Marketing Plan

Marketing strategies are essential to the prosperity of an organization. For this assignment, the business-marketing plan is designed for Pood Corporation, a ketchup making start-up. Pood organization is located in Covington, Kentucky where it designs and packages its ketchup sold throughout Kentucky. The company is a start-up that was established in 2016 and is striving to make it in the ketchup industry. Currently, the company has employed over 100 employees who oversee the designing, packaging and distribution of the products.  Despite Pood organization being a startup, it has made great strides in the industry hence competitors are coming up with countermeasures to ensure they stay at the top in the industry. This essay is focused on designing a marketing plan for the company to widen its operations throughout the United States and the neighbouring countries. Moreover, the essay will also explore the SWOT analysis of the company. 

Mission statement:

The company aims to inspire healthier living, by connecting people to quality taste.

Goals and objectives

Pood ketchup firm is a startup organization focused on producing quality products to the American people and the world. Since commencing operations in the year 2016, the company has invested heavily on realizing its dreams. The company’s short-term goal is to become the leading and best seller in the ketchup industry. This goal is set to be realized within the next two years of its operations. It aims to capture the entire United States before expanding its operations globally. The company’s long-term goal is to globalize its operations. Pood organization is focused and is making great investments in realizing this goal in the next seven years of its operations.

The company needs to have a way of measuring the goals attained. Therefore, the best way to ensure these goals are attained is through systematic analysis. For example, the company’s short-term goal is to concur the U.S ketchup industry; therefore, the best way to measure whether this has been attained is through conducting regular surveys on which firm is the best seller in the country. On the other hand, the company aims to globalize, therefore, measuring this goal is through surveying the company sales in every country the company distributes its products.   

Competitive Forces:

Pood organization is already shaking its competition in the industry despite starting three years ago. The company has become a favourite in Kentucky and is focused on making more conquests in the industry. Despite the company being a favourite, it still faces great opposition from firms already established in the ketchup industry. Some of the major competitors include; Del Monte, Hunts and Heinz ketchup.

Some of the company’s strengths and weaknesses are highlighted below;

Strengths: The ketchup produced by Pood organization has better tastes compared to those produced by its competitors in the industry. The company uses the price tool to get recognition within the industry, this follows as its ketchup are cheaper and of high quality compared to those of its competition. Another important factor is that the company uses only quality tomatoes grown all over the US for its production. Lastly, the fructose corn syrup used for production is not as high compared to the competition. These strengths set up the company as a favourite in the industry.

Weaknesses:

One of the major weaknesses of the company is that it has low brand awareness in the market. Moreover, this fact can be attributed to lack of ketchup advertisements hence the brand is not so popular among the people like its competitors in the industry. Furthermore, the ketchup produced by the company is not equally distributed among the stores, which makes it unknown to the people. Moreover, the people who the product cannot easily access it in the stores. Lastly, the fact that Pood organization has not been in the industry for long becomes a weakness considering it does not know much about the people’s tastes and preferences and how to counter marketing strategies implemented by opposing firms. The fact that Pood organization is new market entrant means the firms already in the industry are employing strategies that make it hard for new entrants to operate in the industry.

Economic Forces:

Despite the economy of the United States has improved and stabilized from the great recession. The general presidential election has a slight effect on the nation’s economy and that of Kentucky. Jobs have been scarce in Kentucky hence translating negatively in the state’s economy. Moreover, the living standards of the low and middle-income earners are precarious and inequality between the people continues to widen (NACS, 2014). However, in 2016, the state’s economy began on a high note with consumer’s buying power increasing enormously especially women purchasing household products. Towards the end of 2016, the purchasing power of consumers in the ketchup industry increased steadily thanks to exposure done by a national taste test.

Political Forces:   

Despite there being elections recently, the landscape has not changed much in the state hence business continues as usual for the organization. Pood organization is fully aware of the current political temperatures of the state and its influence on business operations. Therefore, the firm believes that nothing would threaten the way businesses operate. Additionally, the firm holds the belief that issues such as immigration would only make the business boom considering that there would be more workers in the state hence influencing business operations positively.

Legal and Regulatory Forces:

 Currently, the regulations put in place for businesses in the ketchup industry are favourable for the operations of the firm. Moreover, there are no regulation proposals being made by either the federal or the state government that aim to change business operations in the state. However, when the firm aims to expand globally, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) may have some challenges and may have negative effects on how the company operates globally since the body was created to enhance global economic growth. On the other hand, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) will not affect the firm since the World Trade Organization (WTO) replaced it. Therefore, the business is free to expand its operations throughout America; however, it will have to prepare for international regulations when expanding globally. Global expansion is not easy, but adequate preparations for all the policies and regulations make the venture more enjoyable.

