Mobile Manufacturing, Inc.
Michelle Dietrich, president of Mobile Manufacturing, Inc. (MM), stared out of her third-floor window at the traffic below her San Jose, California office and said to herself, "This new product has to be right. If we can't gain back a significant share of the mobile phone market with this product, MM is not going to be here next year."
Michelle's company made its debut in the mobile phone industry in 2002 when it invented the first mobile phone that could access the Internet. At the time, this gave MM a huge advantage over its major rivals.
Mobile Manufacturing, Inc.'s first successful product and initial public offering (IPO) in 2003 raised enough capital to help the firm develop new products, but since then, the technology giants have caught up with them. Although MM had some success with other products, it has not been able to match its initial success and distinguish itself from its rivals. MM—though it was the darling of the technology world in the early 2000s—was struggling to attract first-class employees and new investors; it was floundering in the market.
After several failed attempts at new products, Michelle hired Elena Steokovich, the top cell phone designer and engineer in Europe, to help design a new product. Elena knew her stuff when it came to phone product design, and she had worked with Michelle on MM's first product. After stints with big-name competitors, she agreed to return to MM to help Michelle restart the product innovation engine.
"I know that just designing a good phone will not be enough," thought Michelle. "Perhaps the most important question is: How do I know if anyone will buy our phone? Certainly market research will help us identify potential customers so that we can target them effectively, and careful analysis of the research findings will lead us to a good marketing plan. Yes, the marketing plan is the key. I need to know that the next phone we develop will meet the needs and wants of those who crave the latest and greatest technology in their mobile phones." MM needed to get back a market share if it was to survive in a fiercely competitive environment.
Michelle also knew the mobile phone and technology markets had changed drastically in other ways since MM first entered the market. There were new domestic and foreign companies competing, increased market demand driving prices down, and innovative products being introduced every year. Although some consumers were happy to try out the latest and greatest products, a large number of customers were suffering from feature fatigue, a term used to describe the tiring of the bells and whistles. The customers with feature fatigue just wanted to make phone calls to their family and their friends.
To help ensure that MM has the right marketing plan for its new mobile product, Michelle has hired you as her marketing consultant for this project. As the marketing consultant, you will be responsible for planning, organizing, and implementing the marketing plan for MM's new product.
Note: All character and company names are fictional and are not intended to depict any actual person or business.
Assignment: Deliverable Length: 10–15 PowerPoint slides (each slide should include 200–250 words each with in-text citations in the notes section). Must include separate title and reference page.
Based on your discussions with Michelle, you have developed a clear picture of the environmental issues that will affect the initial release of the new product. As you compile your notes, the phone rings.
“Hi. This is Michelle. I want to touch base with you about your presentation to the board next week. Do you have any questions about the upcoming meeting?”
“Thanks for calling,” you say. “You have good timing. I was just reviewing my notes and working on my PowerPoint presentation. I think I’ve covered the areas we discussed at our last meeting. Do you have something else that you want me to include?”
“Oh, good,” says Michelle. “Yes, I’d like you to share 3 or 4 goals for the marketing project, too. You might want to lead with the goals, but I’ll leave that up to you. Naturally you’ll need to do some research to determine the types of goals that are relevant for a new product project like this. Be as specific as you can when outlining realistic expectations.
“Okay,” you say as you jot down more notes. “Anything else?”
“Just be sure to include your thoughts about whether we should develop a product that can be marketed world-wide. You know that is one of their main concerns. You’ll have about 30 minutes for your presentation. ”
“Will do. Thanks for the information. I think about 10–15 slides should be about right for a 30-minute presentation.”