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NDU Term Paper | Marketing Senior Standing - Marketing Plan


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NDU Term Paper | Marketing Senior Standing - Marketing Plan by Naja Faysal

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NDU Term Paper | Marketing Senior Standing - Marketing Plan

  1. 1. Notre Dame University Faculty of Business MRK 433- Senior Marketing "Marketing Plan" Presented by Samar Alam Sarah Dorlian Naja Faysal Marc Honein Mirella Jabbour Product Name: ALMAZA Date of Plan: December 20, 2005 Marketing Manager: Mr. Fouad Mrad Contributors to the Plan: Production manager Marketing manager Sales manager Approved by: Mr. Kamal Zakhour Fiscal Year: 2005-2006
  2. 2. Outline: 1) An overall Marketing review. 2) The most important key competitors of Almaza. 3) The product: Almaza beer. 4) Product positioning in the market. 5) Product differentiator and competitive advantage. 6) The customer: where are users’ located and to reach them? 7) Distribution channel. 8) Market research plan and usability testing. 9) Opportunity analysis, financial and marketing objectives. 10) Almaza different Marketing tactics and action programs. 11) A general overview on the advertising plans of Almaza. 12) Different measure of success regarding Almaza. 13) Almaza’s projected profits and losses. 14) Controls within Almaza and we end up with a small conclusion.
  3. 3. 1) Marketing Review: After having done a research about Almaza, and after having done an interview with the marketing manager, Mr. Mrad, we found out some important information about Almaza and its competitors in the market. The most important thing we noticed is that Almaza owns 85% of the market, which is a huge number. One of the reasons may be due to the fact that Almaza uses Mass Marketing, targeting all segments in the Lebanese market. Like any other product, Almaza has competitors, and the more new competitors are entering the market, the more it is affecting its sales. For that reason, trying to keep or increase its market share, Almaza has to stay awake and find new strategies to protect itself from competitors, and this is why Almaza is introducing new RID'S, new CSD'S, and a new beer with flavors. 2) Mainly, the key competitors of Almaza are the following: 1. Efes, which owns 7 to 10% of the market share, and costs around 1000 LL (the large size can) 2. Carlsberg, which owns 5% of the market share, and costs around 945LL (the small can), and 1515LL (the large one) 3. Fox, which owns only 3% of the market share, and is found approximately around 1200LL (however, it is nowadays absent from the market)
  4. 4. We can notice that the price of the small bottle of Almaza is 750LL, and the price of the larger one is 1000LL 3) The Product: When we started to ask the marketing manager, in our interview, questions concerning revenues and the product, Mr. Mrad tried to give us very limited and short answers, since such questions must stay internal. What we could know is that the prior year revenue is 19% less, but this year forecasted revenues are much better (without any given values). Almaza is founded by Lebanese shareholders in the market since 1933. For that, Almaza is not a new product, but an enhanced product. In fact, each period of time, a new feature is added or changed, such as changing from the brown to the green bottle, introducing Almaza with no alcohol, etc… During this period, Almaza is introducing its bottle with uplift an added feature in order to fortify much better the whole content. And no other new features are been added recently to its beverage, only slight improvements because Almaza have always been know to its refined quality. 4) Product positioning: When we think about positioning, we actually should think about the act of designing ‘Almaza’s’ offering and image in order to occupy a distinctive place in the target market’s mind. Thus, the end result of positioning is the successful creation of a market-
  5. 5. focused value statement, a compelling reason why the target market should buy the product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. Well known products generally hold a distinctive position in customer’s mind; ‘Almaza’ as have been informed promptly by the marketing manager that its products can’t be judged or even assessed before being launched into the targeted market. But we as marketing students gave them our opinion and shared it with the marketing manager, which describes the importance of using a prototype or do some tests before sending a totally new product into the market in order to minimize the probability of failure and losing the money invested. As for the typical well-known beer bottle it has already a strong image in the consumer’s mind. 5) Product differentiator, unique selling point or competitive advantage: We noticed during our tour made at Almaza that changes are being made internally because it has recently been sold to a foreign company, therefore new machines, and high-tech procedures are being integrated in the overall process. The taste is delicious as old times, the way of manufacturing and bottling the beer is still the same and yet, delivering the best quality of beverage to the different segments in the