This work considers a potentially effective marketing plan for a small business, in particular, a bakery in Miami. As a background for the intervention, current business outcomes are evaluated, and such tools are applied as the AIDA model, the SWOT analysis, and some other methodologies. As a basic promotion strategy, expanding the business online is proposed to increase a customer base and strengthen brand awareness. Approaches to budgeting and risk prevention are described, and all the conditions of the strategy are presented in stages. Based on a comprehensive assessment, the conclusion is suggested that advertising on social media and creating an advanced platform for online orders and feedback are valuable innovations for the business in question.
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Visions and Goals
As a small business enterprise, a bakery in Miami is used as an object for intervention, in particular, the development of a marketing plan. The vision statement is the possibility of increasing the number of regular customers by promoting the bakery brand online and engaging buyers through social media. In addition, the organization is ready to expand the range of influence by involving clients and providing delivery services, which is an urgent offer in the modern consumer environment. The value proposition implies several aspects that are considered beneficial conditions. Firstly, the bakery’s products are not only fresh but also environmentally friendly, which is important to emphasize when developing a marketing program. Secondly, unlike competitors, the management of the enterprise in question seeks to adhere to the strategy of price retention, which will ensure stable demand and provide an opportunity to increase the number of regular customers. These principles of entrepreneurship are the crucial components of brand recognition and its popularity in the target market.
As a positioning statement, the enterprise intends to closely communicate with customers through digital interaction in social media and online feedback platforms. According to Jones et al., this entrepreneurial approach gives an opportunity “to reach customers on a global scale” and improves the quality of interaction with the target audience (611). Consequently, as a basic position, marketing promotion through the Internet and its resources is planned.
At the moment, the situation is not favorable for the implementation of all the business ideas of the enterprise due to an insufficiently effective marketing policy. Newspaper advertisements and street signboards are not sufficient incentives to attract customers, although products are in demand. At the same time, the bakery has a small circle of regular clients, but to expand the business, more people should learn about it. In general, the baking industry is one of the stably functioning areas in the modern food market. People are unlikely to stop buying bread and other pastries, but due to widespread competition, it is necessary to look for new ways of engaging and retaining customers. Since promotion through the Internet is natural today, this strategy is chosen to influence potential buyers in the considered bakery, thereby forcing them to abandon products from other manufacturers.
Target Audience Description
When evaluating the target audience, it is essential to note that different potential buyers are involved as client segments. Duygulu et al. try to identify the categories of consumers based on the functions they perform and the revenues they generate (698). The authors identify buyers who help reduce interest in foreign markets, increase the share of sales by involving other buyers, and some other groups (Duygulu et al. 698). About the bakery in question, ideal customers are regular clients who are ready to refuse to purchase products of another brand and accept any offers of the enterprise.
The demographic profile of ideal customers is not the same because the product range is different. Due to the use of online promotion, both young people and older adults may be considered regular customers. The younger generation will certainly be interested in product design and will appreciate the modern trends in the manufacture of bakery products. Adults will probably pay particular attention to the composition of the product and its taste. Therefore, it is important to ensure the conditions for the free choice of preferred purchases to all the target categories without exception.
Regarding the principles of interacting with customers, establishing online sales will certainly attract more young customers who often order food over the Internet. Older people will likely appreciate face-to-face interaction with sellers, which is a traditional trading technique. It is planned that the bulk of buyers will live in nearby houses, but to expand the business, online sales are valuable to provide delivery services to different districts of the city. As an optimal development strategy, it is planned that ideal customers will prefer only this baking brand due to several aspects that could satisfy consumer needs. They are taste, design, the speed of delivery, the courtesy of the staff, and loyalty programs. These components can be valuable incentives to engage as many customers as possible.
Since bakery products are in demand, private enterprises open frequently, and competition in this area is high. Organizations that have existed in the market for a long time threaten the profits of the business in question and can lure potential customers. Most of the competitive outlets are located in densely populated areas of the city where demand is high. The enterprises of this type have been in this business for several years, and this period is sufficient to create a stable customer base. At the same time, many competitors build their business on the application of individual marketing plans, for instance, selling products intended exclusively for one client segment – children, women, and other categories. Start-up projects are not included in the list of potential competitors since, as Hatten argues, they are in the process of searching for a growth strategy and cannot pose a significant threat (182). Accordingly, about the bakery in question, when analyzing competition, the main attention should be paid to those enterprises that have operated in the market for several years and have a stable sales plan.
Although most competitors are also part of the small business area, they can be significant rivals. According to Hatten, the reasons for this may be the sales of unique products and the creation of an individual entrepreneurial style (288). As the strength of competitors, one can also mention a stable budget scheme that allows allocating resources competently and avoiding bankruptcy, while increasing the current capital. Nevertheless, some enterprises have weaknesses, for instance, unstable pricing policies that create discomfort for regular customers. The analysis of the competitive environment is a crucial aspect of developing a marketing plan.
To draw up a sustainable marketing strategy for the development of the bakery in question, it is essential to analyze its current business conditions to obtain a comprehensive picture of entrepreneurial activities. As assessment tools, the SWOT strategy will be applied, as well as some other methodologies. This detailed analysis will provide an opportunity to consider growth possibilities in detail and help identify key business areas that deserve intervention.
