Competition is the greatest challenge that any production industry can face. It is the responsibility of the management and especially the marketing department to come up with strategies that will get consumers attention to the products and convince them to buy it (Kotler& Armstrong, pp. 4-12). The strategies should be able to get the products a market and keep them there without losing their competitive edge.
International marketing poses a greater challenge as the marketing department has to study the trends in the different countries' markets, identify their major competitors and come up with a strategy that will draw the consumer’s attention to their products (Semenik ; Gary, pp. 9-26). Competition in the international market is very high in the beer industry. Marketing involves attracting consumers to one's products and maintaining them. Heineken Beer Company which is an international beer company has identified the significance of marketing and has made efforts to internationally market its products.
One of the strategies that has been adopted by the Heineken Beer Company is promotion. Promotion is a powerful tool in marketing. It is used by manufacturers to communicate about a product which may or may not be new to e individuals in the public arena who may be interested in these products. Promotion can be pull promotion or push promotion (Kotler & Armstrong, pp. 4-12).
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The Heineken Company uses both tools of promotion.
Heineken utilizes many pull promotion strategies in their international marketing strategies.
Pull promotion strategies which involve making the public aware of new products by advertising them before they are launched has enabled Heineken to reach customers all over the world. The tools involve in pull promotion are very expensive, but the good thing is that they are effective if well carried out. Pull promotion involves advertising, consumer sales promotion and public relation (Boone & Kurtz, p. 5).
1) Advertisement One of the tools used in pull promotion is advertising.
Heineken has directed its marketing departments to ensure that they do media advertising through the newspapers and broadcasting (television and radio stations) in all the countries the company has launched its products. The Heineken Company aims to reach more customers at a lower cost through advertising (Semenik & Gary, pp. 9-26).
This is advertising through media helps the company to reach people who can not be reached by any other means. This goes especially to those who reside in rural regions.
Ad appeal by Heineken International is achieved in the same way as it is in the United States. The company uses audio video advertising to reach their consumers. Heineken has used the media audio visuals such as radio and television to advertise. This is done by placing commercials on television and radio. These commercials always have a dramatic aspect that attracts the viewers. The company is able to reach millions of people world wide both in rural and urban areas as long as they are listening to radios or watching television.
Internet advertisement which seems to be the current trend has also enabled the company to internationally market its products as people are able to constantly see the products they are surfing the web (Open Prworlldwide Public Relations 2009).
b) Ad Execution
Most of the Heineken's advertisements are short and simple. In an effort to capture the audience and especially the young generation internationally, Heineken Company uses dramatic tactics in their ads. The company also tends to feature famous actors or musicians in their commercials who use lines that are appealing to the intended group of people.
The company uses famous people in the different countries to carry out the commercials as they attract most of the young generation who are the targeted group.
c) Media Placement for TV stations and magazine titles
Before a company decides to put any ad placement on a television station or in a magazine, they have to consider who their target is (Farese ; Woloszyk 8). Most beer companies target men as they believe that beer is mostly taken by men. In their media placements, which usually are done in the stations that are most watched by young people, Heineken usually uses influential men to carry off the commercials.
The aim is to attract them to things that matter to them. Heineken adverts always end with an explanation of the Heineken experience which is dramatic and always causes people to want more explanation. Most of their placements are in men's magazines such as the FHM as men are their main targets (Jay 2003).
2) Consumer Sales Promotions
These are incentives used by most production companies to introduce new products to consumers. They include giving free samples, coupons or discounts on bought products (Boone & Kurtz, pp. 5-10).
The advantage of this tool of pull promotion is that it enables the producers to get an immediate response from the consumers. The producers can therefore stop manufacturing or supplying the specific product to a certain region if they realize that it is not picking up with the consumers. Heineken Company has not been left behind in using this tool. The company uses sales promotions of their product in the different markets worldwide in an effort to grip and maintain a place in the beer market (Open Worldwide Public Relations 2009).
3) Public Relations
For any organization to be successful, it has to have positive relations with other groups in the industry. The way an organization handles different situations is very crucial as it may adversely affect its image in the market hence the sales (Farese & Woloszyk 8). Marketing Essentials Good public relations attract people as they want to be associated with the company hence gives it a good attitude in the market which could increase the sales. Heineken recognizes the importance of having good public relations and has concentrated on building them so that they can be recognized internationally.
In an effort to meet this objective, Heineken selected Manning Selvage & lee which is said to be one of the best global public relations firm to be its public relations agency.
This kind of promotion involves pushing the products to the consumer. Most of the marketing strategies involved in push promotion involve interaction of the promoters with the public. It is oftenly used where the pull promotion has not been successful in getting the attention required from the public. Heineken has used push promotion internationally to make the consumers be aware of their new and improved products.
Ad Appeal In order to appeal to the consumers to try the Heineken products, the company's marketing departments have used the push promotion of literally going out and interacting with the potential consumers. This involves holding outdoor advertisements that tell the consumers of the available products. The company has been able to this in all the countries it sells its products. It holds presentation on the streets of major cities or even in clubs and bars by interacting with the potential customers (Open Prworlldwide Public Relations 2009).
Heineken has taken to doing push promotion of its products by literally demonstrating the power of their products. The company does its demonstrations on the streets and in major clubs in the countries that it has interested in. These demonstrations include showing the public of what Heineken products can do for them, in other words, the company demonstrates the Heineken experience. Media Placement Heineken carries out media placements in public areas where it involves members of the public. These placements are usually carried out on the streets of major cities in the different countries that the company holds shares in the market.
It is an interactive procedure that enables the company to judge the audiences’ response to their products (Open Prworlldwide Public Relations 2009).
2. Trade Sales Promotion (all used Heineken uses all the different incentives to encourage channel members to stock their products. This is carried out in all the countries the company has vested in. It includes pushing point of purchase displays to the channel members, offering the products at a discount price, including coupons, gifts and free samples to the channel members in an effort to convince them to stock and sell Heineken products.
3. Personal selling (from the producer to the channel member). Another form of push promotion is the personal selling of the new or improved products (Churchill ; Paul, p. 10). Heineken uses this method to market its products internally. The company has employed individuals who have marketing skills and experience to sell the Heineken beer products to channel members (Open Prworlldwide Public Relations 2009). In this situation the Heineken employees do not deal with the consumers but the distributors.
They use their skills to demonstrate and convince the channel members to stock up with the Heineken products. This method involves direct interaction either by face to face or over the phone (Churchill ; Paul, p. 10). The new developments in technology have made it easier as the products can be sold online. This means that the Heineken marketing staff do not have to travel long distances o sell the products, they can easily demonstrate and convince the channel members over the internet as long as both parties have access to internet. Read about Heineken International Marketing Strategy
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