Nowadays, M&M’s is a well-known brand that stands together with Mickey Mouse and Bart Simpson. It gained the first position among sixty different campaigns rated by the USA. M&M’s develops its brand by implementing different marketing strategies. These strategies can be direct or Internet.
The process of promotion of the products is a process of mutual work of the whole team of the company. According to Kotler (2005, p. 9), “marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create an exchange that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.” Advertising can be defined as a paid form of promotion and non personal presentation of products, services or ideas by an identified sponsor (Kotler 2005, p. 761). The aim of advertisement is to make the product recognizable. This way of communication provides customers with the products that they really need, or they think they need. However, advertisement required great expenses and not always gives the desirable results. In the world of advertisement, the aims and the audience should be differentiated. In this case, the desirable result will be achieved.
When planning the strategy of development, each company takes into consideration different factors that further form its future. In the case of M&M’s company, these factors include attractive and extraordinary promotions and advertisements, feedback and customer participation defining the produced output, and a great variety of customized product possibilities (M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis).
The team of M&M’s company builds a system of distribution in such a way that all the people of different ages find their products among a variety of candies. Targeting of the market gives an opportunity to enjoy eating tasty candies.
The marketing provides customers with the advertisement that they see on the TV as cartoons and ads. They are always colorful and funny. They make people smile and create good mood.
The candies are sold in every grocery so that people can always buy them. The variety of places of selling candies makes it possible for people of all classes to buy them. Besides, diversification of the package makes it possible to sell candies in big or small portions for large companies or small groups of people. The company spreads its goods for all segments of the market that brings good income. According to the investigations, the main market has been differentiated. It comprises of children and middle-aged women. However, the company plans to produce goods that will fit all the segments of the market.
Direct marketing is a sort of advertising where physical marketing materials are provided to consumers with an aim to spread information about a product or service. This kind of marketing does not include Internet, television or radio advertisements. Direct marketing implies the usage of catalogs, fliers and mailers (Investopedia n.d.).
While applying direct marketing, the company ensures that there is no an intermediary in the promotion process. The company sends its message directly to the customer. This type of marketing is used by the companies that have no large advertising budgets and cannot afford to pay for ads on television and in the Internet.
Direct Marketing Channels
There are a lot of channels through which managers apply direct marketing: E-mail marketing, online tools (display ads, search, social media sites), mobile (SMS, MMS, mobile applications, location-based marketing, QR, mobile banner ads), direct mail, telemarketing, voicemail marketing, broadcast faxing, couponing, direct response TV, direct response radio, insert media, out-of-home, direct response magazines and newspapers, direct selling, grassroots/community marketing (Kotler & Armstrong 2003).
Indirect marketing means that customers are acquainted with the brand, and they require reminding of it by means of indirect ads. This kind of marketing does not mean that the seller will obtain immediate response. The manager cannot obtain immediate response rate, it is forwarded mostly to the perspective. However, in order to gain data as for the results of the program, the managers can gather information by means of a questionnaire. These data will be used in further development of the program of indirect marketing.
Indirect marketing requires no segmentation and targeting as it is generic. The retention to customers is made by presenting them in symbolic representation without discriminating within the customers (MBASkool n.d.).
According to the theory of Philip Kotler, marketing comprises 4Ps. They are Product, Price, Place and Promotion (2005).
For every company, promotion is one of the components of the successful marketing strategy. The focus is mainly on how the company could reach its targeted customers and communicate its message to them.
The Internet is a means of direct marketing that is a reliable channel for the information flow. Since it started to develop the influence on marketing, it became one of the strongest means of advertisement. It helps to realize maximal aims within the shortest period. However, its usage changes with the years.
New tools appear, and the marketing team should follow all the new flows that will be a strong tool for the development of new branches for the company. In the beginning, the Internet was just a means for communication through e-mails. It helped companies to be able to target their potential customers more personally; and knowing more about them has helped in knowing how to approach different customers to understand and satisfy their needs.
The Internet is a marketing tool that can be used by companies in order to reach their customers. Internet marketing is defined as the Internet and related digital technologies usage to achieve marketing objectives and support the contemporary concept of marketing (Kotler 2005). Internet marketing is often presented as a new theory of marketing. However, some argue that the basic concepts from the traditional marketing are still valid. The basics of the marketing mix are still applicable, and the Internet offers new opportunities to adapt them.
The first step to create a good image of the company is to create a good platform for the company. M&Ms has its own web page, which people can find in the Internet. This page provides all information about new products and events within the company.
By pressing the button Social Media, the user can easily reach social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. This page is simple in usage with a lot of media, video and entertaining articles. The design of the page is sophisticated with an easy structure and informative articles.
Twitter. Twitter is easy to manage due to short offers for the positions, which may be placed there. Including a lot of newswires, it can be an effective way to present the list of news and events of the company.
The system of micro blogs helps the content managers to show the list of all the news. The twits are short messages that help people obtain brief information within the length up to 140 signs with spaces.
Targeting and Package
image1.emfThe company developed the strategy of proposing their candies with reference to different holidays, such as Halloween and Christmas, and some other occasions. Each package is registered and contains a special assortment of colors. Today, there are about 21 colors. This diversity gives the opportunity to please any M&M’s consumer. You can see the grade of colors on the picture.
