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04/15/2012

Marketing Management Assignment Part 2 - Mobile Phones


Mobile phones and innovation

Mobile phones have been popular and have reached a vast majority of users all over the world. As in any field of design, form often comes at the expense of function. If usability issues caused by browser incompatibilities, version-related quirks, scripting engines, and flaky connectivity do not provide enough of a challenge, usability experts will now have a new factor to consider phones and devices that look great, but at the expense of being intuitive or even usable at all. Clearly, there is not a dichotomous relationship between looks and intellect savvy designers and detail-oriented usability experts can work together using iterative redesign to create the right combination, if both sides respect the work of the other and are reasonable in making compromises. Beyond the immediate scope of whether a device looks cool or not is the social propriety of the device (McCabe 2002). Technologies that have long-lasting and widespread social impact are usually plagued with a period of emerging etiquette and public standards of appropriateness before that technology is accepted by the mainstream. To date, there are many different viewpoints that cellular phone advocates and critics might have regarding the use of telephony in public. The question of the success or failure of any given technology is never actually a matter of machines alone (Proctor & Vu 2005).

Today's mobile phone is essentially a two-way radio, a device dating from 1906, made possible by digital signal processing, a technique first demonstrated in 1938. Diffusing this technology, as is always the case, has depended at least as much on social factors as technological capabilities. Smart phones propose to have increased functionality and graphical capabilities, which could lead to a more complex and graphic rich interface. If so, gathering user requirements from the current mobile phones may not be as applicable as was thought to addressing the cultural issues surrounding the design of future smart phone interfaces (Aakhus & Katz 2002). Asking questions on the participants' Internet use was thought to somehow compensate for their interaction with the simple graphic interfaces of their current mobile phones. The telephone and its latest mobile incarnation have a unique place in the history of humanity's development. In the history of human imagination the power of real-time interactive oral communication over great distances had been a power so great that even most divine beings were considered incapable of it. The spread of mobile communication, most obtrusively as cell phones but increasingly in other wireless devices, is affecting people's lives and relationships. Cell phones speed the pace and efficiency of life, but also allow more flexibility at business and professional levels as well as in family and personal life. They are a boon for those who feel they are not accomplishing enough. People can harness spare time, or time previously spent in tasks that seem not to require full attention. They can use this time to plan and coordinate with others, get information or messages. They can even shop remotely by phone while at the same time themselves shopping in person. Mobile technology also affects the way people interact when face to face or, rather and increasingly, face-to-face-to-mobile-phone-face, since people are ever more likely to include the mobile phone as a participant in what would otherwise be a face-to-face dyad or small group, and even parties (Kalbfleisch 2004).This paper aims to discuss a new service that mobile phone manufacturers should focus on.

New service for mobile phone manufacturer

The new service would be automatic translation for calls and texts from foreign individuals. Mobile phone manufacturers would be given a specialized software that will help translate calls and texts from foreigners. The dominance of transparency in English-language translation reflects comparable trends in other cultural forms, including other forms of writing. The enormous economic and political power acquired by scientific research during the twentieth century, the postwar innovations in advanced communications technologies to expand the advertising and entertainment industries and support the economic cycle of commodity production and exchange-these developments have affected every medium, both print and electronic, by valorizing a purely instrumental use of language and other means of representation and thus emphasizing immediate intelligibility and the appearance of factuality (Venuti 2000). The translator's invisibility can now be seen as a mystification of troubling proportions, an amazingly successful concealment of the multiple determinants and effects of English-language translation, the multiple hierarchies and exclusions in which it is implicated. An illusionism produced by fluent translating, the translator's invisibility at once enacts and masks an insidious domestication of foreign texts, rewriting them in the transparent discourse that prevails in English and that selects precisely those foreign texts amenable to fluent translating (Venuti 1995).

