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IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University
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IMC Plan for MBA 7602 at Wilmington University

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An integrated marketing communications plan I put together for an MBA class, centering around a fictitious pet hotel/boarding facility in Wildwood, New Jersey.

An integrated marketing communications plan I put together for an MBA class, centering around a fictitious pet hotel/boarding facility in Wildwood, New Jersey.

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  • 1. Running Head: TERESA ROTHAAR – IMC PLAN MBA 7602 – IMC Plan for Wildwood Unleashed Teresa J. Rothaar Wilmington University 1
  • 2. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 2 Table of Contents 1.0 Executive Summary  .........................................................................................................................   3   2.0 Situation Analysis  .............................................................................................................................   4   2.1 Market Analysis  ..........................................................................................................................................  4   2.2 SWOT Analysis  ...........................................................................................................................................  4   2.2.1 Strengths  ....................................................................................................................................................  4   2.2.2 Weaknesses  ...............................................................................................................................................  4   2.2.3 Opportunities   ............................................................................................................................................  5   2.2.4 Threats  .......................................................................................................................................................  5   3.0 Branding & Messaging  ....................................................................................................................   5   3.1 Positioning Statement  ................................................................................................................................  5   3.2 Value Proposition   ........................................................................................................................................  5   3.3 Major Messages & Current Customer Views  ......................................................................................  6   3.4 Major Messages for Customers  ...............................................................................................................  6   4.0 Communications Vehicles  ...............................................................................................................   6   4.1 Internet  ..........................................................................................................................................................  6   4.1.1 Website  .......................................................................................................................................................  6   4.1.2 Social Media  ..............................................................................................................................................  7   4.1.3 Search Engine Marketing  ......................................................................................................................  7   4.2 Television  ......................................................................................................................................................  7   4.3 Newspapers & Local Media Outlets  .......................................................................................................  7   4.4 Print Advertising  ........................................................................................................................................  8   4.5 Direct Marketing to Hotels  .......................................................................................................................  8   4.6 Expos & Events  ...........................................................................................................................................  8   5.0 Timeline  ..............................................................................................................................................   9   6.0 Budget Requirements  ...................................................................................................................  10   7.0 Controls  ...........................................................................................................................................  11   References  ..............................................................................................................................................  13   Appendix  ................................................................................................................................................  14   Print Ad Mock-Ups  ........................................................................................................................................  14   Voice-Over Script for Cable Television Commercial  .............................................................................  15  
  • 3. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 3 1.0 Executive Summary Wildwood Unleashed is a new pet hotel/boarding facility in the Wildwoods, scheduled to open in May 2014. The facility will be open on a seasonal basis, from May 1 through midOctober of each year. It will primarily board dogs, as this is where most market demand is; small animals are often left at home, in the care of friends or pet sitters. However, the facility will also accept cats and birds for boarding. Customers can drop off and pick up their pets themselves, or alternatively, for an additional fee, utilize the facility’s pick-up and drop-off service. Due to the especially strong pet services market, a push by local residents and visitors to make the Wildwoods more pet-friendly, and the fact that the facility has no local competitors, Wildwood Unleashed has the potential to do very well. Since Wildwood Unleashed is a brand-new business, the main objective of the IMC plan is to build awareness of the facility among Wildwoods visitors and other Wildwoods businesses, especially hotels, since most of them do not accept pets. The marketing message toward consumers will focus on the convenience and cost savings of boarding their pets in the Wildwoods, while the message toward hotels will focus on the increased business they can reap if they refer their pet-owning customers to Wildwood Unleashed. The IMC campaign has six communications vehicles: Internet advertising (including social media), local cable television advertising, newspapers and local media outlets, print advertising, direct mail to owners of hotels and private rentals, and a presence at local community expos and events. This mix will achieve the goal of a “media blast” with maximum awareness, while keeping costs as low as possible.
