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

The marketing strategy will emphasize the strengths of both the company and the products. Chef will position themselves as an aggressive, innovative company that supplies the market with new, high-quality products. Chef will position themselves in trade shows, within industry publications, and the Internet, to reinforce this marketing strategy. The brochures, letterhead, and business correspondence will further reinforce these concepts.

Chef also recognize that it costs six times more to attract a customer than to retain one. To that end, Chef Vending will operate under the principle that the best marketing is an exceedingly satisfied customer. While the industries Chef operates in are large, reputations play an important part.

Mission

Chef Vending's mission is to be the leader in introducing innovative, quality vending machines and restaurant equipment to the market. Through close customer contact and excellent relationships, we will meet the needs of our customers wherever we can. Chef Vending will secure sufficient profits from free cash flow from operations, to sustain its stability and finance future growth. We will add value to our community by maintaining a friendly, familial work environment.

Marketing Objectives

  • Maintain positive steady growth each month.
  • Increase market penetration every quarter.
  • Generate increased brand awareness quantified by reactions/ feedback of customer sat the trade shows.

Financial Objectives

  • Decrease customer acquisition costs by 1% a quarter.
  • Continue to decrease variable costs through efficiencies gained from experience.
  • Increase profit margins by .5% per quarter.

Target Markets

Chef Vending will market its machines to three distinct market segments:

  1. End Users- Operators that have their own vending routes who wish to expand their product selections. Included in this category are large institutional food service companies that engage in vending operations as part of their overall food service business. 
  2. Distributors- Companies that supply operators with machines and supplies for their operations. 
  3. Branded Sandwich Manufacturers and Branded Juice Companies- By working closely with these companies, Chef will customize the machines to meet the company's specifications and to allow them to "brand" our machines with their products. They will either supply the machines or sell them to their customers who will buy product supply for the machines from these companies.

Chef has two markets for the equipment business:

  1. Restaurants and Hotels - End users who benefit from the equipment purchased. 
  2. Equipment Supply Companies- These are large supply houses that offer a variety of equipment to the food and beverage industry.

The following Market Analysis table and chart are broken down by general market segments, versus the specifics listed above.

Positioning

Chef Vending will position themselves as an importer of high-end an innovative vending machines and commercial food and beverage equipment.  To achieve this positioning, Chef Vending will leverage their competitive edge.

  •  Chef Vending will enjoy the traditional benefits of first to market. Chef will attempt to leverage this position to establish and solidify the brand in the market. As a small company looking to establish itself, Chef will be attentive and flexible in meeting the customer's demands.
  • For Chef's other products,  they have design features that will make them very competitive. In addition to these design features, Chef will also be competing on price.

Strategies

The single objective is to position Chef as the leader in vending machines and restaurant food and beverage equipment in the Southeast region.  Chef will strive to aggressively increase their market penetration.  The marketing strategy will seek to first create customer awareness regarding the offered products, develop the customer base, and work toward building strong customer loyalty.

The message that Chef Vending offers the best vending and restaurant equipment.  This message will be communicated by several methods.  The first method is participation in trade shows that will be a valuable resource.  The second method will be distributor open houses.  The third method is the development and use of Chef's Internet website.  The last method of communication that Chef Vending will be using advertisements in trade publication.

Marketing Mix

Chef Vending's marketing mix is comprised of the following approaches to pricing, distribution, advertising and promotion, and customer service.

  • Pricing- Chef's pricing scheme is designed to be competitive and at the same time provide Chef and the distributor (when applicable) with a fair margin.
  • Distribution- All of the products can be distributed within the Southeast United States.
  • Advertising and Promotion- Chef Vending will employ several different methods for their advertising and promotion campaign.
  • Customer Service- Exceptional customer service is a necessary component for making this business successful.

Marketing Research

During the initial stages of the marketing plan development, Chef held several different focus groups with perspective customers.  These focus groups were developed out of interactions/introductions made at the regional trade show.  The goal of the focus groups was to solicit a significant amount of information from perspective customers. 

Chef was very careful with the facilitation of the focus groups, attempting to insure that the results were as valid as possible.  The groups ranged in size from seven to nine people.  The focus groups were video taped to allow Chef to review them more carefully after the fact.  Overall, the focus groups provide Chef with a wealth of information that was instrumental for them in launching and growing the business.

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