The Virtual Tutoring Owl is a product that has come when it is most needed. The Virtual Tutoring Owl, is founded by, Educational Concepts Inc., located at 2400 Calculus Blvd, Knowledge Rock, MD. Our company has chosen the test marketing area of Prince George County, a growing affluent county in Maryland. However, despite its affluent growing population, it has a declining under achieving school system.
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Our in depth research shows that this is a unique situation, that has created a need for the school system to implement a tool that can drastically help improve their students performances. Introducing the Virtual Tutoring Owl, in that area will aid the school system and parents with a much needed supplement to enhance student’s academic performance.
Research indicates that students learn more with online tutoring systems and intelligent systems than by using the paper and pencil format. This means that this product has been developed to fill the learning gap needed and also to supplement traditional teaching(Beins, 2004).
The Virtual Tutoring Owl has been designed follow the trends of recent past of technological products. It has been constructed to mimic in design devices like the ipad or smartphones which are already familiar with the targeted clients. This will also give the product a more likely acceptance in the market place. This report will show the demand and necessity of the Virtual Tutoring Owl, based on the analysis of situational and external factors in the chosen test market area of PG County, MD school system.
Purpose and Mission
The purpose of this product is to introduce a supplemental educational device that will assist students in homework, hence achieving better test scores, without attending a traditional sit-in tutoring class. The product’s appeal is that it is: durable, wireless, less time consuming, user friendly, and lastly fun to use because it is voice activated and yields voice responses. The product reduces the amount of time that students would otherwise spend in going for after class tutorials.
This is important as some students do not learn much from these after class tutorials as in most cases they are normally already tired. Classes are tiring to the mind. Therefore, if one is to have an after class learning session; it should be fun to the student to benefit him or her. The device also saves time for parents who have to look for a credible tutor and inspect the tutors past in order to establish their credibility.
The product thus kills two birds with one stone. Apart from time, the product also save the client money in the long term as they will not have to keep paying the tutor who normally demand regular payments that may be inconveniencing to the parent. Buying this product which has a price range $150-200 dollars, will include all the basic subjects like Math, English, Communication and others learnt by students in the school and also be onetime payment opposed to the regular payments demanded by the traditional tutors.
The product is also advantageous since it is portable, durable, wireless, convenient and computer friendly. Since computers are a big part of our lives, it would be beneficial for the students to learn using this product which will help them to become computer literate(Beins, 2004).
What is the Virtual Tutoring Owl?
The product is a hand held voice activated device which is meant to assist students in their studies and in the process make the learning process easier and more fun. It is portable, easy to carry around, convenient, and yet affordable. Its database will have all major subject taught at public elementary, middle and high schools.
Therefore, the product will have the ability to assist students in most any homework study situation and makes it even more convenient. The device can also help the student store questions in the device which he or she may ask during class. This gives students learning aids that help them capture every moment in the learning process (Krugman, 2009).
How Does the Virtual Tutoring Owl Work?
The Virtual Tutoring Owl is operated by speaking into the device, which also can be operated by hand application. The operator chooses a subject such as math, then sub category algebra. The student asks the device the equation. The equation is then displayed on the screen. Now, the virtual tutor will proceed to help assist the operator along with the answer, yet not automatically giving the answering.
It will talk the students through the question step by step, asking rational questions, and confirming correct assumptions to help the students solve problems for themselves. As an incentive, the Virtual owl has a unique built in feature that motivates students to use it frequently and longer.
For every 30 minutes of use, the student earns 10 minutes of game time if they have 3 correct answers in any subject at the end of the session. (Krugman, 2009) Therefore, it will help pupils learn more, without feeling it is a chore. This will also make parents happier to know their children are spending more time studying, which is a goal of most parents.
As an onset point, the product is going to target majorly in a rising affluent income area, where parents are seeking to save time, but still can afford to give quality education to their children (Blanchard, 2008). The marketing strategy to introduce the Virtual Tutoring Owl, in the Prince George County, is simply to find an area where it is most needed and fill it.
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Demographics of Test Area
Educational Concepts Inc., research shows that, the county has a unique socio-economic status and has great potential for launching the product in that area. According to Blanchard, the census bureau 2011, it is the 70th most affluent county in the nation per capita and the wealthiest county in the nation for Afro-Americans. The population in the area is well structured with a good number being in schools. Prince George’s County has a population with over 300,000 people and it has the third largest school system in the state.
Yet, it has one of the lowest student performances rating in the country. This disparity gap has been created from a progressive transitioning of the status quo from earlier years in 90’s. In the past, the county had a high crime and poverty rate.
However, since 2004, white collar workers have migrated to the area, and there have been decreases in crime and the poverty rate. However, somehow the educational system has not keep up with the growing increase in the rise of the community. This may also be due to, high turnover rate of the schools superintendent (Blanchard, 2008).
However, the increasing demands for higher scholastic achievement from the pressures of parents, school boards and teachers are still ongoing. If students do not achieve the minimum standards on state test, it will greatly reduce funding for schools in the county among other problems in the community.
Studies have shown, in an area where the median household is $71,000 dollars, and 36 percent have bachelor degrees, the concern for a better school system is greatly in demand. It has caused some families to relocate or enroll their children in private schools.
