The following report is a marketing plan for Sony Ericson Mobile in Australia for the 2012-2013 financial year. The Sony Ericson brand continues to grow in unpopularity after several years of underperformance. This has occurred due to Sony Ericson trying desperately to hold onto its premium brand image that comes with a high cost and not focusing its resources on finding the right target market that suites its technology and innovation. The marketing plan will focus on the mobile market and critically analyse this market in Australia.
Also analysing Sony Ericson as a company, as well as its competitors, customers and SWOT analysis. Sony Ericson has missed a critical market that its innovative technology would fit perfectly with. This report will argue that by incorporating the tween market through this marketing plan Sony Ericson will be able to stop the growth in unpopularity that it has created over the last few years.
In this report the Sony xperaplay smart phone will be critically analysed in terms of its market segmentation, current objectives, the market it targets, Sony occupies an irreplaceable position in the gaming world, and its subsidiary, Sony Ericsson, also has strong competitiveness in the mobile phone industry. Sony combined mobile techniques with their own gaming technology, which created the Sony Ericson Xperia Play.
Xperia Play is a mobile phone with incredible game function which is targeted at young adults and gamers, and has a good reputation within the customers. The marketing strategy that was implemented has directly targeted a specific market, young adults. As a result of this it has made the product have a fairly subjective target market which Sony can seek to increase potential target market by repositioning the Xpera Play phone towards a younger audience. This campaign will reposition it to focus on tweens.
Sony Ericson currently targets older teenagers through to young adults for its mobile phone. But it seems that the mobile phone is lost within this market as the market share the xperiaplay holds compared to many other smart phones in this market is very small, Even thou Sony Ericson is a well known and well respected brand. The drop is caused due to the fact that Sony have been targeting the wrong market. Company Analysis
The marketing decision makers for Sony Ericson are the Senior Brand Marketing Manager. Sony Ericson has not been consistent in promotional activities for its mobile phones. Mostly the brand focuses on trying to hold its premium image with marketing mostly focusing on its premium range of smart phones. This has reflected in its sales, it has made consecutive losses since 2010. The most likely reason for its lack of successful campaigns is the lack of resources dedicated to designing and implementing campaigns to attract the right target audience, which is why the company continues to make losses and lose market share. PESTL Analysis
Proposed legislation such as the carbon tax which will raise prices of shipping. Many businesses have had to raise the cost of their products to make a profit. Also this tax affects outlet stores in terms of electricity charges, which will again raise the prices of mobile phones as business tend to pass on the cost to consumers rather than bearing it themselves. Economic
While the global financial crisis has affected a plethora of industries, The Australian economy has remained relatively strong with per capita households spending an average of $40000 (CIA 2010). Despite this consumers have cut back on spending, specifically on items such as food, entertainment, clothing, cars and mobile phones. Ergo the economy is slowing down because consumers are not spending enough money; This affects the sales of mobile phones majority because consumers are not spending enough money on replacing or updating their mobile phones or on entertainment. Also another economic factor is the high Aussie dollar causes imports to be cheaper because countries such as china which manufacture the product have a low rate currency. This means that the companies are able to import more products for a lower price.
Recent consumer trends within the gaming product market are driving a new theme of product innovation. Today’s society tends to be busy and on-the-move and want to increase their leisure time at their own discretion. To meet the needs of consumers, companies are innovating gaming products making it more mobile. In addition the functionality of the multiplayer platform has created a whole new range of social aspects where consumers are able to interact with each other.
Technology can be utilized as an advantage within the industry as it provides the ability to design and create new products and expand or promote to specific target markets via interacting with consumers on an online basis. Technology has allowed the ability of online shopping as consumers are leaning towards this option as the most popular option of shopping. The internet has opened up a whole new market with the use of social media networks and websites companies can easily target a global target market. As the rate of technology is increasing consumers are able to communicate with each other on a social multiplayer platform where content may be purchased online and downloaded straight to their device.
Sony company has always been one of the main victims of the piracy in game industry. The characteristics of this phone are powerful game function, but it also made it easy to create pirating games. Compared with Sony’s genuine products, pirated products have a huge price advantage, the fact that they are mostly free, and this does attract a lot of people try to obtain these game products illegally, and that is the reason Sony has to use the Copyright law to protect their game products, so their game products can make a maximum profit Rating System for games is required, Users are able to download a lot of games to this phone through the network, according to the Rating System, which these games have to limit the players from downloading content not suited to their age. This is needed to protect kids from Violence and pornography.
