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

The Toddler Warehouse's marketing strategy will be based on an advertising effort as well as strategic alliances with organizations related to the care of children. 

  • Advertisements: The Toddler Warehouse will run advertisements in the Yellow Pages, The Marion County Community Resource Newsletter, and Statesman Journal, the local newspaper.  These advertisements will be used to raise visibility regarding the Warehouse and its services to prospective customers who are otherwise unaware of it.

  • Strategic Alliances: The goal of this initiative is to create an alliance or perceived partnership between The Warehouse and a number of organizations that are a resource base for information regarding raising children. Two of the main organizations are the Oregon Midwifery Association and Birth to Three.  Both organizations are well respected and wonderful sources of information. The Warehouse will be tapping into these organization's customer base. The alliances will create a sense of legitimacy for The Toddler Warehouse.  One way the alliance will be created is by co-sponsoring parent education seminars. By sharing insight, research, and systems that The Warehouse uses, it will have a good source of information that will be attractive to parents, as well as to the organization themselves. While networking can be effective, The Toddler Warehouse recognizes that it must offer something of value to the organizations to create an incentive for them to form an alliance and the co-sponsoring of educational events is just one method.

Mission

The Toddler Warehouse's mission is to provide top-level child care.  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

  • Grow the number of customers by 10% annually.
  • Build customer loyalty through superior service and educational/development systems.
  • Build The Toddler Warehouse brand to the point where it becomes a household brand synonymous with superior child care/development in the Salem area.
  • Increase the referral rate by 5% per quarter.

Financial Objectives

  • A double digit growth rate for each future year.
  • Reduce the employee training costs while increasing the skill of the employees.
  • Increase the per child profit margin by a percent per quarter.

Target Marketing

The Toddler Warehouse is targeting one specific customer group, the middle to upper class, two income professional family.  This group of families have both parents working, not allowing them time to raise their child during the day.  This group has the money for child care, and are willing to spend a little extra to get a higher level of care.

This customer segment has already begun teaching their child advanced concepts like reading, singing, socialization, etc. The Toddler Warehouse will continue to develop the children's skills. 

This customer group is typically made up of two professional parents.  This would explain why the parents 1) have the money for more sophisticated child care, and 2) are ambitious in terms of their children's learning and development.

The Toddler Warehouse intends to concentrate on the two income working professional families because they are the segment that can most readily afford day care, need day care because of their work obligations, appreciate the advanced learning and development The Toddler Warehouse has to offer, and lastly are a growing segment of our society.

With both parents working, this segment needs provisions for care of their child.  While the Department of Labor indicates that over 50% of children are cared by relatives compared to 29% for a commercial day care center, our targeted group prefers a more structured learning environment.  Relatives are great for nights out or weekends, but they do not compare to a structured program when it comes to the learning and development that occurs at The Toddler Warehouse.  Having both parents as professionals, they are ambitious with the development of their child and willing to pay to get the best program for their prodigy. 

As America continues to be a society of people working long hours, there will always be the need for child care.  The trend of longer work weeks drives The Toddler Warehouse's business.

Positioning

The Toddler Warehouse will position itself as an advanced day care service that offers unique learning and developmental programs for toddlers.  The positioning will be achieved in part by leveraging The Warehouse's competitive edge:

  1. Specialized training: The facility can only be as good as the teacher/assistants.  With this in mind, the The Toddler Warehouse has a specialized training program that all teachers and assistants are put through so they are proficient at teaching the specific programs that The Toddler Warehouse has developed for toddlers age three to five.
  2. Innovative learning programs: Typical learning programs for toddlers this age focus on specific traits and only work on one trait/skill at once.  While this is successful in reinforcing the skill, it is often very difficult for the child to appreciate the interrelationships of the different skills.  Consequently, the child can learn the skill, but has difficulty applying the skill when faced with multiple stimuli. Matt's Master's thesis was based on Intertwined Learning Systems that teaches skills not in isolation of each other, but taught together.  Matt's research strongly supports the assertion that when the skills are taught together, just as you would expect to encounter them in real life, children are able to assimilate the new task into their skill set much quicker.

Strategy Pyramids

The single objective is to position The Toddler Warehouse as the premier child care facility in Salem.  The marketing strategy will seek to first create customer awareness regarding the services offered, develop the customer base, and work toward building customer loyalty and referrals.

The message that The Toddler Warehouse will communicate is that they offer the the most sophisticated and practical child care/development facility in Oregon.  This message will be communicated various ways.  The first method will be advertisements in the Yellow Pages.  Two other sources that will have advertisements placed in is the Marion County Community Resource Newsletter, and the Statesman Journal.

Lastly, The Toddler Warehouse's message will be communicated through the formation of strategic alliances with two well respected organizations.  The alliances will provide The Warehouse with a large customer base as well as legitimacy.

Marketing Mix

The Toddler Warehouse's marketing mix is assembled from the following approaches to pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion, and customer service.

  • Pricing: The pricing structure is based on an hourly rate.
  • Distribution: All services will be offered at the Salem facility.
  • Advertising and Promotion: Two different campaigns will be used.  The first will be a multifaceted advertising campaign, the second will be the formation of strategic alliances.
  • Customer Service: Customers will be pleasantly surprised at how attentive The Warehouse is in regards to their needs.  The business operates on the assumption that it will do whatever is reasonably necessary to keep the customer happy.  This reflects the notion that if the customer is kept happy, long-term profits are ensured.

Marketing Research

During the initial stages of the writing of the business plan, several focus groups were held to gain insight into preferences and decision making processes of the target customers.  These focus groups were an indispensable source of information. 

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