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California Milk Advisory Board Marketing Case Study

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Updated: May 10th, 2020

The Situation

California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) was concerned with the collection of milk from farmers, processing, and marketing various products of milk. Though initially, the functions of the board went on smoothly, there came a time when the consumption of milk and its products started declining while production was increasing. This meant that there was a lot of milk that remained unsold leading to an increto ase in losses. If this trend were to continue for long, the board would make major losses and farmers would pull out. Moreover, there was increased competition from other firms outside California who were major suppliers of milk and milk products in California. As a result, CMAB was faced with a tricky situation because they had to ensure that they increase the consumption of their products by the people of California (Greenwald, 2012).

This was not supposed to be a short term mission but rather a long term agenda. The board set to achieve this through increased advertisan ement so as to make the customers loyal to products of CMAB. The main idea was to makethe consumers regard products of the board as the only original products in the market. In this way, they hoped to increase their market share and also increase their profits.

Marketing Environment

California had the highest per capita consumption of cheese in the country. The people of California liked cheese. This means that there was a high potential of selling cheese in California. It was, therefore, the duty of CMAB to take advantage of this high appetite for cheese. Besides, the rate of population increase in California was very high. Arguably, the largest contribution to this population increase was coming from Hispanics. It should be noted that Hispanics are known for their huge consumption of cheese. This meant increase in demand for cheese. As population of an area increases, so does consumption of every product and this means increased business.

On average, the target market of CMAB which was comprised of women below the age of 54 had higher income levels compared to other regions. Consequently, not only did this group of people have the urge to buy milk products especially cheese, but they also had the ability. In any society, men have higher incomes on average than women. It should be assumed that the general income level of Californians’ was high (Greenwald, 2012). Given the advanced economic ability of the people of California, their consumption would be high and this meant increased opportunity for CMAB to market its products. Similarly, there were good marketing channels in place to enhance sells of CMAB. Retail stores as well as other outlets were well established. In addition, people were aware of where to get the cheese and all that CMAB had to do is increase brand loyalty among the consumers.


The major problem that was facing CMAB is that the state was importing most of the cheese consumed. Notably, a very minimal proportion of natural American cheese consumed in California was supplied by locals. The crux of the matter was that all the processed cheese was supplied from outside the state. This was a problem to the CMAB. They had to change the idea and make the local people believe in the locally produced cheese. On the other hand, CMAB had no competition locally because all the milk producers of California are members (Greenwald, 2012). Therefore, it had no problem dealing with the locals to believe in there slogan. Nevertheless, different manufacturers had their own labels and this was confusing

Marketing and Advertising Objectives

CMAB had its work cut out. The main objectives were to increase the consumption of locally produced cheese among the local community. This was not an easy task to accomplish given that external competition was stiff. However, the main strategy that CMAB used was to make the Real California Cheese (RCC) a brand of the state. They rolled out a plan that was aimed at rallying all Californians behind the locally produced cheese. By selling RCC as the only natural and better cheese, CMAB aimed at increasing brand loyalty and thus sales. Secondly, the marketing plan of CMAB involved increasing not only the sales, but also the profit. CMAB discovered that selling cheese brought higher income compared to other milk products. Therefore, CMAB aimed at increasing advertisement of cheese and also increasing the production of cheese in relation to other milk products (Greenwald, 2012). Notably, the aim of any organization is to make high profits and thus expand.

Arguably, the other objective of CMAB was to increase the amount of RCC in the shelves of any outlet. Increasing the willingness of shop owners to stock their shops with RCC would translate to increased sales. They included food store and various institutions in their plan. This was why their advertisements were tailored to educate people living in California the importance of consuming RCC. Moreover, CMAB aimed at taking advantage of the high rate at which consumption of cheese was increasing. The marketing strategy was not only aimed at the local market, but also at other regions outside the state of California (Greenwald, 2012). This was because CMAB had been notified that transportation of cheese was economical. There was opportunity of increasing sales in other regions and CMAB was going to take advantage of this.

Competitive Position Statement

The main challenge to CMAB sales came from manufacturers outside the state of California. These manufacturers had taken a large share of the market and CMAB was actually struggling to survive. Its market share was minimal compared to other manufacturers. Something had to be done in order to change this scenario. They came up with a competitive statement. To begin with, they realized that they had one competitive advantage over all other suppliers. They were the only suppliers who got all their products from local producers (Greenwald, 2012). Consequently, they chose to maximize on that fact. There campaign statement was, “Great cheese comes from happy cows. Happy cows come from California”. Most of its adverts depicted cows that were happily grazing in a serene environment.

This statement sent the information that only the locally produced cheese was the best in quality. All local dairy farmers were members of CMAB and there was no way the other suppliers could get the local milk. CMAB maximized on this weakness and promoted their products to the local people. It should be noted that many people are highly likely to identify themselves with their local products than imported ones. Therefore, the positioning statement was encouraging people to buy local products and thus develop their area.

Problems Addressed by Advertisement

CMAB was just a supplier of the products produced by the dairy farmers of California. Therefore, it marketed a collection of products from various manufacturers who had different brands. This was the main weakness of California manufacturers. They were competing among themselves indirectly without their knowledge. Each customer had to make a choice of which brand to buy (Greenwald, 2012). There was no unique brand that could be identified as being the brand of California.

The lack of commonality among local cheese was a big blow to marketing strategies. This was the problem that the advertisement campaign set to address. The creation of the RCC Seal was the first step towards having a Californian brand. The second and most important step was to get people believe in the brand. The indirect competition among local producers had to be eliminated through rallying people behind the RCC seal.

Integrated Marketing Communication Strategies

CMAB had one priority in its campaigns, to make people believe that quality cheese in California was only the locally produced cheese. The first strategy was the commercial advertisements that depicted California cows as being happy through the discussions that they held. This was meant to send a message that Californian cheese was the best in the market. These adverts were meant to create emotional attachment to the locally produced cheese. On the same note, the adverts on radio had cows talking to each other thus complimenting the television commercials (Greenwald, 2012). There were also billboards and bus adverts which were used to complement the audio adverts.

The other strategy employed was using the outlets to advertise RCC among consumers. Various retail outlets, food stores, and other institutions were given coupons and leaflets to give to customers (Greenwald, 2012). Various promotions that were conducted by CMAB also helped in selling the idea that RCC was original and of high quality. Being present at trade shows was also crucial in sending communications to the public.


Greenwald, M. (2012). . Web.

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1. IvyPanda. "California Milk Advisory Board Marketing." May 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/california-milk-advisory-board-marketing/.


IvyPanda. "California Milk Advisory Board Marketing." May 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/california-milk-advisory-board-marketing/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "California Milk Advisory Board Marketing." May 10, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/california-milk-advisory-board-marketing/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'California Milk Advisory Board Marketing'. 10 May.

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