Research analysis of Activision's Call of Duty Black Ops II. A marketing proposal for capturing new female audience.
Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Duty: Black Ops IIPage |
Running Head: Marketing Plan: Call of Duty: Black Ops IIPage |
Marketing Plan: Call of Duty: Black Ops IISabrina MergenthalerColorado Technical University Online
Table of ContentsEXECUTIVE SUMMARY..pg 3 SITUATION ANALYSISpg 5 Industry Analysis Competitive Analysis SWOT Analysis Consumer AnalysisMARKETING STRATEGY..pg 13Objectives Marketing & Distribution ChannelsThe Positioning and Communication Strategy Pricing and Promotion Media PlanPERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS AND MONITORING....pg 22 BUDGETpg 23CONCLUSION..pg 25REFERENCES
Executive SummaryBeing part of the history of seeing Call of Duty: Black Ops II break new records, is an opportunity beyond imagine for most. However, our firm has eagerly accepted the challenge of researching and targeting a new audience for Black Ops II. Having already identified a rapidly growing segment within the video gamer population, our agents are focusing on the marketing plan that corresponds to Activisions mission and captivates the right audience (Developing Marketing Strategy and Mix, n.d.). Our goal for Activisions Call of Duty: Black Ops II is to increase sales by 10% by the end of the first quarter of 2013, by focusing on the quickly expanding female-gamer population between the ages 16 and 34 years old, with a limited edition version. We believe our marketing strategies will accomplish just that (Armstrong & Kotler, 2006).Using a variety of integrated channels to deliver one consistent and integrated media message is the foundation upon which our marketing strategies are built (Armstrong & Kotler, 2006). In fact, to target this particular audience our marketing message tells female gamers to bring out their inner soldier and get into the game. Our agents have identified opportunities through exploring a variety of adjustment options in packaging and image to put Call of Duty: Black Ops II directly into the hands of our female audienceboth new and old (Integrated Marketing Strategies, n.d.). As Activision engages in its mission of becoming the most-well-respected game manufacturer, we have brought to light several distinguishing means for the company to stand out as a leader within the industry. With our firms plan in place molding these objectives into a well-defined campaign relies on clear understanding of, and effective representation of the companys goals to the right audience (Vollmer, 2008). As we work towards achieving this goal, we have targeted an audience that is relatively new to gaming, and responsive to tactics involving empowering women, with a message that says: bring out your inner soldier, and get into the game. To maximize the success of accomplishing our goal of generating a 10% increase in sales to the new female gamer between the ages of 16 and 34, our marketing plan consists of a single message, spread with the use of a variety of tactics, employed across a multitude of medias to increase the frequencyor, number of times our target market is met with our message: bring out your inner soldier (Sirgy & Rahtz, 2007).With the future at stake, Activisions drive in achieving their goal creates a doorway to the future that enhances the relationship between Activision, their products, and the consumers who use them. That relationship begins with the right placement, based on many factors about our target audience as well as significant surveying of the market (Grewal & Levy, 2012). Additionally, using the versatility of a plan that integrates so much technologyboth new and oldit reaches not only our intended audience, but acknowledges our loyal consumers. The versatility of all the Call of Duty games across the various gaming consoles has made the game successful in a wide range of markets (Company Background, n.d.). The similarities in the segments contribute to campaigns that can be recycled with minor tweaks. Similarities from target to target may include geographics (location); demographics (or characteristic indicators of consumer markets), such as age, religion, race, income, education, and more; and even psychographics (personal values) (Alsem & Wittink, 2013). For example, the age bracket for Call of Duty consumers is between 16 and 34 in women, and up to 40 in men.Our relationship with these consumers begins with the right placement, based on many factors about our target audience as well as significant surveying of the market (Grewal & Levy, 2012). Additionally, using the versatility of a variety of strategies and tactics that are attractive to our audience as well as measureable allows us to provide a marketing campaign that is flexible and matches the demands of the target when the target wants it to (Vollmer, 2008). The details of our firms marketing planor the course of promotional action that will deliver a consistent message across a variety of channels for Activisions Call of Duty: Black Ops IIare built upon company objectives and strategies which have been identified through marketing research (Armstrong & Kotler, 2006). Using tools, such as the SWOT analysis, to define strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats surrounding Call of Duty; we can adjust objectives and/or actions to improve our marketing strategies (Winer, 2004). This information also opens the door to increasing the success of an effective IMC (Integrated Marketing Communication) strategy, as it enables us to better identify our target consumer and the tactics that will improve our reach (Piermatteo, 2012). It is our firms intention to provide the details of our marketing campaign that will strategically progress Activisions goals as a company by achieving a 10% increase in the sale of its most successful video game: Call of Duty: Black Ops II. By narrowing our targets on a new audience, and delivering a marketing approach that builds awareness and familiarity; we can succeed at generating the edge that not only improves the sale of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, but perceives Activision as a leader within its industry (Grewal & Levy, 2012). Situation AnalysisAmong the many approaches to gathering information regarding fluctuations in market conditions, companies, and products; the situation analysis provides us insight on the conditions of the internal and external environments of particular companies and/or products (Grewal & Levy, 2012).