Lebanese market. We noticed also the new advertising campaign launched recently Almaza, in a creative way on many billboards. These are found in many regions in Lebanon, putting Almaza in a distinctive and special image in relation to other competitive brands. Almaza is being differentiated by a refined process of adding a set of meaningful and valued differences whether in taste, quality, and bottle… in order to distinguish the company’s offering from those of the competitors’ offerings. Actually, being important with valued benefits, distinctive, superior, preemptive, affordable and also profitable is a significant potential for differentiation. Moreover, we can find Almaza beer in many different places, not only in supermarkets but also in small markets in any local regions whether in a Lebanese village or in the major cities such as Beirut, Tripoli or Sour. Almaza do cover and reach successfully many segments. We can find it in Geant Casino, Bhv, Monopris and Spinneys etc... Or as mentioned above, it could be bought from small local shops near our
  6. 6. homes. Almaza has a competitive advantage over its competitors in the market in so many different and special ways; it has always been with a high level of quality! Therefore marketing managers at this firm are socially responsible because they still ensure serving the interests of the targeted markets as well as the company. We noticed in our firm tour the changes and continuous diffusion of innovation, of course a lot needs to be improved, yet Almaza is within the flow of new ideas. The renovation of the brewery includes a complete set of machineries such as; fermentation, tanks and bottling line. It is the only one still operating in Lebanon and it is certified under the label ISO 9002 for quality. Almaza can be found not only in Lebanon but also in: Canada, United States, England, France and the Gulf countries etc… 6) The customer: When the marketing manager was addressed with this following question: where are the users located and how do you reach them? He simply explained that users are being reached carefully in almost all desired regions; also the sales are made with no specified targeted places. But we suggested that following the company’s objectives and resources the firm must ask whether a potential segment has the required characteristics such assize, growth and profitability. It makes sense for Almaza to consider these before targeting, but we understood that they are the leaders and strong brand equity has already been existed long before. Almaza is currently using the full market coverage which attempts to serve all customer groups with all the products needed. Although they are the leaders we suggested them to do continuous feedback and evaluation of what is happening inside and outside the firm in order to strengthen the strategies. Significant changes are always required to reach the objectives and the mission of the firm. Advertising creativity as seen on billboards is a good example of Almaza reached many Lebanese in a humorous, fresh and desirable way. Why not advertising also on radios and investing in prosperous and promising products. Thus being quick, responsive and innovative are major things to be considered in order to target prospects and current customers. Moreover, people buy Almaza for many reasons; some buy it because their parents used to drink it on many occasions, others are used to drink it long before any imported beer
  7. 7. entered the local markets and finally, who doesn’t noticed the existence of Almaza bottle on any traditional Lebanese lunch or dinner? These well-known bottles as refreshments and joy are not only to the Lebanese but also to many foreigners; the marketing manager informed us that Almaza is definitely an impulse buying bottom of trolley to the overall loyal customers. The overall prices are quite satisfying to a lot of buyers; they seek to gain satisfaction while drinking this beer! 7) Distribution channel: Almaza uses all the different channels existed in the Lebanese market in order to reach all customers effectively without any delays or exceptions. These set of intermediaries perform a variety of functions, actually they help in an efficient manner to make Almaza bottles almost available and accessible to a wide variety of final users. They perform many different tasks ranging from gathering information, handling promotions, placing orders and facilitating physical possession etc… Almaza do have many alternatives, it merely uses the zero-level channel, off, on or the wholesale channels. It sells directly to its final customers; using its own trucks directly to the stores it wants them to shelve considerably its different bottles. Thus, this is the case of the “off” method, meaning that the company does not always depend on intermediaries but also on its own selling efforts. Almaza has already strong roots in the Lebanese market; its prices are not expensive comparing to the quality of taste it sells to all customers. We mean by the “on” channel, the case of using intermediaries, Mr. Mrad the marketing manager, told us that Almaza depends heavily on it wholesalers in order to distribute to the retailers, who in turn make sure that all places have their shelves full of Almaza products.
