Friday, September 20, 2019
The Chevrolet Case Study In India Marketing Essay
The Chevrolet Case Study In India Marketing Essay Introduction: Marketing is an integrated interactive methodology of planning, processing and practising the entire chain of advertising, awareness, pricing, promotion, distribution and selling of any product or services serving the individual and organizational objectives of client satisfaction and profit maximization. Web or online marketing is the phenomenon of establishing and perpetuating consumer relationships through internet branding, awareness building and selling in order to encourage and expedite exchange of merchandisable views, commodities and services for mutual advantage. [Source: Imber, Jane and Betsy-Ann Toffler. 2000. Dictionary of Marketing Terms. 3rd ed. Barrons Business Dictionaries] To implement a successful marketing case study it is necessary to winnow all information to strategize and integrate the various marketing management steps taken to derive the solution as enlisted below: a background and introduction to acquaint with the marketing prospects circumstantial scrutiny about the product marketed or service rendered elaborative analysis of the marketing action plans adapted absolute affirmations to substantiate the case study and information [Clemes, Michael D. (2002) p.35] The marketing case study illustrated here is the first hand experience of the writer while working in middle management team of Chevrolet group of General Motors in India successfully strategizing the brand even through web marketing in midst of the companys uncertainties and global recession. Background and the Chevrolet Case Study in India: The global economic recession and probable bankruptcy of General Motors urged the US Government to formulate the Bail out Policy by the White House under the able and diplomatic administration of the United States President Mr. Barack Obama thus reinstating the companys progress and popularity and saving it from the present recession which has affected its other competitors hugely. This case study accounts the direct experience while actively working in India amongst the aggressive marketing team of GMs Chevrolet pioneering marketing and web marketing strategies to attain market leadership through ingenious brand awareness intelligently programmed in line with the vision and values thus steering them successfully in face of global economic melt down. General Motors considered as the colossus of American capitalism has become synonymous with the American lifestyle showering warmth of living in opulence. Moreover, the recent plans and strategies of General Motors to revive the company concentrates focus on their four brands, namely, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC. GM vis-Ã -vis Chevrolet champions itself as a prestige brand targeting the affluent and aspiring community to position them amongst the renowned stature. Chevrolet additionally advocates brand image for the common corporate class familiarizing them with the brand which is well-acclaimed by the rich and the famous. Hence Chevrolet curves a class of its own synonymous with the prestige and the power of position. With the current fast forward lifestyles and the growing trend to attain social visibility especially in the emerging markets like India consumers generally cannot escape the incessant attraction of gaining conspicuous prominence in the community by possessin g prestige and luxury commodities like classy cars. Conspicuous Consumption depicts the consumers intention to exhibit prominence in affording luxury goods to attain social visibility (Piron, 2000, p.309). Displaying abundance, people who enjoys Conspicuous Consumption aims to achieve greater social distinction amongst the common (Wang and Chen, 2004). Conspicuous consumption in India is no longer confined to rich class merely, with easy communication finance accessibility at any point of time this affluence is desired amongst all income groups even the economically backward working class. In India the advertising, campaigning techniques adopted by General Motors are product-based group-targeted aiming at dynamic-branding strategies aiming at the flourishing corporate class branding especially through online audio visual marketing. The free test drive campaigns and extravagant road shows especially organized in India by Chevrolet at principle prospective points with propaganda of least maintenance cost for three years have instantaneously increased sales and immensely strengthened their market share. Niche luxury car section of Chevrolet also aims at targeting high and medium income groups in India through practising a more specialized privately customized publicity strategy through email or internet Invitation Only Marketing. Overall Chevrolets strategy in appealing the Common Working Man or locally termed as Aam Admi from diversified classes of income groups in India has proven to be so effective that Chevrolet has seen a sales boom in India even in the face of globa l recession, at the same time Chevrolet