Remains as a one of the kind device that could become a big hit Not many phones competing in the same category
Tactile buttons provide more immersive gaming experience
Delivering console quality games
Designed portable gaming in mind
Include a game pad with input controls and interface recognizable to hardcore gamers. Multi touch gadget powered by Android Gingerbread is one of best versions of Android OS…
Release of two more phones from the Xperia line during the same time Not many people buy just for gaming purposes
Touch screen gaming controls are not as responsive and precise Suffer key hardware limitations
Lacks 4G LTE, HDMI port
Touch sensitive circle are not as responsive and don’t replace the precision of actual joysticks Touch sensitive circles are just not as responsive as we would like, and do not replace actual joysticks. Android games don’t support the controller buttons
No backups for downloaded games/ purchased games
CPU AND GUP not the best
Display has poor viewing angles
No smart dialing and shutter key…
A new open market
Parent company Sony owns EA and many other gaming companies games can be adapted to be able to be played on the xperia Can earn a lot of revenue from game purchases and applications Better quality Games compared to other phones
Exceptional online experience to grow a customer base
Strong customer demand
High percentage of young adult market
High disposable income in rising market
Chain stores not wanting to stock a new niche mobile phone
independent stores not wanting to store Sony Ericsson phones Retail stores wanting bigger discounts to sell phone because of popularity of competitors models Competitor products such as iphone, htc, Motorola
Aussie dollar going back down
Retail stores having preferred suppliers or contracted with particular suppliers and having a non compete Competitors copying the innovation of PSP phone and supplying at a cheaper price Fully fledged gaming devices such as DS
Sony Ericson mission statement:
“To provide quality end to end communications services to both retail and small to medium corporate customers” and “To give them the most help we ever can in the most professional way”.
Maintain and increase sales in specific target market. Advance and open up new market for kids and teenagers. Increase the brand awareness among the target market; to measure this objective, the organization will conduct interviewer-led surveys in shopping centers or on the street every three months. Increase the brand share by 1% within two years, which will be confirmed by periodically checking the brand share chart for growth indication. Establish multi-channel retail practice, especially focusing on internet retail, to expand sales. Adapt and respond to the wide consumer needs of products.
Increase sales by 15% in first year.
Increase sales by 30% over three years.
Increase market share to 20% of the total target market segment within three years.
Set up feedback section for Xplay on website
Increasing Feedback questionnaire response rates
There are 100’s of companies which make thousands of mobiles phones. Which break down further into smart phones and non smart phones. This makes the mobile phone market very competitive. The average price of mobile phones in Australia range between $300 and $800. Sony Ericson phones tend to price in the premium range with their mobile phones ranging from 700 – 900 AUD, Which limits the retail segment for Sony Ericson even further. The main competitor for Sony Ericson is the Iphone, as it has the largest share market of any phone.
A selection of the primary target market competitors is found in table 1. A secondary group of target can be found in figure 1.They are secondary only because of they are not as used as the primary competitors and others do not compete in the mobile phone market but in the game market. These are still considered competitors due to the type of phones Sony Ericson make which has a heavy focus on gaming.
Iphone Alcatel Samsung Blackberry Nokia Amoi HTC Sonim LG Playstation Portable Motorola Nintendo DS
Sony Ericson currently is the only brand that is making a mobile phone combined with a portable gaming device. Sony Ericson mobile phones are made by Sony which is a multinational company owning many companies in many areas. Including gaming, Sony owns EA, one of the leading gaming brands in the world. Sony Ericson is one of the most well known mobile phone brands in the world. Sony Ericson has innovative designs and materials, which is appealing to the target market.
Even though the product is a smart phone, price is a major factor for the Australian consumer. The primary consumer is primarily young in age, and they demand value for money at a competitive price. The product must also fulfil their everyday needs. The other factors that are important to the consumer are quality, comfort, function, style, design, speed, image, status, power, and functionality, variety of apps and games and durability.
Target market Segmentation and Positioning
Profile market segments
People can purchase the Xperia play anywhere in the world. Entire Australia will be the target market for this product, but mainly focuses on the three biggest cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Xperica Play targets this product for Tweens age between 12 to 15. Generally young people do not have a high income they may have to persuade parents to purchase this product.
These days’ young people are experiencing a rapid lifestyle which leads them to save time including spending time to play games. The sales potential for this specific product is high as little kids enjoy playing video games and interact with their school friends.
