The College Cafe

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Online College Bookstore Business Plan

Marketing Strategy

The College Cafe's customers will be the 15.8 million college students in the United States.  This segment is a niche market that has no single business entity accounting for any significant percentage of total aggregated college student purchases.

The main business model for The College Cafe relies on college students providing textbooks, auctions, classifieds and teacher evaluations available on the website.  Therefore, our focus will be on the marketing strategy to increase student traffic and usage.  In turn, visitor volume and transactions will maintain the inventory of products and services offered.

The College Cafe recognizes the key to success as an extensive promotion strategy to attract users.  Once additional funding is secured the advertising and promotion plan will be implemented.

5.1 Strategic Alliances

The College Cafe is looking to form relationships with major companies in the college student market.  Companies that we will approach included university merchandise manufacturers or resellers, specialized content suppliers, new and used textbook wholesalers and local businesses.

5.2 Promotion Strategy

The College Cafe's overall advertising and promotional objectives are to:

  • Acquire customers and generate sales.
  • Position The College Cafe as the market leader.
  • Increase company awareness and brand name recognition among college students.
  • Collect market research to create immediate and long-term marketing plans.

5.3 Marketing Programs

The College Cafe will attract customers by using a mixture of traditional and online advertising strategies to create a grassroots marketing campaign. 

Since the majority of The College Cafe's customer acquisition will result from direct promotion local to universities, The College Cafe will recruit current college students to fill positions in the areas of campus marketing, local advertisement sales and implementation of a "grassroots" marketing campaign. 

The following is a list of advertising and promotional channels The College Cafe will utilize:

  1. Posting Flyer in and around campuses
  2. Direct Mailings
  3. University and local newspaper advertising and inserts
  4. Promotional item distribution
  5. Advertisements at on-campus kiosk
  6. "Welcome Back to School" registration booths 
  7. "Welcome Back to School" care-package inserts
  8. Sponsorship of recreational/intermural team sports
  9. Sponsorships of campus or community events
  10. University and local newspaper advertising
  11. Indoor/outdoor billboard advertisements at college sporting events
  12. Banner ads on select related sites with a significant level of traffic
  13. Links on related web sites
  14. Traditional media including direct mailings, magazines, radio and TV
  15. Registration with all the major search engines