Sample Marketing Plan for Smartphone brand

Sample Marketing Plan for a Smartphone Brand ‘Phoenix Z1’

Executive Summary :

Sample marketing plan for smartphone

Phoenix Z1 is the latest offering from Phoenix – a 5.6 inch smartphone that offers excellent work and fun features. Z1 is made keeping in mind the needs of the modern generation. An innovative smartphone that comes loaded with more than 30 apps and features and suits the needs of those with a fast moving lifestyle.  This is the first smartphone by Phoenix to be released outside the American markets in China, India and UK. Phoenix offers matchless value at an affordable price and due to its utility, caters to the needs of both students and professionals. It will be marketed mainly through the online channels and we expect it to start generating profits right by the end of the first year. While Phoenix is our first smartphone to utilize AI for providing a seamless customer experience, we also expect to enter the Asian markets through this product.

Introduction:

Phoenix is an electronics and IT company founded in 2010 and in the last seven years the company has seen enormous growth. While its first smartphone Arc was highly popular, customers’ taste has changed fast and keeping their taste and needs in mind, the company has released Z1 which is loaded with excellent features suiting the needs of the modern generation. We aim to market it through the online channels mainly since a very large part of our target market is found online most of the time. Paid online advertising as well as brand website and social media will be our primary channels for promotion. Apart from that, our focus will be on customer service for maximum customer satisfaction. The smartphone market has grown highly competitive and that is why we need a strong marketing strategy so that our product can be an enormous success. Phoenix Z1 can be a highly profitable model for the company given that the company is able to execute its marketing strategy well.

Situational Analysis:

Globally, smartphones have become inseparable from people’s lifestyles and partners at work and fun. Over the past few years, their demand has increased at a fast pace and the reason is the need for mobility. Mobile gadgets are now more in trend as compared to laptops and PCs. This is also the reason behind the decline in the PC market. With declining PC market, the smartphone and tablet market grew and the Asian economies have become the biggest market for smartphones followed by USA. The number of smartphone users has grown based on the fact that more and more people are incorporating them into their daily lives and work. A higher number of people are now active while on the move. The needs of people have changed globally with the arrival of new technologies. Increased use of IT has necessitated changes in work style and with growing utilisation of digital technologies, the use of smartphones and tablets also grew. The number of smartphone users is expected to grow faster in future.  The number of applications and capabilities of smartphones has grown. Some of the most important predictions made by Deloitte in this regard are as follows:

– As per a Deloitte report, the percentage of smartphone users will grow to 96% by 2023 rising from 93% in 2018. Smartphone owners will interact with their smartphones at least 65 times a day in 2023 which will be 20% higher than 2018.

– Smartphone usage among young adults in developed nations overall will reach 90% by 2023. This will be a 5% increase over 2018.

– In 2023, smartphone sales will reach 1.85 Billions a 19% increase over 2018.

– The main factor driving the higher adoption rate in each market will be the growing usage among the older people. Ownership among the 50-75 years old is expected to grow to 85% in developed countries which will be 10% higher than now.

– Innovations will drive the prices of smartphones higher and more than 180 million units will sell for $1000 or higher. As per Deloitte forecasts the average selling price is going to be at $350  in 2023. So, by 2023 the total market value will have risen to $650 Billion which will be a 36% growth over 2023.

The current demand patterns show that the market will remain profitable for the smartphone brands. However, consumer preferences will remain a primary factor affecting the sales and profitability of these businesses. Demand will rise dramatically and to benefit from these patterns brands would need to invest in research and development as well as marketing. Innovation will help brands profit from these changes. In both developing and developed economies, the demand for competitively priced smartphones will remain high.  Apart from innovation, pricing strategy will also affect level of sales of smartphones.

Phoenix z1 will be priced closer to the average selling price at between $250 and $350 so as to achieve highest sales and maximum profits. This will also help overcome the economic fluctuations and currency exchange rate fluctuations in the global environment.

