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Acme Consulting offers high-level expertise in international high-tech business development, channel development, distribution strategies, and marketing of high-tech products. It focuses on providing two kinds of international triangles:
This year we intend to take on consulting work in related markets, specifically the rest of Latin America and the better markets in the Far East. We will also look for additional leverage by taking brokerage positions and representation positions to create percentage holdings in product results.
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When a high-tech manufacturing company wants to open a new market outside its home country, there is a temporary need for very high-powered expertise. They need to establish distribution, evaluate distributors' merits and problems, select and open new channels. While this is also true of all other manufacturers, we specialize in high technology products because we have true expertise in this area.
Our clients come to us for scalable, temporary expertise. They understand that our kind of expertise would be very difficult and expensive to get from full-time, permanent employees. Furthermore, their needs are temporary: the crunch is at the time of opening the new market and setting up the channel; later on it is not as important.
From the point of view, as managers, our clients come to us at least in part because we reduce their sense of risk in the management and politics of new market introductions. If things go wrong, they have experts to blame. If things go right, they get the credit. There's the old saying that "nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM," meaning choosing a highly respected visible source for computers. We are that kind of low-risk option for opening new markets. The CYA factor is important.
Acme Consulting focuses on high-technology manufacturers of computer hardware and software, services, and networking, who want to sell into markets in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. These are mostly larger companies, and occasionally medium-sized companies.
Our most important customers are executives in larger corporations. They are marketing managers, general managers, sales managers, sometimes charged with international focus and sometimes charged with market or even specific channel focus. They do not want to waste their time or risk their money looking for bargain information or questionable expertise. As they go into markets looking at new opportunities, they are very sensitive about risking their company's name and reputation.
|US High Tech||10%||5,000||5,500||6,050||6,655||7,321||10.00%|
|European High Tech||15%||1,000||1,150||1,323||1,521||1,749||15.00%|
Large high-tech manufacturer corporations
Our most important market segment is the large manufacturer of high-technology products, such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Siemens, or Olivetti. These companies will be calling on Acme for development functions that are better spun off than managed in-house, for market research, and for market forums.
Medium-sized high-tech growth companies
Particularly in software, multimedia, and some related high-growth fields, Acme will offer an attractive development alternative to the company that is management constrained and unable to address opportunities in new markets and new market segments.
|Market Segments||Summary||Decision Level||Loyalty Status||Buyer Readiness||Product Attitude|
|US High Tech||Mature||Manager||Medium||Skeptical||Positive|
|European High Tech||Growth||Director and up||High||Informed||Indifferent|
We stand to benefit from some specific market trends:
The U.S. Association of Marketing Consultants reports a 30% growth in average revenues for consultants focusing on marketing of high-tech products. We are a subset of this market, possibly due for even higher growth than the mainstream. The local electronics industry association in California reports a trend towards additional consulting solutions, as manufacturers turn to variable cost solutions.
We talked to industry associations in Japan and several in Europe. Overall, the growth in interest for moving into new markets is phenomenal. Tahahashi Sato, director of the local association in Tokyo, told us "we don't have statistics, but the growth in new international marketing projects has to be greater than 100 percent per year." Jens Lundeson, of the Association in Europe, said "We see growth in this kind of project at 40 percent or better per year."
New technology has become the driving force of our market. The Internet is changing high-tech marketing overnight. While the manufacturers used to deal with distributors in smaller national markets, nowadays the distributors are terribly concerned about our pricing and marketing over the Internet.
On one hand, the manufacturers need loyal local allies, good distribution, and value added. On the other hand, they can't pretend to offer protected markets. The Internet changes the game.
Another major factor is the growth expected in Europe and Latin America. While Asian markets are hanging back a bit with the lingering effect of recent economic problems, the Latin American markets are growing smartly as a result of decreasing protectionism, and the European markets are enjoying the new Eurodollar boom.
