A party planer marketing mix part

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MARKETING 6

Marketing Mix strategies

2.0 Marketing objectives

Nicole Social Event Planning Company (NSEPC) will have the following objectives;

  • To create awareness and reach to 50% of the target population in Canberra by June 2017

  • To command a market share of 10% of social event planning in Canberra by December 2017

  • To attain net sales of AUD$ 3million from social events in Canberra by June 2017

  • To publicize the brand to 80% of households in Canberra by June 2017

2.1 Marketing mix

2.1.1 Product or service strategy

Ozment and Morash (1994) identify three category of service offering as; augmented, core, and actual services. Core services involve the basic customer intention for the transaction and relates to the primary customer benefit. Actual services are ancillary or facilitative to the core services. On the other hand, augmented service is how the core and actual services are bundled to create service quality.

2.1.1.1 Core services

NSEPC core services are event planning for kids and households such as parties, birthdays, anniversaries and weddings. These events are conducted at different times of the year and differ based on type and budget. The company will provide services such as tents, music systems, event decorations, outside catering and confectioneries.

2.1.1.2 Expected services

Expected services relate to how the events will be designed, features, brand name and quality. The actual products to be delivered are outdoor tents, seats, cakes, decorations, flowers, balloons, and other accessories. Depending on the event and preferences of customers, these products will be;

  • High quality and clean tents

  • Attractive colors and hues in decorations

  • Latest and trendy fashion in cake arrangement and design

  • Elegance and in style in stage setting and music systems

  • Reliable and responsive staff at all event sections

2.1.1.3 Augmented services

NSEPC will provide the following augmented services;

  • Quick and timely delivery of tents, seats, decorations, culinary services, cakes and other requirements

  • Stylish and fashionable installation of tents and setting of cake and buffet services

  • Free transportation services of tents and seats within Canberra

  • Free response or feedback services on Facebook and twitter

  • Free event site cleaning and collection of used items after the event

  • Reliable and responsive staff

2.1.1.4 Product differentiation

Quality/price differentiation strategy will be adopted. The company will move up the differentiation scale and focus on bundles of services including some free services not offered by existing event planners. This will create a calculative behavior among customers who will be looking for the next best deal (McInnes, 2011). This will increase customer loyalty and reduce acquisition costs.

2.1.1.5 Positioning

NSEPC will be positioned as high-quality event service provider to middle income customers in Canberra region. The company will provide value for money to many middle income and high-end customers.

2.1.1.6 Branding

The company will use its first events to create fan base and expose a strong brand to people. Some of the items branded under the name NSEPC will include staff uniform, bottled water, specialty cocktails, cupcakes, sweet wrappers, gestures and thoughtful gifts. A branded registration page will be created to collect data on guests and track registrants. The staff will be always motivated to create enthusiasm and lighten up guests.

2.1.1.7 Service lifecycle implications

Service life cycle entails the process that identifies that stage at which the service is encountered at the time. The stages are; introduction, growth stage, maturity and decline stages. NSEPC will be at the introduction stage where it is building awareness to ensure that customers get acquainted with the service. Word-of-mouth marketing and social media are the platforms to be used in creating awareness.

2.1.2 Pricing strategy

2.1.2.1 Pricing objectives

  • To create positive cash flows of at least AUD$3,000 per month

  • To position the company as quality for money for middle and up market income earners and households

  • To achieve a market share of 5% within the next six months

  • To match competitor prices within the next one year

  • Meet 100% target rate of return or break even within the next one year

2.1.2.2 Pricing methods

Bundle pricing will be the appropriate method to use. Bundle pricing is selling a package of services at a lower price than if it was sold separately. This means that the prospective customers when they buy an entire event package will get free transport, free cleaning services and free responses survey. These multiple products are put together to make them economical as a whole and more attractive.

2.1.2.3 Competition and competitor pricing

Major competitors in Canberra area are; Events ACT, Event Planet, Early Bird Events, and Poppies Weddings and Events Company (Yellow Pages, 2016).

Table 1: NSEPC competitor analysis

Competitor

Description

Events ACT

Has 30 years experience in event planning. Organizes events such as concerts, private parties, sporting events and corporate outings. Has flexible staffing and pricing.

Event planet

Specializes in corporate events. Uses innovative and modern approaches for social event planning. Offer premium prices for market leading brands.

Early bird events

Has a small team. Specializes in conferences, gala balls, award nights and concerts. Tailor-make events to match customer’s budget.

Poppies Weddings and Events Company

Specializes in events, parties and weddings. Negotiates prices with customers.

