproduct lifecycle (Piermatteo, 2012).Opportunities However, Activision has promised a female character (Hamilton, 2012). Gamingenthusiasts are relying on a lineup of stiff competition to project improvements to the Call ofDuty gaming series—perhaps to include a female character (Brightman, 2012). With thepresence of many popular actors like Sam Worthington (Wrath of the Titans, Man on A Ledge),James C. Burns (Criminal Minds, Make It or Break It), and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead,Slither), we increase opportunities in commercials that connect Call of Duty to the celebrities,shows, and movies that our audience is into (Gaudiosi, 2012). Using a strong female celebrity asthe role of any future female character will definitely increase favor of the game among ourspecific market of female gamers. As Activision interacts with and manages the consumer relationship, live streaming isanother tactic planned for use by consumers (Sirgy & Rahtz, 2007). Live streaming being audibleas well as visual, provides an opportunity to build our female relations by hosting female-basedstreams on popular media channels, such as YouTube and Facebook (Newton, 2012).Threats Though pre-sales of Black Ops 2 have already outdone all games across the board, salesare expected to remain steady through the holidays. Rivaling the game’s holiday marketing
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II Page |9potential is Bungie—Activision’s leading competition. As court actions between Bungie andActivision reveal more of the companies’ plans—the future of competition is one guarantee onwhich Activision can count. Under codename Destiny, Bungie’s plans include the release of aline of sci-fantasy, first-person shooter games over a span of four years (Pham & Fritz, 2012). It is important to note, though, that the anticipation of improvements is based on the2012/2014 lineup of video games to be released—like those from Bungie. With sales of Call ofDuty: Black Ops II currently down by an estimated 20%, the threat of better games to comecreates more of a hope in consumers who have already adopted the Call of Duty lifestyle(Brightman, 2012). However, Activision may have thwarted the game’s performance further byopting to choose the Wii U console, over the Wii console. The Wii U console was released five days after Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Wii Uspotlight, 2012). The newness of the gaming system not only creates concerns in gamers for thegame’s use on the new system, but also does nothing to increase the potential reach of our targetmarket. The new system costs upwards of $200 (Wii U spotlight, 2012). This means a gamer willspend at least $260 before taxes to play Call of Duty: Black Ops II on the Wii U. The problem with this is that the female market is not looking to spend that kind ofmoney on a game or new console just to play it. Women also cling to familiarity in gamingconsoles. Their fear in learning a new console will directly inhibit purchase of Call of Duty forthe Wii U. While this will have an immediate and upfront affect on sales—it will be somethingwe can push later in the Wii U lifecycle as consumers generate trust in the new system (Stuart,2012).
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 10Consumer Analysis The versatility of all the Call of Duty games across the various gaming consoleshas made the game successful in a wide range of markets (Company Background, n.d.). Thesimilarities in the segments contribute to campaigns that can be recycled with minor tweaks.Similarities from target to target may include geographics (location); demographics (orcharacteristic indicators of consumer markets), such as age, religion, race, income, education,and more; and even psychographics (personal values) (Alsem & Wittink, 2013). For example,the age bracket for Call of Duty consumers is between 16 and 34 in women, and up to 40 in men. One of the key distinctions in the target is not just in gender, but how the gender thinksand behaves as a consumer based on their needs and desires (Vollmer, 2008). For example, ourresearch indicates that women are more likely to purchase products that support charities, andthey are twice as likely to purchase products that support charitable organizations that supportwomen. Women behave in this way because it makes them feel like they have takenresponsibility for their roles in the world as women; contributed to women’s progress; and quitefrankly because it takes less time to spend money than invest volunteer hours (Chambers, 2012).While some males may be reached and influenced by our strategies, we want our frequency totarget these females (Integrated Marketing Strategies, n.d.). Surveying our intended consumers on their satisfaction and desires with Call of Duty hasassisted us in creating the plan of action in capturing our new audience (Grewal & Levy, 2012).The following survey was sent to thousands of consumers matching our profile via the internet.1. Please rate your familiarity with the Call of Duty line of video games? Not familiar at Somewhat Somewhat Completelyall unfamiliar Familiar familiar
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 113. What gaming console(s) do you currently own? Select all that apply. Computer Xbox PlayStation Wii Wii UOther (please specify)4. When planning to purchase a new game, what is your preferred method of purchase? Internet In-store Catalog5. How often do you play video games in a typical week (in hours)?6. Which best describes your age category? 18-24
