Johnson & Johnson is an American-based multinational company that focuses on producing medical devices, pharmaceutical, and consumer packaged products. Among its well-known consumer products are Tylenol medications, Band-Aid brand line of bandages, Johnson's baby products, Clean & Clear facial wash, Neutrogena skin and beauty products, and Acuvue contact lenses. The Johnsons baby provides a brand of baby cosmetics and skin care products. The product line includes shampoos, baby powder, massage oil, body lotion, shower gels and baby wipes ("Johnson's baby," 2019). The brand has established a reputation for making exceptionally pure and safe baby products since 1980.
Traditional marketing is a broad market strategy that includes various forms of advertising and marketing. It is one of the most recognizable forms of marketing that encompasses daily advertisements. The main traditional marketing strategies include print, direct mail, broadcast, and telephone categories. The print is an old form that includes advertising in paper form. Broadcast involves the use of television and radio advertisements while direct mail incorporates the use of brochures, letters, postcards and fliers (Kotler & Keller, 2015). Johnson & Johnson still apply these traditional marketing techniques to maintain its market. Miller (2014), describes how the company takes the newspaper readers back with ads that smell like baby powder.
According to Miller (2014), smell provides a direct route to people's emotions and therefore a probably smart way of selling a product. Just like the manner in which perfumes beckon readers with scented magazines and commercials for various cleaning products, Johnson & Johnson India spurred nostalgia for the baby-mother bond by imbuing their ads with the baby powder odor. The scented ads were run in The Hindu, The Times of India and the Malayala Manorama (Miller, 2014). However, this strategy involved spraying a fragrance of Johnson's baby powder on each copy of the papers on pages 1 and 2 to provide a long-lasting effect.
The method provides a spark on the traditional marketing strategy to evoke a sense of nostalgia and the delicate and joyful memories of a mother's experience. Television ads have also been prevalent in marketing the company's baby products and maintaining its large market share. However, transitions are visible in the ads over time. Previous ads were simple and focused on happy mothers enjoying their time with infants. However, ads in the recent past acknowledge the changes that babies bring to both parents. It operates on the fact that while there exist changes in societal shifts, the basics of parenting remain unchanged. It is, therefore, up to the company to remain relevant to every new set of moms and parents (Balakrishnan, 2014).
However, the current world is made up of information overload with businesses developing new marketing strategies. The market has multiple screens with media channels becoming entangled. As a result, the television screen no longer orders full attention from the consumers since it is in most cases used simultaneously with other screens, i.e., laptop, smartphone or tablet, and iPad among other notable screens. This calls for a more digital platform that can be accessed by a large proportion of the market.
Tradigital marketing involves a combination of traditional and computer-based methods to market a product or service. It involves the use of television, newspapers, magazines, the internet and direct mail as conversation starters and the digital methods as a new destination for further information. Some of the tradigital platforms include YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu which are all considered televisions while Pandora, XM radio and Spotify which are listened to as radios. J&J applies some of the tradigital platforms to reach out to a wider market share.
According to Mukherjee (2016), J&J launched a YouTube channel that provides information regarding baby related searches. This followed a dialogue with mums and research that revealed the need for a solution to millennial parents who were in the Indian market. The channel provided a library of baby care videos with over 100 videos that cut across over 12 categories. However, tradigital platforms still have a shortcoming in terms of the market size covered by the platforms. The baby care products offered by the company serve the global market, hence the need for platforms that can easily be assessed by most of the population. This calls for the application of fully digital marketing platforms.
Digital platform refers to the use of a technology-enabled business model that has open connectivity and facilitates easy exchange between multiple groups. It has the ability to scale massively and address millions of consumers without degrading its performance. Examples of digital marketing platforms include social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), application stores (Google/Apple store), market places (Shopping engines such as Amazon), affiliate platforms, crowd-sourcing platforms, and classified platforms among others.
The company has used ads on Facebook to advertise its baby care products and enter in various markets that include India, Korea, Argentina, and Thailand among others. Johnson's Baby, through the ads, wanted to restate its mission of providing the best skin care products for babies. The ads included both photo and video formats to drive the message home. The social media platforms provided an opportunity to reach a large number of the market at a low cost. Designing Facebook and Instagram videos involved creating feed-friendly, 8-sec videos that showcase the brand in the initial few seconds. When clicked, the ads took the viewers to the company's website which provided more details on the various available baby skincare products.
