Acer is one of the leading producers and sellers of computer hardware in the world. The company’s major products include laptop computers, personal computers (PC), monitors, projectors, and tablets (Acer). The company was founded in Taiwan in mid 1970s. However, it has since joined the global market through mergers and acquisitions. In the last three years, Acer has faced difficulties in achieving its profitability and market share objectives. This has been attributed to intense competition and internal weaknesses. The use of an outdated advertising strategy is one the weaknesses of the company that accounts for its dismal performance. In this respect, a new advertising strategy will be proposed to improve the company’s sales.
Acer’s marketing objective is to create a global brand that customers can identify with in all parts of the world. Thus, the company has focused on standardization to convey consistent massages about its products in various markets (Acer). However, standardization is no longer an effective marketing communication strategy because it prevents the company from being responsive to local market needs. For instance, the adverts developed in Taiwan are not easily understood in markets such as the US, Africa, and India, especially, when the messages are directly translated to ensure consistency. The resulting confusion and misunderstandings among customers has had a negative impact on the company’s brand equity.
Objectives to be achieved by the Strategy
The proposed advertising strategy seeks to achieve the following objectives. The first objective is to increase brand awareness by 25% in the international market in the next 3 years. The second objective is to increase sales by 35% in the international market in the next 3 years. The last objective is to increase market share by 20% in the next 3 years. These objectives are justified by the fact that they will increase the company’s profitability and enable it to achieve its vision of being the largest PC vendor in the world.
Target Market/ Audience
The company’s advertising campaigns will target the mass market. The specific customers include educational institutions, governmental organizations, individuals, and small to midsize businesses that are interested in cheap and high quality PCs. The choice of this market segment is justified by its large size and high purchasing power, especially, in emerging economies such as China, India, South Africa, and Brazil. In addition, public institutions such as universities prefer to use PCs because they can be shared by students to reduce operating costs. Thus, conveying marketing messages to this market segment through appropriate adverts is likely to increase Acer’s sales (Czinkota and Ronkainen 31-62).
The company’s advertising strategy will focus on differentiation rather than standardization. This means that the company’s headquarters will only provide general guidelines for ensuring consistency and adherence to ethical practices in the advertising campaigns. The subsidiaries of the company in various countries will be empowered to design adverts that suit their marketing and financial needs. The rationale of this strategy is that it will enable the subsidiaries to develop customer-centric advertising campaigns to overcome competition in their markets (Drummond, Ensor and Ashford 56). As a result, Acer’s share of the global market will increase.
The Creative Concept
Acer’s business strategy is cost leadership. This means that the company focuses on reducing its production costs in order to sell its products at the lowest prices in the market. The resulting improvement in sales in expected to increase the company’s market share and profitability. In this respect, the advertising strategy will focus on positioning Acer as the least cost vendor of high quality PCs. Implementing this positioning strategy will involve highlighting the key features of Acer’s PCs in the adverts.
The key features that will be included in advertising messages will include the following. First, Acer’s PCs are eco-friendly because of their low energy consumption (Acer). Second, Acer’s PCs have the lowest prices in the market. Thus, they enable users to save on computer hardware acquisition costs. Third, the PCs are reliable because they are manufactured using the most advanced technologies. Highlighting these features in the adverts is supported by two reasons. First, they will attract customers’ attention since they promise benefits that are not offered by other PC brands. Second, they will motivate potential customers to purchase the PCs.
The call-to-action that the advertising campaigns will seek to achieve is to encourage potential customers to purchase the PCs. In this regard, the adverts will include a catch phrase that stimulates the desire to buy Acer’s products. In order to satisfy the created desire, the adverts will have a brief statement that highlights the distribution channels from which the customers can purchase the PCs. Acer’s contact address, telephone number, and sales website details will be provided to enable customers to get more information that will convince them to make a purchase.
The channels that will be used to advertise the PCs include radio, TV, magazines/ newspapers, and the social media. The target market consists of individuals who have high access to radio and TV channels. Thus, they are likely to be reached effectively if the adverts are posted on popular TV and radio channels. Newspapers with nationwide circulation will be used because of their ability to reach a large number of the targeted customers.
The social media will be an important channel because virtually all users of PCs have access to the internet. Thus, the adverts will be posted on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. These websites have been chosen because of their high popularity among the youth and adults who use PCs and the internet. Apart from reaching thousands of potential customers across the globe, social media sites will reduce the cost of advertising because using them is relatively cheap (Czinkota and Ronkainen 92).
Control and Evaluation
The effectiveness of the advertising strategy will be measured based on the extent to which its objectives are met. The evaluation of the strategy will be done on a quarterly rather than annual basis to identify its weaknesses in time. This will enable the company to take timely remedial actions to improve the effectiveness of the strategy.
The cost of implementing the advertising strategy is summarized in table 1 in the appendix. The strategy will cost USD 25 million to implement in the first year. Although this amount is huge, spending it is justified by the following reasons. First, the advertising strategy will not achieve the desired outcomes if it is underfunded by reducing the budget. Thus, the financial resources invested in it will be lost. Second, the funds will be recovered and the company’s profits will increase significantly if the strategy achieves the set objectives in time.
One of the challenges facing Acer is the use of an outdated advertising strategy. Thus, a new strategy has been proposed to increase the company’s brand awareness, market share, and sales. This will involve shifting the company’s advertising strategy from standardization to differentiation. As a result, the adverts will address the marketing needs of the company that are unique to the various markets in which it operates. Overall, the proposed advertising strategy should be implemented to improve the competitiveness of Acer in the global PC market.
|No.||Activity||Total Cost (USD ‘000)|
|Design evaluation/ testing||250.00|
|Social media content production||850.00|
|4||Advertising||Print (newspaper and magazines)||3,000.00|
Acer. About the Group 2014. Web.
Czinkota, Michael and Ilkka Ronkainen. International Marketing, New York: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.
Drummond, Greame, John Ensor and Ruth Ashford. Strategic Marketing, London, England: Oxford University Press, 2010. Print.