2.1.3 Promotion strategy

2.1.3.1 Promotion objectives

  • Build awareness among customers of the social event company, their brand and activities

  • Create interest through promotional appeals

  • Provide information on type and nature of event services offered

  • Stimulate demand through social media and word-of-mouth marketing

  • Reinforce the brand using follow-up emails and incentives

2.1.3.2 Promotional mix

Promotional mix consists of personal selling, sales promotion, advertising, and public relations (Riaz & Tanveer, 2012). Under advertising, NSEPC will print brochures and distribute at social functions, send emails to families in Canberra, and attach posters on public notice boards. The staff will also be conducting face-to-face meeting with people after social events and functions. On public relations, the company will feature twice in the Canberra weekly in the first year. Regarding direct marketing, the company will also do online display ads and mobile messaging to friends and relatives within Canberra. Common platforms to be used are YouTube, Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. Social media is cheap and reaches a huge number of audience especially group WhatsApp.

2.1.4 Distribution

The company intends to have an office where all concerns and inquiries are addressed. The office will be located in North Canberra district which has an estimated population of over 48,000 people. The region has about 21,000 dwellings mainly families of two to three children (Burgess, 2016). These are middle income families with trendy lifestyles that include hosting parties and anniversaries. Physical delivery of service to the place where the events will be hosted is important. The company will have its own van and a truck to transport equipment and accessories.

The retail positioning strategy will involve branding tents and cars, sell of branded T-shirts, mineral water and brochures in North Canberra. The target population will be kids of 1 to 15 years from families with income of AUD$100,000 per year within North Canberra.

2.2 Implementation

This marketing plan will be implemented in phases based on availability of funds. Personal savings will be sufficient to provide the initial phase of implementation. The activities will be undertaken as shown in the Gantt chart below.

Table 1: Implementation plan

Activity

Attend Training

Do feasibility study

Procure tents and seats

Create Facebook and Twitter page

Print brochures and fliers

Word of mouth marketing

Hire office space with a store

Employ two employees

Print business cards and distribute

Attend functions and do personal selling

Cold calling customers from North Canberra

Advertise in Canberra Weekly

2.3 Budget

Table 2: Budget

Activity

Cost (AUD$)

Equipment and materials

Pick-up Truck

Crockery and culinary equipment

Event accessories

Balloons

Decorating materials

Office administration

Salary (2 employees)

Wages (4 laborers)

Water and electricity

Advertising and promotion costs

Print business cards

Advertise in Canberra Weekly

Open a website

Online display ads

Mobile messaging

Contingency costs

Total costs

2.4 Evaluation

First, the company will use Google analytics to analyze customer traffic to its website. Second, the company will use break even analysis to evaluate the period it takes the company to recover its initial costs of AUD$108,200. Third, the company will take note of positive affirmations from word-of-mouth marketing and number of callers inquiring on the company services and pricing modes. Four, the number of likes on Facebook page and positive comments from Twitter will also be analyzed.

2.5 Conclusion

NSEPC is a new start up business that will be conducting event planning for kids anniversaries and birthdays as well as other household functions. Services include hiring out tents, seats, cakes, and decorations. Being in the introduction stage of service lifecycle, the company will use bundle pricing to edge out its competitors such as Events ACT, Event Planet, Early Bird Events, and Poppies Weddings and Events Company. The company will have an office in North Canberra doubling as a store and will use promotional mix that consists of personal selling, sales promotion, advertising, and public relations. Targeting 21,000 families, the company intends to use AUD$108,200 to kick-start its business. The company will add more services and equipment as business takes shape.

References

Burgess, K. (2016, April 12). How Canberra’s population density has changed. The Canberra Times. http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/how-canberras-population-density-has-changed-20160330-gnu5hs.html.

Kotler, P., Armstrong, G., Cunningham, P.H. (2005). Principles of Marketing. Toronto: Pearson Education Canada. pp. 67-70.

McInnes, G. (2011). Five levels of market differentiation strategies. http://www.slideshare.net/GrahamMcInnes1/5-levels-of-market-differentiation-strategies.

Ozment, J. & Morash, E.A. (1994). The augmented service offering for perceived and actual service quality, Journal of Academy of Marketing Science, 22(4): 352-363.

Riaz, W. & Tanveer, A. (2012). Marketing mix, not branding. Asian Journal of Business and Management Sciences, 1(11): 43-52.

Yellow Pages (2016), Yellow pages, Retrieved on 14th April 2016, from;

http://www.yellowpages.com.au/.