MKT421 Wk 5 Marketing Plan Final Paper
MKT421 Wk 5 Marketing Plan Final Paper
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Date Created: 11/12/15
Abstract Pet Palace is going to introduce a new product in the market. It will be called Allergy BeGone. It will dramatically reduce the chances of having allergies from pets. This product will allow people to have pets that have given up hope because of the allergy problem. Now they can have the pet of their choice without any health concern and enjoy their life. This is a unique product and has shown great results in the testing phases. Regardless of that, a comprehensive marketing campaign will ensure its success in the market. Marketing plan of Pet Palace for Allergy Be Gone will be discussed in this paper. Marketing Plan: Final Paper Marketing is essential for every business, be it a small household business or a large multinational group. All businesses depend on marketing in one way or the other. Setting of goals according to entrepreneur’s visions marks the starting o f the plan. It is better to do proper research and documentation before launching a product in the market or else the results will not be according to one’s thinking. Raymond Morose is the owner of Pet Palace and has been running this business for the last 44 years (Manta, 2010). Raymond Morose is running the business with a small staff but is very clear about his goals, as he has set his goals according to SMART approach. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebased and every goal should be SMART. By using this as baseline, one can easily monitor the performance of his team and decide how much they have achieved. If they have not achieved enough, strategies can be altered to get the desired results. Pet Palace is a private business that has years of experience in providing pet supplies. Now they want to expand their business by introducing a new product called Allergy BeGone. Pet Palace has been working for almost 36 months on the planning of its marketing strategy and is very keen to take it up. Description of new Product Allergy BeGone Researcher has shown that many people are allergic to pets and cannot have pets due to this issue. Pet Palace has created a product that will end the allergy and allow people to a happy living with their pets. This product will be introduced in the market as an allergy neutralizer that will stop this allergy irritation with a simple and clean method. Allergy BeGone will be provided in a liquid spray form and can be sprayed on the pets, pet beds, and all other places pet visit frequently. Allergy BeGone will trim down dandruff, coat oils and shedding of hair, as they are the main causes of allergy. Spray will have a fresh fragrance that will deodorize the house environment as well. The spray has been designed to be used numerous times a week and this much usage will not affect the pet or the house owner in any way. Alcohol or similar liquids have not been used that is why there is no chance of skin infection. Allergy BeGone by Pet Palace will be placed in grooming section of departmental stores and shopping malls. It will have great success when placed at a suitable location, along with its awesome features like fresh scent and effective allergy management. Allergy BeGone will the way forward for people who have always wanted to have a pet but were unable to do so because of medical limitations. Importance of Marketing for Pet Palace’s Success Pet Palace is aware of the importance of its product and knows that it has the ability to change everyday life of millions of people. They have spent time on it, called experts and tested it on different levels and on different pets and it has passed every test with excellence. As far as business side is concerned, Pet Palace is also aware of the fact that this production will cost them heavy money. They must make sure that the product is of best quality and meets the desired longterm goals of the company. Heavy emphasis will be on marketing efforts so that the product is as successful in the market as anticipated. Knowing one’s customers, what they think of our product and what changes do they want are must for successful marketing effort. An effective marketing campaign will help Pet Palace in knowing what their customers want. They can modify their product in desired way to achieve better sales. Customer relations will also play an important role in achieving the organizational goals of Pet Palace by helping the customers in every way they can, by communication them the true value of their product and by winning their trust and confidence. Pet Palace has been in a successful business for a long time and they have a certain reputation. This reputation can help in rapid establishment and acceptance of their new product. It must be kept in mind that the marketing strategy used should not conflict with the already existing goodwill of the company. This will not only retain the existing customers but will also attract new ones to increase the customer base to optimal level. SWOT Analysis – Allergy BeGone Marketing plan is always based on information regarding product, customers, market and competitors. The best way to analyze all this information is through a SWOT analysis. SWOT stand for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This analysis takes into account both internal and external factors, internals being strengths and weakness, and external being opportunities and threats (Kotler & Keller, 2009). Pet Palace can get to know its strengths and weaknesses by its analyzing internal environment. Strengths of Pet Palace include its good name, its loyal customer base and its product quality. Pet Palace should overcome its weaknesses if it wants to gain from its strengths. Current business of Pet Palace is retail store business and it has no experience of