Marketing Plan for a Flatbed  Marketing Plan

Excerpt from Marketing Plan :

Nonetheless, the market and the industry are highly dynamic, and it is possible for competition in the specific sector to intensify in the future. In such a context then, it is important for the managerial team at South Beach Transport to construct their success on features other than the nature of the service provided. Some of the more notable key success factors include the quality of the products, the ability to create customer trust and loyalty, the ability to create operational efficiency and keep costs at a level as low as possible.

2.6 Critical Issues

South Beach Transport would be faced with a multitude of challenges, all of which have to be faced in order to create company success. At a more specific level, there are two critical issues, both depending on the quality of the managerial model. The first critical issue revolves around the need to efficiently manage the teams, to deliver high quality services and to ensure operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and organizational results. On the other hand, the second critical issue is represented by the need to promote the company; to position it within the industry so that the potential clients become aware of its existence; to raise demand for its services. This second critical issue would be completed with the aid of a complex marketing strategy.

3. Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy represents a way of conducting operations, a business model even, through which the economic agent attains its financial objectives through the satisfaction of the needs and wants of the customer base (Quick MBA, 2010). Similar to the situation analysis, the marketing strategy is composed from a wide array of elements, each with its own relevance for the company, the market, the customers and so on. In the case of South Beach Transport, emphasis is placed on the mission, the marketing objective, the financial objectives, the target markets, the positioning of the firm, the marketing strategies, the marketing program and the marketing research.

3.1 Mission

South Beach Transport hopes to become the preferred transportation company for people and firms in need of flatbed transportation. In attaining this objective, we will focus on the full satisfaction of the needs and wants of our customers, on the creation of a favorable environment for our people and on the provision of responsibility and support of our community.

3.2 Marketing Objective

At a general level, the marketing objective is that of raising consumer awareness of the company and generating demand for its services. At a more specific level, the marketing program would be constructed in a manner to attract customers and generate sustainable revenues. These sustainable revenues would support the company in reaching its growth objective, namely the growth of its fleet from an initial of five trucks to a future fleet size of 50 trucks. The company has set out to attain this objective in five years.

3.3 Financial Objectives

South Beach Transport aims to increase the size of its capitals by 10 per cent for each of the first five years of operations. After this period, the financial goals would be reevaluated. If the company will have reached a comfortable size and the growth process is halted, the size of the capital would stabilize. If on the other hand, more growth is desired, the size of the capital would also increase.

In terms of the financial results, these would also be expected to increase by an annual 10 per cent. The company's managerial team wishes to cap the costs so that they do not increase in the same rhythm as the results, yet this would be rather difficult to attain throughout the organization's expansion period. In time however, stability would be attained and the organization would come to register more stable profits.

3.4 Target Markets

South Beach Transport targets those specific customer segments which reveal transportation needs that have to be served quickly and efficiently. Also, the targeted consumer markets transport merchandise which is resistant, rather than sensitive.

In this order of ideas, the following consumer sectors are identified as the cores of the target market:

Construction companies

Landscaping companies

Farming agencies

Hope Depot and other such distribution centers

Retailers of heavy equipments

Any other vendors of items which can be transported with the flatbeds -- namely those large size items that are resistant to weather conditions (Van Loo and Koppejan, 2008).

3.5 Positioning

Throughout the positioning strategy, emphasis would be placed on the provision of information regarding the company and the services, as well as the high quality of the services. These items would however occupy a restricted share in the overall positioning strategy, which would be created around the promotion of South Beach Transport as the only local flatbed company in South Florida. Additionally, focus would fall on the company's ability to deliver overnight within a 500-mile radius.

3.6 Strategies

The marketing strategy to be implemented by South Beach Transport is one of leadership and product differentiation. This strategic combination of approaches is based on the fact that South Beach Transport would be a leader in local flatbed transportation services, and it would differentiate itself from other companies with the aid of the unique service delivered (Chaston, 1999).

3.7 Marketing Program

a) Product

The product is represented by the transportation services provided by the South Beach Transport company with the aid of its flatbed trucks. The product characteristics include the speed of delivery and efficiency of loading. The service would be retailed under the company's brand name and would reveal high levels of quality and customer support.

b) Price

The pricing strategy to be used would be a variable pricing strategy, in which the retail price of the service is created in accordance with the costs incurred in its delivery. This ensures the company with a balanced profit, based on the costs incurred. It also makes the price to consumer highly sensitive to any change in commodities, fuel and other costs encountered by the transport firm.

c) Distribution

The transport service would be provided for both short as well as long distances. The focus would traditionally fall on long distances, but the company is also providing local transportation services.

d) Promotion

The promotional program would revolve around the creation of advertisements which capture the essence of the service offered by South Beach Transport, as well as the benefits which the service would be offering to the customers. The advertisements would be featured in both the general media, as well as in the specialized media. Some examples include street banners, television commercials or advertisements in construction periodicals.

3.8 Marketing Research

South Beach Transport is likely to succeed upon its penetration of the market and this is due to the combination of the proper managerial model (including the marketing program), but also the fact it would be the sole provider of flatbed transportation services. In time however, the competition within this specific sector could easily intensify, to raise new challenges for South Beach. Such a possibility points out to the need and importance of marketing research. The company would continually assess the market to identify new customer needs and serve them, but would also assess the competition and adjust its strategies to make them more competitive.

4. Financials

4.1 Break-Even Analysis

The breakeven analysis reveals the point at which the company covers its costs and begins to register profits. In order to identify this point however, it is necessary to first identify the financial implications. The following estimations are made:

The variable unit cost is of $100

The fixed costs are of $80,000

The company expects to sell 1,000 units

The price per unit is of $200

Source: Dinky Town, 2011

For the assumptions previously made regarding the costs incurred in the delivery of the transportation services and the volume of sales envisioned, the company would breakeven after it sells 800 units.

4.2 Sales Forecast

Throughout the first year of operations, the company is expected to register the following sales level:

Month 1: 100 units

Month 2: 94 units

Month 3: 80 units

Month 4: 70 units

Month 5: 70 units

Month 6: 80 units

Month 7: 70 units

Month 8: 80 units

Month 9: 80 units

Month 10: 90 units

Month 11: 92 units

Month 12: 94 units

4.3 Expense Forecast

The initial cost of the investment is expected to be of $300,000, the first six months revealing equal costs of $33,333, and the following six months revealing equal costs of $16,664. The costs would be divided as follows:

$100,000 for the purchase of the trucks

$100,000 for personnel expenditure

$50,000 for building costs, including maintenance, renting and utilities

$50,000 for other administrative costs, including the development and implementation of the marketing strategies.

5. Controls

South Beach Transport would use internal control structures to assess its strategies, their alignment with the organizational goals, but also with the legal and ethical norms. At a more specific level, controls would be implemented to assess the company's revenue generation abilities, the means…

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