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 12 25-34 35-42 43-509. What stores do you prefer to purchase games from? Wal-Mart Target Kmart Toys R Us Other ____________________
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 13The Results The variety in the range of our target audience is strikingly similar in demographics toour other segments. However, a big variation exists in their satisfaction with the game. Forinstance, 87% found content in graphics and story-line quality among our target audience—indicating that we can expect the reuse of current material with female additions to be sufficient.However, females strongly indicated zero-distinction in the personal feel of the game, andadmitted a female character would generate that appealing nature (Survey, 2012). From thesefindings we have concluded the marketing plan to focus on a limited edition Call of Duty: BlackOps II which features a playable female character. This is discussed in greater detail throughoutthis plan. Marketing Strategy Management of the customer lifecycle requires an understanding of the appropriatemeans of reaching that audience (McKinsey, n.d.). In reaching our consumer, we use integratedmarketing messages—a main message across various marketing channels—to generateinfluence. How often we drive this influence to them is the frequency; and in marketing Call ofDuty, we want our frequency—the visibility of the game—high (Alsem & Wittink, 2013). With the evolution of technology, we have been provided new methods of interactingwith consumers. Our mixed marketing strategy utilizes a variety of interactive, non-interactive,online and offline advertising opportunities from direct mailing tactics, direct selling andsampling (at tradeshow events), and in-store game stations where the game can be tested beforepurchase at limited locations (Alsem & Wittink, 2013).
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 14Objectives With our firm’s plan in place, our marketing objective—the goal of our campaign—isto generate a 10% increase in sales of the female gamer between the ages of 16 and 34, by theconclusion of the first 2013 quarter (Grewal & Levy, 2012). Molding these objectives into awell-defined campaign relies on clear understanding of, and effective representation of thecompany’s goals to the right audience (Vollmer, 2008). Activision strives to become the mostwell-respected game manufacturers. As we work towards achieving this goal, we have targetedan audience that is relatively new to gaming, and responsive to tactics involving empoweringwomen, with a message that says: bring out your inner soldier, and get into the game.Marketing In order to accomplish bringing Activision to the role of leader, we respond to thisaudience with exactly what they are looking for in the Call of Duty female soldier; and we give itto them in the Limited Edition Call of Duty:Black Ops II, with a message that tells them tobring out their inner soldier (Vollmer, 2008). •Exclusive Female The version features a fully-female Player Mode • In-gameinfluenced cover. The image of a soldier— notoriety and perks • Free Nuketown 2025 Upgrade mapstrong, confident, a born leader—a female;this very limited version sends our message toour female audience: bring out your innersoldier. She’s not big-big breasted like LaraCroft. She’s the image of the Jane next door,with a lot of attitude and confidence. If you
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 15ask her, anything men can do—she can do, and she wants you to dare her (Hamilton, 2012).Backed by research, we have found these concepts to be the foundation for delivering femalegamers a game they can enjoy, too (Survey, 2012). It is important to understand, though, marketing is everything, and everything ismarketing (McKenna, 1991). With the powerful statement in mind, we broach positioning Callof Duty: Black Ops II. Positioning is a tool of marketing that strives to create a perception orimage in the mind of the consumer. The goal is to ensure image and positioning consistency(Alsem & Wittink, 2013). However, images and perceptions are immensely controlled byeverything in which a company is involved. Altering these images and perceptions meansdesigning a plan that integrates the right target-corresponding channel strategies with the rightmessage (Vollmer, 2008). Conveying our message—bring out the soldier—through the use ofimages depicting female soldiers on everything related to our campaign, we consistently marketin everything that is marketing, while reflecting a game that encourages strong women, andbuilds an image our audience has been eagerly awaiting (Chambers, 2012).Positioning However, strategic positioning should also be considered in generating the mostfrequency in visibility of the product in stores (Grewal & Levy, 2012). Women matching ourconsumer profile are more often making purchases at places like Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, andAmazon—both online and off (Survey, 2012). As that tends to be the case, our positioning of thelimited edition Call of Duty for ladies recognizes the importance of positioning our game infamiliar stores that have both brick-and-motor and online presence, and should be concentratedwithin those locations according to strategic shelving placement (Grewal & Levy, 2012).