Spark and the Aveo U-VA have bagged the prestigious J.D. Power Asia-Pacific awards in addition to many other accolades in its bouquet. Chevrolet in India amidst the economic meltdown has proven to be the market leader through formulating innovative, decisive brand awareness aiming to glorify and transform lives of their loyal enthusiastic followers and prospects. In India, Chevrolet through its enterprising marketing, branding masterminding has conquered billions of loyal and prospective consumers paving enlightened path for flourishing historically important path-breaking strategies. Analysis of Internal and External Issues: The consumers behaviour can be broadly studied under cognitive, affective and normative determinants depending on the approach, preference, prejudice, perception and conspicuous consumption of the existent community. The purchasing graph in automobile industry is always an exception. Though the car prices are in decreasing mode in accordance to Indias vision for her citizens to own at least one car per person, yet the possession of car in emerging countries like India is still a luxury capital purchase. All the above affecting consumer behaviours vary with time due to financial condition, age, gender, educational background and lifestyle which induce two reactions, namely, the rational attitude and the experienced outlook. While purchasing luxury goods like cars in India, consumer acquires in-depth knowledge of the market and the company offerings rationally analysing and evaluating all information. According to Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders and Wong (1999), in addition to the cultural phenomenon, there are social, personal and psychological aspects which govern the purchasing power of the people. Across India, the globalization has ushered in an open door market and economic boom leading to easily accessible information, technological advancements, communication systems, international social networks these global trends enormously influence both the markets and the consumers (Borg, 1996). Following the Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, to analyse and evolve the human psychological factors configuring and constituting their needs and motivations the determinants are categorized into five classifications in a pyramid such as the lowest level shows physiological demand to appease basic hunger and thirst, the second level arouses an individual to look for safety and security, the third level pacifies an individuals desire for social belonging, the fourth level influences the person to q uench his esteem to attain social status and finally the fifth level inspires to achieve self-actualization accomplishing ones ultimate potential and independence. In developing countries like India significant determinants exist for the increasing demands of high involvement products like automobiles. India being the second most populated country has emerged as one of the most preferred nations by foreign multinational investors in automobile sector like Chevrolet of General Motors- mostly attracted due to the huge demand naturally created by Indias growing population through the extensive expanse of qualitative talent and competitive labour pool available. Principal credit of publicizing and popularizing of Chevrolets vast Indian expansion is contributed by the creatively sophisticated advertising market especially the web advertising and marketing strategies which has not only inspired its very own Indian population but also attracted the audience worldwide. The secret formula be hind Chevrolets marketing success in India dwells upon communication and the extent to which a consumer recognizes and recalls a brand. In this context it is appropriate to quote Aaker (1991, p 63), A name is like a special file folder in the mind which can be filled with name-related facts and feelings. Without such a file readily accessible in memory, the facts and feelings become misfiled, and cannot be readily accessed when needed. Accordingly it depends on the Levels of Awareness as illustrated below: (Source: Aaker; 1991, p 62) Unaware of Brand->Brand Recognition->Brand Recall->Top of Mind A direct extraction from the Summer Internship Report on Role of Advertising in Brand Communication through Television Media submitted by Sumantra Ray (A0102207185) of Amity University Uttar Pradesh the following useful information can be considered: The above graph shows the number of people who have given the corresponding ranks to the mediums according to the time devoted. The total is calculated by adding up the product of the number of people and corresponding ranks. [Example for television: it is (1X35) + (2X30) + (3X26) + (4X9) =209] The medium getting the lowest score is one getting the highest average rank. Hence the ranks are: 1- Television, 2 internet, 3 radio, 4- print. Next probing deep into the impact of the electronic media rising amongst which is the internet advertising and its influence on auto-sales in India, the following extracted international statistics can be