African Marketplace started in 2017’s as a family owned private business. Its headquarters are located in East Orange, New Jersey and Monrovia and have 16 field offices in 11 other states. Twenty employees –consisting of executives, marketing consultants, project managers, procurement agents, translators, and support staff-work for the company regularly and 25 additional employees when customer demand increases.
The firm assists businesses, organizations, and institutions to discover a target market, expand, import and export, and sell product and service anywhere in the African continent, including the entire Mano River Union subregion, the Economic Community of the West African States, the Arab Maghreb Union, and the Africa Union markets 24/7. We lay the groundwork for business to business transactions and quickly inroad your business into and compete in the regional and subregional African markets and beyond that to the great Arab free trade area.
Intense competition and general economic downturn have compelled the company to embark on some new strategic initiatives aimed to transform its business operations by, among other things, changing the company legal status from private to public, offering Initial Public Offering (IPO) in 12 months and expanding marketing activities across the globe.
To achieve the goals of the marketing plan, African Marketplace has developed a marketing flyer plan. The Plan will help business owners, potential investors, and regulators, to better understand the functional areas of the company including marketing and management, to name a few, as it transitions from private to public. The Marketing Flyer Plan will also describe how the company expansion and diversification proposal will focus on acquiring market share as well as making certain that employees can decrease operation costs.
The Marketing Flyer plan will cover Introduction, Strategic Analysis, Objectives, Marketing, Workforce, International Business strategy, and References
The marketing or promotion industry is a magnet to investors as well as aspiring entrepreneurs. In 2005 for instance, there were abundant companies in the marketing and promotion business in the United States, Africa, and the world with an annual revenue well over $ trillion. To face the challenge of intense competition in the industry, African Marketplace will need to continually reduce operating and production expenses, differentiate its services, and focus on total customer satisfaction.
As the company prepares itself to go public and offer IPO, the need to conform to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act by segregating financial related duties and responsibilities, putting in place an internal control system and tracking future marketing expenditures.
II. Strategic Analysis
The success of the Marketing Flyer Plan depends on the extent to which the company can identify the services that it offers, what makes those services stand out from the crowd, who are its regular and potential customers and what it can do best by delivering those services better than everyone else.
The use of SWOT analysis does an excellent job of examining the internal strengths and weaknesses the company must address. The SWOT analysis also examines the opportunities as well as potential threats from outside the company. This assessment is a dynamic process and every now and then. The more functional managers collaborate with executive managers in brainstorming and identifying the company’s strengths and risks, the better the outcomes of the SWOT analysis. Common strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that are endemic in the marketing and promotion industry are as follows:
|Operating marketing and promotion business is prestigious Unskilled workers with lower pay Investors are attracted to marketing and promotion industry Marketing and promotion services are appreciated Customer loyalty is high in this industry. Marketing and promotion industry is mostly profitable||Financial risks are high. The industry is capital intensive Requires marketing and product promotion experts. Lack of international experience Adhering to ethical standards Conflict of interest. Succumbing to stakeholder pressure. Marketing and promotion works are expensive|
|Private and public marketing and promotion booms. |
Private and public investment
Increase collaboration as marketing and promotion areas
Re-invent business strategies/ retrain staff
Create new alliance/partners
Scope to diversify into related market segments
Manage efficiently and provide competitive price
| Cultural differences and rivalries |
Market fluctuation & proliferation
Technology may make services obsolete
III. The Objectives
The Marketing Flyer Plan will achieve the following objectives:
- Transform the business from private to public in 12 months
- Offer IPO in 12 months
- Develop a marketing flyer plan to:
- Educate potential customers on the services that the firm offers
- Guide the African Marketplace into new markets nationally and internationally
- Diversify and expand services to project management, marketing, and promotion projects
- Decrease projects’ operation cost by 10%
- Increase customer responsiveness and service experience by 7% in 2020
- Maximize efficiencies in service and increase penetration within existing markets in 2020
The quintessential factors in this marketing plan consist of identifying organizational strengths and weaknesses and researching the market to find the segment of the potential market then using the appropriate media channels to communicate your value to that segment in a concerted way. The success of the marketing plan depends on the unique products and services that an organization can deliver faster and better than everyone else with a price that is competitive
There is a glut of new marketing ideas that the company can employ to reach its market segments, including The Four-Step Approach that guides in defining your niche, targeting repeated and potential customers, identifying marketing media and creating the marketing plan. There is also The Five P’s marketing concept that signifies product, price, promotion place and people. There is also a holistic marketing approach that seeks to explore, create and deliver customer value and bolster mutually rewarding business tides of friends and cooperation among important stakeholders including customers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, investors, partners and employees. We are all in for an eclectic or mixed marketing approach.