Insofar as the effect of transparency effaces the work of translation, it contributes to the cultural marginality and economic exploitation that English-language translators have long suffered, their status as seldom recognized, poorly paid writers whose work nonetheless remains indispensable because of the global domination of Anglo-American culture, of English. Behind the translator's invisibility is a trade imbalance that underwrites this domination, but also decreases the cultural capital of foreign values in English by limiting the number of foreign texts translated and submitting them to domesticating revision (Garsten & Wulff 2003). The translator's invisibility is symptomatic of a complacency in Anglo-American relations with cultural others, a complacency that can be described-without too much exaggeration-as imperialistic abroad and xenophobic at home. The concept of the translator's invisibility is already a cultural critique, a diagnosis that opposes the situation it represents. It is partly a representation from below, from the standpoint of the contemporary English-language translator, although one who has been driven to question the conditions of his work because of various developments, cultural and social, foreign and domestic. The violent effects of translation are felt at home as well as abroad. On the one hand, translation wields enormous power in the construction of national identities for foreign cultures, and hence it potentially figures in ethnic discrimination, geopolitical confrontations, colonialism or war. On the other hand, translation enlists the foreign text in the maintenance or revision of literary canons in the target-language culture, inscribing poetry and fiction, for example, with the various poetic and narrative discourses that compete for cultural dominance in the target language. Translation also enlists the foreign text in the maintenance or revision of dominant conceptual paradigms, research methodologies, and clinical practices in target-language disciplines and professions, whether physics or architecture, philosophy or psychiatry, sociology or law (Michael 2006).

Country that the service would be launched in

The service would be launched in China. This service would benefit well the Chinese since not all of them can easily understand the English and other language. In a relatively short period since the China market was opened to outside forces in the late 1980s, the world has witnessed a dramatic increase in China's economic growth and the well-being of the more fortunate among the population. Change has been dramatic. Telephone ownership was relatively low and access to landlines limited to the more privileged (Dingbo & Murphy 1994). However, in the last decade people have seen cell phone home ownership mushroom and the concomitant acquisitioning of durables take off.  Many changes in traditional values have occurred, and these have been reflected, as the author has observed, in the structure of retail assortments and how and where they are presented. These changes have impacted on the expectations of the consumer and nurtured the development of distinctive tastes and preferences. The successful manufacture and marketing of mobile phones require massive volumes and the ability to drive costs down by at least 10 percent per annum. Control of cost and the ability to occupy the price points are critical competitive issues across Asia. And brand image is a prerequisite. What is astounding is the pace at which the Chinese consumer has moved to a high level of sophistication (Alon 2003).

The Chinese consumer is more inclined to combine business needs in a handset with personal entertainment. WAP wireless application protocol was introduced, but the pricing policy necessitated a charge for airtime, and it was far too expensive. Moreover, the speed was insufficient to meet the requirements of the heavy user. This may change with the pending introduction of Global Positioning System (GPS) phones because the policy is only to charge for the volume of data download, and of course the speed will be more attractive. It is also a challenge for the content provider. Nevertheless cell phone manufacturers are continuing with their plans to ship handsets to China. With increased usage a better understanding of future consumer opportunities will emerge. The market moves at such a pace that the manufacturers have been challenged to accurately forecast the rate of market development. Manufacturers admit that they have underestimated the growth by as much as 30 to 40 percent. This perpetual underestimating has not inhibited the category from becoming one of the hottest. In the China mobile phone market, manufacturers aver, it are possible to gain market share relatively fast, as Samsung has. But it is equally possible to lose it as quickly (Kuhn 1993). Brand name and awareness are important, but it is also necessary to generate awareness of specific models and styles. It is important to cover all price points and to generate a halo effect by having the most sophisticated model as part of the line. Not-withstanding, the average price in the market has been cut by half, so this is a challenge for all players. All major handset innovations in China are adaptations of international technology platforms. Adaptation is mainly tweaking and adjusting. Some of this has to do with the language and the need for Chinese names or Chinese software interfaces. The size of the China market for cell phones will ultimately dictate that the whims and tastes of the Chinese consumer be factored by the major cell phone players. The Chinese consumer will be regarded as an opinion leader, not merely in this category but, as the China consumer market continues to develop quickly, in other categories as well (Berthrong 1998)

