To distinguish these four activities in practice let us now take the hypothetical example of a Government policy to overcome an acute shortage of housing resulting from a balance of payments deficit and the country’s inability to import building materials. The policy is to offer financial aid to landlords and private house-owners who are prepared to convert existing large property into self-contained flats. Let us assume that a serious objection to the policy is that the roofs of such houses have so deteriorated that re-tiling is necessary but prohibitively expensive. on sequentially, the Government’s policy is foredoomed
But the managing director of servicing company whose business is properly maintena rice recognises that if they can find a method of renovating these old roofs without having to re-tile they can win some very worthwhile business. The company is nationally organised with regional offices, depots and suitable staff. More men can be recruited and trained if necessary, so there is no problem about capacity. Meanwhile, the market is there waiting to be satisfied: there are thousands of deficient properties and the offer of Government grants to put them right. There is actually Government propaganda urging property owners to repair and convert their houses, and this propaganda has been disseminated by official announcements, a booklet published and posters which are displayed in public places. The scheme has been given coverage in the press and on radio and TV
So we start at the birth of a marketing scheme. The potential market is estimated and the Research and Development division, under the guidance of the technical director, is charged with finding a solution that is commercially viable. This is no simple task: it may take a year or more to discover and test an answer. The research will entail discussions with the Government’s Building Research Station, a search through international technical literature, and especially an investigation into what is done about roof preservation ill other parts of the world. At some point it may be decided that the plausible alternatives are
(i) A replacement roofing material which is either inexpensive in itself, or inexpensive to lay, or
(ii) A method of treating existing tiles and slates, thus obviating the costs of scaffolding, and removal and replacement of old roofing materials.
Let us assume, for the sake of the example, that a decision is taken to investigate whether the causes of deterioration can be overcome by the treatment of the tiles or slates in situ.
After experiments, let us further assume that a fluid is formulated which will do all that is required, and that it has been proved successful under tests which have simulated the effects of erosion by the elements during a time-span of twenty years. Moreover, the official Building Research Station has subjected the fluid to its own independent trials, and has certified the efficacy of the formulation
This is a good point at which to invite the advice of 8 marketing orientated advertising agency. The following decisions have now to be made
(i) Whether to market the fluid 80 that it may be bought by house-owners and building contractors.
(ii) II 80, whether to distribute. through all kinds of outlets willing to stock it, e.g. builders’ merchants, do-it-yourself retailers, department stores, etc., or to restrict distribution to builders’ merchants. Direct
sales to local authorities and to large estate and property owners are also possible.
(iii) Instead, whether to retain the monopoly of the product and develop the servicing side, the company’s own staff applying the product. Or do both, sell the product and the service.
(iv) What will the product be called, or will the new roofing service be given a special name–Roof profit’ :. or the Roof proofing Service? Or both?
(v) What container will be used for the fluid? Bottle, jar, can, drum? And in what quantities? Is it concentrated? Dangerous? Does it have to conform with any safety regulations regarding colouring labelling, warnings, instructions? What size packs will be rational and economical for the domestic user and for the trade?
(vi) the product is to be made generally available-and why not, the company is unlikely to get all the available work yet open knowledge of the product may well help to sell the company’s service–what
will be the recommended retail price, the bulk price and the trade tenns?
(vii) Can the finished job be guaranteed for a given number of years, say twenty, as in the simulated trial?
(viii) How will the product and/or service be advertised?
(a) To what market segments)?
(c) Using what media?
(i) Trade and technical press.
(ii) Building Exhibition DIY Exhibition, Ideal Home Exhibition.
(iii) Direct mail.
(iv) Technical data sheet.
(v) Descriptive print.
(vii) Building Centre displays.
(viii) Press read by property ownerslDIY enthusiasts.
(d) What theme, or copy platform, will be adopted–perhaps a tie-in with the Government appeal?
(ix) How can PR assist in educating trade and market?
(a) Press receptions.
(b) Documentary film.
(c) News releases, pictures.
(d) Exclusive feature articles on successful treatments to well-known buildings, and on the application technique.
(e) Technical seminars in branch areas for dealers/large users, making use of the documentary film.
(f) Supply of technical data to works of reference such as year books which print recommended treatments.
(g) When a substantial· number of houses have been preserved and treated suggest the topic to producers of suitable TV programmes.
(h) Arrange visit to a treatment in progress for journalist who specialise in property, including editors of house-buying magazines, radio, TV.
(i) Build a library of photographs of the treatment being applied, and of typical buildings or kinds of roofs preserved. These can be used for slide presentations and for press use
In this brief sketch-sand in practice the strategy would be planned in much greater depth and in accordance with the value of the market, the profitability and the budget of marketing and promotional costs — we can at least see the four activities operating like this
(i) Government propaganda to get property owners to adopt the policy of converting large old houses.
(ii) The overall marketing strategy from R&D to guarantee.
(iii) The advertising to users of the product or service.
(iv) The public relations to educate property owners and so win their confidence and understanding.
We have only touched on the sales side, but in this exercise it is assumed that the company has a national sales force based on local branches. They are already selling the company’s other building maintenance service and can be augmented if busing expands. There is also an existing servicing organisation which, again, can be expanded if required
This imaginary example shows the role of advertising in modern society, and the same argument applies whether it is a staple product or something highly specialized like our roofing fluid. But advertising does not stop with launching the new product or service, and this is where critics fail to understand the need for and the value of advertising