Management Consulting/MBA MS-6 help


Please provide the answers to these questions.

a)   Distinguish between Product Vs Services Marketing with suitable illustrations.
b)   Briefly explain the various elements required in the formulation of marketing strategy in the followings service offerings:
(i)   Health Tourism
(ii)   Cellular Phone Services

a)   Discuss the term marketing mix. What makes the elements of marketing mix assume importance in planning the firms market opportunities in capturing market share.
b)   Bring out the significance of Marketing Research in a manufacturing & marketing organization. What are the challenges faced by researcher in understanding M.R. in India? Discuss.

a)   What makes a sound and through knowledge of consumer behavior is of utmost importance for every marketer in the current marketing environment. Justify your answer with a suitable example of your choice.
b)   Discuss the concept of Product Life Cycle (PLC) of any FMCG Product of your choice.

a)   Briefly explain the steps involved in the selling process by taking any semi industrial product of your choice.
b)   Elaborate with suitable example the importance of distribution channels in marketing of firms product offerings.

I  will send  the balance  asap.

1. (a) Distinguish between Product Vs Services Marketing with suitable illustrations.
(b) Briefly explain the various elements required in the formulation of marketing strategy in the followings service offerings :
(i) Health Tourism
(ii) Cellular Phone Services

1 a) Distinguish Product Marketing and Service Marketing, with suitable illustrations.

Product marketing deals with the first of the "4P"'s of  MARKETING , which are PRODUCT , PRICING , PLACE , and PROMOTIONS.Product marketing, deals with more outbound   MARKETING  tasks. For example, product management deals with the nuts and bolts of  PRODUCT  DEVELOPMENT   within a firm, whereas product marketing deals with marketing the PRODUCT  to PROSPECTS CUSTOMERS , and others.

Role of product marketing
Product marketing in a business addresses five important strategic questions:
1   What products will be offered (i.e., the breadth and depth of the PRODUCT LINE ?
2   Who will be the target customers (i.e., the boundaries of the market segments to be served)?
3   How will the products reach those (i.e., the distribution channel)?
4   How much should the products be priced at?
5   How to introduce the products (i.e., the way to promote the products)?


-your  product  has a  '' unique  advantage/benefits.

-your  product  offers  the  most  competitive  ''value  for  money''.

-your  product is  one  of   the  affordable   in the   market  for  its  range.

-your  product  positioning  in the  niche  market.

-your  product  distribution  is  matchless  in the  market,  available  at   arms  length.

-your  product  merchandising   is   the  most  attractive  at  the  retail   level.

etc etc.


Services marketing is  MARKETING  based on relationship and value.
Marketing a service-base business is different from marketing a goods-base business.
There are several major differences, including:
The buyer purchases are intangible
The service may be based on the reputation of a single person
It's more difficult to compare the quality of similar services
The buyer cannot return the service
The major difference in the services marketing versus regular marketing is that instead of the traditional "4 P's," Product, Price, Place, Promotion, there are three additional "P's" consisting of People, Physical evidence, and Process. Service marketing also includes the servicescape referring to but not limited to the aesthetic appearance of the business from the outside, the inside, and the general appearance of the employees themselves.


Service quality is not one-dimensional; it encompasses numerous factors that are important to customer satisfaction. Satisfaction basically is related to expectations and perceived delivery on these dimensions and as shown by the equation given below.
The quality of service delivery results in customer satisfaction & their retention as it reinforces the perception that the value of the service received is grater than the price paid for it.
Quality is defined as the ability of the service provider to satisfy customer needs. Customer perception , service quality & profitability are interdependent variable.
Even in the case of products, quality is difficult to define because it is highly dependent upon customer perception. The task is made more complicated in the case of service because of the intengible nature of service & the variation in services offered to different customers.
There are several reasons why customers must be given quality service. Most important of them are

1. Industry has become so competitive that customers now have variety of alternatives. If the customers are lost, it can be extremely difficult to win back the individual.

2. Most customers do not complain when they experience problems, these customers simply opt out & take their business elsewhere.

What is CUSTOMER  Satisfaction?
CUSTOMER  Satisfaction = function of {CUSTOMER -Expectation and Perceived delivery}
A person is said to be dissatisfied when the perceived delivery is lower than expectation; he/she is satisfied when they match; delighted when the delivery exceeds expectation and astonished when the delivery far exceeds expectation. The following equations explain these relationships.
Perceived Delivery < Expectation --> Dissatisfaction
Perceived Delivery = Expectation --> Satisfaction
Perceived Delivery > Expectation --> Delight
Perceived Delivery >> Expectation --> Astonishment
Dimensions of Service Quality:
There   are  various aspects that a customer expects from different services.

1. Reliability: This refers to the ability of the company to perform the promised service dependably and accurately. Reliability is probably the single most important dimension of quality. Customers expect that companies will do what they say and they will do when they say they will do it.

2. Tangibles: This refers to the appearance of the physical facilities, equipment, personnel, and communication materials. As services are intangible, the tangibles give an impression to the customers about the quality of service they can expect from a firm. A bank in a shabby building will make the customer wonder whether their money will be safe in such a bank.

3. Responsiveness: This refers to the willingness of the employees to help customers and provide prompt service. When you go to a bank the minimum that you expect is that the employees would attend to you rather than chit-chat amongst themselves.

4. Assurance: This factor is linked to several minor factors such as competence, courtesy, credibility and security. Competence depends on the service provider's possession of the required skills and knowledge to perform the service. The politeness, respect, consideration, and friendliness of the service providers can be bundled into the term courtesy. Credibility refers to the perceived trustworthiness, believability, and honesty of the service provider. Security refers to the fact that the service should be free from danger, risk, and doubt. In sum, the assurance factor refers to the knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence.