cited and then Indian variables be derived with present research data as explained below: [The above tabular graphical data directly extracted from the source Ong, Jessica (April 21st, 2009) Archive for Advertising Effectiveness, Big Domain or Big Homepage? Homepage Visitors at the Top Publisher Sites [online] (Cited 4 February 2010) Available from: http://blog.compete.com/topics/advertising-effectiveness/page/2/] [The above pie-chart graphical data directly extracted from the source Coad, Chris(March 3rd, 2009 ) Hyundai (pronounced like Sunday) Accelerates into 2009, [online] (Cited 4 February 2010) Available from: http://blog.compete.com/2009/03/03/hyundai-assurance-sales-increase/ ] In India as per the scrutiny conducted the internet is generally browsed by the younger generation and the corporate class, and it is also seen that while purchasing a brand new first hand car people most often do visit websites and collect feedbacks or news updates from the internet in addition to the conventional method verbal consultation with friends and relatives. But in the current scenario with the rewarding publicity awareness created in India by the social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc even amongst the oldest generations, political leaders, celebrities, public figures that the common mass in India are transforming more or less as net savvy and net dependent while finalizing on the high involvement purchase and the older generations, conservative classes or house-wives as well are now consulting the internet rather than discuss out with friends and relatives. Thus for the internet users advertisements do play a central conclusive role in aiding them to take the ir decisions. The creative agencies in India are not only involved in advertising in the conventional methods they are always inventive in venturing into innovative vistas like arranging for symposium, conferences or just meeting points to interact the advertisers with the prospective consumers and spread the global views for a promising prospective and prosperous future. Search engine Optimization, Pay per click, Invitation Only Marketing and Exclusivity advertising strategies are all implemented to establish as a successful brand intelligently utilizing the web marketing effectively. The advertisements of automobile sectors in this passing phase of global economic recession are also targeted to reinstate and reinforce the renewed presence of the auto brands and proclaim the word of assurances for their stable support and thus honouring their brand loyalties with perpetual guaranteed services. This is evident in the extracted instance of press release of a credibility reassurance c ampaign related to the General Motorss US Bankruptcy case in which GMs President and Managing Director (India) Mr. Carl Sym is featured as rightfully justified: Piyush Rathi, business director, Quasar Media, the digital agency which has conceptualised the campaign, tells afaqs!, It is an assurance-building campaign, aimed at informing consumers that India and the US are two separate operations of GM. And the Indian arm is debt-free and self- sufficient and consumers will continue to get after-sales services. [Kapil Ohri (June 03, 2009) Digital reassurance by GM India, New Delhi, http://digital.afaqs.com/perl/digital/news/story.html?sid=24156] This induced the big honchos in the auto industry like Chevrolet to invest in the enormously prospective emerging market of India as evidenced in the Chevrolet Aveo U-VAs Bada Dil. Badi Car ad of Bollywood star Saif Ali Khan depicting through online advertisements and electronic campaigns the friendly responsible Indian common man popularized as Aam Admi which at once wins the hearts of millions of Indians. (http://www.prdomain.com/companies/G/GeneralMotors/newsreleases/20066733214.htm) Broadly there are four interdependent perspectives to collectively contribute towards giving the product its brand essence, namely, product, people-organization, product-personality and signature-symbol all the factors together have proven to be a revolutionary hit even in the case of web marketing for the Chevrolet brand in India. Web Marketing Action Plans Behind the Success Story: The Web Marketing Strategy implemented in this case is illustrated below: FRAME MARKET OPPORTUNITY FORMULATE MARKET STRATEGY DESIGN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE CRAFT CUSTOMER INTERFACE DESIGN MARKETING PROGRAM LEVERAGE CUSTOMER INFORMATION THROUGH TECHNOLOGY EVALUATE The Web Activities of Consumers are enlisted below (Source: Advertising Age, Digital Marketing Fact Book 2007): Activity Internet Users Used e-mail 70.5% Got Latest News 40.2 Made Purchase, Personal 34.2 Paid Bills 30.7 Used Instant Messenger 26.8 Got Financial Info 24.8 Got Sports News/Info 23.8 Played Games 22.4 Made Travel Plans 19.8 Got Medical Info 17.4 Download Music 15.7 Visit TV Website 14.1 Tracked Investments 13.2 Got Real Estate Info 12.3 Looked For Job 12.1 Watched Video 11.4 Listened Radio 10.9 Made Purchase, Business 10.7 Got Info for Car Buy 10 Visit Blogs 