Many people mistakenly confuse marketing strategies with ad campaigns. A good marketing strategy is a plan or an approach for marketing products and services. In order to succeed in increasing sales, a good marketing strategy must be strong enough to move buyers from the point of being attracted to a product, or service to inspire them in wanting to take action by purchasing. The BlackBerry smart phone has taken the mobile market by storm with its easy functionality and internet capabilities.
This essay will overview the introduction of its newest product, the Storm, and develops a marketing strategy for its next generation phone incorporating customer concerns. The BlackBerry smart phones were first released in 1999 as a two- way device. The phone integrated with software that enables access to email and other communication services. Research in Motion (RIM) is the company behind the BlackBerry, which was founded in Canada in 1984. The company initially specialized in two-way pager software in the mid-90s until it released the first BlackBerry.
The company did not see any success in mobile products until 2002, when text messaging, and enhanced email capabilities were introduced. The BlackBerry is known to be straight-forward and completely uncomplicated smart phones. The newest BlackBerry, the Storm is the first attempt by the company incorporating touch screen technology. The Storm boasts many of the same features as other touch screen phones; however, it also adds innovations such as a clickable screen displays. In addition the Storm has an eight gigabyte memory which is standard so user can easily download picture and music from a computer via Universal Service Bus (USB) cable.
There are drawbacks to BlackBerry Storm which includes the absence of Wi-Fi and complications with touch screen keyboard (Tolpolsky 2008). Mobile phones are sold in the small to medium markets. This market is on fire thanks to the increased interest in mobile handsets and smart phones (Small and Medium Market). Smart phone sales have surpassed 40 million units representing the fastest-growing segment of the mobile device market. According to egov monitor, “mobile phone users will go up to 4 billion by 2010 (Mobile News Direct).
This means that one in every three people will by using mobile phones worldwide. The mobile phone market also accounts for about 50% of the total sales in small and medium markets (Mobile News Direct). This market requires a business to business approach when selling products, which means trade is done between companies rather than private individual consumers. In order to increase sells of the Blackberry Storm, our company will focus on developing ways to increase our online capabilities by working with other internet companies.
An example will be a joint venture with a company that specializes in online auction purposes for business-to-business markets. This venture will be based our company’s wireless handhelds and their well-known ecommerce business applications. The two companies will venture in a joint deal developing activities to promote solutions based on BlackBerry’s internet technology and the other company’s online auction expertise. This venture will increase BlackBerry’s mobile connection environment as well as business relations in the small market.
The BlackBerry was initially used by attorneys, salespeople, and executives; however, the product is now used by practitioners, small businesspeople or for non-business related reasons. The BlackBerry is mostly bought by consumers who are in the 35-44 age range. These buyers are normally married and from suburban areas. The Storm’s competitor, the iPhone, tends to be appealing to consumers who are younger, and from urban areas. In order for BlackBerry Storm to increase its demographics, research will be done to find out why younger consumers are attracted to the iPhone over the Storm.
According to online reviews, the lack of Wi-Fi technology, and keyboard concerns may have a bearing on not appealing to younger consumers (Tolpolsky 2008). Potential competitors to the BlackBerry Storm are Nokia 5800, Samsung i890 Omnia HD, HTC Touch Pro2, T-Mobile My Touch 3G, Duet D888 and the iPhone. However, the biggest competitors out of the group are the Nokia 5800, and the iPhone. The Nokia 5800 is a mobile device with a touch screen that is directed more towards music with smart phone capabilities.
Nokia 5800 incorporates 8-gigabyte memory which allows users to store up to 6000 songs. The phone also features a 3. 2 megapixel camera for images or video media which can be shared through internet communities, such as Flickr, or Facebook (Nokia 2008). The iPhone is the first touch screen product to enter the Smart phone market and has Wi-Fi capabilities with computer type displays. Initially the iPhone sold for $199 for 8-gigabyte model and $299 for a 16-gigabyte model; however the price decreased in June 17, 2009, with improved software (iPhone).
The newer model iPhone is available in a 16-gigabyte version for $200 and a 32-gigabyte version for $300 (iPhone). Both competitor products have Wi-Fi capabilities which the Storm lacks. However, the Storm boasts computer like function such as “copy and paste”, and can play videos from online web sources (Beaumont 2008). These differentiations must be expressed in our ad campaign in showing how the Storm is more of a pocket-sized computer versus a normal mobile phone. The pricing of the touch screen smart phones are between $99 and $600 basing the low price on a 2 yr service contract through carriers.
Despite their higher costs, smart phones will also continue to gain market share because the benefits of mobile email and Internet. Therefore, Blackberry must continue improving the way the Internet is displayed and its carriers’ network speed. Otherwise, growth with mobile media device ownership, and usage will slow in the short-term as consumers spend more cautiously because of the economy (PCB007 2008). The next generation Storm will be priced at competitor levels; however it will offer deals while showing its value to buyers by sampling, seller promotions, and discounts.
