Welcome to the strategic marketing plan for Soft-A-Loge. Slide 2: Soft-A-Loge. Com has been in the social media business for 10 years. The proposition of the company is to be the lowest cost, highest quality service provider in the industry (MUSKET Scenario, 2013). The enterprise has been successful in growing every year, with a total of five billion in sales, but overall awareness of the name Soft-A-Loge is low. The task of this plan is to increase the top-of-mind recognition of the Soft-A-Loge parent brand and determine a path forward for the company.
Slide 3: Competition in the social media arena is intense. Currently, there are thousands of companies trying to reach out to potential customers every day. Instead of being in the background, Soft-A-Loge is striving to come to the forefront of the minds of the 940 million people who interact electronically (Social Media Cool Tools, 2013) Slide 4: The leader in social media is Backbone (Backbone, 2013). According the Social Media in Business. Com (2013), over 800 million people are linked together through this outlet, with over 200 million users Joining since 2011.
In addition, there are as any as 225 million professionals from more than 200 countries “Linked” who dialogue about business subjects on a daily basis (Linked, 2013). This makes Linked the largest professional networking site. However, areas of opportunity do exist for Soft-A-Loge to create a network “persona” unique to the corporate image. Technology is pervasive and is still increasing in importance daily. Slide 5: The first step in determining a strategic focus is to perform a situational analysis of both the player in the market, as well as the segment of interest.
A tool that identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of an organization is called a SOOT analysis (Moravian & Meltzer, 2012). Specifically, SOOT is a straightforward model that assesses what an organization can and cannot do as well as its potential prospects and pressures. The method of conducting a SOOT analysis is to take the information from an environmental analysis and separate it into internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external issues (opportunities and threats).
Soft-A-Loge has internal capabilities that include being established for 10 years in the market, as well as reliable access to consumers, market segments, infrastructure, and vendors, compared to a newcomer into any rake segment. That being said, there are the facts that there is little brand recognition or loyalty in a highly undifferentiated marketplace with competitors like Linked, Backbone, and Twitter being household names. Out of all the opportunities and younger audiences is a high potential area.
The advent of newer and newer technologies to help interface with family and friends is also an opportunity, especially if Soft-A-Loge can partner early in the development process becoming more of an innovative leader. Last, the forces that could negatively impact Soft-A- Loge now and in the future surround regulatory and internet safety issues. Whether it involves laws from government agencies, identity and/or personal safety issues, or new, powerful completion in the segment chosen, the threats to the business must always be kept in mind.
Slide 6: A majority of industrialized citizen use electronic communication in some way, shape or form (Social TV. Get in on the conversation, 2013). This allows Soft-A- Loge to potentially define itself in any segment where opportunities for differentiation exist and the market can support a large competitor. Also, the need for Roth potential moving forward is a must for the segment chosen to be a viable option. So which market should be chosen?
Slide 7: The next critical decision is targeting the right consumer; a poor choice at this stage could spell failure. So with which customers does Soft-A-Loge fit and how are they approached? The easiest way to ensure a business in the future is to constantly create new customers (Winner & Dharma, 2011). By focusing on next generation, children and young adults, we do Just that. A current gap in the market is a safe environment for exploration of the internet and socializing by children under 8.
By creating this situation, through marketing efforts directed at parent’s, educators, and directly to the target demographic, Soft-A-Loge becomes the first site a child uses, which leads to a greater overall Customer Lifetime value, which will be discussed later. Slide 8: As seen in the SOOT analysis, an opportunity exists to reach out to the very young consumer, gaining brand loyalty to Soft-A-Loge at an early age and leveraging their purchasing power. The Teen segment consists of people from eight to fourteen years old and, when combined with all other under 18 consumers, have an estimated $209 billion in buying power (L. H. H. , 2007). In addition, they influence many of the buying decisions made in the home as well as purchasing in their own right. This no longer is simply the idea of ‘pester power’, the repetitive requests for items seen in advertisements by children to parent’s, but rather a truly engaged consumer who is increasingly computer literate earlier in their lives (McDermott, Sullivan, Stead, & Hastings, 2006). Slide 9: The position of a product or service is one of the ups of marketing, with Price, Product, and Promotion being the other three (Winner & Dharma, 2011).
Based on he SOOT analysis earlier, positioning Soft-A-Loge in the market dedicated to children has both consumer and business advantages. According to the U. S. Census, the population of children is expected to dramatically increase from 70. 4 MM in 2000 to an estimated 77. 2 MM in 2020 (Cone, 2004). That being said, there are such as a parent, or organization, like schools, are the only ways to remove the barrier to entry of the pre-adult consumers. This will require overcoming the fears, both real and imagined, of the steward of that user.
Slide 10: Recent research has shown that children as young as 2 have the ability to earn from on-screen media sources (Richer, Rob, & Smith, 2011). The number one fear of parent’s is that their child will be exposed to predators and inappropriate content without their knowledge. However, independence of children is necessary for them to build trust-based relationships, develop socially, and hone critical thinking skills (Nolan, Aryans-Goalie, ; McBride, 2011).
Having Soft-A-Loge as the safe haven for children to develop technological skills in such a way that they are protected, yet free to make healthy choices in social media interactions will ensure hat repeated generations of consumers grow up on the website and APS. Slide 11: All companies should be willing to stand behind their product or service. If not, then there is no reason for a consumer to trust them enough to make a purchase. Safety is paramount to the Soft-A-Loge guarantee as children and young adults are the primary participants.
Ensuring the preclusion of threats to them will require a technological solution, as exclusion of websites, individuals, and execution of background checks are necessarily dependent on high tech solutions. Companies eke Adeptly assist companies like Backbone and other companies with focused efforts in maximizing the benefits of the advertising dollar using targeted links as well as providing screening innovations (Adeptly: About, 2013). This would also provide the vehicle to reach the target audience, such as childcare providers, schools, and parent groups.
Use government agencies, including local and federal law enforcement, and other influential organizations will help fulfill the Soft-A-Loge guarantee: Safety, Fun, and Learning while you’re surfing! Slide 12: Customer Lifetime Value (CLC) describes the amount of revenue or profit a customer generates over his or her entire lifetime for a given business (Moravian & Meltzer, 2012). Most enterprises optimize their customer acquisition strategies by trying to minimize how much they spend to acquire each customer.
When you understand the lifetime value of different customers, however, you can optimize more effectively for the long run. By comparing and contrasting the value of different types of customers, for instance the value of a current Soft-A-Loge versus one that was acquired at the age of 3 or 4, a quantitative measure of the impact on the business can be calculated. Slide 13: By targeting a younger audience, the CLC for each will naturally go up. The current customer base does not realize the brand Soft-A-Loge is to whom they are giving their business.