5. Empathy: Empathy refers to the caring, individualized attention the firm provides to its customers. It includes access, communication and understanding. Access refers to the approachability and ease with which the customer can contact the firm. Communication refers to keeping the customer informed in the language they can understand and listening to them. Understanding has to do with the efforts made by the service provider to know customers and their needs.
The Service Quality Gaps:
Gaps between perceived & expected levels of service quality delivery result in the failure of the service provider.
These are the  5   gaps.
-The First gap does not know what customers expect. rea
-The second gap is between what the customer expects and what the management understands as the customers' expectation from the company.
-The third gap is with reference to the management's understanding of the customer expectations and the service quality standards set by the management.
-The fourth gap is between the quality specifications and actual service delivery.
-The fifth gap is between what is communicated to customers and what is actually delivered.
It is possible to measure the gaps and take corrective actions to fill them to the extent possible. The most difficult gap to fill is the one between customer expectations and the perceived service delivery. The expectation of the customers keeps rising with every good experience. When a customer visits the service organization, he/she expects a better service than what was experienced in the last encounter.
The service marketing  challenges  are
-to generate  re-sales
-to create  a  waiting list
-to create a positive word of  mouth advertising
as  a  lot  of  new  business  is generated  from  satisfied  customers.
-product  attributes/benefits
-pricing  strategy
-place [ right / easy  place to buy]
-promotions [ selected  weighted  mix]
-intangible, the greater the  intangibility the  more  complex
the  promise.
-perishable /heterogeneous, the  production  and consumption are  often  simulaneous.
-product service [ features/benefits]
-place [ flexibility]
-price [ flexi]
-promotions [ selected  weighted  mix]
-people [ ability,competent, right  attitude ]
-physical  evidence
*service  delivery
*service  quality
*customer satisfaction/ relation   management
-service  recovery
-service  management  audit.
-by designing  the  customer  oriented business  process
-cost  effective  service
-continuous  improvements through research/development
-improving  people's  abilities/competences.
-by  managing  customer behavior
-by conducting  customer research
-by  managing  customer expectations
-by reverse-engineering  the  product/service  portfolio.
-by determining  what  service  the  market  needs/ we can  offer.
-what  do  we  need  to  do  to  fill  the  gap.
when the  service  marketing  is intergrated with service  management
that is ,what you  promise [either explicitly or  implicitily]  and  
what  you deliver
There  is no  gap

marketing strategy  for  Health Tourism
marketing strategy   Cellular Phone Services
Medical tourism is a new form of niche market in the tourism industry which
has grown rapidly in recent years. The term "medical tourism" describes tourists
traveling overseas to obtain health care services such as medical, dental and
surgical care. They may or may not combine treatment with visiting the tourist
attractions of that country as well. The main groups of medical tourists come
from the industrialized countries of the world, especially Western Europe, Japan,

the U.S., Canada and Australia, where the cost of medical treatment is very
high and waiting times for some treatments may in some cases be months and
even years .

the reasons for medical tourism gaining popularity in the above countries are as follows:
1. The long waiting lists in the developed countries, 2. The low cost of medical
treatments in medical tourism destinations, 3. The state-of-the-art technology
of health care services which have been adopted by the new service providers,
4. Affordable international air fares, and 5. The advance of the Internet and
the emergence of new companies and agents to serve as middlemen between
international patients and hospital networks which help patients to easily access
price and any other information.

Marketing Strategies for Promoting Medical Tourism
Under the guidance and regulation of the Ministry of Public Health, some
hospitals have been recognized and approved for the standards set by the
Hospital Accreditation of both the  country and International (Joint Commission
International or JCI), and also other international standards such as ISO and
Hazards and Critical Control Points Principle (HACCP).

the marketing mix proposed : Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process,
and Physical Evidence.

Country 's healthcare service providers offer specialized treatments such as
cardiovascular, cosmetic or plastic surgery, dental care, gender reassignment,
general surgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics, and health checks in accordance
with the needs of the patients in each target market. Well-trained medical staff
and specialists and cutting-edge technology are used to reassure patients about
the standard and high quality of medical treatment. The quality of treatment in
a less developed country is the major concern raised by the medical travelers
from industrialized countries.
satisfaction with the health service in indicated that most of the
patients who had been treated were very satisfied with the facilities of the
hospitals, the medical staff's professionalism, and quality of medical treatments
and were willing to recommend these to their friends/relatives and spread
word of mouth information to more potential patients. Another marketing
strategy used by service providers is to create more value through services to
differentiate themselves from their increasing number of competitors. Such
services include developing and intensifying customer relationships through
offering medical transportation both on land and air, serviced apartments for
patients' relatives, cafes and restaurants, online immigration service, services
for translating different kinds of languages, individual personal care services,
one-to-one nursing care service, online services for medical arrangements,
contact center, patient center, hotel selection, reservation, sightseeing tour
services, interne and WiFi services, etc. The unique culture and the inborn
characteristic of genuine hospitality of the Thai people are highly regarded
among the foreigners and are special and difficult to find in other countries.

healthcare service providers have a competitive advantage due to their
high standard of medical treatment and services offered to the patients at a very
competitive price. Singapore offers medical treatment at a higher price than
Thailand because of its positioning with high end complex quality acute care
(Boston Consulting Group, 2008). India offers lower prices than Thailand but
still has the negative image of poor hygiene and sanitation. Kaur et al. (2007)
stated that in India complicated medical procedures are being carried out at only
one tenth of the cost in industrialized countries, but in terms of infrastructure
facilities such as roads, sanitation, power backups, accommodation, and public
utility services much more is needed for the country to become a medical
tourism destination. Malaysia offers prices lower than Thailand, partly due
to the favorable exchange rate but its focus is mainly on the Muslim patients
from Indonesia, Brunei and the Middle East.
While costs themselves are competitive enough, problems arise from
overcharging and overpricing of treatments by some Thai healthcare service
providers. Some patients complain of hidden costs that are not announced in
advance. The costs of medical services are also rising due to the high taxes on
imported medical technology or equipment. Therefore, the government has to
come up with a tax incentive policy which can not only solve the issue of the
cost but further encourage the healthcare service provider in the development
and implementation of high quality products and services. A good example is
given by the Malaysian government which provides tax incentives for building
hospitals, using medical equipment, training, promoting services, etc. to
encourage development of the healthcare industry .

