• Marketing Strategy for Maturity Stage

    The main characteristics of the maturity stage which help to define the appropriate marketing strategies are

    • At some point of time, growth rate slows down and the product enters the maturity stage.
    • The stage is likely to stay longer than the previous stages
    • Most of the products stay in the maturity phases for a very long period and the most of the marketing management deals with mature products

    Maturity stage is made up of three stages

    Growth maturity

    • Sales growth start declining due to availability of better products in the market
    • Laggard buyers enter market because of low price
    • No new channels are left to fill as the distribution network reaches its saturation

    Stable Maturity

    • Sales stagnates due to market saturation
    • Future sales governed by population increases and replaced demand

    Decaying Maturity

    • Absolute sales volume decrease
    • Customers start switching to substitutes/other products which are available in the market
    • After this stage, the life cycle enters into the decline stage

    Affect during maturity phase

    • Slowdown in sales growth creates over capacity which leads to intensified competition
    • Competitors try to find new segments or niche areas to boost growth
    • Prices may decrease significantly due to lower sales volume and increased production capacity
    • Advertising increases and sales promotion increases
    • R&D expenses increases to discover new features, products improvements and line extensions
    • Shake out may occur due to intense competition. Weak competitors may withdraw.

    Companies have to decide whether to be a dominant or a niche player to sustain during this product life cycle phase. Marketing strategies in maturity phase could be Market modification, Product Modification and Marketing mix modification

    Market Modification

    • Sales volume can be increased by influencing constituent variants or by modifying the market itself
    • Number of brand users can be expanded by
      • Converting non users which are yet to use the brand or product
      • Entering new market segments or geographies to expand the market
      • Try to get competitor’s customer base by attracting them to own products
    • To increase usage rate, the strategies would be
      • Try to get customer to use a product more frequently – Juices can be taken anytime, except breakfast.
      • More usage per occasion – large diameter of tube opening for tooth paste adopted successfully by Colgate.
      • Companies tries to discover new product uses and tries to convince customers to use a product in different ways.

    Product Modification

    Sales can be increased during the maturity stage by modifying the product. Product modification can be done in three main ways

    • Improvement in quality
    • Improvement in features
    • Improvement in style and looks

    Quality improvement tries to increase the final performance of a particular product in terms of

    • Durability
    • Reliability

    Feature improvement aims at improving

    • Usability
    • Versatility
    • Safety

    Marketing Mix Modification

    Sales can be increase by stimulating other marketing mix components. These are

    • Product
      • Specified in the product modification segment which aims to modify the existing product to attract more customers
    • Place
      • Specified in the market modification segment which aims at increasing the market segments and geographies
    • Price
      • Price decrease to increase sales by attracting price sensitive customers
      • Price increase to indicate superior quality and services which can be used successfully for some products
    • Distribution
      • Companies can try to obtain more product support and display in existing outlets.
      • Number of outlets may be increased
      • New Distribution channel may be used
    • Advertising
      • Advertising expenses may increase
      • Advertising message or appeal may change
    • Sales Promotions
      • Sales promotion can be used to enter into new market segments or lift sales volume temporarily.
    • Personal Selling
      • Number/quality of sales force may change
      • Sales territories/sales force management may change
    • Services
      • Companies may change a product’s services in terms of  Delivery, Technology assistance to customers and Maintenance and Support to boost sales volume

    This is the most important marketing strategy as most of the products stay in the maturity phase for longer time and most of the marketing management is done for this stage.

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