Squatty Potty Case The Squatty Potty case demonstrates the challenges of being a pioneer in the introduction stage of a product lifecycle. Designing a new to market product without clear competitors or benchmarks to reference makes Marketing Imperative 4 (design the market offer) quite difficult. The following document outlines a recommended communications strategy for the firm while it faces multiple internal and external challenges to success. The firms’ CEO, Bobby Edwards must define how to communicate the Squatty Potty, while managing the internal challenges of his investors and co-founders questioning if the firm needs to make the marketing investment. Concurrently Edwards must manage the external communications challenges of public perception behind marketing a device that solves a problem most people don’t want to talk about. Answering the six critical questions for developing a communications strategy will help define who our communications target is, what our objectives are, the messages that must be communicated, the proper marketing tools to leverage, the budget to spend and finally, when to communicate the message. Squatty Potty has established direct-to-consumer operations as well as limited retail distribution currently at Bed Bath & Beyond. The proper communication strategy needs to efficiently achieve both pull, by communicating with the final consumer, and push by encouraging additional retailers to shelve its product. The firms’ communications objective should be to increase product sales, considering that there is no ability to trial the product and repeat is likely to be low. It will be important that the customer targets in the market strategy align with the communication targets. The case identifies the purchaser, who should be the communication target, as a 26-year-old female, first-time mother. The retail distribution will also be driven by a different target, the retail buyer. The key message that should be established with this target must reflect The Squatty Potty value proposition. This should focus on being a constipation cure that makes bowel movements easier while providing long-term colon health. The communication tools should address the two key barriers to sales growth, low retail distribution and the social stigma of colorectal health. The first barrier will require personal selling and sufficient sales promotion. The second barrier will require advertising, digital and direct marketing tools to reach the end consumer. To define a proper budget, the firm will need to learn what amount of reach and frequency is required to drive purchase with consumers. They will then need to optimize the marketing mix to the tools driving the highest conversion to sales. For the pull strategy, a higher investment will be needed to enable high trade margins and consumer promotions that sufficiently incent retailers to provide distribution while also driving consumer purchase once in distribution. The proper time to reach this target with this message will be when the consumer is consuming media alone and is less likely to ignore the message due to worry of social stigma. Developing a clear advertising program for a mix of push and pull will be critical to efficient marketing success. Using a table that incorporates communication objectives and tools as well as the hierarchy-of-effects model we can see how Squatty Potty should design its communications strategy to drive sales with consumers while also securing incremental distribution. Communications Targets and Objectives: Pull Strategy for Retail Buyer Identify Potential Retailers Personal Selling Telesales Sales Promotion Sales Team Qualify Retailers Sell to Retailers Provide Ongoing Sales & Services Communications Targets and Objectives: Push Strategy for 26-year-old First-time moms Awareness Knowledge Liking Purchase Digital: Video Digital: Search/ Newsletter Digital: SM Digital: Website Squatty Potty must strategically devise a support plan that evaluates several factors, such as specific communication message, media investments and tools, and digital marketing avenues when putting together a strategy for connecting with the communication target. Due to the “embarrassment factor”, a known consumer barrier, solely focusing on public digital communication outlets, such as social media may not be the most effective. Instead, Squatty Potty should couple social media with a more private communication outlet that can be used to not only build a relationship with potential customers, but also offer the knowledge for 26-year-old female, first-time mothers to acquaint them with the product and promote the true value behind it. After driving awareness via digital video, search and social media consumer will need another vehicle to provide the information required to drive purchase. A weekly informative opt-in email newsletter can provide this value to potential and current consumers. An opt-in email newsletter will allow our communication target to opt in to learn about the health benefits and science behind our product in a private environment, on their own time. The educational curve behind our product is a critical part for consumer understanding and can lead to new customers and sales. This newsletter will target 26-year-old female, first-time mothers, with the hopes of creating a network that can expand by word-of-mouth promotion over time. The weekly newsletter will provide updates on Squatty Potty products and company events as well as other healthy tips for our clients to try. Using this technique over a spam email technique should make consumers feel more freedom, as it is there choice to opt in. This strategy will enable the firm to sell future product offerings to existing customers as well as collect data on the specific consumers interested in The Squatty Potty. Finally, the firm must develop a clear sales strategy that incorporates clear sales objectives, with clear performance measures. The firm must establish a clear process to explain the benefits and values of the product. The case explains the existing $1.3 Billion market that has been established with OTC product offerings and clearly outlining the role Squatty Potty will play in growing this market will be important in sharpening the competitive focus. Given the unique nature of this product it is most advisable to keep this sales effort internal and form a product-based sales force to sell. This keeps the focus on the product benefits that must be communicated to retail buyers and not on other variables like geographic location. A proper reward system must be established to incent sales teams to create profitable distribution streams. Higher commissions should be granted for distribution that can be established with product uniqueness and the commission should be lowered for the higher promotion required to secure distribution. Staffing the sales organization will not require any technical expertise and can be accomplished by training and coaching ambitious newly hired salespeople. Below is a mock-up of the cover of a newsletter posting for our clients. Eric Rose Notes 1. Who are our comm. Targets? With direct-to-consumer operations and limited retail distribution only at Bed Bath & Beyond the communication strategy needs to efficiently achieve both pull by communicating with the final consumer and push by encouraging additional retailers to shelve its product. 2. What are our comms. Objectives? The firms’ communications objective is to increase product sales considering that there is no ability to trial the product and repeat is likely to be low. It will be important that the customer targets in the market strategy align with the communication targets. The case identifies the purchaser, who should be the communication target, as a 26-year-old female, first-time mother. 3. What key messages do we want to get across? The Squatty Potty value proposition focuses on being a constipation cure that makes bowel movements easier while providing long-term colon health. 4. What comms. Tools shall we use? Address the two barriers to sales growth, low retail distribution and the social stigma of colorectal health. The first barrier will require personal selling and sufficient sales promotion. The second barrier will require advertising, digital and direct marketing tools to reach the end consumer. 5. What comms. Budget shall we set? The firm will need to learn what amount of reach and frequency is required to drive purchase with consumers. They will then need to optimize the marketing mix to the tools driving the highest conversion to sales. For the pull strategy a higher investment will be needed to invest in high trade margins and consumer promotions that sufficiently incent retailers to provide distribution while also driving consumer purchase once in distribution. 6. When is the right time to communicate? Chris Horner Notes Handwritten- picture will be uploaded along with the case Communication This week Eric and Chris communicated via phone, text and email to complete this case.