The Art Sentry
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The marketing goal will be to raise visibility and awareness of The Art Sentry with the prospective target segments. The Art Sentry will use a Yellow Pages advertisement as these phone directories are one good source of information that people turn to when they are looking for a listing of different service providers.
Another marketing strategy will be a word-of-mouth referral system. Initially this system will be started through networking efforts based on personal relationships that Dan has formed at the Cleveland Museum of Art and small local galleries. Once the Museum begins to make referrals to Dan (this will occur because Dan was a former employee and they recognize his skill), business will grow. Art aficionados are not a huge group of the population but it is reasonable to presume that people that collect art have similar minded friends that also collect art so referrals are likely to increase.
These grass root efforts of word-of-mouth referrals will take a bit of time to develop, but will provide The Art Sentry with a sufficient flow of customers.
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The Art Sentry's mission is to provide the customer with professional packaging and hanging services for artwork. 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.
The market can be segmented into two different groups:
The residential customers are often the "preferred" customer to work for because they are concerned about protecting their art. These customers are either wealthy art collectors or wealthy investors since they are willing to spend money to protect their artwork. For them to be willing to protect their artwork, the value of the artwork will typically exceed several hundred dollars.
The Art Sentry will be positioned as the premier art hanging/packaging professional for the discriminating art collector. The Sentry will service both the individual collectors as well as corporate collections. The Art Sentry will leverage their competitive edge to achieve the desired positioning.
The Art Sentry's competitive edge is based on the extensive skill and industry knowledge that Dan possesses; this is very specific knowledge that few people have. This skill set is both positive and negative. It is positive because it allows The Art Sentry to provide superior services relative to the other service providers. The downside to this is in order for the business to realize the competitive advantage, it must remain small and focused. The revenue forecasts indicate that The Art Sentry will develop sufficient profitability while remaining very focused.
The single objective is to position The Art Sentry as the premier art collection service provider. The marketing strategy will seek to create customer awareness regarding the services offered, develop the customer base, and work toward building customer loyalty and referrals.
The message that The Sentry will seek to communicate is that they offer a superior service for artwork that is not offered anywhere else. The first method of communication will be advertisements, specifically, in the Yellow Pages.
The second method of communication is a concerted networking campaign. Networking will be an effective activity in light of the fact that the community of customers is close knit. The networking activities will be specific to the different customers that The Sentry will target.
The Art Sentry's marketing mix is comprised of the following approaches to pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion, and customer service.
The Art Sentry has undertaken an informational marketing research campaign to gain insight into customer preferences, alternative service providers, and sources of information that customers have for obtaining service providers.
Over a three-month period, Dan visited art galleries to obtain the previously mentioned information. Taking the time to chat with the different galleries was quite useful in gaining customer insight. While some of the information gained was new and added value to both the business and marketing plan, a lot was already known and served to confirm already held assumptions.
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