1. Introduction The main limitation of this report is a strict word count, so some aspects will be described briefly. One more limitation is that due to time and word limits I should focus on only one broadcast media, and one sales promotion technique. The report starts with an overview of Volkswagen Company and its product – Volkswagen Polo. Then a brief description of the main target market of the product is provided. Next, the IMC mix elements for this product are shown. As a result, some recommendations are presented. For the purposes of the assignment the market was narrowed down to Russia only. 2. Brief background . 1 Volkswagen Company Volkswagen was established in 1930s. Now it is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers, based in Wolfsburg, Germany. It forms the core of the Volkswagen Group, which is the world’s fourth largest car producer after Toyota, Ford, and GM. The Group operates 44 manufacturing facilities in 12 countries in Europe and in a further six countries in America, Asia and Africa. A workforce of over 325,000 people all around the globe produces over 24,500 vehicles per working day, as well as providing vehicle-related services. The Volkswagen Group’s models are sold in more than 150 countries.
The Group consists of eight brands: Volkswagen, SEAT, Audi, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Bentley, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. The name Volkswagen means “people car” in German, and it absolutely justifies itself, because the aim of the Group is to offer attractive, safe, environmentally friendly vehicles which are competitive on increasingly tough markets and represent the global benchmark in their respective classes. 2. 2 Volkswagen Polo Volkswagen Polo was designed by Cruppo Bertone, an Italian car stylish and coach building house, which also manufactured cars. The Polo entered the supermini market in 1976.
First generation models of Volkswagen Polo were stylish and spacious three-door hatchbacks. This small car was strong seller in West Germany and most of the rest of Western Europe. [pic]Picture 1 – Volkswagen Polo 2007 Now it is sold in hatchback, saloon and estate variants in Europe and other markets worldwide. The Polo is a compact car, with a traditional transversely mounted engine and front-wheel drive. Current range of the Polos includes a variety of three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines. The current car (Mk4 and Mk4F) is available with either five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission.
The suspension system on all models uses a fully independent MacPherson strut front suspension, and a Twist-beam rear suspension. Most models use disc brakes at the front and rear drum brakes, although some recent models have all round disc brakes. In 2005, the Mk4F was face-lifted with new Volkswagen Passat-style headlights and tail lights, and a different hatch. The Mk4F was designed by Walter de’Silva. There are three models of current Volkswagen Polo: • The Cross Polo • The Polo BlueMotion • The Polo GTI Table 1 – Technical characteristics of VW Polo [pic]Engine[pic] |[pic]1. 6 litre, 3 cylinder/16V[pic] | |Transmission |MT (AT) | |[pic]Top speed[pic] |172 (168) km/h[pic] | |[pic]Fuel consumption (urban)[pic] |[pic]8. 6 (10. 2) l/100 km[pic] | [pic]Fuel consumption (extra-urban)[pic] |5. 2 (5. 9) l/100 km[pic] | |[pic]Fuel consumption (combined)[pic] |6. 5 (7. 5) l/100 km[pic] | |[pic]CO2 emission[pic] |[pic][pic]139 (178) g/km | |Weight |1023-1199 (1061-1238) kg | |Max. ermissible weight |1580 (1620) kg | |Luggage capacity (min. – max. ) |160 – 680 litres | |Tank capacity (approx. |45 litres | |Dimensions (L x W x H) |3920 x 1650 x 1470 mm | |Basic price |$18,175 | 2. 3 Consumer target market Volkswagen developed car that approaches to many climates. Car has heating and air – conditioner, therefore car may be used the whole year round. Also, there are many women who want to drive cars by themselves.
