Learning Planet Online is a small business in New Zealand, which specializes at training and providing soft skills to business employees so as to improve both their abilities and capabilities. This marketing plan is aimed at making Company’s service not only locally popular but also creating a global market with mass consumers. This can be done by first securing New Zealand market, then expanding the market nationally by at least having an average more than 100 users online at any time, and later aiming globally at Europeans and North Americans employees.
In our marketing plan, we will include 4 of the most critical elements of the marketing mix; the 4 P’s. The service being offered to business employees will be the 1st P. The price of the training offered will be the 2nd P. The 3rd P will be the promotional procedures used to inform prospective business employees about the training. The website where the training will occur will be the 4th P (Gilmore 2012). Also, in our marketing plan we will discuss sales promotion techniques that we plan on using to construct an interest in the training that Learning Planet offers. We will first analyse ‘SWOT’ that is, Strengths, Weaknesses, and Opportunities and Threats that Learning Planet Online Company face when entering the market, then We will discuss strategies the company can use to achieve its goals.
SWOT analysis (Competition and Budget)
Strengths that Learning Planet have when entering the market include; presence of several companies which already use their services, 300 online users, and having resources ready for training (Anonymous, 2014). Another advantage is that Learning Planet is an online company, therefore, their service availability is open and global. The weaknesses that Learning Planet faces are; not every business employees can be able to access a computer and visit their site, the challenges of training budget and time during class sessions (Porter, 2001). The training they offer should be sufficient in terms of timing and availability. Learning Planet online has a great opportunity, which comes with existence of potential business employees who need extra training in various companies globally. The biggest threat for the company is competition, since related training companies are already in the market with similar key aim of maximising profits. Competitors are of great challenge, and, therefore, they need to be challenged though offering the best of training services to maintain and attract customers.
Promotion is an important strategy that Learning Planet online should use effectively, so that the target market is well informed of the services they are offering. Since it is a virtual face model business, word of mouth would be effective. Learning Planet can use the word of mouth in companies, in New Zealand so as to attract potential business employees and maintain their current customers by listening to their suggestion on how to improve their training programs. This can be done by visiting business owners in New Zealand and in Australia and convincing them of the importance of their training, giving them evidences of how they have managed to help employees of business companies such as Mitsubishi Motors and Lantern Insurance.
They can also record an advertising video, which will aim at using the internet especially potential companies’ websites if they have any, and YouTube to reach out to potential business employees (Porter, 2001). Brochures containing a brief explanation of training offered can also be printed and distributed around New Zealand and companies in Australia, so as to create awareness. A website such as YouTube is cheapest since the company will only have to upload the advert directly, that way, their future to secure Europe and North America will be assured. Customers need get awareness of the training whenever they need explanation, YouTube is always the best and cheapest target. The brochures that will circulate among the public can have such information. That video will be important since potential business employees will need to be told the importance of the offered service so that they become interested.
Pricing and Price discrimination advertising strategy
Price discrimination and pricing of the services is important in promoting the company’s services, since prices can either attract or discourage potential customers. Learning Planet pricing is based on an option either for individual license or site license, where membership is temporary and can be cancelled with one month notice. Therefore, since the Individual licences price for the customer each month is $29, they should evaluate what other related companies’ prices are set, and either lower or have a price similar to them. In order to increase the number of companies and have about 90% of them use the Site Licence option, the minimum price should also be lower or the same with that of competitors (Anonymous, 2014). It may also be a great move to use first degree price discrimination where it can offer discounts to business employees who honestly bargain through the help desk in relation to their monthly income, that way Learning Planet could attract more and more customers who will be willing to set aside extra cash for useful training. The Company can maximise its profits though perfect price discrimination strategy and the same time attract mass business. Also, taking advantage of employees’ interest in the introductory stage, the monthly price should be lowered to half the price so as to attract more business employees as it expands its boarders to Australia and the rest of the world.
Brand loyalty (reputation)
The key benefit of brand loyalty can be asserted from the fact that it plays a vital role in the company’s advertising appetites. Maintaining brand loyalty is a big challenge for the company, as it is a very tedious process to acquire a customer and then convert them to carry to complete training program. The reason behind it is when a potential trainee enters Learning Planet website the look and feel of the website gives him certain psychological comforts. When he becomes a customer of the web, he requires the website of the company to give the feel and ease to surf easily and be served without having any insecurity in mind. So when internet based brand loyalty has to be initiated, the e-marketing factors change a lot of dimensions for the company. The training services that Learning Planet offers should support user friendliness. The business employees training as a service offered by the company should target large organizations. To attract more customers we suggest that the training should be analysed and improved where necessary, with a fast evolution of web designs, delivery, and applications. The training website should also improve its identity management portal. The training Help Desk, phone support, and Information Technology Services Client Services should be readily available for business employees (Porter, 2001). This will surely help Learning Planet to maintain its customers and attract more potential customers. Brand Loyalty constitutes a lot to the company in terms of revenue generation and word of mouth advertising. It is an innovative marketing strategy if a company wishes to expand and secure business companies in North America and Europe.
Though use of placement strategy, since Learning Planet is a global website, we recommend it to use craigslist advertising so as to reach companies in Britain and America. Everyday millions of internet users use search engines to look for information and additional skills. We suggest that the company invests in the inexpensive craigslist advertising to attract more trainees to their sites. By use of craigslist advertising, the company will move from being local to global as rumours of their quality training reach out more and more business companies worldwide.
On our quest to finding virtual face business model that have succeeded globally using these strategies, we came across Boot Online Company. The business began in 1977 as a retail shop for leather wear, travel accessories and boots (Immanuel, & Janice, 2001). The company established an online shop fronting later in 1995, having a total investment of 3000 Australian dollars. By going online, Boot’s key strategic goal was to market best of Australian leather wear and boots worldwide. The company with only 4 staff members, transformed itself from a local firm of renowned product to an international business with at least 15% of total sales from customers online. At least 95% of Boot’s online customers can be located in other countries worldwide. Boot Online Company hugely benefited from these strategies. After one year of online business, the company had an increment of 15% in sales with 6 extra sales each week. Their profit margin increased due to the minimized inventory cost. In 2001, the company made about AU$ 1,500 online sales weekly and a doubled total of AU$75,000 from the previous year (Immanuel, & Janice, 2001). The number of online customers increased largely over the season.
We have produced a marketing plan that we believe will be effective introducing Learning Planet service to the market. Learning Planet Online being a virtual face model company requires these strategies in order to achieve its objectives, by not only dominating locally, but also internationally. By implementing the strategies, the company will be able to succeed and increase the number of business employees it serves. The business will expand its boarders and claim market both in Europe and North America. Company’s total sales will also increase. Competition is stiff and Learning Planet has no option other than use the strategies to become a giant online business.
Gilmore, J.C. (2012). Exploring Marketing Strategies in Small Businesses. Bellevue University: Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 6, 96-105.
Anonymous, (2014).Learning planet Overview.
Emmanuel, T. Burn, J. (2001).Global strategies for SMe-business: applying the SMALL frame work. MCB University Press: Logistics Information Management, 14, 171-180.
Porter, M. (2001). How competitive forces shape strategy. Harvard business review.