Product Lifecycle

Plan the tasks or tactics for a marketing mix in various stages of the product lifecycle, using a provided worksheet.
The task of managing a given product at any stage of that lifecycle is significant and offers multiple opportunities for success or failure.

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

Competency 4: Apply effective marketing planning and implementation.

Identify marketing tactics related to product, at each stage of a product lifecycle.
Identify marketing tactics related to price, at each stage of a product lifecycle.
Identify marketing tactics related to place, at each stage of a product lifecycle.
Identify marketing tactics related to promotion, at each stage of a product lifecycle.

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 Product Lifecycle The length of the lifecycle will vary from market to market. Jell-O is an excellent example of a mature product that has survived many years. When it was nearly discontinued many years ago, a new promotional campaign was introduced that boosted it back to prominence. Jell-O used “there’s always room for Jell-O” as well as “watch it wiggle” messages to reposition what was a dying product. Since then, Jell-O has expanded its product premise (with products such as Pudding Pops) to reinforce the total brand successfully. The Jell-O corporation also identified market segments (kids, desserts, snacks, and so forth) that could be successfully targeted while reaching for further market development and sales growth. “Just as biological cycles progress from birth through growth and decline, so do product life cycles…a product has four major stages: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline” (Pride & Ferrell, 2000). The tasks of a marketer differ in each of the phases of a product or service lifecycle.  Introduction: In the introductory stage of the lifecycle, sales and profits are zero, and the marketing challenge is to bring the product to market by arranging for distribution, initial promotion, consumer awareness, and positioning.  Growth: The growth state of the cycle is often marked by the rapid increase of sales and profits, the appearance of competition, and pressure to lower prices and add new product features.  Maturity: Maturity sees the leveling of demand for a product, declines in profits and pricing, lower promotional costs, expansion into less profitable markets, and the exit of some competitors from the market.  Decline: During a product’s declining phase, sales fall rapidly, and the product may be discontinued or relegated to a small niche within a company’s offerings. Promotional spending is generally very low on a product in this stage, and clearance pricing is often evident. These are general trends for each lifecycle stage. For each product, service, or even brand, the conditions, as will the length of the cycle, may vary. A product lifecycle may be as short as a few months (a fad) or it may last well over 100 years (Coke, Pepsi, and Levi’s). New products with better materials, better technology, or different fashions may force a product into early retirement. The Product Lifecycle image shows the cycle in terms of sales and profitability. When a product is successfully introduced into a market (or, sometimes, creates a new market), it generates a rapid increase in sales, ramping up in the introduction   Context stage. As the market matures, sales decline and profits slow or dwindle. The profit curve grows much more slowly than the sales curve, and begins the decline faster than sales. Market Segmentation “A market segment consists of individuals, groups, or organizations with one or more similar characteristics that cause them to have relatively similar product needs” (Pride & Ferrell, 2000). Market segmentation is the division of markets into logical pieces. This is a primary task of the marketer within the organization. Markets can be divided into consumer markets (users who plan on consuming or benefiting directly from a product purchase) and organizational or business-to-business markets, where products are typically bought for use in making other products or for institutional use. Consumer market segments are profiled in a variety of ways, according to variables such as demographics, psychographics, geography, and behavior. If you conduct an Internet search for “consumer market profile example” or “target market profile example,” you will find that a broad range of variables are used to define a market segment, often depending on the type of product or service involved. 

Reference Pride, W., & Ferrell, O. (2000). Marketing: Concepts and strategies. New York, NY: Houghton/Mifflin. 

For this assessment, consider that you work as a marketing analyst for a consulting firm. You were previously asked to develop an analysis white paper to be used for marketing purposes to showcase the firm’s consulting capabilities, and your manager and the firm’s marketing team was impressed with your work. As a result, your manager asked you to create another analysis white paper to also be used for marketing purposes, but focusing on a different dimension of the firm’s services.
Plan the tasks or tactics for a marketing mix (product, place, price, promotion) in various stages of the product lifecycle (introduction, growth, maturity, and decline).
Product Lifecycle Worksheet
Focus on one particular company in completing all of the sections of the worksheet.

Use the Product Lifecycle Worksheet (linked in the Resources under the Required Resources heading).
Complete all of the sections of the worksheet, identifying tasks or tactics for each aspect of the marketing mix at each stage of the product lifecycle.

Identify marketing tactics related to product that have the potential for real-world application at each stage of a product lifecycle.
Identify marketing tactics related to price that have the potential for real-world application at each stage of a product lifecycle.
Identify marketing tactics related to place that have the potential for real-world application at each stage of a product lifecycle.
Identify marketing tactics related to promotion that have the potential for real world application at each stage of a product lifecycle.

For the place aspect of the marketing mix for a product at REI, in the introduction phase of the product lifecycle, the product might be distributed on a limited basis, only to specific flagship stores. As the product moves to the decline phase of the product cycle, REI might choose to distribute the product in outlet stores.
Refer to the Product Lifecycle Worksheet for further examples.
Based on your executive audience, your case study should be well organized and written in clear, succinct language. Follow APA rules for attributing sources that support your analysis and conclusions.

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