The effects of tobacco use on human health have triggered a number of anti-tobacco campaigners; the campaigns are targeting casual/addicted users, social tobacco user and those people who have not started the habit. The anti-tobacco campaigners use both public education and legal legislations approach to control the use and sale of tobacco products.
Marlboro is an international cigarette manufacturer and distributer, in 2010, the company’s products were the most used in Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabia is among the few countries that have recorded an increase in tobacco use in the recent past. The increase in tobacco use in Saudi Arabia is evident despite governments’ and non-governmental movement’s campaigns to change peoples behavior.
Anti-tobacco campaigns have been successful in enacting policies that control marketing approach of tobacco products. This paper analysis the tobacco industry in Saudi Arabia; it will evaluate the effects of tobacco marketing control legislation on Marlboro Cigarettes Company as well as how the company has responded to the controls. Towards the end, the report will offer marketing recommendations that the company can enact to remain competitive in the fast growing Saudi Arabian market.
The world tobacco industry has been facing challenges from strong advocacy against tobacco use by national, international, and non-governmental agencies; dispute the challenges, the companies in the industry has to sell their products.
However, according to Euro-monitor report on tobacco use in Saudi Arabia, the country experienced an increase in volume and value terms of tobacco use, the country is having an increasing tobacco users. The above report was different from what was recorded in European and American Markets were tobacco consumption has drastically reduced (Euromonitor).
Marlboro, is an international cigarette manufacture and distributor with its main operating base at Philip Morris USA (the Brach concentrates on the United States market) and Philip Morris International that concentrates on the company sale abroad; currently, Marlboro is the world largest cigarette company in the world and has its head quarters at Richmond, Virginia. Marlboro Company names its brands Marlboro that was a name borrowed from its initial location in the United Kingdom at Great Marlborough-Street.
In Saudi Arabia, Marlboro products are imported into the country by corporate and individual importers; the brand is more considered and regarded for the well to do in the community. The tobacco industry has been facing numerous challenges, especially when it comes to marketing and advertising for the products.
Diseases caused by tobacco use have claimed a number of lives in the world and remain to be the world’s largest killer; these statistics has been the strongest point of anti-tobacco campaigners. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has massive campaigns that advocate that there are no safe cigarettes; players in the industry are only left with the task of counter attacking these campaigns.
The effects that the industry has had on human health has made the industry a monolith in terms of scope and coverage when relating to consumers; the marketing approach adopted by Marlboro minds consumers welfare at the same time selling its products; a conflict of interest (Engstrom 1-75).
Since the 1998 Tobacco Settlement Agreements marketing has become a challenge to Marlboro, this paper diagnoses the marketing problems faced by Marlboro as it markets its in domestic and international markets; the paper will focus on Saudi Arabia. As European countries embark on campaigns that hinder the sale of tobacco and its products, Saudi Arabia is showing a reduced strength in its campaigns against the use of the products, the industry is growing and likely to grow further (Euromonitor).
Company Background: Overview
Marlboro first branch was established at Great Marlborough, London, it is from the name of it first location that the company derived its brand and factory name. in the company targets the United states in t1902, however the strength of the company was seen in 1924 when it when Altria Group & Philip Morris International, the company’s founder, developed an advertising campaign selling filter-less cigarettes to women under an advertising campaigns named “Mild as May”.
By then smoking was considered a social and acceptable until the late 1940’s when medical practitioners started to research on possible effects that smoking had on human health; with the wave to no smoking, the company established a niche market that previous campaigns did not meet, men. It then diversified its focus and campaigns to men segment of the market.
The wave of the anti-campaigns and warning from health was a big blow to the industry coupled with the Second World War; the company was pulled out of the market only to return with filtered cigarette in 1955. The company’s management team is lead by Michael Szymanczyk, the company’s chairman; the chief executive officer is William F. Gifford. The leadership mission as advocated for by the chairman is, “My vision is that leadership becomes a defining factor that sets us apart from other organizations.”
The company’s mission and vision are contained in four operating paradigms as adopted by the company, they are:
Invest in Leadership: the company aims at offering appropriate leadership that can assist the company add value to its stake holders
align with Society: the company aims to add value to societies that its operates
Satisfy Adult Consumers: the company has a target to produce satisfying brands to its customers as it tries to win others
Create Substantial Value for Shareholders: the company has high value for its shareholders and aims at adding value to them
To fulfill the above elements of vision and mission, the company operates under the frameworks of five values they are:
Integrity, trust and respect.
