Global Group – The end

Hello everybody!

Now that the course has ended, we would like to share some personal comments regarding the Experior Project we’ve been working on as a group during the last few months.

From the beginning, the project gave us a lot of motivation, because for the first time we were asked to show in a practical way what we had learned during the course, acting like real consultants who were asked to give marketing and communication advices directly to the companies.

It wasn’t easy to immediately identify the problems that the company was facing: we had to attend classes to gain the right tools for marketing and communication, we had to contact the CEO of the company we were working on in order to gain a deeper understanding of the situation, and we also had to frequently meet together to exchange views and ideas.

Working on the project wasn’t easy, especially because most of us had a background in Linguistics and very little experience with marketing, but using our skills, our abilities and the knowledge we had acquired in class, we managed to come up with a final presentation we were proud of.

In conclusion, in spite of all the difficulties we went through, we’re happy we have been part of such an interesting project. It was an educational and challenging experience we would like to recommend to all the future students.

It’s been a pleasure,
Global Group

Receiver’s Response

The purpose of this article is to analyze the Receiver’s response that is to say the stages of the receiver’s reaction toward the promotional activity by the sender, in this case, by Active Languages. To describe the stages a consumer pass through in moving towards a specific behavior, we can use different models. Each model can be reduced to three broad stages: Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral. The first stage, Cognitive stage, is the stage related to awareness or learning. In this step, the consumer becomes aware of the brand and its services. The second stage is Affective and is related to feeling, interest or desire. The consumer becomes interested by learning about brand benefits and how the brand fits with lifestyle. He develops a favorable disposition toward the brand. At the end, there is the Behavioral stage which is related to Action and during which the consumer forms a purchase intention, shops around, engages in trial or makes a purchase.
In the case of Active Languages, since they especially use Personal Selling to promote their services, we used AIDA model to explain the Receiver’s response. As the AIDA model suggests, a promotion to be effective has to attract Attention, secure Interest, build Desire for the product and obtain Action. The effectiveness of promotion depends upon to what extent the advertising message is received and accepted by the target audience.
The first moment of AIDA model is Attention and belongs to Cognitive moment.This is a crucial phase because only if the consumer is aware of the existence of the service he will consider purchasing it. Senders can grab consumers’ attention through different channels and in the particular case of Active Languages, they use personal selling that is to say mails, calls and meetings but also brochures and leaflets to show their offers.

The second stage is the “interest” stage. Once the consumer is aware of the service, the next challenge for the sender is to establish the need of their product in their mind and get them interested enough to desire to purchase it. This is a crucial phase, since awareness of a product does not always mean interest in the product. The one key way Active Languages generates interest in its services is contacting personally the potential clients, meeting with them to describe them its high quality services, its advantages and benefits.

The next stage is the “desire” stage. At this point the consumer has hopefully developed a favorable disposition towards the company, and their interest for the service offered has become a need. In the particular case of Active Languages, after the company has met the potential costumers to describe its offering, most of them express their desire for their specific services. Therefore, we may say that this first meeting is successful in establishing a desire for the services in the mind of the consumer.

Once the sender has attracted consumers’ attention and built their desire, consumers will form a purchase intention, shop around, engage in trial or make a purchase.

In the case of Active Languages, companies usually call them back to fix an appointment and later sign a short or a long term contract. In general, 80% of the companies Active Languages work with become loyal customers.

Referring to the learning model we used, we used the Foote, Cone and Belding model, which is based on a chart dividing 4 types of learning processes. These four types of learning processes are characterized by two dimensions: apprehension and implication. Regarding the implication, a customer can have a high involvement or a low involvement in the obtaining of the service offered. In the case of Active Language, we can identify that both groups of customers, privates and companies, have a high involvement in obtaining this specific service. In the other hand, the apprehension refers to the mode the customers perceive the reality, which can be an intellectual apprehension or an emotional apprehension. This is the dimension where we can distinguish both groups of customers.

