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Companies pass information to markets through promotion and receive information from them through feedback. Through promotion, a company unleashes stimuli and supplies the marketplace or components of the marketing network with informative and persuasive messages in order to stimulate, reinforce, or modify behavior. At he end of 2007, Guinness, a UK based company, launched a new advertising campaign, “Tipping Point”. The aim of this campaign is to attract new customers and increase Guinness’s sales during autumn and winter periods. This advertising campaign is the most expensive one for Guinness with a budget of £10m.
Specific of Industry
UK brewing industry is marked by increased competition and specification. The keenly competitive environment increases in intensity. Companies like Guinness, and its competitors the Wood Brewery, Shropshire, Itchen Valley Brewery, Hampshire, Hesket Newmarket, Cumbria, Ramsgate Brewery, Kent, are more likely to make fundamental and continuous corporate adjustments to the demands of shifting market environments.
Such factors as continued economic growth, increased disposable income, vigorous domestic and foreign competition, accelerating technology, automation, population decentralization, expansion, and innovation will spur the appearance of this new marketing form. “Strongly growing consumer demand for premium quality beers produced by local brewers is driving impressive volume growth, way in excess of beer volumes in total and those sold through the on-trade in particular” (Local Brewing Industry Report 2005). Although mass production has been hailed as the key to our high standard of living, a large part of the economic revolution has been the change in marketing. This change stems from the aggressive marketing activities and responsibilities adopted by management.
According to statistical results, “average sales volume growth is 12%.. 6 out of 10 respondents reported growth in excess of 10%.. Local brewers’ share of the cask-conditioned beer market continues to climb and has grown to more than 20%, up from 14% 2 years ago” (Local Brewing Industry Report 2005). To view market opportunity properly, Guinness develops its long-term perspectives in accordance with market changes and competition (Sirgy, 1998). Marketing communication is becoming a way of corporate life. Seen as a method of assuring growth and survival, innovation is becoming institutionalized. Newness is not merely a matter of haphazard discoveries and research, for a planned innovative cycle is put into effect (Schultz & Kitchen 1997).
Model of Campaign
In general, Guinness uses Marketing communication Mix in order to attract wide target audience and popularize its brand. It follows RABOSTIC model launching the new campaign. Research and analyses was based on market analysis and evaluation of the competition. Guinness’ marketing decisions and the composition of the marketing mix are affected directly and significantly by buyer behavior. In the UK, “The dynamic growth of small breweries is testament to the growing consumer appreciation of independently brewed, handcrafted beer, the quality of which is continually reaffirmed by success in renowned brewing competitions at home and abroad” (Local Brewing Industry Report 2005).
Consumers live and act in a constantly changing cultural, social, technological, legal, and economic environment. Shaped by the environment, marketing institutions and activities in turn have an impact on it. The standards and values that stem from the environment greatly influence consumer behavior, affecting purchasing and consumption activities, and the business organizations concerned. Consumption and purchasing are usually treated as separate and distinct activities.
However, from a systems perspective, and in the broadest and most realistic terms, the consumption process includes more than the actual use of goods and services and the activities of household consumers. It encompasses significant factors surrounding purchasing decisions and buyer behavior, the consumption of goods and services per se, and the setting in which they are consumed(Yeshin, 1999).
Actual and potential consumers are the basic component of markets and the hub of marketing action. That the consumer is king or that the consumer guides businesses is a tenet of a market system. Marketing endeavors to fuse consumer wants and needs with the operations of a business organization, which to survive and grow in a keenly competitive, ever changing environment, concerns itself with the mechanisms of corporate adjustment (Shimp, 2003; Tapp, 2001).
Guinness consumers do not appraise products on the basis of utilitarian functionality only, but are also concerned with the artistic and aesthetic qualities of products. Products are purchased on the basis of style, beauty, design, form, shape, and color as well as function and utility (Smith, 2002; Kaye, 1999), Unique taste and image of Guinness bear pervades every social and income stratum, and affects the type and quality of goods that will be purchased. Since consumers are often other-directed, they are concerned with what other group members think of them and their taste. A major change in mass taste has been noted, and is referred to as the cultural explosion. It emphasizes an increasing trend — the growth of culture on a mass basis (Pickton & Broderick 2001).
Massification in culture is a means of enriching consumer tastes (Brassington & Pettitt, 2003). It indicates both emerging marketing opportunities and a switch from functional criteria for purchases to a higher appreciation of the arts and sensibility of surroundings. A new advertising campaign developed by Guinness can be seen as the cultural explosion. Consumers seem to be well aware of the necessity of improving tastes and satisfying aesthetic and psychological needs. Perhaps a taste hierarchy exists complementing Maslow’s hierarchy of motives. First the functional, physiological, and safety aspects of products must be satisfied (Kitchen, 1999).
Once these functional standards and values are identified and incorporated into products, the symbolic, aesthetic, and cultural dimensions, which are more related to product visibility and symbolism, become important (Bulmer & Buchanan-Oliver 2004). They are reflected in consumer purchases, the application of better color sense, good style and design in the home, and a general upgrading of quality. These seem to indicate a “better life” and appreciation for aesthetics. In an economy of scarcity, consumers are generally more concerned with the intrinsic value or functionality of products (Beale 2007).