production business. Allergy BeGone requires a production unit and production skills that Pet Palace does not possess. This can make the capital requirements higher than anticipated. Pet palace can earn huge profits from Allergy BeGone because the currently available solution for allergy problem cannot match with it. Currently available options to customers are shampoos, hand sanitizers and air purifiers (Allergy Relief Pet Care Products, 2010). All of these are expensive and take longer to act. It takes longer to reach every nook and corner of the place as well whereas Allergy BeGone is comparatively inexpensive and very easy to use. Current trend in the market is that people prefer environment friendly things (American Pet Products Association, 2010). Allergy BeGone uses environment friendly ingredients and can capture this edge by proper marketing. Main threats include large established pet care companies such as Hartz. They are already manufacturing related product and can easily launch a similar product at a much lower price because of economies of scale effect. Marketing Research Approach Just like all other products, marketing will play a vital role in the success of Allergy Be Gone. Marketing strategy will be defined and designed based on market research. Marketing information systems (MIS) will be used to design the marketing plan. Use of Marketing Information Systems will allow the marketers to properly plan each and every activity of the marketing plan. It will also enable them to keep an eye on the execution of marketing plan. Information collected through MIS is organized and more useful than traditional information collection. Information is collected through different techniques such as questionnaires and customer surveys. Constant monitoring is done through analysis of customer feedback. Marketers will decide how will they market the product based on information collected and then its progress will be monitored constantly through customer feedback. The constant information collection and analysis can also be used to improve marketing mix. This continuous improvement will help the product stay in accordance with the customer’s needs resulting in more sales and more profit. Segmentation Criteria Affecting the Target Market More than 300 million people constitute the American consumer market. These people spend above $12 trillion on goods and services every year and this makes is one the most tempting markets in the world. Consumer market around the globe is of 6.6 billion people and they spend an estimated $65 trillion on goods and services annually (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009). Target market identification is the very first step in this critical planning practice and it is to be done before we place our product. Normal exercise is too timeconsuming as it involves surveys, mail responses and even telephonic interviews to know what type people will be out target and in which part of the country. No such information is needed in our case as our target market in neither religion dependent nor color or demographic dependent. Our target market is simply, pet owners. They are found in every demographic that is why our target market is colossal. It is common perception that people do not know what stimulates their purchases but this thinking also does not apply in Allergy BeGone. Our target market is specific and our task is as easy as one, two and three. Our wish is simple, creating a simple ad, telling people about our stores that sell Allergy BeGone exclusively and satisfy the need of pet owners or allergic customers. Simple advertisement campaign will create awareness in the animal loving community and it will spread further through word of mouth. We will also send discount coupons and special offers in mails. In addition, veterinary clinics can avail special discount on bulk purchase of our product. With all these activities, our product will soon be popular. This hype and the unique properties of our product will force people to try it. We are expecting that any person who tries it once will definitely start buying it. People have pets so that they can be loved but they get allergies in return, and exclusive distribution of Allergy BeGone at Pet Palace will be main points in the campaign. Pet Palace owns only store now but soon Allergy BeGone will be such a hit that Pet Palace will be able to open multiple outlets. Pet Palace knows and understands that it needs to market its product to both current and future pet owners and it will not be an easy job. However, if Pet Palace makes changes to their marketing mix according to consumer feedback, then the product is bound to succeed. Buyers and Consumers of the New Product Allergy BeGone will be produced and sold solely by Pet Palace that is why we do not need to target the organizational buyers. Focus will be on direct consumers. Veterinary clinics will have secondary importance for Allergy BeGone but special packages will be announced for them as well, so that they can be attracted too. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (2010) claims that around 0 million people in the United States suffer from differetn forms of allergies. 