Passion to succeed.
Executing with quality.
Driving creativity into everything, we do.
Sharing with others.
The effect of tobacco industry products span further than the consumer of the product to have an effect on both consumer and those people around smokers, the major health complications brought about by the consumption of tobacco are pulmonary illnesses and other conditions that could be described as cancerous in nature like bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer.
Despite the health dangers that the industry products on the health of human beings, the use of the products still is on the increase; Marlboro Company realized the life threatening danger that its products have , however there is insatiable market that it has to supply for (RE 996-1003).
The tobacco industry in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the world largest Muslim country, however, there are rises in tobacco use among the population despite shisha culture and efforts made by the government and international bodies to curb the use of the products.
Pipe tobacco remains as the most proffered method of taking tobacco, its products in the country, in 2009, the country recorded the highest sales in cigars, and the growth of smokers is evident in the count. According to the countries industrial analysis in 2010, Philip Morris International Inc (Malboro) had the highest share of the market in volume and sales.
The report by Euro-monitor suggested that the major likelihood of the increase in tobacco use in the country can be contributed to the economic well being of the country that enable the population afford luxury commodities more easily (Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia).
In the country, the control of purchase of the commodity has been limited, in 2009, almost in all supermarkets had a cigarette vending machine that was efficient and offered buyers good chances of buying the commodity. other than the vending booths, the country is having increasing specialized suppliers of tobacco leading to an increased accessibility of the products in the country; the products are also sold in independent small grocers and hotels/bars/restaurants, convenience stores, and forecourt retailers. The future of the industry in Saudi Arabia is expected to be on the rise especially with the improved access of the products in among the youth.
The effects that tobacco use has had on Saudi Arabia is evident, in 2006, the government threatened to sue the national and international cigarette companies to cater for the cost of curing those people affected by use of tobacco. In 2006, the country is estimated to have been using 5bn riyals (?683m; $1.3bn) a year.
According to world health organization reports of 2006, 10% of Saudi Arabians are smokers, the figure has also been challenged for having underestimated the case with some analysts being of the view that the rate may be as higher as 30% (Euromonitor).
The main problem facing the company is how to market its products amidst aggressive campaigns against consumption of tobacco supported by legislations against the products consumption. The World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are among the leaders in the campaign against tobacco consumption; they have enacted restrictions to hinder and control marketing and advertising tobacco.
In Saudi Arabia, the ministry of health during Ramadan of 2009, launched an anti-tobacco campaign and legislation; the program was launched to enforce the countries Tobacco Control Program, it aimed at setting the platforms of selling tobacco in the country, it controlled the use of the product in public places and advertising.
Advertisement is means to reach a certain target market with certain information that a company intends to pass, when the information gets to the customer, then he can be persuaded to use the advertising company’s products. In the case of Marlboro, the marketing team has the role of ensuring that cigarette brand from the company are getting to the market segment they were meant to reach as well as increase the market base.
However, the efforts are controlled and limited by legislations controlling the industry; other than coming up with marketing strategy, the company has to ensure the strategies do not contravene legislations regulating the industry. Coming to think about it, who are new entrants that the company are trying to get to the net of using the products, are they are the innocent youth and non-smokers in a community?
According to the company’s website, it does not aim at increasing smoking rates in a country but it competes for available adult smokers, the market becomes further competitive from other companies, and the fast dying (from tobacco related diseases) and quitting (after being convinced of the dangers of smoking) population. The controversy comes between the company’s core objective of increasing business through offering satisfying products and services to its customers.
The following are the specific problems that the company is facing:
How can the company advertise and sell its products without negative effects of anti-tobacco campaigns
How can the company sell and market its products to people of majority age without influencing the desire of taking tobacco on people of the age of minority
Which tools can the company use to give back to the community after “killing” its people
What is the best way to enlarge their market and remain an accepted company in the community
Marlboro marketing team is actively involved in getting answers to the above burning questions; it want to be a country with high reputation and one that adds value to community and people around, however in the industry has been blamed for causing harm to the communities. To market and remain a respected company among community that company has to build a name despite the already existing negative perception and it need to build its own platform.
