Marketing programmes across different phases of the product life cycle: an explorative study in the Indian machine building sector

Avvari V. Mohan, K. N. Krishnaswamy

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This paper seeks to report the findings of a survey aimed at understanding the marketing programmes (MP) for industrial products in different phases of the product life cycle (PLC). Design/methodology/approach – The study is an exploratory one, conducted in a sample of 63 Indian organisations manufacturing general-purpose machinery. Data pertaining to a total of 191 product lines in four phases of the PLC (42 in introduction, 59 in growth, 53 in maturity and 37 in decline phase) were collected using a specially developed questionnaire. Findings – The results of the descriptive analysis revealed that the marketing programme variables emphasised in different PLC were different. In the Introduction phase decisions about product attributes, physical performance of the product, direct mail advertising, quality improvements and differentiation by design were emphasized. In Growth phase: feature additions, improvements in product styling, quality and service and market segmentation. In maturity and decline phases re-tailoring products, sales force efforts were some of the marketing variables emphasised. The results support the views in literature about MP being different in different phases of the PLC. Based on a discriminant analysis, marketing variables that discriminate the different phases of the PLC were also obtained. Research limitations/implications – The study is done in the machine-building industry in one country (India) – this limits the generalizability of the findings. Practical implications – The results can be useful to marketing managers to anticipate the type of strategic MP in future and this in turn can help in planning activities of other management functions like manufacturing and R&D. Originality/value – This study adds to the body of literature, which proposes to plan marketing and business strategies differently at the different PLC phases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-373
Number of pages20
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Discriminators
  • India
  • Industrial marketing
  • Machining centres
  • Marketing planning
  • Product life cycle

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