6.7 In marketing of high involvement purchase like cars in India, informative web advertisements through public sharing of the sensational package, affordable prices, vehicular features, outstanding mileage, spare-parts accessibility, world-class presence are proven to be the focus of attraction in communication strategies as successfully illustrated by Chevrolet in its powerful persuasion of forceful advertisements as evidenced in Saif Ali Khan playing the brand ambassador. In India, with rising fuel costs and thinking green becoming buzz words amongst people; Chevrolet of General Motors has progressed immensely with innovations exclusive in fuel efficient and environmental-friendly cars of world standard. The Brand Awareness strategies of Chevrolet are a grand success on adopting the following steps as advocated by Aaker (1991): Be different, Memorable: To differentiate amidst the competitive market, Chevrolet manifests outstanding, sensational, attention-pulling successful web campaigns and e-ads to attract the exclusive consumer community. Classy, hyped ramp walks during new series launch with cocktail celebrations in grand presence of dignitaries and celebrities are added crowd-pulling sensations practised universally in India by the automobile giant brand Chevrolet which are all posted in the websites and internet advertisements to attract buyers. Involve a slogan or jingle: To augment the effect of visual practical impact of the brand, the witty attractive slogan in Chevrolet ads has achieved unimaginable popularity since the most successful innovative pioneering one-liner captivates a million hearts as in Bada Dil. Badi Car meaning Big Heart. Big Car. Symbol Exposure: Popularizing of Chevrolets unique attractive golden cross symbol has further magnetized the consumers and pulled the brand from its grass root level to the current acclaimed glory the symbol sometimes be seen as ads at different news, informative and sports websites. Publicity: In this era of fast, speedy communications Chevrolets prime achievement in India dwells in advertising, especially in electronic and internet media, which are timely organized and strategized thus capturing millions and billions of consumers at a time. Event Sponsorship: The free test drive campaigns, extravagant road shows organized by Chevrolet in India at principle prospective points with propaganda of least maintenance cost for three years to attract the targeted mass of consumers have been highly successful in establishing the dominant effect of the brand values and ideology thus creating a recognition augmentation phenomenon which are widely advertised throughout the web. Consider brand extensions: Chevrolet is renowned in India to popularize its brand assets in trademark symbol to identify in a faster, broader horizon worldwide utilizing the internet since human memory recalls small symbolic visuals instantly and familiarize it with daily lifestyle. Using cues: The close to heart marketing package of Chevrolet in India targeting the youth, active working class, fashionable, classy yet loving and caring community is the supreme determinant, the first interaction or synergy point with the consumer. As the saying goes, The first impression is the last impression, hence during launch of the first brand communication through innovative emails and web campaigns, utmost consideration is inculcated for the brand appearance to be attractive and pervading the right message. Recall requires repetition: Chevrolet in India adopted continued marketing strategies to achieve the supreme recall senses in the minds of the consumers through repeated transmission via emails and e-advertisements or reminders through innovative style such as online sponsorships, events, competitions, rewards etc., to create an imagery of the brand in the subconscious mind of target consumers. To accomplish a top of mind recall, Chevrolet has implemented immense endeavour to be recapitulated, reiterated time and again to impact permanently in consumer minds to the extent that the brand loyalty inspires consumer to forgo his own desires in interest of the brand. The recall bonus: Reminders through regular e-promotions, publicities have created a strong fortification for the Chevrolet brand in India to take over its other competitors, to attain the vertex in market share through intelligent masterminding, hosts of hallmarks and repetitive net broadcasts with consequent online market surveys and positive promotions fetching an added bonus and dividend in the long run. Chevrolet in India goes to such great extent to embolden and energize their existing as well as prospective customers by treating them with emails, e-greetings, e-cards, gifts and flowers at very special moments of life such as birthdays, weddings, marriage anniversaries, and all the delightful events that make the occasion ever more memorable. This makes Chevrolet truly global, distinctive and exceptional. Thus the international brand Chevrolet implements dynamic online strategies to inspire brand loyalties amongst their diversified