Explore BrainMass

Marketing Audit for Time Warner

Prepare a written marketing plan of any public firm. I need to have sources like annual reports, journal articles, newspaper articles, internet articles, etc.

1. Executive Summary
a. Two page summary of the entire plan

2. Company Description
a. Highlights of the firm's historical and recent operations

3. Strategic Focus and Plan
a. Mission
b. Goals
c. Core competency and sustainable competitive advantage

4. Situation Analysis
b. Industry analysis
c. Competitive analysis
d. Company analysis
e. Customer analysis

5. Market-Product Focus
a. Marketing objectives
b. Target markets
c. Points of difference
d. Positioning

6. Marketing Program
a. Product strategy
b. Price strategy
c. Promotion strategy
d. Place strategy

7. Financial Data and Projections
a. Historical sales revenues
b. Financial projections

8. Organization
a. Organization of the firm

9. Implementation Plan
a. Plan to implement the strategies

10. Evaluation and Control
a. Plan to evaluate and control the strategies

Solution Preview

Executive Summary

Time Warner includes several different business units and streams of revenue. As a
provider of media and entertainment, the organization must consider what the products or
services in each division mean, to various segments of the population. It must consider what
features of each product or service bring value to the consumer and how perceptions of such
offerings can be improved, to increase customer satisfaction and retain current customers.
The organization competes with large entertainment companies like News Corporation and
Walt Disney. It also competes with telecommunications companies, in areas of internet,
phone and digital television.

Time Warner is considered a top competitor in both the entertainment and
telecommunications industries. However, both industries frequently experience rapid
change, due to the development and utilization of new technologies. To remain competitive,
the organization must consider how to utilize available technologies, to bring customers
what they want and offer greater levels of satisfaction. It must also consider how to leverage
such technologies, to increase market share and bring in more customers.

Some new competitors have recently created challenges for Time Warner. Netflix
instant online access of movies allows members to watch as many films as they want, for
a single low monthly fee. Many cable customers have dropper their service in preference
for instant movies. The films can also be viewed on TV sets, through the use of a game
system. In order to compete, the organization can do one of three things. The company
can provide more movie choices on cable channels, reduce rates or offer films online
as well. Offering Warner Brothers films online is the most cost effective of the three
options, as the company has access to films. It also offers a broadband internet service,
which is often bundled with cable. If consumers can access movies online for a fee
competitive to that of Netflix, the bundled services will become more attractive.

More consumers of print publications, are moving to online access or are reducing
the amount of reading. Some do this because of cost. Others are concerned about how
paper products affect the environment and some simply do not have time to read an entire
magazine. Time Warner should consider eliminating the paper sources of print material
and should shift to an online format. This allows readers to access material when traveling
or through a variety of mobile devices. It also shows concern for the environment.

The marketing program should be tailored to consumers in each division. Market
segments are divided into subscribers and non-subscribers. The helps the organization
focus on services or products that meet the needs of the very different segments. Non-
subscribers include movie goers, movie buyers and those who access films through
Facebook. Because theater sales have slowed, the organization must consider other ways
to bring box office hits to consumers. The internet and mobile media content methods are
some channels that can help the organization maintain market share. Such methods allow
consumers instant one time access, while avoiding a commitment of the subscription services.

The marketing program must also consider the cross selling and coordination of
different marketing channels, so the messages do not appear random and are reinforced
through multiple channels. Those with high speed broadband service, for example, can
benefit from the cross selling of one time movie access on Facebook. Cable subscribers
can benefit from an extended list of movie titles, similar to a Netflix membership, which
can be viewed from mobile devices and computers, or through a device connected to the TV

The marketing plan should consider pricing strategies. Currently telecommunications
services are priced slightly higher than the organization's main competitor, AT& T and its
U-verse package. Consumers are likely to make the switch, when they perceive the value
of products competitors offer greater. Time Warner should focus on features and special
packages it can offer consumers, to gain competitive advantage in the telecommunications

The marketing program must be monitored, to assess the level of effectiveness and
To determine if changes in product or pricing are needed. Among the measures of marketing
success is indicators such as increased revenues and market share, as well as customer
satisfaction surveys. Customer satisfaction measurements can be utilized for ongoing
monitoring, so that new trends in consumer behavior or preferences can be addressed, before
the organization loses market share.

Company Description

Time Warner is a media company that provides many avenues of entertainment. It
provides broadcast services of local, national and international television stations and also
offers films through Warner Brothers. Time Inc. is its company that publishes many print
publications, such as People, Time and Fortune magazines. Time Warner is the third largest
media company, behind Walt Disney and News Corporation (Hoovers, 2011). Other
competitors include NBC and CBS broadcasting companies. Both organizations operate
several broadcast television stations and own publishing companies. CBS also provides
billboard and outdoor advertising.

Time Warner competes in the film, television, broadband internet, phone and
publishing industries, with its top competitors. Other competitors include AT&T, Comcast
and Direct TV. The company is ranked #203 in FT Global 500 (2010) and #95 in
Fortune 500 (2011). (Hoovers, Inc, 2011). Warner Brothers and Time Inc. began as
separate and distinct entities in the 1920s and 1930s respectively. The two did not merge
until the early 1990's. Prior to the merger, Time launched its premium HBO and Cinemax
movie channels. In 2001, AOL merges with Time Warner, to form AOL Time Warner
(Funding Universe, 2011). AOL continues to offer dial up internet service; while Time
Warner continues to offer high speed broadband services. Time Warner also offers digital
phone service.

Strategic Focus and Plan


The mission of Time Warner Inc. is a Statement of Values. The Statement of Values
Includes creativity, customer focus, agility, team work, integrity, diversity and responsibility
(CSR Globe, nd). The organization's approach to corporate citizenship includes the
encouragement of employee volunteer efforts and monetary support of the community
organizations its volunteers are involved with. The organization is currently in the process
of analyzing its environmental footprint and the ways in which it might be reduced.


1. One of the goals of the organization, as indicated in its CSR plan, it to develop ways to reduce its carbon footprint.
2. Improve individual customer service, identified by Vince Zachariah, Vice President of Regional Operations. "It requires all of us to be very engaged with our employees and with our customers" (Samaviti, 2010).
3. Increase investments in media companies. "Time Warner Investments seeks to acquire minority equity stakes in private companies, and targets an investment size of up to $25MM" (Time Warner, 2011).

Core Competencies

Among the core competencies of Time Warner Inc. are the ability to develop ways to
continually improve on customer service and the leveraging of current technology, to deliver
the services consumes expect. The company uses its cable lines to bring phone service to
residential and business customers. It also uses digital video recording to bring cable viewers
more options in viewing choice. The company provides several areas of customer service
and has a highly structured tier system for providing customer support. It also utilizes a
customer service rating system, for immediate or rapid customer service rating in key areas,
for customers who have recently interacted with CSR representatives.
Situation Analysis


Strengths of Time Warner include its leveraging of available and current technology,
to rapidly evolve or improve on the types of services it offers to customers. An example is
the use of the digital video recording system, built into its cable boxes. Another is the use
of cable lines, to offer digital phone service. Another strength of the organization is its
focus on customer service. The organization provides customer service via different channels,
such as by phone and by internet communications. It also offers help desk support for its
different services, at many different tier levels, at any time of day or night. The company
has been providing cable television ...

Solution Summary

Marketing audits for Time Warner are examined.