Social & Cultural factors:

In the developed nations, technological growth has happened at a very fast rate. People are more tech savvy there and their level of technology adoption and usage is also higher. Such people like using smartphones that are loaded with applications and innovative features. In the developed societies, smartphone use is common among people in the age group of 10-75 years. The culture in the western nations is suitable for technological growth and expansion. People follow a modern lifestyle in these nations and have adopted several forms of digital and electronic technology into their lifestyles. From the Americas to Europe and particularly US and UK, the rate of technology adoption is higher. With the proliferation of digital technology and the need for being active on the go, smartphone use among the people of these nations has grown.  The best method to market to these people is the use of digital technology. A very large part of the population in these nations  connects to the internet through their smartphones and stays connected most of the time. As per a report by the PewInternet, the percentage of US adults using internet has touched 89% in 2018.

In the developing economies and particularly Asian developing economies the level of smartphone use has grown a lot. China is a developed Economy and India a fast developing economy where the level of smartphone use is high. China, India and US are at the helm of this growth story in the smartphone industry. In the Asian regions too, smartphone usage are very high. In the Eastern societies too technological growth is happening at a fast pace and particularly in these two economies including India and China, people have grown highly tech savvy and their IT industries have seen very fast growth. In these markets too demand for smartphones must climb continuously in the coming years (as the Deloitte report highlights). The best method for marketing to customers in these markets too is digital technology. Digital advertising and digital platforms can be used in these markets to access a large pool of customers. The customers in these markets like products that are innovative and loaded with features. However, in fast developing markets like India, customers can be price sensitive and would want the most innovative products at most affordable prices.

Consumer Demographics:

  • Educational Attainment:- In today’s world even the people who are not well educated or who have not attained any education beyond high school are highly tech savvy and use email and other internet based features in their daily lives with skill. It is now being used across every walk of life. Smartphone use is not linked directly to the consumer’s education. However educated consumers can use several of its features with higher ease. The customers of Phoenix Z1 are people with a school degree and above. Most of its features are very simple that even kids can use.
  • Income:- Phoenix Z1 will be priced at somewhere between $250 and $350. It is so that people with low and average income too can buy the product. The income of the buyers of Phoenix Z1 lies mainly in the $1000 to $6000 per month range.
  • Geographic area:- The main geographic areas that the company is trying to target include the Americas and Asia as well as some more markets like UK. Its customers are mainly those living in the urban areas including the metropolitan, large and small cities. Apart from US, China, India and UK are the most important markets for Phoenix Z1 as well as Canada and Australia.
  • Age: – The customers of Phoenix Z1 lie in the 15 to 75 age group.  Some of its features can easily be used by kids above 8. However, the core customers of the product lie in the 20-45 age group.
  • Gender:- While Phoenix Z1 is designed mainly for the males, it will also appeal to the female customers because of its features, innovative technology and attractive design. It will be launched in multiple color variants so as to appeal to both the genders.
  • Employment status:- The target audience of Phoenix Z1 include college going unemployed students as well as employed professionals. It also suits the needs of homemakers and working ladies both. It has several features that suit the needs of the professional workers.

Consumer Psychographics:

The customers of Phoenix Z1 are mainly the GenXers. These are modern and tech savvy people who believe in fun and personal freedom. These people believe in liberty of expression and spend a large part of their daily time using technology. Rather than spending their time on television and in books, these people like to spend their time on social media, websites, blogs and other online channels. They like to read online and spend time on  their smartphones and tablets. Large screen smartphones are also in vogue as reading devices. They also love to remain active on the go and many of them are highly passionate about IT and digital technology and channels. A large proportion of this population are passionate video gamers and keep several in their smartphones. They have an image of modern, fun loving and hip generation. They are fans of soccer and basketball as well as hollywood and music celebrities. They also use their smartphones for watching YouTube videos and to stay connected with their friends and family. The main customers of our product include college students, working professionals, new parents and  tech savvy teenagers. Large screen smartphones cater to multiple of their needs including communication, connection, fun and reading. They carry pdf files for reading in their smartphones as well as edit files and send mails using these gadgets. Phoenix Z1 suits all these needs of a smart and modern GenXers from a college goer to the new parents as well as the smart and enthusiastic teenager.

