Our marketing strategy emphasizes focus. This will be the key. We are a relatively small company and hence must focus on certain kinds of services with certain kinds of users. Initially Palms and Bonds will focus on the local market and in the market research and training fields. The target customers will include key decision-makers in the large, medium and small-sized organizations in a start-up and growth periods.
We are currently building image and awareness through consistency and distinctiveness in our service provision.
We intend to focus on delivering quality service and end product that in turn produces good referrals, which can then generate revenue.
We intend to always have a relatively heavy personal selling component to our marketing. Hence we intend to always be active in personal relationships with clients and strategic allies keeping abreast of their needs and wants.
We are focusing advertising on several key media.
5.1 SWOT Analysis
We are presently in a highly lucrative market in a rapidly growing economy. We foresee our strengths as the ability to respond timeously to the market dictates and to provide custom designed market research services to our clients. In addition through aggressive marketing and quality management we intend to become a well respected leader in our respective industry. Our key personnel have a wide and thorough knowledge of the local and international markets and expertise, which will go a long towards penetrating the market. However, we acknowledge the fact that few companies are aware of the actual importance of market research and marketing and its contribution to the whole business strategy. Below are the summarized strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Lack of a solid well-established network in the market research arena.
The introduction of new organizational practices and personnel who have not previously worked together presents a challenge to the organization.
Establishment on the Internet will produce technological challenges.
Specific niche. Appreciation for high quality, accurate, unbiased and relevant information.
The introduction of the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) presents a vast opportunity, as both foreign and local firms will be looking for information, which may assist on entering their respective markets.
Current growth of the economy in comparison to other economies presents an opportunity for an increased number of foreign investors to invest in the markets.
The current drive towards localization is causing an increasing number of local individuals to invest and start their own businesses.
The new generation of entrepreneurs, corporations, professionals, business owners has a far greater appreciation for the need for adequate planning and relevant information.
Internet marketing and sales -- though still in its infancy.
Increasing number of foreign firms, especially from South Africa looking at penetrating the local markets.
Financial assistance given by the government on the credibility of business plans. However the results of the review of the FAP by the Botswana Institute of Development Policy Analysis need to be taken into consideration as it could be scrapped or replaced by a new scheme.
Existence of well-established government organs that deal directly with aspiring entrepreneurs -- local and foreign, presents us with a networking opportunity.
The present growth in the economy may result in increased numbers of business consultants, leading to increased competition and confusion amongst clients. This competition could emerge from a variety of given sources including:
Established mass-market consultants' development of new lines and vertically integrating so as to be totally in control of all services required by the client.
New marketing strategies and tactics by established companies.
The current plethora of 'fly-by-night' business consultancy firms in existence.
Other start-up companies generated by healthy economic growth nation-wide.
Existence of well established government organs that deal directly with aspiring entrepreneurs, both local and foreign.
Strategic market segmentation and implementation strategies.
Diversified market segments. Ensures the lack of dependency on one particular market.
Combination of skills in directorship. The directors intend to jointly develop business strategy and long-term plans, having wide experience in market and product know-how, and strong financial management and business know-how.
Establishment and maintenance of a well-known business name.
An aggressive and focused marketing campaign.
A marketing plan with clear goals and strategies.
At a large scale, market research demonstrates that the business consultancy market we intend to enter is growing and changing. Generally there is a trend toward executive turnover in medium to large companies today. That is, corporate restructuring, privatization, and increased small business development providing for a younger more ambitious market in the executive and small business sector. Research indicates that this new generation of executives being more educated and aware of the global environment assesses and implements information to a much higher degree than past trends have indicated. This is exacerbated by the increase in competition in all industries making it necessary for individuals to have relevant information at their fingertips. Therefore with the emergence of this generation of individuals, the appreciation of quality information and business solutions/ recommendations that provide for and enables the company to grow, dictates that our service lines will be popular.
The current drive by the government towards a more diversified economy presents an opportunity for our business to propel and excel in our intended markets, benefiting from the support of the concerned institutions and trade bodies. In addition with the country increasingly becoming an economic hub we foresee the demand for high quality information to be on the rise. Through undertaking of our business activities professionally we foresee that it should not be too difficult to gain market acceptance provided we deliver the final product timeously and of good quality, at competitive prices.
Furthermore Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises are well recognized as a potentially important source of employment generation apart from the diversification that they inevitably result in. They in turn reflect the declining importance of centralized mass production, along with technical change, the growth of information technology and the growth of the service sector.
