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Toyota Prius Marketing Campaign Strategy

Executive Summary

Toyota is a well know and reputed manufacturer of automobiles. It has launched the Prius model which represents the epitome of hybrid technology. This report seeks to devise an appropriate marketing strategy for the product in the British sector. Private owners and fleet owners have been selected as the target audience. The private owners belong to the affluent and prosperous middle class. This segment is highly conscious of factors like performance, cost, reliability, and efficiency. Fleet owners desire a product that has reduced operational and maintenance costs. Advertising, public relations, and direct marketing have been selected as the communication methods due to their broader reach, loyal customer base, and flexibility in advertising content. Television, newspapers, outdoor billboards, and email marketing are the appropriate mediums for advertisement and promotion. The direct marketing strategy will encompass various activities and processes. At the basic level, market research will be conducted about the consumer segments. Toyota has identified private owners and fleet buyers as the main segments which will be penetrated and researched. The first part of the implementation should seek to collect the statistics on the behavior, lifestyle, and attitudes of consumer segments. Market research will help Toyota to capitalize on its strengths in order to overcome limitations. A multifaceted and multi-directional strategy will help to produce superior business outcomes. Advertising, direct marketing, and public relations have been selected as the communication methods for promoting Toyota Prius.

Introduction

Toyota is a leading giant in the global automobile market. The organization has witnessed rapid and robust growth due to its focus on innovation and creativity. It has successfully positioned itself in leading markets due to its ability to meet local standards, designs, and preferences. Toyota has a global network of manufacturing centers, distributors, dealers, and consumers (Jiji, 2009). The success of the organization has been due to its ability to successfully respond to fluctuations in the economic market. The United Kingdom automobile market has also been growing in recent years. This paper will seek to conduct a direct marketing strategy for its Prius product line.

Also Study: Toyota Prius Marketing Plan

Product Study

Prius is a state of the art hybrid technology that operates on petrol and electricity. It is the result of years of investments in research and development. Hybrid technology is the current buzzword for the future because of its environment friendly nature. Prius is also a reliable product that offers comfort and sleek design (Peter, 2009). It involves a number of features and attributes which are helpful in producing superior outcomes. The Prius is a product which was launched in the mid 1990s in the Japanese market. It enjoys the distinction of being the world’s first hybrid technology. Toyota made a great revolution in the step towards environmentally friendly cars. During the 1990s, there was heightened concern and awareness in consumers regarding the contribution of cars towards greenhouse gas emissions. Petrol driven cars were increasingly coming under the public scrutiny for releasing carbon emissions into the environment. Toyota embarked upon a massive campaign in order to successfully launch an innovative and creative product. Research and development focused on the use of electric cars as the future technology.

Toyota Prius Marketing Campaign Strategy

Toyota Prius Target Market Audience

Market segmentation refers to the division of consumers into specific groups based upon identical characteristics and attributes. Segmentation enables the business organization to focus on core competencies and skills (Bennett, 2003). It helps to provide a framework for specified and customized marketing and business processes. The organization needs to collect statistics about the lifestyle, habits, and preferences of the consumer segments. The objective of market segmentation is to recognize existing and possible clients. It assigns precedence to consumer segments and creates awareness about consumer actions. The overall aim of segmentation is to increase the volume of sales for a particular product. Toyota Prius will be launched in the United Kingdom. It will target two consumer segments which are private owners and fleet buyers. A number of variables have been designed which will help the target audience in making superior decisions. Consistency, excellence, stability, protection, security, execution, competence, expertise, luxury, design, reputation, standing, and efficacy are these variables. All of these variables will play a crucial role in the purchase of the automobile. Private owners will focus on consistency, cost, and design. This segment seeks to obtain representational advantages from the product. However it is essential to note that private owners will have different perceptions about the purchase and acquisition of the product. Toyota should seek to devise an appropriate strategy that seeks to take into account the common variables desired by the private owners. Fleet buyers represent a different consumer segment since they operate in the automobile rental business. They desire a product that is equipped with an array of technological attributes and features. Efficiency and effectiveness are the two main factors that will influence the buying behavior of fleet buyers.

