Promotional Campaign Project
This promotional campaign project will give you the opportunity and responsibility to develop a professional advertising campaign for a product of your choice. The campaign will be completed in two phases that will be handed in for review and suggestions during the semester. The entire campaign will be due on the last class period. You will work with 2-3 classmates and each group will prepare a written report and brief presentation during the semester. Peer evaluations will be given out after phase one and at the end of the semester.
The promotional campaign should span a one year time period. You should recommend a budget for the campaign that will be optimal in order to satisfy your objectives.
Preliminary Research Needed
Each group will conduct secondary research to gain an understanding of industry trends and the product category, the market (and how it is segmented), competition, the potential target audiences, and their decision making process. You will be able to access a variety of secondary sources on line and through the UMASS library.
Some recommended sources include:
This site includes resources compiled by Mike Davis, our
Business Reference Librarian. This is a great place to start.
- Simmons Study of Media and Markets (1994) – demographics
- Lifestyle Market Analyst (psychographic information)
- Encyclopedia of American Industries (trends)
- Standard Rates and Data
- Marketers Guide to Media
- Internet/Web sites of your company and competitors
- Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns
In addition, if you are not able to obtain secondary information on your potential target audience and their decision-making behavior, you will want to conduct primary research of your own. This will involve data collection either through interviews, surveys, and/or focus groups.
During the campaign work phases when you are given time to meet with your group, I will be available to answer questions, provide feedback, and offer suggestions. Please use this group time wisely. Your participation in these group sessions will be reflected in your class participation grade and campaign grade. If you need additional help outside of class time, feel free to see me during my office hours or set up a special appointment. You can also address questions to me via email.
Length of the Campaign
Your entire campaign should not exceed 50 pages in length (including text, tables, references, and creative materials). This page limit will lead you to focus on the quality of your campaign and not on the number of pages you write. You may find it useful to summarize some of the information gathered in your Situational Analysis in charts or tables to enhance the organization and clarity of your campaign. A couple of charts may save you several pages of writing. Charts or tables may also be used in the Situational Analysis, Marketing and
Promotional Plans and are necessary in the Media Plan. The text of the campaign should focus on interpreting the information you gather, on your strategies, and rationale.
The written campaign and presentation represents 30% of your course grade. It is expected that each group member will contribute equally to the project and presentation and receive the group’s project and presentation grades. Lack of participation on the part of a group member will significantly affect their grade. Participation is evaluated through the group activity reports and peer evaluations.
Grammar, Writing Style
Do not overlook the importance of your writing style and grammar in your campaign. Your grade will be based on your strategies as well as how you convey them. Good ideas get lost when they are difficult to read and understand. Poor grammar can significantly hurt your grade while good grammar can work in your favor. Since you will be working with two or three partners, be sure to read and correct each other’s work. If you are responsible for writing a section of the campaign, take the time to make it flow together (so that the campaign appears to have been written by the same person). Your grade is also based on your partners’ work – so work together. One or more members of the group should serve as editors. You should also consider using the services of the Writing Center here in the Isenberg School of Management. They have office hours throughout the week.
The most important aspect of your campaign development lies in your ability to:
- Develop and analyze the available research or other information you are able to gather
- Develop logical objectives and strategies
- Justify your objectives and strategies with information from your situational analysis
- Constantly link elements of the objectives, strategy, and tactics together so that you develop a logical unified campaign
- Properly target and position your product
- Express yourself clearly
The campaign represents a major portion of your course grade. Be sure to allocate an appropriate amount of time for the creation of a logical and effective campaign. Do not wait until the last minute to throw it all together – it will show up in your finished product.
Each phase of the project should be typed and handed in on the dates listed in your syllabus. Both phases should be turned in on the last day of class. If you would like your graded project returned to you, turn in a second copy of the project on the last day.
The deadlines are firm so plan ahead. Your time will go quickly.
PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN GUIDELINES
The overall goals of the situational analysis are to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the market (a SWOT analysis relative to SOM). Cite specific evidence from your research to support your conclusions. Be as thorough and specific as you can.