Economic and business conditions in the main markets:

  • China –  The economic reforms of 1978 catapulted China to the second place in the world economy 35 years later. Today, it is the largest smartphone market in the world. The largest Asian economy and the world’s second largest economy also faired the recession better than most other nations of the world. The main risk for the Chinese economy is the trade war going on between it and US. Unemployment rate in 2017 was under 3.9.
  • India – India is another fastest growing economy of the world which sustained during the recession and remained less affected than most other nations. Unemployment rate in India is expected to stay under 4% at around 3.5%. Its GDP is estimated to have grown at 6.6% in 2017-18 and is expected to grow at 7.3% in 2018-19. It is also among the world’s largest start up bases and the situation of employment here is expected to have grown much better by 2025.
  • USA –  Based on key economic indicators, the economic outlook for US is healthy. Its GDP growth rate is expected to remain at between 2 to 3% range and the unemployment rate is also expected to remain normal. As US continued to say bye to the effects of financial crisis, the situation in 2018 remained good.
  • UK – The UK economy is in less good shape as compared to the other three discussed above. However, it gained some momentum in second quarter of 2018. Brexit uncertainty has dampened or rather muted growth. Unemployment rate in 2017 was at 4.4%. Despite the uncertain economic and political situation, UK is an important market for smartphone brands.

In all the above discussed economies e-commerce has grown and can be the best channel to reach the customers. These are technologically advanced economies where  a very large part of the entire population has access to modern and digital technology.

State of Technology for smartphones:

2018 has seen rapid innovations in the field of IT and with all the large technology brands spending a lot on research and development, overall the technology industry has seen a lot of advancement in a small period. The smartphone brands are innovating to provide the customers with superior experience. With smartphones growing more central to the lives and lifestyles of consumers, the smartphone brands have loaded their gadgets with more and more advanced capabilities.

Some of the leading brands making smartphones in the market include Apple,  Samsung, LG, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi etc. These brands have pushed the bar of technological inn0vation very high for the new players. From facial recognition to powerful cameras and voice assistants, these phones are loaded with features such that the user remains immersed in the experience. From AI to other technologies, smartphones have advanced a lot in a very small period of time. Technological advancements are happening at such a fast pace that  brands release new models regularly to offer their customers with something new. In terms of both hardware and software, smartphones are way ahead of where they were some five years ago. Apple and Samsung are leading brands in this regard with their phones equipped with the best features. Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhone are considered the most efficient and popular in the market.

Government laws and regulations:

The legal environment in the smartphone industry has grown tough and apart from technology and patent related laws there are several laws that are currently affecting the state of the smartphone industry. There are labor and environment related laws too as well as several other licensing agreements that can make it difficult for new businesses to enter. Moreover, the situation is tough in China and complex in US. In India too the legal and regulatory environment is quite complex. Patent infringement can result in lawsuits and fines. Intellectual property rights are also a very important concern in the smartphone industry. All the necessary licenses must be obtained and legal concerns addressed before entering the smartphone industry. The privacy concerns in the smartphone industry have grown bigger and therefore, it is important to understand and address all these concerns before entering the smartphone industry. Entry in China can require partnership with local firms.

Financial Environment:

Economic activity has returned globally and apart from a few economies most of them are seeing healthy growth in employment. People are spending more on electronic items in the major economies of the world including India, China and US. Spending on ecommerce channels across the globe has also grown and that means ecommerce can be the most viable option for sales of new products in all the major economies. However, our pricing strategy ensures that people can afford the product even in the times of downturn. A competitive pricing strategy ensures that the product is not going to burn the customers’ pockets.

