Case Analysis: A group of investors had formed Trap-ease America in January after it had obtained worldwide rights to market the innovative mouse trap. The group then hired Martha to serve as president, and to develop and manage trap-ease America organizations. Even though the product is well designed, and is bringing a new idea to the market, by using a good trap to catch the mice, it didn’t bring much profit to the company. Even after winning over 300 new products, that wasn’t enough to attract customers in the market. SWOT Analysis: is an overall evaluation of the company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The goal of SWOT analysis is to match the company’s strengths to attractive opportunities in the environment, while eliminating or overcoming the weaknesses and minimizing the threats (marketing by Armstrong/kotler page 55). The SWOT analysis of trap- ease America Company is as the following: 1-Strengths:
•Very innovative and well-designed product.
•The product is reusable, which means that it’s a long lasting.
•There is a less risk involved.
•The product is also good for the environment, as it doesn’t pollute the air or harm the kids.
•The product price is high, compared to the others in the market.
•The promotion is weak, and low.
•They are more concentrated on the product, than customers.
•Not proper segmentation.
•Different product with a new idea, and a high potential market.
•There are few competitors in the market.
•Ease to use product than other.
•Competition against the traditional trap, and any company that create mouse traps
•Chemicals or pesticides.
My own ideas about the points that I think they should or have worked on:- 1-Market targeting: which is the process of evaluating, each market segment attractiveness and selecting one or more to enter? Martha’s market targeting wasn’t good enough; she thought that women were the best target market for the trap ease, because men are more willing to buy, and use the traditional spring loaded trap. She didn’t know that women who stay at home with their children these days are few. So what I think she should have done is:
•The targeting, and the research should have been done in a bigger broaden demographic area. •She should have targeted warehouses, cold storages, and docks as well, not just retailers. •She should also target to environmentalists, animal lovers and corporate businesses. •The segmenting must benefit from the wholesalers, and intermediaries too apart from the retailers. •They should target men as well, not just women, and they can do that using different marketing channels, like advertisement, newspapers, and TV’S. •They should target pest companies also, and they can form a joint venture with them if necessary. 2-Promotion: – which is one of the 4P’s (price, place, promotion, and product). The company seems to lack any sort of promotion like advertising, public relations, and personal selling. What I think they should do about that is the following:-
•There should be only one trap, that get sold at one time, because when the two traps are sold in one package, it will won’t appeal to customers, who might want to experiment the package. •They should lower the cost of their product, because customers now days are more driven to the products that have low costs, and high quality. •They should have a money back policy, in case the customers didn’t like the product or decided to bring it back. By that they will gain the trust of the customers. •There should be mass distribution of the product, and free demo services must be provided. •There should be more money spent on the promotional activities like advertising, showing demi in retail shops, and approach government to promote the produt in railways, and as environment savior. •There should be a brand ambassador to promote the product, and attract more customers. 3-Valuing customers more:
•Even though the product has a high quality, and is a well-designed, it’s still far from satisfying customers due to its high price. •There must be proper feedbacks taken from customers, as well as the retailers to asses the true position of the product. •Good quality service, which is very important in retaining customers. •There should be an online booking for customers, to help them getting better information on the product. It’s also saying in the book on page 54 that marketers do well, if they think through the 4 C’s ( customer solution, customer cost, convenience, and communication) and build the four P’s on it. •There also should be more of a time management, and a goodwill of the organization to keep the product in the market for a long time. 4-Planning:-
•Researches are important to know the customer’s needs and wants. •There must be a backup plane in case the sales and profits aren’t achieved. •They should also know why the product wasn’t bought the second time, and see what adjustments need to be make for customers benefits. Question (1) Answer:
It doesn’t seem that Martha and investors had done enough research into her market to know where the demand for her product would be there, and researches are important to know the customer’s needs and wants. She should have decided what customer’s wants and needs are. Do they want or need the safety and extra features that the Trap-Ease delivers? It seems that Martha and the investors were more focused on the product, than on customer’s needs and wants. Even though the product has a high quality, and is a well-designed, it’s still far from satisfying customers due to its high price. The information that I think they need, to evaluate this opportunity after identifying there SWOT analysis is the following:- 1-Doing market researches to know who buys mousetraps? And what kind of mouse trap products do they prefer? What are the prices of these products? How are these mousetraps sold to consumers? How do consumers deal with their mice and rat problems, to help providing more satisfying product to the customers?
By that they will be able to identify what the customer needs, and wants are. Therefore they can start building a good strategy like developing a new mouse trap product that has all the features that the customers want. 2-They can also do a market penetration, which is increasing sales of current products to current market segments without changing the product, like making adjustments to its product design, advertising, pricing and distribution. 3-They can also establish a strategic plan to know what kind of businesses the company will operate and its objectives for each, by planning marketing. By doing marketing planning, they will have a guideline philosophy that suggests the company strategy should revolve around building profitable relationships with important consumer reports. This will also provide inputs to strategic planners by helping to identify attractive market opportunities and assessing firm’s potential to take advantage of them. 4-After that they can start building a good marketing strategy which will help them identifying the total market, and then divides it into smaller segments, and then select the most promising segment, and then focuses on serving and satisfying the customers in these segments, rather than just choosing the women to be their target market instead of men.
