The following market growth and market share objectives for the company given the focus on growth in wholesale seafood processing:
1. To generate an incremental $500,000 in revenue through the sale of uniquely packaged bait to commercial and recreational fisherman.
2. To obtain distribution agreements with three local distributors stressing the unique nature of the packaging and product mix.
3. To create a unique identity for the company through extensive use of e-mail marketing to distributors, crab and lobster fishing companies and independent bait resellers as well.
Opportunities: Currently, no one else is offering variable weights. All bait is currently sold in a nude frozen block. Interest for frozen mesh bagged bait has come directly from fishermen. Gain of raw material is based on market competitive pricing. AFS has contact with distributors that are ready to take and sell the product.
Threats: A larger seafood processor moves into this market in the Northeastern U.S. And uses their existing distribution channels and packaging expertise to imitate the unique competitive advantage of AFS.
Aggressively sell to crab and lobster fleets throughout the Boston area.
Potential Future Opportunities
Aggressively recruit and sell multiple distributors throughout the Northeastern U.S..
Patent the unique packaging the product has today.
The continued threat of mercury and other forms of pollution impacting the consumption of fish in both bait and food forms (Tsegay, 78).
The entrance of a larger ands more established corporation that has the potential to imitate the competitive advantage of packaging that AFS has and freeze them out of a potential new series of distribution channels and markets.
No major technologies threats could potentially impact AFS in the near-term; the only threats that will impact them are the same ones that will impact the entire industry in the much longer-term time horizon.
Small more agile company
Focus on the customer
Integrated to the supply chain
Proving the packaging concept
- Distribution channels
- Crab and lobster fishery sales
- Wildlife preserves
- Commerical fishermen
- Recreational fishermen
Entrance of a larger competitor
Packaging idea taken by competitor
Pricing war begins
Environmental impact on fishing
SWOT Analysis Matrix
Presented in this section is an overview of both the primary and secondary research completed for this marketing plan. In terms of primary research a series of interviews were competed with several commercial fishermen and their companies, in addition to local distributors and independent resellers.
Unique packaging concept was tested with informal groups of commercial fishermen including those working on crab and lobster commercial fishing fleets. The results of the informal discussions and surveys were enthusiasm for the concept of having packaged bait that would be easily used while fishing.
Extensive secondary research including analysis from DataMonitor (1998), Seafood Report (2006), and other websites listed in the references section were also used. Extensive use of the Thompson Gale Business & Company Online Information Center was also used for industry analysis and statistics.
Sport fishermen are brand loyal due to a bit of a superstitious nature. Once they change brands, they rarely come back.
The typical customer is a commercial fisherman who wants to manage bait quickly to maximize his catch while out. The second is the recreational fisherman who wants bait he can use without making a mess. Packaged baits solve both of these customers' problems.
Continuous Consumer Monitoring & Research
Voice of the Customer Programs -- This program will center on customer satisfaction surveys with customers, both commercial and recreational, to understand how the existing packaging of bait is useful, and most importantly, what can be done better to serve the customers.
Customer Satisfaction Surveys -- This is critical especially for the distributors and their needs, and it's critical for AFS to get these in place and track the performance of their company with this critical customer base. Distributors do need to be seen as an additional customer.
Target Market(s) and Profile(s)
The following are the target markets for AFS:
Commercial crab and lobster fishermen
Marketing and Promotion/Advertising Objectives
Marketing Launch of AFS as a company
A series of PR activities including a press release and endorsement of a commercial fishing customer detailing how the unique packaging has assisted in making the fishermen more effective is critical for differentiation.
Launching the company local commercial fishing trade publications is critical. The focus of the advertising needs to focus an actual customer using the AFS products to be more efficient and successful fishing.
Customer Endorsements a vital part promotion
The focus on the launch of AFS is to have at least one if not several customers actively endorse the revised packaging and product strategies during the initial launch of the company.
Public Relations Messaging Strategy: Trust AFS For First Rate Bait!
AFS needs to aggressively communicate their role as a trusted advisor to both commercial and recreational fishermen
Role of trusted advisor also critical in distribution agreements and selling to wildlife preserves
The following are the marketing objectives of the company:
Aggressively launch the company in 2009 and position its unique packaging as a competitive strength.
Create the brand of AFS being the trusted advisor to the commercial and recreational fisherman when it comes to while, cut and meshed bait.
Create and maintain Voice of the Customer programs for gaining insights into how the needs of their customers are changing.
Objectives include the following:
1. Aggressively launch AFS with a series of press releases, advertising programs and PR messages that highlight the focus on the company being the trusted advisor to all customers.
2. Plan the advertising strategy to focus first on trust followed by unique packaging and price as the competitive advantages.
3. Define through continued research what the core messages are for the target markets of commercial and recreational fishermen, and the needs of wildlife preserves for fresh bait.
This trusted advisor concept is defined in greater detail in the branding concepts and objectives section.
AFS is the most trusted seafood processor in Boston. This has to be the core focus of the messaging, and it will be accomplished using the following strategies:
Heavy reliance on advertisements and testimonials from customers on how the bait packaging and freshness has made a big difference in their fishing.
Focus on showing how the bait packaging and freshness is competitively priced and a much greater value to commercial and recreational fishermen.
Brand image is that of being a pre-eminent trusted advisor to commercial and recreational fishermen and that the bait is good enough for the professionals.
Product, Price and Distribution Strategies
Product Descriptions and Product/Service Mix Strategies
Frozen boxed bait is sold either as whole fish or broken pieces. Both forms will be weighed into one-pound increments, encased in mesh material, metal clipped at both ends. Size variances can be adjusted to met the customers needs after beta testing.
Penetration pricing strategy that aims to generate greater market share immediately by testing the price elasticity of the market is the primary strategy. Additional products' pricing will be defined over time and will include a premium-priced product specifically for the commercial fishermen.
The primary distribution strategy is direct sales to crab and lobster commercial fishermen with a secondary strategy being selling through distribution.
AFS' immediate potential of 2 million pounds added value bait sold to two market groups, at $.25 per pound of product, totals $500,000 in additional revenue to the company.
Minimal market budgets forces the following strategies:
1. Extensive use of PR and customer endorsements to gain credibility and fulfill the role of trusted advisor.
2. Use of industry magazines in the area to underscore "success stories" of using the bait both commercially and recreationally.
3. Success story for the wildlife preserve market to increase sales into this market.
Budgeting Limitations and Assumptions
The following are key limitations to the budget:
Cost of producing and delivering press releases
Cost of advertising locally
Assumption 1: The company's identity needs to be defined through the use of advertising to underscore the trusted advisor role it is pursuing.