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For Colston's Paper Product Exports (CPP Exports) the need to employ an appropriate marketing strategy cannot be ignored. The company CPP Exports aims to export tissue paper made from post-consumer products from Vancouver, Canada, to Colombia, specifically targeting the residents of Bogota, the capital city of Colombia. Through an effective marketing strategy, CPP Exports will be able to concentrate most of its limited resources on available opportunities. Consequently, the firm will be able to increase a sales volume of tissue paper in Columbia, as well as to achieve a competitive advantage from such well-established firms as Productos Familia S.A among others selling similar products. Further, by using an appropriate marketing mix, the firm will be able to reach targeted customers, as well as to achieve organizational goals.

Pricing

Pricing is one of the main differentiating factors to be employed by the firm in an effort to attract and retain customers. Pricing can be defined as the process, in which a firm determines what to obtain in exchange for the product offered to customers. For CPP Exports, the set price should cover all costs and allow the firm to make a profit, though it should be as low as possible, in order to attract and retain customers. Bearing in mind that there are numerous well-positioned firms selling household goods, such as tissue papers, soaps among others in Bogota, penetration pricing strategy is most practical and obvious. By using this price strategy, the firm will charge low prices. This will enable the company to gain more than 30% market share by 2015. With over 30% of the population in Colombia living under $1.25 per day, it is clear that most potential customers are highly price-sensitive. Hence, this pricing strategy will be crucial to reach to the mass market, as well as to fend off stiff competition. With this in mind, CPP Exports will sell packages of toilet paper to retail a chain called "Exito" for $4 per pack, where each pack contains 12 rolls of toilet paper.

The price set by CPP Exports as compared to other firms selling tissue paper in Bogota, Colombia is illustrated in the table below (see Table 1).

Table 1. Price comparison

Company

Cost per pack (containing 12 rolls of toilet paper)

Cost per roll in $

Fabrica De Bolsas De Papel Unibol

$ 6.99

0.58

Productos Familia S.A

$ 5.98

0.49

Empresas CMPC's

$ 6.20

0.52

Stanic D.O.O.

$ 5.80

0.48

CPP Exports

$ 4.00

0.33

From the table one can see that CPP Exports will be able to attract mass markets and increase profitability in the long run.

Place

This is another crucial element that CPP Exports will carefully evaluate in order to ensure that toilet paper made from post-consumer products effectively reaches all intended customers. Most companies selling similar products in Colombia normally involve direct channels of distribution. CPP Exports will include an indirect channel of distribution in a selected retail chain known as Exito. By doing this, the firm will be able to reduce its operational costs by at least 25%. This is because CPP Exports will not be forced to set up retail outlets in order to sell its products. Further, the firm will be able to concentrate on production. This is a factor that will significantly raise its profitability as a result of specialization. For some brands, such as the Elite y Babysec, effective distribution, both direct and indirect, has drastically raised the market niche of associated companies and resulted in higher profitability. In the future, CPP Exports should team up with supermarkets and hypermarkets, as they are the most dominant channels of distribution for tissue paper companies operating in Colombia. Other distribution channels include beauty and health retailers, and others.

Promotion

Santaf’e De Bogota in Columbia is the largest city and metropolitan area. Nowadays it is home to more than 10 million people with 6.8 million living in the capital district and more than 7.8 million living in the metro area. The methods adopted for promotion will have to take this huge population density into consideration. Besides, data on the town show that it is fragmented into seven zones depending on their functionalities, wealth or economic status, as well as cultural values with approximately 32% of the population living in poverty (earning less than $ 2 per day) as of 2005. Promotional mechanisms will need to address available channels for the city’s diverse culture, as well as security zones.

Media

The area has several television stations, such as Canal Capital and CityTV, which can air brief advertisements of a new product and to develop together with CPP Exports representatives interactive shows featuring promotions of the product. Regional TV channels, such as Caracol TV and Canal Uno, may also be used to spearhead a national awareness campaign concerning the product.

Road Shows and Chain Store Offers

The retailing agents (Exito) jointly with representatives of CPP will also hold road shows in the uptown areas of Bogota, including Zona 2 (Noroccidente), which  has been currently expanded in the town, and where there are largest numbers of new and opening departmental stores. This is in order to take advantage of less competition and have a level playing field with established companies elsewhere offering similar products. Other zones targeted by awareness campaigns include Zone 1 (Norte), Zone 6 and Zone 7, which are mainly residential and small scale business centers. These areas are also very populous, and marketing strategies targeting them might be very effective. Chain stores operating in the targeted areas will run offers tied to bulk buying for this product. The exact package will be deliberated upon by the joint representatives.

Transportation

As the city is well-served by buses, busetas, microbuses and transmilenios, it will be an excellent strategy, upon consent and arrangement with the involved transport companies to attach banners on bus sides with information and promotion of new toilet paper, whereby customers will be alerted to the available points of purchase. A sales and promotion centre will be set up in Bogota, and collection points established in each of the seven zones, with additional points set up if needed, will enable easy deliveries, as well as the collection of sales reports and clients’ feedbacks. These reports will be sent daily to the coordinating sales centre. A website will be included, where customers may also send their feedbacks regarding the product.

People

As indicated, Bogota is home to more than seven million people, all of which are potential customers of the product. With timely marketing and product quality guarantee, this population can provide a reliable client base. Its commercial GDP grew by more than 10% annually between 2003 and 2006 and constituted more than 25% of national GDP growth. 78% of the 240,000 industries in Bogota are service-based, meaning that there is a large population of workers and low competition for goods. More than 4 % of people in Bogota are displaced, living in Kennedy, Ciudad Bolivar, Bosa and Usme areas. These are potential high sales areas. Because of its relatively high population density in various sections, Bogota experiences a high demand for sanitation and toiletry products and facilities, providing a potentially large market base for the toilet paper product. The relatively low pricing of the product will give it a competitive edge with regard to the city’s large number of potential consumers living in poverty. Since the population of the city mostly relies on the service industry, there is a regular income of varying amount all the year round for most residents. This translates to a steady disposable income, which may be used to purchase the product. Again, given a sensitive nature of the product, its demand is expected to rise with time because of market penetration and population growth.            

These services will be aimed at customer retention and brand recognition. Some fundamental and traditionally adopted aspects of after-sale services will include proper packaging of the toilet paper product with attractive bright color and varying number of pieces. Other than this, damaged items not used within the period of two weeks will be replaced, if it can be reasonably established that the damage has been caused by our customer distributors or in the course of transportation, and it is not the client’s fault. Such damage will include wetted products, badly pressed toilet paper rolls or bad quality rolls. Proper customer support will be provided through direct points of hosted at distribution centers, where retailers and wholesalers may air their feedbacks regarding the quality, price, and availability of the product. A dedicated website will also be launched, where clients may leave their suggestions and feedbacks regarding the toilet paper product.

Another method to be used will involve free delivery services for distributors or wholesalers purchasing in bulk. This offer may be available to people purchasing directly from Exito dealers, as well as individual retailers buying from any bulk sales outlet, such as departmental stores, supermarkets, and third party chain stores. An economically viable threshold will be set by sales analysts from both the CPP Exports team and the Exito personnel. This offer may be valid only for a given destination within Bogota or outside the metropolitan area in special circumstances.

 

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