Government environment:

The government environment around the world has grown more complex which is evident in the trade wars going on between US and China as well as EU’s tightening regulations against the US based firms. Moreover, the growing privacy related concerns and strict regulations as in case of EU can also make market entry for new brands difficult. However, despite the tighter regulations, if one can comply, it is not difficult to make a breakthrough into these markets.  In the Western nations, the government environment may be more open. In case of the Asian markets however, entry can be difficult against the Red Tape. The EU has fined several major technological firms in the recent years and China and US are already engaged in a kind of trade war that can make situation difficult for companies based in these two markets.

Media Environment:

Media, the world over remains abuzz with news and information related to technologies and technological advancements. Each new advancement is welcomed by the media and a lot of hype always remains there regarding new releases. There are several websites and blogs that are dedicated solely to technology and technological innovations.

From Apple to Samsung, LG and Xiaomi, all these brands use media events for the marketing of their products. Moreover, the media environment has evolved a lot with the rise of digital technology and digital media has become the mainstay of marketing rather than print media.  Media is also central to our marketing strategy and apart from digital marketing, it forms the core of our marketing efforts. Media events and similar promotions to create media buzz can be extremely helpful at growing our brand expanding our business faster.

Competitor environment:

There are several strong competitors of our brand in the market which have brought innovative and popular products to the market. Leading the market are Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy.

Apart from Apple and Samsung, the other major players in the international smartphone industry are LG, Xiaomi, Huawei and Lenovo. These brands are the major players with an international presence and which are also our toughest competitors. Except Apple, the other brands have brought  a large range of smartphones within varying price categories and which cater to the needs of people from various income classes. Google has also entered the smartphone market and despite not having grown into a  major player yet, it is still rising.

Competition in the smartphone industry has grown intense because of several factors, chief among them being technological advancement. The number of brands in the industry is high and most of them invest heavily in technology and R&D for creating innovative products. In this area while Apple and Samsung are leading, Huawei and Xiaomi have also introduced impressive models as well as Google. These brands are also investing aggressively in marketing which also continues to intensify competition. Overall, the state of competition is quite intense and to gain even a  small market share, a brand would need to focus upon innovation, product differentiation, marketing as well as a sound pricing strategy.

All our competitors hold strong position in the international markets, some of which feature among the top most powerful companies in the Forbes list. Apart from being financially strong, these brands are also capable in terms of skilled human resources and marketing plus supply chain and a global distribution network.

Company Environment:

Phoenix is an electronics and IT company and our core products include smartphones, tablets and wearables. Phoenix was founded in 2010 and incorporated in Delaware. We have highly skilled human resources and great technological capabilities. Apart from that we have partnered some other technological firms to use their technological capabilities and resources.

Our products are mainly sold in the American markets and we are planning to release our new phone in three other key markets. Our supply chain and distribution networks are limited to the Americas. However, some of our earlier released products have been highly popular including one smartphone. Phoenix Z1 is a step ahead of our previous smartphone – ‘Phoenix Arc’. Our brand has excellent production and marketing capabilities. However, we need to improve our  distribution network before we can expand to Asian countries and UK. This may require us to partner with the local firms. However, a substantial part of our supply chain is located in Asia and our supply partners can also help us extend our distribution network to the Asian countries.

Our business strategy is to find growth in the Asian markets and UK while expanding our market share in USA by better utilization of our supply chain and distribution network as well as other digital sales and distribution channels. Our main focus currently is on the large cities in these markets where the largest part of our customer audience is found.

Phoenix SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths:

  • Technological innovation – Phoenix is an innovative brand with string focus on technological innovation for higher consumer satisfaction. we have also acquired some patents that are our distinct strengths.
  • Marketing capabilities – We ave maintained strong marketing capabilities that helps us promote our brand and products to our customer audience. Apart from creative marketing content, Phoenix is also highly creative in terms of the execution of its marketing strategy.
  • strong financial position – We are in a  financially strong position to execute our business expansions strategy and to undertake costly marketing efforts as well as expand our supply chain and distribution network.
  • Efficient Supply chain and distribution network: We have an efficient supply chain most of which is located in Asia. However, our distribution network is limited to the Americas which are our main market.

