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Smartink Marketing Plan

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By tomascarvalho
Words 2549
Pages 11

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………… page 3 Environment Analysis ………………………………………………………………………….. page 4 Customer Analysis ……………………………………………………………………………….. page 7 Competition Analysis …………………………………………………………………………… page 11 STP Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………. page 13


Introduction This marketing plan has been written for the Marketing course in Católica

Lisbon School of Business and Economics. It consists of a study for the launch of a new and original product, called Smartink, as well as a proposal for a commercial plan of action. Even in the technological era we live in, it is noticeable that people still do a considerable amount of work recurring to paper materials, and not just electronic devices as many would have thought. So when it comes to studying or memorizing certain text or book it is fundamental to highlight the more important information in order to achieve better results. However, a lot of people do not recur to this technique in order not to damage the paper materials, which leads to a loss of efficiency and, to a certain extent, an aggravation in academic or work performance. This is where our product comes in. SmartInk stands for a new concept of highlighter. It is conceptually equivalent to the classic marker with one big difference. After a certain period of time its ink disappears completely leaving no evidence of its previous usage behind. This represents a huge advantage for anyone who uses coloured markers as a study auxiliary, as they need not to worry about damaging their books and notes. Thus allowing paper materials to be reutilized, sold, lent or just kept in good condition. Moreover, SmartInk represents an incredible breakthrough in what environmental issues are concerned, as it allows for paper materials to be reutilised, therefore preventing paper waste. From our standpoint, this eco-­‐friendly feature is a competitive advantage for our product. Throughout this report we will analyse SmartInk’s features as well as its market. We will try to get the costumer insight necessary to understand what costumers want from such a product, analyse what competitors it would need to face and what commercial strategy it should follow.

There are, however, two important details that must be taken into

consideration. In our analysis we will assume, for academic purposes, that SmartInk will only be sold in the Portuguese market. This simplifies the study as otherwise we would need to analyse several different markets for which we do not have the


required tools. The second note is that we will assume SmartInk as an existing company’s brand, and not a new company in the market. This helps costumers to trust our marker, as they may already know the company associated with it. Furthermore, a company that already has experience in this market could achieve higher results than a start-­‐up.

Environment Analysis

A very important part of any Marketing Plan is the macro environment analysis. This is an indispensable start point where we analyze the market from a macro perspective and, more precisely, crucial issues such as the political spectre of certain market, the economic factors, the social environment, the technological opportunities, legal restrictions and the increasingly important environmental issues. From the analysis of al these factors we can identify what opportunities are available in the market as well as the threats we must be prepared to face.

As explained before, our product will only aim at the Portuguese market in the beginning and so will, consequently, our analysis.

Social Environment

We believe the social environment analysis is the one every macro analysis should start with, as it represents the base for all others.

The Portuguese market is composed of 10.5 million people, in round numbers, according to the 2011 census. Out of these 10.5 million, we must understand how many of them would represent the market for SmartInk. The most reasonable and feasible way of doing so is by assuming everyone who is able to read and write could be interested in our product. The same census tells us that the rate of illiteracy in our country was, in 2011, about 5.2 %. If we remove those 5.2 % from our envisaged market we can assume it would be composed of approximately 10 million people.

Another important social issue we must understand is that the increase in educational and lifestyle standards in general may enlarge the demand for coloured markers, as these are viewed by many as an important study and work material.


Political Factors

Portugal is a free market, highly developed society with little restrictions to entrepreneurship and businesses in general, these being in fact thoroughly encouraged by political entities. International commerce is also highly developed in our country, as we are part of the European Union and have few protectionist barriers, which cause no restrictions to the importation of raw materials and the eventual exportation of our product. Thus the Portuguese market has the political stability any product requires in order to thrive.

Economic Factors

Portugal is a modern developed economy as it was already mentioned. Being a member of the European Union provides innumerable perks to our economy, such as stability, low inflation, low interest rates and a very strong currency.

