The ready-baked cookie line of the Canadian Pillsbury has performed less than what the company has expected. The company's marketing manager must come up with a strategic decision to will pull the segment up. He needs to look at customers' insights through research studies focusing on the market to identify consumers' preferences.
Allison Johnson and Natalie Mauro
Harvard Business Review (W11020-PDF-ENG)
January 26, 2011
Case questions answered:
- Refer to Exhibit 4 of the case (Kisses Television Ad). What type of targeting strategy do you infer from the Advertisement copy? Why?
- What are the inferences that you draw from the Usage and Attitude study findings (in Exhibit 6)? Also, calculate the following:
a. What percentage of the sample (in Canada) bake cookies using refrigerated cookie products?
b. What percentage of the sample (in the USA) bake cookies using refrigerated cookie products?
c. What percentage of the sample (in Canada) bake cookies using only non-refrigerated methods (scratch and/or baking-mix products)?
d. What percentage of the sample (in the USA) bake cookies using only non-refrigerated methods (scratch and/or baking-mix products)?
- How can Pillsbury get new sales for the Refrigerated Cookie segment in Canada? Which of the three revenue growth strategies (market penetration, product development, or market development) makes the most sense? Why?
- If Pillsbury goes for market development, which segments of users (i.e., scratch-users, baking-mix users, or non-bakers) should it target? Why?
- What are the key learnings from the Usage and Attitude study regarding the purchase driver differences (between the US and Canada) (Exhibit 7)?
- What are the key learnings from the Usage and Attitude study regarding the perceptions of different types of users in Canada (Exhibit 8)?
- If you were to pick two attributes for creating a positioning map based on the data in Exhibit 7, which attributes would you pick? [Note: Many of the purchase drivers are similar. Feel free to combine multiple purchase drivers (that are similar) into common attributes].
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Pillsbury Cookie Challenge Case Answers
1. Refer to Exhibit 4 of the case (Kisses Television Ad). What type of targeting strategy do you infer from the Advertisement copy? Why?
Undifferentiated Marketing or Mass Marketing of Pillsbury
Pillsbury’s “Kisses” TVC strived to create an emotional appeal to the consumers by showing a lovable Pillsbury Doughboy who blew kisses to the audience. At the same time, the narrator emphasized the ‘warm, moist and delicious taste’ of the chocolate chip cookies.
Broad Target Customer
The brand message delivered in the TVC was mostly product-oriented and tried to deliver the message to a broader audience by using a cartoon character that had no particular racial or ethnic characteristics and no distinct trait that can be characterized by a specific customer segment.
The mass-marketing strategy focuses on what is expected in the needs of consumers rather than on what is different. A similar marketing strategy can be found in the Kisses TVC, where the common interest in enjoying delicious chocolate chip cookies is broadcast without focusing on particular consumer segments.
Reasoning Behind Pillsbury’s Mass Marketing Strategy
Pillsbury took mass marketing as their target marketing strategy because they believed their target consumer groups belonged to homogeneous demographics and were largely undifferentiated.
Also, the ad underwent creative testing to measure its effectiveness in Canada and was evaluated on three key measures: brand recognition, relevance, and likely-to-buy. The ad surpassed management’s expectation of likely-to-buy on the test run, which prompted Pillsbury to promote the TVC to a mass audience.
2. What are the inferences that you draw from the Usage and Attitude study findings (in Exhibit 6)?
Inferences Drawn from Usage and Attitude Study
The key findings are summarized in the following table:
Among US cookie consumers, the majority of the users prefer refrigerated cookies, whereas Canadian cookie consumers prefer to bake the cookie from scratch.
Least Preferred Method
Although the least preferred cookie usage method in both markets is baking cookies using the baking mix, the US market has…
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