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

Kiln Creek is entering its first year of operation. The idea of a family entertainment center has been well received and marketing is now critical to its success and future profitability. Kiln Creek Bowling offers a wide range of family entertainment options. The basic market need is a comprehensive entertainment center that addresses an entire family's interests.

Market Summary

Kiln Creek Bowling possesses good information about their market and has compiled a lot of information regarding their perspective customers. This information will be leveraged to better understand who is served, their specific needs, and how Kiln Creek Bowling Center can better communicate with them.

Market Needs

Kiln Creek Bowling is providing its customers with a wide selection of entertainment activities. All of these activities incorporate the newest technological advances. Kiln Creek seeks to fulfill the following benefits that are important to their customers:

  • Convenience- location, ease of use.
  • Wide range of services.
  • Utilization of advanced technology.

During the past ten years, large chains like AMF Bowling and Brunswick Bowling have been buying up various local bowling centers until they control the market. When they control the market, they cut services, raise prices, and drive away core business due to their indifference to customers' concerns. The chain always moves decision-making to its headquarters. Now the center is no longer a community-oriented business, and the customers see it as a big corporation that doesn't care about local inputs. This is why there has been a downward trend nationally in the bowling industry, but an increase in business where good, locally-owned and operated centers exist.

Market Growth

As the population ages, the potential market also increases. The centers that have a good marketing program and provide excellent service will increase their customer base.

SWOT Analysis

The following SWOT analysis captures the key strength and weaknesses within the company, and describes the opportunities and threats facing Kiln Creek Bowling Center.


  • Strong understanding and recognition of technology and its appropriate uses.
  • Solid relationships with many of the influential players within the community.
  • High quality services offered.


  • High start-up costs.
  • Possible difficulty generating brand equity.
  • The struggle to continually appear on the cutting edge.


  • Participation within a high growth industry.
  • Increased sales opportunities as the Kiln Creek area becomes more developed.
  • The ability to spread fixed costs over an increasing revenue base.


  • Local bowling leagues not willing to switch facilities.
  • National chain facilities initiating major marketing push to retain customer base.
  • Competing facility stays open instead of closing as scheduled.


Competition in the bowling business in York County is mild and will play a role in Kiln Creek's success. As described in the following section, one of the bowling centers will be closed in 2003. None of the incumbent establishments have either the level of technology, or the wide range of services provided by Kiln Creek Bowling Center. Furthermore, customer service, which is the underlying criteria for success in this business, has not been stressed by the current management of the competing bowling centers. Like other types of entertainment, price is not the only buying criterion as customers expect to enjoy the whole process of having fun. Customer service, a spotless environment, and properly working equipment equally contribute to ensuring the customer will want to come back again.

There are three bowling centers within seven miles of Kiln Creek Bowling Center. All are owned by AMF Bowling Corporation. Two of them, AMF Hiddenwood and AMF Denbigh, will not have any impact on Kiln Creek's potential customers. Both are located on the southwest side of the railroad which divides the entire region. No easy roadway connects their customer base to Kiln Creek's potential customers. However, Kiln Creek Bowling Center may gain customers from AMF Hiddenwood when it closes in 2003. That is when Christopher Newport University, the owner of the building, is scheduled to replace it with a new building. The third center, AMF York, was designed and built in 1983 by this plan's author. He operated it until 1994, when it was sold to AMF. Kiln Creek Bowling Center will have a major impact on this center. The lack of concern for the customer is why several leagues have indicated they will move to Kiln Creek when it opens.

Service Offering

The bowling business is family entertainment. This is a sport that all ages can participate in and enjoy as individuals or in groups. It is where grandparents take grandchildren of all ages to have a bonding outing. The new computer technology enables anyone to experience the excitement of the sport without having to know how to keep score, because it is done automatically by the computer and displayed on a monitor. The core revenue producer is the league structure, which is all encompassing. The basic element in leagues is its three levels--beginning with youth leagues, it progresses until it reaches the senior citizen. The largest number of league bowlers are in the 35-50 age group, married with two children, home owning, with an annual income between $40,000 and $75,000.

