Feb 19, 2019 in Research Proposal

 The Marketing Campaign of Carling Soft Drink Company

Executive Summary

Carling is a major soft drink company that has been in the market for a few decades and the company’s drinks have been providing the customers with utmost satisfaction. The products of the company have been prominent in many social places including pubs and bars. Their unique taste and sense of making a person refreshed makes it a leading company in the soft drinks industry. The following report is a marketing research plan for Carling, which will focus on identifying the effectiveness of the advertising strategy launched by Carling in 2013 and identify whether the strategy has been successful. The plan is based on the current market trends and also ensuring that the market plan fits with our $9.6 million budget. The plan is aimed at moving from traditional ways of advertising to a new theme of “refreshingly perfect” in place of “brilliantly refreshing”. The change of the theme and mode of the advertisement shows the company’s desire to change from the traditional marketing methods especially in light with the current dynamic business world.

The advertisements of the products ensured diversity and involved television, online advertising, digital advertising, and door-to-door advertising. The company previously concentrated on television advertising but the recent technological changes have made online social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, hotspots because of the presence of millions of people in the networks. Door-to-door advertising has also proven to be effective due to the appealing nature and personal contact between the company and potential customers, and the company will also dedicate a significant portion of the budget to the door-to-door advertising. The company believes that the $9.6 million budget will result in improved business performance in the long run. It has confidence that the marketing strategy will bring closer the relationship between the company and the customers due to having a participative method of marketing. The company’s aim is to ensure that customers’ ideas are gathered and incorporated in the processing and production of the company’s products.

The proposal will contain the financial data analysis, and costs incurred in every avenue of advertising and their expected impacts on the sales of the company. The plan also contains the research methodologies and timetable to be used in the advertisement process.

Background

The Molson Coors Brewing Company, which owns Carling, is well aware of the competitive nature of the market it is in due to the emergence of many companies that manufacture beer. The recent demand for beer has been increasing meaning that there is a growth opportunity for Carling. The best way to beat off the competition is by involving the customer in the production process and also ensuring that the marketing system actually reaches all the customers in a difference making way. Carling has since moved from the traditional television marketing and it has upgraded to using a variety of advertising avenues at the same time, such as social media advertising, door-to-door advertising, and television advertising. The company wants to ensure that it reaches all the potential customers to increase its customer base. The global beer market has never looked stronger after its increase in sales revenue to $509,554.3 million in 2012, and statistics show that the market will continue with its expansion trend. Carlin’s recently launched market plan aims at capping a large portion of the market in the long term.

The company has since noted that the beer industry is here to stay and it is getting stronger. Despite the industry having good prospects, the market has been dynamic especially due to the unpredictable nature of customers. There has been a shift in the customer behaviour, which has been mainly caused by the change in technology. Many current and prospective customers have started using online platforms to undertake their daily activities meaning that it has become easy to access the people using online means . However, the business needs to know how to attract customers’ attention, and the new marketing strategy has aimed at the purpose.

According to statistics, beer market had a growth rate of 1% in 2010. The market value reached an all-time high of $495 billion and the statistics project that the percentage of growth will increase by 6% by 2015. The current dominators of the market are Standard Larger with an average of 55% globally in terms of the market segment it operates in. The three major companies leading in the industry have a market segment volume of around 40%. The market will continue to increase in terms of volume because of the current untapped African and Asian markets and also the increased disposable income in the developed countries. Beer remains the most popular alcoholic drink in the world, and it is mainly acceptable in all social places such as restaurants and bars.

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Consumption of beer is projected to increase because of the rise in the tendency to have meals while drinking beer at the same time. There are also health concerns when it comes to the consumption of other types of alcoholic drinks, and beer is becoming a more preferable choice due to its low percentage of alcohol content, which ranges at around 5%. Carling, therefore, has the chance to tap in the new market, and the following research proposal will help the company to identify areas of strength and also areas that the company needs to improve. The proposal will help the company to identify the segments of the market it has been performing well, and also those segments that need some improvement. With the research proposal, Carling will also be able to redefine its long-term marketing strategy in order to cope with the dynamic market and rampant technological change.

Problem Definition and Research Objectives

The research is aimed at identifying whether the research plan of Carling has been effective enough to translate into increased sales, and if it has increased the sales, the research will go further to identify the level of impact it has had on the sales. To find the answers of the research, it will be necessary to answer some questions so as to identify the real impact of the marketing plan. The questions are as follows:

  • Did the advertising plan cover all the types of customers for the company?
  • What was the contribution of online, television, door-to-door campaigns, and the theme change in a specific nature?
  • What would be the alternative position if Carling continued to use the traditional ways of advertising?
  • What will be the future trend if the Carling continues to use the same advertising techniques?

The above questions will help to understand the overall impact of the advertising plan, and also the impact of specific avenues of advertisements. After the identification of the impacts, the research will help to identify whether the customer base has increased and to what extent. Furthermore, the research will help to geographically classify customers and their respective reception of the different advertising techniques. The research will also go further to identify the future prospects of the advertising plan so as to know whether the plan can undergo modification or it can proceed as it is. At the end of the study, the company will be able to know whether to continue with the advertising plan or to abandon it for a better plan.

Research Design

The best way to gather all the information is by using both quantitative and qualitative data. Quantitative data sources will be the company’s financial results for the past year, the customer information data before and after the advertisements plan, and the market analysis by the company for the past two years. The quantitative data will also be sourced from survey of the customer trends in the beer market and also figures and percentages of consumption rates of Carling compared to other beer brands. All information that will be obtained from the company will be classified as internal data while all other information will be external data (Carver & Nash, 2012). The purpose of obtaining financial results of the company is to identify whether the advertising plan has improved the sales of the company and the quantity of improvement if any.