Specifically, the study will focus on how the company can convince existing adult smokers to use its products; this will call for persuading consumers from other companies to use Marlboro products in the growing market of Saudi Arabia. To give an elaborate analysis, the paper will be divided in different parts each having certain issue, it aims at tackling; all the issues will be tied to the company’s strategies (Dewhirst and Brad 81-92).
Historical background of the problem or contributing factors
The cigarette market segment has been skewed to a minimal number, the population that the major players are expected to target is adult smokers, and the players in the industry should not try to increase the number of smokers. however, it should only be interested with the existing groups in the community who are smokers and of the age of 21 and above.
The American Cancer Society International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Tobacco Control Program in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabian anti tobacco policy, Tobacco Settlement Agreements and the U.S. Surgeon General, prohibits promotion of tobacco products to non-users and the youth, the agencies also regulate the marketing approaches that companies in the industry should use.
Other than the skewed market, the market is suffering from high death rates fro use of tobacco products and quitters from smoking after an effective “stop-smoking-campaign”, this has made the market smaller and more competitive (Tobacco Industry Profile: United States 1).
According to Reuters Anti-Smoking Society, every year, 22000 people in the Saudi Arabia die out of tobacco products use; report by Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia in 2009 said that the world had lost 29 million people of tobacco use; this alarming statistics has yielded less to the behavior change in Saudi Arabia. Adverting is a crucial part in selling of a company’s products; it creates awareness and used as a tool to enlarge a company’s market base.
In the tobacco sector, different people have their own tastes that they seem to be loyal and persuading a customer to shift to ones products needs a lot of energy and use of resources. On the other hand, it is more ethical to persuade customers leave their smoking behavior instead of persuading them to change brands. Marlboro as well as other companies in the industry opts to concentrate on getting convince the existing ones to shift to its products than new smokers on board than tying.
The main form of advertising and outdoor customer reaching method that Marlboro has been using (before the ban on public advertisement in Saudi Arabia) is the use of billboards and sports, the sport that the company is known to support is rallying. the young and the old are the target of the advertisement campaigns however the campaigns have influence minors to take the products, which is against the requirements of World health Organization as well as the company’s intentions/motives.
Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia, anti-tobacco legislations are hindering the company’s traditional marketing approach has been challenged by legislations controlling the industry (Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia).
Other than the difficulty that the company faces from convincing existing smokers to shift to the company’s products, the rate of death from tobacco related products is on the increase, the death is in among the old smokers, thus the company has minimal option other than target the young population.
According to statistics, user of tobacco products are more likely to start taking the products before they are of the age of majority, if the company has to campaign aiming at getting the non smokers, then the adverts must be seen to be inclined towards the age of majority, this is unethical and unaccepted. the company is left at deadlock of the way forward since the most probable way that it can earn customers is against the societal expectations and needs.
Tobacco is addictive thus, when a company is able to win a customers, it is on the higher side to have earned a lifetime customer, this is reinforced by the loyalty that smokers have for their brand. The notion and the behavior of consumers make marketing cigarettes challenging especially if the focus is to win existing adult smokers.
When using direct means of marketing like advertising, health advocators are of the opinion that continues advertisement of the companies’ products is likely to result to an increase use of the products among the youth and children. they have thus pushed for enactment of policies that limit direct advertising of cigarettes, the move is seen as one aimed at controlling the growth of the number of smokers in the community (Mejia and PM 78-87).
The nature of Saudi Arabian tobacco industry market-situation is that that can be classified as a sticky market where players earn customers for “lifetime”. this sticky character means that the growth of the industry can only be attained if the new entrants exceed the total of those dying because of smoking and those quitting smoking; it is a give take industry.
The very nature then determines the approach that a company in the industry is going to use; it is the approach to attract more smokers as the old ones are retained. With the trend and approach as used by tobacco industry, Saudi Arabian anti-tobacco campaigners are using the same approach but in a different angle.
Anti-tobacco campaigners target the young population in the community to warn them on the dangers that smoking tobacco is likely to have on their health, they directly ask the young to keep off the smoking behavior/menace.