However, our organization understands that it is the concern of all parents, regardless of income status to have a competitive standard performing school system. Therefore, the Virtual Tutoring Owl will be made affordable, and collaborations will be made with the school system based on the family’s income, to either supplement, or partially reimburse parents for purchasing the Virtual Tutoring Owl.
In addition it will be marketed for its likeable attributes. It is hand held, voice activated and portable as a cell phone. Therefore, it will be tagged as the ’’hip or cool” device to own, in which is a major concern among youths. Our organization anticipates by introducing the Virtual Tutoring Owl to schools and parents in the PG County area, it will be a very beneficial profitable venture (Blanchard, 2008).
Moreover, the product will first target elementary, middle and high school students. This is because of the ease to inculcate the syllabus at these stages of learning. Students of these ages are most affected by the traditional learning process of tutoring, therefore giving the product good launch target in its take off stages.
To be relevant, the product had to focus on the portion of the market that needed it the most which is the learning stages mentioned above. The product also targets parents seeking to save time and money but still give quality education to their students (Blanchard, 2008).
The target distribution network will be in two segments. First it will be sold through a wholesale-retail-consumer format. The product will be delivered to all big boxes stores and big electronic stores the product and enable its development. The price range will be 150- 200 dollars (Krugman, 2009).
Secondly, the company will collaborate with the school district directly to have them introduce it to parents and students. This device will be out sourced to be manufactured. This way the product will have maximum potential to be as competitive as possible.
The products competitors include smart phones, online tutoring services and the traditional tutoring services. The competing edge against the smart phones is the lack of regulation that comes with smart phones. Parents are not able to monitor the contents being viewed by their children using the smart phone.
This gives Virtual Tutoring Owl a competing edge since Virtual Tutoring Owl is all educational. The traditional tutors are an expensive option in the long term in both financial and time terms. The competing edge against online tutoring services is the tempting view of non-educational views like pornography. This means that the product stands at a good position in the competition edge (Krugman, 2009).
The ability for the product to make a good profit margin will depend on the market uptake. Speculation is that the market especially where the product is launched is an affluent area meaning they have a huge purchasing power.
According to a sample survey conducted in The PG County area by CFO Melvin Blount, out of 48 participants, 37 felt their child would have interest in a hand held learning tool, 36 felt their child needed academic help, 41 felt their child would have interest in a cell phone device, 33 would purchase it if recommend by their child’s school, 43 would purchase it if the school reimbursed their purchase, and 32 would be willing to pay between $150- 200 dollars for the product.
Analyzing this survey report shows that the Virtual Tutoring Owl will be well received by its audience. If the tutoring device is successful in help raising the student’s performances, this could be used to enhance marketing for the product in other areas to widen the potential of making sales nationally.
By using an aggressive marketing campaign, such as big scale advertising and collaborations with school districts, a key component in turning this product into a potentially very profitable venture. A narrow manufacturing cost and a widened marketing which will lead to increased sales and therefore increased revenue will ensure a profit margin (Blanchard, 2008).
Market expenses would include the amount of money spent in promoting the product through the media and in the distribution. The product since it is a new product will require a lot of marketing and advertising in order to be known by the consumers. The product will need introduction to the consumers and therefore marketing in almost all forms of media for good results will be necessary.
This marketing would include use of billboards, TV adverts, the radio and also the newspapers. Taking the product for review will also give it a good attention and thus promotion. This means a lot of market expenditure for the new product (Krugman, 2009). For a more detail look at marketing expenditures, find the attached financial report.
The ethnical background of the population is also going to provide the product with a positive edge. It is important to note that the area has a relatively mixed racial residence and has a 59% African-American population, and therefore if any common cultural factors in terms of ethnicity arise, at that time it will be addressed.
However, because it is a common technology, and universally used, there should be no need for cultural adaptations to the product. The area has a good technological intake and therefore gives Virtual Tutoring Owl an ease in the adaptation process. Most of students residing in PG County are already employing technology in their education process and as such are at a good position to partake this new technology. (Blanchard, 2004) The higher quality life style perhaps gives them a common cultural
The legal environment for the product is ranging fare. There is no legal barrier that the product faces which will give it ease in the marketing stage. Technology has been well taken by the government and has been a part of life nowadays. This means that the development of Virtual Tutoring Owl will receive a positive acceptance legally.
Educational Concepts Inc. believes that the Virtual Owl is an innovative technological product that will have a great positive influence in the education sector. The test area chosen gives the product marketing edge because it will be launched in an area of great demand for increased educational achievement. If the public accepts the concept of the Virtual Tutoring Owl, the company plans to expand into more broad fields such as SATs testing and colleges and universities.
Our company feels that we tapped into the heart of what make students attentive in their studies. Learning needs to be fun, innovative and intriguing in order for students to retain and maintain progressive learning status.
It has been our company’s mission to not only build an affordable device that will generate a high profit margin, but also give back to the education community, by making donations from sales to improve our schools. Educational Concepts Inc., feels that Virtual Tutoring Owl is an unique product, and is highly anticipated to be well received by the public, and therefore being a profitable venture.
Beins, B. (2004). Research Methods: a tool for life. Michigan: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
Blanchard, O. (2008). Macroeconomics. California: Pearson Hall.
Krugman, R. W. (2009). Macroeconomics. New York: Worth Publishers.