Last Updated 20 Jun 2022

Pillsbury Case Marketing

Category Advertising
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What are the challenges that Ivan Guillen faces in his role as marketing manager of the RBG business?

As marketing manager of the RBG business, Ivan Guillen must propose a solution to repair Pillsbury refrigerated baked goods (RGB)’s business performance. Since the refrigerated-cookie product line consisted of 62% of RBG’s unit sales and over 75% of the company’s profits, Guillen found it appropriate to alter this segment in the market.

Proposing this idea to GMCC would require Guillen to consider all the challenges he faces. Guillen will have to discover a strategy to increase household penetration since it has fallen to 24% in the past few years. The lack in market penetration has caused a miniscule growth of only one percent in the past three years. In order for Guillen to increase the penetration percent, he will need to reevaluate the “Kisses” commercial. The assessment of this advertisement revealed the lack of effectiveness for brand recognition and relevance. Introducing.

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Also, when reviewing the “Purchase Drivers In Canada As Compared To The US” it is apparent that consumers are concerned with the quality of the dough, the flavors offered, and the amount of cookies offered. Either Guillen is going to need to draw up a marketing plan that addresses these issues are alter the cookie in some way. Lastly, Guillen will have to conduct marketing research to understand the difference between Canadian and US markets. The “Kisses” commercial was adopted from the US and slightly changed for the Canadian market.

Seeing as it failed to generate the projected annual growth of five to seven percent, there is a clear difference between the Canadian and US advertising markets.

What are consumer insights (in general)? What types of business challenges can benefit from consumer insights?

How are these insights obtained? Consumer insight is when a marketer researches unidentified/unmet needs in the marketplace or a new/better way to satisfy an existing need. The job of the marketer is to analyze the information and capitalize on the identified need.

There are two main types of research, quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research revolves around the measurement and analysis of relationships between variables. Random sampling techniques, like questionnaires and surveys, provide marketers with results that can be generalized to a larger population. Qualitative research, on the other hand, takes on a more understanding and conceptual approach. Through focus groups, marketers can gather an in-depth understanding of consumer behavior.

The most common type of research used at GMCC are the focus groups. Focus groups are where a small group of people have a moderated discussion about a marketing-oriented issue. The group then summarizes its opinions and eventually comes to a solution they find fit. Summarizing all of the opinions of the focus groups can aid in new product development, brand messaging, and promotional campaigns. Another type of marketing research GMCC uses are concept tests. Concept tests are commonly used to improve new product development and develop brand messaging.

Concept tests provide an image of the product, pricing information, instructions, and key benefits to a consumer in verbal or visual form. The consumer then quantitatively evaluates the product by stating their degree of purchase intent. Lastly, GMCC also performs creative testing in order to evaluate the effectiveness of ads. When an add is put through the creative test, they are being judged on their purchase intent, relevance, and brand linkage scores. Having a powerful add that influences the consumer can significantly increase brand recognition.

This “Kisses” commercial that Pillsbury had launched in Canada did not meet its expectations due to the lack of creative testing.

Given the key learnings from the usage and attitude study on pp 6-7 of the case, what are the corresponding implications for what actions the team should take?

(Format this into a chart of key learning, implication, action) Key Learning| Implication| Action| Scratch baking is the dominant method of baking cookies in Canada. In Canada, 56% bake only from scratch. In the US, use of refrigerated dough is the most popular baking method. The refrigerated dough market does not seem to have a strong presence in Canada. It seems as if people are either unaware of refrigerated dough or they just do not prefer it. | Either research how to make refrigerated dough more appealing to Canadian consumers or ignore the Canadian market and focus on the US market (since it has a stronger demand for refrigerated dough). | Top four purchase drivers are the same in both countries. Convenience and taste are at the top of both lists. The quality of the cookie dough is not valued as highly in Canada and kids have more of an influence in driving purchases. Clearly there is a big gap between the quality perception in Canada and the United States. Canadian consumers are implying that they want a higher quality product and a product that is more convenient for children. | Propose a marketing strategy that addresses the quality of the cookie or targets children. Since children have a stronger influence in Canadian markets than US markets, reaching out to them could increase brand recognition and sales. | Both users and lapsed users perceive refrigerated cookie dough as convenient.