  • 4. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 4 2.0 Situation Analysis 2.1 Market Analysis According to the American Pet Products Association, approximately 68% of U.S. households, or 82.5 million homes, own a pet. This is up from 56% of households in 1988. Even as the overall economy has slumped, the pet industry has remained strong. In 2008, the year of the economic crash, Americans spent $43.2 billion on pet goods and services; this number has continued to rise, and in 2013 is expected to be $55.53 billion (APPA). • Target market: pet owners, especially dog owners, located within driving distance of the Wildwoods. • Competition: there are no dog boarding facilities located in the Wildwoods. The closest competing facilities are in Cape May Court House. The bulk of the competition will be dog boarding facilities and pet sitters located in the target market’s home areas. 2.2 SWOT Analysis 2.2.1 Strengths Wildwood Unleashed has no competition in the immediate area. Most area hotels and private rentals do not accept pets, and those that do usually place numerous restrictions on size, breed, and number of pets. Currently, there is a big push by both year-round residents and tourists to make the Wildwoods more pet-friendly (Rotondo, 2013). The Wildwoods are a wideopen, highly receptive market for a pet hotel. 2.2.2 Weaknesses Wildwood Unleashed is a brand-new business with no track record, competing in a lowmargin, high-cost, seasonal market.
  • 5. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 5 2.2.3 Opportunities Most visitors to the Wildwoods arrive by car, as opposed to mass transportation. Wildwood Unleashed can capitalize on the convenience and cost savings pet owners can reap by boarding their pet locally as opposed to boarding in their home area. Pet owners can drop their pet off when they arrive and pick their pet up when they leave, saving at least a half a day on boarding costs. Wildwood Unleashed also offers pet owners peace of mind, knowing that their pet is staying only a few minutes away. 2.2.4 Threats Federal, state, and local regulations regarding animal care and handling are always a concern, along with the high cost of operating a business in a seasonal resort area. 3.0 Branding & Messaging 3.1 Positioning Statement Wildwood Unleashed provides services to pet owners located within driving distance of the Wildwoods and enjoy vacationing there. The facility offers pet owners convenience, cost savings, and peace of mind while providing excellence in care to all pets boarding there. 3.2 Value Proposition Wildwood Unleashed is unique; it will be the only pet boarding facility located in the Wildwoods. It will be cheaper and more convenient for pet owners to board their pets at Wildwood Unleashed as opposed to using a facility local to their home. Pet owners can drop off their pets when they arrive on the island, and pick them up when they leave; they can also take advantage of the facility’s concierge pick-up and drop-off service. Additionally, many pet boarding facilities have limited drop-off and pick-up hours, and are not open on Sundays or holidays. Wildwood Unleashed will be open for pick-up and drop-off from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week, including major holidays, from May 1 through mid-October. Wildwood
  • 6. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 6 Unleashed has a major competitive advantage in that its customers will not be forced to pay for boarding time that they do not need. Pet owners will also have the peace of mind knowing that their pet is being boarded nearby, only a short drive away in case of an emergency. 3.3 Major Messages & Current Customer Views Problem How to Address Problem Wildwood Unleashed is a new facility with no track record. Customers already have relationships with boarding facilities in their area. Focus on how the new facility will fill an unmet market need. Focus on convenience, cost savings, and peace of mind aspects. 3.4 Major Messages for Customers Message Name & Core Message Finally, your pet has their own place at the Shore! Save money, time, and hassle, and have peace of mind knowing that your pet is staying only minutes away. Message Finally, your pet has their own place at the Shore. Easy pick-up and drop-off, 7 days a week, and the pet stays nearby. Save money, time, and hassle, and have peace of mind knowing your pet is staying nearby. Message Substantiation Wildwood Unleashed is the Wildwoods’ first and only full-service pet hotel. Open 7 days a week, including major holidays. Customers can drop off pets on arrival and pick them up when they leave; they do not pay for boarding time they do not need. 4.0 Communications Vehicles 4.1 Internet 4.1.1 Website WildwoodUnleashed.com will be the heart of the company’s online marketing efforts, introducing the business, tying together all of the company’s social media outlets, and allowing customers to make reservations online. The website will include a blog that will be updated two