classes of consumers with varied preferences in India. Strategizing brand equity of Chevrolet in India has proven to be an indispensable factor to gauge market dominance, and consumer appreciation and loyalty equating with the charisma and values the brand endorses. According to Aaker (1992, p 17) brand equity can be measured under five dimensions, namely, Brand Loyalty, Brand Cognizance, Brand Quality, Brand Association and Brand Assets. India being an emerging nation, its people aspires and is influenced by the prosperous epitome of capitalism exhibited by the United States of America. General Motors is esteemed to be the titan brand upholding all the values and virtues of American capitalism and experiencing changeover under the visionary leadership of the dynamic and charismatic US President Mr. Barack Obama to revitalize, reincarnate and reinstate it to its hallowed glory. This perceived quality creates a halo effect to strengthen life-time association of the consumer with the brand despite its premium pricing thus spreading the goodwill for the brand through word of mouth advocacy, enhancing the brand equity, hence adding to cash flow appreciation and increased revenue generation of the company in India. Further, since they are exclusive in nature, their marketing and advertising also needs to be unique and limited to a few of the affluent and exclusivity conscious segment. This demands that the marketing and advertising events be planned and executed minutely to maintain an aura of exclusivity which is achieved through Invitation Only Marketing strategies adopted by Chevrolet for its prospective customers. In other words, it can be seen as the highest level of service offered to make the customer feel the differentiation in products as well as service. Hence, it requires a strategic plan for the marketing event to be a success which evolves a concept where consumers are indulged to think of a product as being in scarcity due to the high demand and hence inspires them to desire to own the product. This brand alliance inspires amongst closely networked online consumers to invest in an authenticated quality and name, and also motivates them to share information amongst their close associates which not only elevates the value but also curtails expenditure on additional advertisements and publicity campaigns. Web Marketing Activities and Life Cycle: Firms have realized the importance of the right tools for promoting their events and their products to the niche segment and note that it has to be subtle. Bohdanowicz and Clamp (1994) note that for the upcoming niche industry, the efficiency both the short-term and long-term marketing plans increases with the use of Information Technology and without it marketing becomes product-cantered (pp 151,152). Since any established brands as well as luxury items, relies on customer loyalty which in turn depends on referrals and invitation-only concept, inefficiency in using Information Technology can hamper the efforts of marketing. TRAFFIC BROWSERS PROSPECTIVE CONSUMERS BUYERS LOYAL CONSUMERS KEY IDENTIFIERS IN WEB MARKETING: WEBSITE DESIGN SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING EMAIL MARKETING MOBILE ACCESS TARGET SLOPE Here, it is to be noted that although the two kinds of customer base in the industry form the major segment, the small percent of networking activists can be considered to promote the products at a faster rate by the use of Information Technology and further, this small but important customer base called Initiators have the potential to trigger sales as they are found to be more active users of Information Technology along with being the patrons for a number of exclusive products (Hardie, n.d.). Also, this segment, as they are called initiators, is true to the name and can be tapped and relied on to initiate the further sales and also attracts a more loyal customer base. Here, it should be noted that a closely networked customer base can be easy to reach and sustain than attracting a non-communicating customer base. However, it is to be noted that there is the risk of losing out on competition should the service disappoint the closely knit group. This would mean losing out on a large mass at one time. Hence, there needs to be a continuous effort to market web branding of products to the niche segment. With the exclusive products marketed to the niche segment, the pricing is also kept high and although this is limited to a small segment, is growing due to the increasing number of brand conscious segment with their increasing incomes and identity needs. This also requires innovative ways of marketing to all prospective segments which necessitates the cause for an exclusivity which in turn is accentuated by the trend of by-invitation-only marketing strategy. It is also observed that there is an online presence for these companies and the exclusive customers for the exclusive products usually are invited or more often seek to be invited to special and exclusive marketing events for these brands. Further, it is noted that social