Marketing Plan for a Series essay

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Safety of participants;

2. Welfare of participants; and,

3. Quality of course offerings.

Critical Issues

The critical issue facing this enterprise is the need to provide a rigorous and challenging survival course while ensuring that its features are safe and that all participants will be able to complete the training with support and will find the experience empowering, exciting, satisfying and even fun.

Marketing Strategy

Mission

The mission of the survival course instructions provided by the company is to provide all participants with the knowledge and tools they will need to improve their chances of surviving a natural or manmade disaster.

Marketing Objectives

The company's marketing objectives for the next year are to reach at least 10% of the target market as described below through low-cost marketing initiatives and campaigns.

Financial Objectives

The company's financial objectives are to increase cash flow by 50% by the end of 2014.

Target Markets

The survival courses provided by the company are not designed for the frail or handicapped. Although provisions are made for size and physical ability, all participants in the survival course will undergo rigorous training that requires a normal level of physical ability. There will be no "watered down" versions of the survival course training offered.

Positioning

The company will promote its survival course offerings through trade journal advertisements as well as through a prominent Facebook page as discussed further below.

Strategies

The marketing strategies to be used by the company will focus on the two core target markets: (a) private consumers and (b) corporate clients. For private consumers, marketing strategies will include appeals to homeowners and college students who may feel vulnerable and feel they need the self-confidence that survival course training provides. For corporate clients, the focus of the marketing strategies will be on the improved morale and employee satisfaction that can result from participation in survival course training.

Marketing Program

The company's marketing program will use the following approaches for pricing, distribution, advertising, and customer service.

Pricing. The pricing for the survival course will be based on an analysis of like offerings by competitors with a goal of providing more value for less money. Significant discounts will be provided to corporate clients that enroll three or more students.

Distribution. The survival coursework will take place both in the classroom as well as in the field.

Advertising and Promotion. Several different methods will be used for the advertising efforts, including television, social media, magazines and a free or low-cost Web site for the promotion of the survival course offerings and specials. According to Fox (2009, p. 114), "Facebook is more marketing-friendly than MySpace, however, primarily because it offers easy-to-use ways for companies and even individual products to establish profile pages. Companies can create 'fan pages' (or fans can create them independently); and easy-to-use group pages are available to help users congregate around shared interests." The advantages of using Facebook include its user-friendly interface, a feature that many small business owners will appreciate. In this regard, Fox (2009, p. 114) adds that, "Creating these pages requires little graphic expertise (unlike in MySpace) because Facebook pages are all standardized in one generic blue-and-white template."

Customer Service. Survival course offerings will need to take into account the general size and strength differences between the genders. Additional considerations needed to include differences in comfort zones as well as possible differences in emergency reactions to personal danger (Roosevelt & Bloom, 2001, p. 103). As noted above, though, there will be no "watered down" versions of the survival course offerings.

Marketing Research

The research indicates that an increasing number of people who enjoy outdoor activities in general such as hiking and biking and exploring remote outdoor areas are enrolling for courses at wilderness survival schools (Friedland, 2012). The popularity of survival course is attributable in part to the enhanced sense of self-confidence and knowledge that completion of the survival training also improves the likelihood of survival in a post-disaster environment (Roosevelt & Bloom, 2001). According to Friedland, "Your chances of surviving are directly proportionate to how much knowledge you carry in your head and not how many gadgets you carry in your survival kit. [Survival] schools offer basic wilderness survival courses, plus a chance to learn such diverse skills as land navigation and tracking to finding edible plants" (2012, para. 2). Likewise, Hurst (2006) emphasizes that, "The negative effects of unexpected situations can be reduced by providing employers and workers with 'real world' survival skills and survival planning that will enhance their performance during disasters or terrorist attacks" (2006, p. 13).

Financials

This section will offer a financial overview of the company's fiscal health. The company will address marketing costs, cash flow forecast, and its financials year end 2013.

Marketing Costs

This is an internally funded start-up company. The creation of the corporate Web site and Facebook page will require approximately $300; ongoing maintenance of these resources will require an additional $2,000 per year (this function will be provided by one of the principals until the company becomes profitable).

Cash Flow Forecast

Cash flow forecasts for three different scenarios for each of the product offerings are presented in Tables 3 through 5 below.

Table 3

Post-Disaster (2-day)

Projections

Total Private

Total Corporate

Total First Year

100 private/200 corp. clients

$49,500

$79,000

$128,500

200 private/300 corp. clients

$99,000

$118,500

$217,500

300 private/400 corp. clients

$148,500

$158,000

$306,500

Table 4

Aftermath Series (3-day)

Projections

Total Private

Total Corporate

Total First Year

100 private/200 corp. clients

$85,000

$140,000

$225,000

200 private/300 corp. clients

$170,000

$210,000

$380,000

300 private/400 corp. clients

$255,000

$280,000

$535,000

Table 5

Aftermath Series (5-day)

Projections

Total Private

Total Corporate

Total First Year

100 private/200 corp. clients

$189,500

$339,000

$528,500

200 private/300 corp. clients

$379,000

$508,500

$887,500

300 private/400 corp. clients

$568,500

$678,000

$1,246,500

Controls

The purpose of the company's marketing plan is to provide a framework to evaluate the effectiveness of the various marketing approaches used to identify the most cost-effective for further emphasis as well as poorly performing marketing initiatives that would serve as opportunities for improvement.

Implementation

Time is of the essence is implementing the marketing plan outlined herein. Although the principals intend to donate their time and services for the first 3 months of operation, it is imperative that the company achieve a break-even point by that time and profitable shortly thereafter in order to remain viable.

Marketing Organization

One of the company's principals will serve as chief marketing officer and will be responsible for overseeing the marketing team through the implementation of this plan.

Contingency Planning

Difficulties and Risks. The breakdown of cash flow alternatives outline in Tables 3 through 5 above indicates there is a real risk of failing to attract sufficient clientele to achieve profitability within the first year unless the marketing strategies operate as expected.

Worst-Case Risks. The worst case risk for the company is a complete or near-total lack of interest on the part of the targeted population for survival course training.

References

Baxter, K. (2010, December 3). 20 October 2010: The Gulf Technical and Safety Training

Centre runs survival courses for the oil and gas sector. Middle East Economic Digest,

54(49), 30-34.

Cravens, D.W. (2000). Strategic marketing 6th edition. New York: Irwin McGraw-Hill.

Fox, S.C. (2009). E-Riches 2.0: Next-Generation Marketing. New York: American

Management Association.

Friedland, L. (2012). Can you survive wilderness survival school? Adventure Travel. Retrieved from…[continue]

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