This sample marketing plan was created with Marketing Plan Pro software.
AMT will change its focus to differentiate itself from box pushers and improve the business by satisfying the real need of the small business and high-end home office for reliable information technology including hardware, software, and all related services.
Get practical ideas and good models with dozens of examples of successful
marketing plans with Sales and Marketing Pro.
AMT is built on the assumption that the management of information technology for business is like legal advice, accounting, graphic arts, and other bodies of knowledge, in that it is not inherently a do-it-yourself prospect. Smart business people who aren't computer hobbyists need to find quality vendors of reliable hardware, software, service, and support. They need to use these quality vendors as they use their other professional service suppliers, as trusted allies.
AMT is such a vendor. It serves its clients as a trusted ally, providing them with the loyalty of a business partner and the economics of an outside vendor. We make sure that our clients have what they need to run their businesses as well as possible, with maximum efficiency and reliability. Many of our information applications are mission critical, so we give our clients the assurance that we will be there when they need us.
We need to focus our offerings on small business as the key market segment we should own. This means the 5 to 20-unit system, tied together in a local area network, in a company with 5 to 50 employees. Our values - training, installation, service, support, knowledge - are more clearly differentiated in this segment.
As a corollary, the high end of the home office market is also appropriate. We do not want to compete for the buyers who go to the chain stores or mail order, but we definitely want to be able to sell individual systems to the smart HO buyers who want a reliable full-service vendor.
We cannot survive just waiting for the customer to come to us. Instead, we must get better at attracting the specific market segments whose needs match what we have to offer. Focusing on targeted segments is the key to our future.
Therefore, we need to finely craft our marketing message and our product offerings. We need to develop our message, communicate it, and make good on it.
For local businesses who need reliable systems and can't afford their own full-time support employees, AMT is their strategic computer and networking ally. Unlike the major retail stores that sell low-cost PCs as appliances in boxes, AMT is an ally to our clients' businesses, and offers them a full range of services from installation to maintenance, support, and training.
We must differentiate ourselves from the box pushers. We need to establish our business as a clear and viable alternative for our target market, to the price-only kind of buying. We do this by promoting our value added resources.
We've developed two strategy pyramids, each based on one main fundamental strategy. The first strategy is about focusing on service and support, and the second strategy is about focusing on customer relationships instead of products. Each is charted in greater detail below.
We've also split both our sales forecast and our expense budget into divisions based on the pyramid tactics. Sales by Tactic is broken down in detail in Topic 4.2.2. You can see that the bulk of our sales doesn't track directly into specific marketing tactics, despite the pyramid.
Expenses, however, do break down easily into tactics and the programs associated with the tactics. That detail is shown in Topic 4.3.2.
A core element of our marketing strategy is a change in the marketing mix. In terms of promotion, we need to sell our company as a differentiated strategic ally, not just our products. In price, we need to remain higher than the competition and we need to be able to defend that. Our product marketing has to recognize more that our service and our relationship is the key to our future product marketing. We sell a relationship more than products.
AMT provides both computer products and services which make them useful to small businesses. We are especially focused on providing network systems and services to small and medium businesses. The systems include both PC-based LAN systems and minicomputer server-based systems. Our services include design and installation of network systems, training, and support.
In personal computers, we support three main lines:
The Super Home is our smallest and least expensive line, initially positioned by its manufacturer as a home computer. We use it mainly as a cheap workstation for small business installations. Its specifications include ...[additional specifics omitted].
The Power User is our main up-scale line. It is our most important system for high-end home and small business main workstations, because of .... Its key strengths are .... Its specifications include ....[additional specifics omitted].
The Business Special is an intermediate system, used to fill the gap in the positioning. Its specifications include ... [additional specifics omitted].
In peripherals, accessories and other hardware, we carry a complete line of necessary items from cables to forms to mousepads ... [additional specifics omitted].
In service and support, we offer a range of walk-in or depot service, maintenance contracts, and on-site guarantees. We have not had much success selling service contracts. Our networking capabilities ...[additional specifics omitted].
In software, we sell a complete line of ... [additional specifics omitted].
In training, we offer ... [additional specifics omitted].
We must charge appropriately for the high-end, high-quality service and support that we provide our customers. Our revenue structure has to match our cost structure, so the salaries we pay to assure good service and support can be balanced by the revenue we charge.
We cannot build the service and support revenue into the price of products. The market can't bear the higher prices and the buyer feels ill-used when they see the same product priced lower at the chains. Despite the logic behind this, the market doesn't support this concept.
Therefore, we must make sure that we deliver and charge for service and support. Training, service, installation, networking support-all of this must be readily available and priced to sell and deliver revenue.
One of the best places to reach the target SB is the local newspaper. Unfortunately, that medium is saturated with pure-price-only messages, and we'll have to make sure that our message is excellently stated.
Radio is potentially a good opportunity. Our SB target buyers listen to local news, talk shows, and sports. Sponsoring a technology discussion/call-in talk show is a possibility.
Seminars are a good marketing opportunity with SBs. Employees are often happy to leave their normal routines for a day to learn something new.
Our strategy hinges on providing excellent service and support. This is critical. We are marketing our service and support; therefore, we must be prepared to deliver.
Our strategy gives us room to promote more of our value-added sales through our existing channels, and to develop more channel points for both:
|Sales Reps||East Coast||High||High||+||Open|
Research is an integral step in developing any marketing plan. We definitely need to know more about our customers. In the past we've been too distant, and perhaps too quick, to just guess about our customers, rather than conducting real research. For this plan we need to develop two new lines of market research:
Get practical ideas and good models with dozens
of examples of successful marketing plans