The internet is the main means for disseminating information related to
healthcare services offered by Thai healthcare service providers. It is the most
effective and inexpensive way to reach its target customers with its product
directly and at the same time help the patients acquire correct and valuable
information and allow them to make an informed decision. Informative online
marketing of each service provider creates awareness of the medical treatment
available and reassures potential patients. Interactive communication, treatment
description, description of services and facilities, quality assurance and other
concierge services are used on the websites to attract the patients who are on
a medical traveling program. At the moment have a central
organization to publicize valuable information on the health care services
to medical travelers. Singapore established an outstanding website www. as the center of the country's healthcare services. It
aims at promoting Singapore as a world class medical tourism destination, and
has proved very successful in this respect. The Thai government should support
or set up an official central website which combines all major healthcare
service providers together, for a focused promotion of medical tourism in
Thailand to the international market. Such a website would provide information
on treatment, facilities, links to healthcare service providers, medical travel
agents, and could handle inquiries from overseas patients.
Agents in the target countries are also used as representatives to provide
information and advice to patients on their treatment. The agents work as
the center between patients and hospitals for screening cases, sending all
necessary medical reports of the patients to the hospitals, spreading word of
mouth information, serving as a source of assurance, proving the reliability of
hospitals, etc. Some respondents expressed concerns about the services of the
medical travel agents, with regard to low accuracy in the medical correspondence
and over-promising to the patients which both lead to patients' subsequent
dissatisfaction and create a negative image of the medical service provider.
Therefore, healthcare service providers should choose high standard, professional
and ethical agent partners to promote their healthcare services as accurately as
possible. It is also recommended that the agent partners should be invited on a
familiarization visit by the healthcare service providers in order to be able to
disseminate correct and valuable information to the medical travelers.

Attending trade fairs, travel markets/travel fairs, exhibitions, seminars and
conferences were used by the health care service providers to communicate
their products and services to the customers. Some of the trade fairs, travel
markets/travel fairs, and exhibitions were organized in cooperation with TAT,
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Export Promotion (DEP).
But some providers participated on their own or with local organizations, local
institutes, medical schools, and universities in those target countries to establish
collaboration and to promote the available medical care services. Observations
indicated that the strategies to provide various information resources and
promotional services were implemented on the websites, so that patients seeking
medical treatments abroad could regularly visit to discover medical service
promotions, the latest developments of the medical service providers and also
to gain confidence in using their services . The government and TAT
should come up with various supports and encourage more health care service
providers to participate in the trade fairs, travel markets and exhibitions in order
to promote their products and services. Moreover the media, journalists, travel
writers and book writers should be used to as a tool to develop a positive image
abroad. These could be invited for a free trip to the country and to specific
medical facilities. A strong network into overseas countries, e.g. through joint
venture partnerships, is also a measure to build the image of the products and
services of the Thailand. It is recommended that the Thai government and the
healthcare service providers cooperate more and work together in maintaining
the current standard of high quality products and services and further develop
and expand the image of the country as the "Medical Hub of Asia".

Another strategy that health care service providers use to attract the international
patients for their treatments in Thailand is to emphasize its well-trained
medical specialists, with degrees from well-known overseas institutes. It was
acknowledged by all the health care service providers that having specialized
and qualified doctors and staff proved a competitive advantage for the hospitals.
This has been observed, for example on the websites of Bumrungrad hospital and
Bangkok hospital, where the qualifications of doctors and hospital nurses and the
medical staff were intensively promoted to attract and capture potential patients.
However, a shortage of doctors and trained medical staff was the major concern
currently commented on by the respondents. Moreover, language communication
skills — sometimes of doctors, but more often of nurses, receptionists, and
other relevant staff — and misunderstanding of the patients' culture were still
considered a problem and challenges for the medical tourism business for both
hospitals and clinics. Communication problems can lead to misunderstandings
between the patients and the medical staff and possibly to wrong diagnoses or
unsuitable treatment. These issues need to be addressed immediately by the Thai
government and the health care service providers. Development of the education
curriculum in the medical field should be emphasized and people encouraged
to pursue and specialize in medical studies by offering various scholarships for
studies in the country and abroad.

Patients who seek medical treatment abroad are mostly concerned with the
quality of treatment and often want to make sure the hospital they select is
licensed and preferably accredited by a recognized international organization that
audits medical quality. The process of acquiring an international accreditation
with Joint Commission International (JCI) is one of the marketing strategy tools
for the health care service providers in Thailand. Such accreditation recognizes
that the practices of the doctors, nurses, medical assistants, the management
team and the facilities of the hospital meet or exceed the standards of medical
facilities in the US. The websites of the major hospitals aim to convince visitors
of the quality of the products, services and facilities through showing their awards
and accreditations such as JCI, ISO and others received from the international
organization and the government. So far in Thailand, Bumrungrad International
Hospital, Samitivej Hospital, and Bangkok Hospital Medical Center have
attained JCI accreditation, compared to 11 hospitals in Singapore (accounting
for one-third of all JCI-accredited facilities in Asia), and eight hospitals in
India (The Boston Consulting Group, 2008). There are other hospital assurance
schemes and awards which are also important to guarantee the quality of medical
care services, such as Thailand Hospital Accreditation Program (HA) conducted
by the Institute of Hospital Quality Improvement & Accreditation, and ISO.
In order to compete with the competitors both Government and Health care
service providers need to work in cooperation to further develop and enhance
the medical infrastructure, quality of products and services, management, etc.
of many more hospitals and clinics which should acquire similar international
accreditations. This will not only increase the number of visitors but will boost
the image of Thailand as a medical tourism destination.