To do this the campaigners give statistical data on the effect that tobacco has done in the world and suggest the best most method to keep off the problem is through complete abstinence the product, they also target those people taking the products with a message of hope and the will to rehabilitate and help them change the behavior.
Their approach is more direct and seen as more ethical than the approach adopted by Marlboro and other companies in the tobacco industry. For example it is more welcoming for anti-tobacco campaigners to go to high schools selling their products but its is never welcoming to have cigarette manufacturing companies advertising in high schools, which can be seen as unethical and as a promotion o deviant behavior among community.
The ethical approach of the market and anti-campaigners leave the company at cross road on the right approach it can get an increased business. Anti-tobacco campaigners suggest that cigarette-manufacturing companies should switch their campaigns to prevention of the use of the products since it leads to more damage among communities than the goods it brings.
The benefit that comes from the companies in the form of taxes, employment and agriculture promotion is highly lower than the health implications that the uses of the products have. The Ministry of health in Saudi Arabia is on the forefront enacting campaigns that target at reducing the rate of consumption of tobacco in the country; for example, it is illegal for the use of the products in public offices and buildings (Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia).
The sale and marketing department at Marlboro has to come-up with an approach that erode and deletes the negative perception created by anti-campaigners and enforce the habit of smoking among the youth. This is a double sword that the company needs to employ; the approach to advertising is seen as a marketing from a negative market persuasion and going to the building to a positive market (CL 283-294).
In Saudi Arabia, over 20% of those people who are suffering from lung cancer and other complications from the use of tobacco continue to use the products despite their health and medical advice. Cigarette smoking yield some poisonous gasses and thousands of chemicals that find their way to human system, the chemicals are harmful and affects the health and physical appearance of the smoker and those people around him/her as smoking takes place.
The ingredients found in cigarettes are toxic and addictive; thus when someone starts the behavior he is more unlikely to leave; campaigners against smoking used the weapon of the deadly diseases that can be gotten with the use of the drug to warn people against the products.
Marlboro has been targeting the existing users of its products with the aim of maintaining and winning their loyalty; to do this the company tries to put a face that discourages the behavior however, it ensures that it sells its products effectively. In recognition of the danger and according to the law, the company has to give a warning on its products that smoking is dangerous for one’s health.
Individuals suffer from tobacco related ailments like heart failures and emphysema, which is a fatal illness that affects lungs and entire respiratory system; however, users of tobacco products continue to use them despite the dangers; one strong point of the industry that maintaining the existing customers is not a challenge.
Numerous marketing and advertising controls that have been made by the company, they include not advertising for the youth and not using television and radios to advertise the products, on the other hand, advertising of tobacco has been controlled by national and international legislation promoting health (Chee-Ruey 795-804).
The main players or actors who contributed to this problem
Marlboro is facing challenges from different corners; they are from people who are advocating for anti-tobacco players at national and international players they include:
Anti-tobacco players and ministry of health
They are groups sponsored by governments and other financing channels with the aim of information the youth about the dangers they are exposing themselves to when they are taking tobacco products. In Saudi Arabia, the ministry of health has a Tobacco Control Program at the ministry; the main aim of the program is to ensure that the population stops tobacco use.
These groups target the youth who have nit started the behavior as well as those people who are using the products. When these groups conduct their sensitization, which they do with verifiable facts on how tobacco products have affected people, then the population that is likely to form customer base for the likes of Marlboro is limited.
The approach of these organizations has stepped a notch higher when they have included the parents and advised them on how to smoke away from their children, and not to send their children cigars and cigarettes, these groups are determined to hamper campaigns that lead to the use of cigar and their products.
The Saudi Arabian government and ministries of health are other players who have anti-tobacco campaigns, they feel the behaviors has resulted to an increased budget in the economy; they feel the economy can be relieved this duty.
One of the main roles that a government aims at is to improve the welfare and health of its population, when the government is doing this task; they discourage people from taking tobacco products. In different countries, governments have enacted rules that hinder the use and advertising of the products, for example in Kenya, an African country, cigarettes are not supposed to be advertised through the national media, companies in the industry has to look for other measures advertise their products; this has limited the use of the products.