10 million people among them are victoms of cat dander while remaining 40 million suffer from indoor as well as outdoor allergies. People suffering from indoor allergies will be our prime target. Pet Palace needs to know what factors are influencing the purchasing decision of customers regarding Allergy BeGone. Consumers of Pet Palace are influenced by economic needs, social pressures, emotional needs, and the purchasing circumstances economic needs, psychological variables, social influences, and the purchasing situation (Perrault, Cannon & McCarthy, 2009). Study about these factors will also help in marketing strategy of Pet Palace. Economic need is one of the top factors that influence every purchase. A customer only spends money when he sees some value in the product. This happens when a customer thinks that the product price is justified according to the benefit it is providing. Keeping this in mind, Allergy beGone should be priced in affordable range of most people. It also has to be easy to use and store. Otherwise, customer will think of it as a luxury item and will hesitate in purchasing it. Psychological influences also come into play when customer is buying something. They also experience hierarchy of needs (Perrault, Cannon & McCarthy, 2009) and same is the case with customers of Allergy BeGone. As mentioned earlier, Allergy BeGone should be priced affordably so that people do not think of it as a luxury product. This thinking of it as a necessity will minimize the psychological influences that hinder purchase. Although owning a pet does not come under hierarchy of needs but it may be thought of as an extension of social interaction. Everyone should enjoy the happiness such little thing, as pet keeping, brings. Social influence is the next factor that comes into play during a purchase. In this, the customer is affected in relevance to others. Americans are the most petobsessed nation in the whole world. Approximately 59.5% households have pets as compared to only 35% who have kids. Marketing strategy should be simple and clearcut with this huge infatuated for pets. Next comes the core point that is the reason for purchase. Customers purchase product for different reasons (Perrault, Cannon & McCarthy, 2009). Time saving, quick answer to some difficulty or ease of everyday life can force a person to buy things that he normally will not buy. Allergy BeGone will be marketed as a convenience item that is affordable as well, to cater to such market. Current Competitors and Competitive Landscape for the New Product We should have a wide view when we talk about the competitors of Allergy BeGone. Customers do chose whatever satisfies their needs but they also start looking for a cheaper or better alternate. Keeping this in mind, our competitors can be big pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies. Grocery stores and pet stores are also included in our competitors. Anti allergy medicines produced by pharmaceutical companies may be replacement to Allergy BeGone. Drug stores may sell prescribed or over the counter drugs to counter the allergy problem that is why drug stores are also our competitors. Similarly, shampoos and cleansers that claim to reduce pet dander will also compete with our product. They are sold at grocery stores or pet stores so they will also be counted as competitors. Economic and technological factors will play a vital role in the success of Allergy Be Gone. For economic factor, we need to price the product at very affordable price. Quality is also of utmost important as well. Only then will the customer think that he is getting good value for his money. Technological factors will be equally important in the success of our product. On the technological front, we need to fulfill the customer demand in a novel and easytouse style. Most important thing for Allergy beGone will be positioning it as pet friendly, superior quality affordable antiallergy product. Product Life Cycle Series of four phases through which every product passes, from beginning to end, makes the product life cycle. Combination of product, price, promotion and place (marketing mix) is different for each stage and this will determine how long will be the stay of Allergy BeGone in each stage. Market introduction is the first stage in product life cycle. The product is new to the market in this stage so it is difficult to get high volume of sales. This is where advertising comes in. Allergy BeGone will be heavily dependent on aggressive marketing campaign so that people may know about this new product. Pet Palace has no intension of involving anyone else and will be the sole provider of Allergy BeGone that is why they want to send out free samples, gift coupons and reasonably highvalued discount vouchers. This aggressive campaign may be felt as a burden as this moment but it will pay well in near future. A winning combination of marketing mix is the key to success at all stages. It Pet Palace is able to successfully implement a planned marketing mix; Allergy BeGone will enter the growth stage very soon. Allergy BeGone” is a unique product that will help millions of families in the United States have their beloved pets. We are anticipating that sales will skyrocket in the growth phase of Allergy BeGone. As always, marketing mix will be very important in keeping the product going upwards. Continuous research is needed for that. Biggest concern in this stage may be competitors; they can launch a similar product in trying to get a share from this specific target market. This will certainly affect our sales but we can manage this attack through adjustments in our marketing mix. Nest stage will be maturity stage and sales will become constant, or even decrease, in it. Competition will be all time high as many companies would have stepped in this sector till that time. They will be eyeing the market share of Allergy beGone and attacking it from all sides. Product will rely on its brand image and marketing strategies. This will be a ripe time for Pet Palace to launch a new product to revitalize the business and bring back customer attention to Pet Palace. Next and final stage is the decline stage. This is where product is nearing its end. At this moment, the product has seen its best days and has earned a good name. Still, people may or may not shift to other alternates and only brand loyal people may stay with Allergy BeGone. Regardless of a reliable brand name, effective marketing and appropriate marketing mix will be needed to prolong