  • Private Segment

Private owners comprise a large and lucrative market for Toyota. This market is composed of people between the ages of 28-45. They belong to the upper middle class and upper class segments. This segment is highly conscious about the impact of automobiles on the environment. Further rising oil prices have led to an increased demand for alternative fuel driven automobiles. The segment’s purchasing behavior is based upon comfort, consistency, cost, and design of the product (Twomey, 2009). Toyota enjoys a powerful brand image in the United Kingdom. This is a major factor that helps in the purchase of automobiles. Rapid rise in household incomes has also played an increased role in car ownership. Toyota needs to perceive the individual and collective acquisition outlook of this consumer segment.

  • Fleet Buyers

This consumer segment operates in the business environment. It purchases cars for rental services. Alternatively some organizations acquire automobiles for firm utilization. Prius is a hybrid model that offers tangible benefits for this segment. Operational costs are significantly lower as opposed to petrol driven automobiles (Booth, 2009). Car dealers are an important element of this segment. Toyota already has a network of car dealers in the United Kingdom. This existing network can be utilized to improve the volume of sales and revenues in the British market.

Communication Methods

Marketing communication seeks to optimize and integrate business processes. The basic objective is to ensure that customers are aware of tangible and intangible benefits offered by the product. Communication seeks to create high levels of consumer loyalty, vibrant brand image, and robust brand equity (Phillips, 2005). An effective and efficient strategy should seek to utilize various tools in order to achieve optimization and synchronization. Advertising, public relations, and direct marketing have been selected as the communication methods.

  • Advertising

Advertising is a multifaceted and multidirectional strategy that seeks to influence consumer segments. It uses various methods to create brand image and equity. It seeks to highlight the tangible and intangible benefits obtained from the product for the consumer segments (Graham, 2005). Toyota will create a new brand image and identity for Prius. Advertising campaign will be unique and innovative. It will differ from conventional advertising campaigns. The central theme of advertising will be “fuel economy”. Advertisements should focus on long term potential, technological features, safety, reliability, and comfort of the vehicle (Spyker, 2009). Advertising objectives will be to position Prius as the ultimate hybrid vehicle in the UK market. It will have enhanced performance, design, cost, and reliability. Specifically the advertisements should focus on how brave and dashing individuals save women from disasters and troubles using the fuel efficient Toyota Prius. Upper middle class attire should be utilized by the models in the advertisement. Further the character should have values like trust, confidence, and discipline (Prince George Citizen, 2009). Print media and outdoor billboards are selected due to their appeal towards broad consumer segment.

  • Public Relations

Another communication method is the use of public relations that seeks to create high levels of association between the organization and general public. Affinity and connection with the product is developed through a systematic and methodical public relations approach (Jobber, 2001). Seminars and conferences will be utilized to attract fleet buyers. Efficient and effective strategies should be utilized for this business segment. Fleet buyer concerns and apprehensions can be addressed in a systematic and methodical manner.

  • Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is another cost effective measure that helps to directly attract consumers without any marketing media. Email marketing, internet affiliate and online advertisements are examples of this approach. The benefits of the internet are that it provides high levels of flexibility and control over the advertising content (McDonald, 2002). It is also an efficient marketing method to directly target consumers without the use of media. An online website for Toyota Prius will be instrumental and beneficial for the business organization. Most upper class individuals frequently browse the internet for updated information on vehicles. The use of multifaceted and multidirectional strategies will help to produce superior business outcomes. The internet has emerged as a powerful and vibrant outlet for marketing and promotion of products.

