The Case Study
McCain Foods is a company that has its origins in Canada, and one that specializes in production of chips. The company is among the leading chip producers in the world with a market share of about 33% and presence in several continents. The business is built under the philosophy of good ethics. Consequently, the company’s marketing plan consists of conformity to high quality, transparency in dealings with customers, and good relationship with suppliers. The company is also mindful of the environmental impact of its activities. McCain Foods’ leadership recognizes the need for engaging in activities that foster corporate social responsibility.
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There are several international marketing aspects in this study. The first aspect touches on market environments in relation to McCain’s international presence. The company’s current market environment is mostly affected by its involvement in more than one stage of development. For instance, the company is involved in the production of potato seeds, transporting raw materials to factories, production, and distribution of finished products. Another concept that applies to this case study involves targeting in context of global markets (“McCain Foods,” 2017). In this case, McCain stands for ethical processes in relation to other competitors within the industry. In terms of the company’s global consumer culture positioning (GCCP), McCain Foods identifies as a symbol of healthy and affordable products.
One of the key lessons in this case study is that branding is an important aspect of any company’s marketing plan. In the case of McCain, the brand includes an image that communicates simplicity and straightforwardness. Sustainability is also an issue when it comes to coming up with a viable marketing mix for any product. This concept has been a key strategy for McCain for the few decades that the company has been in operation. Another key lesson in this case study involves supply-chain management. McCain’s strives for simplicity and efficiency in the management of its supply chain.
The Case Questions
The four Ps that make up the marketing mix include product, place, price, and promotion. Price is related to both the cost of production and profit margins while product has to do with the manner in which the final commodity is presented to the customer. Promotion addresses the vision that the company has for its product and place is about McCain’s positioning in regards to competition for market-share.
Within the Boston Matrix there are four product categories including stars, cash cows, question marks, and dogs. Cash cows are those products that have attained a certain status in the market such as McCain Oven Chips. Stars are products that are in a position to become cash cows such as McCain Micro Pizza. Question marks are products that are subject to a lot of uncertainty such as McCain’s curly fries. Dogs refer to products that are on their way out of the market.
McCain’s above the line promotional strategies have served to ensure that the big number of potential customers that ‘It’s All Good’. Henceforth, the customers have confidence with the company’s products. The company’s below-the-line promotion and sponsorships in popular events also serve a similar purpose.
Suggested below-the-line marketing strategies for McCain include; online coupons, on the counter discounts for random customers, and creation of a Smartphone application. Suggested above-the-line promotional strategies for the company include use of social media platforms and billboard advertisements.
Uncle Ben’s Rice
The Case Study
Uncle Ben’s is a company that primarily deals with rice. This case study begins by offering readers the history of rice as a global commodity. The case also delves into the nutritional value that comes with Uncle Ben’s rice. Eventually, the case outlines some of the marketing involvements of the company.
This case study touches on various aspects of international marketing including lateral marketing, cultural trends, and micro-segmentation of the target market. Lateral marketing involves the ‘who, why, what, how, and when’ factors in relation to Uncle Ben’s rice. Uncle Ben’s rice marketing plan also relies on important cultural trend in regards to history, traditions, health, and lifestyles (“Uncle Ben’s Rice,” 2017). Health is one of the most prominent health trends at the moment and it involves a full understanding of the nutritional, health, and other wellness aspects of consuming rice. This case study uses a great deal of micro-segmentation as it seeks to reach to several small niche markets all at once.
The key learning outcome in this case study is that the core purpose of a marketing plan is its ability to accomplish the set goals and objectives. This marketing plan seeks to reach new customers by appealing to their need for knowledge and it is effective in doing so. Another lesson in this case is that basing a marketing venture on the need to educate consumers is not a wholesome undertaking on all scenarios but it works for new product development (NPD). For example, a lot of important information is missing from this case study.
The Case Questions
Barriers to entry into the Irish market include lack of popularity for this particular product, lack of lifestyle accommodation, and lack of critical information regarding this product. NPD provides success for a new product because it appeals to customer’s curiosity and ensures there are no gaps in knowledge. Success when launching new products depends on a thorough understanding of customers’ needs. Barter System: A system of exchanging goods with other commodities other than money.