this stage. Positioning and Differentiation Strategies Allergy beGone was developed, by Pet Palace, as an easy to use and affordable alternate to currently available expensive medication and cleansing shampoos. Pet Palace is not in manufacturing business so it will be a challenge for them to successfully differentiate their product against many other alternates. Allergy BeGone will be competing against experienced and specialized pet allergy control companies and this battle will require precise positioning of the product. Competitors of Allergy BeGone include shampoos, allergy medicines, and sprays. Allersearch is a big name in allergy control market and positions itself as “The best way to protect yourself against dust mites and other allergens” (Allersearch Laboratories, 2007, ¶ 7). Allersearch also produces an antiallergy spray similar to Allergy BeGone. This means that we need to differentiate our product from this competitor. We can compete with this already established antiallergy spray by positioning Allergy beGone on price basis. We can use Allersearch positioning to our advantage. They claim themselves as the best saying, “The best way to protect yourself against dust mites and other allergens” (Allersearch Laboratories, 2007, ¶ 7). We can position our product as affordable spray as compared to best because not everyone can afford the best product out there. Our slogan, “The everyday spray to make allergies go away” will show that out product is a good quality affordable antiallergy spray for everybody. Appropriate Price Strategy Cost of production is the main element in deciding the price of a product. Allergy Be Gone being a new product, and first manufacturing venture of Pet palace, needs good estimation of all the costs before deciding on price. A very high price will not attract many customers. On the other hand, if the product is priced too low, people may think of it as a cheap quality product and may not take it seriously enough. There are two popular pricing strategies namely market skimming and market penetration. Skimming, “…tries to sell the top (skim the cream) of a market—the top of the demand curve—at a high price before aiming at more pricesensitive customers” (Perreault, Jr., Cannon, & McCarthy, 2009, p. 464). Skimming works well when product image and product quality, both support that higher price tag, or when the demand of the product is too high. Market penetration, on the other hand, “…tries to sell the whole market at one low price” (Perreault, Jr., Cannon, & McCarthy, 2009, p. 465). This strategy works well when there is small or low market for costly product. Allergy beGone will be positioned as a cheaper but good quality alternate to other solutions so we cannot use skimming strategy here. In addition, Pet Palace is not expecting a customer base of elite class so choosing market penetration will be best for it. Prices can later be revised, depending on circumstances. Appropriate Place and Promotional Strategy Pet Palace is the producer of new product Allergy BeGone so the mother organization can be the best location to market the product. Pet palace can promote the product to its customers. It will also be provided to veterinary stores and Pet Palace can use those as well for promotion and sales purposes. Sales promotion is used to show the public our product. Purpose of promotion is to hit the correct target market. Our objective is to tell the current and potential pet owners that we a have a product for them that can dramatically improve their lifestyle. Promotion will be widespread because the target market is very wide. Allergy BeGone will be promoted through pet magazines, the internet, and veterinary clinics. All these sources will hit different segments of our target market. Pet Palace, on the other hand, will be ready to entertain any customer with the help of displays, samples and other printed material. Facility of trying the product will also be available at the office. One of the biggest decisions in promotional strategy will be regarding appropriate copy thrust for Allergy BeGone. Visual and words will be carefully chosen so that they convey the desired message clearly to all the people we want to target. Encoding of the message will be checked through research and testing and it will be perfected through multiple efforts. This will ensure that the target market is decoding our message clearly. Promotional strategies are also responsible to get some action from the customer, preferably in the form of sales. Coupons will be given at some promotional locations. Marketers will be able to judge the success of their campaign by using those stats. Point behind all this campaign is to let the customers know that this product has the ability to make their life better; they can have pets and no allergy will come near them. Sales Promotion Schedule Allergy BeGone cannot be successfully launched without a proper promotion campaign. Promotion will be used to convey to customers important information about the product and how will it be useful to them. Sales promotion will also be used among other tools. It will not only enhance sales but will also make sure that right target market is getting the product at the right price. Sales promotion will continue until the potential life of Allergy BeGone. Promotion themes and strategies will change with the changes in product life cycle but promotion will continue. In the initial stages of product life cycle, the introductory stage, we will need to get the customers familiar with the product and pioneer advertising will be most suitable. Pioneer advertising can be started even before the launch of the product; this is done to increase the anticipation of target market and for getting impressive sales figures right from the start. Direct marketing will also be used alongside the pioneer advertising. Coupons