Industry AnalysisWith consistent growth rates of 15+ percent since 2009 in the gaming population of America and many other countries; the predicted revenue of the video gaming industry is not only growing, but predicted to surpass $35 billion by 2017 (Gaudiosi, 2012). More important to our focused campaign, among the growth of new gamers, 42% are female (Serious Gamer, 2012). As technology continues to advance, it is estimated that the video game industry will be among the biggest beneficiariesfrom opening doors to better gaming experiences and higher-quality graphics to changing the means by which these video games are marketed (Gaudiosi, 2012). SWOT AnalysisAlso known as the SWOT analysis, the tool measures internal (from within Activision) strengths and weaknesses, and external (from competitors) opportunities and threats (SWOT Analysis (2), n.d.). Fluctuations that affect the SWOT analysis often occur in cultural, demographic, social, technological, economic, and political environments (Grewal & Levy, 2012). Surveying has provided us with the following insights on Activisions Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.Strengths Much of Call of Dutys success can be directly linked to the brand equityor the value of the brand. The awareness in the market of the Call of Duty game series greatly contributes to improved sales with each new release. Activision does a superb job of building loyalty in consumers through the associations connected to the brand (Grewal & Levy, 2012). With each releaseconsumers expect more of what they are looking for. Like changing a first impression, changing perceptions can be difficult and costly. Fortunately, Activision and Call of Duty are not thwarted by negative perceptions. Instead, they are looked to for leadership and actionespecially among our target audience. Other significant strengths of Call of Duty: Black Ops II include:Connection of the game to the audience through comedy, emotional appeal and vivid imageryRegular release of new video content from the game on popular video sites such as YouTube (Newton, 2012).Favorite first-person shooter among gamers.Hi-quality graphics.Engaging story plots.Incorporates sci-fi and futuristic environments with familiar character names.Alternate scenario options for gamers to choose throughout the game.Three games in one (Zombies, single player, and multiplayer) (Frum, 2012).Use of well-known actors to fill roles and write plots (Gaudiosi, 2012). WeaknessesWhile Call of Duty has many qualities that make it a desirable game, Activision relies on the games sales to account for 40-45% of entire company earnings each year (Brightman, 2012). Thus far, the rating of Call of Duty: Black Ops II has been lower than that of Call of Dutys Modern Warfare 3 (Frum, 2012). While the launching of the latest Call of Duty game came only a week after the release of Halo 4, is it believed that the current gap in sales of nearly 20%, is related to the games launch only a week before Thanksgiving (Brightman, 2012).As Activision made the decision to produce the game for the Wii U instead of Wii, backlash may also stem from the expectation of consumers. In unison with the games release, many consumers expected many sales and discounts to be available on Black Friday. Since users must now consider having to purchase another gaming console to enjoy the game, the lack of a discount over the Black Friday shopping weekend may have been a more significant component of the lack of sales (Brightman, 2012). While none of these are