The strengths of the business in question include stable demand, product safety, its affordable price, and attention to all customer segments without exception. As Burns states, it is crucial to apply financial ratios in the SWOT analysis to determine organizations’ budget competencies (324). Money resources are the weakness of the enterprise because the management cannot afford to introduce the most expensive ways of marketing development. Opportunities include expanding the target audience and gaining a wider market within the city. As threats, high levels of competition and, as a result, the loss of customers are possible.
Unique Selling Point
Determining a unique selling proposition (USP) about the bakery in question may imply a special approach to interacting with customers, in particular, online communication and the delivery of products to clients. When analyzing other possible areas, one can note that many possible ways of promotion have already been used by competitors, for instance, targeted sales of highly unique products, special interior design, or other nuances. According to Burns, for outlets, one of the USPs may be closeness to potential buyers (125). In this case, such a factor is unlikely to play a significant role, but it can also be used favorably.
Elevator Pitch and Customer Journey
To become a recognized brand and gain customer trust, it is important to go on the path of becoming a reliable company. Burns mentions the concept of the elevator pitch and notes that the rationale for the positioning value and relevance of a particular business should be accurate and unambiguous (407). The bakery in question has developed from a small store into a full-fledged and independent project with individual principles of work. The phenomenon of customer journey may be considered as the manifestation of trust in the brand and its products (Hockenberry 33). In this case, the residents of nearby houses have become frequent buyers. As a result, after acquiring a small but constant audience, the need to expand the business has arisen.
When analyzing business success, sellers should consider consumer behavioral patterns. In this case, the AIDA model may be relevant as an evaluation methodology to which Burns refers to the marketing analytic theory with such components as attention, interest, desire, and action (204). About the bakery, attention to it has not always been intense but only after some time after its opening. Interest is stable but low due to insufficient brand recognition. The desire of buyers for changes is felt because, in a competitive environment, the number of customers does not increase, and new offers are needed. Finally, when analyzing the parameter of action, client intentions are obvious, but due to the lack of stimulating factors, demand may decrease.
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In such a small business, there is no special loyalty program, but since many customers are regular, targeted discounts and bonus offers are possible. By today, the bakery has not provided wholesale services in large volumes, although sometimes, individual orders are accepted. An increase in the number of potential buyers may allow expanding production and sales opportunities and creating a unique loyalty system with beneficial propositions to customers.
Since the proposed marketing plan is associated with the expansion of online customer interaction, ensuring the financial security of all transactions is necessary. According to Mazzarol, calculating the budget for brand promotion on the Internet should involve risk assessment as a mandatory component of a development strategy (87). About the bakery in Miami, investments will not be very large since a big budget is not needed to create a platform for selling products and communicating with consumers. The team of stakeholders involved in the development of the marketing plan may include both the management of the enterprise and hired analysts who have professional knowledge in the field of online promotion.
At the initial stage, the pricing policy for the company’s products should be stable, and price retention should be one of the key areas of activity to maintain stable demand. A public relations strategy plays an important role in this development program. As Felix et al. state, when mastering the media space for a business, receiving true opinions and feedback from the target audience is essential (119). Therefore, a special employee will be appointed to monitor the activity on the network and timely alert in case of challenges or complaints from customers. The whole mechanism should work harmoniously, and clients will be able to get a quick response to any question. Promotion in social media as one of the principles of this marketing program needs to be implemented because this digital area is very popular, and different categories of the population can be involved through effective advertising on this site. Promotions, advantageous offers, and other materials will be regularly updated so that the target audience could see the business activity of the bakery.
As a promotion tool, the mass-advertising strategy may be applied, which, according to Felix et al., makes it possible to cover as many customer segments as possible (120). The after-sale methodology will be based on receiving feedback on the bakery products and exchanging opinions with consumers to create trust in the brand. The monitoring and measuring strategy will involve evaluating the profits made by introducing new product promotion tactics. This principle, as Alford and Page note, is the most relevant for the sales sector, and calculating income by comparing profits at different stages is the most accurate valuation technique (662). All financial issues related to the marketing budget are to be thought out in advance to eliminate potential risks and allocate assets wisely, for instance, in separate shares for the development of a digital platform and advertising. The costs of innovations and the hiring of additional employees will not exceed revenues if performance monitoring is carried out at all stages of the project changes. In case of the steady growth of the number of customers and, consequently, an increase in profits, the marketing plan will prove its effectiveness.
The development of a marketing plan for the bakery in Miami includes the comprehensive assessment of the goals and visions of the enterprise, its current business condition, and the subsequent implementation of a new strategy. As a basic model, online promotion is proposed as an effective method of brand popularization. Engaging various customer segments may help expand the business and increase profits. The mass-advertising strategy will be successful if two-way communication is maintained, and any feedback and complaints from consumers are addressed timely and responsibly. The proposed marketing plan is relevant in the context of the mass digitalization of entrepreneurial activities and, in particular, small businesses.
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