Segmentation and target market

Market segmentation focuses on dividing a market into smaller groups with the same wants, needs, behavior or characteristic. Market segmentation helps in clearing a market so that the firm can make specific strategies that relate to the wants, needs and characteristic of a market. Market segmentation can be done based on a product specific basis wherein the focus is to divide the market according to the products purchased by the clients. Market segmentation involves breaking down the entire market into smaller submarkets or subgroups that can be reached more effectively with different marketing programs. The question of market segmentation is a managerial one that is, should the market be segmented? That is, are the statistically significant differences found among segments also managerially significant? To answer the second question, one must examine the benefits of market segmentation vis-à-vis its costs. To make this type of assessment, one must first determine whether any statistically significant differences between, for example, two segments justify the cost of developing target marketing (Michman 1991). Target marketing distinguishes among many market segments, selects one or more of these segments, and develops products and marketing mixes tailored to each segment. For instance, consider a 10 percent difference among younger and older customers desiring a particular telecommunication service.

 If one wishes to consider different marketing strategies to appeal to these two segments, one should examine whether a 10 percent difference in service desirability between the two segments justifies the extra cost associated with the development of two strategies rather than one. Ideally, the 10 percent should be translated into numbers of customers and potential revenues. Potential revenues could be estimated by calculating the proportion of those expressing intentions to use and those who are expected to use it and continue using. Furthermore, a more precise estimate of the importance of each segment in terms of potential revenues must include not only the number of potential users but also the monthly or usage rate. The costs associated with target marketing may include the cost of developing an entirely different marketing mix for each segment. To the extent that segments differ in the way they respond to the seller's efforts, different marketing efforts aimed at each segment are needed and often justified. Market segmentation appears to be an effective strategic tool for addressing the mature market, not only because this market is highly diversified but also because of its size (Moschis 1994).The Chinese market is segmented into the high class and middle class client wherein some people would prefer to purchase mobile phone services with high values, while some choose mobile phone services that are less expensive. Another segmentation in the Chinese market involves the older cell phone users and the younger ones.  Older users of mobile prefer comfortable and efficient phones while the younger ones prefer the ones with good design and state of the art accessories. Moreover a segmentation in the Chinese market includes those who prefer performance and those who prefer environment safe mobile phones. Amidst the segmentation of the market. The target market would be business people. They are the ones that usually make calls or texts to foreign nationals since they engage in business dealings. The new service would be available to all but the business people would be the primary client for the service.

Marketing Mix

Firms undertake marketing research to help identify why people buy or do not buy products and services. It also provides information for making marketing mix decisions or decisions on pricing, product, distribution and promotion. Marketing aims to optimize its marketing mix. By offering the product with the right combination of the four Ps businesses can improve the results of their undertaking and improve the effectiveness of their marketing aspect. Making small changes in the marketing mix is typically considered to be a tactical change that will affect the performance of the firm.  The four Ps or the marketing mix helps a firm strategize in a competitive market.  The four Ps give the firm a chance to alter itself from the competitive market. The use of the four Ps ensures that the firm is different and has a unique characteristic compared to the competitors.  All firms have strategic windows and some of these windows open out on to markets that are shared with other firms. Where windows share views over the same market, competition exists. It is important to understand how different firms view the same market since their perceived and actual windows of opportunity will not all are the same. The nature of competition and the factors which influence it are explored along with how firms identify competitors and how they use product positioning to obtain a competitive advantage. Attention is paid to how firms define their marketing strategies and analyze the competitive positions of rivals (Bradley 2003).

