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U2 Marketing Mix

Essay by   •  December 15, 2011  •  Case Study  •  1,146 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,559 Views

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The U2 Marketing Mix

Since their formation in Dublin, Ireland in 1978, U2 continues to be one of the top groups in the music industry. "U2 360o became the highest-grossing concert Tour ever in April 2011, when it grossed more than $700 million in ticket sales" ("U2's 360o Tour 2011 in Pictures," 2011). The band achieves this status in part through a successful marketing plan.

The marketing plan is the roadmap that guides and organizes U2's marketing operations on both the strategic and tactical levels. The band's target market and optimal marketing opportunities are determined at the strategic level. Specifics of the marketing mix:product, place, promotion, and price, make up the tactical part of the marketing plan (Kotler & Keller, 2012).

This article describes each part of the marketing mix and explains how they are implemented into the development of U2's marketing strategy.

Elements of Marketing

Product

"The Product area is concerned with developing the right 'product' for the target market" (Perreault, Jr., Cannon, & McCarthy, 2011, p. 36). U2's product mix consists of live performances, recorded music, and band merchandise such as clothing, books, posters, and other tour memorabilia. Features, quality level, and branding are factors that U2 take into consideration when designing products that will satisfy their target market.

U2 is one of the most inventive groups in the world concerning introducing their latest music to fans. No Line on the Horizon, the band's most recent CD, was available in its entirety to fans via the U2's official MySpace page. The band also performed songs from this new CD live on The Late Show with David Letterman for five consecutive nights in March 2009. (Kreps, 2009).

U2 also implemented a new product strategy for their recorded music in 2004 when they partnered with Apple® to create the "iPod® U2 Special Edition" (Apple.com, 2004, p. 1). Product features include "custom engraving of U2 band member signatures" on the device and the ability to download the entire U2 music catalog including unreleased tracks. Customers also receive a poster of the group and a $50 coupon to use toward the purchase of The Complete U2 digital box set from the iTunes Music Store (Apple.com, 2004).

The product mix for U2 apparel includes t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets featuring artwork from the band's tours and CD covers. Another benefit of the clothing line is that fans can have the same shirts and jackets worn by the band and the production crew (U2.com, 2011).

Place

Place refers to ensuring that the products in the marketing mix are available wherever the target market is located. Two key decisions that must be implemented in placement of U2's live performances are locations for the performances and transportation logistics.

This is accomplished through channels of distribution. A channel of distribution is any series of firms (or individuals) that participate in the flow of products from producer to final user or consumer (Perreault, Jr., Cannon, & McCarthy, 2011). Live Nation is the firm that determines which cities will be on the band's itinerary in addition to managing production of the shows. Live Nation also handles the pre-sales of concert tickets through U2's website ("U2 Signs 12-Year Deal With Live Nation," 2011). Ticketmaster USA is the channel of distribution for other ticket sales in the United States.

U2's massive staging requires a company specialized in handling sensitive sound, lighting, and video equipment. Upstaging, Incorporated is the channel for this service (Juarez, 2001).

Promotion

Promotion is the process of making people aware of everything about U2. U2's branded merchandise is promoted through the band's website and at all

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