An effective marketing campaign is the foundation of NOGGIN’s success
An effective marketing campaign is the foundation of NOGGIN’s success. NOGGIN is the first 24-hour, commercial-free, educational television channel dedicated to children between the ages of two and twelve. During the daytime, NOGGIN focuses on encouraging learning with a “connected learning” approach for preschoolers. The focus is on creating a place where learning is fun and kid-driven. “At NOGGIN we believe that media should be more than just safe and amusing. Like preschool itself, media can offer varied, purposeful experiences and can foster the feelings of accomplishment that encourage new learning. By bringing serious preschooler subjects and familiar activities into the context of engaging stories and characters, NOGGIN helps young children find learning in everything they do.” (www.noggin.com).
II. Review of the Marketing Plan
The children market is the next market growth opportunity. It is a $166 billion dollar market and is expected to top $230 billion by 2004. (www.marketresearch.com ) NOGGIN took the opportunity to enter the children’s market, and expanded on it. They recognized the need for educational programming, along with the trend towards digital technology and positioned itself at the beginning of a new era.
NOGGIN’s strengths focus on the fact that they are associated with the positive brand, Nickelodeon, which has been the number one network and industry leader for kids programming. This gives NOGGIN great opportunities to create a favorable image and strengthen consumer attachment. NOGGIN has set itself apart from competitors, including Nickelodeon due to its commercial-free, interactive nature. NOGGIN has also taken advantage of being at the forefront of the digital cable movement which offers great opportunities due to changes in the environment. Although the rise in digital cable is an opportunity, it is also a weakness. Even though the number of subscribers to digital cable is increasing, it may take longer than expected for digital cable to reach its full potential. How quickly the channel gains subscribers will be reflective of how fast the digital conversion takes place. Some threats that NOGGIN faces are competing against the already established channels which have a large market share. PBS kids, Disney and NOGGIN’s mother branch, Nickelodeon, currently hold on to a large share of the children’s television market.
The main objective necessary for the success of this new service is to increase sales (subscriptions) by 15% in our target market within a year. NOGGIN is currently too new of a service and does not have a share of the market. NOGGIN’s programming is designed for the current youth market that is ethnically and racially diverse. Promotions will be geared towards this segment of the marketplace as well as current parents, parents to be and teachers. Their promotional efforts will be focused on creating brand awareness along with cross-promotional efforts towards the benefits of digital cable. NOGGIN currently has 30.6 million subscribers, an increase of 8 million from 2002, which is why the current marketing objective is realistic and attainable. The cost of subscribing to Digital is Twelve dollars and ninty-five cents a month if you already have basic cable, if not you must purchase basic cable which cost thirteen dollars a month. NOGGIN is sold through this digital service along with many other channels in major cable systems across the country.
Since this is a new service, advertising and promotional activities are crucial to NOGGIN’s future. If NOGGIN does not create a strong and influential campaign while this service is still developing, its future will be nonexistent. The most important time to run advertising campaigns and promotions is when a product or service is being launched. The goal at this present time is to focus advertisements towards the target audience in the most efficient and effective manner while trying to get the attention of new consumers as well. In order to properly control and monitor NOGGIN’s marketing strategy, they will constantly keep their databases updated to inform them of any changes taking place within their target market segment as well as making any changes necessary in the overall marketing strategy.
III. Promotional Objectives
NOGGIN’s current promotions are not bold enough to compete in this very competitive, cluttered environment. NOGGIN’s current promotions include co-branding with McDonalds, Kelloggs, and Legos. We have created a new promotional plan which focuses around the unique aspect of being a commercial-free, educational children’s network. NOGGIN will need a promotional plan in order to have a framework for developing, implementing and controlling their IMC programs and activities. It is our goal that the promotional objectives will create awareness, brand recognition and achieve our overall marketing plan. NOGGIN will run extensive promotions that focus on NOGGIN’s educational benefits for children from a “connected learning” standpoint.
1. Media Plan
In this very competitive market, shows need that special something to set it apart from all the rest- that uniqueness and novelty will capture the attention of the consumer. NOGGIN’s goals are to connect with its audience in as many aspects of their daily lives as possible, whether it’s through TV, magazines or the Internet. In order to be effective in reaching their target audience, NOGGIN must try and provide continuous messages at almost all levels of advertising with a strong enough influence to generate the necessary impact.