can be used in this technique or limited offer can be announced regarding price. This technique helps marketer’s judge the immediate response about the product. Mode of advertising will be changed to competitive advertising as soon as Allergy Be Gone enters the growth stage. This will help in pushing the product in the market. Allergy Be Gone has many benefits and many advantages over its competitors that is why indirect competitive advertising will be used. We can convey, through this strategy, all the benefits of our product and explain how its purchase can help in making their life easier and happier. Next stage in the product life cycle will be market maturity stage and, as Allergy beGone enters this phase; we will use reminder advertising to keep the product alive and fresh in our target market’s minds. At this time of product life cycle, people already know about the usefulness of our product but they have choices now as many other companies have started dealing in similar products. We will use a direct type reminder advertising in this stage just to remind people of our great product and its advantages over other available brands. Advertising Plan Many factors are involved in the making of an advertising plan. A good start will be to lay the foundation by clearly defining the goal of the organization. Pet Palace is interested in implementing the complete advertising plan in just 12 months. SMART was discussed when we started the topic of marketing plan and setting of goals. We will use SMART for all our goals. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timebased and every goal should be SMART. By using this as baseline, one can easily monitor the performance of his team and decide how much they have achieved. We can decide which strategy is working as anticipated and which one is not. Modifications can be made to achieve the desired results. Pet Palace is a reputable organization that has a very good history of reliable services. We can use that goodwill to promote our new product, the Allergy BeGone. This will require good advertising ethics and technique so that new customers are captured without compromising the old ones. Allocated budget for Allergy BeGone is only $50,000 annually. This limitation has converted a normal advertising plan into a challenge and we are thinking about how to utilize the budget to gain maximum benefit. It has been stated earlier that we will use pet magazines, internet and veterinarians, because they cover most of the target market, so some of the dollars will go here. Overall, advertising budget planning will definitely require some ingenious thinking. Pet Palace will be exclusively promoting Allergy BeGone at their office so it is decided that free samples will be placed near cash registers so that people can try them. Handouts, written n easy to read English, will also be provided throughout the store. There are few veterinary offices near Pet Palace office and they are interested in selling Allergy BeGone. Those veterinary offices will be set up in accordance with the main office at Pet Palace. Samples and handouts will be available there as well. We will mention the veterinary clinics on our website and they will display ours on their websites. We will reduce the advertising cost in this way. Doing all these arrangements, before the arrival of actual product, is also a form of pioneer advertisement. It will create excitement in customers that something special is coming up. They will keep waiting and talking about the product until it arrives. This word of mouth will be added bonus to our campaign. A coupon worth $2 will be offered in local newspapers and weekly magazines. It was difficult to decide the amount because we wanted it to be “high enough to catch their attention amount” but customer focus group during the market research thought of it as an acceptable amount. Secondly, they did not want a number too high or else they may get interested more in discount than the product itself. There is no match for direct marketing technique when a quick response is desired from the customer. Pet Palace has plans to reach the growth stage of life cycle of Allergy BeGone, six months from the start of advertising campaign. For pushing the product in the market, competitive advertising will be used. Another reason behind going for quick and aggressive marketing is that, competitors will eventually come up with some clone of Allergy BeGone and we need to establish this product before that happens. If we establish the product before anyone imitates, then only the name Allergy beGone will be enough for all the competitors. In addition, Pet Palace wants to be the sole creator and distributor of Allergy beGone so they want to market it quickly before anything happens. Ads are of three types: traffic building, relationship building, and reputation building. At this stage, analysis of purchase cycle becomes necessary. Pet palace needs to consider the quantity of liquid in every bottle. They should also calculate how much spray is consumed in one use. Finally, it should be calculated that how often a customer will need to purchase it because it is not something a customer would want to purchase daily. If we opt for any type of advertisement, it should be relationship building and not traffic or reputation building. This is the logical choice considering the low advertising budget. It is because once a customer develops a relationship with the company, he will not shift easily to any other company because the relationship has strengthened his trust on us. In addition, everybody knows that customer retention requires 10% less resources than attracting new customers. One thing is for sure, Pet Palace will be forced to go into reminder advertising as soon as competition catches on. This may or may not be part of their annual plan but it