Running head: jc penney imc plan

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Running head: JC PENNEY IMC PLAN

JC Penney IMC Plan

Team Penney Pinchers (JCP 1)

April Alexander, Daniel Ritchie, Tracy Weispfenning

MKTG-343 – Integrated Marketing Communications

Metropolitan State University

Katryna Johnson, PhD.

Executive Summary

“With JC Penney, you can have it all.” The premise of our IMC plan is the great value that all customers, of any age can benefit from by shopping at JC Penney. Customers can find quality products that won’t bankrupt them, and instead will leave them with a little extra money that they can spend on enjoying a quality life.

With the wide variety of products sold at JC Penney, the target market is very broad in terms of age. Instead, our target market is made up of consumers with an average household income of $30,000 to $60,000 USD. This speaks to the consumers that make up our target market because they have limited income, but still want to be able to afford other things that make life more enjoyable.

Using various types of media, JCP will launch a multi-generational campaign that will appeal to each age group of our target market while maintaining a consistent look and message using different broadcast media, sales promotions and outdoor media. The message will communicate the fact that buying apparel and home goods at JC Penney will not only result in quality (trendy, comfortable, etc. depending on the age group the ad is targeting) products, but will save the consumer enough money to spend on something they enjoy (i.e. a concert, vacation, throwing an impressive dinner party, etc.). The campaign will also include the heavy use of coupons (both print and mobile) and online and mobile shopping.

JCP will evaluate our promotions, by using various types of social media use as well as surveys customers will receive on their receipts for a coupon upon completion of the survey that rewards our customers for their time and feedback. Using social media will help determine our promotional status via the most popular social media sites. We will determine our message popularity based on comments, likes, and shares that are JCP social media site followers post about our promotions/company.

Situation Analysis

In recent years, leading retail giant, JC Penney, has been losing market share to its competitors due to radical changes to the marketing strategy, implemented by former CEO, Ron Johnson. This situation analysis attempts to provide the foundation for a new integrated marketing communications plan, consisting of analyses of the industry, the company’s competitors and core customers, and its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as well as a brief company history and description of the product and brand. The paper ends with an evaluation of past and current promotion programs.

Industry Analysis

In the retail industry, advanced technology has become a major trend and the dynamic nature of technology has also make the retail industry far more competitive than ever before. Brick and mortar retailers are finding it more difficult to compete in the market and will need to adapt to less brick and mortars and focus more on e-commerce in order to stay afloat (“Retail Industry 2020,” 2012). With the invention of smart phones, consumers are practicing a tactic known as “show-rooming” in which they compare prices via their smart phones. Retailers must be able to offer a price matching deal or provide other incentives for the consumer to purchase their products. Other focuses in the retail industries rely on current trends and examining what their consumers want. Retailers must listen to the voice of the customer and focus on data mining and collection in order to analyze certain demographics that will be profitable to their stores. As demographics such as income levels, regions, age and gender between shopper segments become wider, retailers must not focus on a one size fits all approach, but rather offer more unconventional shopper experiences and niche product offerings that will differentiate from the other competitors (“Retail Industry 2020,” 2012).

Globalization and emerging markets also plays a major role in retail. In order to increase future growth, retailers must elect to distribute their products on a global level while still operating locally (“Retail Industry 2020,” 2012). Macro-environmental factors shape how companies do business because these companies cannot influence these massive factors (Treadwell, n.d.). Some of these factors include technology, as explained above, is a major influence on how well companies do within the retail industry because of bar-coding, P.O.S. systems, and overall convenience for the consumers to shop online. Other factors include the government and how certain policies can affect the industry because of government loans and incentives they offer to businesses which can lower prices and increase the amounts of retail businesses. The economic factors and how much disposable/discretionary income consumers have to spend. And, social factors that include selling environmentally safe products, going green, and major trends within the industry (Treadwell, n.d.).

Company Background

James Cash Penney, along with two partners, started The Golden Rule in 1902 in Kemmerer, Wyoming as a dry goods retailer. The company’s original mission statement was based on the principle of the Golden Rule, “Do unto others what you would have done unto you” (JC Penney Company, Inc., 2014). In 1907, Penney bought out the partners and in 1913 incorporated the store as J.C. Penney Company, Inc. In 1917, the company had 175 stores, $14 million USD in sales, and Penney became chairman of the board (Pederson, 2007, para. 6).

According to the company’s 2010 investor fact book, JC Penney was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1929. JC Penney pioneered the credit sales in the 1950’s and reached $1 billion in sales for the first time. 1963 brought the introduction of the catalog to consumers and its sales surpassed $1 billion USD in 1979. In 1972, the company ran its first national television advertisement. E-commerce was introduced in 1994 in the form of and by 2005 online sales exceeded $1 billion (JC Penney Company, Inc., 2014, p. 2).

Mike Ullman joined JC Penney in 2004 as chief executive officer and by 2010, the company was operating over 1,100 stores nationwide. That same year, the company enhanced their digital presence by introducing the mobile site, mobile coupons, rewards for checking in on Facebook, and mobile access to loyalty program rewards (JC Penney Company, Inc., 2014, p. 2).

In November 2011, Ron Johnson was hired as chief executive officer and began making radical changes to the company’s marketing strategy. He initiated the redesign of the company logo and introduced everyday low prices in place of discounts and coupons. The company’s revenues dropped rapidly and Ron Johnson was fired in April 2013. Mike Ullman returned to the company as Johnson’s replacement and immediately introduced a turnaround strategy. He reintroduced discounts and coupons and focused on regaining the company’s loyal customers with apologetic advertisements.

JC Penney’s market share was calculated using 2012 data at 7.1 percent. The company experienced a 24.8 percent loss in revenue for the fiscal year that ended in February of 2013 (JC Penney Company, Inc., 2013a, p. 19). According to the company’s 2012 annual report, total net sales are as follows:







Total Net Sales

$12.99 B

$17.26 B

$17.76 B

$17.56 B


Percent Increase/Decrease






(JC Penney Company, Inc., 2013a, p. 19)

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