  • Selection and Justification of Media

Television, newspapers, outdoor billboards and email marketing have been chosen as the medium for the new marketing campaign of Toyota Prius. Television advertisements have been selected with the key theme of “fuel economy”. The purpose is to ensure that a powerful message is sent to the audience. Advertisements on television will seek to stir up the passions and sentiments of the viewers (Lee, 1999). Toyota Prius advertisement will not be a mere “car ad” but an innovative and creative promotional piece. Sleek, cool, hi-tech, and smart will be outlook that is being presented to the consumer segments. The television advertisement should seek to create overall eminence and worth for consumer segments. Innovative ideas will be generated with respect to television advertisements. Classical methods of car advertisement will be restructured in alignment with new goals. Television commercials will seek to capture the substance and essence of fuel economy. Finally television has been selected due to extensive coverage to the targeted consumers. Investments will result in maximum returns for the organization. Television is also a powerful medium that can influence the purchasing habits of consumer segments. It provides a powerful and versatile visual impact since Prius is linked with technology and performance (Arens, 2002). Newspapers have been selected as the print media because of several reasons. It enables Toyota to direct marketing efforts at customized market segments. This provides a number of infinite possibilities for the promotion of Toyota Prius. Newspapers enjoy a loyal and devoted readership which can be capitalized by the business organization. Special advertisements can also be launched inside newspapers which helps provide vision and clarity for the message being conveyed. Newspapers are usually more than fifty years old. They have a strong credibility in the market for their content and advertisements. Newspaper ads are likely to be collected and passed between various members of the family. Toyota Prius will be marketed in newspapers through the use of special advertisements. Performance, efficiency, effectiveness, technology, and safety will be the key theme in these advertisements (Fletcher & Harper, 2009). Toyota Prius will witness an unprecedented increase in sales due to a smart and prudent marketing campaign. It is essential that the organization seek to focus on efficiency and effectiveness. Email marketing has been selected because it is cost effective. It does not require any marketing medium. It allows the organization greater control and flexibility over the content of the ad. An email ad is made up of text and graphics. A powerful and vibrant slogan will be utilized in order to stir up the emotions of the consumers (Belch, 2001).  Business organizations will be offered various incentives through email marketing. This will help to increase the volume of business.

  • Selection and Justification of Message and Sales Promotion Offers

Toyota Prius is an innovative and creative product. It utilizes new technology which is relatively unknown in the United Kingdom. Therefore there is the need for an ingenious and novel market communication campaign. The communication campaign objectives will be to develop high levels of perception and awareness regarding hybrid technology (Wells, 2000).

A specific brand perception for Prius is required even though Toyota enjoys a global reputation. This will act as a catalyst for creating Toyota as a brand that dominates the hybrid car market. Fuel economy and efficiency is the key message which will be delivered to the consumer segments. Private owners are highly conscious about the values of business organizations. This means that fuel economy is a powerful message to counter this perception. It also creates an environment friendly image for the conscious public. It produces superior outcomes in terms of objectives and targets. Hybrid technology offers unlimited opportunities for consumers that desire an environmentally friendly, technologically sleek, and operationally safe automobile (Tribune Business News, 2009). The key theme behind the message is to lead to the development of a powerful and robust brand. Further Toyota will focus on creating an image that hybrid cars are the future. Environment friendliness will be tackled and handled in the marketing campaign. Consumer segments need to be convinced about the tangible and intangible benefits obtained from acquiring hybrid cars (Lennox & Cowan, 2009).

Benchmarks will be created in order to demonstrate the superiority of hybrid cars against petrol driven cars. Prius will help Toyota to create new niche market in the United Kingdom. Currently hybrid technology has not positioned itself into the British market. Toyota can enter into the market by creating its own product line and dominating the hybrid sector. It can create its own benchmarks which will be based upon consumer behavior. Fuel economy has also been selected due to the rapid increase in fuel prices in recent years (Anne, 2009). Consumers desire a car which is fuel efficient and effective. However at the same time they desire a product which does not compromise on quality, performance, design, operation, security, and comfort. Toyota Prius helps to accomplish these objectives in a smart and prudent manner. Sales promotion offers will also be offered to business consumers and private owners. A specific number of consumers that purchase the car will be provided with supplementary and auxiliary services. These services have been launched in order to create a powerful brand image and identity. The organization will seek to focus on efficiency and effectiveness while positioning itself in the UK automobile market. Toyota Prius is an innovative and creative product which can help to create a superior brand identity for Toyota. It will create new product lines which can be capitalized by the organization. However it is essential to pursue smart and prudent strategies in order to produce superior business outcomes (Waller, Fam & Erdogan, 2005).

