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Harry Potter series of books and movies today are the leading brands in the entertainment industry (Olson, Slater and Hult, 2005). There are a lot many reasons, apart from content and the storyline, marketing being the major part of it. Present report is an attempt to discuss about strategic sales and marketing plan for the book/movie in 2016. SOSTAC framework has been used so as to develop tactic to market and promote it in UK.
It is one of the leading tools of marketing through which goods and/or services can be promoted in the market, thus helping the management to attain desired goals and objectives. Over the years, it has been observed that no other literary work has created such a buzz in the market, like in case of books and movies of Harry Potter (Vorhies and Morgan, 2003). One of the main reasons behind its success can be attributed to promotional activities carried out by marketing team of the book. Online marketing played a very crucial role in it, as it informed the publisher about needs of target customers and also their comments through various social networking sites. In following paragraphs, SOSTAC (Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action and Control) framework for marketing the brand in UK for period 2015-16 has been developed.
For understanding present situation of the series, conducting a SWOT analysis can prove to be of great use.
Strengths: There are various strengths that have helped the brand to become a global phenomenon in the international literary market (Rouziès and et. al, 2005). One of them is presence of a very unique and different storyline From all the books that have been published over the years, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series presents a very different concept that has appealed to not only the children (initial target customers for the book) but also to the adults.
Weaknesses: There are seven books in the series each having numerous pages, on average 486 pages in one book. This means that length of the books is too long for any person to read the book. Further, it only consists of British elements, which on many occasions, makes it uninteresting to the international audiences (Cravens and Piercy, 2008).
Opportunities: There are very few books in UK that have been able to match up the level that Harry Potter series has set in the market. Thus it helped the book to almost attain a position of monopoly (Kotler, Rackham and Krishnaswamy, 2006).
Threats: Publisher of the book has to face many risks and threats. One of the main ones being that is, there are chances that fake and copied books, that may be unauthentic and unauthorized in nature can be introduced in the market, in addition to free downloads of e-books of the series over internet.
Marketing team of the book and movie series can look to attain several objectives. One of them is to make the book the leading names in the literary world. At present it is ranked as the third bestselling novel of all the times, after the Bible and the thoughts of Chairman Mao (Boyd and Massy, 2007). Its marketing team can try to make the book the bestselling volume ever in the history of literary industry. Further, current audience of the series mostly consists of children and young adults, but the publisher can look to increase their customer base by widening their target audience. This way, not only popularity of the book will increase, but it would also help to make sure that it caters to needs & demands of a very wide customer base. Increasing the brand awareness can also be another objective of marketing the series in UK.
For the purpose of attaining above mentioned objectives, various strategies would have to be used (Grönroos, 2006). In this regard, a new Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP) strategies can be suggested. At present, target customers of the books and movies are children and young adults. But for fulfilling the objectives, it can be recommended that the authorities of marketing team of the book must now look to attract adults and readers of old age as well. There are very few customers at present who belong to the old age group. This means that the demographic technique of market segmentation will have to be widened by a great extent. On the other hand, for targeting these customers, undifferentiated targeting strategy must be used, as it would enable the marketing team to develop a common marketing plan for attracting target customers (Hughes, 2006). To position the book in an attractive manner and appeal to target customers, brand positioning strategy must be used by authorities. Further, Ansoff Matrix can also be very useful in this regard. There are various strategies used in this marketing model. Considering the new STP, using the strategy of market development will lead to attainment of the desired results. This means that J.K. Rowling, the author will have to write a new story that helps in altering the market significantly (Strahle, Spiro and Acito, 2006).
For effectively implementing and using above mentioned strategies, using the Product Life Cycle (PLC) Model would be of great use. It consists of a variety of stages that a good goes through during its life. It has been observed that the Harry Potter series has reached the maturity stage and now is slowly moving towards the decline stage. Therefore, to be able to fulfill the aims and objectives developed before, marketing team must look to revive the brand, and eventually be able to attract more customers (Juin, 2000). To be able to do so, the marketing team would have to build a new image of the series in market and also bring in some new elements that will help in attracting and appealing to a new and widened customer base. Creating a buzz in terms of marketing in the target area can also prove to be of great use in this context.
For attaining the marketing objectives for Harry Potter series, it can be suggested to the marketing team that they should use Porter Generic Strategies, wherein they must focus of attaining cost leadership. This means that prices of the books would have to be reduced considerably, so as to create a unique image in the market and thus be able to attract customers from the new decided market segment (Rust, Lemon and Zeithaml, 2004). In this regard, it can be said that the publishing house will have to become a low cost producer of the books, but still will have to focus on maintaining the quality of not only the materials used, i.e. the pages and also the content of the novel. Presently, prices that are charged from the customers are very high, largely because of the brand name of Harry Potter. But if cost leadership strategy is to be used, then the publishing company will have to focus on reducing their costs. Further, differentiation strategy can also be used. It states that authorities must pay appropriate amount of attention to including new elements in the book, so that it stands different from products of the competitors. This will help in attracting more customers and catering to needs and wants of a large clientele base (Olson, Slater and Hult, 2005).
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For controlling actions and desired outcomes of marketing tactics used by team of Harry Potter series so as to attract customers in large numbers, models such as DAGMAR (Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Result) can be used. Herein, the authorities will have to keep a strict tab on various marketing & advertising tasks carried out by them (Kotler, Rackham and Krishnaswamy, 2006). For the same, first awareness of the new marketing campaign will have to be measured, as it would enable authorities to determine responsiveness of customers to books of the series and then decide on how they further have to conduct the marketing activities to attract more target customers. Their understanding, i.e. comprehension will also have to be assessed on a regular basis, as it will help in determining future course of actions that must be used to fulfill marketing goals and objectives. Once enough data and information about understanding, needs and wants of customers is collected, marketing team can then try to generate their interest in the marketing and promotional campaign designed by them. This would be of great use, as it will prove to be the first step in fulfilling various marketing objectives, as developed and explained above. The last stage of this model is action. If all above steps are carried out successfully, then it will lead to sale of the book, i.e. final action.
From the study, it was observed that Harry Potter is one of the leading brand names in the literary world. Some objectives were suggested to marketing team if the book series that they must attain so that it survives for a greater time period, as presently, it is slowly moving in decline stage of the product life cycle. To overcome this issue, it was suggested that strategies of cost leadership and differentiation must be utilized.
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