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

  • Trade Shows: Wheelie Deals will be visible at the two major industry trade shows. 75% of the retail bicycle shops attend at least one trade show a year. The shows provide retailers an opportunity to view upcoming products and chat with representatives from the companies as well place pre-season orders.
  • Advertisements: Wheelie Deals will be advertising in Bicycle Retailer, THE industry magazine. Ninety-eight percent of the bicycle shops in America receive a copy of Bicycle Retailer making the advertising opportunities especially valuable.
  • Website: Wheelie Deals will develop a website that includes a current catalog of their offerings. This will be the most up-to-date source of product information and availability. All advertising activities and trade show presence will highlight the website as an indispensable source of information.

Mission

Wheelie Deals' mission is to create the largest selection of closeout bicycle parts. 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

  • Increase repeat customers by 6% per quarter.
  • Decrease the cost of customer acquisition by 5% per year.
  • Create general awareness of Wheelie Deals within the retail bicycle industry.
  • Increase the catalog of products by 15% a year by skillfully communicating to the manufacturers the success of this business model.

Financial Objectives

  • A double digit growth rate for the first five years.
  • An increase of the profit margin by 3% a year.
  • Profitability within one year.

Target Markets

The two segments that Wheelie Deals will be targeting are:

  • Independent Bicycle Shops: The large majority of bicycle retailers are independently owned sole proprietorships. They are usually owned by one person and range from three to ten employees, depending on the season.
  • Chain Bicycle Shops: Although chains are not the predominant business form, most large cities (over 200,000 people) have at least one chain serving the community. Sometimes the chains are franchises with different owners, other times they are same owners with multiple stores.

The majority of sales will be to the independent bicycle shops. The reason for this is most of the chains have a very uniformed product offering that does not deviate for specials and closeouts. The chains tend to value consistency of product offerings at the expense of increased profit margins on special items.

Positioning

Wheelie Deals will position themselves as the premier bicycle wholesaler of closeouts, specials and other deals, providing retailers with increased margins. Wheelie Deals will leverage their competitive edge to ensure the proper positioning.

Currently wholesalers in this market are not specializing their product lines. Everyone tends to carry a fairly wide range of things. It is a clear advantage to be focused and only concentrate a specific niche. By focusing on closeouts, retail shops can contact Wheelie Deals and always find products that offer very nice margins, uncharacteristic of the bicycle industry.

The trend of the industry in general is of consolidation. By offering value-added services such as closeout items which provide the retailer with better than average margins, Wheelie Deals is developing value that creates a steady flow of customers helping to not force them into a consolidation arrangement until they are truly ready.

Strategies

The main objective for Wheelie Deals is to position themselves as the premier source for bicycle and bicycle component deals within the U.S.  The marketing strategy will seek to first create customer awareness regarding the products offered, then develop the customer base, and finally work toward building customer loyalty and repeat business.

The message that Wheelie Deals seeks to communicate is that they are the one-stop source for great deals.  This will be done using several different methods.  The first method will be participation at the national trade shows. Wheelie Deals will develop a visible booth to highlight the products that they offer as well as communicate to the manufacturers that they are a source for getting rid of their overstocks. 

Wheelie Deals will also be developing advertising in the Bicycle Retailer, the premier industry journal.  Lastly, Wheelie Deals will have a robust website displaying all of the different products that they have as well as current availability, and the option of ordering online.

Marketing Mix

Wheelie Deals' marketing mix is comprised of the following approaches to pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion, and customer service.

  • Pricing: The pricing scheme will be a complex formula that takes into account profit margin, the forecasted period that the product will be inventory, and the availability of the product to other wholesalers.
  • Distribution: All products will be distributed from Wheelie Deals warehouse to any shop in the U.S.
  • Advertising and Promotion: Wheelie Deals will use a multi-pronged advertising campaign to generate visibility.
  • Customer Service: Retail shop personnel will be surprised at the level of customer service that they receive. Wheelie Deals' business practices and customer training emphasize the importance of exceeding customer's expectations.  If this is accomplished, profits are virtually guaranteed.

Marketing Research

During the last industry trade show, Wheelie Deals was able to conduct two focus groups with various retail shop owners/employees. The focus groups were designed to elicit information regarding the owner's buying habits. Through careful development of the questions as well as skillful observation and recording of the focus groups, these activities generated a wealth of information. The focus groups supported Wheelie Deals belief that their business model is likely to be successful.

Wheelie Deals was also able to conduct a survey at the trade show. While some of the shop owners partook in the survey, the primary goal of the survey was to gain insight to the different manufacturers and determine their willingness to 1) use Wheelie Deals as a resource for unloading extra product, and 2) their keenness on negotiating exclusive distribution agreements with Wheelie Deals. A fair amount of time was spent on the preparation of the survey.  Dan was able to leverage his knowledge of probability and statistics to create a statistically accurate and significant survey.  Without the assurance that the survey was significant and accurate, the conclusions would be worthless.

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