|Four steps||Define niche (2) Identify audiences. Create the plan (4) Select channels||Customer satisfaction|
|Five P’s||Product, Price, Promotion, Place and People||People to people contact|
|Holistic||Explore, Create and Deliver customer value||Stakeholders mutually benefit|
|Mixed||Choose a method that is relevant to customer need||Customizable to customer need|
The management team will have to meet regularly and focus on identifying potential customers –state, government, private and public marketing-in the North America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Central America by aggressively pursuing cost effective marketing media channels that work. As indicated in table 4, there are many varieties of marketing channels. Some of the most effective direct marketing channels include referrals, website, launching client appreciation events, sponsoring local events to name a few that will produce measurable results.
Direct and Indirect Marketing Media Channels
|Client appreciation events||Website||Printed ad||Referrals|
|Sponsoring local events||Cold calling||Online ad||Television/Radio|
|Online lead generator||Social media||Mass emailing||webcast|
|Printed directory listing||Online video ad||Google AdWords||Conducting seminars|
|Google Global Advertiser||Newspaper||Magazine||Local work group|
Google Ads can also produce immediate and quantifiable results. It targets potential customers anywhere. Google Global Advertiser is also a powerful and cost effective marketing channel that can reach any targeted demographic in the world and it has a free translation capability. Moreover, through Google Global Advertiser, your message can reach about 80% of Internet users in the United States, people who need your ad and are charged only when someone clicks on it.
IV. Diversification and Expansion
Currently, the company’s primary customers comprise federal and state governments. One of the first things the firm can do before expanding globally or pursuing an intensive growth strategy is to explore the possibility of penetrating the existing local market, refining or developing new service concepts that can attract and retain potential as well as loyal customers. To attract investment opportunities, the company can also create a strategic business unit to look into newer mechanisms or technological breakthroughs in the marketing and promotion industry.
V. Workforce and Operational Management
Competition in the marketing and promotion industry has heightened in recent. Businesses have to revamp the way they operate by differentiating themselves through fast and efficient customer services if they intend to thrive in the marketing and production industries. A management team well-skilled and experienced in customer service is an asset. It’s also a gateway through which potential investors view and assess a company’s viability for profitability and sustainability. An incompetent team is a risky factor and can discourage potential investment opportunities. Project managers must develop an interest in understanding local politics, stock market, currency conversion, interest rates, and new trends and direction of technology and business as a whole and must be able to differential themselves from the crowd by developing stronger customer focus techniques and relationships with clients that last.
Moreover, as the company plans to go public and diversify its marketing strategy, the importance of effective financial management cannot be overstated. The company must employ or train new lower-cost project managers-leaders that can reduce operating and servicing expenses by 10% in 2 years. The company should also segregate the responsibilities and duties of those who handle financial records and put in place effective internal control systems.
VII. International Business of the Company
As the company endeavors to go global, one of the hurdles prevalent in many most European and Asian countries is minimizing marketing and promotion accidents through training and vigorous enforcement of work site safety regulations. In order words, boing business at the global level is fraught with additional risks and uncertainties. These come in a variety of forms including legal, ethical, monetary, political instability, cultural differences, and language differences to name a few. One of the ways to contain them is to develop a keen interest in partner relationship management techniques by establishing service, promotional, logistical and pricing strategic alliances with local companies that can best minimize and maximize threats and opportunities, respectively.
African Marketplace must focus on delivering unique customer value, creating personal relationships with clients and strategic alliances with overseas partners, pursuing a local market service penetration strategy, being in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the principles of internal control before offering IPO and going global.