The Problem of Company
The main problem for Guinness is that tastes are not stable. Consumers are flexible, adaptive, and sensitive to change. They are mobiles in geographic and social terms and are optimistic about future income. Psychologically American consumers are geared to expect change. They anticipate and expect changes in automobiles, homes, refrigerators, and clothing very readily. They do not purchase items to last a lifetime, and products with long-lasting functional features do not necessarily represent either the best value or taste. Consumers are willing to discard products to satisfy psychological and sociological needs before the item has been totally consumed. Consumers want items that are currently attractive, but styled and designed to go out of fashion while functional utility is still embodied in the product. They wish to be “up to date.” Appearance is thus important, and even the most utilitarian items have been redesigned to meet changing tastes (Colyer, 2006).
The unique image and message of the new Guinness ad attracts millions of consumers around the UK. “It features a large-scale game of dominoes which moves on to include suitcases, oil drums, fridges and cars” (Beale 2007). This ad appeals to emotions of consumers and their imagination. The meaning of a communication varies and has implied, emotional, or evaluative meanings. It is erroneous, therefore, for advertisers to assume that their messages contain only denotative meaning and are explicit to all. Advertising performs the necessary functions of informing and persuading, which are both complementary and conflicting (Thomton, 2006). Consumers want it to guide their consumption decisions in an objective manner, whereas advertisers want it to achieve mass selling by aggregating mass demand so that mass production can be stabilized and supported.
Audience characteristics are also important for Guinness in determining what is communicated. People select what they watch or hear. The result is selective exposure followed by selective perception and retention. Communications that agree with predispositions are more likely to be heard than those that do not. This self-selection can be either deliberate or subconscious (Chitty et al 2006). As audiences also misinterpret messages by evading or misperceiving those that counter their predispositions, communications are most effective when they reinforce existing inclinations. Messages are interpreted or decoded and hence conditioned by the predispositions of potential consumers (Clow & Baack, 2002).
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The actual physical shape of a product, its color, or the choice of words in the promotion, condition the effectiveness of the communications. A giant glass appeal to imagination and resembles fairy tales images. It is possible to say that the product imagery is closely related to brand imagery, and brand names are often chosen to help elicit a desired product image. This ad “gives a subjective feeling (Griffin & Mcarthur 1997).
Advertising affects both costs and revenues; used effectively, it can increase sales and profits. It supplements and improves the effectiveness of other elements of the marketing mix, it alters the predisposition of potential purchasers, it provides information, and it gains brand loyalty, attracting customers and stimulating consumer desire and action (Kitchen, 1999). As a principal means of illuminating the attributes that differentiate a product, advertising is a competitive weapon that can secure a market niche and assure some stability in the marketplace by shaping demand curves, making them more inelastic, and extending markets.
From the consumer’s standpoint, advertising informs and persuades. It furnishes information, calls attention to some clues and not others, changes attitudes and opinions, relates products to consumer need, gives consumers support for their decisions, affects the intensity of desires, and thereby generates action (Fabb 2007).
Implementation of the marketing-management approach requires that all the business functions that bear directly on marketing be grouped under a single top executive. Covering the entire spectrum of the business, Guinness embraces pre-transaction activities such as product planning and development; transaction activities including selling, display, and advertising; and post-transaction activities such as delivery, warranties, and service. The responsibility for marketing management is usually delegated to a vice president or director of marketing (Kitchen, 1999).
Guinness advertising is supported by specified criteria for evaluating their effectiveness and by methods of control to assure their implementation. Although at best, marketing programs cannot be as precise as mathematical programs, they should set out in terms clear enough for marketing action, what is to be done, by whom, and when (Kitchen, 1999). Guinness allocates resource to lift activities above threshold or payoff levels. Marketing ingredients must be properly coordinated to achieve balance among them. Marketing activities must be channeled toward common objectives and conflicting objectives must be reconciled (Guinness Home Page 2008).
Motivation research helps Guinness to develop better means of communication between Guinness and its markets. The findings of motivation research have been successfully applied to the design of new products, advertising campaigns, packages, retail stores, sales promotion programs, and strategies (Guinness Home Page 2008). A distinction is often drawn between marketing research, which employs conventional techniques to find out and describe what has been going on (sometimes derogatorily referred to as “nose counting”), and motivation research, which utilizes psychological and depth tools to explain why people behave as they do in making purchases (Sirgy, 1998).
Since Guinness cannot control the personality of recipients, the environment in which messages are relayed, the environments surrounding responses, the group norms, and the relationships of individuals to groups, they have difficulty in assuring effective communications. Mass communication may essentially reinforce rather than change consumer attitudes and opinions. Such forces as group norms; interpersonal relations; the perception, retention, and selective exposure of individuals; and the impact of opinion leaders, are extremely influential (Sirgy, 1998).
In sum, advertising effectiveness itself is a multidimensional concept. It includes the effectiveness of advertising as contrasted with that of other factors in the marketing mix, with the effectiveness of different campaigns, with the effectiveness of various media, and with the effectiveness of different messages, which in turn is based on assessment of appeals, themes, copy, layout, headlines, size, frequency, and timing. Guinness campaign is effective because it covers its main target audiences and is based on unique brand image and message. Through feedback the marketplace and marketing network transmit information to Guinness.
Feedback provides useful information for the direction and control of promotion, and indicates adjustments that may be made in the media, form, message, and content of the communications, as well as in the other aspects of the marketing mix.
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