Marketing Mix Principles of Marketing Summer 2012 Essay

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Marketing Mix

Principles of Marketing

Summer 2012

Anthony L. Hamilton Sr.

Dr. Kay Green

Establishing a New Business

The business name will be "Bird Wise" and provides a pet-related service. It will be located in Florida with the plan to expand services to new markets in the regional area as well as to develop a national online presence.

The mission statement of the company is: "To help people improve their relationship with their companion birds by providing the people the skills to reduce unwanted behaviors and increase wanted behaviors in their birds."

The primary objectives of the business are as follows. First, develop a professional network of referrals through vets, pet shops, bird breeders, humane societies, and bird clubs. The second objective will be to develop a web presence using direct promotion and social media. A third objective will be to generate an effective price structure for the various services that will be offered to clients. The fourth objective will be to develop a client base of no less than five clients by the six-month milestone. Client relationships will generally be short-term in duration (purchasing services for one to three months), so meeting client goals will require acknowledging this depending on their progress and prior relationship with their bird. It has been estimated that five clients should generate roughly $4,000 a month in revenue.

4. I believe that I have the appropriate and uncommon skills to begin and expand this business. Many individuals buy larger birds (parrots, cockatoos, macaws) and then do not have the skills to keep the birds happy, leading the birds to begin to scream and bite (Mischke, 2002, n.p.). This leads people to euthanize or abandon their birds. My aunt is a bird breeder and so I have grown up with birds and understand how to promote behaviors that will allow people to keep and love their birds, thus making the pet-owners happy and saving the birds from potentially tragic ends. Given that people spend a great deal of money to buy these types of birds and usually love them at first, the pet-owners are likely to recommend my services to other people who have larger birds with behavioral problems, all of whom have an interest in their own expensive investment. From my own experiences as a bird owner and member of several bird clubs, I know that there are hundreds of bird owners in need of such services.

5. In general, the external environment is favorable to a business like this due to lack of competition and the beneficial value of the product. Most people like the idea of preventing healthy animals from being killed and because the services are provided in the residences of the customers there will be no problems regarding using my own residence as a workplace.

6. Given that current estimates place the large hookbill population as over 100 million in the U.S., the customer base is as diverse and segmented as the demographics who can afford such pets.

7. Internet and advertising research demonstrate that there are relatively few people or companies who offering similar services. Furthermore the firms identified do not have the breadth or depth of my experience and unlikely to provide the same level of service. I can offer my customers greater expertise and ongoing support where such service is rarely if ever offered. Bird-owners are likely to feel they can handle their birds when I am there, but may panic when I leave. Thus, follow-up services will make my services extremely appealing.

8. Because I am entering a market in which there are no serious competitors, I do will not have to worry about competition until the brand is already established. Because this is a service, the training is presented as an integrated bundle whole rather than a collection of vertically integrated components that can be offered singly.

9. The target audience is all individuals who have large birds that exhibit unwanted behavior. Given large hookbill population as of over 100 million in the U.S.; there is an essentially unlimited market for my services. This is especially true for parrot and other large bird-owners living in urban areas because in apartments and condominiums, birds' screaming because they are from boredom or stressed can cause significant conflicts among neighbors.

10. For this proposal, I drew on my own experience and talked to breeders, vets, bird club members, and humane societies.

11. The products that this firm will provide is happier, well-behaved large hookbills and provide value to clients, through training and consultation. I will deliver this service by training the owners and their birds in their own home environments at first, but then through larger presentations and multimedia as brand awareness expands. The process will involve my interacting with the owners and birds, to diagnose and correct the owner behavior that provokes the birds (and the people around them) into unhealthy responses.

12. At first, the service will be distributed through direct provision of training in the home, at their location and time of choice. With demand growth from promotion, however, the informational nature of the training could expand to larger groups, and ultimately training agents in other regions as my direct provision becomes limited by time and travel cost. The informational nature of the product allows for infinite expansion and economies of scale through Internet or direct retail of branded educational materials, for example.

13. Given 100 million or so bird owners, their characteristics will vary widely, but only within higher income demographics if they own a large hookbill. Within this demographic will likely appear different spending abilities and consumption preferences. Wealthier local consumers can afford direct service visits, but expanding sales to distant, lower-income, or curious but wary shoppers suggests consultation or educational products at lower cost online, direct marketing or traditional retail. Likewise age would produce variation, if social marketing misses older consumers, who may also prefer and be able to afford direct consultation, whereas younger consumers may favor new era marketing and prefer lower-cost online consultation or training. These segmentation characteristics could appear in a table based on age, distance or income, for example (Schultz, 2004, p. 12).

14. The target market is comprised of owners of large birds. Although this niche can be narrowly defined, the members of this group will represent a wide variety of individuals with different needs depending on their level of experience with birds. For example, some bird owners will represent new owners who have limited experience or knowledge in how to properly handle their birds. This sub-segment will most likely need information about the full range of services offer and might be best reached through referrals through the person in which they purchased their pet. However, other bird owners may represent more experienced clients who might only be interested in a narrow range of services offered. These clients might be best reached through targeting bird clubs or vet services.

15. Personal selling will be necessary to develop a referral network. Pet stores and vet services will need to be contacted and educated as to what services will be offered and how these services can complement their own services in regards to bird ownership. Furthermore, personal selling will be necessary to market to leads generated by the referral network.

16. The entire business model has training as it core component. Training in this model can be considered on different levels. First, the range of services will all focused on training clients to better provide for and interact with their birds. However, on a different level, the referral network will also need a different range of training to familiarize themselves with the services offered.

17. Since the business will not have a dedicated sales force and will be utilizing a referral network instead, financial incentives and other incentives will be award to those who can provide referrals. Financial incentives may include a $100 dollar referral fee for any new clients successfully added to the client list. However, there are also non-financial incentives for referrals since the product mix may compliment the services in which referral providers already offer. For example, a pet store owner may have better chances of selling a new bird as a pet if there is a clear method of finding support to care for the bird if they run into trouble. This would represent a non-financial incentive for the pet store owner.

18. The evaluation of sales performance will be conducted by monitoring the closing percentage of all the leads generated by the referral network and the online presence respectively. Although these two sources of leads will have different closing percentages, each will be monitored separately and used to strengthen the marketing program.

19. The communication objectives for local clients will consist of setting up a face-to-face meeting with the potential client and their pet to discuss their service options. It is believed that such a meeting will generate a high closing rate and should be arranged within three days. For potential clients…[continue]

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