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Short Essay on Avon

Avon is the company with well established customer base, however, some of the marketing campaigns are the failures.  The key marketing tool used by Avon is direct advertising when the company representatives offer their customers the new products, provide recommendations about the new trends and product improvements.  One of the recent innovative products is the Instant Manicure Dry Nail Enamel Strips. There is no similar product offered by any other beauty product company; nevertheless, because of the wrong marketing strategy this products has failed to be the top selling item.

There are several reasons why the enamel stripes marketing is failing.  First, the product is priced at the higher level the customers are willing to pay for it.  Second, the promotional campaign is not getting the attention of customers to the fact that there is no similar product at the market.  Third, Avon company is not promoting this product properly.

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Avon is famous for having multi level marketing strategies, which include:  advertising, sales promotions, marketing budgets, market segmentation and monitoring and control procedures.  The Instant Manicure Dry Nail Enamel Strips have not been advertised enough.  The advertising was limited to one time advertising in women’s magazines and a week of TV advertising.  More emphasis should be made to underlining the uniqueness of the product and the ease of its usage (McDonald 6) as well as the better results compared to the regular nail enamels.

This is the new marketing plan:

  1. The mission – to increase the sales of the new product
  2. The target audience – the females who have limited time for manicure but want to have perfect nails
  3. Marketing integration – increased advertising in media and catalog (both published and online)
  4. The budget – the cost of the new marketing campaign will not be significantly different from the existing one therefore will not become an obstacle in its implementation
  5. Timeline – the results of the new plan should appear in two months

There are two possible courses of actions:  decrease the price of the product or to provide more of free samples.  The best results would be achieved if both of the initiatives were implemented but taking into account the budget constraints one course of marketing should be chosen.  The Enamel Strips are priced at $8 (sometimes Avon offers discounts up to 37% percents) while the regular nail enamel offered in the catalog is priced at $4 average. The difference is obvious and the customers are not willing to pay for the product they will use once if they can buy the substitute and use it many times.  Therefore, in order to attract more customers the price of the strips should be lowered.

The second initiative is more attractive because it will lead to the increased sales without price reduction:  provide more free samples to the customers. When this product has been introduced to the customers, each catalog had a sample of two strips – the customer could not only watch the picture but also try the product and see the results.  Unfortunately this was done only once and the potential customers do not have this opportunity any more. Therefore, samples should be provided again. This initiative is less costly for the Avon Company and promotes the product better.

The third step is to promote Instant Manicure Dry Nail Enamel Strips as the top product.  The online catalog has the list of the top selling products and this product should be included into the list – it will gain the attention of the customers who did not try it yet.  It will not cost anything to the company but the sales will go up.

Mary Hahn tells the story about the Avon representative who did not follow up her customers and they have been getting the catalogs at the time when the sales has already began.  As the author of the article notes, this indifference and lack of follow-up helps customer not to make impulsive purchases (http://www.gotlinks.com/earticles/articles/52720-when-avon-doesn_t-call.html).  The Instant Manicure Dry Nail Enamel Strips is the impulsive product and in order to avoid customer resistance, the company representatives have to stress the uniqueness and high quality of this product to their existing and new products.

The new marketing campaign should start as soon as possible.  It does not require the new developments: the same commercials can be used as well as the samples that were used before.  The results of the new, more intensive marketing plan should appear in the form of the increased sales of this product within the next two months.  The customers have the limited time span to order from the catalog – one month – and therefore, the distribution of samples in the first two catalogs will trigger the sales.  As it was already noted, the budget of this marketing campaign is insignificant and does not require the spending. The additional costs are required for advertising and sample production only.

The new marketing campaign cannot not lead to any potential problems because the product is relatively new and the majority of the customers did not pay attention to it and had no chance to try it before buying.  For example, customers are able to smell the perfume (the “smelling” pages in the catalog), but very few customers were able to try the Instant Manicure Dry Nail Enamel Strips. The new marketing campaign is targeted at emphasizing the ease of usage and high quality of the result – the samples give this chance this chance to the potential buyers.

From this research I have learned that even if the product is new and innovative for the market and the customers are interested in this product, it does not mean that they will be willing to pay for it.  The major reason of product failure is insufficient marketing which did not gain the attention of the customers. The goals of each marketing plan should be to gain the attention of customers and to create the need to buy (Hiebing 27), while Avon has failed to accomplish these two goals.

Works Cited

Avon.  AlwaysReview.Com.  1 September 2006 <http://www.alwaysreview.com/avon.htm>
Avon Products, Inc.  1 September 2006 <http://shop.avon.com/avonshop/default.asp?pdept_id=&dept_id=79&department=fastfind&src_page=dept.asp>
Hahn, Mary.  “When Avon Doesn’t Call.”  GotLinks?Com 8 Dec 2005.  1 September 2006 <http://www.gotlinks.com/earticles/articles/52720-when-avon-doesn_t-call.html>
Hiebing, Roman, and Scott Cooper.   The Successful Marketing Plan: A Disciplined and Comprehensive Approach.  McGraw-Hill, 2003.
McDonald, Malcolm.  Marketing Plans.  Butterworth-Heinemann Publishing, 2002.  

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