With that trap ease America will be able to design an integrated marketing mix made up of factors like price, promotion, price, and place. 5-They should also know that to succeed in today’s competitive market place companies must be more of a customer oriented, and that they must win customers from other competitors, and then keep growing with them by delivering greater value. I think that the group should write the mission statement more focused, and concentrated on what the company is trying to accomplish in the long run environment, because a mission statement should be a marketing oriented and defined in terms of satisfying basic customer needs. Their mission statement is sound to be more focused on the product than customers, and I think in order to have a good and successful mission statement, it should be more concentrated on customers’ needs and wants, and more marketing oriented. Something, like ‘’ making a mouse trap, that consumers could use safely, easily, and with no risk of catching fingers while loading it’’. That is showing the advantages of the product, and in the same time how it benefits the customers. Question (2) Answer:-
Martha early research suggested that women were the best target market for the trap ease, because men were more willing to buy and use the traditional, spring loaded trap. Also these women often stayed at home, and took care of their children. Thus they wanted a means of dealing with the mouse problem that avoided the unpleasantness and risks that the standard trap created in the home, but there are a couple of things that Martha could have improved on. First off, she should have segmented women into a couple different groups. Now day’s women don’t stay at home and take care of kids, as the population of women that is decreasing fast and being replaced by independent professionals. In effect, by targeting women that stay at home, Martha is targeting a shrinking market.
She should have also targeted men, because mouse isn’t an expected animal to at home neither by women nor by men, and if the trap ease product is better than traditional mouse trap, why would it only target women ?. so I think that Martha She should have had a good marketing strategy which can help her identifying the total market, and then divides it into smaller segments, and then select the most promising segment, and then focuses on serving and satisfying the customers in these segments, rather than just choosing the women to be their target market instead of men. There are also other markets which Martha could target like, environmentalists, and families who have babies. The environmentalist market is also growing as people become more aware of global warming and other problems such as deforestation. Mouse traps and poison pose a very large risk to kids and toddlers and caring mothers and fathers would probably buy a product which would better protect their children from that. Question (3) Answer:
It seems that the Trap-Ease mouse trap has positioned itself in the market as being a very innovative and well-designed product. It has done that by beating out over 300 new products. If it is better able to connect these features of the mouse traps with the needs and wants of their target consumers then they should be able to generate a larger demand. Yes, I do think that trap-ease could position there product in other different ways, and that by either reducing the price of the product, or by having an incredibly good customer service team that could deliver services to their customers that were having problems using the product. Question (4) answer:
The marketing mix is a set of tactical marketing tools, product, price, place, and promotion, which the firm blends to produce the response it wants in target market. Trap ease America mouse trap marketing mix is: 1-Product: Currently Trap-Ease only has one product, their mouse trap. 2-Place: through retail stores.
3-Price: $ 5.99 for two packages, and $ 2.38 for one package. 4-Promotion: approximately $ 145,000 for trap ease promotion during the first year, and $ 100,000 of this amount for travel costs to visit trade shows and to make sales calls on retailers. Trap-ease America marketing mix does have some problems, as explained in the following: 1- Product: – They probably could create a couple different versions of their mouse trap in order to offer more variety, and help increasing sales and revenues. Having only one product in the srore isn’t good for a company reputation. 2- Price: – The higher price of their mouse trap seems to be consistent with a quality differentiation strategy. They should lower the cost of their product, because customers now days are more driven to the products that have low costs, and high quality, and a price of $ 5.99 for two traps and $ 2.38 for one trap is too much compared to the traditional trap, which will be a disadvantage for their product .
3- Place: Right now they are trying to distribute their product through retailer’s warehouses, and it has to be between 1:00 and 3:00 PM, or they will refuse the shipment, as it happened with Martha when the truck delivering arrived after 3:00 PM, and the retailer refused to accept the shipment. A really good market to hit would probably be the internet, because People on the internet are often times into quality, ease of use, and don’t mind spending a little more money to get what they want. They can also view a video tutorial of how to use the product, and how different it’s. They can also try selling the products in national grocery, hardware, drug chains, supermarkets, and online as well. 4- Promotion: – Spending a $ 145,000 on promotions is too much. They should promote over the internet for certain on sites that they think their target market will be visiting and they should also think about putting out ads on TV. In this changing high tech environment magazine ads aren’t enough. So that means that instead of using the $100,000 for travel costs to visit trade shows, and to make sales calls, they can reduce this whole amount and spend more on advertising, internet, and TV ads and that will lead to a high profit market because it reduces transportation costs. Question (5) Answer:
Trap-Ease America’s competition is the producers of the traditional mouse trap, because they sell the mouse trap at a cheaper price, which can effect on the demand of trap ease America. To be successful in the competitive market place, companies must be more of a customer oriented, and that they must win customers from other competitors, and then keep growing with them by delivering greater value. Question (6) answer:
The marketing strategy of trap-ease America is more product-oriented than customer-oriented. I will change that by making the strategy more marketing, and customer oriented, and I will do that by the following: 1-Do a market penetration, which is increasing sales of current products to current market segments without changing the product, like making adjustments to its product design, advertising, pricing and distribution. 2-Establishing a strategic plan to know what kind of businesses the company will operate and its objectives for each, by planning marketing. By doing marketing planning, they will have a guideline philosophy that suggests the company strategy should revolve around building profitable relationships with important consumer reports. This will also provide inputs to strategic planners by helping to identify attractive market opportunities and assessing firm’s potential to take advantage of them.
3-After establishing a strategic plan, I will start building a good marketing strategy which will help me, and the company identifying the total market, and then divides it into smaller segments, and then select the most promising segment, and then focuses on serving and satisfying the customers in these segments, rather than just choosing the women to be their target market instead of men. With that trap ease America will be able to design an integrated marketing mix made up of factors like price, promotion, price, and place. After doing that, I will try to have different market strategies like: 1-Marketing strategy: which is based on product differentiation and widening the target. 2-Product Strategy: introducing a new product like the spray that scare the mice, and make them afraid to enter the house, or try to improve the trap ease trap by adding more features to it like a plastic tube, that will prevent scared women from seeing mice, when they are trapped. 3-Distribution Strategy: in national grocery, hardware, drug chains, supermarkets, and online as well. Orders will be delivered strictly on time.