The main problem, as depicted within the case study, is the significantly low sales of Soren Chemical’s new product, Coracle. Since the sales of the new product were way below what Jen Moritz had anticipated, it is apparent that the new product had registered poor performance in the market. The company needs to employ effective market strategies through which it would increase the number of Coracle units, which would sold in the subsequent financial year. The growth of Coracle is apparently lower than its counterpart pool clarifier, Kailan MW. Moritz conviction that Coracle had a large potential market demonstrates that there is more that can be done to salvage the new product from market failure. The urgent challenge which Soren Chemical needed to overcome is to convince retailers that the product had the potential of significant growth in the market. It is only through this conviction that the company would be able to ensure that its new clarifier is shelved and presented to buyers.
The residential pool owners’ lack of knowledge, on how much they would save through the purchase Coracle, is another challenge which is faced by the company in its efforts of popularizing the new product. Coracle was already tailored to meet the specification of residential pools, but its resultant performance in the market did not improve adequately. It is the safety concerns which would be attributed to the low financial performance of the company. The clarifier market, within residential pools, is depicted as untapped. It is as a result of this that Coracle was refined, so that it would fit into this market. It is through innovativeness in the development process that Coracle was created for less frequent use and reduced bather loads. The fragmentation of the residential pool market depicts the significant opportunities therein. This is depicted by the reality that there were more residential than commercial pools within the US market. The variance in purchase behavior, between private and professional consumers of clarifiers, demonstrates the need for the company to change its marketing tactics for Coracle. The company also needed to overcome the competition from Kymera, Jackson laboratories and Keystone Chemicals.
The dilemma which faces Moritz depicts the role of effective decision making in overcoming the Coracle’s performance problem. The marketing plan, which was presented by Moritz, had not taken into consideration of the competitive market climate. It is as a result of this that the marketing efforts were faced with the dilemma of promoting Coracle within the market, which they had little understanding of, unlike the competitors who were conversant with the market. It is evident from the case study that the marketing challenge involved retailers, distributors and as well as consumers. Moritz indicates that they needed to align the market incentives with that of the competitors. This reveals that there was inadequate planning on how to provide better or superior incentives in order to attract the target market. More importantly, the company needed to work promptly before the peak for residential purchases of clarifiers was over. Persuasive Evidence/Argument
The poor performance by Coracle could be attributed to the fact that it is new in the market. Since the clarifier market is described as mature, a new product, such as Coracle, would inevitably meet challenges of attaining a competitive advantage, early in its introduction to the market. However the performance of Kailan MW, at its introduction to the market, was more impressive than Coracle. This reveals that there was inadequate awareness within the market about the functional benefits and the cost savings, which would result from the purchase and use of Coracle in clarification of residential pools. The marketing strategies, which were employed in the promotion of Coracle, are not specified within the case study. Nonetheless, on the basis of theoretical evidence, effective marketing communication approaches, such as integrated marketing, should have been employed by the company. This would have popularized the product and gained the attention of the buyers. It is through the utilization of market opportunities within the market that Soren Chemical would be able to become successful in the sale of its products. This supports the decision of the company to venture into the residential pool market.
Since the potential within Coracle’s target market has not been fully utilized, it is evident that there is hope for improved performance for the new product in the subsequent year. It is through effective distribution that Coracle would reach the market. The distribution of the product into retail shops will provide the buyers with availability and convenience of the product. This would lead to increased sales. However, the company must offer superior incentives, than its competitors, so that distributors and retailers are encouraged to deal in the product. For instance, the company would provide adequate percentage gains for the retailers so that they will agree onto stocking the product within their shelves. This would be used as a strategy through which the popularity of the product would grow within the market. Knowledge plays a significant role in the purchase decisions of buyers. Buyers must be aware of the available products so that they are able to make comparisons and eventually make purchase decisions. Inadequate awareness of the benefits of using Coracle, as opposed to other clarifiers, is purely attributed to lack of aggressive marketing communication.
Marketing communication informs customers and influencing their purchase decisions. If residential pool owners were aware that Coracle would result in cost saving due to its less frequent use, they would have chosen it as opposed to its competitors. However, there are market intricacies, such as consumer loyalty, which would pose a significant challenge to the initial success of the product within the residential market. Soren Chemical was used to the professional pool market for its Kailan MW clarifier. The new clarifier for residential pools demands that the company changes its marketing tactics, for success. It is through aggressive promotional strategies that the company would be able to overcome the highly competitive residential pool clarifiers. The decision making processes within Soren Chemical are inhibited by the dilemma that was faced by Moritz and her colleague marketers.
The dilemma would however be overcome if effective planning was implemented for all marketing communication activities. For instance, market research would be designed and implemented so that an adequate understanding of the residential pool segment would be achieved. In this sense, the company would be able to understand the expectations of residential pool owners and seek to meet them in the presentation of its product during marketing campaigns. Market research is the prerequisite to effective marketing processes. The market research would also allow the company to identify the mistakes which led to the initial poor performance of the new clarifier, and as a result implement corrective measures for improvement. Action Plan
In order to overcome the challenge of Coracle retail, Soren Chemical should employ a competitive pricing strategy. This will allow retailers to shelve the product in anticipation of more sales which would emanate from competitive prices. Collaboration and partnership with distributors will be an effective strategy through which the company would guarantee the availability of the new clarifier within the retail market. In order to achieve this, the company needs to implement specific goals. These include creation of a marketing plan and implementation of marketing strategies within the next one month. There is dire need for more aggressive funding and creation of awareness within the market, about the functional and cost benefits of Coracle. This demonstrates that the company needs to implement short term goals through which it would take advantage of the sales peak within the residential clarifier market. Market popularity would be achieved through short term goals such as advertising and direct sales. This would be effective if it is targeted at demonstrating the unique features of the product and the cost benefits which buyers would accrue by purchasing it as opposed to the competing products. Long term goals, such as 15% growth in the market at the end of the subsequent financial year, should also be designed so that the strategic performance of the product would be guaranteed. Implementing Decision
The decision for improved sales and market competitiveness of Coracle would be achieved through adoption and implementation of an integrated marketing communication approach. Integrated marketing will allow the company to communicate similar messages to the market through various promotional media. This will result in increased popularity and enhanced brand image for the clarifier. Collaboration among marketing staff will be a necessary step, through which they would share innovative ideas and as a result design effective promotional messages, which would convince the consumers about the benefits of Coracle. Online marketing will also be included in the integrated marketing communication process. This will allow the company to access and communicate with potential customers within online communities in an effective manner. Technology would also be used as a tool through which the company would achieve effective communication with its business partners, such as retailers and distributors. The main goal of the implementation process is to improve the sales of the clarifier. Improving Performance/Evaluation
In order to ensure that the decision and plan for improved product performance is achieved, an evaluation of the short term and long term goals is necessary. The company must determine if its marketing and management goals are met. Additionally, the financial implications of the plan will be evaluated. The gains that would result from implementing the plan should be more than the expenses incurred such as marketing costs. The level of popularity of the product within the residential pool market will also be evaluated against its prior performance. In this regard, the company will be able to ascertain if the decision or plan is working. It is anticipated that the sales of Coracle will increase significantly. The rate of performance growth will be measured in order to ensure that the objectives of the marketing communication and business strategies were met or not.