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

The Metolius Agency is just starting up operations. A well conceived and executed marketing plan will be critical to the successes and profitability of the business. The agency offers graphic design and visual communication services to the Concord, New Hampshire market.

Market Summary

The Metolius Agency possess good information regarding the market and knows a great deal about the common attributes of the most prized customers. Metolius will leverage this information to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how Metolius can better serve them.

Market Analysis

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Market Analysis
  20022003200420052006 
Potential CustomersGrowth     CAGR
Small companies8%2342532732953198.05%
Medium companies7%1451551661781906.99%
Other0%000000.00%
Total7.65%3794084394735097.65%

Market Needs

The Metolius Agency is providing its customers with a wide selection of graphic design and visual communication services for established companies wanting to be taken to the next level of business competition. Metolius seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to their customers.

  • Selection: A wide range of graphic design and visual communication services.
  • Accessibility: All services will provided from Metolius' centrally-located office space.
  • Customer Service: The client will be impressed with the level of attention that they receive.
  • Competitive Pricing: Metolius' price structure will be competitively positioned.

Within the last seven to 10 years, there has been a trend in the industry for the general advertising agencies to start acting as a full-service agency that not only prepares advertisements, but also does much of the creative work in-house instead of outsourcing it. This trend toward full-service agencies has continued. To a large degree it is occurring due to higher profit margins for the service providers. The Metolius Agency will be bucking the trend and concentrating on their specific skill set and not offer everything under the sun.

Market Growth

In 2000 the graphic design industry reached $812 million dollars. It is forecasted to grow at 5.6% for the next five years. This growth is attributed to companies' desire to appear professionally to the public. Another related aspect of this trend is the formation of many small business owners that took their business, or created a business that uses the Internet and their desire to appear more corporate or established than they really are. This is accomplished through the use of graphic design and visual communication services.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strengths and weaknesses within the company, and describes the opportunities and threats facing The Metolius Agency.

Strengths

  • A unique combination of both creative and business sense.
  • An elegant office that gives off the perception of creative, cutting-edge design, implying a skilled service provider.
  • A targeted focus for attracting customers.

Weaknesses

  • The struggle to develop awareness related to a start-up company.
  • Increasingly limited amount of time for marketing activities as more and more time is needed to finish projects.
  • The struggle to constantly appear on the "cutting edge."

Opportunities

  • A growing market that does not seem to be focused on attracting a target customer segment.
  • The ability to generate future business by leveraging the technological advances of the Internet.
  • An industry that is not significantly effected by slumps in the economy.

Threats

  • Competition from local competitors who decide to focus on Metolius' targeted segments.
  • Significant increase in ease of use of graphic design software that allows individuals to design their own graphical pieces.
  • A shift in local industries that changes the demographics of many of the companies located in Concord.

Competition

The following are examples of the different types of competitors.

  • Large Advertising Agencies: Over the years these firms have increased their number of service offerings from selling media forms of advertising, to a more full-service company that develops creative work in-house, working with companies to develop corporate identity, etc.
  • Freelance Designers: These competitors are similar to Kiev because they are typically a one person operation, usually operating out of their own home. Often the freelance designers are just getting into the business and are trying to get experience, or they have left a firm in search of a more flexible lifestyle. Some freelance designers are well experienced and can offer the same professional level of quality the large agencies offer.
  • Kinko's: While Kinko's is not a true competitor, they are a substitute competitor that should be mentioned. While Kinko's does not have a true creative department, for some of the larger accounts, they will offer free creative services as a value-added feature to the larger customer. These services are typically provided by an employee who has introductory or intermediate skills using graphic design software such as Quark or Freehand, and in a small amount of time can generate creative images for the client. These services are typically not billed, just a value-added benefit for using Kinko's. While the price is quite good, the customer must recognize the fact that these services are not on par with a professional agency.

Service Offering

The Metolius Agency provides graphic design and visual communication services to already established, primarily Concord-based companies. Some of the services offered are corporate identity, marques, logos, branding, and packaging.

The pricing of the projects is typically estimated as a project-based cost. The project cost will be estimated by the approximate number of hours needed to complete the project. Generally, Kiev will be charging $75 an hour for his services.

The majority of services will be provided at The Metolius Agency's office space. This office will be designed to appear sophisticated, modern, practical, and sleek. This is very important because the office of a graphic designer is a piece of their portfolio and reflects their work product. Therefore, a decent amount of money will be used to develop a proper appearing business office.

Keys to Success

The keys to success are:

  • Professionalism.
  • Creativity.
  • Practical insight.
  • Enjoyment of the experience.

Critical Issues

The Metolius Agency is still in the speculative stage as a service provider. It plans to take a modest strategy toward project acquisition, not accepting projects by virtue of increasing revenue, but accepting new projects conditionally on the fact that sufficient resources can be committed ensuring complete customer satisfaction.

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