you have been ask to prepare a plan for Marketing Communication by Richard J Varey.

The choosen organisation you will use for the plan is Blackberry.


Plan for Marketing Communication of BlackBerry


Marketing Communication is a combination of tools used by a company to convey a collection of messages to its target customers in order to promote the product (The Chartered Institute of Marketing 2009). Marketing Communication consists of two aspects, the offer and the inquiry. The offer part is aimed at expressing to the customers by informing the selected customer groups about the company and its products. On the other hand the inquiry part aims at impressing the customers by understanding their values and interests and relating the same with those of the company’s (Varey 2002). The Marketer needs to make sure that the communication is consistent, clear and coherent and facilitates decision-making and judgement. The scope of Marketing Communication is a wide one that incorporates that for the prosperity of the customer and supplier, a healthy relationship between the two is necessary. The need for authentic communication has been growing as the relationship is based on commitment and trust.


BlackBerry was launched in 1999 by Research In Motion (RIM), which is one of the global leaders in wireless technology. The mobile industry was revolutionised by the launch of BlackBerry products and services. Millions of people stay connected with people and data that matter them the most all over the world with the help of BlackBerry. BlackBerry has been gaining popularity in the entire world. Even, President of United States of America, Barrack Obama likes using his BlackBerry and got it specially encrypted to be able to use it during his tenure as a President (Johnson 2009). Deployment of BlackBerry smartphones, with encryption and secured password, in West Yorkshire Police has helped increase West Yorkshire Police’s presence and productivity (BlackBerry 2005). RIM offers various product lines under the brand name of BlackBerry, such as the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablets, BlackBerry Smartphones, softwares for businesses and accessories (BlackBerry 2012).



This Communication plan is designed to satisfy the following objectives and to ultimately lead to better sales and profits for BlackBerry.

v The primary objective is to improve the marketing communication among their target audience, so that people know about the latest offerings in the Blackberry kitty.

v Another objective is to win the youth so that they can associate themselves with the brand.


Product Mix

A Product Mix consists of various offerings made to the customer by a marketer and includes variety, quality, design, features, brand name, packaging, sizes, services, warranties and returns. BlackBerry offers on all these parameters with its high quality with variety that satisfies the customers’ needs and wants. Product lines offered are as follows:

  • BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet: PlayBook uses the BlackBerry Tablet Operating System and enables the users to have a portable computer which is just slightly bigger than their mobile phones. The customers can stay connected with their content anywhere and anytime without having to look at content such as mails through the small screen of a mobile phone.
  • BlackBerry Smartphones: Built on mobile computing platform, Smartphones are the latest generation mobile phones that act as a multipurpose digital device. A smartphone can be used for internet, gaming, camera, mailing, etc. apart from basic mobile functions. They are designed to do almost everything that one can do on a computer including applications like Document and Spreadsheets.
  • Software for Businesses: BlackBerry offers solution to businesses to empower the employees of the client to access all the information that they may need with a greater Information Technology control.
  • Accessories: BlackBerry offers various accessories for its BlackBerry Smaprtphones and PlayBook Tablets range.


The products offered by BlackBerry are available in various variants to satisfy the needs of different customer segments. BlackBerry also offers Blackberry Messenger which is a special service provided by Blackberry to its members where they can message any other Blackberry user across the world free of cost. This service has become a status symbol among the youth and they consider it to be a privilege to be on Blackberry messenger. Such a service adds value to the company’s offerings and they help to spread a positive word of mouth about the company.





Marketing Strategies

The company must select appropriate marketing strategy in selecting the communication plan for the consumers understanding the fact that different customer display different needs and wants. It is, thus, important to identify what customers groups are to be targeted (The Chartered Institute of Marketing 2004). To do so, the following steps shall be taken:

  1. Segmentation: The customers have to be segmented on the basis of geographical areas or psychographic or physiological factors. Here it would be apt to take age as a segmenting factor like the Blackberry customers can be segmented because Blackberry customers are well divided on the basis of age.

a)     First group can be below 20 (<20), these are the school or college students who have just now got phones and they want to use their Smartphone to maximum extent. They are the people who mostly rely on their parent’s money for all the needs. They basically need Blackberry to keep update on the social networking sites and to check the latest developments about their friends and family. The basic purpose is to keep themselves social and to flaunt the phone because of its style and aesthetic value attached to it.

b)     Second category would be people from 20 to 25 (>20, <25). These are the students in college and they like to flaunt their Blackberry, some have started earning part time to support their family income and hence they have a lot of money at their disposal and can afford expensive phones like Blackberry.

c)     Third group would be of people from 25 to 33 years (>25, <33). These are the people who have graduated from good colleges and are placed into highly paying jobs and have tasted the sweetness of success, most are bachelors and some are married. These are the people who want to use Blackberry phones for their business purpose as they have to revert back to hundreds of mails in a day. These are the people who want to keep track of the financial markets all the time even on the go, they track their investments even when they are on a vacation may be through Wi-Fi or GPRS services. They also use Blackberry phones for some entertainment like music and gaming.

d)     Fourth category can be from 33 years to 45 years (>33, <45). These are the people who have reached the pinnacle of success and are sitting on the top positions in their organisations. They have high disposable income as they are earning good and the kids are small. They also use Blackberry for the business purpose only.


  1. Targeting: Traditionally Blackberry targeted its mobile devices to the business professionals only but eventually it increased its target customer segments by including the younger segments. The main target of this communication plan is to increase the awareness and attractiveness of Blackberry products among the younger segments. So for that Blackberry can come in more stylish products to attract youth segment. They can give better configuration so that game lovers are also attracted toward the offerings. They can talk about the status while talking about the business customers and can talk about girlfriend and friends when addressing their marketing communication toward youth.