Weaknesses:

  • Weak presence in Asian markets – We have not been able to establish a strong presence in the Asian markets but are going to introduce our product for the first time in China and India.
  • Brand image and market share: Our brand image compared to our competitors is weak and most of our competitors spend much more on marketing and innovation.

Opportunities:

  • Digital marketing and supply chain – We have excellent marketing opportunities with the help of digital marketing channels and techniques which can help us expand our customer base and market share.  Digitising our supply chain can also help us reduce our operational costs as well as improve productivity.
  • Entry into fast growing Asian economies – By entering Indian and Chinese markets, we will be able to grow our sales and profits faster.

Threats:

  • Heavy competition – There is heavy competition in the smartphone industry which poses a threat to our market share and customer base.
  • Legal and regulatory threats – Legal and regulatory threats too abound in the smartphone industry and any type of noncompliance can result in fines and losses.
  • Marketing and operational expenses – Growing marketing and operational expenses including raw material and labor costs can reduce our profits and revenue.

STP (Segmentation, targeting & positioning)

Segmentation : – Our potential buyers based on age include people in the group of 15-65. This buyer group includes both the Gen-Xers and the baby boomers. The Gen-Xers form the largest group of our buyers. It is mainly because of their lifestyle and purchasing power. Most of them want innovative products at affordable prices. These people were born in an era when technological development was happening at a very fast pace and that’s why a  large part of this generation is tech savvy. They like smartphones that offer multiple features which can be used for work as well as fun. It is a generation that believes in working hard and partying harder. However, the baby boomers too have grown tech savvy and can be found on social media and using other forms of technology including digital technology which has mainly happened because of the proliferation of computers and Information technology.

Targeting :- Our target market includes people from the middle class and upper middle class. The 21st century and the post recession period has seen the rise of the middle class which is mainly made up of working class people. In the post recession period, the level of employment has gone up. Following that the middle class people are spending more on electronics and lifestyle items. Middle class people aged 20 to 55 form our major target market. these people are also the most enthusiastic about technology and new advancements happening in this sphere.   This category includes both male and female customers.

Positioning : –

Phoenix Z1 will be positioned as a product that helps both students and professionals increase their productivity. It will be promoted as a fun and productivity tool that maximizes user’s efficiency through its innovative features while also catering to their need for fun and creativity. Phoenix Z1 is a slim light weight fun that comes loaded with fun and productivity features and has excellent gaming features.

Value Proposition: A smart and light weight device with productivity features for students and professionals as well as your own gaming partner and music companion. All of these at a price that is better than your expectations.

Marketing Mix of Phoenix Z1:

Product: 

Phoenix Z1 is a smart, modern technology and AI enabled smartphone with 5.6 inch screen and weighing 180 gms. the device comes equipped with some of the best features currently available including an HD display and 12 Mega Pixel camera. It also comes loaded with more than 30 apps and more can be downloaded from Google play. It comes in two different models with 64 GB and 256 GB capacity. The smartphone is available in light grey and silver color variants. Z1 will carry a one year warranty and a one year extended warranty at an extra price.

Place:

Our primary distribution channel is online retail through which Phenix Z1 will be made available in key markets. In the Americas, it will be available through our own website as well as other e-commerce sites and our brand retail stores. In Asia and UK, we are going to introduce the product through online channels including international and local e-commerce websites and in partnership with local brands.

Price: 

Z1 comes in two 64 and 256 GB capacity models that are priced at $279 and $349. The competitive pricing is done mainly in order to grow our market share.

