Marrowstone Advertising Consultants will be concentrating on three main types of nonprofits who operate in the environmental, youth development, and cultural awareness fields. This is because these types of organizations have the greatest needs and/or are the best capitalized in the nonprofit industry.
Profitability and growth in this little tapped market is expected to be strong, as evidenced by the fact that over the past 15 years the U.S. has seen an explosion of nonprofits in new fields such as environmental awareness. Furthermore with the greater capitalization of such agencies, we are seeing a widening gap between these organizations needs and what conventional advertising companies can provide.
An analysis of the market using the five forces of profitability indicates that there will be a short time where growth of market share and profitability will be extremely high while demand outstrips supply. As new entrants move into the market this opportunity will disappear. This is the time for Marrowstone to create its reputation and niche in the industry.
There are various nonprofit institutions nationwide that concentrate on various public issues. Marrowstone will be focusing on the following groups of clients:
We are concentrating on these specific market segments for a variety of reasons. The environmental segment which includes organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy is the fastest growing segment at the moment, and Marrowstone's management concludes that in the near future, they will also include some of the largest nonprofits in the nation. Youth development nonprofits such as the Boy Scouts, Camp Fire girls, 4-F, and The Boys and Girls Club includes some of the largest and most well capitalized nonprofit organizations in the country. Finally, although they tend to be small in size, there are a huge number of cultural nonprofits such as museums.
The market analysis table and graph which follows shows the number of each type of organization in the greater Washington D.C. area. This will be our initial geographical focus for the first three to four years of our company's existance. Later, as we expand to a nationwide scope, our future business plans will include all our potential clients across the country.
The advertising industry for nonprofits is at the moment, an unfulfilled market with demand greater than supply. Many nonprofit organizations have found that only the largest and most expensive advertising agencies will enter into contracts with nonprofits and this leaves a great void which must be filled by in-house advertising.
Marrowstone believes that the greatest threat at the moment is in new entrants to the market who will also perceive this opportunity. The most likely entrants will be pre-existing advertising agencies wishing to horizontally integrate and enter new sub-markets. However, the one major disadvantage to new entrants is that all firms engaged in contracting to advertising agencies face significant switching costs when bringing on a new advertising partner. Furthermore, Marrowstone understands that in this industry there is a significant learning curve that creates declining "unit" costs as a firm gains more cumulative experience in the field itself and with long-term clients specifically.
Rivalry among different advertising agencies as stated before is quite intense. The advertising market as a whole is mature with low growth. Most of the largest agencies are mutually dependent when it comes to jockeying for position and market share. The fact that there are so many diverse and seemingly "generic" or general advertising agencies makes this a cutthroat industry.
The threat of clients backwardly integrating so as to have all their advertising done in-house is one of the major factors that buyers use to indirectly control price in this industry, and increase competition among firms. This must always be foremost in the minds of Marrowstone's management when offering services and setting prices.
Competition includes all potential advertising agencies that are willing to accept nonprofit contracts and nonprofit organizations that handle all their advertising in-house. Practically speaking, this means the largest advertising agencies such as Werner & Voss, Price, Waterhouse, & Cooper, and other large, nationwide agencies that hold significant market share. The advertising agency industry is highly fragmented, with a large number of small companies that mainly cater to small firms and a few large companies that seek the largest contracts from companies such as McDonald's, GM, etc. This makes competition within the industry very intense. Through our niche strategy we intend to avoid such a debilitating environment and avoid its drawbacks such as price wars, etc.
Buying patterns and needs
Companies usually enter into contracts with advertising agencies based on their reputation of professionalism and effective campaigns in the past. This reputation is difficult to obtain by new advertising firms unless its personnel bring it with them from previous firms such as ours. Price and scope are also important reasons for accepting contracts, especially if the company is small.
nonprofit organizations have very different needs that other firms. Companies offering a product or service need to inform the public about the benefits of their product/service and then inspire them to purchase by leading them through an implicit or explicit cost-benefit analysis. On the other hand, nonprofits must appeal to a person's higher sense of community duty in order to obtain contributions. Advertisements must be a thought-provoking experience that engenders action. This is a far more difficult task to achieve than ordinary marketing and usually requires more resources and time than product/service marketing. Many advertising agencies do not desire to accept these types of contracts and leave it to the nonprofit organizations to create their own marketing. This leads to higher costs, more emphasis on obtaining contributions, and less effective management of the organization's goals.