It is important for BMW to be addressing each individual element of marketing mix in an appropriate manner. It can be elaborated that “the marketing mix is the set of marketing tools, the so-called 4Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion, a company uses to pursue its marketing objectives in the target market” (Sokolowski, 2011, p.2).
Acknowledging paramount significance of all Ps in marketing mix is important in a way that effective marketing strategy cannot compensate shortcomings associated with a poor quality or inadequate pricing strategy.
Advertising can be defined as “the activity or profession of producing information for promoting the sale of commercial products or services” (Business Dictionary, 2013, online). BMW is recommended to be communicating its marketing message to target customer segment on the basis of using a set of advertising channels.
Specifically, engagement in print and broadcast advertisement through channels popular amongst BMW target customer segment needs to be adopted as one of the cores of the marketing strategy.
Advertising banners need to be displayed in locations in London frequently attended by BMW target customer segment such as Canary Wharf and City.
Moreover, BMW marketing team is recommended to be improving the quality of point-of-sales advertising through supplying audio, video and image materials that motivate salon visitors to commit to the purchase.
Sales promotion involves offering short-term incentives for potential customers to commit to the purchase of products and services. BMW Group is recommended to use sales promotion in the UK market in an occasional manner in order to increase the levels of revenues for short-term perspectives.
For example, 100th anniversary of BMW on March 7, 2013 can be specified as an appropriate occasion to announce 10% sales promotion for all BMW models. However, it is important to note that BMW needs to engage in sales promotions in the UK market only in an occasional manner, no more than once a year, because using sales promotion more frequently may cause depreciation of BMW premium brand value.
Events and Experiences
BMW marketing management is recommended to organise events and experiences in the UK to showcase effective design and advanced features of BMW products. Such events and experiences can be integrated with celebrity endorsement marketing strategy technique. More detailed discussions about BMW celebrity endorsement is provided further below.
For a greater positive impact, events and experiences need to be organised in locations in London regularly attended by BMW target customer segment such as Westfield Shopping Centre, O2 Centre in Finchley Road and Kensington areas. Various events and experiences can be organised outside of London as well.
Effective public relations need to play an integral part in BMW marketing strategy. It is important for BMW to maintain regular contact with all organisational stakeholders with the use of various marketing communication channels. Specifically, communication channels used in public relations include, but not limited to online press releases, annual reports, speeches, and seminars.
As part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives BMW management is also recommended to increase the level of its association with local charities in the UK such as Oxfam, NSPCC, or Cancer Research UK.
Moreover, BMW management can initiate the development of identity magazine of the BMW Group which can cover the latest trends and news in local and global automobile industry and at the same time serve as an effective channel to communicate the marketing message to the target customer segment.
Benefiting from Viral Marketing
Viral marketing can be defined as a type of marketing that is relies on spreading the marketing message amongst members of existing group. At present, viral marketing is effectively used by major car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Toyota and Honda, but potential benefits of viral marketing have not been yet fully realised by BMW strategic marketing team.
Engagement in viral marketing can provide BMW the advantages of spreading the marketing message in a cost-effective manner. Moreover, viral marketing is associated with highly effective customer targeting and the spread of the marketing message in the global scale.
However, BMW marketing team need to be aware of disadvantages associated with viral marketing as well. To be more specific, these disadvantages include lack of control tools over viral marketing effects on people, and high levels of vulnerability to manipulation and spamming.
Taking Advantage of Product Placement
Product placement is a particular form of advertisement method where products and services are made noticeable in natural environments within the settings of a media or drama product.
Product placement has been successfully utilised by a range of automobile manufacturers previously. Placement of Aston Martin cars in James Bond instalments and AUDI in a popular movie iRobot in 2004 can be mentioned to support this argument. Similarly, product placement can be effectively used to market BMW car models by ensuring coverage of these products in popular movies in natural settings. Moreover, BMW can use product placement to in relation to popular computer games with the company target customer segment.
Engagement in Celebrity Endorsement
BMW can engage in celebrity endorsement by attracting celebrities that are respected by the majority of BMW target customer segment. Real-life examples of celebrity endorsements in automobile manufacturing industry include singer Heidi Klum associating herself with Volkswagen Beetle, Australian pop-singer Kylie Minogue advertising StreetKA, Victoria Bekcham associating herself with Range Rover, Uma Thurman serving as the face of Range Rover etc.
Celebrity endorsements can be done in relation to BMW brand in general, or in relation to specific car models within BMW portfolio. Effective engagement in celebrity endorsement can offer BMW the advantages of increasing the levels of credibility, enhancing the level of brand recall, enhancing the appeal of BMW brand to the masses, and others.
However, celebrity endorsement can also be associated with a set of disadvantages such as celebrities overshadowing the brand, celebrities being overexposed by associating themselves with many brands at the same time with negative implications on the levels of their credibility, and others.
The case study of Nike and golfer Tiger Woods can be mentioned to illustrate potential negative impacts of celebrity endorsement. Specifically, world class golfer Tiger Woods infidelity scandal that erupted in 2010 has resulted in considerable financial loss for global business consultancy firm Apprentice.
Advertising (2013) Business Dictionary, Available at: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/advertising.html
Sokolowski, O. (2011) “Influences and Attitudes within Consumer Behaviour Process” GRIN Verlag