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This is a€?The Marketing Plana€?, section 8.2 from the book Modern Management of Small Businesses (v. This content was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded then by Andy Schmitz in an effort to preserve the availability of this book.
PDF copies of this book were generated using Prince, a great tool for making PDFs out of HTML and CSS.
For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. DonorsChoose.org helps people like you help teachers fund their classroom projects, from art supplies to books to calculators. Although there is no universally accepted format for a marketing plan, the requirements can be grouped into the seven sections identified in Figure 8.1 "The Marketing Plan".
Note: The marketing plan for Sigmunda€™s Gourmet Pasta is a sample small business marketing plan provided by and copyrighted by Palo Alto Software. Sigmunda€™s Gourmet Pasta will be the leading pasta restaurant in Eugene, Oregon, with a rapidly developing consumer brand and growing customer base. To grow at a rate consistent with our objectives, Sigmunda€™s is offering an additional $500,000 in equity.
The vision statementA document that articulates the long-term purpose and idealized notion of what the business wishes to become. By contrast, the mission statementA document that articulates the fundamental nature of the business. The situation analysisA picture of where a business is now in the market, detailing the context for its marketing efforts.
As the title implies, the market summaryWhat is known about the market in which a company competes, plans to compete, or both.
Sigmunda€™s Gourmet Pasta possesses good information about the market and knows a great deal about the common attributes of our most prized and loyal customers. Sigmunda€™s immediate geographic target is the city of Eugene with a population of 130,000. Another variable that contributes to market growth is an increase in the number of hours our demographic is working. Sigmunda€™s Gourmet Pasta is providing its customers with a wide selection of high-quality pasta dishes and salads that are unique and pleasing in presentation, offering a wide selection of health-conscious choices, and using top-shelf ingredients.
The reason for this trend is that within the last few years, restaurant offerings have increased, providing customers with new choices. Every marketing plan should include an assessment of the competition: who they are, what they offer, their growth rates (if known), and their market share (if known).
The marketing plan must be very clear about the product or the service that is being offered to the marketplace because the product drives the creation of the marketing mix and the marketing strategy. The product or the service offering must also consider a companya€™s website because a web presence will be an important part of what is offered to customers. Sigmunda€™s has created gourmet pastas and salads that are differentiated and superior to competitors. Wines are personally selected by the owner.The authors of this textbook added this product characteristic. For people who dine in, an interactive dining experience will be available through the iPad. Prospective customers will be encouraged through the warm and friendly atmosphere of the website. A SWOT analysis combines the key strengths and weaknesses within a company with an assessment of the opportunities and threats that are external to the company.
A weakness is a factor internal to a company that may cause it to have a less competitive position in the marketplace.
Sigmunda€™s name lacks brand equityThe commercial value of all associations and expectations that people have of a brand based on all the experiences they have had with the brand over time..
An opportunity is an attractive external factor that represents the reason a business exists and prospers. Growing market with a significant percentage of the target market still not aware that Sigmunda€™s Gourmet Pasta exists. Increasing sales opportunities in takeout business that can be enhanced even further by our web presence.
A small company in Brooklyn, New York, takes advantage of the opportunity presented by the surging interest in vinyl records. A threat is an external factor beyond a companya€™s control that could place a marketing strategy, or the business itself, at risk. The keys to successThe factors that, if achieved, will lead to a profitable and a sustainable business.
Focusing on three to five of the most important success factors makes sense for a small business.
The marketing strategy section of the marketing plan involves selecting one or more target markets, deciding how to differentiate and position the product or the service, and creating and maintaining a marketing mix that will hopefully prove successful with the selected target market(s)a€”all within the context of the marketing objectives.
You should note that the first and third objectives in this sample marketing plan do not meet some of the SMART criteriaa€”specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based (a stated time frame for achievement).
The target market is the segment that has been identified as having the greatest potential for a business.
Sigmunda€™s customers are hungry individuals between the ages of 25 and 50, making up 53 percent of Eugene (according to the Eugene Chamber of Commerce).
The positioningPlacing the brand (whether store, product, or service) in the consumera€™s mind in relation to other competing products, based on product traits and benefits that are relevant to the consumer. Sigmunda€™s Gourmet Pasta will position itself as a reasonably priced, upscale, gourmet pasta restaurant.
The marketing strategy pyramidAssumes that the marketing strategy is built on concrete tactics that are specific, measurable marketing programsa€”activities with budgeted expenses, well-defined responsibilities, deadlines, and measurable results.
The strategy at the top of Figure 8.5 "Marketing Strategy Pyramid" focuses on well-defined markets and user needs. The single objective is to position Sigmunda€™s as the premier gourmet pasta restaurant in the Eugene, Oregon, area, commanding a majority of the market share within five years.
The message that Sigmunda€™s will seek to communicate is that Sigmunda€™s offers the freshest, most creative, health-conscious, reasonably priced, gourmet pasta in Eugene.