  • 7. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 7 to three times a week for purposes of establishing “authority” on Google according to its latest algorithms, which favor rich, readable content over SEO “tricks.” 4.1.2 Social Media Wildwood Unleashed will maintain a Facebook like page, a Twitter account, a YouTube channel, and a Google Plus page to both bolster the company website’s search engine rankings (especially on Google) and encourage interaction with current and potential customers. Additionally, the company will trade links with other popular Wildwoods social media sites, such as Wildwood365, to further establish a strong social media presence. 4.1.3 Search Engine Marketing Wildwood Unleashed will run paid Google AdWords ads to drive targeted traffic to the company website. 4.2 Television Cable television advertising allows highly targeted advertising in very specific, highly localized markets, during specific programs, in particular niche programming with “high social buzz” (CableNation). Compared to broadcast television commercials, cable advertising is very low-cost both in terms of production and media buying. Wildwood Unleashed will run a 30second commercial on local cable television in the target market’s home areas, especially in Philadelphia. The commercial will run on channels and during programs that are popular with pet owners and that have very active social media communities, such as Animal Planet, NatGeo Wild, and The Incredible Dr. Pol and My Cat From Hell programs. 4.3 Newspapers & Local Media Outlets To build awareness of the business and build goodwill in the local communities, Wildwood Unleashed will write two press releases for distribution online and to local newspaper
  • 8. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 8 and media outlets. The first press release, to be distributed in January 2014, will introduce the new business; the second will be distributed in April 2014 and announce the business’ upcoming grand opening. Each press release will focus not only on the new business, but on how Wildwood Unleashed relates to the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore and the revitalization of Wildwood. 4.4 Print Advertising Many free maps and brochures are handed out to visitors to the Wildwoods; hotels have these maps and brochures available in a prominent display in their lobbies. Wildwood Unleashed will place ads in as many of these free handouts as possible. Although the people seeing the ads are already in the Wildwoods, this will build awareness of the facility for subsequent visits. Wildwood Unleashed will also run print ads in local magazines in the target markets’ home areas, such as Philadelphia and Delaware Today. These magazines have a broad reach within the local market. Mock-ups of suggested print ads can be found in the appendix. 4.5 Direct Marketing to Hotels Because most hotels and private rentals in the Wildwoods do not accept pets, it is imperative to make hotel and rental property owners aware that a pet hotel is opening nearby, so that they may refer their customers to Wildwood Unleashed. A pre-opening direct mail marketing campaign introducing Wildwood Unleashed will achieve this goal. 4.6 Expos & Events To promote awareness of the business and build goodwill in the local community, Wildwood Unleashed will have a presence at pet- and community-related events and expos in the Wildwoods and surrounding areas, such as the upcoming Wild Half Marathon in May 2014.
  • 9. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 9 5.0 Timeline The website and social media channels should be established as soon as possible, so that the website gets seeded in Google and other search engines. Likewise, social media marketing in the form of Facebook and Google + posts, and Tweets, should begin as soon as possible. Actual search engine marketing (Google AdWords, etc.) should commence after the New Year, to capture early vacation planners. Since AdWords are “pay per click,” there is no harm in running the ads sooner rather than later; if no one clicks on the ads, the customer does not incur charges. Two press releases will be written and distributed: one right after the New Year, and one prior to the grand opening. The first press release will introduce the business, and the second will build interest in the grand opening. The direct mail campaign should also commence around this time, and the facility can begin having a presence at expos and community events. Because television commercials and print ads cost far more than SEM, these campaigns should be started in the spring, as the facility heads toward its actual grand opening.
