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MARKETING SCOPE ANALYSIS
Presented by Avanti Gade
Marketing Manager – Playstation 2
Sony's Playstation 2 introduced in 2000, has become the top of the line in the slim line playstation models engulfing 62% of the market share in its gaming domain. Playstation 2 is installed with 24 million users and its online service boasts of 1.7 million subscribers. However Playstation 2 has been pitted against the likes of Microsoft and its Xbox product line. Together these two gaming giants make up for 83.8% of the gaming industry and will continue to face off against each other in tight quarters. This factor deserves keen attention, due to the success ratio and image that Microsoft is able to conjure in the minds of the public. Nintendo's GameCube and Sega are also rivals worth being cautious about. It is after all a matter of sustaining a product in the light of constant enhancements and inventions. The recent phenomenon of online gaming has added users to the arena of gaming. To ensure popularity and growth for Playstation 2, this report highlights certain areas that deserve special attention for the future of this product especially marketing communications.
A consumer is known to undergo various stages before purchasing an item as the Smart Marketing Report highlights in its March 2003 edition.
First Learning – This is the introduction of the products idea to the consumer. He/she may look further or dismiss the product.
Further Learning – This indicates interest regarding the product in the mind of the consumer. He/she has preferred to gain more knowledge about the product and/or similar products existing in the market.
Purchase Decision – The consumer liked what he/she heard and has made up his/her mind to indulge in the product.
At every stage we as a company need to communicate to the consumer regarding the features and benefits of our Playstation 2 product. For the first learning stage, we need to provide our product with a viewing platform for the world to notice. Tactful marketing and advertising is absolutely essential in the pool of potential products that a consumer can choose from. For the further learning stage, we should make sure that the consumers are given access to all the information they need to make an appropriate decision regarding Playstation 2. Therefore we need to ensure that we adopt effective marketing channels that will be described later in this report.
The post-purchase stage however remains the most important as the consumer should be satisfied with what he/she is heard and what he/she gets. In this regards, we need to ensure that while the decision making process was undertaken; the consumer obtained reliable product information and has access to further information if needed. It has been studied that word of mouth is one of the top drivers of purchase decisions and we have to ensure that the publicity gained is of the desirable kind.
The consumer has undertaken a risk when he/she has chosen to purchase our product. With a promise of the phrase "Live in your world, play in ours" we need to ensure that the consumer is not disappointed with our product and does not engage in bad publicity as that can be extremely damaging to our company. If we make sure that marketing communication is able to drive into the minds of our consumers that we provide them with a good product, the risk they entail in purchasing our product can be minimized and at the same time, we are not taking undue risks for the future of the company by ignoring this communication.
INFLUENCES TOWARDS PURCHASE
There are a variety of influences that affect the decision making process which we have to factor while we structure our product specifications and marketing plan. Some major influences are:
Couch Culture – The youth of today who is our majority market is accustomed to being in front of the television during non-school hours. They are very versatile and knowledgeable about gaming products.
Adult Censorship - We must be able to communicate to the adults that their children do not face risks when using our product. Communication to the adults is a vital part of our success as the purchasing power lies with them.
Cultural Impression – We need to form a culture of gaming that is currently being steadily built over the world. This can be achieved only through adequate quality and quantity of marketing communication with cultural relevance.
We have seen from the information above that marketing communication occupies a pivotal position in the scheme of things for the Playstation 2 product. Whether it is introducing, informing or educating the consumer, marketing communication will enable the consumer to make an informed decision regarding Playstation 2. Ensuring that the consumer is also provided channels of communication with us post purchase is another important phase. Adequate marketing techniques must be deployed to enable such interaction. Besides, doing so provides invaluable customer feedback that is used to further enhance our product. Hence an appropriate quality and quantity of marketing communication is essential for competitive advantage of the product and prospects of greater success.
While producing a technology product, it is appropriate for Playstation 2 to utilize technology for furthering its marketing initiatives. The four most popular channels of marketing activities are listed as follows:
Word of Mouth and Sales Personnel
The internet technology provides tremendous scope for increased sales especially due to the success of our online gaming initiative. We can take advantage of our well designed websites and generate online customers. There are various advantages of engaging in internet related marketing:
- Low setup costs and investments
- Direct link to customer
- Easy interaction potential
- Provision of customer service tools
- Display of similar products
- Product comparisons
- Low inventory
The channels of internet marketing are as follows:
Search Engines – Google, Overture, Looksmart and such are and have search engine sponsored marketing spots available to be visible in search results.
Shopping Sites – The plethora of shopping websites can enhance the visibility of our product and increase sales considerably. This indirect channel of purchase comes at no additional advertising cost to us and can be very useful.
Mobile Devices – Hooking up with mobile devices like the cell phone, wireless networks, palm pilots, etc. to run demo versions of our games can be effective marketing tools as these devices are immensely popular and highly used.
We thus observe that marketing communication can carry a product from pre to post purchase satisfaction and can maneuver the product image to its public relations plan. With intense competition in the gaming industry, it is my urge to you to consider marketing communication as a tool for increased sales and enhanced experience. Engaging in internet marketing can especially open doors for Playstation 2 to sustain competitive advantage and continued growth.
 The Smart Marketing Report (2003) New York, Doubleclick.
 The Smart Marketing Report (2003) New York, Doubleclick.