Physical Evidence
Having developed its healthcare industry actively relatively late, Thailand's
healthcare service providers have had the advantage of learning and
understanding the needs and desires of patients better. The service providers
have developed and constructed outstanding hospitals equipped with the latest
advanced technologies, good ambiance with spacious and luxurious rooms, and
excellent amenities. This provides a competitive advantage over other medical
providers to market and gain the confidence of the patients in choosing the
hospitals. It has been observed that major health care providers have developed
significantly both infrastructures and facilities; however, there is still a need for
many other service providers to improve their infrastructure and facilities.
The medical tourism industry  is still growing and expanding in spite
of the high competition. Both online and offline promotion tools were used to
create awareness of the availability of high quality medical care and non-medical
care services, reassure patients about the standards and quality of medical
treatments, and offer alternative healthcare services for selection by potential
target customers. This research identified a number of other issues related to
the further promotion and expansion of the healthcare business  to
the overseas markets. These include the need for practical government support
and a common global strategy, adoption of appropriate laws and regulation,
and facilitation in the visa extensions procedures. The need for more qualified
specialists and staff, language training, cross-cultural training, and positive
PR  that remove the 'third-world country" image, the lack of
collaboration among service providers and of an organization to work as the
centre in this area are other relevant issues identified.
In order to maintain the high standards and to compete with the high
competition emerging from new medical tourism destinations every year,
the researchers hope that these issues will be given immediate attention and
addressed responsibly and appropriately by the Government, medical services
provider and the other related stakeholders in the near future.

marketing strategy   Cellular Phone Services

The Services
The company has a developed mix of services targeting both businesses and consumers. At today's breakneck pace of business, companies need more ways than ever to keep in touch, and the easier the better.
Cellular Providers' innovative product and service offerings provide the best advantages to customers, including sleek and innovative cellular phone models, text and numeric paging, data capability, no roaming or landline connection charges, and much more.
The Market
The ten-year outlook in the wireless communications service is excellent. With the evolution of new technology, this industry is expected to generate increased revenues.
There are a number of trends that are driving this growing industry. The most significant ones are greater marketing and advertising efforts, rapidly expanding networks, and technological advances. New services and applications such as advanced messaging, data and video transmission, location technology, and remote monitoring are in the early stages of what most analysts predict will be a period of explosive growth.
The company plans to focus on three target markets that will provide us with the greatest market penetration. This includes
-the specialty business users,
-the general business users, and
-the personal users.
We intend to offer service packages that are priced appropriately for each segment and will offer the services that best suit each segment's needs.
Cellular Providers' ongoing marketing strategy involves the company maintaining and expanding a broad base of clients in target territories, establishing alliances with product and services companies so that it can deliver high quality products, and invoking its own organization to bring these together and implement total solutions for customers. The company will move from the traditional product-focused strategy to a total-focus on customer ownership.

Business Objectives
•   Company growth.
•   Become established as the leading distributor of wireless communications services.
•   Increase number of retail outlets.
Financial Objectives
•   Increase revenue
Marketing Objectives
•   Increase marketing efforts.
•   Expand market area.
•   Expand marketing reach.
•   Brand recognition.
•   Increase telemarketing efforts.
Cellular Providers is committed to continued high levels of customer service and selling cellular and two way radio service through progressive retail locations and outside sales representatives.
Cellular Providers is striving to become the nation's leading distributor of cellular service and accessories. Cellular Providers' vision capitalizes on technologically superior products and services and is designed to enhance business and personal communication.
Keys to Success
Timing is critical in business. Cellular Providers is taking advantage of an opportunity to become a highly distinguished and recognized industry leader because of certain key advantages:
•   The management team has a unique combination of business knowledge and experience in this market.
•   Cellular Providers has combined its expertise to offer services for every type of customer in this credit-sensitive industry.
•   Cellular Providers has established partnering relationships with leading companies in the industry and customers.
Cellular Providers' critical success factors include funding, marketing, quality sales professionals, good management, aggressive branding, increasing reach, affiliating with the right partners, being specific to the needs of businesses and the public, competitive intelligence, appropriate use of technology, and remaining dynamic to keep pace with evolving wireless communications business strategies.
The company has a developed mix of services targeting both businesses and consumers. At today's breakneck pace of business, companies need more ways than ever to keep in touch, and the easier the better.
Cellular Providers' innovative product and service offerings provide the following advantages to customers.
•   A full range of sleek, modern handsets to choose from.
•   Text and numeric paging.
•   Data capability.
•   A full range of features.
•   A national network.
•   No roaming or landline connection charges.
•   One-second rounding after the first minute.
Service Description
Cellular Providers has created a niche market as a one-stop shop for wireless services. Additionally, Cellular Providers has professionals with over 10 years combined experience in the industry, sophistication, and sales and distribution channels that are successful. Our services are formulated with ingredients known to increase the quality of communications, enhance internal business communications, and give users the opportunity to access the latest technology such as the ability to access the Internet on their handset.
Cellular Providers maintains a number of different services and accessories. Each of these services and accessories can be placed at the growth phase on the product life cycle curve.
Competitive Comparison
Cellular Providers is well positioned as a significant player in the cellular and two-way radio service marketplace. There are varying degrees of competition in each area, ranging from a great deal of perceived competition to the very minimal competition in satellite dishes. New technology research and upgrades will be on the cutting edge to improve our product and service lines and ensure that Cellular Providers remains a leader in this field. In comparison to the other key industry players, Cellular Providers offers a greater complement of products and services that make it a truly one-stop shop for wireless communications services. Significant differences include these offerings: satellite dishes, specialty markets with a direct need, services from four different wireless service providers, and residual revenue from service lines.
Cellular Providers is required to comply with various rules and regulations among a number of local, state, and federal agencies. Locally, the company is required to maintain its business license and comply with local regulations and city codes. From a State level, the company is required to comply with all State laws concerning employment law, corporate law, and consumer products regulations. From a Federal level, the company is required to comply with additional consumer product laws, taxation, etc.
Cellular Providers' accounting policy follows generally accepted accounting principals. Cellular Providers' financials are turned over to the CPA on a quarterly basis.
Cellular Providers uses Quick Books for its accounting software; Accounting is system based on the accrual method. The fiscal year is based on year-end. Financial reporting methods include monthly, quarterly, and annual statements. An annual audit is to be performed by the firm's CPA firm in January.
Cellular Providers carries insurance for business liability, automobile, and medical coverage. Additional insurance programs such as worker's compensation and key-man coverage will most likely be consummated by the close of the second quarter of 2000.
Management has no knowledge of pending lawsuits or threat of legal action directed at either the company or its officers.
Cellular Providers' business tools may be considered to be those assets that keep the business running smoothly. These tools include computers, software, business forms, standard agreements, various internal process standards, and other company-specific documentation.
Estimated technological changes in this section concern those changes that would most likely affect Cellular Providers' ability to compete. As Cellular Providers' management identifies changing technology, these changes will be studied, analyzed, and evaluated. Of those technological changes that show significant impact on Cellular Providers' future, funds and resources will likely be committed to making adjustments to Cellular Providers' business operations. Actions include expanding sales, customer service, and training in order to meet the demand of the business community.