Nonetheless, Portugal has its downside in what economic factors are concerned: taxes. Companies in Portugal must pay a high income tax (though it has been recently lowered) of 21%, to which a municipal tax can be added. But it is not only the high income tax rate companies must pay. Every corporation is obliged to pay a social security contribution per employee of 23,75%, which is quite harsh.

The labour market in Portugal is relatively flexible and the unemployment rate was, in 2014, 13,9%, which means there is a significant quantity of people available to work.

Technological Opportunities

Portugal is a country with a fairly high number of technological opportunities. In this particular case, the one we will be pursuing is this revolutionary type of ink that fades after a certain amount of time. This would have to be done recurring to highly advanced processes that we do not know, but will assume as known for the sake of the argument.


Legal Restrictions

As it was disclosed before, Portugal is a society which encourages private enterprises so our product would not find barriers to its creation (considering the broader meaning of creating a new product, in general). Nevertheless, legal safety and quality standards must be met in order for the SmartInk marker to be sold, which would not represent a problem (assuming the marker’s ink or the marker itself is nor noxious neither hazardous).

Environmental Issues

The Portuguese market is highly regulated in terms of environmental protection and conservation, especially because it is part of the European Union. This might be perceived as something negative by some as products must meet higher environmental standards but, in our case, it represents a tremendous advantage. The SmartInk has a very important environmental upside. The fact that the ink disappears allows users to reutilize their paper materials (either by reusing them themselves, or lending and selling them to others) which allows for enormous paper savings.

In conclusion, Portugal has all the conditions for SmartInk to be implemented with virtually no obstacles.


CUSTOMER ANALYSIS After 115 responses to our survey in order to analyze the customer behavior, the collected data was the basis for the outline of the customer profile, therefore the following shares are an approximation for the real data about potential customers.



Market Segment

Age Bracket


Customer occupation

Percentage Split 10% 50% 20% 10% 10%

50% 50%

50% 35% 10% 5%

Analysis Under 12 13-­‐25 26-­‐35 36-­‐50 51 and over

Male Female

Student Employed Unemployed Retired



Customer Comes From


Customer Purchase Frequency

Less than once a year

Given the fact that SmartInk is a product that can be used by everyone, our demographic segment selection is very embracing, with a special focus in the students’ age group, since they are the ones who show a superior need of our marker.


Problem recognition: consumers do not highlight books because they don’t want to damage the materials.

Does not highlight to

Percentage Split

preserve documents





More than 70% of the sample does not highlight books because they do not want to deteriorate them. This shows the significance of the need that SmartInk is going to satisfy.

The solution: How much does the customer need the product?


Percentage Split

Does not need/want


Low need


Moderate need


High need


After analyzing the survey’s results, we conclude that nearly 85% will want a SmartInk highlighter, although the level of necessity is different among them.

Price: how much is the consumer willing to pay for the solution?



Percentage Split

3 -­‐ 4 €


4 -­‐ 5 €


5 -­‐ 6 €


6 -­‐ 8 €



The average price that consumers are willing to pay is € 4,70, allowing us to claim that our price will range between 4 to 6 Euros, still depending on logistics and production costs.

Brand: knowing the customers opinion about the market


Percentage Split











Over 70 per cent of the surveyed would like to see SmartInk entering the market

associated with a well-­‐known brand. Clearly consumers recognize the market leader in Stabilo and would like to see SmartInk entering the market as a product manufactured by them.

Placement: where does the customer want to meet the product?


Percentage Split



Supermarket/Shopping Mall


Large specialized store


Taking this data into account, SmartInk will definitely have to be available in different market types, all business2business.


Features of the product: knowing the customer’s preference

Ink Duration


10-­‐12 months


8-­‐10 months


6-­‐8 months

Percentage Split

4-­‐6 months


The average time that consumers want ink to last is about 8 months.