Employment in Botswana by the type of Employer
Source: BIDPA estimates
5.3 Competitive Edge
Our competitive edge will be our dominance of market information, customer orientation and traditional hard work. Although there are many "supposed" business consultants we intend to offer more than just a professional service but mesh well the various crafts together harmoniously.
Though we shall be serving different market segments we intend to focus on the individual or group who wants high quality information and plans customised to their needs. In the case of marketing and business plans they should be able to work harmoniously/beautifully in the intended environment, both on a macro and micro scale. Though our clients might range from large corporations, small or medium businesses, institutions or resellers what is important to the customer is total satisfaction with the end product matched to their capabilities and resources.
5.4 Sales Strategy
The sales forecast monthly summary is included in the appendix. The annual sales projections for three years are included in the table below. It should be noted that as we become established and known on the market we project sales to increase at a faster rate than the initial year.
Note: All displayed currency values represent Botswanan Pula (P).
Direct Cost of Sales
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales
5.5 Marketing Strategy
One core element of our strategy will be that of differentiation from our competitors. In terms of marketing, we intend to sell our company as a differentiated strategic ally, not just our services. In price, we intend to offer reasonable and competitive prices in comparison to competition and we need to be able to sustain that. Market penetration through lower prices shall be undertaken where need be whilst premium pricing in the case of high quality services targeted at the upper-end of the market. Our service marketing will recognize more that our product. Service and establishing long relationships with clients will be key to our future service marketing. We primarily intend to sell a relationship more than services.
Our service marketing will emphasize the benefits of conducting adequate planning and the use of quality information and identification of 'windows of opportunity'. We intend to sell access to market knowledge and quality. This will come out in our advertising, delivery and collateral such as sales literature and business cards. Our service marketing's most important challenge will be the problem of being accepted and appreciated on the market as a provider of quality marketing research services and business plans. Hence we intend to not only meet client's expectations but to exceed them.
We intend to focus on the individual or group who wants information that may not be readily available, specially customized to their requirements. However not wanting to limit our horizons in the initial period we intend to serve other clients requiring services such as company registration and trading licenses.
In all cases we intend to provide a thorough understanding and appreciation of the service to the client as well as follow up to ensure customer satisfaction. We also intend to inform the customer on how best to maintain and/or improve their market positions.
5.5.1 Pricing Strategy
Palms and Bonds will be competitively priced in relation to the dictates of the market. The pricing fits with the general positioning of Palms and Bonds as providing high-level quality expertise.
We intend our income structure to match our cost structure, so as to ensure that the salaries/consultants fees we pay to assure good reports and service are balanced by the fee we charge. We will make sure that we charge for the service, workmanship and any delivery with our aim being to achieve a gross profit margin of at least 50%. Naturally services targeted at the higher end of the market will have higher mark ups as these clients are less price sensitive. All in all we intend our prices to be extremely competitive on the market.
Consulting will be based on Pula per hour per project in the initial year for project consulting, market research, and retainer consulting. With time and as we become known on the market we foresee an increase in our consultancy fee -- tempered by market dictates. Market research reports should be competitively priced which will, of course, require that reports be very well planned, focusing on very important topics, and well presented.
5.5.2 Promotion Strategy
Our promotion strategy will be based primarily on informing potential customers of our existence and making the right information available to our target customer. Since we shall be targeting different segments the promotional tools and messages may vary slightly to match the intended market. However in all cases the marketing will convey the sense of quality and professionalism in every picture, every promotion and every publication. In such a market we cannot afford to appear in or produce second-rate material with poor labels that make our services look less than they are. Hence we intend to leverage our presence using quality brochures and other sales literature, including promotional material such as pens, complimentary slips and stickers. We intend to spread the word about our business through the following:
Advertising (Discussion omitted)
Personal Selling (Discussion omitted)
Public Relations (Discussion omitted)
Direct Marketing (Discussion omitted)
Internet Marketing (Discussion omitted).
5.6 Strategic Alliances
In today's volatile and competitive environment it is becoming increasingly essential for organizations to concentrate on their core activities so as to gain and maintain a competitive advantage. This brings out the advantage of undertaking strategic alliances with organizations that the firm may benefit from and vice versa.
At this writing, strategic alliances with ZZZ and YYY are possibilities, given the content of existing interest and discussions. We are also looking at establishing alliances with several accounting and legal firms, which often come into contact with our target market. Given the background of prospective partners, we might also be talking to United States and South African companies in the near future.