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 16 Using the versatility of a POP display to strategically place the limited edition game inthe path of our particular female gaming consumer, we can focus on the brick-and-mortarlocations that will serve our purposes (Using Design Elements to Communicate, n.d.). InAmerica, we are strongly tied to Wal-Mart. The company accounts for 25-30% of video gamesales by casual gamers (Caoili, 2012). Our goal is to reach a casual gaming audience of femalesbetween the ages of 16 and 34; and guess where 88% of them prefer to shop. Our surveyindicates—Wal-Mart (Survey 2012). In generating greater frequency and reach opportunities inthis group, it is plainly obvious that a strategic placement of multiple POP displays throughoutcompanies like Wal-Mart will serve our purpose.Communication Strategy The diversity of offerings at each store allows us to focus on our target female audiencewith licensing Call of Duty Girl merchandise such as clothing, accessories, and supplies; andother lifestyle-forming up-sale items (Vollmer, 2008). However, an effective IMC strategyrequires a variety of interactive, passive, online, and offline communication strategies to fullyconnect with this target audience (Grewal & Levy, 2012). Especially since the Limited EditionCall of Duty: Black Ops II for women gamers will be uniquely priced, we must considerpositioning strategies that effectively: Conveys the products features. Provides competitive edge and value. And, best utilizes the opportunities offered by celebrity characters; incorporating female characters; and leading the female audience to properly enjoying the game (Vollmer, 2008).
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 17 We can accomplish many of these goals through communicating where and how our groupswant us to (Winer, 2004). Research indicates that the majority of our audience is on the computersurfing the internet (Survey, 2012). By initiating tactics that include sharing on Facebook andTwitter the related blogs, video streams, email newsletters with tips and guides, discussionforums and an all-female multiplayer team with a live-streaming Call of Duty channel onYouTube, we generate unlimited connections with our specific audience (Vollmer, 2008)Pricing and Promotion In determining and setting the price of our limited edition game, our plan considers theinfluence of internal and external factors, such as pricing objectives, costs, strategies of otherelements, costs of manufacturing, communication, and distribution (Cateora & Graham, 2005). However, supply and demand are often credited with being the greatest influencers onprice (Piermatteo, 2012). We have a predetermined supply for the limited edition Call of Duty:Black Ops II. As such, we must create the demand. Though our intention is to create 300,000copies of the game, our aim is to reach more than half a million new gamers. Because of the impact pricing has on the success of a campaign, it is important tounderstand that cost estimates are based on extensive research, previous experience, and thefirm’s best judgment; and therefore cannot be guaranteed. However, with the proper monitoringtactics and metrics in place to identify pricing issues as a factor, we can adjust sales and otherpromotions quickly and accordingly. Based on our research and all the contributing factors ourplan uses packaging strategies and a skimming approach to set the suggested retail price at $70(Cateora & Graham, 2005).
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 18Packaging Strategy Packaging is just one of the many channels we use to promote products. When ourconsumers see Black Ops II in their favorite magazines, on their most-visited internet sites, andon the shelf at their local store or preference—they are seeing one image repeatedly. We call thisthe frequency, and the frequency is the amount times our game is going to be viewed by buyersbefore they go and get it (Armstrong & Kotler, 2006). Maintaining consistency in packaging isone of the key components that allow us to target specific audiences from across the aisle andthrough all other channels. Like games before it, the Black Ops II package may look simple, butit promotes volumes about the game to the shopper (Using Design Elements to Communicate,n.d.). The opportunity through exploring new packaging options not only puts Call of Duty:Black Ops II directly into the hands of our female audience—both new and old—but aids inbuilding a new perception and image for our new audience that will take them into the future,and leaves room for increased price (Integrated Marketing Strategies, n.d.). This is a special edition video game, though. As such, we identify the special nature ofthis copy by dressing the external wrapper with stickers that educate the consumer about why itis such a special edition. As we review the technique of this sample we will also address thesignificance of the stickers (Marketing Inspiration in Product and Package Design, n.d.). You can see, we have another female soldier. Like the original version, this soldier isany-woman’s soldier. The shadow work contributes to the ability of the player to be thecharacter, as it creates a screen in which they place their own features. The title font, thecompany logos, and ratings are all standard throughout the series to aid with familiarity andvisibility in the market (Using Design Elements to Communicate, n.d.).