Tweens (12 – 15)
The sales potential for this specific market is high as little kids enjoy playing video games and with this product they are able to interact with their school friends. Tweens will be able use the ability of pester power to allow their parents to purchase the Xperia Play for them. There for the price of the product may be moderate as they consumers parents have the income to pay for the expenses. There is also a large market share as tweens receive their first phone and they will be influenced by the video game functions.
Young Adults (16 – 25)
The sales potential is for this specific market is high as the age group has a moderate income and will be likely paying for their own expenses therefore they will be able to make their own decisions on what product to purchase. The cost structure can be moderate as they will have sufficient funds to pay for the Xperia Play. The Market share for this market is high as the consumers are able to purchase their own applications at their discretion.
The sales potential for this specific market is fairly low as the age group has inadequate time to pursue the leisure activity of gaming. Although this market may have greater income the phone may not have the functionality that this market is looking for. The competitive situation is not that good as this market may be looking for a product that provides better communication functions opposed to video game functions. Select Target Segments
Tweens of the ages of 12 – 15 tend to have a large amount of leisure time; the large majority enjoys new technology. The specific Target market locations will be in Australian located in the major cities. The use of Pester Power amongst tweens may persuade parents to purchase this product increasing total sales. Tweens tend to be more social, opposed to older generations because they have more free time available, Tweens have the opportunity to react with each other, and this can be an opportunity to allow the consumers to utilize the multiplayer functions leading to multiple purchases by peers increasing the total revenue.
Xperia play will attract the target market with the phones functionalities, lower price range as the target may have lower income, social benefits and essentially the video games. After careful analysis and evaluation, the target market segment chosen will offer the greatest potential for the product and consumers. It provides maximum sales potential increasing the sales revenue and total market share, and will have a competitive advantage within the young audience. Positioning
The Sony Xperia play will undertake a market positioning strategy where the target market will perceive a valuable offering in relation to competitors. The experience that the Xperia can provide is of a fun nature opposed to a professional business nature as a fundamental aspect is the slide out gaming functionality. The phone has a very innovative design and functions; the price of the phone will be of a moderate price as the target market chosen tend to go for the cheaper options. Although the price of the mobile phone may not be expensive, a high quality must be met as customer generated media can play a vital role in the decision making process of consumers.
The service that will be provided is comprehensive; it has a specific market where owners of an Xperia Play are able to purchase and download various games and applications which will be of high convenience in regards to the user’s discretion. Following these set of attributes will help position the Xperia play to the assigned target market and provide a competitive advantage in relation to other products. The target market segments will perceive this product as the dominant offering.
Xperia Play is a gaming mobile phone with incredible function which is targeted at young adults (age 12 to 15) and gamers. The phone has a very innovative design and functions; the price of the phone will be of a moderate price as the target market chosen tend to go for the cheaper options. Brand name highly impact on the target market due to the variety of good quality related with technology. Sony’s slogan is meant to make people smile, so it tried to design mobiles like Xperia Play to deliver the Sony’s purpose. Sony encourages their customers to buy this mobile phone by giving guarantee for their high quality products. Place
Mobile phones will be sold through online retail stores, big Australian retail stores such as JB HIFI, etc, as well as smaller retail stores, Telco’s such as Telstra, Optus etc online store as well as retail stores, Stores specializing in mobile phones such as crazy johns, all phones etc, Sony Ericson’s own retail stores and its online website, department stores and Technology stores.
The opportunity exists to expand the distribution network in all areas listed. However the main outlets to target are Telco’s as this is the first stop where consumers go to buy mobile phones, the second would be bigger retail stores such as JB HIFI as they have a larger customer base and the ability to attract more customers, the third main outlet to target would be specialized mobile phone stores such as crazy johns and all phones as they constantly are advertising and attracting new customers as their main focus is mobile devices, these outlets must be targeted throughout Australia.
A selection distribution policy will be undertaken for the Sony Ericson mobile phone range, the main focus will be on customers mainly tweens who have not owned a smart phone before and are upgrading to one, but the priority will remain with tweens who enjoy gaming. Price
The Sony Xperia play phone ensures that a high standard of quality is present whilst having an appropriate selling price that is both beneficial for the company and contains a positive perceived value towards the customers. The mobile phone will be introduced through mobile phone service companies and their plans with additional costs, such as Telstra, Vodafone, Optus etc, and will provide a range of packages and discounts to create a satisfying option for the consumers. As consumers are aware of various other phones and deals that are arising within the market a mid-to-low price range that is competitive in relation to other phones will be evident, as it also relates to the target market of tweens.
