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

Cranium Filament Reductions will have a somewhat limited marketing budget.  The main reason for this will be because some of the money that would otherwise be spent on marketing efforts will be used for rent.  By choosing a well-traveled, popular mall to locate Cranium in, it will receive a lot of walk through traffic.  The cost of having this location takes the form of higher than normal rent. Part of the high cost of rent is just an expense if you want to locate a shop in a popular commercial property.  Some of the money also goes to mall association dues. The money for the mall dues goes to marketing activities that are designed to increase visibility and traffic for the mall as a whole. 

The money from the marketing budget will be spent on the following marketing initiatives:

  • Advertisements: Advertisements will be placed in two different local newspapers, the Plain Dealer and the Sun Press.  The Plain Dealer serves the entire Cleveland metropolitan area.  Not all of the readers will be willing to travel across Cleveland to go to Cranium, however, a large percentage of people in Cleveland subscribe to the Plain Dealer, therefore it is a good investment to increase visibility.  The Sun Press is a more regional paper serving Shaker Hts., Cleveland Hts., University Hts., and Warrensville Hts. While the reader base of the Sun Press is much smaller than the Plain Dealer, it is more geographically targeted.
  • In-store and Store Front Displays: These displays will be visible to the large walk-through traffic base.

Mission

Cranium Filament Reductions' mission is to provide reasonably priced, convenient hair styling. 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 7% per quarter.
  • Decrease customer acquisition costs by 8% per year.
  • Maintain positive, steady growth each month.

Financial Objectives

  • Increase the amount of retail products sold by 10% per year.
  • Grow the profit margin by 3% per year.
  • Profitability by year one.

Target Marketing

Cranium Filament Reductions will target three different market segments:

  • Men: Men will typically make up 70%-75% of the clientele. The reason for this is that men have shorter hair requiring a faster, simpler job.
  • Women Who Cannot Afford an Upscale Salon: Women tend to favor a female specific upscale salon if they can afford it. There is not often a difference in quality of an upscale salon relative to a family hair salon other than a upscale salon will tend to pamper you more, only accepts appointments, and the facility is generally a bit plusher. Someone who is fiscally responsible as opposed to someone who likes opulence will favor a family style salon.
  • Young Mothers With Children: Most young children are notoriously difficult when it comes to getting haircuts.  A family style salon is a more laid back place that allows the children to play while they are waiting and then will work with the parents in calming the kids nerves when they are ready for their shearing.

Cranium Filament Reductions will target each of the three groups separately. The males will be targeted by offering a quick, convenient, service. Because men have shorter hair, they tend to require haircuts more often. Cranium Filament Reductions will cater to males with evening hours, no appointments necessary, and quick turn around times.

Generally females prefer the allure of upscale salons, however, not everyone can afford this luxury. For this reason Cranium Filament Reductions will provide the same quality hair styling, just without the expensive price. Cranium will target these customers by emphasizing the sophisticated, ultra-hip styling that Cranium can offer.

Cranium Filament Reductions will also target mothers with children by offering kids toys to play with while they wait and child-friendly hair stylists. Additionally, children receive a special rate reflecting the fact that children's hair grows so fast that it can be expensive to keep up with regular cuts as well as the recognition that it generally takes a lot less time to cut a child's hair so it should be inherently less expensive.

Positioning

Cranium Filament Reductions will position itself as a convenient, full service, family hair salon.  Cranium will offer one-stop service offerings.  Cranium will leverage its competitive edge to achieve its desired positioning:

  • Cranium Filament Reductions' competitive edge is based on superior customer service. Cranium Filament Reductions recognizes that the hair cutting/styling market is crowded so it is difficult to stand out. Cranium Filament Reductions will be able to by providing superior customer attention. This is particularly important in the "quick salon" space that Cranium operates in because margins are lower and the goal of a quick salon is to crank through a large number of people each day.
  • Cranium will invest time and money into training to ensure that clients receive the best experience possible making it is easier to turn them into a long-term customer. By providing superior customer service, Cranium will be able to effectively compete against and outlast larger chains and independent stores.

Strategy Pyramids

The single objective is to position Cranium as the premier, full service, family salon in the Shaker Heights area.  The marketing strategy will seek to first create customer awareness regarding the services offered, then develop the customer base, and finally work toward building customer loyalty and referrals. 

The message that Cranium will seek to communicate is that the entire family can be served quickly, professionally, with superior customer service at reasonable rates.  The message will be communicated through various methods.  The first is in-store and storefront displays.  This will be a convenient method to attract people that walk past Cranium's store front.

The other method of communication is advertisements in two local newspapers.  These newspapers are widely read and will reach a large base of people.

Marketing Mix

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

  • Pricing: Cranium's pricing scheme will be based on a competitive pricing model with other similar service providers.
  • Distribution: All of Cranium's services and products will be dispensed from its centrally located store.
  • Advertising and Promotion: Locating the store in a high traffic mall will significantly increase visibility.  A targeted advertising campaign will also communicate Cranium's desired messages.
  • Customer Service: All of Cranium's employees have been trained in exceptional customer service.  All employees have discretion to remedy any problems encountered on their own without having to first receive permission from a supervisor.

Marketing Research

During the initial phases of the marketing plan construction, several focus groups were held to gain insight into the buying patterns of prospective customers.  The focus groups drew a wide range of people from women to men to mothers.  The participants were asked what type of service they typically use and why.  They were also asked how their current service could be improved and what it would take to get them to switch to a new salon. They were given a bit of information regarding Craniums offerings and they evaluated this.  The focus groups provided invaluable information and feedback.  While some of the information gathered was already known to Cranium, other information were things that made perfect sense but had not been thought of.

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