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 19 The external clear plastic wrapper has a few stickersstrategically placed to allow maximum view of the cover image, andprovide enough details to portray the value of the product. Thesestickers include:• The Limited Edition Sticker- It stands out against the background while adhering to the theme of Call of Duty. It lets the customer know from a distance that this game is special for one reason or another. It encourages the shopper to take a closer look (Using Design Elements to Communicate, n.d.).• Black Benefits Sticker- Identifies the perks and benefits which come with game purchase (Using Design Elements to Communicate, n.d.). This list of benefits includes an exclusive female character player mode; an in-game identifier of your characters as having contributed to the White House Project; a free upgrade to the Nuketown 2025 map—an incentive offered only on pre-order; and more!• Partnership Sticker- Indicates the partnership with which Activision is donating a portion of the proceeds to (Using Design Elements to•Exclusive Female Communicate, n.d.). Symbolizes to the buyer that further details on thePlayer Mode• In-game organization can be found inside. This also has the effect of justifying thenotoriety and perks mild increase in cost on the product (Using Design Elements to• Free Nuketown2025 Upgrade map Communicate, n.d.). But packaging does not stop there. There is no reason for the consumer tofeel like the excitement ends at the purchase. In fact, our marketing continues once the buyeropens the package. Inside, information on our partnership with the White House Project can be
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 20found. It will explain the goals of the charity, and discuss how the donations will be used tofurther the opportunity for success. The same folded brochure will have a frequently askedquestions area where many more questions can be found. Also, buyers will find a mini-catalogue for the Call of Duty Girl Mall. For the full cataloguea link is provided, and a promotional 10% off first purchase coupon is included. On this insert,ladies gain knowledge and access to the Call of Duty Girl line of merchandise—such as clothingthrough Levy, and limited edition Call of Duty Girl designer brand purses and boots bySketchers, Reebok, and Converse (Marketing Inspiration in Product and Package Design, n.d.). And what better way to connect this market further toActivision and the Call of Duty, than with a car decal(Piermatteo, 2012)? Using Call of Duty’s familiar skullemblem in a variety of feminine colors including a vibrantpink, purple, white, and red; we’ve created a static-clingdecal for the car. Our findings indicate this market as thelargest users of car decals (the stick families you may have seen). As such, we estimate that thiscar decal will be a huge hit among our female gamers who want to demonstrate just how theyhave brought out their inner soldier (Piermatteo, 2012). Other upsale opportunities will be provided in the form of inserts, and may include thingslike official Call of Duty computer accessories, head gear, and keyboards to make using all of thein-game features easier (Developing Marketing Strategy and Mix, n.d.).
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 21Media Plan With the advancement of technology and the rise of social media across the internet,connecting with our target audience has never been easier (Vollmer, 2008). Our plan proposesseveral social media tactics that generate awareness and interaction with our target market wherethey like to hang out—Facebook (Survey, 2012). Using Facebook’s voting platform, forinstance, we can conduct a poll that reaches our target market and directly involves them,through a direct-response tactic, which allows consumers to aid in the development of the femalecharacter for our limited edition Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Piermatteo, 2012). This approacheffectively announces Activision’s plans, while generating hype, involvement, and brand equity(Grewal & Levy, 2012). As consumers develop trends in communication, social media willbecome the active and expected vehicle for updating this audience on the progress of the game’srelease (Vollmer, 2008). Other tactics in our media strategies include participation in discussion forums, videostreaming sites, and gaming magazines that are attractive to our audience (Chambers, 2012). Infact, through Activision’s own website, we intend to release the following press statementregarding this limited edition Call of Duty: Black Ops II: Already a well-standing member of the gaming industry, Activision continues to pursue achieving record breaking interests. Recognizing a need in female gamers to enjoy games like Call of Duty, Activision sets out to embrace the population and provide them a place to call home. The limited edition Call of Duty which features a playable female character—in all three gaming modes—is set to release at 12a.m. December 24th. You can save time by pre-
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 22 ordering the game and other Call of Duty Girl merchandise through the game’s direct site—www.CallofDutyGirl.com. This version will only be available to the first 500,000 customers, and comes with a bonus 2025 Nuketown map. It will be available for purchase both online and off at your local Wal-Mart and other super centers, such as Target, and Best Buy. This limited edition is playable across the popular gaming consoles: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, and the new Wii U. More importantly, Activision feels it is necessary to take a position on equality for all people including women. As they push these efforts in the right direction, Activision partners with the White House Project—which builds leaders out of young women—to Advance the sale of the latest release of the popular Call of Duty series (Alsem & Wittink, 2013). By connecting tactics that include branding a lifestyle, being part of a supportivecommunity, and overall consistency; we will not only be visible to our intended market, but wewill be the further push that drives Activision closer to accomplishing its vision (Using DesignElements to Communicate, n.d.). Performance Evaluations and Monitoring Regardless of our choice of distribution for marketing material, one thing remainsstatic—measurability. If you were about to ask—‖but how do we know if any of this is working?‖These approaches all come with a technique for immediately measuring their impact. Frompackaging to broadcasting posts on discussion forums and emailing perspective consumers, eachof these channels comes with an assignment or tool for metrics. On Facebook, Twitter, YouTube,and millions of sites across the net, we have follower counts, share counts, ―likes,‖ dislikes,