Market Analysis Summary
Cellular Providers continues to conduct industry analysis to stay current on the nature and dynamics of the industry. This process helps management develop insight and devise sustainable business and marketing strategies to assure future success and avoid making decisions based on blind assumptions. Cellular Providers' business model was developed under two areas of knowledge: understanding the industry, and by having worked for and observed successful companies (and their business models) in the wireless communications services industry.
Target Market Segment Strategy
Cellular Providers sources of revenue are derived from the sale of wireless communications services to businesses and consumers, the sale of accessories, and co-brands (revenue sharing). In comparison to other start-up companies of recent years, Cellular Providers has done very well.
Market Trends
The most significant trends are greater marketing and advertising efforts, rapidly expanding networks, and technological advances. New services and applications such as advanced messaging, data and video transmission, location technology, and remote monitoring are in the early stages of what most analysts predict will be a period of explosive growth.
Market Growth
Current economic conditions driving Cellular Providers' industry sector include a rising GNP, interest rates edging up gradually, communications economy that is growing, and an increasing number of consumers with greater amounts of disposable income. The savings rate has begun to rise as well. Warning signs of change include rising interest rates and inflation. If these begin to rise sharply, it signals a faltering economy and can have negative effects on all business including Cellular Providers.
Competition and Buying Patterns
Effective competitive strategies are built upon understanding what defines and determines if another company is a competitor. Cellular Providers does not believe that all cellular and two-way radio service firms compete with it because many of these do not provide the array of services that it provides. The number of companies selling cellular services continue to grow and each competes for a share of the market. This translates into escalating advertising costs especially with larger and established companies. This trend is expected to continue and intensify over the coming years.
Cellular Providers' outline for competitive strategy includes monitoring competitors for innovative changes, devising responsive and timely strategies, contingency and implementation plans, devising marketing strategies, compare pricing by rivals, and remain always watchful of technology developments and innovation by service providers, and respond accordingly.
Marketing Strategy
Cellular Providers developed its sales and marketing strategy by analyzing its own internal strengths and then analyzing current market conditions. This process helped Cellular Providers create its marketing and sales strategy to leverage its competitive advantages with a unique marketing strategy, thus establishing it as the nation's leading wireless communications service provider for businesses and consumers.
The company will create momentum through critical mass and brand recognition. Cellular Providers will monitor the effectiveness of its marketing efforts in order to determine the advertising return on investment and the commerce generated from the various channels.
Cellular Providers' ongoing marketing strategy involves the company maintaining and expanding a broad base of clients in target territories, establishing alliances with product and services companies so that it can deliver high-quality products, and invoking its own organization to bring these together and implement total solutions for customers. The company will move from the traditional product-focused strategy to a total-focus on customer ownership.
The overall marketing plan for Cellular Providers' service is based on the following fundamentals:
•   The segment of the market(s) planned to reach.
•   Distribution channels planned to be used to reach market segments: retail outlets, sales representatives, and telemarketing.
•   Share of the market expected to capture over a fixed period of time.
marketing goals include the following:
•   Capture ….% market share of businesses .
•   Capture ….% market share of consumers.
•   Develop market share for satellite dishes and equipment.
•   Educate businesses and consumers about services provided.
•   Substantially increase sales .
•   Position the company as the number one provider of solutions to wireless communications.
•   Make a major branding effort emphasizing Cellular Providers' name and array of services.
•   Initiate new marketing program with a budge.
•   Create new collateral marketing materials (brochures, radio ads, video).
•   Media placements including magazine, TV, radio, Internet, print, and banner advertising.
•   Expand product and service offerings.
•   Provide sales reps with free demo systems.
Pricing Strategy
Cellular Providers' retail prices are competitive and affordable for businesses. The company has also established a pricing and commissions structure for sales representatives and distributors. Bulk purchasing enables the company to reduce its cost of goods sold, increase revenue, and pass on the savings to businesses and consumers.
Promotion Strategy
Cellular Providers' overall goal is to generate additional retail traffic, increase the business and consumer base, and create more awareness to the need for this type of service in the marketplace. Currently, marketing efforts have revolved around sales representatives and telemarketing.
Cellular Providers' marketing goals also include positioning the company for co-branding alliances with several industry leaders. It is Cellular Providers' belief that the best way to introduce its services to businesses as well as consumers is through aggressive telemarketing.
In addition to standard advertisement practices, Cellular Providers will gain considerable recognition through these additional promotional mediums:
•   Press releases sent to major industry publications.
•   Television advertising.
•   Trade shows.
•   Construction.
•   Oil and gas journals.
Marketing Programs
Advertising programs include direct response advertising, public relations program, co-marketing promotion, relationship building, direct sales efforts, telemarketing, trade shows, ads in print media and radio and television.
Cellular Providers' marketing propositions are designed to appeal to various target audiences, regardless of their level of sophistication. Cellular Providers will continually inform businesses and consumers through press releases and media placements about the service benefits as well as endorsements from other customers.
These two factors naturally create a curiosity from those not previously exposed to Cellular Providers services, as well as the public sector seeking improved methods in cellular service deals. Overall, this is intended to encourage further investigation by businesses and consumers and is precisely the result Cellular Providers seeks. It is believed that this strategy will draw an abundance of curiosity from which a substantial market can be developed.
As an extra incentive for customers and potential customers to remember Cellular Providers' name, the company plans to distribute advertising specialties with the company logo. This will be an ongoing program for the company, when appropriate and where it is identified as beneficial.
The objective of incentives is to portray Cellular Providers' goals and products as an attractive functionality. It is also to show customers how to use the latest in technology as it relates to wireless communications services.
Competitive Edge
Activities contributing to company success include identifying emerging trends and integrate them into Cellular Providers' operations, respond quickly to technology changes/be there early, provide high-quality services, continue to invest time and money in marketing and advertising, continue to expand into specialty markets, and stay ahead of the "technology curve."
Our future is highly dependent upon measuring resources we need in order to execute our plans and be competitive. Our method includes qualitative and/or quantitative measurements of competition and by estimating our own company growth, sales, and cash flows.
Our resources are also measured in terms of people, equipment, financial, and critique to see if the resources fit are adequate for the situation. Resources are available as needed to meet the technology curve. In general our strengths include business management, accounting and finance, knowledge of the wireless communications services industry, and experience in running successful businesses in the past.
Cellular Providers prides itself on its high-quality customer service. Although excellent customer service is expected, not all provide this. Cellular Providers is available at all times for customer orders and inquiries.
Rural communication is the most important aspect of rural marketing. Marketing communications
are the communications between the organization and all other parties which includes the promotion through advertising, sales promotion, personal selling, publicity and public relations. The
four components of promotion mix are the product, the company, the buyer and the channel. Rural marketing promotion channel includes advertisements through television, cinema, radio, print media, outdoor POPs, audiovisual, publicity vans, syndicated audio visual vans, folk/puppet shows,
harikathas, music cassettes etc. Innovative media can also be used to reach the rural customers.