These leagues are primarily made up of married couples with similar backgrounds. Large corporations, adult school-booster organizations, and churches are excellent sources for forming this type of league. League development is only limited by management's imagination; however, the key is to find a common interest which each member of the league shares. Kiln Creek Bowling Center is a multi-media entertainment center that will also have a billiard and dart parlor with its own league structure. The Train Station full service restaurant will feature live entertainment or Karaoke for the late-night customers.

Keys to Success

Kiln Creek Bowling Center has three keys to success.

  1. Location- The center will be strategically located to maximize the profits from the modern day bowler. The center will be constructed on Commonwealth Drive in York County, adjacent to the Regal 14 Cinema. This location is a half mile from I-64 exit 265B, in the Kiln Creek Shopping Complex, which includes Super K Department Store, Kroger, Farm Fresh, 14-screen Regal Cinema, an ice rink, six national restaurants, two banks, 35 other store-front type businesses, and a Wal-Mart/Sam's Club that is presently under construction. This is an excellent location for a multi-purpose bowling center. According to the York County Planning Division's statistical profile of the primary market area (one to five mile radius) the location is perfect, as described by the National Bowling Council study that outlines the required demographics for a successful bowling center.
  2. Low Overhead Cost- Kiln Creek Bowling's management will keep overhead cost at a minimum. First, during construction of the center, Charles Collins Jr. will be project manager, saving approximately 15% of construction costs. His experience at operating bowling centers, as well as his educational background as an industrial engineer, contributes to his ability to streamline operations while minimizing unnecessary expenses. The employment of the best in the field for his staff will allow having many of the key employees doing more than one task. The center will have the most energy-efficient equipment of any center in the area.
  3. Wide Range of Services- Kiln Creek Bowling Center will provide entertainment, not only through bowling, but also by having a full-service restaurant/night club, billiards and darts, arcade, snack bar, apparel/pro shop, and children's nursery. This diversity will bring in more customers and provide them more ways to enjoy themselves and spend their discretionary income.

Critical Issues

  • Work hard to develop sufficient usage of all of the different activities. This is especially important to address the debt load.
  • Meet customer needs. This is not a one-time task but an evolving challenge.


Today's bowling center is part entertainment, part sport, and part business. AMF BOSS Scoring and AMF BOSS are the systems that work together to intelligently combine all three. Instead of being bogged down with routine, the manager of the bowling center is free to manage. AMF BOSS Scoring makes each game an entertaining experience for bowlers of every skill level. Bowlers follow their score on an advanced 3D score grid that's graphically appealing and easy to read. Over 100 exciter animations add visual fun to every game situation. What's more, bumper deployment can be controlled by the scorer so parents and children can share a lane with a minimum of disruption. With its combination of features, AMF BOSS Scoring makes bowling more fun for everyone--and that makes bowlers want to come back.

AMF BOSS Scoring is a professional scoring system; it helps bowlers improve. AMF BOSS Scoring has the industry's most reliable and accurate scoring camera. Working with it are high resolution monitors, with a sharper picture than any standard TV set. Bowlers can choose five or ten frame score grids, pindication and ball speed displays, plus instant replay, all of which help them evaluate or adjust their play after every shot. Add handicapping and the system has everything the serious bowler wants and needs.

AMF BOSS Scoring helps get a better return on money invested in a bowling center. With video merchandising and revenue-generating games like 40 Frame and Strike Shot, powered by a Pentium processor and displayed on high-resolution VGA monitors, AMF BOSS Scoring gives the center more opportunities for enhanced revenue.

AMF BOSS is the perfect business partner. Developed jointly by Microsoft and AMF, this Front Desk/Back Office system is flexible and efficient. With easy-to-understand graphics created by an award-winning design firm, and an optional touch screen complemented by a custom keyboard, training is fast and easy. And advanced COM (Component Object Model) technology makes future upgrades and programming add-ons a breeze. With inherent revenue-generating capability and superior bowling business software, the entire bowling center can be managed more effectively. AMF BOSS can be configured to the specific needs of this particular center, now, and in the future with additional modules such as Video Merchandising Leagues and Tournaments.

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