In the United States, there is a legislation that defines the where people should be taking the products; local councils have the responsibility of maintaining smoking zones and ensuring that everybody smoking is in the zones. As much as this is seen as a good policy to prevent the effect of the products, it has influenced negatively to the companies in the industry.
The Saudi Arabian health policy has a number of legislations aimed at protecting the health of the people; they include Anti-tobacco rules and Tobacco Control Program at the ministry. The legislations were aimed at prohibiting the use and sale of tobacco to underage people; the following are some of the specifications of the legislations:
Prohibit the sale of tobacco using “self service”
Establish the minimal age of selling cigarette (the age was set at 18 years)
Required that all consumers should get identification document to people expected t be of less than 27 years
In 2009 alone, there was none underage legislations that were made to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to underage and prohibit the use of tobacco in public places.
In the United Kingdom, advertisement of tobacco and their products has been limited, the legislators in the country are of the opinion that advertising the products have a close link between their uses among the youth so they have controlled the marketing approaches used. One such approach that seems to have been accepted internationally is the use of a warning message with every advert and on the packets with the message that smoking of tobacco is harmful to one’s health.
For example, The United States of America Food & Drug Administration (FDA or USFDA), is mandated with the role of protecting and promoting public health. It fulfills its task through delegated powers from United States Department of Health and Human Services to regulate and supervise the provision of food and medical service/product.
One of the areas that the body looks into is the tobacco consumption and the use of tobacco products. The authority was mandated with the rule of regulating tobacco on June 22, 2009, when President Obama signed a clause that allowed the authority to regulate tobacco industry.
It has set high standards of tobacco use and discouraged the use of the commodity in human arenas and prevents any move that could give the impression that smoking is less risky or contains low nicotine, it prohibits the use of the words like “light,” “mild,” or “low”, they were thought to create a perception that smoking. Such corporations are also placing blame on tobacco manufacturing companies that they are responsible of the current tobacco consumption trend in the world.
The power that such organizations are getting from the acts of parliaments that have enacted them is making them able to use direct attacks method to campaign against the use of tobacco products (Any tobacco use in 13 States — behavioral risk factor surveillance system 946-950).
In Australia, the use of mass marketing for campaigning against the use of tobacco was started when there was Sponge advertisement in the original ‘Quit. For life’, this was in 1970’s. National Tobacco Strategy 2004–2009, has the mandate to ensure has the mandate to ensure that there are campaigns that are aimed at reducing the consumption of tobacco in the society.
It aims to attain this strategy by
alighting users on the dangers that they are posing to their bodies when they use tobacco, the country aims at informing its citizens on the danger that can be suffer from when they take tobacco products
Encourage users to quit using these products, the country has developed some coaching, counseling and rehabilitation centers that aim at assisting people already addicted by tobacco use to change their addiction behavior
developed a quitting process and increase understanding of the quitting process, and
Enhance treatments and services to those who are already using the products; the heath care sector has been enhanced with modern equipments to cure those people suffering from tobacco related complications.
When such government and ministry policies have been set in places, then marketing and advertising of tobacco products have been hampered. It acts like a pull push game where the powerful side wins the battle.
China has the world largest market for tobacco products followed by Brazil, the United States fall in third in production and use, while Saudi Arabia is the second largest growing user of tobacco products, the sale of the product and importation has been restricted in many countries with tariff and not tariff approaches.
For example in the 1985, the United states was challenged for bleached agreements made under General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), when it refused the importation of tobacco products from China, although the move was condemned the country under USTR was able to convinces the world the need to contain the use of tobacco in the country. This made tobacco an exemption from some international trade laws.
Heath personnel’s and practitioners
Saudi Arabian government and private good health campaigners and the growth of health industry and ease of passing information among people is contributing negatively to the industry, health workers are having programs to train people on how they should be save from diseases especially life threatening diseases, tobacco is a culprit in life threatening diseases.
When the practitioners are aiming at improving the welfare of the people, they are injuring the company on the other side. One special and positive attribute that tobacco companies benefit from is the fact that the products are addictive, medical experts who have come up with tools that can cure any addition have hindered the move.
The international community
Internationally, some programs that target tobacco and its use directly, they include world cancer day that creates awareness on the dangers that can be gotten when someone is taking tobacco products.
