Black Thinking is an advertising agency that is poised to penetrate the market of the city of Birmingham, in the United Kingdom. Birmingham is considered to be the most populous city in the United Kingdom after its capital, London. According to the 2011 census, Birmingham is home to a total of 1,073,000 citizens (Council 2012). Due to its high population, there are a number of small yet successful businesses that have erupted over time in the heart of the city. They form a significant part of the city's economy. However, due to cost restraints, not all of them can afford to contract out their marketing campaigns to big firms to gain maximum utility from their advertisement and marketing expenditure budgets. This is where Black Thinking shall step in. Black Thinking seeks to serve the small businesses that cannot afford big marketing firms to prepare its campaigns and sell their products and services to a wider market. At its core, Black Thinking is positioned to become a driven and innovative marketing/advertising agency that believes in direct communication and interaction with the target market / audience for a given product or service. The core value of Black Thinking shall be to achieve results. The key ingredient in the mix shall be the innovative, fresh and stringent workforce that Black Thinking shall employ. The workforce shall consist of students, who shall be given the opportunity to not only voice out their ideas and opinions, but also create entire advertising campaigns under the supervision of experts and marketing veterans. In this manner, students from different universities will not only gain invaluable experience with exceptional mentoring from professionals but also rewards for their effort. What Black Thinking strives to deliver will be a marketing strategy/campaign to the client which is meaningful yet effective, using an optimal mix of marketing and communication tools at its disposal.
Vision, Mission, Aims:
The mission of Black Thinking is to be the best in the market by having strong core values. It strives to deliver to clients the best in quality, creativity, and innovation with professional excellence. Its vision is to inspire and nurture its workforce so as to allow it to grow creatively and perform with professional brilliance and technique to deliver what is required for the client.
In order to follow is assigned vision; the agency must establish certain objectives that it needs to achieve in the short-term and long-term, to ensure that it is moving along its directed path. In the short-term the agency needs to focus on the customer satisfaction as well as the image that it is drawing out for itself in the market. Hence, the first and foremost objective of Black Thinking will be customer satisfaction. The agency shall work toward not only providing the customer with effective marketing campaigns and strategies but also maintain it by ensuring customer satisfaction. It is the agency's duty to portray an image of professionalism blended with excellence in the market to draw the customer in and then retain them. In the market, perception is everything. Another objective of the medium term will be of continuous development and improvement. This applies to the agency as a whole as well as its individual employees. Since the company intends to employ university students to pitch in ideas, their nurturing, mentoring and professional development is the responsibility of the agency. Continuous development also means that the agency grows from strength to strength, keeping up with the latest trends and wishes of its customers. The agency needs to time and time again come up with new and interesting quality ideas to keep its customer base on steady growth since the advertising industry is dynamic and ever-changing. The agency should also apply itself on when it comes up to its social responsibility. A short to medium term objective will be that of discharging its social responsibility towards different groups in the society as to ensure it does not cross any lines and handle matters that are viewed as sensitive with extreme caution and professionalism. The ultimate long-term objective, as in the case of any marketing/advertising agency would be that of expansion. Black Thinking will be based in the city Birmingham. But an ambitious management always plans ahead of time in order to stretch the limits of its existence. However, as it starts to gain market share in the city, the agency shall proceed to target the surrounding geographical area for a new target audience for its products and services. It aims to supersede its competitors in the area by providing better and more creative ideas in affordable prices with superior customer service.
Company and Management Structure
The structure of Black Thinking will be like that of any other advertising/marketing agency. In the beginning, Black Thinking will start small, developing only the core departments that it requires to function effectively as an advertising agency. It will be organized in a horizontal structure, consisting of six major departments: Accounts Management Department, Accounts Planning Department, Creative Center, Media Planning and Buying Depart, Finance Department, and Production Department. The Account Management department will employ accounting managers and executives that be held responsible for liaising with the customers. The main job at hand for this department will be to ensure that they bring in clients that pay their bills and keep the agency running smoothly with a balanced cash flow. The Account Planning Department is designated the job of developing the creative blueprint that directs the agency on how to progress on an advertising/marketing campaign. This will involve a lot of research on part of the account managers and other research personnel employed by the agency to provide insights on what the consumer wants, what the customer wants, interview various focus groups, and help any other strategic insight that the campaign requires. The Creative Center will be responsible for the final product that will be pitched and sold to the customer, handled individually by creative and production designers with some help from art directors, managed by one Creative Director, who ensures all projects, are on track. The purpose of the Media Planning and Buying is the procurement of airtime in different forms of media such as television, radio, newspaper, billboards etc. The department ensures that the advertisement gets noticed by its target audience in the best manner possible. The Finance department will be in-charge of all the finances coming in to and going out of the agency. This may be in the form of income from the clients, or salaries paid to the employees. One of the most important departments to be set up will be of Production. The Production Department shall evaluate the feasibility of the ideas that the Creative Center has pitched in, as to whether it can be achieved in the given budget with the given resources of the agency as well as the client. This department collaborates with a number of other departments such as the Media Buying and Planning department and Creative Center in order to be effective. As the agency will expand, departments such as Human Resources can be set up to scout for and manage the creative and production personnel that can keep the agency fresh and vibrant with new ideas and energy.
As with all advertising, the strategy to be adopted by the Black Thinking agency to market itself is that of building up of its brand. The marketing of the agency itself would be in such a manner as to highlight its star attributes. The star attributes of Black Thinking are its affordable prices and innovation ideas from a fresh young staff at work.
In order to examine the external environment of the city where Blacking Thinking will be operating from, we undertake a PEST analysis (Refer Appendix A). Black Thinking is to be launched and located in Birmingham, U.K. The political conditions of Birmingham are stable (Wilson 2000) with the city contributing to over £15.2 billion (Info 2006)to the overall economy of the country. It is populous city, home to different cultures and trades. Being the second most populated city in the country (Network 2007), it is technologically very advanced and maintains a very conductive environment for business due to its population and stability. Hence, it is the metropolitan at the heart of the Midlands, and a very suitable spot to start up a marketing agency due to the number of small businesses located in the vicinity.
It is important to conduct an internal SWOT analysis (Refer Appendix A) of the agency to see whether it can survive against competitors in the real world. Black thinking needs to focus on its strengths, seizing opportunities available to it by avoiding any threats and covering up its weaknesses. Its major strength will be its workforce of fresh minded university students that can pitch in innovative ideas, and will cost the agency less than experts.…