Product life cycle management (or PLC management) is the sequential formulation and implementation of strategies used by Marketing Professionals as a product goes through its life cycle. Indeed, without effective product lifecycle management, success mapping and product phase-outs would be virtually impossible. The market characteristics and challenges faced in each stage of the product life cycle is very unique and certain issues are common across industries. Based on these characteristics Product and Brand managers take decisions about formulation and implementation of strategy. The GE-McKinsey matrix is often used for analysis of the business market structure and subsequently design a series of strategies, based on the analysis. If any of the 4Ps were problematic or were not in the marketing factor of the business, the business could be in trouble and so other companies may appear in the surroundings of the company, so the consumer demand on its products will decrease. Every product is subject to a life-cycle including a growth phase followed by a maturity phase and finally an eventual period of decline as sales falls. Marketers can expand the current product mix by increasing a certain product line’s depth or by increasing the number of product lines. Access, distribution – Refers to providing the product at a place which is convenient for consumers. When setting a price, the marketer must be aware of the customer perceived value for the product. What discounts should be offered to trade customers, or to other specific segments of your market?
Information – Represents all of the methods of communication that a marketer may use to provide information to different parties about the product. Advertising covers any communication that is paid for, from cinema commercials, radio and Internet advertisements through print media and billboards. Public relations is where the communication is not directly paid for and includes press releases, sponsorship deals, exhibitions, conferences, seminars or trade fairs and events.
Will you reach your audience by advertising in the press, or on TV, or radio, or on billboards?
People: refers to the employees of the organisation with whom customers come into contact with.
Process: refers to the processes and systems within the organization that affects its marketing process. Surround View delivers a 270° view around your BMW, giving you a new way of looking at the road.
The Product Life Cycle (PLC) is applicable for every type of durable good from a certain make of automobile to a multi-million dollar lithography tool. The Product Life Cycle for semiconductor equipment typically has an accelerated rate of accent in comparison to the conventional model.
The strategy begins in the Product Introduction Plan (PIP) with a clear understanding of your customer's requirements and expectations. During the growth cycle, you want to capture as much of the market as you can, as quickly as you can.

The cost of a missed delivery of equipment to a billion-dollar wafer fabrication operation is significant. As your product moves through the growth stage you should use the pricing mechanism to recover your investment. The conditions of the market in which a product gets sold changes over time and the issues that arises with the changes must be managed as the product moves through its succession of stages. Imagine if you as a manager or entrepreneur had no idea which of your offerings are really doing well.
Our authors are educators from top QS ranked universities and practitioners from multinational enterprises. Marketers do careful research on how long the life cycle of the product they are marketing and focus their attention on different challenges that arise as the product moves through the Life Cycle.
Marketers should consider how to position the product, how to exploit the brand, how to exploit the company’s resources and how to configure the product mix so that each product complements the other. Various strategies such as intensive distribution, selective distribution, exclusive distribution and franchising can be used by the marketer to complement the other aspects of the marketing mix. The price is very important as it determines the company’s profit and hence, survival. Three basic pricing strategies are: market skimming pricing, marketing penetration pricing and neutral pricing. Promotion comprises elements such as: advertising, public relations, personal selling and sales promotion.
Word-of-mouth is any apparently informal communication about the product by ordinary individuals, satisfied customers or people specifically engaged to create word of mouth momentum. Because of the rapid development of technology in the semiconductor industry the PLC of capital equipment and materials are somewhat typical, but different in certain aspects. Many seasoned marketing specialists believe the introduction stage is relatively easy for both equipment and materials in our industry in that our customers, especially the early adopters are always interested in the latest technology. This is accomplished by involving the customer from the beginning of the product development.
A realistic summary of the features and benefits of your new product will help in the introduction stage.
This is especially applicable if your product is considered a commodity and is price sensitive such as a process chemical. The idea is to maximize market share as well as establish and maintain a competitive advantage. Often times in our industry, we are capacity constrained by production at this stage, both in materials and equipment. Your company's reputation as a reliable supplier for now and for the future depends on meeting promised delivery date. Typically your company's heaviest investment in marketing communication is during this period as you attempt to build market share and support the sales activity.
Materials such as photoresist and process chemicals sustain a four to five year maturity cycle.

Now is the time to handle any adverse perceptions that may have developed such as reliability issues. Customers recognize that your company has been making the product for an extended period of time and that it should be cheaper to manufacture. Adjusting the price has a profound impact on the marketing strategy, and depending on the price elasticity of the product, often; it will affect the demand and sales as well.
Are there any wider environmental issues that suggest or dictate the timing of your market launch, or the timing of subsequent promotions? In order for an effective strategic marketing plan to be implemented, we need to understand the differences in the various stages of introduction, growth, maturity and decline.
Give the customer the ability to input thoughts on how the product is designed, priced, serviced and even packaged.
They help minimize the high support costs of getting the product launched and provide good references and data to support your claims.
During this time in the PLC you are still doing continuous improvement on the product as you ramp-up production. Pricing during this stage has to be competitive because you are trying to hold onto market share.
Advertising and public relations activities should reinforce your brand image as a market leader. Renaming and reintroducing an improved version is one way many companies attempt to market a product in its decline. However, a well-developed strategy for a product introduction is essential for the long-term success of the product. If the customer is involved in these areas up front, product introduction and promotion are going to have greater impact imparting momentum to the early part of the life cycle.
This may delay your customer's willingness to evaluate your product in the introduction stage. The product should begin to have all of the features identified in the Market Requirement Statement(MRS).
Applied Materials, the leading equipment company in the semiconductor industry, has an excellent campaign which promotes and supports their claims as the provider of total process solutions. Who is the audience and how are you going to deliver the message once your product has been introduced.
Companies have been successful taking equipment and materials originally developed for semiconductor manufacturing and offering them to the printed circuit board or disc drive industry. This information will help drive the successful introduction into the next phase of the PLC.

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