There are numerous sales promotion techniques that marketing firms employ to build curiosity in a product. Promotions that are directly targeted towards a trade in which products will be distributed. Sales promotion includes a number of communications activities that try to provide added value or motivation to consumers, retailers, and wholesalers in an effort to fuel instant sale of products. In order for the BlackBerry Storm to be successful, we will promote the product with discounts, and deals which attract sellers to obtain phones in order for buyers to purchase them.
This will be accomplished through merchandising allowance, which will compensate retailers for supporting the new smart phone. In addition, we will also offer a deal called a case allowance, which means that when a retailer orders bulk amount smart phones we will give them a discounted price. Case allowance deal will work for retailers if they use price-based promotions allowing consumers to buy more of products such as buy one get one free. Attention-getting consumer sales promotions are used to get consumers interested in products which create publicity for the company.
An effective way of generating attention is using a sampling technique. Therefore, the Blackberry Storm will use this technique designed in providing consumers with a chance to use a test the product through displays at retail shops. When consumers simply try a product it affects their decisions of purchasing. Blackberry has the technology of a touch screen that employs “SurePress” technology, which allows users to click the screen down like a mouse button. This sampling technique will be useful for new BlackBerry Storm showing its uniqueness compared to other touch screen phones.
Lastly we will promote the Storm by showing particular features of the product in popular television shows boasting its email and internet capabilities. Distribution methods can significantly impact customer satisfaction as well as marketing costs. If products are available in the right quantities and assortment at the right place to the customer, companies gain a distinct competitive edge. On the other hand, if prospective customers cannot find a widely publicized product, companies can lose large volumes of sales.
Distribution of the Blackberry Storm will be through an indirect distribution system and wholesalers. Using these distribution methods will allow the resellers to take ownership of the product, assume responsibilities in help selling the phone as well as buy large quantities of products. Under the indirect distribution technique we will also use a Single-Party Selling System in which the company engages another party who then sells and distributes directly to the final customer. This type of selling system is used when the product is sold through large store-based retail chains such as Verizon or AT&T.
The wholesale distribution technique will allow larger quantities of phones to be bought and later resold to retailers such as Wal-Mart and other smaller businesses. This technique will add sales for the Storm; however, it will be under the Verizon Wireless discretion on how they field customer concerns. Therefore, our company must create guidelines on how Verizon conduct product concerns in order to retain customer loyalty. Sales support departments carry out vital functions in support of sales teams in different areas, including information technology (IT), finance, and telecommunications.
Our company will implement a support team that includes sales, finance, and engineering. These people will be accessible to our customers, offering suggestions, and assistance to deal with any technical issues that may occur with our BlackBerry Storm. The company will also appoint several experienced individuals to manage its sales regions as well as build a thorough support network geared towards representation of local sales, and distribution. I believe that the new BlackBerry Storm is in its growth stage because of the other smart phone in its BlackBerry family.
The products are known for their email and internet capabilities and have attracted many users looking for a phone with many computer-like capabilities. The Storm is attracting different audiences because of it latest technology which a reasoning to continue promotions that are geared toward selling the new smart phone. However, marketing of the next generation Storm will require our company returning to core foundation of BlackBerry being quick, and easy to use. The company will first add Wi-Fi technology to the new Storm which is available for the BlackBerry Curve.
Blackberry Storm’s manufacturer had to make some sacrifices to bring the Storm to Verizon because the carrier’s concern with their data network revenue. Wi-Fi allows connections at higher speed than Verizon or AT&T data networks; therefore consumers should have this option. Next, the keyboards for the touch screen must be research to appeal with customers who are text messaging and email users. The current generation uses a blue light to illustrate the appropriate letters; however it is hard to see because of the size of keyboard. In order for the “Sure Press” technology to work effectively we will address the keyboard issue.
Currently the BlackBerry Storm is sold through Verizon, Amazon. com, Lets Talk, and Wirefly. The Storm is primarily available through online and exclusively to the Verizon network. This partially due to the 3G network that Blackberry employs for optimal performance. By using this network transferring of information and connection is faster for users. Once the network is readily available for other carriers, BlackBerry will make the Storm available to other mobile networks in order to gain market share. Beaumont, C (2008) battle of Battle of the Touchscreens: iPhone, Blackberry Storm, Nokia 5800 Retrieved August 22, 2009 from http://www. elegraph. co. uk/technology/3358755/Battle-of-the-Touchscreens-iPhone-Blackberry-Storm-Nokia-5800-and-Googles-G1. html iPhone (2008) The New York Times Review. Retrieved August 21, 2009 from http://topics. nytimes. com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/i/iphone/index. html? inline=nyt-classifier Mobile New Direct (2008) Over 4 Billion phone User by 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from http://www. mobilemarketingnews. co. uk/Over_4_Billion_Mobile_Phone_Users_by_2010_381041744624. htm Nokia (2008) Nokia 5800 XpressMusic. Retrieved August 22, 2009 from