Marketing - Marketing Plans
Sample Marketing PlanNote: This marketing plan is fictitious.
offered by the
INTERNET TOOL COMPANY, INC. (ITC)
“The Tool” will be positioned as the premier Internet development tool for heavy computer users. ITC will target its marketing efforts narrowly at the core heavy user market. Because the product’s ease of use is of less importance to highly experienced computer users, ITC will give more marketing emphasis to the product’s other key benefit: flexibility.
ITC will completely avoid the retail store marketplace, where its lack of ability to fund expensive national and co-op advertising campaigns and its lack of presence in this marketplace would make it very difficult to compete or even gain entrance. Wholesalers and retailers are often more interested in the marketing support and name recognition that products enjoy than the product’s functionality and features. Instead, the product will be sold direct and via catalogs in a carefully targeted marketing campaign.
“The Tool” will be placed at the very high end of the consumer segment at $100 to further emphasize the product’s superiority and take advantage of the fact that consumers buying direct are less price sensitive than retail buyers.
1) The Market
2) Market Segmentation
3) Corporate/Professional Segment:
The consumer segment is the segment that ITC is positioning its product for.
4) Consumer Analysis
While the target group is increasingly buying software at retail outlets, many (especially those that tend to use their computers the most) buy their software through mail-order catalogs and quite a few order at least some software directly from the publisher. Even when buying software in retail outlets this group tends less to buy on impulse and are more apt to be looking for a specific item on which they are pre-sold. This group is most likely to be pre-sold by editorial coverage in computer publications such as reviews and product announcements and by word of mouth. Because this audience is exposed to so much information about so many competing products, it is most likely to decide on a particular item as a result of multiple exposure to information about a product—often from different types of sources.
Members of the target group tend to live in suburban or urban areas. They are typically male; aged thirty to forty-five; college educated; have a household income range between $40,000–$100,000; are homeowners; and hold professional jobs. Many belong to computer clubs.
They read two or more computer publications, a major metro newspaper, and one or more consumer magazines. While they watch television several hours per week their viewing tends to be less than average. They tend to listen to radio stations while they commute in their cars—tuning into a broad variety of formats.
5) Product Features and Benefits
ITC’s main distinctive feature is its intelligent agent. The benefit to consumers is that the product is easier to use and more flexible than competing products. The intelligent agent “walks” users step by step through the process of creating a document. The most similar competing product offers more passive help by using “placeholders” where the user places objects on a layout page. While the placeholder approach also gives users the ability to quickly assemble creative material, it does not give the user the flexibility of moving objects about.
Fast Development Cycle: Even with a product offering superior capabilities, ITC was able to create its first product from scratch in a very short period of time. This ability coupled with superior engineering skills, should give ITC the ability to stay on the leading edge of product design over a sustained period of time.
Closeness to Market: Almost all key employees have a long experience of personal Internet use and keep in close touch with many in the industry and at different computer clubs who are also heavy Internet users. This gives ITC the ability to keep abreast of the marketplace and strong insight into the changing demands of its core customers.
No Market Presence: The company currently has no other products in the market or coming to the market soon. It has no relationship with any resellers. This contrasts with several competitors, who are already selling product through many outlets, including retailers, and competitors who have other offerings in their product line.
Weak Marketing and Sales Staff: The company has one marketing manager and no sales staff. The marketing manager has several years of experience in selling hardware add-ons direct to major corporate customers but no experience selling software or selling products to consumers.
Direct-mail catalogs will be chosen on the basis of how closely the demographics of the catalogs match the demographics of ITC’s target market.
To prompt consumers to order direct, ITC will accept orders on the Internet and via a toll-free 800 line.
6) Advertising and Promotions
With the company’s very limited budget, initial ads in direct mail catalogs will be small—typically no larger than 1/8 page. Ad copy will contrast with competitive products that are shrink-wrapped and sold at lower prices to less experienced computer users.
Press releases will first emphasize the company’s two key benefits. But they will also offer a lot of technical detail that will appeal to the editors and publications most important to effectively reaching the core target market.
The company’s top technical people will give talks at computer clubs, again to help position ITC on the leading edge.
Packaging will be subdued and professional-looking to further contrast ITC’s product with the competitor’s offerings.
7) Competitive Reaction
8) The Future
* Source Streetwise Small Business Start-Up
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