The rural communication Medias includes-
1. WALL PAINTING– An Economical and best Media in Rural Marketing

Wall Painting is an effective and economical medium for advertising in rural areas since it speak silently and stays for a long time. The message should be simple, direct and clear . Eg. Wheel detergent, Vodafone, Cell one, Sunlight detergent etc.

Mobile van is a medium that reaches the target segment and has been able to catch public attention. Soft drinks
like Pepsi, Reliance, Coco-cola and Car manufacturers are using demo cars as mobile publicity.

Mobile video vans operate with colour TV presentation along with film songs, dialogues etc.
Attractive games and market survey can also be used for catching public attention. Product like Dish washes, water purifier etc. uses this method.

Hoarding space available on sides of the video van is utilized to paint the advertising message or
product visual.

Mike announcements and processions along with musical instruments like drum music are used to attract public attention in rural areas. Textiles in Kerala during Onam season uses this technique.
The message carrying banners are tied up on the body of these animals and presented in an attractive way among the rural people.
Eg. Jewelleries , Textiles in Kerala etc. use this method during festival seasons.

Folk medias uphold the culture and heritage of the land and is capable of communicating the message in an interactive, repetitive and narrative manner about topics of contemporary issues. It includes:
a) Folk theatre is informative and educational. Folk songs are simple and rhythmic and are
transmitted orally from one generation to the next.
b) Folk dances- It is basically simple and rhythmic and mostly religious in nature. Communication
takes place through dramatic gestures, music and costumes with background stage settings.
c) Magic shows - Magic shows are another folk entertainment and draw large crowds because of
curiosity and hypnotic effects. Eg. Against drug abuse.
d) Puppet Shows-Rituals and the use of puppets are found in almost all the states in India.
Traditional puppeters were mostly itinerant performers who lives in rural areas.
e. Hari katha,Villupatu, Nadanpattu- These are rural specific art forms preformed at village
melas and temple festivals.

Haats are meetings held regularly or weekly in all rural areas where in the sellers and buyers meet together to sell their products and services.. The sellers arrive in the morning in the haat and remain till late in the evening. Next day they move to another haat.

Melas are of different types i.e. cattle fairs, commodity fairs, and religious fairs either held only for a day or may extend over a week. Many companies are now a days interested to participate in melas and fairs. The Mahakumbha mela at Allahabad is the biggest mela in India.

MASS MEDIA (Formal specific) includes

Local language newspapers and magazines are becoming more popular among the rural people
than English newspapers. Examples: Newspapers: Mathrubhumi and Malayala Manorama in
Kerala, Eenadu in A.P, Dina Thanthi in Tamil Nadu etc.

TV is a useful media to communicate with the rural masses. Lifebuoy, Sunlight, Horlicks, Complan,
Santhoor soap, Colgate, Asian Paints, Lux, Nirma, Idea mobile etc. are some of the products
advertised via television. In southern India, regional TV channels have become very popular.