The packages of the candies are of various sizes and fit to any customer. They are represented in small and large sizes. The variations of packages make it possible for collectors to gather the whole range of packages. Besides, there are such forms of the packages as tins and dispensers. M&M’s has different means of additional promotion that contains shirts and hats, boxes and dispensers, cups and pens, posters and calendars.
M&M’s Internet Games
M&M’s provides consumers with a new Internet entertainment. The part of the M&M’s marketing theory is the M&M’s Space Heroes Internet invasion game. The main principle of the game is the ability to switch into any other website whenever one goes to the M&M’s Spase Heroes website to get the Bookmarklet (Digital Buzz Blog 2011). image2.jpg
Another game that has been released is Dating Game of Mrs. Brown. She is one of the recent characters of the brand. She wants to be appreciated not only for her opinion but for her soul, as well. In the commercials, she has a meeting with a TV star who pays attention to her opinion and highlights that she is very pretty. However, he does not see her from the inside that makes her frustrated. She wants to show all the beauty she has.
M&M’s Marketing Strategy
The main task of the company was to create such a promotion that will push customers to buy the products and do it continuously. Sales promotion of the company includes discounts, attractive package, prizes, coupons and other aspects.
The promotion of M&M’s is built in such a way that even a new customer cannot leave it without attention. He/she will definitely decide to try a new product and will continue buying it in the future. On the first stages of promotion of the goods, the company should investigate the needs of the market and the presence and absence of definite goods. If to trace the history of the company, it becomes obvious that the appearance of these products has a long and interesting way.
The creation of M&M’s started when Forrest Mars Sr. traveled to Spain during the Spanish Civil War. In Spain, he encountered a group of soldiers who were eating chocolate blobes. To the surprise of Forrest Mars Sr., he observed that they were covered with a hard coating of sugar. The aim of it was to preserve the freshness of chocolate, as well as prevent it from melting. Mr. Forrest decided to invent something new. He invented the receipt for M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candy (M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis n.d.). It turned to be a very successful idea – the receipt was a start of the great future.
By the late 1940s, M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candy was widely spread among the public and received a great reception (M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis n.d.). The success of the candies was the fact that they were a new invention in that period. These candies were unique and were in high demand.
By the 1950’s, the numerous advertising campaigns had made M&M’s Plain Chocolate Candies a household name (M&M’s Competitor Brand Analysis n.d.). M&M’s design is created in such a way that the chocolate is covered with hard sugar that helped to prevent chocolate from melting in the high temperature. It was the feature that differentiated these chocolates from the others. The white stamped “M” became the official authenticity indicator in 1954. The trademark of the candies (the signature) is very recognizable nowadays. It helps to identify M&M candies as unique candies in the market. In 1954, M&M’s expanded the brand offering and introduced M&M’s Peanut Chocolate Candies; the sales of both varieties continued to grow (Candies with the Attitude 2004). The slogan of the company is “The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hand” was created as a successful slogan that lives such till today. The first colors of the candies were red and yellow; later, green and blue colors were added.
In 1981, M&M’s Chocolate Candies were taken into space by the team of the first space shuttle astronauts as a part of their food supply. Nowadays, the candies are permanentky included in the listy of space food exhibit of the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. (Teleflora n.d.)
The marketing department has created new approaches and methods to promote their goods. There are a lot of advertising mediums for M&M’s. They are all aimed to make the brand famous and recognizable.
The main characteristic feature of the candies is the ability of the candies to speak. The Spokes candies are great marketing solution for the brand to be recognizable, attractive and funny at the same time.
Each color of the candies has its own character, and consumers can make a parallel between the character and oneself, which makes it funny for the customer to enter the site and find some interesting news about their beloved characters. Each of the characters has his own profile on the web-page. Besides, different games are placed there.
Speaking about development of the brand, it is impossible not to mention the fact that M&M’s is one of the most stable brands in the world. It is present on the market more than 60 years. The good name and image is obtained due to its good marketing plan and the quality of the products. However, the company should follow the development in the world of candies and all the requirements of modern needs of customers.
Internet marketing is one of the most important and prospective spheres where the company should develop itself. However, the methods of direct marketing are also very important, and they should not be ignored – face-to-face cooperation, presentation at the exhibitions, contacting the customers is all a part of a successful future of the company. New species of marketing such as creation of new applications for the Internet and PC machines will increase the audience of the potential clients.
One of the main factors of development of the company is a continuous creation of new products. The customers require new products over and over again. The company moved from plain and peanut varieties to crispy, peanut butter and almond types. Different sizes of the candies developed new wave in the consumption of the product.
Diversification of the products makes M&M’s a company that covers every aspect of the candy market. This makes the product desirable for consumers independently of their age, gender, and fitting their likes.
Entering the international market is a great decision for the company to develop. Nowadays, M&M’s is present in the international markets such as Hong Kong and Japan but are missing some key global players such as mainland China, Taiwan and the Pacific Islands. The future proposition of expansion of the company’s products comprises Eastern Europe and Middle East.
The future of the company will be successful if it develops some goods for gifting. This can be different sets of candies forwarded a definite audience or event. The other way to expand is to create products for consumers who keep a diet and is looking for the sugar-free products.
The future life of the brand is a mutual work of the whole team that works at the quality of the product, its price, place of distribution and promotion.