In addition various pricing policies will be needed according to different functionality of the device such as memory which can relate to a variety of customer’s needs. The price that is chosen will allow the company to maximize their benefits as well as customer satisfaction, the price may be reduced to allow for a competitive advantage and the revenue will be received through the use of the phones applications and video games designed specifically for the phone that may be purchased on the online market. Promotion
The phone appears on Sony Ericsson’s official website as well as some mobile phone retailers’ Web sites, so re-set up a special introduction is necessary, set up some special entertainment features on the official website of the Xperia play, such as virtual phone system experience, the online game demos, in order to improve user interaction. Television
Xperia play will spend $100,000 on television advertisements during peak times where tweens would be watching TV, this is justified as tweens spend on average about 35% of their time watching television, The time that is most suitable is before and after school, on such television channels featuring cartoons and such television shows such as The Shak, Total Girl, Toasted TV etc. The advertisement will be relative to the target market as they are presented during the specific time. Printed Media
Xperia play will be promoted through magazines considering that tweens are the second largest market for magazines having a market share of 50%. Magazines such as K-zone, total girl, KIDS, M.A.D. will be sold with vouchers for the Play station network. When purchasing these particular style of magazines usually they customer will receive promotional items, therefore there will be available game demos within the magazine.
Various imagery of posters will be placed on public transport on specific bus routes located around the streets of primary schools. This will allow maximum awareness throughout the target market of tweens as they will be exposed to the media on buses trains and bus stops.
Official website and Forums
Gaming forums are popular amongst tweens due to the fact that they can provide information regarding the video games such as hints, cheats and walkthrough guides. The Xperia Play will be implemented throughout these particular websites containing imagery and videos related to the xperia play and contain various reviews. Consumers will be able to gain information about the xperia play and its applications, registered accounts will also receive weekly emails offering a range of discounts and download vouchers Evaluation and Control –
Campaign evaluation is a critical component of the plan as is the justification for the overall effectiveness of the campaign in the core areas. There are a range of factors that can determine the effectiveness of a marketing plan as shown in figure 3, such as: Brand awareness – this will be achieved through surveys of the awareness of mobile phone brands on consumers Consumer attitudes – this can be achieved through surveys done on the general public in regards to Sony Ericson and if they’re brand is a good or bad brand. Test promotion activities – this can be achieved through evaluating if sales are on an upward trend as well as brand awareness since the launch of the plan
Review marketing mix – this can be achieved through evaluating sales and profit to see if they have gone up, it means the marketing mix is effective Sales review – this can be achieved through evaluating sales to see if they have gone up, it means the marketing mix is effective Profit review – this can be achieved through evaluating profit to see if they have gone up, it means the marketing mix is effective Review company objectives reviews – this can be achieved through evaluating the entire marketing plan to see if it has been effective in achieving the original objective if not it has to be altered. Market share – this will be achieved through surveys on websites such as Facebook etc. of what brand of mobile phone individuals own. Figure 3
The marketing team will approach various kids’ magazines and the Sunday mail. Websites The Management team will contact various gaming websites in order to promote the product throughout their sites The website development team will edit the website to allow consumers to gain relative information. Public Transport
The Marketing team will contact Translink in order to allow the approval of promotional items suitable posters will be placed at public transport areas Television advertisement The Marketing team will gather various information on the most appropriate times to view advertisements for the specific product, it will allow maximum brand awareness to the target market Bundle Pack
The Management team will contact various mobile phone service companies and give acknowledgement of specific offers In store Testing The Management team will ship out testing devices to mobile phone service companies so that consumers are able to experience the device Evaluate campaign The main managers and CEO will go through intense analysis of the situation to evaluation every aspect of the marketing plan in order to provide additional help where needed to ensure that the objectives are met by the deadline.
This report set outs the marketing plan for the Sony Xperia play mobile phone in Australia. As outlined in the report, the target market consists of the target market of tweens that are aged from 12 to 15. The sales objective was to increase sales by 15% within the first year and 30% within three years and increases the market share by 20% over three years. The main marketing objectives are to main and increase sales within the specific target market of tweens and increase the total brand awareness. Essentially the Xperia play will be reposition to adapt and respond to a wide consumer need of products. Promotion activities will include magazine, newspaper, websites, Public Transport areas, Television advertisements and mobile phone bundle packs
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