Effectiveness of the Types of Advertising
All these advertising methods used by J&J aim at increasing its sales and expanding the company brand. However, while they may all help to get information regarding the company and its products to the market, the efficiency of the method can only be observed by an increase in product sales and market coverage. With this in mind, traditional methods would help to market the product to the market but would be more costly to pay for the advert for airing through mainstream media. However, the market growth and not be easily determined as well as sales attribution to the advertising strategy. This means that this platform would provide a relatively low return on investment.
Application of tradigital platforms, i.e., YouTube would be quite effective compared to traditional platforms. An example is the launch of a YouTube channel for baby related searches (Mukherjee, 2016). It was possible for the company to detect a 40 percent increase in YouTube searches on baby care related issues on an annual basis. This makes it possible for the company to detect the market requirements for the product, i.e., research on the YouTube searches indicated that new moms were using the online search as the main way of obtaining parenting information with an approximate of over 70,000 views on a daily basis from its pilot phase in India.
The 71 percent increase in internet searches by Indian mothers compared to the 45 percent decrease in television, magazine and newspaper consumption is a clear indication of the viability of tradigital platforms compared to the traditional platforms. Therefore, the return on investment on this platform would be relatively high compared to the returns from the traditional platforms.
The digital platform, according to me, is the most effective form of advertising that results in the best return on investment for the company. This decision is due to the fact that setting up an ad for a social platform is affordable while the costs of marketing are low. However, the market performance resulting from these ads are visible from the clicks and this can be linked to the sales of the products. This is quite evident from J&J's application of Facebook and Instagram ads in a bid to boost sales and expand its baby care products market reach to the Indian, Korean and Argentinian market.
Research from the Kantar Millward Brown's CrossMedia showed that Facebook and Instagram provided an incremental reach and brand impact on the market. This indicates how possible it is to measure market performance and uptake with regards to the product. According to the research, the Johnson Baby Facebook ad led to an 8% incremental reach over TV, 8% incremental reach for light TV viewers (which was the highest compared to all the other media platforms), 6 times return on amount spent on the ad (which was highest among all the media platforms) and 30% incremental impact of the brand with Facebook over TV for the Johnson's Baby India ("Johnson's Baby India," 2019).
Moreover, on Johnson's Baby expansion to Argentina, 90% of the audience (approximately 4.4 million people) was reached ("Johnson's Baby Argentina," 2019). All these are evidence of success stories by the company in launching and marketing its baby care products proving digital platforms as the most effective ones.
From the analysis, I would recommend the following.
The company should continue using social media platforms for market entry and expansion strategies since they have proven to be more effective compared to traditional and tradigital platforms. It should implement the same strategy to expand to other new markets. Moreover, the ads should also address any pertinent issue concerning them and the strategies the company is putting in place to address them.
To ensure effectiveness in its marketing strategy, J&J should ensure that its product offerings go in line with the changes in society. The aim of marketing and advertising is to enhance product consumption, and this is only possible if the products go hand-in with the consumers' requirements. According to Tirrell (2018), the company's sales of baby products have been declining considerably. This is attributed to the market's requirements for baby products with more natural ingredients as opposed to chemicals (Girion & Kirkham, 2019). J&J should, therefore, focus on coming up with new products that are customized for the millennial moms.
J&J should also encourage using more tradigital platforms such as Netflix by availing their product offerings through trending movies. This would enable more consumers to interact with the product and change any of their negative perceptions about the product.
Balakrishnan, R. (2014). Here's the science behind Johnson's Baby's 'aww'-inspiring advertising. The Economic Times. Retrieved from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/heres-the-science-behind-johnsons-babys-aww-inspiring-advertising/articleshow/38423806.cms?from=mdr
Girion, L. & Kirkham, C. (2019). Special Report: As Baby Powder concerns mounted, J&J focused on marketing on minority, overweight women. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-johnson-johnson-marketing-specialrepo/special-report-as-baby-powder-concerns-mounted-jj-focused-marketing-on-minority-overweight-women-idUSKCN1RL1JZ
"Johnson's baby," (2019). Our product range. JOHNSON'S Baby. Retrieved from https://www.johnsonsbaby.co.za/products
"Johnson's Baby Argentina," (2019). Increasing in-store sales with vertical video on Facebook and Instagram. Facebook Business. Retrieved from https://web.facebook.com/business/success/johnsons-baby-argentina?_rdc=1&_rdr
"Johnson's Baby India," (2019). Driving incremental reach and impact amongst mothers with Facebook videos. Facebook Business. Retrieved from https://web.facebook.com/business/success/johnsons-baby-india?_rdc=...
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