  8. 8. 8) Market research plan or usability testing: The marketing manager told us that Almaza after its products launch in the market, they use the test of “focus group” in order to assess and gain new ideas concerning its beer such as pricing, shelving and promotion. Focus group occurs when a moderator meets with the presence of a certain number of customers, for about 10 or 12; actually it depends on the product and the company. The moderator has the required skills that permit him to trigger the discussions among everybody; answers are assessed upon specified standards set by the company. Of course, many data are learned during this meeting and these help to make the necessary corrective actions whether in the product or the strategies. As it has been told, the prices are acceptable by most people because they are not expensive. We advised the manager to use some other research plan or tests in order to be more efficient such as surveys and questionnaires, these could be eligible on line for quick replies or within the supermarkets where many customers come and buy Almaza. Live interviews can be annoying and biased or sometimes the customer does not reply honestly. However, any method can be extremely helpful to gain credible information that can support the changes if needed. Lastly, Almaza is a leader in the Lebanese market it doesn’t have to joint with any firm but at least it can continuously improve its internal process, strategies and machineries. Also, training its employees and teaching them how to be more efficient in producing always the high quality beer, as promised in the company’s mission to all its stakeholders. 9) Opportunity analysis, financial & marketing objectives: Almaza is proud today to be a real competitive beverage in the Lebanese market comparing to the imported ones from other foreign countries. Actually, its prices are lower then other beers and it has a high quality of taste, light bitterness that stimulates the appetite, carbon dioxide that helps digestion, vitamins and minerals etc… and many other benefits are found in each bottle, its really amazing that Almaza could offer a bundle of
  9. 9. benefits with a well-studied prices which are really affordable and suitable to many customers. Almaza is always fresh and its expiry date is good enough to last, also this firm has now important opportunities that allowed it to merge with other significant international firms such as Heineken beer. Its image today is high in the market because it is really putting a lot of efforts to remain not only the leader but to stretch its resources as much as it can to become more competitive worldwide. Almaza today is making a lot of profits, but due to secrecy and confidentiality we couldn’t get the exact values, but we have been told that its main goal is to increase even more its profits in the long-run. Moreover, boost its market share and availability as much as possible. Already, Almaza obtained the best rating (3.9/5) compared to all imported beers to Lebanon. This rating was quoted in the “beer lover’s rating guide” (over 1,200 beer brands) which was published in 1995 & 2000 by Bob Klein in the United State 10) Marketing Tactics or Action Programs: Estimated Program Scheduled Date(s) Cost Advertising/Media 1st of March $900,000 Merchandising 1st of March $100,000 Web Marketing update at same time Minimal Promotions No Promotions Depending on which target to Sales Incentives reach Sales Support Material New SKU catalogs $5,000 Special Offers No Up Sell/Cross Sell Seasonal Pricing Strategy No
  10. 10. 11) Advertising: “Almaza”, through its strategy of maintaining a good communication with its target market uses advertising which is an effective tool to achieve its objectives. On the 1st of March, Almaza will launch a new advertising Campaign. This suitable media should be useful in order to reach its target audience. The media used is both ATL and BTL and the programs will be on the peak time to reach the biggest number of audience. Almaza was hiring full service advertising agency for the past two years and this year Almaza should renew its contract with the agency since their previous advertising was successful in reflecting the image of Almaza among the Lebanese. They should maintain their image and stress on “Lebanese Production Factor” as usual as the Unique Selling Preposition. They are also introducing new products in the market, thus, this should also take a part of their campaign. Launching flavored beer is something that can be used to trigger trial and increase sales and here start the role of creative advertising to enhance the tasty flavors and encourage consumers to buy the new flavors of Almaza beer. Note: A budget of $900,000 will be allocated for the campaign. After the plant visit of Almaza factory in Beirut, we had some insights about merchandizing that will take place at the same time of the advertising campaign, thus, another $100,000 will be allocated for this task. Day after day, the internet is entering the Lebanese homes and its usage is increasing. Nowadays, this used tool is an important medium that can be updated gradually, thus, this way of communication can reach more potential consumers. The web marketing should be practiced carefully and used during the advertising campaign as part of the IMC campaign that includes advertising, public relations, web marketing, and sales promotion. Launching a dynamic website, sending mass mails, advertise in selected websites can all target these new generation that are spending hours serving the internet.