  1. Positioning: Initially Blackberry used to have very high end models for business class customers but to change the positioning from a business phone to a more youth oriented phone it has come up with low priced versions which are easy on their pockets. Company is using this strategy because they know that youth is increasing worldwide and they are the ones who are going to carry forward this crusade for them.


Communication Strategy

Communication strategies of any company should revolve around certain questions like where are we now which  means in terms of communication where do we stand as of now are we sitting in a comfortable position and earning good amount of revenue or the company is fighting for the revenues. Second question talks about where we want to be, this gives us a clear picture of what we want to achieve through the communication to the customers. Then the company should dwell on the ways which can lead to the desired results and how they can achieve their communication objectives. Then comes out of many alternative available with the company which one is the best one to achieve there with least possible cost, this is done by doing cost benefit analysis. This helps the company to find out the best possible approach to combat a problem. What measures can be taken so that the company can ensure their success, the company must have a very clear and precise communication message which leads to the desired outcome (Varey 2002).



The promotional message should be clear and precise. It should be easily understandable by the people. As the needs differ from one customer to another the message should be modified to appeal to the targeted group of customers (The Chartered Institute of Marketing 2004). It can be in the local language if people are not well versed with the business language E.g. countries like China, Japan. The message should not use jargons which cannot be understood by the common masses. The message should be given in the media which is seen by the potential customers. Blackberry gives a very simple message in its advertisements of ‘Blackberry Boys’ which can be easily understood around the globe. To communicate this message they sometimes take local actors or models to connect with the local people.


Media Selection

Media selection is one of the most important aspects of marketing communication; initially the company gives brief detail marketing communication required to the advertising agency. In selection of the marketing media the first question comes about which media is most popular among the consumers and what would be the response rate for the medium selected. There can be different marketing mediums like internet, television, mails, telephone, personnel marketing, banners, movies and entertainment or sports events. But the selection of the right medium is much difficult than it seems to be. While selecting the media both effectiveness and efficiency must be taken into consideration and the probable impact on the audience.

Now a days, the companies are trying to cut down the expensive traditional style marketing in newspapers, magazines or television commercials but they are relying on internet, emails or product placement along with some movie or they can show some advertisement in the cinema hall when people are watching the movie. In this approach people do not realize that they are watching an advertisement but in fact they are. According to the researches it has been proved that these mediums play an important role in reaching out to the audience, even a one second clipping in the movie about a brand gets noticed. Celebrity endorsement can be used in cases when the product is a luxury one or any such product which requires high trust factor, in such cases the attributes of that celebrity gets transferred into the product.

Media selection is on the whole more important because the product will get noticed only when it is communicated through the medium which is used by the consumers, if wrong media is selected then the communication would fail and would not lead to the desired results. Blackberry is considered as a business class phone but slowly it has gained popularity among the youth. So it should be kept in mind that the media should be such that it reaches the college students, managers and corporate bosses who sends hundreds of e-mails every day. I would advice Blackberry to go for advertisements in youth magazines, to sponsor the college fests where they can gift the Blackberry phone as gift in some music or dance competition. Television advertisements, YouTube videos and advertising on the social networking sites can also increase the reach of the brand among the youth. To capture the office going customers Blackberry can give advertisements in the business newspapers and business magazines.


Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs can be one of the crucial areas for retaining the customers and also to win new customers by way of referrals and spreading the positive word of mouth. This is well depicted by Research in motion’s Blackberry in U.K. Blackberry is able to retain more customers than any other mobile manufacturer. Those who bought blackberry phones, 69% of them chose to go for Blackberry the next time they wanted a mobile phone. The second position was with Apple with 65% retention rate. Blackberry derives its loyalty from its consistent service; easy to reference and robust service design. Their main is focus on the customer; they try to maintain all the history of a customer and try to solve their problems on the fly (Briden 2011).


Corporate Social Responsibility

Every company now tries to follow the corporate social responsibility which has become the protocol for every big corporate because it leaves a positive image in the minds of consumers. All other competitors including Ericsson, Hp, Nokia, Vodafone, Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom were using green initiatives so Blackberry also jumped in the game and is focusing on areas like climate change, e-waste and wildlife conservation. Initially it had poor energy efficiency but now it is working on making energy efficient products in its movement for energy conservation (Farrar 2009).



35% of the entire budget allocated by the company for marketing communication shall be used for promoting the brand through word of mouth and event sponsorships as the target customers of BlackBerry namely the business professionals and the youth prefer to purchase based on word of mouth and their experience of the products promotions in various events. 25% of the budget shall be used for television and cinema advertising as they also play a key role in attracting the youth. Outdoor advertising shall take 20% of the budget while press and internet advertising would take about 10% each of the entire budgets set for the communication.





BlackBerry United Kingdom 2012, Research In Motion Ltd., Berkshire, viewed on 23 May 2012, <>.

Farrar, J 2009, From Blackberry to Greenberry: RIM Goes Green at CeBIT, viewed on 23 May 2012, <>.

Johnson, B 2009, Tech-Savvy Obama keeps Online Lifeline, The Guardian, United Kingdom, 23 January, viewed 23 May 2012, <>.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing 2004, Marketing Communication, Berkshire.

The Chartered Institute of Marketing 2009, What are Marketing Communications?, Berkshire.

Varey, RJ 2002, Marketing Communication Principles and Practices, Routledge, London.

West Yorkshire Police Increase Visibility and Productivity with BlackBerry 2005, Research In Motion Ltd., Canada, viewed on 23 May 2012, <>

Briden, P 2011, UK BlackBerry users have highest brand loyalty, viewed on 23 May 2012, <>.


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