Marketing strategy and sales plan
This section of the business plan will detail the selling strategies that will be used to give the product a presence in the market. This is fundamentally an explanation of how we are going to get the customers aware of the existence of the product in the market and convince them to buy it (Ferrell and Hartline 2010; Lamb 2011).
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The product, MP3/Bluetooth glasses is a unique entrant to the market of wearable wireless technology. This is because it combines the functionality of a blue-tooth receiver and an MP3 player, with the aesthetic appeal of designer sunglasses. With the glasses on, an individual can listen to music using the installed ear-pieces and receive calls from his phone using the same ear-pieces without requiring any form of a wired connection between the mobile phone in his pocket and the glasses.
The unique selling position for the product is the easy compatibility between the glasses and most forms of middle to high-end mobile phones. There are similar products in the market but most of them demand that one has a particular type of phone to work with their sets. In addition to this easy compatibility, our set will be available in different designs, so that customers have the freedom to choose the ones that meet their desires.
In order to determine the suitable price for the product, we have to consider the cost of manufacture, transportation, and taxes imposed on each set. Adding a margin to this cost will give us the desirable prices for each set. From initial projections, we are looking at a cost of $300 per set, because this will give us a reasonable margin, while still remaining affordable to the customers. A look at other products in the market reveals that they are charging roughly the same amount, even though they do not provide the added advantages that our set will be providing. The key-word here is “reasonable” because we do not want to charge so high that customers are scared away from the product or too low that we are forced to deal with losses.
Sales and Distribution Plan
The device we are introducing to the market is both an electronic device as well as an item of fashion. This, therefore, excludes it from being classified as a niche product because it is something that anyone can use. For optimal sales, it is imperative that the product be availed in all centers that sell electronic gadgets as well as clothing. For instance, we plan to have the product displayed in the clothing section of Wal-Mart outlets and in shops selling sporting gear. Below are the elements of the sales and distribution plan that need to be taken into account.
Even though the primary goal is to record as high sales as possible, it is important to start slow (Rafinejad 2007; Schöttler 2007). In this regard, we shall target a few outlets around the area of production, all of which will be supplied with the products in one round. Transportation will be outsourced because setting aside resources for purchasing new transport vehicles may end up denting the resource pot that could be used to finance increased production. Initially, because we are looking at setting up an amicable agreement with the retailers, we shall cover all transportation costs.
For accountability purposes, the inventory will be reviewed from both the point of dispatch and the point of delivery. In this structure, the person handling the delivery will sign when receiving the products, confirming that every item he has picked is well packaged and is in good condition. At the delivery end, the recipient should sign a similar form so that in case of damage, it is easy to track the point at which it happened.
Online distribution is the other method that we will use to connect with the customers. We are working on a website for the product, which will have an integrated e-commerce platform to handle all the purchases. For this distribution method, we shall offer free delivery for purchases within a 50-mile radius, which shall be taken care of using courier services. Any deliveries outside this distance will be charged on the customer’s end.
For billing purposes, we shall set up an arrangement that will allow us to handle purchases done using both cash and credit cards. On the e-commerce website, we shall use the universally accepted methods of online payment including, but not limited to, Paypal, Moneybookers, Western Union, and credit cards. Any other payment platform that may be found to be popular with the customers will be taken into consideration.
Advertising and Promotion Plan
The product we are introducing to the market is new and because of its nature as want, more than a need makes it imperative that an aggressive advertising plan be set up especially in the first phase of release. The aim is to make the customer aware of the existence of the product and motivate them to spend their money on it.
Because of the cost of advertising in broadcast media, we shall mainly focus our advertising efforts on the internet, billboards, and magazines, which are relatively cheaper and would be more effective for the category of product we are promoting. For online advertising, we shall hire an online marketing specialist who shall be tasked with the role of identifying the best possible platform for committing advertising resources. Google Adsense and Facebook advertising are some of the primary platforms that we intend to target for this purpose.
On average, we hope to spend at least $10,000 on bill-boards, with a billboard in a prime location renting for an average of $2000. Brochures shall also be used as one of the cost-effective methods of marketing. These shall be distributed in areas with the highest concentration of potential buyers, such as in colleges and in the areas around beaches. However, on the day of the launch, all the media houses with a bias on entertainment and fashion shall be invited to provide coverage, with the hope that a few of them will carry the story, which will in turn act as subsidized advertising for us.
An evaluation of the used marketing methods shall be conducted periodically, in order to identify set out the most effective ones from the failures. The idea is to always keep advertising costs which makes it of utmost importance to get rid of strategies that are not giving the brand positive mileage. Currently, we have set the assessment duration for the efficacy of advertising strategies at once in a fortnight.
Ferrell, O & Hartline, M 2010, Marketing Strategy, Cengage Learning, Connecticut.
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Lamb, C 2011, Essentials of marketing, Cengage Learning, Connecticut.
Rafinejad, D 2007, Innovation, Product Development, and Commercialization: Case Studies and Key Practices for Market Leadership, J. Ross Publishing, Alaska.
Schöttler, J 2007, Innovation and New Product Development: Launch Strategy and Market Plan for the New Product, GRIN Verlag, Munich.