will be inevitable. They need to tell people who launched this product and made their life easier. Reminder advertising will start from stressing the fact that we were the original and best ones for anyone who had allergy from pets. All Pet Palace has to do is to maintain honesty, reliability and quality and provide value for its products and no one can beat it. Pet Palace should follow the motto, “Under promise and over deliver”. We will use our budget wisely to penetrate the market as hard as we can and will rely heavily on word of mouth. Public Relations Opportunities Pet Palace will use public relations, along with the advertising campaigns, toget free publicity. For this purpose, Pet Palace will write an article discussing use and benefits of Allergy BeGone. This article will be sent to editors of some local newspapers and magazines, and posted on internet on many forums. It is a wellknown fact to a marketer that “a consumer might carefully read a long magazine story but ignore an ad with the same information” (Perreault, Cannon, & McCarthy, 2009). Allergy BeGone being a novel product is expected to create a stir not only on print media but also on the internet. In addition, audiovisual media can also be used but it has its drawbacks as well. Pet Palace will also create videos of Allergy BeGone, post it on the internet, and provide its copy to local media. Local channels may or may not run the video but it is worth a try. Publicity is certainly desirable for a business but it must be positive. The sent video will have content from Pet Palace but, still, there is a chance that it may not portray in the way we want it to. Channel Management Decision Successful choice of a distribution channel is also important for the success of a business. Analysis of customer needs, setting of goals, and recognizing and assessing main alternates are divisions of channel management decision (Armstrong & Kotler, 2009). Pet Palace is no ordinary business; it is a retailer turned manufacturer that is why standard channel rules do not apply here. Pet Palace is a traditional company with a physical office and launching of Allergy BeGone was a step towards expansion. Normally a new company tries to distribute its goods through wholesalers or retailers but Pet Palace has decided to take that function in its own hands. Another alternate available with Pet palace is setting up of website through which they can sell online directly to consumers. Pet Palace has the advantage of producing and selling the product itself and this saved cost be transferred as benefits to the consumer. Similarly, if Pet Palace sells directly to customers through online store then middleman profit is saved. Although many options are open for Pet Palace but they are still limited in channel choice. Physical locations for their product availability are far less and they can only rely on internet for a cheap and quick expansion solution. That is why advertisements also mentioned the company website and encouraged online purchasing. Horrigan (2008, ¶ 1) claims “[t]wothirds (66%) of online Americans say they have purchased a product online, such as a book, toy, music, or clothing.” Advertisement cost of Pet Palace will increase while educating the customers about the Allergy BeGone because most of the target market is not live close to Pet Palace. An online sale is not just a couple of clicks; it is also a complete system. The people who order Allergy BeGone online will need home delivery. Pet Palace needs a reliable logistics system to compliment the online sales. For this purpose, Pet Palace has outsourced logistics to UPS considering its expertise. This has saved not only given Pet Palace peace of mind but also saved considerable investments on distribution setup. Budget Total budget for Allergy BeGone will be split into many heads. Appropriate budget must be allocated for production, advertising and market research expenditures. Marketing research will help Pet Palace by anticipate needs and wants of people, and then finding ways to fulfill them. Understanding of customer base is also important in success of a company. Pet Palace is a small locally owned and locally run store so their research budget will be considerably less than bigger organizations. Bigger organizations spend millions of dollars on research and marketing but Pet Palace has a very small research budget of just $25,ooo . Just like marketing and research budgets, production and advertising budgets are also significantly lower than that of bigger organizations. Production cost per bottle is estimated at $4.99 while $8 is left for expenditures. Although Pet Palace has several ways of advertising but, still, they have allocated a budget of $50,000 for advertising. Pet Palace hopes that it will achieve required advertising with much lower budget by advertising at office and nearby veterinary clinics by providing free samples to incoming customers. Product pricing comes next in line. As the company has decided to adopt market penetration strategy so they will start to sell at lower costs and then increase it according to target location. Currently Pet Palace has decided to price Allergy BeGone at $12.99 per bottle. Quantifiable Elements No plan is complete until there is some checking, analysis and readjustment mechanism in it. It is the same case with marketing plan. Some check and balance mechanism should be adopted so that everything goes as planned. Different variables play different role in the marketing plan as well marketing mix. These elements can be monitored to keep a check on overall perforce of the plan. Sales report, Expense report and customer feedback are the elements that can be used to observe, assess, and manage the variables of marketing mix. Normally sales reports show the performance of sales people or sales reps but in this case, Pet Palace