Patented process is a proprietary process of production that cannot be replicated by competitors. Staple food is the culturally and statistically accepted type of food within a certain region. Above-the-line activity seeks to appeal to individuals and not the masses when it comes to marketing. Complementary products are the products that can be marketed or consumed in connection with other popular commodities.
Week One: Leadership
Week one’s course touched on several aspects of leadership including its overall importance, if it is a learned concept, whether it is a natural trait, and its essence among other things. In the course of this topic, information about the impact of leadership became clearer as well as my overall understanding of this phenomenon. Leadership was also found to have several dimensions including strategic, caring, and sociability.
During this course on leadership, it became clear that although leaders have acted as apexes of civilization, their contributions are almost spontaneous. This factor indicates that leadership is mostly an innate contribution that is often inspired by external factors. Nevertheless, leaders are often easy to distinguish. Interestingly, the quality and outcome of leadership is a direct result of an acquired competency or a social phenomenon. For example, it would appear that Mandela’s long imprisonment and South Africa’s acquisition of independence combined to produce a great example of leadership.
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Leadership has henceforth been refined to fit into “what people want in a leader” (Last Name-Week Two Lecture, 2017). I have noticed that these desirable qualities are of great influence in teaching leadership. Furthermore, there is a sharp contrast between what the populous requires from leaders and the things that give leaders satisfaction. I would conclude that, conflicting interests are a major hindrance to fulfilling-leadership. I also observed that caring leadership is basically a concentration of energy from both the leader and the subjects towards a certain goal. The nine key areas of leadership offer various avenues for practical application of leadership.
Week Two: Marketing Plan
During week two, the practice of writing marketing plans was addressed. However, from the onset, the course made it clear that the purpose of any written plan is only realized if it is followed. I learnt that the process of writing a plan is as important as its contents. The basic structure of a marketing plan is not so different from that of a business plan save for some subtle differences (Last Name -Week Two Lecture, 2017).
I now understand that the standard structure of a marketing plan is to be followed because each aspect of this outline is of great importance, including its language and visuals. The example of the marketing plan that was used in class provided vital details about the process of writing the plan and its core components. Another relevant aspect of the sample plan is that it is as personal as it is formal. The marketing plan is meant to appeal to certain sensibilities among its readers. The segmentation of the marketing plan appeared tedious to me at first, but after practicing this skill, it became clear that these segments are meant to make the work easier.
When it came to the technical aspects of the business plan, it was clear that the language and visuals of a marketing plan achieve a lot of differentiation. For example, a figure in the middle of a narrative is effective in breaking the monotony and shifting information load. A well-presented marketing plan achieves half the intended purpose of this document.
Week Three: Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning
During the third week of studies, the lectures were concentrated on higher-level marketing strategies. In a bombshell, the course addressed targeting strategies, selection of targets, lateral marketing, and strategic positioning. The beginning of any strategizing venture involves addressing the complexities that apply to market structures. It was refreshing to be able to observe the market from a more wholesome perspective in regards to market complexities.
I understood the essence of segmentation in reference to customers and market factors. For instance, it is clear that the key to segmentation is to “identify gaps in the market for new product and service opportunities” (Last Name-Week Three Lecture, 2017). When it came to the criterion that is used for consumer segmentation, all the usual suspects came up except for the distinction between personality and lifestyle. Before this lesson, I would have not have understood the difference between personalities and lifestyles.
This lesson also introduced me to the concept of ‘cocooning’, whereby consumers are prioritizing on spending habits that make their primary residences better. I am aware that targeting is one of the most popular concepts in the age of social media marketing. Modern targeting seeks to make a tangible connection between products and consumers. However, in week three I encountered broader aspects of targeting including segment sizes, competition, anticipated growth, and compatibility with a company’s objectives. Therefore, I am now aware that selecting target markets is not just about demographics.
Last Name, First Initial. (2017). Week two lecture: Segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Web.
Last Name, First Initial. (2017). Week one lecture: The importance of leadership: Setting the stage. Web.
Last Name, First Initial. (2017). Week three lecture: Writing a marketing plan. Web.
McCain Foods: The marketing mix in the food industry. (2017). Web.
Uncle Ben’s Rice: Meeting lifestyle changes with nutritional food. (2017). Web.