IMC and Customer Satisfaction essay

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Discuss the company’s advertising strategy and how it aligns with its marketing goals

Consumers can never know about a particular product or service of a company or manufacturer until it is introduced into the market through promotion and advertising. As Clow & Baack (2011) contend, it is very difficult to convince someone to buy a product or service and increase sales when they are not familiar with the product or service at all. For this reason, companies must plan and prepare some promotion and advertising strategies in order to let their products and services be known to the public before launching them to the market. Lane Bryant, which is a retail clothing store, is the case study in this paper. Lane Bryant’s advertising strategy begins by identifying the consumer market that a company intends to reach. Lane Bryant has a broad appeal in terms of the consumer base due to the industry in which it operates. However, the company has to identify a specific target market. The company’s target market is comprised of customers who not only provide stability on sales, but also partly form a foundation of the company’s client base. Clow & Baack (2011) believe that using the correct tools at the opportune time and in the right place, the company’s advertising campaign has been able to build demand for its products and services, hence an increase in consumer attentiveness, as well as sales.

Lane Bryant advertises most of its products and services via the Internet. Not only is this advertising platform free, but it also enables the company to reach its target customers due to the appealing nature of the Internet. Internet advertising has become the most preferred medium for reaching many potential customers with relatively low expenses involved. The Internet also allows Lane Bryant to use words that can easily capture and hold the attention of prospective customers. This is achieved through the use of visual elements, such as real pictures so that customers can connect with the product, which is the intention of this strategy. Advertising through the Internet is a unique and fruitful advertising strategy, as it will help the company reach specific objectives in terms of specific types of customers and market share. The marketing goal of Lane Bryant is to reach as many customers as possible at a minimum cost. This advertising strategy is in line with the aforementioned marketing goal because the company will be able to reach a sizable customer base, and at a relatively lower cost (Clow & Baack, 2011).

Determine how the effectiveness of the advertising will be measured.

The tool for measurement that determines the effectiveness of Lane Bryant’s advertising would be a dashboard that trails certain measurable results. The main measurement to be trailed would be the number of sales from online orders. This will entail the time its takes to process, ship, and deliver an order. The effectiveness of advertising will also be measured by tracking the number of returns and reasons for returns (Belch & Belch, 2011). This effectiveness measuring technique would involve survey letters, mailing, post-sales and calling buyers of the products and services in order to establish which of the advertising mediums used was the most effective in enticing clients to start buying products.

Explain the different promotional strategies that may be used in addition to advertising.

Considering the strong online presence of media outlets and blog sites that focus on fashion, a controlled press release strategy would be a critical promotional strategy that would help in spreading word through intranet about what products are being launched by Lane Bryant. The initial press release will highlight the signing of the international roaming agreement. The press release that will follow will announce the enhancement of personal online account features in line with the global business traveler. In addition to the above promotional strategy, having a general detail announcement advert about the product on the company’s website will also be an alternative strategy. This will provide customers with a platform where they can read about the company’s new products and even sign up for product update alerts when necessary. Account managers will have the mandate of calling existing customers to have their pre-orders ready for launch.

Public relation is another promotional strategy that Lane Bryant can use in addition to advertising. By using this strategy, the company’s employees will provide information regarding the products and services being offered to the media. Similar to advertising, public relations is relatively inexpensive and more credible as compared to advertising. However, this strategy is risky because the persons that provide information to the media are unable to control what information the media will release and vice versa. Trade promotion is another strategy that can be used together with advertising. In this strategy, Lane Bryant will offer its wholesalers and retailers some discounts, which are passed down to the customers so as to stimulate sales. Finally, Lane Bryant can practice in-store display promotional strategy. The company can pump in some more money so that products can be displayed prominently within the stores. The company can embrace more desirable display space, including free standing displays, end of an isle, and near the check-out counter. It is important that the company employs a representative who is good at displaying products.

Develop an approach to measuring customer satisfaction with your company’s product/service.

Measuring customer satisfaction would be conducted by surveying existing customers through phone calls and mail. The questions in the surveys will cover the level of customer interest in the product and services, the experience of product awareness, and the eventual product and service purchase experience. A focus group that comprises company employees and customers will be formed to discuss the level and value of efficiency of the online transactions. After brainstorming, data that showcases the company’s specific customer service of other companies in the industry is shared. Results are then posted in an open space where all employees can see them and leave their comments. The direct changes that will be implemented as a direct result of employee feedback are then announced to the customers. Thereafter, a data reporting process that is in line with the internal operations of the company is developed to determine customer satisfaction results (Belch & Belch, 2011).

A Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) is another approach of measuring customer satisfaction. This approach identifies and quantifies the level of profitability of a specific consumer base and compares the impact of that satisfaction against the identified measure of economic performance. The CSI forms the basis on which a company can establish whether the consumer base is becoming more or less satisfied with the quality of products of services being provided.

Decide how gaps in customer expectations and experiences will be addressed.

Any gaps that may be discovered through direct feedback or surveys of customers must be addresses promptly. As Anton & Perkins (2003) contend, customer satisfaction is the perception that a customer may have about a company when his or her expectation has been met or exceeded over the shelf life of a product or service. Considering that a gap in a customer’s expectation or experience occurs as a result of product arrival delay, an immediate refund of shipping costs is necessary.  On the other hand, if the gap results form coverage or connection issues that a customer may be experiencing, then customer support through a two-tier approach is needed.

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