is selling the product itself along with many other pet supplies, the record will be maintained in a register through scan data. Sales of Allergy BeGone will be entered in a special information technology system so that individual sales can be easily analyzed. Such reports come handy during the decisionmaking process. Promotion can be granted on the basis on Allergy BeGone sales. Management has better control with such data available and can easily detect reasons for sale decrease/increase. It may be a sales rep change or some change in the product marketing mix. Either way, it can easily be rectified. A budget is like a defined boundary, going out of which is not allowed. Successful companies follow the budget closely and act within their limits. Expenses regarding selling and advertising of Allergy BeGone will be shown through an expense report. Management can control the expenses on advertising if she thinks they are getting too high. Advertising strategy can also be changed if it is not giving desired results. Customer feedback form is the last quantifiable item on the list. Product is part of marketing mix and must be audited to see if it is fulfilling the requirements of the customers. Management gets valuable information from the customer feedback form. This information includes customer’s views about product prices, product’s ease of use, and its usefulness or effectiveness. Price can be lowered if customers are complaining that they do not feel the price is justified for the value it provides. Scrutinizing, analyzing, and controlling marketing mix through a check on abovementioned elements will lead Pet Palace and Allergy BeGone to the market leader position. Conclusion A marketing plan was established, in different stages, in preparation of a new product Allergy BeGone by Pet Palace. In initial stages, overview of Pet Palace, use of SMART goals and description of Allergy BeGone were given. This product will not only benefit millions of people, by allowing them to live with their beloved pet without fear, but will also bring good profits to Pet palace. A SWOT analysis was done in the next step and marketing research approach was selected to aid in development of marketing plan. Numerous topics were discussed in phase II of the marking plan of Allergy BeGone. “Marketing research approach” lead to development of marketing tactics and plans for the new product. Target market was identified along with the criterion that affected its selection. Segmentation criteria were also identified through marketing research strategy. Buyer behavior was debated and factors that influence buyer behavior were discussed. Factors influencing market strategy were also discussed. Environmental analysis was done to point out current competitors and competitive landscape was defined and discussed. Next comes the phase III of development of marketing plan. Attributes and qualities of Allergy BeGone were showed off by Pet Palace so that suitable ones maybe used during advertising and promotion. Marketing team was working passionately to understand true position of Allergy BeGone in the product life cycle so that they can make adjustments with in the marketing mix. Next on the priority lists was identification of positioning and differentiation strategies. Pricing strategies were discussed and then a pricing strategy was chosen for Allergy BeGone. In the final stage of development of marketing plan, bits and pieces were put together and market plan was finetuned. Placement and promotion strategies were finalized along with the announcement of a sales promotion schedule. Advertisement plan was also finalized and support of almost free public relations was added. Channels management came under discussion and one channel was chosen for Allergy BeGone. Further channels like internet will also be added. Next on the list was budget planning and allocation. In the end, quantifiable elements were defined and it was explained how they can be used to monitor, appraise, and control the marketing plan. Allergy BeGone by Pet Palace gives everyone an opportunity to have quality time with his or her beloved pets. Allergy BeGone, with its specific qualities, will not only satisfy millions of customer by giving them desired results but will also make solid profit for Pet Palace as well. Pet Palace has taken extreme care in development of an effective marketing plan so that Allergy BeGone can be a big success. References Allergy Relief Pet Care Products. (2010). Retrieved July 15, 2010, from AchooAllergy.com: http://www.achooallergy.com/petcare.asp Allersearch Laboratories. (2007). Retrieved July 29, 2010 from http://www.allergyhelp.com/ American Pet Products Association. (2010). Industry statistics and trends. Retrieved July 15, 2010 from http://americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2009). Marketing. An Introduction. (9th ed.). : Prentice Hall, Inc. A Pearson Education Company. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. (2010). Allergy Facts and Figures. Retrieved July 22, 2010, from http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=30 Horrigan, J. (2008). Online shopping: convenient but risky. Retrieved July 7, 2010 from http://pewresearch.org/pubs/733/onlineshopping Kotler, P. & Keller, K.L. (2009). Marketing management (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: PrenticeHall. Manta.com. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.manta.com/coms2/dnbcompany_h4hhmh Perrault, W.D., Cannon, J.P., & McCarthy, E.J. Jr. (2009). Basic marketing: A globalmanagerial approach (17th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. Weise, E. (2007). We really love — and spend on — our pets. USA Today. RetriJuly 22, 2010 from http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/20071210petsurvey_N.htm
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