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MIMA Summit Marketing Mix Challenge

Posted on Oct 1st, 2008
Written by Lee Odden
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    The Marketing Mix Challenge session promises to answer the question: “If you’re going to launch a new product, how do you formulate the marketing mix – in this economic climate?”

    The panel included a mix of in-house marketers and agencies: Luba Smulka from General Mills (Cheerios), Eric Boyles from Medtronic, Ron Corbisier from Cadria (agency) and Patty Henderson from Colle+McVoy. The Moderator is Jeffrey Gorder from ideapark.

    The product to be rolled out in a 3 month trial with a $500,00 budget is a yogurt based vitamin drink: Edge-Y.

    First up is Luba Smulka, Consumer Insights Manager from General Mills. The challenge is to determine whether there’s viability for a national roll out. To do that, you’ve got to test it.

    Target audience are time stressed, nutrition conscious, digitally connected, they run in packs and are attracted to instant gratification. The barrier to act is that it’s an unknown product. Audience is skeptical of overpromises from brands.

    Most important points of influence are to be where the target audience are most likely to listen. For example, at home in the AM, breakfast & going to work. Also in the PM online at the close of the day. Other opportunities include: at work, in-store or personal recommendations.

    Budget distribution: Mostly online 60%, 30% print. 10% broadcast.

    Eric Boyles Medtronic MIMA Summit

    Next up is Eric Boyles from MedTronic.

    Target persona – they’ll try it and if they like, they’ll keep buying.

    Minimize barriers to trial. Leverage the social aspect for recommendations. From a viral perspective, there’s a lot of opportunity to get people to try the product and get the word out.

    Optimal mix combines free POP program, fee e-trial program, search program, destination web site, social eCoupons, PR and local media. Also an investment in datamining. The emphasis would be on offline.

    This is in a 3 month time line, so search not an optimal channel.

    Now we have Ron Corbisier from Cadria.

    First it’s necessary to test market key objectives.  Build awareness of Edge-Y with “on the move” urban audience targets. Motivate repeat purchasing by mobilizing the product offering. Get the product out to the audience. Give it easy access. Gather feedback on product and marketing mix performance.  Leverage information captured on a daily basis and optimize the budget.


    • Launch a tie-in at a major metro event – summer is ideal season
    • Mobile (Gem car) stores throughout key metro locations
    • Giveaways as well as product for purchase at events
    • Sampling & couponing at mobile store, large locations (business sampling)
    • POS media at target retail locations
    • Out of home mobile media
    • Metrics are key

    Budget breakout: $500k doesn’t go very far for a product rollout.

    • Launch event & sampling
    • POS media
    • Web site and SEO
    • (others but slide went by too fast)

    What is a measure of success in a launch like this?

    With a 3 month trial, it’s not about ROI and market share. It’s more about getting an infusion of the product into the target audience and use learning from the experience to plan a national rollout.

    Last up is Patty Henderson, Interactive Director from Colle+McVoy.

    Trial through in-store sampling is the first focus to prove it as a viable product for national roll out. 92% of consumers say they’d buy a product if they tried it and liked it.

    Use street teams via light rail stations, transit stations, etc to hand out samples. Also day care and gyms.  It’s a sports drink but yogurt based so the health angle might get better play.

    Give those trying product out an opportunity to use a coupon to buy the product. An incentive is provided to get people to visit the web site where there’s a contest.

    Employ a social media monitoring tool to offer coupons to people that fit the target profile. Get buzz in forums as well.

    Word of mouth. People trust recommendations from others, newspapers, online consumer opinions and brand web sites. (from neilsen)

    The web site would collect testimonials and allow them to make comments, express preferences about the product and to share with their friends.  Also, possibly some radio promotion and out of home.

    The session finished off with audience questions.