  11. 11. The Marketing Department of Almaza told us that there will not be any sales promotions during this campaign and this is probably because of the decrease of revenues by 14% from the next year. Sales incentives are only possible in B2B (Business to Business) model. Incentives should be given for Distributors, Retailers, and Merchandisers. These incentives take a good distribution and filling out the stock of retailers with Almaza, thus, improving shelf position and increase market share relatively. Sales Support Material should be given as refrigerators, especially for the “geraba mbawzeh” campaign. Almaza is also a seasonal product. It was affected a lot by ups and downs in seasonal change. It sales more in summer time, that’s why its advertising campaign starts in March. Here we have an opportunity to work on the positioning of Almaza to be also consumed in winter and fall seasons. There is no change in the pricing strategy for the next season. And we agree on this strategy, because the price of Almaza was always affordable for more than 90% of the Lebanese population and this price serves the mission of the brand of being a mass product; available for every one. 12) Measures of Success: The information collected from the marketing department of Almaza showed us a sample of their way of measuring their success. They reported to us that they use the following instruments to measure their success: • Focus Groups: It’s a part of market research aiming to know about the image of “Almaza” in the mind of consumers. And to know about some technical and chemical problems. • Market Follow Ups.
  12. 12. • On Shelves Indicators: how frequent the products are sold from the shelves, are the shelves attractive enough for the items to be sold? What is the quantity sold on shelves? • Sales tracking through a period of time: measuring success is related to the sales tracking. If the sales are increasing it means we are near success, and vise versa. How a period of time can affect the sales (Christmas for example)? Were we selling enough in Christmas? Is our market share constant? 13) Projected Profit and Loss: The information about profits and losses are not enough, but what we know from the marketing department is that they earn 15% profit as a margin. Actually, the marketing manager couldn’t avoid us with details about revenues and costs due to the confidentiality sworn to the company that of course he can never break. But, he told us that costs are well studied in turn not to be beyond the projected values, and as for the revenues they do cover an acceptable percentage of the total sales. 14) Controls: Almaza always undertake internally management meetings in order to review and assess the progress of the products over a certain period of time. The market situation, the shares and everything related to the key success factors of its beers. Almaza is aware of the economic situation in Lebanon and tries to keep up with the sudden changes that might occur whether expected or not. Well in case of a war or recession, Almaza’s personnel go through the process of a direct brainstorming in a way to find quick solutions that might help, for instance, many schedules are made to find other markets as well as other indicators, like escaping from big supermarkets towards small shops and mini-markets. That way they can diminish losses as much as possible and still reach customers near
  13. 13. their homes. Almaza is used to such circumstances and it can still operate in bad conditions due to its fast actions and well-defined strategies internally. It has a strong staff working all together for the sake of Almaza; actually they always try to find the best alternatives and the quickest decisions at the right time. 15) Conclusion: Our group really enjoyed working this Marketing Plan, especially with “Almaza” a well known beer company for its superior quality and taste. We found it an amazing experience and opportunity to discover what is behind that brewery, thus, the tour we had the chance to take internally was extremely significant in order to check the progress and high-tech that is started to be integrated in the company. Of course, it still needs a lot of endeavor to reach a higher level of technology, but we are proud as Lebanese to see how an old firm founded in 1933 can develop quickly and reach today’s level. It sells in foreign countries and merged with foreigners in turn to be more efficient and modern. Moreover, Almaza is still Lebanese and know for its finer taste and image in almost most customers mind. We learned also a lot from the discussions made with the production, sales and marketing managers, and they seemed interested to share with us our ideas and suggestions mentioned in the following plan. Finally, we thank each one who helped us achieve this plan gradually in an efficient and simple way.