  • 10. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 10 Milestone Start Date Completion Date Build company website & social media channels Commence social media marketing Commence search engine marketing campaign Commence TV ad campaign Write & submit initial press release online and to local media outlets Commence print campaigns Commence direct marketing campaign to Wildwoods hotel & rental property owners Write & submit follow-up press release online and to local media outlets Have a presence at local petand community-related events. 10/15/2013 11/15/2013 11/15/2013 Ongoing 1/1/2014 8/31/2014 4/15/2014 1/15/2014 8/15/2014 1/31/2014 5/1/2014 4/15/2014 8/31/2014 4/30/2014 4/1/2014 4/15/2014 4/1/2014 Ongoing 6.0 Budget Requirements Following are cost estimates for the proposed IMC plan: Communications Vehicle Estimated Cost Search engine marketing & social media management Local cable television advertising Press release creation and distribution to newspapers and local media outlets Print advertising Direct mail campaign Local expos & events Total $4,000.00 $15,000.00 $1,500.00 $5,000.00 $2,000.00 $1,000.00 $28,500.00
  • 11. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 11 7.0 Controls The purpose of this IMC plan is to raise awareness of Wildwood Unleashed, and build a customer base, as it launches and moves into its first year of operation. The following areas will be monitored for purposes of measuring plan performance: • Number of unique eyeballs visiting WildwoodUnleashed.com on weekly and monthly basis. • Number of unique followers on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets, as well as metrics regarding interaction and sharing of content. • Monthly and annual gross sales and profit. • Achievement of milestones by specific dates. Difficulties and risks include: • Problems building awareness of Wildwood Unleashed. • Problems convincing customers to patronize a new business with no track record.
  • 12. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed • Problems achieving a suitable profit margin in a high-cost, seasonal resort area. • Worst-case risk: determining that the business is not viable on a long-term basis. 12
  • 13. IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 13 References American Pet Products Association (n.d.). Pet Industry Market Size & Ownership Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp CableNation (n.d.). Media Comparisons. Retrieved from http://www.thecab.tv/_docs/Media%20Pros%20-%20Cons.pdf Rotondo, C. (October 7, 2013). Residents Want a Dog Park on Five Mile Island. The Wildwood Leader. Retrieved from http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/wildwoodmainmenu/wildwood-leader/44872-residents-want-a-dog-park-on-five-mile-island.html  
  • 14. Hotel notyour pet has their own place at to do with your Finally, pet-friendly? Don’t know what the shore! pet when you’re at the Shore? Introducing… IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed Wildwood Wildwood Unleashed Unleashed Appendix Print Ad Mock-Ups Version 1 – Magazine Ad Full-Service Pet Boarding Full-Service Pet Boarding Your Pet’s Cats –at the Shore Dogs – Place Birds All Breeds & Sizes Welcome! Dogs – Cats – Birds Open for pick-up and drop-off 7 days a week All Breeds & Sizes Welcome! Air 107 W. Rio Grande Ave., Wildwood Conditioned Kennels/24-Hour Supervision 609-555-PETS 107 W. Rio Grande Ave., Wildwood www.wildwoodunleashed.com 609-555-PETS www.wildwoodunleashed.com Version 2 – Alternate Style Magazine Ad 14
  • 15. Wildwood Unleashed IMC PLAN – Wildwood Unleashed 15 Version 3 – Smaller ad forPet Boarding in free tourist maps and handouts; can also be used Full-Service placement Your Pet’s Place as a smaller magazine ad. at the Shore 107 W. Rio Grande Ave., Wildwood 609-555-PETS www.wildwoodunleashed.com   Voice-Over Script for Cable Television Commercial The following text is read while still images appear on-screen: Planning a vacation in Wildwood, but don’t know where your pet is going to stay? Wildwood Unleashed is the Wildwoods’ first and only full-service pet hotel, providing safe and convenient boarding services for dogs, cats, and pet birds. Wildwood Unleashed has air conditioned kennels and 24-hour supervision, and is open for pick-up and drop-off seven days a week all summer long. Wildwood Unleashed: your pet’s place at the Shore! The video may be viewed at http://youtu.be/fyGIEn6YTHo

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