Tag Archives: target market

Photo: Flickr, theimpulsivebuy

Developing A Marketing Message: A Case Study Of Dr Pepper TEN’s Target Market

Creating a company or product’s marketing message can be daunting, but if you think in terms of everyday conversations, it may be an easier task to tackle. When developing marketing message, whether it is for a brochure, an advertisement, a website or even a social media post, the first thing to think about is who you are trying to target. In other words, what you say is largely determined by whom you are trying to say it to in order to create a message that will inspire them to buy.

A case study: Dr Pepper TEN

Last year’s marketing campaign promoting Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s new low-calorie drink, Dr Pepper TEN, took a leap and specifically targeted men instead of women. While diet drink companies have attempted this before, research showed that women still outnumber men in diet-drink purchasing. Dr Pepper recognized that men are less likely to choose diet sodas because they aren’t perceived as manly. So why launch the macho campaign with the headline, “It’s Not for Women”?

The target market

Marketers will typically break target markets into groups like male/female, ages 25 – 55, income of $75,000 per year or more, with children or without. Honing in on statistical data and behaviors (or psychographics) helps determine who a potential customer is, what they like to do, and how they like to communicate.

In the case of Dr Pepper, going after the male market was an effort to expand its market share in a product segment that is shrinking. As U.S. consumers continue to cut their soda consumption by opting for healthier drink selections like flavored waters and juice, Dr Pepper cooked up a new low-calorie recipe offering 10 calories and two grams of sugar to keep it relatively healthy, while claiming to be more flavorful than other diet drinks. Making an appeal to men, they hoped to increase sales and gain new customers.

Speaking to multiple markets

In most cases, a company or product may be targeting multiple markets, and as a result, the message may center on one main target but offer an appeal to others. Think of the Bud Light or AXE ads. Like Dr Pepper TEN, they are targeting men; but the humor in the ads also appeals to women.

Focusing an entire marketing campaign with a message directed to one market can pose a real risk. The Dr Pepper TEN campaign, which showed men running through jungles, leaping boulders and watching football, aggressively conveyed that women were not welcome, despite the fact that women represent 50.8 percent of the purchasing public.

Dr Pepper TEN ads aired on all major networks that are heavily watched by males, including FX and ESPN during college football games. The company also created a Facebook page for the drink, which contained an application that allowed fans to exclude women from viewing content, as well as games and videos geared to men.

The decision to ignore women, especially when they make a large majority of purchasing decisions, initially proved to be a mistake.

Immediately following the launch of the campaign, there was a large backlash and a glut of publicity bashing the company for ostracizing women. An article published in Smart Money titled “Angry Women Is Not What Dr Pepper Ordered” said the “for men only campaign backfired with both sexes.” It went on to say that, “The campaign appears to have driven women’s perception of Dr Pepper down, which may have an adverse effect on the overall brand’s sales of a product like Diet Dr Pepper.”

If a marketing campaign is supposed to attract attention, experts can agree that Dr Pepper achieved that. In the days and weeks after the campaign aired, every major media outlet was writing and talking about it. Despite the barrage of negative media coverage or because of it, the product and its campaign proved to be successful. According to Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s annual report published in March 2012, “in the first three months of national distribution, trial rates for Dr Pepper TEN were nearly nine percent, significantly above other new innovation launches.” The report also went on to state, “the great taste of Dr Pepper TEN, which is targeted at men who don’t like the image of diet beverages, has resulted in consumers – male and female – asking for more TEN options.”

Fast forward just one year after the “It’s Not for Women” campaign launched, an article appearing in October 2012 in the Wall Street Journal discusses disappointing overall sales for the company with a drop in five of the company’s six soda brands. The bright spot that showed growth ― Dr Pepper TEN.

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marketing budget

Show Me The Money: How Much Is The Marketing Budget?

One of the most common questions I get from people starting a new venture is how much should they plan to spend on marketing; and one of the biggest mistakes I see with new businesses is a tremendous amount of time and money invested in opening the doors making the new office, restaurant or retail space look great, but leaving little to no money in the budget to promote the new venture.

The reality is that whether you are a newly launched company or you’ve been around for years, you cannot expect to attract new customers without marketing.

The marketing budget

So how much should you spend? The general rule of thumb is plan on budgeting one to 10 percent of gross revenues. For newer businesses, that number should be on the higher end of the spectrum or even beyond (possibly as much as 15 percent). Then, once you’ve set a budget, you must determine how it should be allocated.

A few things to consider that will help determine what percentage you may need to budget:

  • How well known is your company name, service or product?
  • What are your competitors spending and where?
  • Who are you trying to reach and what is the best way to reach them?

If you are a fairly unknown entity or your competitors are marketing aggressively, you may need to spend more.

The target market

Next, determining the best marketing mix for promoting your company or product requires a clear understanding of your target market in order to select the most cost effective allocation of your marketing budget.

Starbucks is clearly an established brand, and with 33 percent of the market share, it is the leader in coffee sales. Yet, compared to most leading consumer brands it spends less on traditional marketing. In 2010, the company actually doubled its spend on marketing, according an article in Advertising Age. The company spent only $97.6 million — about one percent of the coffee chain’s U.S. sales. A large portion of the company’s marketing dollars are invested in digital and social media with a focus on engaging customers in what they call, “the customer experience.”

For smaller companies with more limited budgets, Starbucks serves as an interesting example of what you can do spending less. Using Facebook and individually designed websites, such as MyStarbucksIdea, customers are encouraged to make suggestions and share ideas. For the company’s 40th anniversary, it launched MyStarbucksSignature, a website that lets customers create customized drinks.

Utilizing social media

Employing online advertising and utilizing social media can be one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available. But business owners are mistaken if they think it’s free. Social Media marketing requires an investment of time and/or money, or both. Other cost-effective marketing tools to employ include public relations, grassroots guerrilla marketing, and community outreach. Regardless of what you do, the key is consistency and repetition.

As you create your marketing plan, think about how much you can afford to invest and where you may want to spend it. Then, when you think you can’t possibly allocate 10 percent of your gross revenues, realize that if you want your company to succeed, you can’t afford not to.