Integrated Marketing Campaign for Shrewd Motors’ Electric Car

Background

            Shrewd Motors is a mid-level business located in Houston, Texas, United States. The firm was established in 2007 as a private company for supplying automotive spare parts and servicing catering to a wide range of clients, spanning from individuals to corporations. Since launch, Shrewd Motors has achieved exponential success due to its reliable service and stable reputation among clientele. The business relies on a team of skilled staffs, front liners engineers, and technicians of different nationalities to run its operations in various geographical regions. At present, the company serves clients across the United States. Services are distributed across various segments, including the supply of automotive spare parts from assorted brands, automotive servicing and maintenance, and automotive and industrial engineering services. The spare parts category records the highest volume of orders and maintains the highest supply fill rate among competitors of similar profile. Continuous success and momentous generation of revenue in two decades has not only allowed the company to reinvest in the business but also venture in new service segments such as car sales. Currently, the company is considering to invest in the clean energy sector by engaging in the distribution and supply of electric automotive parts. The growing sensitivity towards cleaner environment has sparked a demand for zero-emission vehicles. Electric vehicles are being constantly promoted in the United States and the electric car market is expected to experience a spike in demand in the near future. This document presents an integrated marketing campaign detailing how Shrewd Motors will navigate the electric car market.

Situation Analysis

The section presents the current situation in the electric car market. Subsections will unveil the current market trends, communication strategy, and environmental analysis through the SWOT model.

Market Trends

            The electric automobile market is experiencing a spike in growth partly due to the demand for high-performance, fuel-efficient, and low-emission vehicles along with the legislation of stringent rules and regulations. Electric vehicles are designed to replace conventional modes of transport which result in pollution (Contestabile, Tal, & Turrentine, 2020).  Their growing popularity rests on numerous technological advancements of the modern age and the commercialization of climate change politics. By design, an electric vehicle outperforms the conventional gasoline vehicle by providing a higher fuel economy, smoother travel, and reduced noise and emissions. At present, the market accommodates three types’ of electric automobiles, namely hybrid, battery, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Although electric cars are more expensive than their gasoline counterparts, they require minimal maintenance. The growth of electric vehicle markets is inhibited by high manufacturing costs and limited serviceability. However, the inhibiting effects are cancelled out by proactive government initiatives, rising customer acceptance, and advances in technology. With regard to segmentation, the market is subdivided on the basis of vehicle type, type of electric system, and region. Vehicle types include passenger cars, two wheelers, and commercial vehicles while types of electric systems comprise electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Key players in the market are Nissan Motor Corporation, BMW Group, Tesla, Volkswagen AG, Ford motor company, and Toyota Motor Corporation. The American electric vehicle is in its embryonic stages. Car purchases have been on the rise and are projected to continue rising through the next decade.

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Purchases are favored by rising disposable incomes and the introduction of strict regulations. Manufacturers like Tesla are starting to venture into cheaper cars that mainstream travelers can afford.

Current Marketing Communications Strategy and Performance

Car manufacturers and suppliers dealing with electric automotive parts make extensive advertising campaigns to constantly project their brand images and models to prospective consumers. Customer loyalty to specific brands is particularly fickle. Hence, buyers can be influenced by the image, prices, and specifications. Amount spent on advertising across key market players has been on the rise with Toyota and the likes of Tesla being in the list of the highest spenders.

Vehicle brands have their own supply agencies distributed across various geographical regions. For example Toyota operates multiple branches across the State of Texas and beyond. These are supplemented by independent retailers and wholesalers, who comprise startups in the electric car industry as well as venders who merchandise conventional automotive spare parts. Since the market is still in its embryonic stage, enterprises rely on modern telecommunication channels to reach audiences. Technology makes it convenient for retailers and suppliers to market across massive geographic areas and audience segments (Baltes, 2017). Common marketing channels in the electromotive market include events, content marketing, online advertising, sponsorships, and offline advertising solutions such as television, billboards, and newspapers.

Since a majority of industry players operate on a global scale, there are entire teams focused on promotion and advertising activities. The scale of promotion depends on the size, audience demographic, and market share of each firm.

Target Market

            The market is divided into two main categories, namely Business-to-business (B2B) customers and private consumers. B2B customers are corporate buyers who purchase fleets on hire or rental basis. Examples are educational institutions and standard companies that offer transport solutions to staff. The environmental features of electric and hybrid vehicles are particularly appealing to both categories of buyers. Car repair shops are also secondary customers although to a lesser extent as they lack autonomy of choice.

            In terms of customer demographic, private buyers are the most important part of the market. The regular customer is likely to be either male or female, and between 30 and 50 years of age. Customers are also likely to be married with family responsibilities, as well as well-educated and informed. Likely to be classified in the middle-class, a majority of customers are not only prepared to buy environmentally-friendly vehicles but also to pay more due to higher disposable income. Additionally, customers are likely to own another car. All customers have access to outdoor and ambient advertising. Although it is difficult to estimate the size of each customer segment, they can be reached via online means as virtually every American has access to the internet.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths. Shrewd Motors enjoys a number of internal strengths. Among the most significant is that the firm has already secured a footing in the industry and a pool of loyal clientele over the years. Consistent growth and a reliable and brand image has kept the business above competition in many product segments. Hence, it occupies a special position that allows it to market new products directly to buyers. What is more, Shrewd has a strong company culture and reliable links with the world’s largest car manufacturers.