Implementation

The direct marketing strategy will encompass various activities and processes. At the basic level, market research will be conducted about the consumer segments. Toyota has identified private owners and fleet buyers as the main segments which will be penetrated and researched. The first part of the implementation should seek to collect the statistics on the behavior, lifestyle, and attitudes of consumer segments. Market research will help Toyota to capitalize on its strengths in order to overcome limitations. A multifaceted and multidirectional strategy will help to produce superior business outcomes. Advertising, direct marketing, and public relations have been selected as the communication methods for promoting Toyota Prius. Advertisements will be run on television and newspapers. On television there will be a total of three commercials which will help to focus on fuel economy of Toyota Prius. A total of fifty advertisements will be designed and selected for newspapers. Leading papers like Telegraph, Observer, and Guardian will be chosen for the newspaper advertisements.  The fleet buyers represent the business segment which will be targeted by the organization. Public relations will focus exclusively on this segment due to a number of reasons. Public relations briefs will help to create high levels of awareness and perception for the business segment. Credibility, reliability, and consistency are the main objectives of the public relations campaign. Third party organizations will be selected to determine the reliability and credibility of Toyota Prius. This approach will help the organization to focus on the fuel efficiency of the product. It will provide an endorsement from the private sector which can be successfully utilized by the organization. Educational seminars will be conducted in order to debrief the consumer segments about the benefits and features of hybrid technology. Customer queries will be answered and addressed in a systematic manner.  At specific locations, Toyota will also offer test drives in order to enhance its overall reputation and significance. Direct marketing will involve the collection of email addresses obtained through market research. Toyota will design appropriate advertisements through emails in order to attain organizational goals. A specific website will be available for Toyota Prius that will update customers about prices, seminars, conferences, and other variables. This website will be an essential element of the marketing campaign. It will help to create a niche product that can create Toyota as a leading hybrid technology manufacturer. The combination of activities will help Toyota to position and target its desired consumer market. It will help to create a robust and vibrant brand image. It will help the organization to achieve organizational and business goals. It will produce superior outcomes which will enable the organization to penetrate into neighboring markets. However it is essential that the organization seek to have clear and precise goals. It should be able to apply corporate objectives in a systematic and methodical manner. Contingency plans should be in place in order to respond to problems in specific strategies.

Conclusion

Toyota Prius is a revolutionary and state of the art automobile which represents the epitome of hybrid technology. This report provided a detailed strategy for Toyota to expand and market its product in the United Kingdom. The marketing strategy should be based upon the presence of clear and visible targets. It should be based upon flexible, robust, and dynamic business initiatives. Toyota should expand into the UK market by targeting the private segment and fleet buyers. The private segment belongs to the upper middle class that enjoys disposable incomes. This segment is concerned about reliability, price, comfort, and design of product. It seeks to acquire a dynamic automobile as a household necessity. The fleet owners include car dealers and car rental services. This is a business segment that should be targeted utilizing a different and innovative strategy. Advertising, public relations, and direct marketing were selected as the recommended communication methods. This is because the mediums allow the organization to target huge consumer segments. It is also cost effective while allowing the organization greater flexibility and control over advertising content and structure. Television, newspapers, outdoor billboards and email marketing have been selected as the marketing mediums. All of these mediums enjoy loyal customer base. They also enable the organization to market its products in an efficient and effective manner. The marketing strategy should be based upon the presence of smart and prudent strategies. A systematic and methodical approach will help the organization to achieve optimum results. Television commercials will seek to capture the substance and essence of fuel economy. Finally television has been selected due to extensive coverage to the targeted consumers. Investments will result in maximum returns for the organization. Television is also a powerful medium that can influence the purchasing habits of consumer segments. It provides a powerful and versatile visual impact since Prius is linked with technology and performance. Newspapers have been selected as the print media because of several reasons. It enables Toyota to direct marketing efforts at customized market segments.

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