Tobacco control movement is an international body that aims at creating more awareness on the danger of tobacco use, the programs has the main role of educating the young people on the advantages of not engaging into smoking at the same time offering hope to the addicted people. Some rehabilitation centers have been established with the aim of changing the addition behavior.
For a number of years World Health Organization and the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) has been concerned on the use of Tobacco among the people, it pointed out the dangers that consumption of the same have on the users and on partial smokers. The two international organizations are of the opinion that if appropriate measures are put in place, then tobacco consumption can be reduced.
In periodical health results and analysis, WHO has been condemning the use of tobacco; in some countries that rely heavily on the production of tobacco, the organization has sponsored farmers to plant other plants that they advise are more economical than tobacco but the main aim is to fight the tobacco tread.
The danger of tobacco has become real in some people and is using every opportunity to discourage its use, for instance parents might have suffered from their tobacco use habits and children learn from them.
Environments conservatisms have also a role to play, they are discouraging the use of tobacco products as they damage the environment. There have been concerns that the growth of tobacco has negative effect on soils that they are grown. Taxation in the industry is another move that different government have used in the efforts of discouraging the use of the drug, in the republic of south Africa, the country has high taxation on tobacco products; many are the times that budgets have increased the products tax rates.
The government has also regulated the packaging and displays that cigarettes should have in the country; for example, shops should not display the products and should only sell in packages of ten. This discourages the expansion of the market as the products become expensive and unaffordable.
Challenges, issues, and prospects
Despite the prevailing campaigns against smoking, the Saudi Arabian Market is on the rise, Marlboro has to advertise and come up with strategies to win more customers. According the company’s website, sales for 2009 declined by 8% in the United States but in 2010, the company’s sales were at their peak in Saudi Arabia, the trend was expected to increase because of anti-tobacco campaigns as well as competition in the industry.
The design of the approach aimed at increasing the company’s share of the market without recruiting other smokers. To remain afloat in the fast growing and competitive Saudi Arabian tobacco industry, the company has embarked on brand strengthening strategy where adult smokers are targeted to buy the company’s brands.
The advertising and marketing approach adopted by the company aims at creating brand awareness, recognition and loyalty among adult cigarette smokers; to attain this goal, the company has enacted a personalized selling approach where it sells via emails to customers, retails outlets and running of occasional promotional campaigns to support the marketing campaign.
The advertising strategy operated by the company has made the company’s brand to be the ninth strongest brand in the world; though the target of the adverting cannot be really be stated as a certain age, there are some successful adverts that even a ten-year-old person can establish and relate with Marlboro.
An example of the advert is Joe Camel, in the advert, the company presented a case that a horse was seen restless but after smoking a stick of cigarette, the animal is seen to relax and becomes rejuvenated.
Such an advert is a psychological approach where the company communicates in depth but using a rather indirect method. The characters chosen in adverts are characters that show boldness and the boldness is associated with the brand that the company is trying to promote.
Marlboro uses image-character adverting, in the billboards it uses characters that are seen to be bold and highly valued among communities; when such an approach is adopted, then people are more likely to associate the character in the advert and the products and eventually they end up smoking.
When posing the adverts, Marlboro seeks to create an impression hat it has the aim of entertaining the community however a close analysis of the adverts can revel the intention that they want to create, they always aim at associating greatness with the products. The form of image advertising is mostly very successful among the youth people and has a psychological effect on smokers who feel their mightiness when smoking the product; this creates loyalty to the products.
Since there is a challenge in direct advertisement, the company uses some elements of the same in private areas and places, for example, it uses the adverts in movies and television shows, whether directly or indirectly. for example, the main character of a movie may be portrayed taking a stick of the Marlboro, in most case, this is the person whom the youth can associate or would like to be associate with, in so doing, the young get persuaded to use the products.
The company has been using paid adverts in feels and movies to ensure that when the movie is selling the message has been passed to the customer. The move however was present in the 20th century but the government has strengthened and controlled the film industry to avoid such moves.
As a form of indirect marketing, the company supports youth activities especially sporting activities, like sports. There are some sporting clubs and organizations that the company supports. For example in Latin America, the company runs a football-sporting tournament where it aims at creating awareness of its products indirectly.