They want to be independent from men. Women want to have their own cars; therefore these cars should be made with women’s wishes. They do not want to have a powerful engine, but first of all women want inside comfort and, of cause; this car should have beautiful outward appearance. This car gives the best fit for women from 18 to 40 years. So, Volkswagen takes care of women. The stuff of company gave a present to women and made this car that has a very beautiful exterior. It is very comfortable inside. Polo has automatic transmission therefore women feel free of changing gears. . 4 The response hierarchy From Traditional response hierarchies the Hierarchy of effects (awareness/knowledge-liking/preference/conviction-action) best explains the consumer response process, because a car is the product of high involvement level and high perceived differences between brands. It’s obvious that everyone who wants to buy a car at the beginning looks up the information about several most likely objects (cognitive) and then compares them. Then she or he will choose the best one car, reasoning from individual’s preferences (affective) and buy it (behavioral). 2. 4. The Foote, Cone and Belding Grid As for Foot, Cone and Belding grid VW Polo is situated at the right side of the left upper quadrant, which corresponds the situation of high-involvement and consumer’s predominant perception is rational and logical (learn-feel-do). So our customer is the thinker. It entails a need of information, due to the product’s importance and associated with it mental action. VW Polo is expensive product of sizeable concern, having important technical features. So informational advertising should be specific and give detailed description of the car or of its advantages. . Positioning strategy On the official Volkswagen web-site you can read this message about the VW Polo – “Polo gives you a lot to feel confident about. Its robust engineering means you’re well protected wherever you are driving in the city or on the open road. Stylish, economical and enough leg room for 4 adults, it is a lot of car for a small price tax”. “The safest place to be”, “The tough enough”, “Built to protect”, “Extremely well built” – these are the main ideas of the recent advertising TV spots and advertising banners of the Volkswagen Polo at the streets, magazines and web-sites.
Because of this promotional mix, it is positioned as the compact, stylish, very safe, but for all that, inexpensive car. Volkswagen should emphasize that this car is the best in the world for women from 18 to 40 years. This is the main message that should be delivered to them. It best fits for women, who leads active life, has a family, is thrifty, and has her business. 4. IMC Objectives Product: Volkswagen Polo Time period: Twelve months (1 July 2008 – 30 June 2009) Basic sales objective: Increase the sales of Polo by 7% throughout the Russia. Objective 1: Create the awareness of Polo among 55% of target audience.
Start active advertisement in magazines (especially women magazines) and TV (which women frequently watch) within the Russia. The billboards should be practiced too. Picture 2 – Billboard says “Don’t used to give in? Polo doesn’t. ” Picture 3 – Billboard says “My Polovinka” (“Polovinka” means “a half”) Should be used through the whole period of campaign. Objective 2: Create interest in the brand among 55% of target audience. The message should contain Polo’s images and technical information (because our customer is thinker). As we want to attract women, we should show creative, funny, filling with confidence pictures.
The billboards should be placed in all cities, where the VW dealer centers are located. Should be used through the whole period of campaign. Objective 3: Create brand’s positive feelings among 30% of target audience. Provide extra information about the product. Show additional advantages that may stimulate the purchase. Show TV trailers, which show the safety of Polo. Show funny TV trailers that provide good mood. For example (http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=qf5-9SbnKXM, http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=9beQh1yH5uU, http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=ad4fagTyaM4)
Should be used only through the first eight mohths of campaign. Objective 4: Persuade 13% of target consumers have a trial of Polo. In the dealer-centers give a free opportunity for potential customers to trial Polo. Should be used through the whole period of campaign. Objective 5: Obtain the purchase of Polo among 5% of target audience. Develop a unique purchase conditions for every client. For example, “bring” an option like an inbuilt baby-seat for women, who have children. Or give a discount for women-students. Should be used until the end of campaign period.
Picture 4 – Inbuilt Polo’s child-seat 5. Integrated Marketing Communications mix The promotional mix consists of six elements: advertising, direct marketing, interactive/Internet marketing, sales promotion, publicity/PR, and personal selling. Each element of the promotional mix is viewed as an integrated marketing communications tool that plays a distinctive role in an IMC program. Each may take on a variety of forms. And each has certain advantages. For VW Polo I have chosen advertising, Internet marketing and PR as the elements of marketing communications strategy. 5. 1 Advertising
Advertising is often thought of as the paid, nonpersonal communication used in the promotion of a cause, idea, product, or service by an identified sponsor. The various advertising delivery methods include banners at sporting events, billboards, logos on clothing, magazines, newspapers, radio spots, and television commercials. Among the common forms of advertising are advocacy, comparative, cooperative, informational, institutional, persuasive, product, reminder, point-of-purchase, and specialty. TV-commercial, prints in magazines and billboards will be used as the components of Polo advertising.
