Brett Henderson COMM 636: Integrated Marketing Communications Case Write up 8.2 October 2, 2012 Statement of the problem This case study focuses on a new entrepreneurial venture between two friends Paul Fry and John Kirk. After researching the market of organic pet food, the two friends from college, John a recent graduate of veterinary school, and Paul who has a master’s degree in biology, decided to create their own organic pet food. They will sell their organic pet food in the animal clinic that they own in Austin, Texas. The problem that they are faced with now is marketing this new product on a budget. With Healthy Gourmet food being a start up product, their budget for advertising and marketing is very minimal. They are focusing on a two-‐year plan because of the budget limitations. This problem can have a huge effect on how well the company does, if they don’t figure out the marketing future of the company it can cause the product to fold. List of critical factors 1. Focus group to gather information on how to market the product 2. Exploratory research to future understand the target market 3. Website and social media plans to be able to market the product 4. Advertisement plan to expose the product to the target market 5. Marketing materials to continue to keep the brand in the minds of the target market
Definition and evaluation of alternatives 1. First thing I would do is form a focus group a. Pro: A focus group would give let Paul and John get a feel on how the potential buyers feel about their product. It would give them insight on how they should move forward with developing and marketing the pet food. This is very valuable insight to have, because with the limitations on advertising budget they can’t afford to waste any of their budget on something that won’t positively enhance their product. b. Con: This takes planning, manpower and time to conduct. They will need to select a group of people that will give them good information that they can convert to a marketing plan. They will need to spend time at a location mediating the focus group. They will then take the time to transcribe it and decided which way they are going to market the product. 2. Based on the feedback of the focus group, they should do further research or the purchase behaviors of a more general pet owner. They should conduct an experiment where they let pet owners do a free trial & taste test. They should distribute out sample size portions of their pet food to pet owners. Attached to the sample, they should attach a mail in survey that will enter the participant into a drawing for free organic pet food for a year. a. Pro: This will give the potential customers a trial of the pet food. They should have faith in their product that if they can get it into a
household than the pet owner would choose it next time they went to buy food. The raffle will show the participants that their participation is serious to the company and the potential customers would love the chance to get free pet food for a year. b. Con: This type of experiment will take more time to conduct. They will have to perfect the survey to get correct information. They will have to pay close attention to each survey returned and throw out the surveys that they can tell didn’t have honest answers. Another complication will be finding a sample size large enough to distribute the sample/survey’s. 3. The next step I would take is to build the website and social media plan. a. Pro: Having a fully functional website will give potential new customers a way to get more information about the product. They will also be able to sell their product via Internet and not only have to rely on selling it in house. They should also create a social media plan to get their name out in the world. They should create a Facebook fan page, which will allow their customers to interact with them. They will also be able to create polls in which they can test their target market on different products. They should also create a Twitter to post coupons and specials and also create a platform to interact with clients. b. Con: According to the book, the website will cost $40,000 to create. That is a large chunk of the budget spent just on the website. They are
only able to spend $100,000 over two years so that puts a huge crunch on them. That will leave less money to create a marketing plan. They will need to put in the work on the social media; this will take time away from development, sales and time in the shop. If they choose to hire someone to run their social media and marketing, which will save them time but cost them more money from their set budget. 4. They have a pretty solid advertisement plan in place. They will use radio ads to spread their product and raise awareness. Each 30-‐second radio ad will cost $250. They opted to do four commercials a week for the first six months, and then two per week to maintain awareness. I would also ad the spread in the Austin Monthly publication. a. Pro: The radio spots will raise tons of awareness to a mass audience. This will get their brand out in the open and it will drive people to their website or clinic. This is a pretty inexpensive way to advertise and build brand awareness. A creative ad spread in a general Austin magazine will draw customers to the site as well. The initial process this advertising plan should be to build up a brand. These are two ways that work in an inexpensive efficient way. b. Cons: It will be hard to gauge how efficient this type of advertisement really is. If they are combining this with other types of marketing they won’t really be able to know which one works more efficiently. It still costs quite a bit of the budget for the radio ads. The publication ad has
potential to go unseen if it doesn’t reach the correct target audience because of generality of it. 5. They have an idea on how they want to use some marketing materials to drive revenue. They plan on sending mails to 10,000 households, four times a year. I think the mailers should have coupons they can bring in to get 5% off of that purchase. This will give the clients a reason to come into the store, and it will also give the company a way to track how many customers it drives to the store. If they have a website store they can put a coupon code on the flier and still track it that way. a. Pros: This will reach a lot of households. The reason I choose this in the 5th position, even though I think it will be effective, is because I want them to narrow down their target market. If they are able to build a sample of households that would enjoy these coupons than they won’t be blindly spend money on home’s that don’t have pets. b. Cons: People sometimes don’t look at advertisements through the mail; they just throw them away, which would be a waste of money. It can be difficult to judge the impact it has on customers returning after the initial buy with the coupon. Conclusion In conclusion, I recommend John and Paul take a five step process in the development of their marketing plan. The first step is setting up and conducting a focus group to generate a starting point and how to market to that particular group of potential clients. After the conclusion of the first step, take that information and
help generate a survey to distribute with a sample of their organic dog food. Distribute these to pet owners that they are targeting as their target market. This is the next step of the process, and to make sure the surveys are returned attach a raffle for free organic pet food for a year. In step number three I recommended creating the social media plan as well as making sure the website is created and maintained. Step four is to create an advertising plan with radio spots and magazine spreads, these would create a buzz about the company and start the branding process. And the last step of the process is to create a marketing plan and system in which to track flyers they send to households. I believe that with this five-‐step process Health Gourmet would become very successful. It will take a lot of time and patience to make this company work but it has potential to be very wealth business venture.