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

The executive furniture market is steadily increasing at an average calculated annual growth rate of 7.75 percent. With this in mind, our marketing programs will expand accordingly. The addition of an internally created catalog will allow Willamette to market to this expanding number of potential customers. Sales will increase accordingly, providing working capital for internal product development, marketing department growth, and Internet development. A presence on the Internet will be a key milestone to expanding sales and marketing potentials through the utilization of new channels.

Keys to Success

The keys to Willamette's success have historically been effective market segmentation and implementation strategies. Along these lines of proven success, Willamette will implement direct marketing strategies based on our success in distribution through high-end channels such as the Sharper Image. Our catalog marketing will turn to in-house production for more specific, extensive product descriptions.

  • Uncompromising commitment to the quality of the product: quality wood, quality workmanship, quality design, quality of end result.
  • Successful niche marketing: we need to find the quality-conscious customer in the right channels, and we need to make sure that customer can find us.
  • Almost-automatic assembly: we can't afford to ship fully-assembled desks, but assembly must be so easy and automatic that it makes the customer feel better about the quality, not worse.

Market Research

Due to the market segmentation that Willamette Furniture has established, we will require constant updates in terms of the potential sizes, distributions, and purchasing patterns of the quality conscious, technology utilizing executive markets. We will use our historical performance to establish a customer database containing this information. This will allow Willamette to target customers more efficiently as a result of actual experience. Furthermore, as our customer service and follow-up are key to establishing retained customers, the marketing database will allow us to divide the potential buying patterns of customers into categories based on future needs.

Contingency Planning

Willamette Furniture is unique in its discovery and utilization of the high quality, executive level computer integrated office furniture niche. Therefore, it is possible that with our success and superior design, other, well-established furniture manufacturers may release a competitive product line. However, Willamette focuses specifically on the high-end, technologically integrated aspect of office furniture. With this exclusive concentration, Willamette can continue to focus its resources on producing the best executive level office furniture available. Another possible challenge would be the emergence of a new company in our niche. This however, would not be quite as threatening, as their initial market share would be minuscule, allowing for us to strategize further for continued success. Finally, an established furniture company my choose to begin marketing to our target market. This would not be overly threatening because our products are inherently the best available due to the true craftsmanship involved in their design and manufacture.

Marketing Organization

Susan Graham, President, is responsible for overall business management. Our managers of finance, marketing, and sales report directly to Susan. Susan had a successful career in retail before becoming half owner of Willamette. She was an area manager of Ross Stores, a buyer for Macy's, and merchandising assistant for Sears and Roebuck. She has a degree in Literature from the University of Notre Dame.

Jim Graham, designer, is responsible for product design and development, assembly, and manufacturing. Our workshop manager reports directly to him. Jim designed furniture for Haines Manufacturing before becoming half owner of Willamette. He was responsible for one of the first executive desks designed to include customized fittings for personal computers, and was one of the first to design the monitor inside the desk under glass. He has an B.S. and M.S. in industrial design, from Stanford University and the University of Oregon, respectively.

As co-owners, Jim and Susan jointly develop business strategy and long-term plans. Jim is strong on product know-how and technology, and Susan is strong on management and business know-how.

Terry Hatcher, 34, is marketing manager. Terry joined Willamette from the marketing department of the Thomasville Furniture chain, having been in charge of national catalog production and catalog advertising. Terry also managed direct sales at one of the furniture distributors that has since died to industry consolidation. Terry has a B.A. degree in literature from the University of Washington.

Our sales and marketing managers are in the process of revolutionizing the way in which Willamette Furniture reaches its customers. Both of these departments have been integrated with our Information Technology area in order to sell and market Willamette's product through our own, internal website. In addition, we have started the publication of our own catalog. Due to the success in marketing with high-end retailers and catalog merchants, such as Sharper Image, we have decided to implement this new, internal strategy for future growth and increased market share. If the executive level employees nationwide are aware of our product offerings, Willamette furniture will soon become a part of every quality office environment.

Sales Forecast

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Sales Breakdown by Manager

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Sales Breakdown by Segment

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Sales Breakdown by Program

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Marketing Expense Budget

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Expense Breakdown by Manager

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Expense Breakdown by Segment

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Expense Breakdown by Program

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Contribution Margin

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