Technological Forces 

Technological innovations have brought great improvement and efficiency throughout the world especially in the business world where time is a factor. Technology has made it easy for our products to move fast to different locations. Availability of technology will make it easier for packaging of ketchup into branded bottles ready for distribution. Technology changes the time taken in packaging and manufacturing. On the other hand, marketing has become quite easy considering there is internet and online platforms making it easier to market the company ketchup reaching millions of people throughout the world. This is a technological era hence it is easy to reach a big population through online platforms. Generally, technology is a blessing to the business world hence technology cannot threaten the operations of Pood organization and cannot make ketchup produced by the firm obsolete.

Sociocultural Forces 

The baby boomers have become old and are dying and the scenesters do not follow the same rules used by the baby boomers. Therefore, the operations of this organization may be affected in the event the current managers retire or die considering they are responsible for the operations of the firm. The products produced by the firm are widely used to add flavour to food. Therefore, it is difficult to change the taste and preferences of clients once they identify a product brand they like. The government does not interfere in the operations of the firm unless there is a problem in the production that affects people. Currently, social-cultural factors do not have an impact on business operations.

Specify the primary and secondary target markets for your company

Pood organization is a startup company with global aspirations, however, the company understands the value of hard work and knows that it’s the only way to achieve the company goals. Currently, the company has set its eyes on the United States as the primary market for its products. However, the company’s secondary target is to globalize since it knows that is the only way of making its presence felt throughout the world. The company’s strategy of enticing clients is through investing in the quality of products it produces (Perner, 2008). The firm understands that appealing to the American people is the only way to go global. The company has invested in quality tomatoes for the production of high-grade ketchup. The company aims to conquer the local market before spreading its operations in other countries.

The company has set its prices lower than its competitors have as a strategy of appealing to ordinary people. The company has a mind of all the expenses the company will incur during distribution. Some of the strategies the company plans to use is collaborating with the fast food firms like Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonald’s and others, which have a chain of stores worldwide in its efforts to globalize. This strategy will help the firm globalize fast and make huge sales. The company fully understands the importance of incorporating the 5Cs, the customer, collaborators, company, climate and competitors in its marketing plans. This follows as the company is fully aware of the importance of these 5Cs to the success of the organization. Pood organization intends to capture customers with the pricing tool, and quality taste, moreover, once the clients are captured, the company aims at making constant improvements to ensure the customers do not migrate to rival ketchup producing firms. 

Strategies used to capture the market

Branding strategy

 Branding is one of the most effective ways of capturing customers. Therefore, the company aims to use the brand to lure more clients to subscribe to its products. The company aims to brand its product in a way that shows it cares about the health of its customers and at the same time include the picture of a cartoon. This follows as children identify with cartoon characters, hence they may propel their parents to buy the cartoon branded ketchup.

Collaboration strategy

Collaboration strategy is a fast way of marking a mark in the business world. The company aims to collaborate with fast food companies such as KFC and McDonalds, which often use ketchup for fries and other services. This is a sure way to make a mark in America and globally considering that these companies have stores globally. This strategy will help the Pood organization realize both its long and short-term goals within a short period.    

Conducting annual performance analysis on the company performance          

Performance analysis is essential to the success of an organization. They help organizations track the level of success, moreover, it confirms when a business is on track to achieving the set goals and objectives. The parameters within performance analysis help an organization measure success or failure. In this scenario, performance analysis is essential to measure both short and long-term goals of the business (Gregoriou, 2004). Therefore, to get the performance analysis in this scenario, after subtracting the cost of investment from the gain in the investment then divided by cost of investment, then the performance analysis is obtained (gain from the investment-cost of investment)/cost of investment). In an effort to make comparisons in performances between Pood Ketchup Company and one of its major competitors in the industry, Heinz ketchup, the analysis of every metric can be transferred since the benchmarking percentages are also available.

The customer engagement metric is characterized by the activity time on the company website and the frequency of customers on the same website. Technology has made it possible for customers to purchase products online, therefore, the number of visitors on a company website may be used to approximate the revenue a certain company makes. For example, when making a comparison between Pood organization and Heinz ketchup, the best way to do so would be through comparing the visits Pood organization gets on its website and that Heinz ketchup gets. Therefore, in the event that about 2000 people visit Pood organization’s website while about 4500 people visit the website of Heinz ketchup on a daily basis then the calculation would be 3500/4500 giving 444. This would mean that the number of visits to the website of Heinz ketchup would be more than those visits of Pood organization by 55.56%. Making the assumption that Pood organization’s retention rate was at 30% in July, on the first day of 2017 and made a slight improvement to 50% on July 15th. On the other hand, that of Heinz ketchup was at 50% and 70%, hence the retention rate would be:

