Grizzly Bear Financial Managers will be marketing their services to two different groups of people, those in need of investing advice, and those that are in need of estate planning help. These two groups will be targeted through networking activities and public seminars. Grizzly's competitive advantage of thoroughness of services offered as well as in-depth research will turn prospective clients into long-term customers.
4.1 Market Segmentation
Grizzly Bear Financial Managers will target two different groups of customers. Both groups will be from the middle to upper-middle class socio-economic groups.
Middle age people in need of estate planning. This group is making plans for their estate and are in need of advice on how to structure their estate. They might have already made arrangements for their estate and wish to modify them, or be starting from scratch.
Middle age people interested in investing. This group is interested in some sort of investing, whether it is mutual funds, stocks, bonds, treasury notes, etc. They may have already done some investing, but want to change their risk profile or take a different approach. This might also be their first time investing and want expert advice.
Middle age people in need of estate planning
Middle age people interested in investing
4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy
Grizzly Bear Financial Managers has chosen these two groups because they both have money to invest and most need assistance in determining how to invest or how to structure their estate.
These groups will be targeted through two methods. The first is old fashioned networking. Meghan made a lot of different contacts in her pursuit for her MBA. In addition to networking her contacts from school, Meghan will also network using her social contacts.
Meghan will also be targeting these groups through the production of public seminars on estate planning and investing. These seminars typically take place in a public area such as a library hall. The seminars provide a basic level of knowledge. The seminar is not meant to substitute Meghan's services, they are meant to whet people's appetites for more information. The real reason for the seminars is to get a diverse crowd of people interested in Meghan and the services she offers, creating new business.
4.3 Service Business Analysis
The financial management is a populated space, just like real estate. There are literally hundreds of financial managers serving the Portland metropolitan area. The secret is specializing (concentrating on a specific area in the market, helping you to be differentiated from all the other service providers) and networking (building your business through personal/professional contacts).
Although the financial market is pretty full, there is room for new providers that specialize and offer unsurpassed customer attention.
4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns
Competition comes from many different sources:
Independent financial planners: these are often most like Grizzly Bear Financial Managers. They do not belong to a larger company and they are not affiliated with any type of company, mutual fund, or otherwise.
Financial planners that are part of a larger organization: American Express, Charles Schwaab, and Merrill Lynch. While these planners might offer good advice, they are often biased, having a financial interest in the companies that they sell equity in.
Tax and estate planning attorneys: professionals with a legal background who offer similar financial services, sometimes as a sideline to their practice of law.
True niche players who only are stock brokers or who only do estate planning: while these people probably have very detailed information about their area of specialization, estate planning or financial planning often requires a breadth of knowledge in many areas.
The buying patterns of consumers are more often than not based on networking or who the person knows. This is because the industry of financial planning is so populated it is quite hard to make a decision for choosing a service provider. Since many/most people after a certain age have at least visited a financial planner it is not difficult to get a referral for a planner.