Promotion:

Digital marketing channels and techniques will form the core of our promotional strategy. Apart from that, Phoenix will use media events and  social media advertising  to promote the Z1 model. Our website and social media accounts will be a key part of our promotion strategy. Phoenix will also use sponsorships and advertising in print media including technology magazines to promote Z1.

Business Financial & Marketing Objectives:

Business Objectives: – To achieve fast growth for the company and to expand into new Asian and European markets.

Financial Objectives: – To achieve sales worth $50 Million in the first year and to increase it to 90 million dollars by the third year; to achieve fast growth in revenue and profits.

Marketing Objectives: – Improve brand awareness and brand recognition and the reach of our marketing efforts.

Service & Internal marketing:

The Z1 model will carry a one year warranty as a part of our customer service strategy. Our service centers in Americas will handle the repairs in in Asian nations and UK, our distribution network partners will handle all the repairs. In the Americas our engineers have especially trained a large group of technicians t handle such repairs. Moreover, to measure customer satisfaction and to handle any kind of complaints and issues related to manufacturing and design, we will conduct quarterly customer surveys and monitor social media for such signals. Both retailers and customers will receive round the clock technical support online as well as through toll free numbers. Moderated forums and blogs will also provide technical support. Apart from that we will motivate our sales staff and customer service staff through incentives to reach the mark in sales and customer service.

Marketing Research:

Product Development:

Phoenix has used concept testing, surveys and market tests to identify features that its customer audience values the most in smartphones. It is also researching for usability, quality and value perceptions as well as new features that may specifically interest the professionals and business people with focus on new product development.

Marketing communications: 

Phoenix will measure brand awareness pre and post marketing communication to known the effectiveness of the channels utilized in terms of reach and response. Apart from that Phoenix would also like to learn about customers’ response to competitors’ campaigns as well as how our customers’ receive our messages so as to achieve higher effectiveness by refining our marketing communication and media.

Customer Satisfaction:

Phoenix will conduct comprehensive customer studies to measure the level of satisfaction as well as identify issues requiring immediate attention. The company will also utilize feedback from retail and distribution partners to measure satisfaction.

Financials and Forecasts:

Total first year Revenue: $50 Million (assuming sales of 250,000 units @$200 average wholesale price)

1st quarter: $10 Million

2nd quarter: $8 Million

3rd quarter: $12 Million

4th quarter: $20 Million (assuming cumulatively higher business sales and a rise in consumer sales at the year end).

First Year Sales forecasts:

By Market- Unit Sales
Consumers -> 190000
Business -> 60000
Total – 250000
By Channel – Unit Sales
Online/store retailers  -> 185000
Telecom carriers -> 65000
Total – 250000  

Sales Forecast
                Sales            Direct Cost of Sales
Year 1.    $50 Mn        $11 Mn
Year 2.   $65 Mn        $12Mn
Year 3.   $90 MN       $17 Mn

Pro Forma Profit & Loss Phoenix Z1 (sums in millions except percentages)
Phenix Z1Year 1Year 2Year 3
Sales50mn6590
Total Sales506590
Cost of sales152028
Total Cost of sales152028
Gross Margin354562
Gross Margin%70%69.20%68.90%
Total Operating expenses 141820
Profit before Interest & Taxes212742
EBITDA212742
Taxes Incurred6812
Net Profit151930
Net Profit %30%29%33%

Metrics & Marketing Control:

Phoenix has planned to adopt stringent control measures for monitoring quality and level of customer satisfaction. This is essential in order to address any newly arising problems immediately. For this purpose our customer service and marketing managers will monitor online channels for product reviews and customer service complaints and grievances to detect any kind of confusion or complaint. We will also monitor weekly, monthly and quarterly sales, costs and awareness levels as well as other metrices. In case, a price war breaks out with one of our competitors, we have also developed a contingency plan which includes a short term promotional rebate and based on the effects of this promotion, we will further revise the marketing plan to make suitable changes.

Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.