Pood organization: (50%-30%)/30%=0.6=60%

Heinz ketchup: (70%-50%)/50%=0.4=40%

Another metric that would be used to measure performance is the market share captured by each brand in the industry. For example, let us assume that Heinz Ketchup holds a 23% market share at the top of the industry. The company experiences a 1% in the first quarter of the year from the previous year’s 22%. On the other hand, Pood organization falls behind Heinz with a 15% market share; this is an increase from 11%, which was recorded at the beginning of the year. Therefore, this increase of both companies has different explanations, the increased experienced by Heinz ketchup is due to its strong and steady customer network while that of Pood organization is due the new channels used in distribution recently introduced. It can be concluded that during the period reviewed, Pood organization did not implement new strategies for its operations. The following is the computation of market increases in percentages;

 Pood organization: (50%-30%)/30% = 0.6 = 60%

Heinz Ketchup organization: (23-22)/22 = 0.0045 = 4.5%

From the analysis, it is quite evident that Pood organization has minimized the gap with the industry leader despite Heinz ketchup maintaining its position as the industry leader. In the short period of time, Pood organization has managed to expand its operations to 10 new distribution channels in the U.S. meaning that the company has managed to open 30 distribution channels. This expansion can be used to show that the company’s short-term goals are on track and that the company may achieve it within the set time limit of three years. On the other hand, Heinz ketchup has maintained its position at the top of the industry with a total of 90 distribution channels. Therefore, given the current trend in the ketchup industry, within a year’s time, Pood organization could equal or surpass Heinz ketchup’s distribution channels, this would mean that Pood organization will have realized its goal of becoming the industry leader within three years.

 From this analysis and the analyzed metrics, it is quite evident that Pood organization needs to improve on its marketing strategies. This follows as the number of people visiting its website is low, and customer engagement is close to none. However, in the growth rate metric, pood organization shows strong performance, which may influence the performance of other metrics. Therefore, in an effort to realize both the short and long-term goals, the company must maintain its tempo. The following chart shows the quantitative goals stage for Pood organization’s development:

  • The company should improve its marketing hence increase the number of visits on its website from 2000 people to about 5000 on a daily basis.
  • The organization must ensure the return visits rise from 20% to about 45%.
  • The organization must put in motion strategies that help increase the market share from 15%.
  • The company needs to explore other markets as its globalization strategy.

 The company should consider the following quantitative development:

  • The company needs to intensify its marketing campaigns hence increase brand awareness in the market.
  • The company must redesign its website to make it attractive and hold adequate information concerning the operations conducted.
  • The company should consider using tools like collaboration with other companies in the industry to increase its popularity and likeability.
  • The main and important thing the company must not relent on is the marketing campaigns, which will increase the distribution channels.

Develop both a SWOT analysis and needs analysis for your product/service. Each analysis should examine three strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for your company

Strategic analysis is an essential aspect of an organization. The strategic analysis relies on SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and (Threats) instrument to make essential adjustments and improvements to businesses (Al-Araki, 2013). The following includes the company’s SWOT analysis.

Strengths

  • Production of better tasting and quality ketchup than all the other brands found in the U.S. This advantage gives the company an upper hand and clients are likely to fall in love with the company ketchup.
  • The company produces ketchup that ordinary people easily identify with considering it is cheaper compared to all the other brands produced in the country. This factor pulls a huge mass of middle-class and low-class people to Pood organization’s ketchup.
  • The company relies on locally produced tomatoes for its production. The company has put in place a team charged with finding the best tomatoes locally to use in its production instead of importing like other ketchup companies.
  • Pood organization has a special ingredient distinct from those of other companies. In its ingredients, fructose corn syrup used by Pood is not high. This follows as the company is focused on producing a product that does not affect the health of its clients.    

Weaknesses

  • The company has low brand awareness in the industry compared to its competitors whose brands are well known. The company needs to invest in its brand in order to compete with all the other ketchup company at the same level.
  • The company marketing team has done enough as far as popularity is concerned. This follows as the company is not as popular as the brand leaders in the ketchup industry.
  • The fact that Pood organization is a startup means it has no experience regarding the ketchup industry hence the industry leaders may use this fact to their advantage.

Opportunities

  • The company promotes a positive brand image that people can easily identify with.
  • The company acquires more land to aid in its endeavours. As a ketchup producing firm, the company has a plan of producing its own tomatoes.
  • The company has plans of expanding all over the U.S and then to the global market.

Threats

  • The fact that the company plans on expanding may be a threat on its part if not correctly planned for and done in the right way.
  • Working with investors to minimize loss from exchange rates.
  • The company may experience pressure from local tomato growers. 

Conclusion

Every organization needs better marketing strategies to propel it to the next level. In this setup, the Pood organization has ambitions of expanding both locally and globally. Therefore, this requires marketing strategies that would enable it to achieve its goals. The company’s strategy of collaborating with other fast food brands to help push its brand internationally. This move would make customers realize there is a new brand with superior taste than what they are used to getting. The company may use customer engagement metric and the market share captured by the firm to measure the firm’s performance over the approximated period. Therefore, with the right strategies, Pood organization is bound to make it in the ketchup industry.