Assessment description and requirements
This assessment provides a short case study of segmentation (found in the appendix) and questions which relate to them. Read the case study first, then answer the questions in the spaces found below.
You must provide:
• your completed assessment.
Your assessor will be looking for:
• answers which demonstrate an understanding of the principles and methods of profiling international markets.
Sno’s Hay and Feed has developed a new method of compressing and vacuum packing lucerne hay, which keeps it fresh for more than three years. The invention has several benefits for the long term storage and use of lucerne hay over traditional methods of baling and storage.
The benefits include:
• reduced transport costs by 75%
• reduced storage costs by 75%
• dramatically extends storage time in hot, dry weather and hot, humid weather
• retains its visual appeal by remaining green inside the block and on the exterior if a black plastic bag is used for vacuum packing
• reduces risk to horse owners and breeders of the vagaries of fresh chaff supply
• dramatically reduces the risk to horses of mould in humid weather
• reduces risk to farmers supplying lucerne to Sno’s business of the vagaries of supply and demand
• lucerne hay itself is a high protein natural feed that is highly suitable for horses that are ‘working’ to keep them in condition with good muscle mass.
The competition for the new product are:
• traditionally baled lucerne hay, which takes eight times the space and becomes dry and dusty over a period of a year
• compressed lucerne hay with additives that subject the product to mildew attack
• pelleted compressed lucerne hay, which becomes dry and dusty if not used quickly
• grain feed which is much more expensive but higher in protein content.
Sno conducted research into export markets by:
• investigating Austrade data on exports of hay, lucerne and other feeds
• investigating Austrade data on export of live animals
• investigating supply requirements in Japan through an importer of hay and hay products
• investigating the horse racing industry in the Middle East, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Sno identified the following facts and figures.
The global export market for hay products in 1997 was reported as being valued at $1.05B, with the vast majority being exported to Japan and the major suppling country being the US.
Typical importers 1997 values A$'million Typical exporters 1997 values A$'million
Japan 900 Australia 50
Middle East 40 USA
Taiwan 15 Canada 155
Korea 30 Taiwan
Note: Taiwan exports rice straw and imports high quality fodder for its dairy industry.
South East Asia6
Live cattle exports were valued at $600M, consisting of approximately 600,000 cattle requiring 1.3 million tonnes of fodder.
Exports to Japan needed to be proven to be biosecure by testing through the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.
Sno also identified that to be successful in the Japanese market, packaging and labelling needed to be of a higher standard than he used in sales to Australian horse owners. The packaging he currently uses is black polypropylene, to cut out light to maintain a fresh green look to the lucerne when it is opened. The labels are computer generated with a simple layout and with the minimum information required by regulation printed on a white label.
Sno identified the following export segments.
• Dairy industry in South East Asia and Japan.
• Horse racing industry in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Middle East.
• Leisure horse industry.
• Live cattle exports to the Middle East, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Sno identified his market as horse owners and wholesale suppliers of horse products in Japan and the Middle East. Sno determined the total market to be worth at least $200M being 20% of export chaff for horses. Sno preferred Japan because of its size of market and its proximity to an Australian time zone.
Sno identified his target segments as:
• owners and trainers of race horses in Japan
• dairy industry in Japan.
Sno identified the following marketing options.
• Creation of a website to hold:
o case studies
o testimonials from well-known people in the horse industry.
o technical data and reports about the product
o photographic evidence of the storage saving attributes and long lasting qualities.
• editorials and advertisements in horse and dairy magazines in Japan
• direct sales to partner resellers, using samples to familiarise the resellers and customers with the product
• agricultural trade shows in Japan using a partner distributor.
Sno has met his potential distributor once in Australia but has been reluctant to travel to Japan. He has explained to the distributor that he cannot afford the time away from the farm each time he received an invitation. Whilst this was partly true it is also because of the cost to his start-up business.
Sno positioned his product as ‘Long-life chaff’ with a premium pricing of 30% above competitive products.
Sno had production capacity to sell 300 tonnes of product before needing to expand his production.
Answer the questions below about the Case Study. Click in the space provided and type your answer.
1. What criteria did Sno use to determine the suitability of Japan as an international market for SnoVac products? What criteria did he not use? What may have been the impact on the success of Sno’s marketing plan of his choice of criteria?
2. Was Sno ready to market his products in Japan? In what way did he demonstrate readiness? Where did he fall short?
3. What was Sno’s positioning strategy?
4. What additional data would have been helpful to prioritise Sno’s marketing options for the Japanese market?
5. What issues was Sno likely to encounter culturally with his current plan?
6. What targeting strategy did Sno use?