A companya€™s marketing mix is its unique approach to product, price, promotion, and place (distribution)a€”the four Ps. Sigmunda€™s marketing mix consists of the following approaches to pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion, and customer service. See the license for more details, but that basically means you can share this book as long as you credit the author (but see below), don't make money from it, and do make it available to everyone else under the same terms.


However, the publisher has asked for the customary Creative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and book URI to be removed. The signature line of innovative, premium pasta dishes include pesto with smoked salmon, pancetta and peas linguine in an Alfredo sauce, lobster ravioli in a lobster sauce, and fresh mussels and clams in a marinara sauce.
Existing members will be given the first option to subscribe to the additional equity to allow each of them to maintain their percentage of ownership.
It should address what business the company is in, the companya€™s potential customers, and how customer value will be provided. If a business has an online presence or wants to have one, information needs to be generated for online customers as well.
There are often distinct differences in buyer behavior based on geographic location, so it is important to know what those differences are to tap into them. Over the last five years, the number of hours spent at work of our archetype customer has significantly increased. Without knowing and understanding market needs, it is extremely difficult to create a marketing mix that will successfully meet those needs. The patron can gain access to the restaurant with minimal waits and can choose the option of dine in or takeout. Just as it is important to understand market needs, a small business should be able to identify where the market is going so that its marketing mix can be adjusted accordingly.
The restaurant patron today relative to yesterday is more sophisticated in several different ways. The preference for high-quality ingredients is increasing as customers learn to appreciate the qualitative difference.
As presentation of an element of the culinary experience becomes more pervasive, patrons are learning to appreciate this aspect of the industry.
As Americans in general are more cognizant of their health, evidenced by the increase in individuals exercising and health-club memberships, patrons are requesting more healthy alternatives when they eat out. Offers consumers their choice of noodles, sauces, and ingredients, allowing customers to assemble their dishes as they wish. Offers medium-priced pasta dishes that use average ingredients, no creativity, and a less than average store atmosphere. An error in product identification and definition can wreak havoc in the company and in the marketplace because misdirected marketing actions can occur. A virtual wine cellar application will allow diners to flip through Sigmunda€™s assortment of wines and make an educated decision.
A company can have control over this factor and should look to improve or remove it to successfully accomplish its marketing objectives. You have no control over opportunities, but you can take advantage of them to benefit the business.
It might help an owner identify the most promising customers, perhaps even the ideal customer.
It also includes a web strategy for the small businesses that have or want to have a web presence. Sigmunda€™s will do direct mail, banner ads, and inserts in the Register Guard, which are likely to be the most successful of the campaigns.
These two objectives are not specific enough to be measurable, and they may not be realistic.
A segment is a relatively homogeneous subgroup that behaves much the same way in the marketplace.
People who prefer to eat Sigmunda€™s food in their own homes or at a location other than the actual restaurant. Age is not the most defined demographic of this customer base, as all age groups enjoy pasta. Eugene consumers who appreciate high-quality food will recognize the value and unique offerings of Sigmunda€™s Gourmet Pasta. The product will have the freshest ingredients, including homemade pasta, imported cheeses, organic vegetables, and top-shelf meats. The second level consists of the tactics that you use to satisfy user needs and communicate with the target market. The marketing strategy will seek to first create customer awareness regarding the services offered, develop that customer base, and work toward building customer loyalty and referrals. This campaign will leverage personal relationships with people on the staff of the Register Guard to get a couple of articles written about Sigmunda€™s. The marketing mix is the central activity in the implementation of a companya€™s marketing strategy, so the decisions must be made carefully. Sigmunda€™s pricing scheme is that the product cost is 45 percent of the total retail price.
Sigmunda€™s food will be distributed through a model in which customers can either call in their orders or place them onlineThe authors of this textbook added the capability to place an order online.
The most successful advertising will be banner ads and inserts in the Register Guard as well as a PR campaign of informational articles and reviews within the Register Guard and coupons available on the website. Sigmunda€™s Gourmet Pasta will establish a Facebook page that will allow users to engage directly with the company by posting likes, dislikes, and ideas to the Wall, which will be answered directly by management.
You may also download a PDF copy of this book (38 MB) or just this chapter (2 MB), suitable for printing or most e-readers, or a .zip file containing this book's HTML files (for use in a web browser offline). If it is part of the business plan, it will duplicate information that is presented in other sections of the business plan. Although individual analyses will vary, the contents will generally include relevant information about current products or services, sales, the market (defining it and determining how big it is and how fast it is growing), competition, target market(s), trends, and keys to success. Some, perhaps most but not all, of a companya€™s online customers will come from the companya€™s onground customers. For example, grits are a common breakfast item in the South, but they are not a menu staple anywhere else in the United States. As the number of work hours increases, there is a high correlation of people who eat out at restaurants.
There are instances of small businesses that are successful because of an intuitive sense for what the market needs, but these businesses may eventually experience limited growth opportunities because their intuition can take them only so far. Capitalizing on market trends early in the game can offer a powerful competitive advantage.