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 23comments, and so much more that we can count and read to generate significant knowledge onthe performance of our attempts. Our shelved products have all been tailored with the corresponding insert material thattells consumers to register, visit us, or take a survey to receive a perk—all of which is carried outonline to gather and provide immediate results (Sirgy & Rahtz, 2007). These efforts work to notonly provide feedback on our approaches, but allow us to make decisions that will alter ourmarketing path. The more quickly we are able to identify weaknesses in the chain of ourcampaign, the more effectively we can respond with an alternative strategy (Grewal & Levy,2012). Budget Considering the immense size and value of this campaign—which grabs our audiencefrom every venue they wish to be reached through—it is equally necessary to consider thebudget for Activision’s end. Based on our choices of magazines, social networking sites, gamingsites, and the potential for fluctuation—we can expect the cost of our campaign to varythroughout the campaign (Vollmer, 2008). Having conducted research on the types of media we will use, the locations in whichwe will distribute, and the timing; we estimate a cost in this campaign to be anywhere from $1.5million to $2 million. Fortunately, our plan is flexible at a moment’s notice, which means we canpotentially reduce costs, or possibly see them rise (Armstrong & Kotler, 2006). However, ourmetrics will provide us the essential information for making those decisions more effectivelywhen they arise (Grewal & Levy, 2012). In the chart below, we have defined those expecteddevelopments. These numbers assume cost of labor, production, and standard fees associatedwith producing the advertising media.
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 24 Print (popular trendy Other Digital women and young Social Media (Activision women’s (Facebook, Web site, Magazines/News Paper/ Twitter, popular gaming PressRelease YouTube) sites)January $150,000 $175,000 $65,000February $25,000March $25,000 $5,000April $50,000 $150,000May $50,000 $5,000June $100,000July $20,000 $100,000AugustSeptember $10,000 $5,000October $75,000November $10,000 $5,000December While these numbers reflect marketing aspects of our campaign, they neglect a veryimportant figure—the cost of producing the limited edition Call of Duty Black Ops II game.Bearing in mind, our limited edition is still the same Call of Duty game, but includes a playablefemale character. By re-using much of components of the original game, we can significantlyreduce the cost of production in certain departments such as: the development team, and scenicartists. Whereas original game production can run upwards of millions of dollars—our game isalready ready, is supplied in limited availability, and needs minor changes that may not exceed$800,000 in labor and production and testing costs (Isaak, 2011). It is our intention to generate 300,000 copies of the limited edition Call of Duty: BlackOps II. Priced competitively at $70, the success of the sale of 300,000 games is equivalent to $21million. Keep in mind that our firm charges a standard non-refundable deposit of $10,000 plus0.01% of total sales at the conclusion of the campaign. By that, should the success of ourcampaign perform at the $21 million expected, Activision can anticipate spending approximately$21,000 in our fees in addition to the anticipated $1.5-2 million in costs. However, based on ourcalculation, Activision would generate an additional $18 million in revenue (Piermatteo, 2012).
    • Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Dut y: Black Ops II P a g e | 25 Conclusion Using a variety of integrated channels to deliver one consistent and integrated mediamessage is the foundation upon which our marketing strategies are built (Armstrong & Kotler,2006). In fact, to target this particular audience our marketing message tells female gamers tobring out their inner soldier and get into the game. There are many channels in which thismessage can be adopted, and our plan makes use of all of them (Grewal & Levy, 2012). Byconnecting tactics that include branding a lifestyle, being part of a supportive community, andoverall consistency; we will not only be visible to our intended market, but we will be the furtherpush that drives Activision closer to accomplishing its vision (Using Design Elements toCommunicate, n.d.). As we work towards achieving our goal—to surpass projected sales by 10%by capturing the growing female-gaming audience between the ages of 16 and 34—we firmlybelieve that our course of action has the ability as well as the sustainability to be a tool thatachieves. Backed by solid research to identify the target audience and determine their needs anddesires from video games, we have developed a message and multi-faceted approach todelivering that message. Through this strategic approach, we can accomplish our mission, andassist Activision in becoming the most well-respected game manufacturer within the industry.
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