Examine a variety of situational factors in your analysis and include the following:
- Industry/Company Overview
Describe the industry in which your product competes, its size, growth, current trends and developments, and any key factors necessary for an understanding of the setting. Also provide a very brief history of the company, its product lines, sales history, target markets, current marketing mix and any other factors that make the company what it is today.
- Product Review
Describe the product or service that is the focus of your campaign. Include the product’s sales history, market share, strengths, weaknesses, key benefits, brand image, and other factors important for an understanding of the product’s or service’s performance and place among its category competitors.
- Competitive Review and your Competitive Advantage
Who is the competition? What images do they convey in their advertising and promotional materials and on their web site (if applicable) vs the image your product/service conveys? What do they promote as their distinctive competencies? Is there a difference between consumers’ perception of the competition and the way the competition is promoted (their positioning strategy)? From your perspective and the objective information you have evaluated, what are the actual competitive advantages of your product/service and that of the competition?
- Market Segmentation – Identify the various market segments. Consider the various methods of segmenting a market including demographics, psychographics, product benefits, usage patterns, buying behavior and decision-making
- Potential Target Audiences and User Profile – Who are the potential target audiences for this “product” or “service” (consider potential users, actual users, initiators, influencers, decision-makers, purchasers)? Develop a user profile that highlights the demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics of potential users.
- Consumer Decision Process – Describe how the consumer decision process works in this context. How is the decision made? Explain what factors would motivate this purchase, the search process, what attributes might be important at the alternative evaluation stage, the degree of problem solving, etc. What external factors might influence consumers’ decision making process for this product or service such as culture, subculture, social class and reference group? Who is the ultimate decision- maker and who are the influencers? What are the demographic, psychographic and behavioristic factors that influence the buying decision? Is buying behavior characterized by extended or limited problem solving? Is the product/brand a high involvement or low involvement purchase? What types of information needs do the potential target audiences have? What information sources do they presently use? In short, what are the key factors that influence buyer behavior for this product or service?
- Communications and Response Process for the Product
How would you classify the product or service you chose with respect to the classification used by the Foote, Cone & Belding planning model presented in Figure 5-8 in your book? What are the implications of this classification for planning your advertising and promotional program for your product or service?
Which of the response hierarchy models discussed in the chapter is most applicable for your product or service? Specify the various stages in the response process through which consumers will have to pass before purchasing your product or service.
MARKETING AND ADVERTISING PLAN
- Marketing Objectives – Specify marketing objectives for the campaign. Consider sales or market share objectives, and pricing, distribution, and promotional objectives.
- Target Audiences – Identify primary and secondary target audiences and justify with information presented in the situational analysis. Describe the demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics of your target audiences as much as possible. Your target audiences may be a subgroup from the user profile and/or a totally different group.
- Positioning Strategy – How will you position your product to your target audience(s)?
- Develop a positioning statement that highlights your product’s differential competitive advantage (and distinguishes your product from the competition).
- Develop a perceptual map depicting how your product is perceived relative to the competition on attributes considered most important by your target audience(s). Suggest how you want to position or reposition your product on this perceptual map. Support with information presented in your situational analysis
- Communication Objectives – Develop a realistic set of communication objectives consistent with the marketing objectives. State communication objectives in terms of the response hierarchy you identified earlier and relative to your target audience(s). Your objectives should be specific and measurable. Describe how your objectives have evolved from the marketing and promotional situational analysis you conducted for your product or service. Do your objectives satisfy the criteria specified by the DAGMAR model?
- Communications Mix – State the communication task ahead.
Describe your integrated marketing communications plan and how it will address the objectives you set. Recommend a plan that will allow you to efficiently and effectively achieve your marketing and communications objectives (recognizing that your client’s resources are not unlimited).
- Discuss some of the options you are considering for the three major communications variables of source, message, and channel or medium. Who will be the source or communicator for your advertising campaign and what is the rationale for this choice? What type of message are you considering using for your campaign? Will any of the message structures or types of appeals discussed in the chapter be relevant to your campaign? Analyze the various channels that might be used to communicate with your target audience and the likely effectiveness of each with respect to moving your target audience through the stages of the response hierarchy and to purchasing your product.