Even illiterate consumers can rely upon radio and it reaches large population in rural areas at a
relatively low cost. Example: Colgate, Jyoti Labs, Asian Paints, Chandrika soap, Zandu Balm, Zuari
industries are some of the products using radio communication programme. There are specific programmes for farmers like “Vayalum Veedum”, Farm and Home/Krishi Darshan in regional languages

About 65% of the earnings from cinema are from rural markets and hence advertisements through film is one of the effective means. Film viewers are more in certain states like Tamil Nadu,
Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh etc. Advertisements aimed at rural can be shown in rural cinema  halls. Eg. LIC , Josco Jewellers, Tata iodized salt, Prince TMT iron etc.

Display of hangings, festoons and product packs, small pouches in the shops to catch the public
attention is a common tool used in rural markets Eg. Sunsilk shampoo, Ariel soap powder,
Parachute coconut oil etc. are using this method.

The sales person can understand the needs and wants of the rural customer by direct interaction through farm visit.. Potential customers are identified and the company’s representatives makes  farm-to-farm visits and explain the products in local language and supply sample products. This is
very effective for products like agricultural machineries and inputs, animal health products etc.  LIC and banks are using this method.

Group meetings of rural customers as well as prospective users are arranged to pass the message about the product and its benefits. Group meeting of key customers are conducted by banks, agricultural inputs and machinery companies in rural areas. Such meetings are also useful for
promoting consumer durables and two wheelers also.

Opinion leader is a person who is considered to be knowledgeable and is consulted by others and
his advice is normally followed by others. Such opinion leaders may be big landlords, bank official, panchayath president, doctors, teachers, extension workers etc. Examples: a) Mahindra Tractors use bankers as opinion leaders for their product. b) Asian Paints uses great architect as opinion leaders,
Colgate uses dentist as opinion leaders.

An area is selected and contests are announced well in advance and promotional materials are
distributed to selected dealers. For best promotion, the dealers are motivated by prizes.

FIELD DEMONSTRATION: It is one of the most effective methods where in a farmer who is an opinion leader is selected and the demonstration is conducted in his field in the presence of a group of farmers in the village. The farmers observe the results in the field and the local dealer calls on
them in their farms and persuades them to buy the particular brand of pesticide or fertilizer.

This is a cost effective media which includes signboards, wall painting, hoarding, tree boards, bus
boards, dealer boards, product display boards, posters etc, Symbols, pictures, colours, slogans etc.
can be used in these advertisements.

It is a way of passing an information relating to goods or services for sale directly to potential
customers through post. It is a medium employed by the advertiser to bring in a personal touch the

Rural marketing communication is exposed to many challenges. Low literacy level, poor media
reach and exposure, heterogeneous and diversely spread rural audiences featured by diversification
in culture, lifestyle, language etc. makes multiple challenges to marketers. Because of these
communication to potential customers in a proper and effective manner is a major challenge for
corporate marketers. The advertisements designed by corporate marketers are largely urban based
and the same is extended to rural areas without considering the sensitivities and aspirations of the
rural audience. This has led to a negative perception in the minds of rural people. An entirely
different approach is required to study the mindset of the rural to make the communication
effective. In order to catch the rural attention, the communication should be uniquely assembled and
delivered in a simple way. The target market should be identified in advance and employ the right
communication methods. In order to reach the rural audience effectively, the communication
should be simple and attractive. Proper content and the use of appropriate regional languages can
make the rural communication more attractive. The following are the important features of rural
Heterogeneity : The communication pattern in any society is varying according to the language,
culture and life style of the region. Heterogeneity in respect of language, culture, life style, rituals,
food habits, dress code as well as the scattered location of the rural masses throughout the country
poses major problems to the marketers. Another difficulty is the lack of proper transportation and
communication facilities in rural areas. In India, there are 16 scheduled languages and 114 local
vernaculars which is a dynamic issue in communication.
Occupation : Majority of the rural masses are engaged in agriculture and related activities to earn their living. As such the occupation pattern and income level of these people are different from the urban.
Media Reach: In rural India, newspaper and television reaches only 40% of the rural population.
Reach of formal media is low in rural households (Print:23%, TV:29%, Cinema:30%, and Radio:47%) . The limited reach of the mass media imposes limitations on universal communication which makes the promotion efforts meaningless.

Understanding the Rural Audience: The mentality of the rural audience is completely different from the urban folks. Rural consumers are more innocent than the urban and are more readily persuaded by marketing that touches them directly, such as live demonstrations, personal experience, seeing others using it etc

Low Literacy level: Literacy level in rural area is another factor which make the communication difficult. Rural literacy has been estimated as 36% compared to 62% in urban areas.

Creativity: Imagination and creativity of the rural masses are different from that of the urban.
Sense of beauty and imagination of rural folks are tradition bound and natural. People in each region have their own cultures and rituals Creative pictures, symbols, colours, idioms etc. to suit with the interest of the rural population is to be identified and used in communication.
Low standard of living: Rural people leads a low standard of living due to low income, low purchasing power, overall social and economic backwardness. With limited income , they may not spent much on non-food items and luxuries.
Use of Common Sense: Rural people differ in common sense, understanding and seen to be more innocent. To convince the rural the message should be arranged in a logical way rather than puffing with claims.
Reverse Innovation: Innovation in rural and backward area is to be done as a trial and then promote it extensively.. A reverse innovation means any innovation that is likely to be adopted first
in the developing areas. In this develop products in smaller towns and villages and then distribute  nationally. Focus on reverse innovation of a rural brand is a difficult task
Cost Effectiveness : Vast area coverage and repeated attempts makes the rural promotion more expensive.