Consideration is given to the various sources of information available to firms that enable them to gauge competitors’ strengths and weaknesses Success in the market place depends not only on an ability to identify customer wants and needs but also upon an ability to be able to satisfy those wants and needs better than competitors are able to do. This implies that organizations need to look for ways of achieving a differential advantage in the eyes of the customer. The differential advantage is often achieved through the product or service itself but sometimes it may be achieved through other elements of the marketing mix (Morris Jr. 1996). Customer or market research can produce quantitative facts about particular markets and market segments. For example, the size of the market both in terms of unit sales and value. When these data are collected over time it allows one to identify trends and helps to predict future sales. It can also provide information on where customers are located, their spending patterns, earnings and creditworthiness. It can also explain why customers prefer one brand to another and what price they are willing to pay for a brand. (Proctor 2000). The product is automatic translation service for mobile phones. The price would be around $10 to $30. The price would be competitive to prices of other software available to mobile phone users. Competitive pricing would be used; any changes in the prices of competing services would be monitored. If the prices of competitors increase then the firm would initiate price increase. The automatic translation service for mobile phones would be promoted via the internet, text messages and television commercials. In the internet promotion strategy the firm would engage in tie ups with mobile phone companies and networks to promote the service. In the text message promotion strategy the firm would create a deal with cell phone networks to send to their clients advertisements of the product. In television promotion the firm would use commercials to inform the clients about the service. The place of selling would be in the mobile market. Payments can be made by checks or any online means of payment.

Estimation of cost

The cost of the system entails the expenses to create the system and the expenses on training the personnel or the people who will use the system. The next part focuses on the estimation of the cost and the sources of funds.

Company funds                                                               $20,000

Investor contribution                                                           7,000

Bank loans                                                                          3,000

Total Funds                                                                   $30,000

 

Expenses

Expenses on the creation of the system                           $18,000

Overall training cost                                                              5,000

Miscellaneous expenses                                                         900

Total Expenses                                                               $23,900

 

Total Funds                                                                      $30,000

Total Expenses                                                                  23,900

Cash at hand                                                                      6,100

 

Timeframe

The proposed project will involve five stages. The first stage involves gathering data, determining the final output of the system and determining the possible developers for the system. This stage will be done in one to two weeks. The second stage will focus on constructing the system and determining the potential problems that might be encountered. This stage will be done in two to three weeks. The third stage will focus on completing the creation of the system, testing the system, explaining the system to the personnel, letting them test the system and evaluating the system. This stage will be done in a month. The fourth stage will focus on analyzing the results of the creation and implementation of the system. This will take two to three weeks. The last stage will focus on determining if the system did more good or bad. In this stage everything has been constructed and the problems had been surpassed. This stage will take one to two weeks.

References

Aakhus, MA & Katz, JE (eds.) 2002, Perpetual contact: Mobile

communication, Private talk, Public performance, Cambridge

University Press, Cambridge, England.

Alon, I (eds.) 2003, Chinese economic transition and

international marketing strategy, Praeger, Westport, CT.

Bradley, F 2003, Strategic marketing: In the customer driven

organization, Wiley, Chichester, England.

Berthrong, JH 1998, Transformations of the Confucian way,

Westview Press, Boulder, CO. 

Dingbo, W & Murphy, PD (eds.) 1994, Handbook of Chinese popular

culture, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT.

Garsten, C & Wulff, H (eds.) 2003, New technologies at work:

people, screens, and social virtuality, Berg, New York.

Kalbfleisch, PJ (ed.) 2004, Communication yearbook, Lawrence

Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.

Kuhn, R (eds.) 1993, Generating creativity and innovation in

large bureaucracies, Quorum Books, Westport, CT.

McCabe, PT (eds.) 2002, Contemporary ergonomics 2002, Taylor &

Francis, London.

Michael, M (eds.) 2006, Techno science and everyday life: The

complex simplicities of the mundane, Open University Press, 

Maidenhead, England.

Michman, RD 1991, Lifestyle market segmentation, Praeger

Publishers, New York.

Morris Jr., J 1996, Market power and business strategy: In

search of the unified organization, Quorum Books, Westport, CT.

Moschis, GP 1994, Marketing strategies for the mature market

Quorum Books, Westport, CT.

Proctor, RW & Vu, K (eds.) 2005, Handbook of human factors in

web design, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.

Proctor, T 2000, Strategic marketing: An introduction,

Routledge, London.

Venuti, L (eds.) 2000, The translation studies reader,

Routledge, London.

Venuti, L 1995, The translator's invisibility: A history of

translation, Routledge, London.

 

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