- What communications vehicles does your agency recommend to reach the target audience(s)? What vehicles will be most effective in reaching your target audience(s) and communicating the client’s message? Consider advertising, publicity (press releases), interactive media, direct marketing, sales promotion, personal selling, etc. Your recommendations might include enhancements to what the client is presently doing and/or totally new communications efforts. Justify your choice of communications vehicles for each target audience(s). Be sure to explain why the vehicles selected will be most effective and efficient in reaching the target audience(s). Describe which target audiences are being reached with each communications vehicle and the geographic reach of your recommended vehicles.
- Describe how your communications mix will meet your communications and marketing objectives. What is the message you will convey in each communication vehicle?
- Budget Recommendation – Recommend a budget to your client for the test markets you will enter or the national campaign you will run. Your budget should be based on a determination of what it will take to reach your marketing objectives and your proposed communications objectives (the objective and task method). Explain specifically how you arrived at your budget recommendation. Describe how you plan to allocate your budget to each communications vehicle and target audience and justify. How would you allocate the recommended budget over the life of the promotional campaign (a one year time frame)? Justify all of your strategies. As you recommend a budget, keep in mind that your client’s resources are not unlimited.
PROMOTIONAL CAMPAIGN GUIDELINES
- Creative Objectives – What are your message strategy objectives? Some common message strategies are promoting recall of the brand name, creating brand preference, invoking a particular type of direct response, creating a particular brand image, etc. Your objectives should be consistent with your marketing and communication objectives and positioning strategy.
- Creative Strategy
- Copy Platform – Develop a copy platform that contains the basic creative strategy for your advertising campaign. What is the advertising campaign theme you have chosen for your product or service? Describe your “Big Idea” and provide support for it. The big idea creates an identity, positions the brand, is distinctive, holds an audience’s interest, defines the look and feel of the brand, synthesizes product attributes and relates the value of the brand. Be sure that this follows from your positioning strategy.
- Describe the product features that will be emphasized in your promotions and the benefits your target audience will receive from these features. Be sure to convey both features and benefits in your promotions.
- Specify the advertising appeal and execution style that will be used to implement your ad campaign. Specify whether you plan on using a rational or emotional appeal or a combination of the two. What specific type of advertising execution technique will be used to present your appeal? Provide some rationale for the creative appeal and execution approach you plan to use. What specific tactical elements will be important in developing your print and broadcast message? Will the creative approach satisfy the guidelines discussed at the end of Chapter 9?
- What will your “slogan” be? Consider a short phrase that will help establish an image, position, or identity for the brand, and increase memorability.
- Describe the methods you will use to achieve your objectives.
Ex. Objective: Promote Brand Recall
Method: Repetition – repeating the brand name within the copy of all print communications including press releases, direct mail letter, the web site, etc.
- Prepare your creative examples to the best of your ability
1. Media Objectives
Describe your media objectives in terms of:
- Reach of your target audience(s)
- Frequency of exposure desired
- Continuity of your message (continuous, flighting, pulsing)
- Geographic scope of your promotions
2. Media Strategy
- Present your integrated marketing communications program including the primary media, secondary media, and promotional tools (sales promotion and publicity) you will use
- Specify specific vehicles (e.g. specific magazines, newspapers, TV stations or programs, radio stations, etc.)
- Describe your general approach to scheduling over the year. Draw up a monthly schedule of your reach, frequency, GRPs, and continuity over the year for each media.
- Indicate how your budget will be spent over the course of the year and monthly expenditures required to obtain your level of reach, frequency, and GRPs. Show your work so that I can see how you arrived at your figures.
- Show your proposed spending on each promotional vehicle for each month and over the course of the year. Again, show your work so that I can see how you arrived at your figures.
At the beginning of your written report, include a three page summary of your campaign. This summary should include a synopsis of your situational analysis, marketing and advertising plan, creative plan and media plan.