Acme Consulting is a California C corporation based in Santa Clara County, owned by its principal investors and principal operators, providing high-level expertise in international high-tech business development, channel development, distribution strategies, and marketing of high-tech products. It focuses initially on providing two kinds of international triangles:
As it grows it will take on people and consulting work in related markets, such as the rest of Latin America, the Far East, and similar markets. It will also look for additional leverage by taking brokerage positions and representation positions to create percentage holdings in product results.
Acme Consulting offers high-tech manufacturers a reliable, high-quality alternative to in-house resources for business development, market development, and channel development on an international scale. We are a true alternative to in-house resources because we offer a very high level of practical experience, know-how, contacts, and confidentiality.
Clients must know that working with Acme is a more professional, less risky way to develop new areas than working completely in-house with their own people. Acme must also be able to maintain financial balance, charging a high value for its services, and delivering an even higher value to its clients.
We focus on development in the European and Latin American markets, or for European clients in the United States market. We provide our employees with an exciting, intellectually challenging workplace in which intelligence and initiative is rewarded, hierarchies are minimized, and everybody is fairly compensated.
Our most standard offering will be consulting, normally billed by the project, with project milestones build in. We will not quote rates per hour, per day, or per anything, but we will develop a proposal and then bill according to completion.
We will be open to considering retainer consulting relationships if the offer comes up. Generally we prefer the project though, because it matches our sense of the client's need.
We may from time to time prepare multi-client studies, almost as if they were products, but these will be pre-sold to collections of clients before development. For example, new developments in the Mexican market.
The service itself is a key component to our marketing mix. Our service should be our best advertisement. In this case even more so than with many other similar businesses, because our specialization on channels for international product marketing means we develop contacts with people who can be our recommenders.
We need to fulfill the promise we make: we take a product across national boundaries into new markets, explore channels, guide our client through the maze, and establish the relationships the client needs. This is a very focused deliverable. We aren't just doing international marketing or marketing consulting; we're getting products into channels.
For high-technology companies who are looking to enter new international markets, Acme Consulting offers a unique team of experienced managers with proven expertise, on a temporary contract basis. Unlike in-house expertise, Acme Consulting is a temporary variable cost. Unlike most management consultants, Acme Consulting is specialized on a very focused expertise that is hard to duplicate.
The SWOT analysis covers strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are generally internal attributes, which we can address by changing our business. Opportunities and threats are generally external.
Overall, the mix is exciting. We live in an age of growth, change, and business revolution. The Internet offers us opportunities and threats. We need to make our dealing with it one of our biggest strengths, to minimize our weaknesses.
To analyze our historical data, we've made a projection based on what might have been, had the partners been involved in a separate company. It is a composite of the combined consulting of the three main partners.
What we see in the table is that we're taking up a very small portion of the overall consulting dollar spent in this market, effectively our market share is less than one percent. There is a lot of room to grow. We have always been profitable, but we expect to do much better than we have after we combine our forces.
|Company Market Share||0%||0%||0%|
|Industry Variable Costs||$2,500,000||$3,750,000||$5,000,000|
|Company Variable Costs||$2,500||$9,375||$21,000|
|Industry Gross Contribution Margin||$7,500,000||$11,250,000||$15,000,000|
|Company Gross Contribution Margin||$7,500||$28,125||$63,000|
|Company Net Contribution Margin||$5,750||$24,625||$57,250|
The key element in purchase decisions made at the Acme client level is trust in the professional reputation and reliability of the consulting firm.
The competition comes in several forms:
Direct competitors are the name-brand consulting firms and smaller consulting firms. These are competing offerings of similar services, presumably possibilities that come up in discussions as our target market looks at way to add expertise before building programs to reach new markets.
|Growth and Share|
|Competitor||Price||Growth Rate||Market Share|
Indirect competition is everywhere. Its strongest and most important form is the decision to stay in-house and manage market entry with existing marketing teams. From there it goes into horizontal marketing consulting, distributors offering cross-market options, and many other possibilities.
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