The media plan has been carefully constructed so that it will reach all of the vital target audience constituencies with the desired level of emphasis. Our primary target audience for our media plan is parents and parents to be. Although NOGGIN is for children, at this age the children have no control over what is purchased. The secondary target market for this service is children between the ages of two and twelve. Since this product is for all races and ethnic backgrounds, advertising exposure levels will be delivered proportionately with their representation within the population. The media plan has been designed as a national campaign due to the fact that the need for educational programming, as well as digital technology, exists nationwide.
NOGGIN has an average sized budget for advertising and promotions because of the connection it holds with Nickelodeon. Due to the rising cost of media, NOGGIN has chosen to focus primarily on advertisement through these mediums (television, magazines, internet), in order to avoid waste coverage. As previously mentioned, in order for the campaign to be successful, the messages need to be delivered at an exposure level that will provide the necessary impact. Our goal to is create awareness in the target market through the use of the television, magazines and the Internet by 40% over a six-month period. This is a very aggressive communication goal, but can be achieved because there is great potential in the children’s educational programming market. Digital cable is also on the rise; its growing rate is about 5 million subscribers a year.
The media plan incorporates a wide variety of media vehicles, which will reach all of the various target audience segments throughout their day.
Television will receive a significant portion of the media budget (30%) and will be used to effectively reach all of the targeted segments. National vehicles such as youth/family oriented stations (ABC, TGIF lineup) early morning (Regis and Kelly, Good Morning America) daytime (General Hospital, etc.) cable (Nickelodeon, Family Channel) and kid networks will reach all of the target groups. The majority of these advertisements are during the daytime, and early fringe daypart, which has the potential to trigger dinner conversations about NOGGIN.
There are great opportunities for communicating information about NOGGIN, within print vehicles. Magazines will be used primarily to reach parents, parents to be and teachers. The magazine that will be used include People Weekly, Parenting, Scholastic Parent and Child, Working Mother and Nickelodeon. In order to target the kids segment, NOGGIN will focus on reaching them within school, with a focus on Weekly Reader/Scholastic Magazines. The main purpose of NOGGIN is to provide additional education outside of school and teach children to incorporate knowledge into all aspects of their lives. Due to this, NOGGIN’s advertisements will be centered on the theme of providing an educational service in a fun and creative way.
On-line advertising is also a critical element of the media plan. NOGGIN’s promotional efforts will aim to get children moving back and forth between the two media’s (internet and television). NOGGIN is an interactive website and encourages getting involved with learning on the Internet. NOGGIN’s website is designed for information, communication and activities for kids and their parents. Kids or parents could click on pop up advertisements on other appropriate children’s websites as well and to be taken to NOGGIN’s website.(see appendix for listing of websites) On NOGGIN’s website parents and kids would be able to try out first hand games such as Doodle Pad and the Clever Turtle.
2. Creative Strategy and Tactics (fix)
NOGGIN’s advertising objectives will focus on attracting consumers attention, creating brand recognition and increasing sales. NOGGIN’s advertisements will try and capture consumers by focusing on NOGGIN’s unique features of being a non-commercial, 24-hour network for children’s educational programming. Advertisements will show examples of the types of educational material NOGGIN teaches children. For example, one show on NOGGIN is called Obbi. Oobi is a bare-hand puppet that focuses on the stage in a young child’s life when everything in his or her world is new and incredible. (See Appendix One) The show focuses on children’s first awkward attempts at mastery and meaning. Through watching Oobi preschoolers can build vocabulary, concepts and skills from mathematics, early literacy and logical thinking as they play. The advertisements should show clips from the shows so that parents and children can understand what the show is about.
NOGGIN could also use testimonials of parents talking about what NOGGIN has taught their preschoolers. Using a testimonial approach in the advertisements will be effective because parents will be able to relate to other parents personal experiences with the television program. Parents will believe that other parents have source credibility and will trust the information that is being provided.
In addition, NOGGIN’s creative strategy will focus on advertisement’s on the web. NOGGIN’s website is one big advertisement, it reflect the image of the entire company. Banners will be used to create recognition, as well as pop-ups and pop-unders.
