Martin T. Pree
Promotion and Product Life Cycle, BB
The mobile industry has remained competitive and dynamic, and BlackBerry continues to face stiff competition in the mobile industry from new entrants such as Apple Inc., Samsung, and Huawei among other companies. In the face of challenges, BlackBerry has maintained stability unlike companies such as Nokia, Siemens, and Motorola that were once leaders but lost relevance along the way. However, the company rolled out a new strategy and decided to stop manufacturing handset mobile devices and dedicate its efforts and strength in developing customer-centered blackberry software. In particular, BlackBerry decided to venture into a new product – the Internet of Things. Considering this, we select a product strategy for BlackBerry Company, address three areas of the product life cycle, outline two media methods for the product, elaborate how we will measure the marketing activities, and address three elements of product and promotional efforts.
By definition, product strategy refers to a roadmap of a product, designed to plan the future of a product. Considering BlackBerry, we identify focus strategy as the most appropriate product strategy for the IoT software. Virtually, in focus strategy, a company concentrates on a select few target markets in a bid to meet the needs of the target market. A company adopts this product strategy to gain competitive advantage through effectiveness and not efficiency (Tanwar, 2013). Notably, although focus strategy is mainly used by small companies, any company can also adopt it. The move by BlackBerry to stop manufacturing mobile devices and focus on customer-centered BlackBerry software can be interpreted as a focus strategy. The company focuses on BlackBerry software, where competition is lower as compared to the mobile devices industry. The company focuses on the Internet of Things market opportunity as it continues to grow. BlackBerry is focused on a small area of regulated industries, which include healthcare, government, financial services, and automotive where security and data privacy are top requirements (Lopez, 2018).
NPI, Growth, and Maturity of BlackBerry IoT Software
A product life cycle involves the life span of a product, starting with the initial specifications of a product and ends when the product withdraws from the market or gets to the decline period (Krishnamoorthi, 2013). When a new product is designed, it is introduced to the market. During the introduction stage, sales are low, although they may be increasing and the market share for the product is small. Once the introduction phase is over, the product goes into the growth period as more people become aware of the product and sales increase. At this stage, the product experiences high sales and increased revenue. The company starts benefitting from the profit margins and makes it easy for the company to invest in promotional activities to realize the maximum potential of this stage. After the growth period, the product enters maturity when sales stagnate and demand becomes stable. At this point, the company must fight to maintain the market share they have acquired. It is also the most competitive period for most products and businesses are required to be strategic in their marketing initiatives. Companies can also be required to introduce any modifications that may give them a competitive advantage over others in the market. In 2015, BlackBerry introduced the Internet of Things. Notably, the product has gone beyond the introduction phase and is currently at the growth phase as identified by Lopez (2018), who highlighted that BlackBerry has been showing IoT progress with new products and partnerships.
Media Methods for the products
Traditional and non-interactive media are becoming less popular and less effective as the audience has changed. Nonetheless, we identify a print media that can be used to advertise the Internet of Things, which is through popular and high-end magazines that target the specific population as targeted by the IoT. The advert should include the products social media pages, where audiences can be redirected to a paid survey about the IoT. On non-print media, Google AdWords can be used with timers to increase urgency. When users click on the AdWords, they should be redirected to a survey where they can give their thoughts about the company and get rewards.
Measuring the effectiveness of a company’s marketing activities should be a top priority. According to Sychrova (2013), marketing metrics are important in that, they help a company determine developments resulting from their marketing activities and even predict future results. Considering BlackBerry Company, some of the marketing metrics to use to determine the success of the marketing activities include sales qualified leads, customer engagement, customer acquisition, and increased return on investment.
Direct market is marketing that directly targets the consumers. This can be done by telephone, mail, TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers among others (O’Guinn, Allen, Scheinbaum, & Semenik, 2019). Direct marketing is an interactive form of marketing where one or more advertising media is used to initiate a measurable response. BlackBerry should consider incorporating different forms of direct marketing to be able to reach a bigger client base and expand their market share.
This is a marketing strategy where companies focus on communications designed to foster goodwill between a company and its customers or constituent groups (O’Guinn et al., 2019). The promotion strategy can be used by BlackBerry targeting to develop and nurture goodwill between the company and its partners and customers.
Marketers use this strategy to give a brand a specific meaning and distinction in the market as compared to its competitors. They use key themes and concepts to communicate the distinctiveness of their products to the target market (O’Guinn et al., 2019). BlackBerry almost went out of the market after it was overtaken by Apple Inc. and Samsung among other mobile devices manufacturers. In light of this, the company should focus on positioning themselves as a leader in the Internet of Things.
BlackBerry. (2015). BlackBerry unveils cloud-based Internet of Things platform. Retrieved from https://www.blackberry.com/us/en/company/newsroom/press-releases/2015/blackberry-unveils-cloud-based-internet-of-things-platform
Krishnamoorthi, C. (2013). An EPQ model for product life cycle (maturity stage) with deteriorating items and shortages. Iranian Journal of Operations Research, 4(1), 75-87.
Lopez, M. (2018). BlackBerry shows IoT progress with new products and partnerships. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/maribellopez/2018/10/17/blackberry-shows-iot-progress-with-new-products-and-partnerships/#60cb8086167a
O’Guinn, T. C., Allen, C. T., Scheinbaum, A. C., & Semenik, R. J. (2019). Advertising and integrated brand promotion. Boston, MA, USA: Cengage.
Sychrova, L. (2013). Measuring the effectiveness of marketing activities use in relation to company size. Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, 61(2), 493-500.
Tanwar, R. (2013). Porter’s Generic Competitive Strategies. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 15(1), 11-17.
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