Weaknesses. Shrewd Motors has no prior experience in the electromotive industry. With a relatively low market share, the company does not command a significant part of the market. Furthermore, the budding state of the market means the firm does not understand customer inclinations as far as electric vehicles are concerned.

Opportunities. The electromotive car market is expected to rise in the near future as a result of coordinated efforts between the public and private sector. Government regulations and incentives directed towards the electromotive car industry provides some form of assurance that the market will experience an upsurge. Hybrid technology is proving to be very successful in the American market. Several players have even created several brand extensions and models. The introduction of new concepts and models offers a wide variety of opportunities for Shrewd Motors.

External Threats. Primary threats come from large competitors who dominate the market such as Tesla and Toyota. Secondary threats include alternative methods of transport, unstable economy, and market uncertainties.

Marketing Objectives

            Objectives offer a clear set of targets that should be achieved via planned actions. Objectives are presented on three levels: corporate, marketing, and communication. The main corporate objective is to increase shareholder wealth through higher sales. Marketing objectives entail the successful introduction of electromotive segment in the company’s product portfolio. Marketing communication activities will be coordinated with key company operations and are fashioned to ensure the achievement of overall corporate and advertising objectives. Specific marketing communication objectives are outlined below.

  • To strengthen relationship with key brands by setting up a relations department within the next annual period.
  • To increase consideration of electric cars when offering advice and educating buyers through citation of advantages and value.
  • To reach the target market through comprehensive marketing.
  • Host promotional events at least once every month.
  • To provide extensive information about electromotive technologies through various media channels.

Strategy

            The project will commence with context analysis followed by positioning, communication strategy, coordination of communication mix, implementation, control, and evaluation.

Tactics –Communication Plan

            Electric cars offer value that traditional cars lack. This unique selling point should be emphasized in promotions while weakening barriers to purchase. Promotional messages should evolve over time. In the beginning, messages should focus on creating awareness and educating prospective customers. Later messages should concentrate on the creation of excitement and further edification about the value of the new products. In order to appeal to the market, promotions should promote electric cars and their users as innovative, bold, intelligent, imaginative, pioneering, and revolutionary. The tone of promotion should be witty, intelligent, and modern. The long-term efficiency of electric cars should be used to cancel out barriers to buying. Comparisons with traditional vehicles will set the new product apart. It will make sense for Shrewd to create assorted classed executions to target each of the mindsets in the market.

            There a myriad communication methods. The most important factors in the selection of suitable communication methods are type of product and its profile. These can influence consumer behavior, and therefore, need to be taken into account. The following marketing methods will be utilized.

  • Public Relations. It is essential for the business to develop and maintain good relationships with the public. Shrewd can reconfigure the existing PR department to accommodate the new product segment.
  • Content Marketing. In the internet age, content marketing is a critical marketing and communications tool. The company can utilize its website to publish information regarding electric vehicles to attract visitors to the brand.
  • Social Media Campaign. Social media is among the most widely used marketing channels in the contemporary world (Tuten, & Solomon, 2017).  Social media channels provides Shrewd Motors with the capacity to reach target audiences and additional audience segments.
  • Sales Promotions. Monetary incentives can trigger decisions or purchases. They should serve as a useful way of promoting new products.
  • Paid advertising. Paying for ad space in Media outlets, newspapers, magazines, and billboards should be a key component in the communications mix for the current campaign. Although expensive, paid advertising will increase awareness and interest.

Action

            The project should commence with the formation and identification of a reliable team that will be accountable for the project. Selected team members should come from the PR and management departments (Darian & Coopersmith, 2001). The team will need to collaborate with other departments, for instance, the purchasing department will handle procurement of materials while the accounting department will be responsible for financial tasks and monitoring.

CampaignCost in $
Public Relations department reconfiguration50,000
Content marketing200,000
Social Media Marketing100,000
Sales Promotion70,000
Paid Advertising60,000
Total$ 480,000

  After the reconfiguration of the Public relations department and organization of the project team, the marketing plan will begin with social media marketing and content marketing campaigns. The marketing team will post regular social media posts containing relevant graphics and links to the company’s website content and store. The next phase will engage paid advertising and sale promotions.

Control

            The marketing communications should be implemented before the product launch. The involved departments will have to engage in regular meetings on a regular basis to tune the plan into a well-integrated strategy.  The creation of content will happen once the initial products have been exhibited to the market. Direct mail will be sent to existing clientele before and after the initial announcement. The marketing campaigns will begin immediately using the blitz campaign framework. The communication will be short, intensive, and focused to informing prospective buyers.  

Conclusion            

In conclusion, this document has presented an integrated marketing campaign detailing how Shrewd Motors will navigate the electric car market. The company is considering to invest in the clean energy sector by engaging in the distribution and supply of electric automotive parts. The growing sensitivity towards cleaner environment has sparked a demand for zero-emission vehicles. The communication plan aims to reach the target market through comprehensive marketing. A mix of marketing channels have been chosen, including public relations, content marketing, social media campaign, sales promotions, and paid advertising.

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