The market is ripe with opportunities to market different products. Current events, shift in consumer demands, technological advancements, and competitor movements signal opportunities to develop plans to meet consumer wants and needs. This paper studies and analyzes current events and suggests possible actions for three companies, namely, Nintendo, Sony Ericsson, and Toyota. Risks and possible outcome is also discussed.
Marketing Opportunity Analysis: Nintendo, Sony Ericsson, And Toyota
Marketing opportunities are external circumstances that offer a company a chance to earn a profit by delivering consumer wants and needs (Ries & Trout, 1986). In a world as dynamic as ours, opportunities abound; businesses are free to chooses which opportunities to pursue.
Smartphone gaming has eaten the shares of standalone mobile games of Nintendo (Panzarino, 2011). To counter, Nintendo would have to capture back the market as well as gain new followings. A low-hanging fruit opportunity for Nintendo is to lower the prices of their games. Gamers choose smartphones because other than the fact that smartphone offer an array of service other than gaming, Nintendo mobile games cost four times as high as a comparable iOS or Android game application (Panzarino, 2011). The risk here is that the price cut needed to be competitive might cut deep in Nintendo’s profits. The second opportunity is for Nintendo to take advantage of smartphone gaming by publishing its own games and integrating it to existing smartphone operating systems. The risk is that this opportunity, a single, might incur additional losses for Nintendo’s own mobile consoles. The third opportunity is for Nintendo to develop their own phones to publish their games in. This move is a home run since it is expensive, time-consuming, and very risky; Nintendo may be able to expand its market to smartphone users, but there is also a possibility that Nintendo could fail to capture the market because it is not an established mobile phone manufacturer.
I suggest that Nintendo take advantage of the smartphone gaming market by integrating their games to existing smartphone operating systems but still keep their key franchises for their own mobile devices. This way, they could saturate the smartphone gaming market without endangering their core business. This would have a positive effect on the public’s perception of Nintendo since Nintendo is making it easier and less costly for the public to but their games. Financially, Nintendo’s expansion of their market into casual smartphone gamers could be a great improvement.
Sony Ericsson (SE)’s performance had been declining for the past couple of years due to fierce competition and SE’s own internal issues (Fermoso, 2009). One marketing opportunity for SE is to streamline their products from multiple phones per category to one or two per category. They should focus on just three categories, namely Walkman, Business, and Lifestyle phones. The camera phone category should be scrapped and the Sony camera technology integrated in all categories. This opportunity, a single, poses the risk of SE losing their already captured market by releasing less phones. Another opportunity is for SE to integrate the Sony Playstation technology in its Lifestyle phones. This opportunity, a homerun, is a large scale project that could prove to be expensive and very risky given that the integration could incur high costs and, if not integrated properly, poor market reception. Lastly, a one low-hanging fruit for SE is investing in social media. As one of the least popular smartphone manufacturers, SE should take advantage of the 2 billion internet users worldwide (“Internet World Stats,” 2011). The risk, however, is that if the products are not up to par, they would have spent a lot of money on promoting products that are not sellable.
The best move I would suggest for SE is to streamline their product. Though SE produces a wide array of products, they had so far produced mediocre smartphones compared to their competitors (Fermoso, 2009). If they focus on a few key models, they might be able to develop something that would be more competitive; resulting in gaining a larger share of the smartphone market and increase financial gains.
Toyota caused a stir in the automotive industry in February 2011 when it recalled nearly 2 million vehicles due to gas pedal problems. Since then, consumers had been wary about Toyota cars (Liker, 2011). A low hanging fruit opportunity for Toyota is to invest in advertising and leverage on their vehicles’ safety ranking the past few years. This shows the consumers that even with the current recall, Toyota has a strong background of producing some of the safest vehicles in the market. The risk here is that it may be seen as a defensive action, making consumers more suspicious. Another opportunity for Toyota is to offer better warranties on their vehicles’ reliability. This opportunity, a single, may help reverse the perception of the consumer regarding Toyota’s safety issues; the risk of this is that it could again be seen as defensive action and not perceived as an act of confidence on product quality. Another opportunity Toyota could pursue is to develop incentives and promotions for the consumers. They can follow the example of Hyundai who developed the Hyundai Assurance program that allows buyers to return their cars without charges or penalties if they lost their jobs within a year of purchase, resulting in Hyundai gaining 24% growth in 2010 amidst losses posted by other automotive companies (“A Tale of Two Sectors, 2011).
I suggest that Toyota focus on reversing the public’s perception and allaying safety fears by offering better warranties that are leveraged on their vehicles safety and reliability. This could translate into better public perception and increase in sales.
A tale of two sectors. Financial Times. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/805969d0-7f9e-11e0-b9b0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1X9YYxTU0
Fermoso, J. (2009). What Sony Ericsson must do to stage a comeback. Retrieved from http://gigaom.com/2009/01/29/what-sony-ericsson-must-do-to-succeed-in-the-mobile-space/
Internet world stats. World internet usage and population statistics. (2011) Retrieved from http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
Liker, J. (2011). Toyota’s recall crisis: what have we learned? Retrieved from http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/02/toyotas_recall_crisis_full_of.html
Panzarino, M. (2011). Smartphone gaming gobbling up Nintendo’s market share. Retrieved from http://thenextweb.com/mobile/2011/04/15/smartphone-gaming-gobbling-up-nintendos-market-share/
Ries, A. & Trout, J. (1986). Marketing Warfare. New York, NY:McGraw Hill