When looking for the function to support, the company is keen to venture in those projects that can calls for high mass following of the youth. In times of peaceful and guaranteed demonstrations, the company chips in to assist in the preparation and even offers some packets of the products to the demonstrators. This creates the brand identity and increases awareness of the brand among the youth (Michael 222-233).
Implications for future use
In November 1988, the company with other major tobacco producer signed an agreement with some American and European countries on how the industry could be managed. Some of the countries involved in the signing were Florida, Minnesota, Mississippi and Texas, the agreement was called Tobacco Settlement Agreements, and the agreement was aimed at monitoring the use of tobacco products.
The agreement was entered for health interests but offered restrictions that affected Marlboro and other companies in the industry, the following are some of the restrictions as per the agreement:
The companies should not engage in adverts that target the youth; the adverts were aimed to be to already existing adult smokers
The agreement prohibited the use of cartoons and animations in advertising, promotion, packaging or labeling of tobacco; the use was thought to have the likelihood of influencing the youth to take tobacco products
The agreement barred the use of billboards, stadium and outdoor/transit advertisements like on vehicles, taxis, trains, ships, boats and bus stops
The agreement prohibited the distribution of caps, shirts and backpacks, bearing tobacco brand names and logos; this was a challenging decision but the companies had to comply
The following were the advertising areas that the agreement allowed:
Advertising on magazines and periodicals, however the adverts should not target youth and children
Since 2005, the company placed no restriction to advertising news papers and dailies (Sundaram and Kaushik 194-204)
In the future if the company maintain effective marketing approaches, then it can outdoes other players in the industry and earn an increasing share of the market despite a reduction in cigarette consumption rate.
Alternative solutions as to how this problem can be implemented
Saudi Arabian tobacco industry seem to be offering a future to Marlboro’s sales, in 2010, the company was the leader in the sale of cigarettes in the country, however, Marketing cannot be ignored for the success of Marlboro. the challenging thing is the approach that the firm should use that is likely to benefit the company and create no harm to the community, and the most strategy is an indirect marketing and selling approach. Under this approach, the company should aim at creating a strong brand name and if possibly try to win the already existing smokers.
The marketing department has the role of establishing what can be referred to as soft selling and psychological selling; by this approach, the company will not target groups and the youth directly. However, it will create such needed relationship that can trigger the minds of people of the company’s superiority, the approach should be in line with the legislations enacted in the industry.
When promoting the products, the company should use a push approach of marketing, this is an advertising approach where the company makes its products so good to resist, for example, it can have cheap products for the masses and have some other products sold at a premium for the well to do in the society.
Some of the indirect marketing exercises that the company can adopt include the use of corporate social responsibilities and corporate governance. In the efforts to ensure that it has created healthy suppliers relation, the company should target farmers. It should empower farmers to produce sorter by the use of good pays, guaranteeing that they will buy the products as well as selling shares to farmers. When such an approach is used, then the company will have guaranteed supply of tobacco in its lifetime.
When selling to consumers, there is always, the feeling that a consumer feels attracts him or her to a certain brand, Marlboro should engage in massive market research to establish the approaches that it can adopt to win the masses, there should be continuous development of products, tastes and processes.
When the company come up with better and more diversified tastes, the masses are likely to divert their attention to the company’s products. In the massive campaigns against smoking and use of tobacco products, the company should aim at a campaign that does not seem to contradict the campaigns since at the end of the day they have an upper hand and when fighting them the company is likely to face repulsion from the communities.
The approach should be tactical and well through; creating an impression of promoting bad life threatening behavior should be avoided. On the other hand, in the efforts of ensuring there is no confrontation with the authorities, the company should aim at complying with all set regulations.
Domestic legislations varies with countries, there are some countries who have lose legislations on tobacco and its products for example Saudi Arabia; the company should consider tapping such markets as a way of diversifying sales and increasing the sale volume. Such countries include Cambodia and Jamaica; they seem to have little concern on the advertising methods and the use of tobacco products among its population. When venturing in these markets, the company will be greatly be assisted by having a variety of brand.
The company should aim at developing smoking not as a habit but a social thing, an approach that aims not to create addicts but to have some people who smoke occasionally. Such an approach should be borrowed from beer companies; in the world the greatest position of alcohol products consumed in the world is by social drinkers, they take the products over the weeks or such times, this has no effect on the communities.