1 . Rural market is distinct from the urban market in several aspects
2.Rural consumers are heterogeneous in respect of tradition, culture, life style, language, habits etc.
3. Rural people are very conscious about the value of money and are not ready to pay extra for frills.
4. Women and children have great influence and domination in purchase decision making  process.
5. Rural people accept locally famous personalities and opinion leaders as their role models.
6. Rural masses have very limited earnings and as such they are very cautious about the value of money and not ready to spent extra for frills.
7. Rural consumers have their own doubts, hopes, aspirations and fears about a new product.
8. Rural masses are very much relied on their customs, tradition, superstitious beliefs and are not ready for any sacrifice.
9. The is great dynamism among the rural masses in respect of linguistic, social, cultural, economic factors.

Suggestions for effective rural communication
1. Keep the communication simple and clear to the understanding level of the rural audiences. Use
of simple language, analogies and slogans helps in understanding the brand better. Eg. “Amul; the
Taste of India”
2. Avoid quick messages. A rural consumer is not in a hurry mood and therefore sufficient time can be taken to communicate a message.
3. Rural communication must address the specific problems, needs, aspirations and hopes of rural folks in each region.
4. Avoid tricks upon the rurals as they do not understand clever, gimmicky, quick, suggestive and hi-tech films.
5. Avoid use of unrelated symbols, slogans, characters and icons that confuses the rural.
6. Use local language, local film stars or locally famous personalities as brand ambassadors to act in the advertisement.
7. Narrative story style and cartoons make easy understanding of the message. Eg. Poppins candy, Hycount Pipes.
8. Use most appropriate idioms, expressions, words, pictures, cartoons etc. can make the presentation more attentive.

9. Repetition is the foundation of all communications, hence repeatedly show the same advertisement to ensure the receptive value of the message.
10. In order to gain the trust of the rural masses, avoid the excessive dependency on urban culture.
Fixed Monthly Cost
While only some major carriers offer "no contract," pre-paid cellular service, almost all of them offer fixed monthly cost plans as their preferred terms of service.  Pre-paid plans offer the flexibility of paying only for the minutes you actually use, but carriers make the average cost-per-minute much lower on monthly plans to drive consumers towards fixed contracts.
Fixed monthly contracts require a minimum one- or two-year commitment from the consumer to the carrier.  In return, the consumer gets a lower average cost-per-minute as well as other perks often including discounted or free handsets and accessories, free nighttime and/or weekend service, and discounted add-on services including multi-line "family plans," and messaging and data plans.
Most consumers looking for new cellular service these days will opt for a fixed monthly plan.  The major carriers all offer multiple plans with varying numbers of monthly minutes at different price points.  When choosing a monthly plan, take the time to ask questions before signing a contract to insure that you understand all of the terms of the deal.  For instance, some carriers offer free weeknight minutes beginning at 7 pm while others don't start until 9 pm.   Some carriers offer free mobile-to-mobile calling within their network while others offer free calls between any mobile handsets (i.e. You can call a Verizon customer for free even though you have Cingular).
Also, be sure to find out what overage charges (when you've used more than your alloted monthly minutes) and early termination charges (when you want to cancel your service before the one- or two-year term has expired) are.  There's virtually no way to sign a contract without agreeing to these charges, but some carriers make them heftier than others.
Two year contracts
Signing a two-year contract will often get you a better deal up front on a new handset or other equipment.  Some carriers will even offer a slightly better monthly rate on a two-year contract over a one-year term.  While one-year contracts used to be the norm, more and more carriers are now pushing two-year contracts as fixed monthly subscribers are the bread-and-butter of their businesses.
Free Phones
Carriers usually offer a choice of free and discounted phones with the signing of a new service contract.  Rarely do major carriers offer the newest state-of-the-art phones for free, though you will see the occasional promotion offering a hot new phone for free or close to free (generally with a two-year contract only).  
Independent cellular dealers are more apt to offer top of the line phones for free or lower cost than corporate stores are.  However, independent dealers do sometimes add additional charges for tax on the retail price, SIM cards, and so on which make those "free" phones wind up costing upwards of ……...
Upgrading Phones
Carriers will usually offer an upgrade path to customers who have completed their initial contract term and are willing to sign a contract extension of one year or longer.  Upgraded phones are rarely as inexpensive as when the same handset is purchased with a new service contract, but carriers can sometimes be talked into offering better upgrade deals if they sense a customer is ready to leave for a different carrier in order to get a good deal on a new phone.  If you're in the market for a phone upgrade, be sure to check ebay and other online marketplaces as well, as deals can often be had on new and lightly used equipment.
Free Long Distance
Almost all major carriers now offer free long distance calls with fixed monthly plans.  The norm nowadays is for carriers to charge for actual calling minutes, treating local and long distance calls the same so long as the calls are within the Continental United States.  Some regional carriers do charge extra for long distance calls - particularly those carriers offering "unlimited local calling" under fixed monthly plans - so be sure to read the fine print if you plan to use a regional carrier to place long distance calls.
Unlimited Nights and Weekends
In lieu of cutting monthly fees even further, many carriers now offer unlimited nights and weekends as incentives under their fixed monthly plans.  This means that any cellular calls made or received during these times won't count against your monthly allotment of minutes.  Nights and weekends start and end at different times from carrier to carrier, so be sure to check your contract lest you start making "free" calls that actually eat up your minutes.  Nights generally start at 7pm or later, while weekends can from Friday evening or Friday midnight until sometime Sunday night.


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Leo Lingham


management consulting process, management consulting career, management development, human resource planning and development, strategic planning in human resources, marketing, careers in management, product management etc


18 years working managerial experience covering business planning, strategic planning, corporate planning, management service, organization development, marketing, sales management etc


24 years in management consulting which includes business planning, strategic planning, marketing , product management,
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