- This assignment consists of two (2) sections: a marketing plan and sales strategy, and a marketing budget. Note: You must submit both sections as separate files for the completion of this assignment.
For the first six (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 twenty-five (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 & Sales Strategy (MS Word or equivalent)
Write the three to five (3-5) page Marketing Plan & Sales Strategy section of your business plan, in which you:
- 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.). Support your analysis with actual data on the size of the demographic groups in your local community (nearby zip codes).
- Outline the demographic information for your company specified on the worksheet
- Hints: At American FactFinder (http://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/).
- Assess your company’s market competition.
- Use the factors listed in the course text graphic to assess your company’s market competition.
- Defend your strategy to successfully compete against market leaders in your segment.
Defend your plan to differentiate yourself from the competition ( Market Share Distribution).
- 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 Five F’s).
- Hints: Every business faces competition and the non-alcoholic beverage market is an especially crowded market.
Identify the marketing vehicles you plan to use to build your company’s brand. Justify the key reasons why they will be effective. Provide examples of other non-alcoholic beverage companies that use these tactics effectively.
- Hints: Before you choose your marketing vehicles, you must determine the message you want to convey through those vehicles.
Format your assignment according to these formatting requirements:
- Hints: If you plan to use 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, exhibiting at trade shows attended by retailers, and so on. 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.
- Cite the resources you have used to complete the exercise. Note: There is no minimum requirement for the number of resources used in the exercise.
Section 2: Marketing Budget (MS Excel worksheets template)
Section 2 uses the "Business Plan Financials" MS Excel template (see: attached). Use the "Business Plan Financials Guide" (see: Course Required Files in Week 1) to support your development of the Marketing Budget.
- Complete the Marketing Budget worksheet for your company.
- 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:
- 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 have cost of advertising and that 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 will most likely pay for ads on that site.
- Do NOT leave the "Marketing Budget" blank, assuming you will not have any marketing costs.