This assignment consists of two sections: a marketing plan (Word document) and Marketing Budget (Excel document) Note: You must submit both sections as separate files for the completion of this assignment.
For the first 6 months your company is in business—to give you time to perfect your product and to learn from actual customers—you will start marketing and selling in your own community, a radius of 25 miles from where you live.
For most non-alcoholic beverages, marketing (as opposed to the actual product itself) is key to success. Cola drinks, for example, are fairly undifferentiated, as are many energy drinks, juices, bottled water, and the like. Companies producing these types of beverages differentiate themselves and attract market share through marketing and brand awareness—both of which are critical to success.
Section 1: Marketing Plan and Sales Strategy (MS Word or equivalent)
Write the 3–5-page marketing plan and sales strategy section of your business plan in which you do the following:
- Define your company’s target market.
- Analyze the types of consumers who will be drinking your beverage in demographic terms (i.e., age, education level, income, gender, ethnic group, etc.). Outline the demographic information for your company specified on the worksheet in the course text (p. 107 | Demographic Description).
- Support your analysis with actual data on the size of the demographic groups in your local community (nearby zip codes).
- Hints: At American FactFinder (http://factfinder.census.gov), you will find demographic information on potential consumers in your area. If you are selling through other businesses (such as grocery stores), indicate the number of those businesses in your local area. You will find information about such businesses in your local area at County Business Patterns (http://www.census.gov/econ/cbp/). Check Chapter 2 of Successful Business Plan for more research sources.
- Assess your company’s market competition.
- Use the factors listed in the course text graphic (p. 123 | Assess the Competition) to assess your company’s market competition.
- Defend your plan to differentiate yourself from the competition using the information detailed on the worksheet in the text (p. 131 | Market Share Distribution).
- Hints: Every business faces competition, and the non-alcoholic beverage market is an especially crowded market.
- Hints: For example, in the soft drink market, it is intimidating to try to compete against Coke and Pepsi. Newcomers in mature markets typically must pursue niche markets or even create new market categories, as Red Bull did with energy drinks.
- Clarify your company’s message using the information provided on the worksheet in the text (p. 160 | The Five F’s). Create a marketing slogan/tagline for your product.
- Hints: Before you choose your marketing vehicles, you must determine the message you want to convey through those vehicles.
- Identify the marketing vehicles you plan to use to build your company’s brand. Justify the key reasons why they will be effective.
- Hints: If you plan to use online marketing tactics, refer to the worksheet in the text (p. 171 | Online Marketing Tactics) to aid your response. Remember that even if you’re selling through grocery stores, you need to build your brand and social media is a major part of that in regard to beverages. Some of the marketing tactics that beverage companies use include sampling in grocery stores, building a following on social media, sponsoring events, and exhibiting at trade shows attended by retailers. You will use a combination of these tactics. For example, if you decide to give out samples in grocery stores, promote your sampling on your social media networks and those of the grocery store.
- Hints: If you are planning to distribute through resellers, describe how you plan to reach them, for example, through industry trade shows or by establishing your own sales force. For information on trade shows, visit the Trade Show News Network (http://www.tsnn.com). You can exhibit or network at these shows.
Section 2: Marketing Budget (MS Excel worksheets template)
Section 2 uses the “Business Plan Financials” MS Excel template (see: Required Course Files in Week 1). Use the Business Plan Financials Guide (see: Required Course Files in Week 1) to support your development of the marketing budget.
- Complete the “Marketing Budget” worksheet for your company.
Note: Complete the Setup tab first based on the instructions located in the Business Plan Financials Guide (document you also downloaded from PlanningShop). Only the setup tab and marketing tab should be completed for this assignment.
- Hints: The goal of the marketing budget is to help you determine how much it will cost you to reach your market and achieve your sales goals.
- Hints: When filling out the “Marketing Budget” worksheet in the Excel spreadsheet, do the following:
- Begin in the current year and complete a marketing budget for the first year of your business. The information you enter in the marketing budget spreadsheet will flow through to your “Income Statement” in the “Business Plan Financials.”
- Leave the number at zero (0) for any marketing vehicles you do not intend to use.
- Remember that all marketing activities involve costs. If social media represents a significant portion of your marketing, assume you will incur costs of advertising and these should be reflected on your budget. Even if a social media site charges nothing to use it, you will need to use company resources to manage the site, pay someone to execute your social media marketing campaigns, and most likely pay for ads on that site.
- Do not leave the “Marketing Budget” blank assuming you will not have any marketing costs.
- Do not complete all the rows; only fill in the costs for the marketing vehicles you will actually use. These must match the content you describe in Question 4 Word portion of this assignment.