This system of learning processes is also characterized by three phases of the customers’ attitude: cognition (referring to the learning part), affectivity (referring to the feeling part) and behavior (referring to the action part).

If we talk about the potential customers as companies, we can award them to the first group: with high involvement and an intellectual apprehension; this means that the companies are “thinkers” and in a learning category. The important thing is to be economic, first learn about the service offered and then, once the customer has enough information, purchase it. It’s not a spontaneous action, but a wisely though one. The companies see this service more as a need than a “want”. The process would start with the learning phase, after the feeling phase and at the end, the action phase.

Regarding the privates we still talk about high involvement but in this case led by emotions. So now we refer to our consumer as “the feeler” since what leads them to buy a particular product or in the case of Active Languages, a service is if this one makes them feel good or not. The sequence defining the purchase process followed by the privates is “Feel, Do, Learn”, according to which first the consumer “feels” so has some sensations about the service; then they “do”, so they use the service, they begin to be confident with it; finally they “learn”, so they understand if this service really makes them feel good, if it is actually suitable to what they are looking for. Thus, this process is more spontaneous compared to the one the companies go through as they are guided by material needs and not by emotions.
Speaking of the advertising strategy for this category tends to focus on visual and emotional appeals. Above all, that means highly interactive websites and brochures.​

After our analysis, we have come up with some suggestions to be adopted in the advertising campaign. So having realized that Active Languages have two categories of consumers very different between each other, the company should develop two different kind of advertising strategies: one focused on the business needs required by the companies, for example by using more professional brochures and providing detailed information for each particular service and one aiming at raising emotions in consumers such as the privates that could be children, parents, students, ect., by using catchy, funny and colourful brochures in order to impact positively on their feelings.
Moreover, the website should also be more differentiated and concise in describing the services offered as the social media should be more consistent with the company’s activities and more focused on promoting them.

Have a look at our PPT about the Receiver’s Response Analysis: Receiver’s Response

 

Global Group – Analysis of Promotional Program Situation of “Active Languages” – External Situation

This article is about the Analysis of Promotional Program situation of Active Languages with focus on External Analysis. To begin, we want to point out that information and data we used, were collected during a phone call with Ms Thea. In the first part, we studied the consumer behavior, then, we proceeded talking about market segmentation and market targeting and we concluded dealing with Active Languages’s positioning in the market.

In Consumer Behavior part, we explained how and why a consumer chooses Active Languages or not. Actives Languages has two main categories of consumers: Companies and Privates. Companies are companies with subsidiaries abroad (Expatriates companies) or Import-Export companies. Privates are ambitious people, students, retired people.
The first stage to comprehend the behavior of our consumer is to understand its needs. We made a classification of Companies’ needs and Privates’ needs. On one hand, Companies’ needs are language courses, for example executive courses, especially for expatriates companies’ employees, translation and interpreting services, for import-export companies and at the end, the Internationalization service. In this case Active Languages proposes itself to help companies which want to start their business abroad.
On the other hand, we defined Privates’ needs. A private leans on Active Languages to achieve linguistic certifications and for Linguistic after school homework help.

As there are factor influencing consumers in their buying decision process such as personal, cultural, psychological and social factors: if we specifically analyze Active Languages case, many Companies (as a consequence of those factors) address to Active Languages in order to acquire a good knowledge of the languages to communicate with their subsidiaries abroad. Furthermore, turning to a company like Active Languages offering high level services, means also acquiring a professional image and a competitive advantage compared to the other firms operating in the same area.

While Privates refer to Active Languages to attend courses as an hobby as many retired people do in their free time or to communicate with their family members as in the case of mixed families. Besides, Privates address to Active Languages to keep pace with nowadays society, since the use of foreign languages is becoming more and more common in everyday communication, but also for those people interested in starting a study of work experience abroad, who may need at least a basic knowledge of the languages they’re going to use once abroad.

