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

Downtown workers:

The Sub Shop will target downtown workers through local businesses, advertising, event sponsorship, and word of mouth advertising.

Students:

Ashland has a seasonal student population of around 4,700.  The company expects to reach students through campus activities and marketing, as well as by sponsoring special student events.

Tourists:

Over 100,000 tourists will visit the Oregon Shakespearean Festival in 2001. 262,000 will visit Ashland for its premier recreational activities. The company will reach tourists at the time they visit Ashland. Most tourists aren't thinking, "Where am I going to find good, inexpensive lunches?" when they plan their trips because they know fast food venues are abundant. The strategy will be to stand out from the other venues available on the street, and letting people know the food is relatively inexpensive, but without degrading the experience of shopping in Ashland.

Weekend Shoppers:

Weekend shoppers come from Medford to shop for clothes, gifts, and crafts in downtown Ashland. Over 40,000 people live and work in Medford, and we predict that at least 8% of those people will at some point shop in Downtown Ashland.

Mission

The Sub Shop's mission is to bring to market the tastiest and healthiest fast food in Ashland, offering real value over other fast food restaurants. High standards of quality and cleanliness will establish a reputation as the cleanest QSR in Ashland.

The community is as important to us as making a profit. The Sub Shop will devote 2% of profits to a local women's shelter, and 1% to a local environmental conservation fund. This franchise is founded on the concept that good works and good deeds not only serve the needs of the community, but will keep the company healthy both financially and spiritually, helping to maintain a commitment to filling customer needs.

Marketing Objectives

The most important objectives are:

  • To acquire 25% market share in the Ashland region within year two of operations.
  • To position The Sub Shop as a local company, with strong ties to the community.
  • To be perceived as the cleanest, most responsive QSR or FFR in Ashland.

 

Financial Objectives

  • To end 2003 with a 15% increase in contribution margin.
  • To increase sales 10% per month the first year.

 

Target Markets

The market consists of both tourists, downtown workers, and students from Southern Oregon University. Over 362,000 tourists visit Ashland each year - 100,000 for the Shakespearean Festival and 262,000 for other recreational/shopping activities. Tourist make up the largest segment of our target market, at about 85% of the total market for our products. There are about 18,000 people living and working in Ashland. If just 15% of those people buy The Sub Shop sandwiches twice a month, the company will sell 65,000 sandwiches to that market alone in 2001. Add that amount to 20% of all tourists to the Ashland area, and those two segments alone will buy 138,000 meals.

In addition, demographics have shifted in recent years from traditional households (two parents with children) to more non-traditional households; as a result, many adults feel they have less free time. Consumers report that they are eating out more often in order to free up time normally spent cooking, and use that time to enjoy their families and to take advantage of other leisure activities.

Positioning

The positioning is dependant upon the franchisor. Throughout the last five years, revenue growth for the franchisor has been in the 20% range so The Sub Shop has faith in the franchisor's positioning strategy.

The Sub Shop products are positioned to be flavorful, sometimes healthy alternatives to fast food. Customers will appreciate the clean seating areas, Mediterranean ambiance, and special sauces, as well as meal specials. In this regard, The Sub Shop is like no other QSR in Ashland.

 

Strategies

The Sub Shop's strategy is to keep things simple and stick to the basics.

In the employee room, large banners ask employees:

  • What do we want customers to think of us?
  • Why are you here?
  • You are an owner, what is your plan?
  • Why do our customers keep coming back?

Employees are on the front lines every day, and the goal will be to instill a sense of simplicity and focus in their everyday actions. If employees are not happy with how the company treats them, that negative energy will be transferred to customers. The company will not always have control over customers, and their reactions to mistakes (which are inevitable), but does have control over how employees deal with mistakes and with the customers. Many fast food employees are degraded to the point of feeling defensive when a manager address them or when a customer challenges them. The strategy is to treat employees as owners, and help them make decisions that benefit everyone.

This strategy will play itself out through fast service, great food, great customer service, upbeat and friendly presentation, and cleanliness. By keeping it simple, the strategy won't produce a lot of "noise" for customers and employees, and all goals will be met.

Advertising strategy will focus on special offers provided through various locations and businesses, and special offers targeted towards building a larger base of return customers.

Marketing Mix

The company's marketing mix focuses on employees and customers first. Employee service programs were described in the previous topic. Customer service goals will ensure top-notch service.

Sales literature, coupons, a direct phone line, fax and website orders, newspaper advertising, event sponsorships, and multi-purchase punch cards will all contribute to a healthy marketing mix.

 

Marketing Research

Market research is based on informal research such as customer comments, letters, as well as employee comments and perceptions. The company will occasionally employ an outside agency in order to determine the scope of our market, to fine tune our assumptions regarding demographics, to back up some of our assumptions, and to act as an insurance policy against "internal groupthink." Sometimes clarity is found by those paid to observe company day-to-day activities from a distance.

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