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INTRODUCTION

Sony’s Playstation 2 introduced in 2000, has become the top of the line in the slim line playstation models engulfing 62% of the market share in its gaming domain. Playstation 2 is installed with 24 million users and its online service boasts of 1.7 million subscribers. However Playstation 2 has been pitted against the likes of Microsoft and its Xbox product line. Together these two gaming giants make up for 83.8% of the gaming industry and will continue to face off against each other in tight quarters.[1] This factor deserves keen attention, due to the success ratio and image that Microsoft is able to conjure in the minds of the public. Nintendo’s GameCube and Sega are also rivals worth being cautious about. It is after all a matter of sustaining a product in the light of constant enhancements and inventions. The recent phenomenon of online gaming has added users to the arena of gaming. To ensure popularity and growth for Playstation 2, this report highlights certain areas that deserve special attention for the future of this product especially marketing communications.

PURCHASE DECISIONS

A consumer is known to undergo various stages before purchasing an item as the Smart Marketing Report highlights in its March 2003 edition.[2]

First Learning – This is the introduction of the products idea to the consumer. He/she may look further or dismiss the product.

Further Learning – This indicates interest regarding the product in the mind of the consumer. He/she has preferred to gain more knowledge about the product and/or similar products existing in the market.

Purchase Decision – The consumer liked what he/she heard and has made up his/her mind to indulge in the product.

At every stage we as a company need to communicate to the consumer regarding the features and benefits of our Playstation 2 product. For the first learning stage, we need to provide our product with a viewing platform for the world to notice. Tactful marketing and advertising is absolutely essential in the pool of potential products that a consumer can choose from. For the further learning stage, we should make sure that the consumers are given access to all the information they need to make an appropriate decision regarding Playstation 2. Therefore we need to ensure that we adopt effective marketing channels that will be described later in this report.

The post-purchase stage however remains the most important as the consumer should be satisfied with what he/she is heard and what he/she gets. In this regards, we need to ensure that while the decision making process was undertaken; the consumer obtained reliable product information and has access to further information if needed. It has been studied that word of mouth is one of the top drivers of purchase decisions and we have to ensure that the publicity gained is of the desirable kind.

PURCHASE RISK

The consumer has undertaken a risk when he/she has chosen to purchase our product. With a promise of the phrase “Live in your world, play in ours”[3] we need to ensure that the consumer is not disappointed with our product and does not engage in bad publicity as that can be extremely damaging to our company. If we make sure that marketing communication is able to drive into the minds of our consumers that we provide them with a good product, the risk they entail in purchasing our product can be minimized and at the same time, we are not taking undue risks for the future of the company by ignoring this communication.

INFLUENCES TOWARDS PURCHASE

There are a variety of influences that affect the decision making process which we have to factor while we structure our product specifications and marketing plan. Some major influences are:

Couch Culture – The youth of today who is our majority market is accustomed to being in front of the television during non-school