One of the strongest media channels is TV and its main advantages are broad audience coverage and high level of awareness creation. Commercials shouldn’t be long and should be emotional appealing, because emotional appeal for women is very important. Constant advertisement on TV will be the tool to achieve the first three objectives: create awareness, create interest and positive feeling about the brand. Commercial should be more showed at TV channels, which women frequently watch. In Russia they are: TNT, CTC, and other.
Prints in magazines should have both emotional and informational messages. The advantage of printed ad is that potential customer can carefully familiarize with the message. Also the magazine ad is not expensive as TV ad. Billboards are very useful if the local dealer is situated in the city. The message can inform about new car models in the dealer-center, new services, and special offers. 5. 2 Internet marketing While the Internet is changing the ways companies design and implement their entire business and marketing strategies, it is also affecting their marketing communications program.
Millions of companies, ranging from large multinational corporations to small local businesses, have developed Web-sites to promote their products and services, by providing current and potential customers with information as well as to entertain and interact with them. The Internet is actually a multifaceted promotional tool. On one hand, it is an advertising medium as many companies advertize their products and services on the Web-sites of other companies and/or organizations or pay to link their banner ads or Web-sites to search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Yandex.
The Internet can also be viewed as a marketing communication tool in its own right as it is a medium that can be used to execure all of the elements of the promotional mix. (Belch & Belch 2007). Actually, Volswagen Company has its own Web-site, and every VW dealer has it too. www. volkswagen. com – International VW Web-site www. rosso-vw. ru – Irkutsk VW dealer Web-site. It has information about special discount actions, about the cars, which are in sight, contact information, and other. Also, you can sign up for car trial there (http://www. rosso-vw. ru/index. php? p=static&page=test_drive).
Internet marketing will be useful in achieving all of the objectives, except the objective #5. 5. 3 Public Relations Public relations have been described as building goodwill with a company’s various publics, including consumers. The overall goal of any public relations effort is to project a positive company image when dealing with such issues as community and government relations, employment practices, and environmental issues. Public relations efforts are extremely important for maintaining a company’s consumer base. Consumers must believe that they are buying from a caring, honest, and trustworthy company.
Negative media stories about, for example, exploiting workers or producing substandard products can do enormous damage to a company in the eyes of consumers. Erosion of a company’s client base is likely to result in both lost sales and lost market share. Volkswagen Company can strengthen its positive image participating in charitable actions. Local dealers, for example Rosso-motors in Irkutsk, can participate is city’s holidays, like The day of Irkutsk, or Spring subbothik (“subbotnik” means scavenging in the city, in which any person can take part).
Also, interviews with Rosso-motors staff can be published in local magazines, which women frequently read like “Beautiful people” and “Fortunato purse”, which are not expensive. The PR will help us to achieve objectives #1-3. 6. Achieving synergy through IMC elements Different components of the promotional mix are the tools for achieving company objectives. Each of these elements can be further divided into additional subcomponents or strategies. The majority of a company’s promotional resources are usually spent on these elements for a simple reason: Companies perceive these methods as the most effective means to promote their products.
Other specialized promotional techniques, however, are also used to enhance promotional objectives. The goal of researching the elements of proposed integrated marketing communications is to create a campaign that is effective across media platforms. When these elements are combined, they provide the greatest number of attention-getting, branded, and motivational moments. 6. 1 Broadcast media – Television Television is a powerful medium for appealing to mass audiences—it reaches people regardless of age, sex, income, or educational level. In addition, elevision offers sight and sound, and it makes dramatic and lifelike representations of people and products. Television will be used as one type of the broadcast media. Despite its expensiveness it is the best media with great customer appeal. As we have the car, it would be better shown it the motion, in colors, with light, remembering music. It’s better to know what TV channel usually watch and at what time. The main disadvantage of television as a broadcast medium is its price. Also, a lot of people don’t like to watch TV ad in the middle of their favorite movie or TV program, what can entail switching the channel or the sound off.