Speaking of the consumer’s decision process, first we have to consider their research of information about the services they are interested in. In the particular case of Active Languages, there are different kinds of channels through which the consumer can get information about the services offered by the company. In fact, since  Active Languages uses “Personal Selling” as the main tool to communicate its services and activities to consumers, this is in turn an important channel for the consumer to get information. Then there is the “WOM” (“Word Of Mouth”), which can occur between clients that have already had a good experience with Active Languages and other potential clients that receive positive feedbacks from the former. Anyway, what happens most of the time is that the employees of the companies working with Active Languages talk with their family members, relatives and friends about Active Languages’ services and if these people are interested in linguistic services they get in touch with the company as privates. Of course, Internet is also a relevant channel in the research of information process, indeed by looking at Active Languages website or its Facebook page, but also by receiving its Newsletter, the consumer can obtain info about the company performance. There is to say though that the website would necessitate some adjustments as there are too long descriptions for each section, creepy images ect. Also the Facebook is not so consistent with the services the company provides although it is constantly updated.
The consumer can get a sum up of the services provided also by looking at the brochures or the leaflets that the company distributes around the cities, in the companies where they work or in the schools.

After having accomplished the research of information about a company’s services the consumer arrives to the final phase, namely when they decide which service to purchase. Yet, before getting to this final decision, first they have to make a comparison, in this case between Active Languages’ and its competitors’ offers, quality brand image and price, so as to have the possibility to choose the most suitable alternative to their necessities. Thus, since the majority of the competitors are franchisee, what the consumer will have in front of them after having made this comparison will be: on one hand what Active Languages offers, so high-quality services, high quality teaching materials, professional teachers and cultural insights, considering how important it is in its activities; while on the other hand, what the competitors offer, namely cheaper prices, a stronger brand image, stronger feedbacks and the possibility to take online classes.

Afterwards, we proceeded to segmet the market.
Veneto is the eighth largest and fifth most populated region in Italy. It has about 4.9 million inhabitants.
Vicenza, the city where Active Languages is based, is the third-largest Italian industrial centre as measured by the value of its exports, and is one of the country’s wealthiest cities. In spite of the economic crisis, export rates have been increasing  staedily in the past few years.

As for the demographic segmentation, people turning to language schools are usually teenagers, collegiates, but also adults or seniors, so the age range of the customer base is pretty wide. They’re usually high scool or university graduates. They’re ambitious, achievers, strivers and most of them want to learn a new language to be more competitive in the academic or business environment. Therefore they look for high quality services at low prices, if possible.
As the owner of Active Languages herself told us, most private customers (teenagers, retired people, etc.) turn to the company to take just one language course and that’s it, no more than one usually. Whereas companies are more likely to establish long-term business relationship with the language school.

Then we proceeded to analyze the different targets of the market. We identified 2 main sectors: companies – comprising expatriates who need to learn the language to work for their company’s subsidiaries abroad, and companies involved in import and export transactions –  and privates.
Active Languages – just like most of its competitors – offers a number of services ranging  from  language courses, to translation, interpreting, assistance in the internationalization process, certifications and after-school homework help.

Ultimately, we determined that the target that our company may want to select is the one comprising companies, for a number of reasons: because the compan is company is based in Veneto – that, as we know,  is one of the most industrialized Italian regions; because the companies’ market size is bigger – according to the Italian national statistical institute (ISTAT) the region had 437,130 active enterprises in 2015; and also because ofmarket’s steady growth, the lower cost of reaching the segment and the compatibility with the oranization’s obectives and services offered.

As for the positioning, in spite of its 10 years of experience, our company is not well know yet. However, its perception in the minds of its existing customers is the one of a company offering high quality services at high prices. Opposed to the perception of its competitors, who offer lower quality services at lower prices.

See our PPT here: Global Group Analysis of Promotional Program Situation