The Marketing Strategy to Pursue at Various Stages of the PLC

Product Life Cycle
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Shubhi Kotiya
CxO / Board, Germany

The Marketing Strategy to Pursue at Various Stages of the PLC

The PLC curve is divided into 4 stages: Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline.
The suggested logical strategies at each of the stages are:
  • INTRODUCTION ⇨ CREATE THE MARKET SHARE. In terms of the marketing mix: differentiated product, cost-plus pricing, selective distribution, building product awareness amongst early adopter and dealers and use heavy sales promotional advertising, sampling to entice trials. More on Marketing Strategies in Introduction Stage of PLC
  • GROWTH ⇨ EXPAND/GROW THE MARKET SHARE. In terms of the marketing mix: Offer product extensions and services, price to penetrate market, build intensive distribution, build awareness and interest in the mass market, promotional spends can be reduced as there will be higher consumer demand. More on Market Leader Strategies in the Growth Stage of the Product Life Cycle
  • MATURITY ⇨ CONSOLIDATE THE MARKET SHARE AND ENCOURAGE CONVERSIONS. In terms of the marketing mix: diversify brand, price to match the best competitors, build more intensive distribution, stress brand differences and benefits in advertising, increase conversion in the sales promotion by encouraging customers to switch to your brand from competition. more on Marketing Strategies for Market Leaders in the Maturity Stage
  • DECLINE ⇨ RETAIN THE MARKET SHARE In terms of the marketing mix: Phase-out weak product SKUs, cut-price, go selective phase-out of unprofitable outlets, Cut advertising and just focus to retain hard-core loyal and reduce sales promotion to a minimum level. More on Marketing Strategies in the Decline Stage of the Product Life Cycle

So Create, Expand, Consolidate and Retain the Market share across four stages of PLC respectively. Note that a product may not always follow the classic PLC curve. For example, strong marketing efforts to provide a growth push to a mature brand can always lead to a curve going up from a plateau level.

⇒ To what extent do you think the PLC pattern is the result of marketing strategies and depends on these strategies?

Sources:
Chester R.Wasson, (1978. "Dynamic Competitive and Product Life Cycles "1978
John A.Weber, (1976. "Long Range Planning", 1976, pp. 12-29
Peter Doyle, (1976. "The Realities of the Product Life Cycle," Quarterly Review of Marketing, Summer 1976
Philip Kotler, (2002). "Marketing Management Millenium Edition", Tenth Edition, 2002, pp. 171-175

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