Television will help us to achieve the objectives that were set: awareness creation and interest increasing of the brand. Creating the creative strategy for broadcast media, it is important to choose the appropriate style and message appeal. In our case, as our potential customer is thinker,the ascent should be made on both informational and emotional appeals. As I am the representative of our target audience (woman-student of 20 years, who wants to buy a car), I think about what TV trailer I would like to see, which could awake my interest.
So, I arrived at an idea of this type of trailer. Tranquil and kind music is playing at the background. On the alternate shots different beautiful, young women appear. Each of them has a phone talk with her friend, who is also woman. Table 1 – Script for broadcast media for VW Polo |Shot |Offscreen voice (duration) | |[pic] |Finally, I found him… (2 sec. ) | |[pic] |He is so cute…(2 sec. | |[pic] |I know that I can rely on him, whatever happens… | | |(3 sec. ) | |[pic] |He accompanies me every day…(3 sec. ) | |[pic] |He is tough enough… (2 sec. ) | |[pic] |He is Polo. 2 sec. ) | |[pic] |Das Polo. (3 sec. ) | 6. 2 Sales promotion – Contest Sales promotion is an important component of overall marketing strategy, along with advertising, public relations, and personal selling. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines sales promotion as “media and nonmedia marketing pressure applied for a predetermined, limited period of time in order to stimulate trial, increase consumer demand, or improve product quality. But this definition does not capture all the elements of modern sales promotion. One should add that effective sales promotion increases the basic value of a product for a limited time and directly stimulates consumer purchasing, selling effectiveness, or the effort of the sales force. It can be used to inform, persuade, and remind target customers about the business and its marketing mix. Some common types of sales promotion include samples, coupons, sweepstakes, contests, in-store displays, trade shows, price-off deals, premiums, and rebates. For VW Polo I have chosen such type of sales promotion like car contest.
Many companies use contests to increase the sales of a product. As a reward for participating, consumers might win cash, free products, or vacations. With a contest, participants are required to demonstrate their driving skills. Contest entries are then reviewed by a panel of judges; the originator of the winning entry receives a prize, usually in the form of cash or a vacation. I suggest starting “The Polo Ladies Cup” in Russia. 7. Conclusions and recommendations This report presented an integrated marketing communications plan for the financial year 1 July 2008–30 June 2009 for Volkswagen Polo.
As it is just a student work and there is a strict word limit, some of the aspects were just briefly described. The theme of IMC planning is very interesting and also very big, and I tried to do my best. Actually, I think this report should have bigger word limit, so we can describe more types of promotional media. IMC planning is extremely important to all of the companies – from small local office to international holdings. Marketing objectives should be stated with SMART principle. The right synergy of marketing elements will give the best results in sales.
List of references 1. Belch, GE & Belch, MA 2007, Advertising and promotion: an integrated marketing communications perspective, 7th edn, Irwin, Homewood. 2. www. volkswagen. com, viewed 25 April 2008 3. www. rosso-vw. ru, viewed 28 May 2008 4. Encyclopedia of Public Health: Mass Media, viewed 27 May 2008 (www. answers. com/topic/mass-media? cat=biz-fin ) 5. Small Business Encyclopedia: Sales Promotion, viewed 27 May 2008 ( www. answers. com/topic/sales-promotion-2? cat=biz-fin) 6. Business Encyclopedia: Promotion, viewed 27 May 2008 (www. answers. om/topic/promotion) 7. Integrated Marketing Communications, viewed 27 May 2008 (www. nationmaster. com/encyclopedia/Integrated-Marketing-Communications#Identifying_Best_Marketing_Elements) 8. Creating an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan, viewed 27 May 2008 (www. rd-marketing. com/communications-plans. htm ) 9. vikorlov. com/port/news_1158320342-the-importance-of-implementing-an-integrated-marketing-plan-for-your-small-business. html , viewed 28 May 2008 10. Integrated marketing communications, viewed 27 May 2008 (mencyclopedia. narod. ru/i_text. html )