Lapsed agree that RBG cookies are convenient, but non-users do not rate them as convenient. | Lapsed and current users agree on convenience, leaving marketers to believe this is actually true. Non-users, however, are not receiving this message. Non-users in Canada are not as aware of the product as they should be. | Reaching out to non-users through ads and commercials can increase the convenience recognition for RBG cookies. If non-users considered the cookies convenient they would be more likely to purchase them. |

4) Why did Guillen and his team conduct the in-home and discovery workshops?

To find out what? Conducting a qualitative research was proposed in order to gain a better understanding of consumer perceptions, beliefs, and feelings towards RBG cookies. The usage and attitude study portrayed the differences between Canada and the United States, whereas this study will determine which aspects of the baking experience are most appealing to consumers. The ethnography study RBG conducted, In-home Immersions, sought to gain an in-depth understanding of personal motivations and actions towards a particular product. RBG entered the homes of two lapsed users and wo brand champions while the consumers were baking the good. During the visit, the marketers hoped to develop an understanding of the consumer-brand relationship, what surrounds it, the environment around it, and the bigger-picture influences. For example, RBG found out that when it came to feeding the family, the solutions had to be easy, quick, and pleasing to children. It also showed the sense of happiness that arises when baking occurs. Knowing this information could help propose the idea of implementing comfortable implications in future ads.

The discovery workshop was similar to the ethnography study, except the study group consisted of 18-27 consumers working together. This comfortable environment allows consumers to discuss opportunities and criticize issues of the product.

What actions would you suggest that Guillen and his team take?

  1. What should their value proposition be?
  2. Which consumers should they target? Why?
  3. What should the brand messaging be? Guillen has numerous tough decisions ahead of him when proposing his new marketing strategy.

However, Guillen conducted a multitudinous of studies to provide him some insight on what an appropriate solution would be. In terms of the product itself, there are many alterations that could be made. Children have more of an influence in Canadian markets than in US markets. Providing kid themed offerings could increase brand recognition and demand from children. Simple ideas such as adding famous cartoon characters or sports themes could sway a child to want RBG cookies. Also, adding new flavors/types of cookies could increase the width of customers.

Providing healthier options, dietary restrictions (gluten free, low sodium), and new flavors would reach out to more consumers. Expanding new product development would also be benefit to brand recognition. Providing Pillsbury baking tools like cookie cutters, timers, oven mitts, and aprons would cause the experience of baking to be more enjoyable. Another recommendation to Guillen would be to re-new and strengthen relationships with consumers. In doing so, Guillen should stress the nostalgic and experiential aspect.

Through the in-home study, it has been concluded that baking introduces a sense of happiness in the kitchen. Having this perception instilled in a consumers mind may persuade them to purchase the refrigerated dough for themselves or as a gift. Having a celebrity spokesperson influence consumers can have a positive impact as well. In previous commercials, RBG cookies solely relied on the Pillsbury doughboy. Although he is a very recognizable character, maybe the consumers do not find him as trustworthy as they would a celebrity.

The celebrity could stress the easiness, convenience, and “homemade” feeling RBG cookies provide. In-store display and packaging also has a significant impact on the consumer. Having a brand portrayed in a positive way gives the consumer the feeling that he or she is making the right choice. Research showed that most purchases of refrigerated dough were out of impulse. Sales can simply increase by strategically placing the product to locations where consumers frequently buy on impulse. Increasing the visibility with the doughboy logo would have the consumers more likely thinking about the product.

If the cookies are going to be strategically placed and visible, then they are going to need to have attractive packaging. Offering trial packages with three different flavors would also allow consumers to have the opportunity to try out new flavors. Offering different serving sizes and holiday themes also expands the horizon of consumer tastes and preferences. In the short run, investing in social media, advertisement, and a spokesperson is most beneficial action to take. It is a quick opportunity for consumers to be persuaded into purchasing the object.

However, in the long run it would be most beneficial to introduce new product flavors and healthy and dietary restrictive options. By renewing and strengthening its relationship with existing and lapsed consumers, Pillsbury can increase household penetration. Changing the perception of the product in the minds of the consumer from food to family activity/gift can influence the non-users to sample the product. Lastly, acknowledging new 21st century dynamics of healthy lifestyles and smaller servings can appeal to new market segments and eventually increase sales.

Pillsbury Case Marketing essay

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