The company was sold a few years ago, and consequently the direction of management has been stagnant lately, which has resulted in excessive employee turnover. Sigmunda€™s is not sure how this company has been able to grow in size as their whole product is mediocre at best. Site visitors will be informed about the menu and the restauranta€™s commitment to quality in using homemade pasta made with Italian semolina flour, imported cheeses, organic vegetables that are delivered three times a week, and top-shelf meats.


A strength is an asset or a resource, tangible or intangible, internal to a company that is within its control. Threats can come from anywhere and at any time, and a small business may be particularly vulnerable because of its size. Identifying these factors should be based on an understanding of the industry or the market in which a small business is competing because these things play a critical role in success and failure.
By aligning online marketing with onground efforts, a company will be in a much stronger position to accomplish marketing and overall company objectives. They lay the groundwork for formulating the marketing strategy, and although formulated in a variety of ways, their achievement should lead to sales.
This will make it difficult to determine the extent to which they have been or can be accomplished. One will be from the business point of view, talking about the opening of the restaurant and the people behind the venture. The first-timer discount coupon and code will be prominently displayed on the websitea€™s home page to encourage prospects to become customers.
A companya€™s mission is its sense of purposea€”the reason why the owner gets up every day and does what he or she does. These factors can be combined to develop a SWOT analysisAn identification of a companya€™s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.a€”an identification of a companya€™s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threatsa€”to help a company differentiate itself from its competitors. The market summary should include a description of the market and its attributes, market needs, market trends, and market growth. At the same time, a company will want the market to grow so that the business can grow (assuming growth is desired). This trend is intuitive as you can observe a more sophisticated patron in larger city markets such as Seattle, Portland, or New York, where there are more choices.
The larger the slice, the larger the percentage of sales volume captured by a brand, a product, or a company.
For example, if a business is a live theater that features very sophisticated plays, would you define the product as entertainment or art?
Examples of weaknesses are lack of expertise, limited resources, bad location, poor facilities, inferior customer service and customer experience, difficulty in hiring and retaining good people, and weak brand recognition. Examples of opportunities include market growth, a competitor going out of business, lifestyle changes, demographic changes, and an increased demand for a product or a service.
At the same time, a small business may be nimble enough to effectively deal with threats because of its small size.
The creation of marketing objectives is one of the most critical steps a business will take.
The more precise the target market is, the easier it will be to create a marketing mix that will appeal to the target market. Gourmet pasta stores have been very successful in high-rent, mixed-use urban areas, such as Northwest 23rd Street in Portland.
All employees will go through an extensive training program, and only experienced people will be hired. It captures the ownera€™s values and visions, along with that of the employees (if applicable) and community plus suppliers and stakeholders. If, on the other hand, a company wants to remain small, market growth is not as importanta€”except that it may present opportunities for new competitors to enter the marketplace. Although not all pasta is a€?good for you,a€? particularly cream-based sauces, pasta can be very tasty yet health conscious at the same time. With all this knowledge, a business will be in the best position to differentiate itself in the marketplace. In the case of Sigmunda€™s Gourmet Pasta, direct competition would come from other restaurants that serve pasta. The answer to this question will have major implications for a companya€™s marketing strategy. These areas have a large day and night population consisting of businesspeople and families who have household disposable incomes over $40,000. Holiday specials will be offered on Valentinea€™s Day, Easter, Mothera€™s Day, and Fathera€™s Day.
Pasta is seen as a healthy food because of its high percentage of carbohydrates relative to fat. This presence includes a website, a membership on Facebook, and oftentimes a Twitter presence. However, while the sales figures of a business are easily accessible, it is not likely that the owner will have either total market sales figures or growth rate, sales figures, and market share information for the competition. Indirect competition would come from other types of full-service restaurants, fast food, the freezer- or prepared-foods areas in the grocery store, delis, preparation services that target the home, and even online businesses that sell prepared foods (DineWise).
A business must know, as precisely as possible, what it wants to achieve before allocating any resources to the marketing effort. There are many different approaches to positioning that the small business owner should consider, but the selected approach should be the one that puts the company or the brand in the best light. This will be particularly effective because the Register Guard is a popular local paper that is consulted when people are looking for things to do in Eugene. In speaking with many different retailers and restaurateurs, significant increases of traffic have followed articles in the Register Guard. As such, the mission statement is an important foundation of a businessa€™s marketing plan. Examples of strengths are the quality of employees, company reputation, available capital and credit, established customers, unique channels of distribution, intellectual property, location, and facilities. Keep in mind that a good positioning strategy will come from a solid understanding of the market, the customer, and the competition because this knowledge will provide a basis for comparing one business with others. The restauranta€™s website will also encourage patronage because the warm and friendly atmosphere of the site will reflect the atmosphere of the actual restaurant. It is common for the mission statement to appear in the marketing strategy section of the marketing plan. It is also common for the plan to include either a vision statement or a mission statement but not both.
Competitor websites and Internet searches may prove helpful, but because most small businesses are privately held, the information available online will be limited. As a result, you will be restricted in the information that you can collect about the competition to things that can easily be observed in person or are available on company websites.



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