0ver 90% of consumers prefer the following colours:


Percentage Split









The survey and the analysis that followed were crucial to outline the customer profile and to attend the market needs in the best possible way. We expect that SmartInk will satisfy an existing need that is not currently being answered, filling up a gap in the market. After examining costs in all stages until the product is on the shelves, a decision will be made regarding issues such as price and the time that the ink lasts on the paper. By now, we have already decided to associate with Stabilo, given customers’ clear preference for the market leader, probably based on the confidence on Stabilo’s products.


Competition Analysis


-­‐ SmartInk by Stabilo: innovative product, it belongs to a brand that has a big market power, and this fact will be decisive on the consumer’s choice. It also has big International recognition. -­‐ Staedtler: it also has a big reputation and the price is lower. Their quality is widely recognized and the consumers will take this brand into consideration. -­‐ Note-­‐it: they have lower prices, which is an important factor on consumer’s choice.


-­‐ Faber-­‐Castell: lowest price on the market, and they are very well known in other types of products, like the famous coloured pencil's. They also have some international recognition.


-­‐ SmartInk by Stabilo: Highest price, which can be a disadvantage in this competitive market. It is the only identifiable weakness. -­‐ Staedtler: it’s hard to find their products. They could lose market position if they don’t start innovating as well. -­‐ Note-­‐it: poor quality, and it can only be found in supermarkets. No recognition and bad reputation. -­‐ Faber-­‐Castell: doesn’t have the same quality of Stabilo or Staedtler, so consumers looking for high quality products won’t consider theirs.

After a detailed analysis we can conclude that the biggest threat our product faces is Staedtler, as their quality is also quite good and their price is lower. Regarding the other competitors, we can consider them as threats too, but on a smaller scale. Their reputation is not as strong as the one a partnership with Stabilo could bestow us, and that can be very relevant in the costumers’ decisions. Despite the competition, our product’s unique characteristics puts us one step ahead of all our competitors, considering we maintain the quality of the highlighting and we also add a new quality for costumers, which is not damaging the paper materials they use. That represents a fair justification for the fact that we have the biggest price. Our consumers will be delivered a higher value when compared to all the other options available in the market.

This might be the right timing to introduce our product, given that we have some big competitive advantages and a strong market position that comes form the partnership with Stabilo.


STP Analysis

After gathering and analyzing all the information collected from the survey and

adding our own insights on the matter, we are now ready to proceed with an STP analysis. This means dividing the market in several different segments (Segmentation), choosing the segment or segments we want to aim at (Targeting) and, last but not least, deciding how we want to position SmartInk (Positioning).


From the responses we got from the survey we came to the conclusion that

the different segments can be divided following two different criteria: age and occupation.

We decided to divide age groups in the following manner: Youngsters (under

12 years old), Adolescents and Young Adults (13 -­‐ 25 years old), Adults (26 -­‐ 50 years old) and Senior (more than 50 years old).

The market will be divided in occupation segments as follows: Students,

Workers, Unemployed and Retired.


Having these market segments plainly identified we can now chose the ones

we should be acting on.

Based on the conclusions that came out of the market survey as well as our

own thoughts on the subject, we decided that SmartInk should aim mostly at the Students segment, as these people are the ones that feel the biggest necessity for markers. Consequently, the age segment we must act on is the Adolescents and Young Adults one, for the obvious reason that most students are in this age bracket. Another reason for our segment targeting (although far less important than the ones already mentioned) is the fact that students and young people usually face some financial constraints. If they know they can highlight certain book without damaging it and, therefore, being able to sell it for a bigger price in the future, they will be more inclined to buy our marker.



The positioning phase of this analysis is the one in which we decide how we

want to position SmartInk, how we want consumers to perceive the product and its characteristics and how it will be different from its competitors

SmartInk will be a high quality marker with one special characteristic (the fact

that the ink disappears after a certain period of time) that will differentiate it from all its competitors. We want to associate our product with high academic and professional performance. Others should perceive SmartInk users as people who achieve higher results than the average marker user.

Exhibit 1 – Perceptual map comparing the position of SmartInk and its competitors regarding quality and functionality


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