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This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.

Mixed Greens Salad Gardens' marketing budget is limited so the strategy will be simple.  Developing visibility and brand equity is key.  To do so, Mixed Greens Salad Gardens will advertise in both the Register Guard as well as Eugene Weekly.  Advertisements will be for MG individually, as well as some co-branded ads with the Farmer's Market.

In addition to the advertisements which will be used to drive consumer sales, MG will leverage a networking campaign among the local restauranteurs to drive commercial sales.

Mission

Mixed Greens Salad Gardens' mission is to provide the highest-quality salad greens.  We exist to attract and maintain customers.  When we adhere to this maxim, everything else will fall into place.  Our services will exceed the expectations of our customers. 

Marketing Objectives

  1. Maintain positive, steady growth each month.
  2. Experience an increase in new customers who are turned into long-term customers.
  3. Generate brand equity at the Farmer's Market as well as within the commercial restaurant industry market.

Financial Objectives

  1. Realize a 3% increase in gross profit margins through efficiency gains every year.
  2. Reduce the transportation costs associated with product delivery by 10% by the end of the first year.

Target Markets

MG has two distinct customers:

  1. Individual consumers. This group of people buy mesclun greens because they have a more sophisticated pallette.  Average Americans have been raised on iceberg lettuce and this is their green of choice. These people are typically unsophisticated or unadventurous in terms of culinary habits.  These are NOT the people MG serves.  MG is going after people that appreciate healthier, tastier alternatives to the standby of iceberg lettuce.  This group of consumers is more likely to make their own meals instead of going out, appreciate fine dining, and generally are from a higher socio/economic class. The individuals have access to Mixed Greens Salad Gardens' salad greens at a booth that they set up at the Farmer's Market.

  2. Restaurants. Not all restaurants use mesclun mixes, generally it is a restaurant of fine dining that serves the finer greens.  To be even more specific, it is typically an adventurous American, or nouveau cuisine restaurant as opposed to a French or German restaurant that appreciates the Mesclun mix. The restaurants are a year round customer which is helpful to balance the seasonal demand of the consumers.  Another advantage of having restaurants as a customer is that even though they get a better price, MG has a long-term contract with them which helps in terms of stability.

MG's target market segment strategy is fairly easy. 

Individuals
These customers will be buying MG products from the different farmer markets located in Eugene, Ore.  The main one is "The Farmer's Market" held downtown twice a week in the Spring and the Summer.  This market gets quite a bit of traffic because there is a nice selection of different farmers and products and it is in a central location.  Additionally, there are several other smaller farmer markets that exist in outlining communities.  By setting up a booth in these markets, there is already a steady flow of interested customers.  There obviously is a fee to set up a stand, but what you get for the fee is all of your marketing taken care of and a line of customers.  In addition to individuals frequenting the farmer's market, restaurants will go there as well.  This occurs when a restaurant needs ingredients but did not have the time to order in advance.

Restaurants
MG will target these customers by introducing MG and their products to the restaurants through meetings with the buyers at each restaurant.  There are about 25-30 different restaurants in Eugene that use field greens in their salad and MG intends to approach these to form a long-term relationship.   

Positioning

Mixed Greens Salad Gardens will position itself as:

  • Flexible.
  • High-quality producer.
  • Professional.
  • Reliable.

Strategies

The single objective is to position Mixed Greens Salad Gardens as THE finest producer of salad greens in the Willamette River Valley, commanding a majority of the market share within five years. The marketing strategy will seek to first create customer awareness regarding services offered, develop the customer base, and work toward building customer loyalty.

Mixed Greens Salad Gardens seeks to communicate the message that they are the finest grower of high-end salad greens.  This message will be communicated through a variety of methods.  The first method will be advertisements.  Some of the advertisements will be co-branding with the Farmer's Market.  Other advertisements will be solely MG advertisements.  The ads will be placed in both the local newspaper as well as the local art/entertainment paper. 

The message will also be communicated to the different restaurants through networking with owners and managers. Not only is there an Eugene-based restaurant association which is a formal group of restauranteurs, but because Eugene is a a fairly intimate community, MG will communicate their message through informal gatherings and networking with restaurant owners.

Marketing Mix

Mixed Greens Salad Gardens' marketing mix is comprised of the following approaches to price, distribution, advertising and promotion, and customer service.

  • Pricing: MG's pricing scheme is a per pound charge for salad greens.  Consumers may purchase any amount of greens, restaurants must purchase in three pound quantities.
  • Distribution: Consumers are able to purchase the greens from MG's stand at the local Farmer's Market.  Restaurants will have their produce delivered.
  • Advertising and promotion: A mixture of advertisements and networking will be used to increase visibility for Mixed Greens Salad Gardens.
  • Customer service: Obsessive customer service is the mantra.  MG's philosophy is whatever needs to be done to make the customer happy must occur, even at the expense of short-term profits.  In the long term, this investment will pay off with a fiercly loyal customer.

Marketing Research

During the initial phase of the marketing plan development, several focus groups were held to gain insight into prospective customers.  These focus groups provided helpful insight into the decision making processes.

An additional source of dynamic market research is a feedback mechanism based on a suggestion card system.  The suggestion card has several statements that customers are asked to rate in terms of a given scale.  There are also several open ended questions that allow the customer to freely offer constructive criticism or praise.  Mixed Greens Salad Gardens will work hard to implement reasonable suggestions in order to improve their service offerings, as well as show its commitment to the customer that their suggestions are valued. 

The last source of market research is competitive analysis. Mixed Greens Salad Gardens will send people to local competitors to gain information about their product offerings.

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