When such a policy has been enforced, then the company will be able to grow sales without having a huge negative effect on the community taking the products. The approach can be reinforced further by the manufacture of low nicotine Products, they should be seen as products that have minimal effects on human health, and thus people can use the products without considering much danger.
Although high restriction of tobacco advertising in the Saudi Arabia, some areas that the country has allowed for advertising; the county prohibits advertising of the products through televisions and radio stations but it does not prohibit the use of print media.
This should be seen as a loophole that the company should exploit. The most important thing in an advertising campaign is to create awareness, print media may have limited assess to the people that the case world have been for televisions however if well utilized the message can be passed effectively.
The company should diversify its resources in buying space in dailies, periodical and magazines. Periodically, the company should be producing a magazine that handles different issues in life and market its products inside. The magazines should be attractive to the target customers to increase their sales.
Marlboro is known for the use of billboards, although it has been successful in this area, it has not exhausted the approach; it should diversify the approach in all it selling countries. Although the company has diversified in different countries, the company has not fully taken advantage of international trade and globalization; the marketing should have developed aggressive foreign countries marketing approach to win a larger market.
Another area that the company has not exploited fully the use of internet as a marketing tool, with the high rise of use of computers, the company can tap the international community and the youth. The company should have entertaining and catching adverts posed in the internet and places like you-tubes and social network. Although the company has a social network page, it should be more robust advertising and marketing its products via the website.
For instance, it should have an automatic friend’s acquisition and a site where smokers can offer their experience with the products. So far you tube is considered a private affair and when used to air out interesting scripts advertising Marlboro products can be an effective method.
The videos created can be passed over in the social net works; when there is an interesting video, it is likely to reach a number of people. It should carry a message that can persuade customers to use the products. Social networks are growing fast and the young are the main users of the sites so when targeted they can be of great benefit to the company.
The use of sports as an indirect advertising tool can be an effective way of advertising cigarettes; although Marlboro is using golf and rally sporting to advertise, the company is seen to have concentrated on one segment of the market and forgot there are other people who can offer it good market.
The use of the bottom of the pyramid approach should be implemented; when such an approach issued, then the company will aim at targeting the masses with great tastes at an affordable price. When the approach is used, the company is likely to benefit from increased sales.
Some of the games that the company can use are football tournaments fully supported and named as the company and when the game is on, and then the company will have a chance to sell its products to the communities.
From the way things look, the company can only be successful if it personalizes its sales and advertising campaigns, they should target micro groups and individuals. The company should use the general behaviors of the youth who are known to cope with each other, when one section of the young is taking cigarettes then the entire group of the young is likely to start taking the product.
When among other smokers, the company should aim at winning the markets and persuading people to start taking its products; the policies to win such groups include products improvement and having more tastes that can attract a higher customer base. The use of mail advertising is a good approach by the company however, the company should consider other form of individualized customer approach like the use of mobile phones and social networks accounts.
The company should also use a retailer marketing approach; this is where the company offers incentives to consumers to stock its products, the advantages include a higher profit margin doorstep delivery and ensuring that retail outlets are well stocked with the commodity.
This should be done alongside line extension and strengthening relationship between adult smokers and their preferred brands; study of the market will assist the company establish the new tastes they can come up with for more customer base (Oriola 828-840). Retailers should be well advised on the approach they should take when selling the company’s products so that at any one point, they will not be violating the legislations by domestic and international bodies.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Marlboro is an international cigarette company that has been in the business for over a century; marketing in the tobacco industry is challenging because of restrictions put by national and international anti-tobacco campaigns. Restrictions in the industry have limited the advertising campaigns enacted by Marlboro however, the company is using the limited allowed tools of advertising, and they include magazines, social networks and mail advertising.
Despite the successful campaigns, in 2009, the company recorded an 8% decline in sales; however, the sales were at their pick 2010 only in Saudi Arabia. The best marketing approach in Saudi Arabia that the company can adopt is one that targets adult smokers and persuade them switch to its products, instead of targeting non-smokers. To target effectively the existing smokers, the company should embark on corporate social responsibilities programs and creating good smokers-company relationship.
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