3. Pre-Testing and Post-Testing NOGGIN Advertisements
There are a variety of ways that NOGGIN advertisements can be pre-tested and post-tested. For example, theater testing will be an effective way of pre-testing the NOGGIN television advertisements. We will invite a sample of children and parents to come to a movie theater to watch a children’s television program but will have different NOGGIN advertisements during the commercial breaks. Before they watch the program we will collect demographic data and after they have watched the show we will ask them a series of questions. (See Appendix 2)
One example of a way we will post-test our print advertisements is through the recognition method. Through recognition testing we will be able to determine the impact of a NOGGIN advertisement appearing in a single issue of a magazine. We will gather a sample of parents and children from a variety of geographic areas. We will give each subject a magazine that contains a NOGGIN advertisement. After our sample has looked through the magazine we will conduct personal interviews with each person. The questions we ask will determine how effective each advertisement is and how our advertisements compare to our competitors’ advertisements. If our sample is able to recall details about the NOGGIN advertisement, we will know our advertisements were effective. Therefore, we will mainly run theater test and recognitions tests but will be open to running other types of post and pre tests such as readability tests, on-air tests and recall tests. It is important to conduct effective testing because if our advertisements are not being recalled by our audiences we will have to alter our advertisements.
4. Proposed Promotional Plan
The sales promotion is an important acceleration tool used to target a variety of groups. Sales promotions include direct inducements that provide incentives for customers, sales people, or distributors in order to create an immediate sale of the product. Noggin will use consumer sales promotions by offering consumers special incentives to encourage trial of the product. Noggin will distribute coupons via the Internet and with offers sent through the mail that will provide discounts for Noggin. Another incentive created through sales promotion will include premium offers, offers that provide digital cable in order to receive Noggin at a discounted, or premium, price to entice customers to order the service. With a lower initial price for the service of Noggin, customers will be more likely to respond.
Trade sales promotions will also be used by creating incentive programs to stimulate greater selling effort and support from reseller management and sales personnel at locations of digital cable sales. Trade allowances will be used to create discounts or deals offered to the retailers to encourage them to promote the product.
Direct marketing efforts will be used to advertise for Noggin to communicate directly with the target customers in order to generate a response. Noggin will create a database of target customers using lists of subscribers to children’s and parenting magazines, and lists obtained of the names of households containing children in major areas. Direct mailing efforts will include mailing postcards and brochures to the target customers to inform them of the benefits and importance of Noggin and providing them with general information about the product in order to arouse interest.
Print advertisements will be used and placed in children’s magazines and parenting magazines with call in coupon order forms so they can call to order Noggin immediately. The children’s magazines will include Nickelodeon Magazine, and Weekly Reader Scholastic Magazine. The parenting magazines used will include Parenting, Parents, Working Mother, and Entertainment Weekly. There are also several different media opportunties because NOGGIN is owned by Viacom, which gives NOGGIN the opportunity for cross-media advertising owned by the media conglomerate.
The Internet will be used to provide information about the product, archive press releases and to link other articles and sites to their web site. This information will be displayed on the companies’ web site in order to keep customers and interested parties informed. The links will take customers to informative web sites regarding the importance of educational television programs without commercial disruption. Advertisements will also be placed on the Internet on Babloo.com , Highlightkid.com, abc.com and the Nickelodeon web site, as well as on cable and digital cable web sites. Advertisements will be placed as banner ads and pop-up ads on the Internet to provide information to potential customers. There will be links placed on the web site for digital cable and Noggin to take them to informative web sites regarding the effect of educational television on children and the harm of inappropriate commercials and advertising on children.
Broadcast media will also be used with TV and radio to advertise the product. Toll free numbers will be included so that the receiver can immediately call to order. Advertisements would be placed on cable channels showing children’s shows for young audiences, as well as on channels that tend to draw in parents with households with younger children. These channels will include Nickelodeon, CBS and ABC.
Public relations is used to determine and evaluate public attitudes toward a service, to identify policies and procedures of organization with a public interest, and develop and execute a communications program designed to bring about public understanding and acceptance. Public relations tools Noggin will use to advertise will include press releases and the Internet. Press releases will be released to entertainment magazines.
Expressing the effects of positive educational television without the interruption of inappropriate and insignificant advertisements on children will increase the desire to order Noggin for children. Publicity will be an important part of this process. Noggin will use Video News Release (VNR), a publicity piece produced by publicists so that stations can air it as a news story. The story and information about Noggin will be produced by the subject organization, but it will generally not be mentioned that this is the case. This publicity is important for credible, word-of-mouth information regarding the service.