networking has added to the success of this by-invitation-only marketing concept. It is seen that Gmail is the first one to experiment online marketing for some of its VIP customers (Cornes, 2007). Source: Advertising Age, Digital Marketing Fact Book 2007, eMarketer Feb. 07 projections against IAB/PriceWaterhouseCoopers data for which the last fully measured year was 2005. [Directly extracted from: Akehurst, G. E-Marketing Planning and Strategies [online] Viewed 04 February 2010 Available from: ] [Directly extracted from: Akehurst, G. E-Marketing Planning and Strategies [online] Viewed 04 February 2010 Available from: ] In web marketing due to its global presence since price cannot be a constraint in marketing these goods, it can be seen as a way to introduce new products based on the feedback from the customers. This is also a good way to keep in business and evolve. Special online advertisements of events such as fashion weeks, charity shows, are also a trend among the affluent. Further, it is observed that companies use the services of a third-party advertising agent or Public Relations (PR) agent to manage also, a Push-Pull strategy is being adopted for marketing of luxury goods (Hines Bruce, 2007, p 146). However, with the use of Information Technology, the World Wide Web (WWW) and the intranet have enabled a pull process to the distribution of data as opposed to the push process (Yeoman, Robertson, 2004, p 99). Another marketing strategy for luxury goods is sample sales which are also by invitation only. As Sherman observes, the Web is an important tool for such marketing and there are a numb er of online channels that arrange invitation only sales where often the membership is free and customers can request to be invited (2008). Thus through web marketing the prime focal points are the aspects of offering exclusive products, enhanced customer service, mix of marketing strategies both intensive and extensive online presence, use of efficient tools for communication and push-pull strategies, organized monitoring and feedback system amongst others. Pay Per Click Advertising Campaign: Pay per click is an intelligently engineered advertising tool where web-hosts are sponsored by the advertisers every time the web-visitors click on the advertisements thus promoted mostly by the search engine overtures, as in the case of Googles AdWords Select, AOL Search and many more. It is sometimes seemingly advantageous than the SEO campaigns due to its operational simplicity since also the websites need not be customized without any specialized expertise and much faster in use. However the disadvantages are evident in generalization of positioning and hence lowering of existent importance, sometimes rampant competition can make the entire affair highly expensive and further if not effectively identified the visitor worth the entire process can also pose as utter loss. To accentuate this campaign it is imperative to evaluate visitor worth on dividing the profit by the visitor numbers for the specified time period. Further selection of appropriate key phrases, relevant and useful descriptions, and finally regular insight and monitoring is absolutely essential in such cases. The best advantage of PPC is that it can reach enormous amount of targeted visitors in little time. Conclusion and Managerial Recommendations: The web marketing lifecycle thus conclusively commences with creating an online profile of the organization globally advertised through a skilfully and strategically designed website. Then marketing strategies are farmed, formulated and focused in order to build an online campaign with the help of search engine optimization such that the most popular keywords are identified to impart frequent visibility of the website and hence the organization to any online users. Then branding and further marketing is pursued through varied social media networks and pay per click activities further popularizes the vision and mission of the organization through frequent web users who exchange information, ideas, news and views through the net. Email marketing and web-to-mobile connectivity can further commercialize the entire process and impart it as an exclusive affair thus enhancing the return on investment on a steady growth. Further to sustain this productivity one must have a customized report formulation, regular identification of the best sales leads, evaluation testing and tweaking of the most popular pages, positive transformation of prospective customers, sustenance and perpetuation of loyal consumers, online promotions sponsorships campaigns and competitions, regular checking of site-conversion site-performance and market-return, insightful reports with comparative corporate analysis and intelligence for further improvement at every stages of development. Hence such unconventional attractive, larger than life tradition made innovative, avant-garde at the same time classic and eternal by touching hearts of millions of consumers from every walks of life is the true success secret of the global branding and web marketing.