The financial results are usually in portions meaning that it will also be easy to identify the progress specifically for Carling to be able to identify the extent of the improvement. The research will also obtain customer information data from the company because it usually maintains all information about their customers. With the information, it will be possible to acquire the response of customers on matters pertaining Carling (Gelder & Woodcock, 2003, p. 56). The data on customers will also make it possible for the research to track the customers before and after the advertising plan to have knowledge on the progress of the population. The research hopes to identify whether the number of the customers have increased or whether it has decreased and by the specific quantity of the change. After the collection of the increase or decrease in the number of customers, the research will also compare the statistics with other beers to show whether the change is similar or different. Through the comparison of the data, it makes it possible for the research to identify whether the advertising plan had any effect on the increased or decreased number of customers or there are other factors that caused the change.

The market analysis by the company will be very crucial because it will show the trends in the market for Carling. The data from the company will be able to identify both geographical and overall changes in market acceptance of Carling before and after the advertising plan to determine whether the plan was effective. The company usually classifies the market in terms of geographical location and ages, and the above parameters will also help to identify the section of the market that has been affected most by the advertising plan. By obtaining such data, it would be possible for the company to identify areas or sections of the market that need adjustments so as to increase effectiveness of the advertising plan and also reduce associated costs. The quantitative information will mainly be useful in the estimation of the effect the plan has and also knowing the extent of the impact.

Quantitative data is not enough alone and it requires qualitative data as a complement. Qualitative data is also important because reliance on statistics alone can be deceiving due to the probability of results being obtained on coincidence or biasness. For example, an increase in the base of customers for Carling could have resulted from bad publicity of competing products. If use of statistics is the only way of reaching to a conclusion, then there would be a conclusion that the advertising plan has resulted in better sales but in reality, the sales have been improved due to poor performance of competing brands. Therefore, for the research to have a stamping authority and be conclusive, it would be important to obtain qualitative data to back up the statistical data. The means that the research will apply to get the qualitative data will be use of interviews for the customers and observation.

The customer base of Carlin consists of millions of clients, and it would be difficult to interview all of them. Therefore, sampling would be the most appropriate method of acquiring information from the customers. The research will apply random sampling because it decreases the chances of biasness and also ensures that the interviews are distributed evenly so as to represent the whole population equally. Even after sampling, it would be difficult to obtain information from the sample especially through phone calls and face-to-face communication. Therefore, the research will use postal communication to send questionnaires to the customers for the purpose of time saving and convenience. The questionnaire will have a set-up to ensure that a few questions will cover all significant information concerning the advertisement plan. The research will also use on-street interviewing using the same set of questions as those in the posted questions.

Using post has its merits and disadvantages.

The advantages include:

  • The method is convenient for the interviewees because it does not have a time limit.
  • The method is easily affordable and the sample will readily have access to mail address meaning the possibility of a feedback is high.
  • The method does not put pressure on the respondent and the respondents usually have time to answer correctly
  • The method is also suitable for a large sample where face to face communication would be tedious and time-consuming.

Disadvantages:

  • Lack of face-to-face communication with the interviewees makes it hard to know whether the interviewee is genuine with the answers.
  • Lack of human contact may also make the respondents ignore some questions.

Despite the disadvantages, the research is confident that the method will prove to be effective, and it will ensure the questionnaire is simple to make it easy for the customers to answer.

The questions in the questionnaire will be as follows:

  1. What is your opinion on Carling as a beer brand?
  2. Have you ever come across any advertisement or promotion concerning Carling?
  3. Have you noticed any change in the mode of advertising on Carling?
  4. How have the advertisements changed your perception of Carling?
  5. To what extent do your friends or people around you know about Carling?

The above questions will be core and they will be the first ones, and the rest questions will follow. The sample size to be questioned will come from every region that Carling trades in and the sample size will be 1000 customers spread evenly across all regions. This will help to complement the statistical data collected to ensure that there is consistency.

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Plan for Data Analysis and Reporting

The data analysis will be by use of SPSS in combination with oral analysis to ensure that there is explanation of the statistical analysis. SPSS software will be time-saving and it is also reliable due to the presence of a variety of commands suitable for statistical analysis. After the analysis of the data, a written report will be prepared having all information concerning the impact of the advertisement plan for easy analysis. The report will be very useful for the company since it will have indication of where the company should head in terms of its advertising structure.

Costs and Timetable

The costs to be incurred and the time table for the research are as follows:

Day Activity
1-2 Sending of the questionnaire through post
3-7 Door-to-door interviews.
8-10 Analysis of customers responses through pos
11-12 Analysis and preparation of the final repor
13 Presentation of the final report

Interviews

Number of interviewers ($) Cost per Interviewer per day ($) Number of Days ($) Total cost ($)
15 200.2 5 15,015
Postal Questionnaires  
Cost $
Outward Post 280
Return on Post (40% response) 112
Printed Questionnaire 210
Reply Paid Envelopes 70
Outward Envelopes 70
yping and Folding 140
Total 882
Mailing List 88.2
Total 970.2
  $ Each Number Total Days Total Remuneration
Senior Researcher 910 1 910 13 11,830
Junior Researcher 700 3 2100 13 27,300
Total         39,130

Presentations

Per Day Days Total
910 4 3,640

Report Writing

Per Day Days Total
910 3 2,730

The total cost of the research will be $61,485.2

Even though the cost will be substantial, the results of the research will define the short-term and long-term future of the business.

 

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